notice much of a difference between 34" and 35" scale lengths?.... I didn't

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nobody, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Nobody

    Nobody Inactive

    Jul 14, 2004
    I tried a couple 5 strings today, a Musicman SR5HH (totally awesome as expected!) and a Schecter Stiletto Studio 5(that quite honestly felt like home other than the string spacing being a little tighter than I'm used to) I really couldn't tell by playing that one was 34" and the other 35" scale length. This is good news for me because I have been purposely limiting my choice for a 5 string based on a 34" scale being a requirement.

    I only played them briefly but it seems that it would be a fairly painless transition from 34" 4 string to 35" 5 string. What are your experiences?
  2. TechJunky


    Aug 31, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    I've owned both and played both. Never had an issue switching. I find there's more of a difference based on how the bass is built (small body, large body, how and where the neck or bridge is mounted, etc) as that has more of an effect where the first fret will sit relative to your body.
  3. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    It used to bother me, but now it's not an issue, simply because I have accepted that it takes a few minutes of playing for my brain to aclimate.
  4. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    If you can't tell the difference then it doesn't matter, don't worry. :)
  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    After playing 34" scale basses exclusively for almost two decades, I decided to acquire a 35". I really tried to acclimate to it — namely, daily practice for about six months — but ultimately decided that it wasn’t going to work for me. It’s not something that I could’ve discovered in ten minutes at a music store either. It took an honest and dedicated attempt over time. I envy bassists (and guitarists) that can transition effortlessly between different scale lengths, but I’m not one of them.
  6. jongor


    Jan 11, 2003
    Oh man...not ANOTHER 34" vs. 35" and how does that affect you and the blah, blah, blah....

  7. I started on a 35" and i found that it actually made playing a 34" seem easier. I had to stretch more and it made me quicker. So playability is equal for me; I'm at home on a 35" so 34 is naturally easier. I don't know how this would be for people who played mainly on 34" scales though.
  8. Nobody

    Nobody Inactive

    Jul 14, 2004
    ha ha ha..... I see what you did there..... :D
  9. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    I'm not that big of a guy so the longer scale is a big reach for me. My 5ers are ebmm and I never have a low b problem ever!
  10. The body shape can make a huge difference. I general play 34". But I once took a bongo 5 I ordered to my local music store and asked them if it was short scale. Switching back and forth between my warwick thumb and the bongo the bongo felt like it was shorter. For 5 string the difference is pretty small but 35" scale on a 6 or 7 string is pretty tough for me so the size of your hands plays a part as well. I also think "G" and "high C" strings tone suffers from the longer length. Although I've never owned one I can definitely see why fanned fret basses were invented.
  11. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Depends on the bass.

    I have played 36" scale basses that I could reach then first fret easier than many 34".

    Remember, the scale length is from the bridge to the nut. Look at many of Carl Thompson's long scale builds as an example.... The bridge couldn't be further back.

    I personally prefer 34" if the B sounds good but I have no problem generally switching between the two.
  12. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    I have switched between a 36" [fretless], a 32", a 35", a 34", and a 27" cello during one of my more entertaining band practices. I had no problems adjusting whatsoever. Then again, my hands are huge.
  13. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY

    It's even more humorous on the DB side. Some of those guys act like a difference of 1'' in mensure would make a bass unplayable to them or result in crippling injuries!
  14. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    i switch between 30", 34, 35.5", regularly.

    its not a big deal. at all.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    No. But that's probably because I don't have sufficient skill to notice the difference.
  16. Splods


    Oct 7, 2012
    Adelaide, SA
    Played a 5 string BTB at a local store a week ago. It was a 35, and I didn't even realize this until i researched it when I got home.

    Great B string, and an awesome preamp on BTB's
  17. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    I notice the difference but it isn't a big deal. I started off on 35" but mainly play 34"
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I noticed the longer scale length a bit on my Rebop because it had such a small body, and I noticed 35" scales more on four strings, but it was never uncomfortable. On a nice full sized five string bass like a Lakland or a MTD, it
    is not an issue at all.
  19. Showdown


    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have both and don't notice a difference.
  20. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    yeah,... i they feel the same to me! ,.. i guess.