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Newbie questions

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Popbumper, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Popbumper


    Jul 19, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Hi all:

    These questions are less significant to me from a "personal use" perspective (since I can't relate - yet) than a desire to comprehend more of the lingo - and discussions that occur here. OK, given that, my disclaimer - I did do a search on these and can't collect anything definitive - and I also hope this is in the right forum, so:

    1) What is the meaning of "Short scale"? I think it relates to number of frets. Elaborate?

    2) Speaking of frets, how many fret "sizes" are there? Why would a fret be called "JUMBO"? Is this a term that describes individual frets, or a "quality" of frets across the fingerboard?

    3) Does the term "fretless" refer to BOTH a fingerboard that has fret wires flush to the board, AND/OR a fingerboard that has no fret wires at all? If not, how does one delineate the two without looking at them?

    Thanks all, really appreciate this group and how it has helped me thus far.

  2. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003

    Scale = length of the neck not number of frets. Some like shorter others prefer longer. 34" is "standard. 35" or longer is generally considered "long scale"

    Jumbo refers to the mass of the frets themselves. A lot of this is preference.

    Fretless refers to a fingerboard with no traditional raised frets. Fingerboards with recessed lines are often called "lined fretless".

    Hope this helps. You're doing the right thing reading up.
  3. Welcome to TalkBass! Thanks for searching for information in advance. Anything you can't find, try us.
  4. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
  5. A bass guitar's scale length is calculated by measuring the distance in inches from the front edge (fingerboard side) of the nut to the center of the 12th fret, then doubling that measurement.

    Scale length is not just the length of the neck, nor is it determined by the number of frets.

    Standard scale for a bass is 34". Short scale is considered 30", while 32" is a medium scale. 35" and up is long scale. There have been variations to these numbers - for example, a Hofner 500 is a 30.25" scale, while a Gibson EB-1 is 30.5", even though both are considered short scale basses.
  6. As with any wikipedia page, always take the information presented with a grain of salt. I could go there & add my name as one of the most influential players of the 1950's.
  7. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I suppose the same could be said of some TB comments :) It wasn't intended as the bass bible, just reading material in which some useful info may be available.

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