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Practice bass scale selection?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Blanco, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    I'm a terrible bass player that is very out of practice, I dont play in a band or anything these days nor do I even have a close friend that plays guitar to jam with.

    I bought my wife a keyboard hoping she would get into it so I could jam with her, but that dont seem to be happening. :confused:

    Anyways I want to start practicing scales & playing to tunes on the radio & etc etc..

    about 20 years ago I did play most of the clubs in the Los Angeles area & playing with the bands was my life & so I still can figure out tunes fairly fast & still have great timing if you ask me. :rollno:

    So being I have a job that allows me lots of down time standing by I want to start playing again with a guitar that is small enough to play while sitting in the cab of a big rig truck & I'm thinking being my level of current play that maybe I should get a full scale version that matches the ones I might play if I go to a party or camping trip or who knows maybe even join another garage band or something..

    I'm just wondering if dropping 90% of my play while at work to a 30" vs the full 34" would really make any difference what do you guys say.

    I've found a very cheap deal on both & now just need to decide.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. I'd get a short scale acoustic/electric so I could get it in the cab and actually hear what I'm playing. I personally have no trouble at all switching between short and long scale. I don't think you need to worry about that.
  3. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    What is the actual difference between the two?
    They both have 20 frets, so they are are just a bit closer together to make up for the shorter scale?

    I would imagine this is more important with a fretless than a fretted?
    I do have both, my fender is fretless & both my Ibanez are fretted..

    To go from short scale to long scale might be an issue if I spent 90% of my time on a short scale then move to my fretless full scale?

    What do you guys think?
  4. Long (standard) scale is 34" from nut to saddles. Short scale is 30". The neck on short scale basses is shorter so it's easier to fit into confined spaces.

    I would not buy a solid body - you won't be able to hear anything. That's why I suggested acoustic/electric.

    The only real difference between short and long scale is the stretch on the first five frets. After that they're not different enough to worry about.
  5. Bubbatrucker


    Jan 18, 2012
    Poconos Pa
    i drive truck as well and when you need to practice , just sit in the sleeper, depending on what size sleeper you have. I ran volvo and international and it was still ok for room back there. and when I slept, i just put the bass up in front seat and left the top bunk up ... when i was driving the bass would sleep in the bed. but that was when i was otr ... just my 3 cents
  6. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    I dont have a sleeper, I drive a daycab, so all my down time is in the front seats. :(

    I can stick the head out the window or if in the Pass seat into the drivers section.
    Not a problem the steering wheel should move out of the way enough to play, but the bulky body is the issue & thats why I like these smaller set ups.
    I'm leaning towards the BassFish because I can just place it on my lap & not have to mount the bars to hold the straps.
    Just grab it & play & when called to work I' just put it down into the bag & go not have to take time to take it apart.
  7. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I haven't had problems switching back and forth. My gigging bass is 34" scale, but my new favorite "couch" (sitting down) bass is 30" scale, which is actually more comfortable for me sitting down. I actually have an ultra cheap 30" scale bass that should arrive tomorrow that I plan to use strictly for playing while watching TV.

    Fretless would be completely different.

    Do you have any way to bring a tiny battery powered amp or anything?
  8. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    I have a Pig Nose amp, do they even make those any more???
  9. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Perfect! You're set then.

    BTW, the short scale I have on order is a Squier PJ that they're selling for $155, and it's actually a serviceable bass. Worth a look as a cheap travel bass. If you're curious, I can post pics and a review tomorrow when it comes.
  10. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    Yes I am curious, how about a link meanwhile?
    I'm in e-mails with the FishBass guy & if he will drop the price on a blem he has for sale at all or at least on shipping or the guitar, I'll probably just buy it tonight.

    But I am a fender fan.
    Does it have a much smaller body?
    I need a tiny bass to play while at work...
  11. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member


    The body is slightly smaller. I'll post some pics next to a regular bass tomorrow.

    If you google "jaguar short bass" you'll find some pics next to a regular bass. I'll see if I can dig one up.
  12. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

  13. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    I think the FishBass has the worlds worst name being its gets completely lost in the videos of Bass fishing when doing searches on YouTube.
  14. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    Thanks but the body is still too big for what I want, & the scale is getting too short as well I'm having a hard time dropping 4 inches to 30", so I'm not going any lower...
    I'd end up with a Ukulele-Beatles.

    If I dont cut it off soon.
  15. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    Oh, I've got that too, haha -- but I'm finding it's a total hand cramp to play:


    The 30" scale is much more friendly than the uke bass. Have you looked at a Steinberger or a clone? You'd get the 34" scale in a much more travel-friendly format since the overall length is only around 38", thanks to the lack of a headstock.

    I have one that I've had since 1988, and is one bass I'll never sell:


    You can probably pick up a clone fairly cheaply, and it would be easy to store in the truck.
  16. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    Nice Minis you got there, But I'm trying to keep it at about $100.00 & even the clones are about twice that.
    I did find a nice one with a hard case for $188.00 though.
    but money is very tight right now & the cheaper the less of a fight it will be once the wife finds out about my latest toy.
    Being I dont play the one's I currently have at all i can see her getting mad at me.
    But like I said I have lots of down time at work & this might be perfect to fill the void. :)
  17. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I hear you.

    Have you checked Rondo music? They have some short scale basses for $115 plus shipping. Lots of people here like the SX basses, and they have a fantastic return policy. I got a guitar from them and it is great for the money.

    The red short scale jazz on the first page really tempted me:


    Hope it all works out for you!
  18. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    Lots of cheap stuff there!
    I had no idea there were so many cheapys out there to choose from..
    great for a kid wanting to just try it out.

    Yet I still want a smaller body, other wise being just a wee bit larger I might as well take my Ibanez road star to work with me.
  19. Blanco


    Jun 1, 2012
    Any videos of BassFish being played on youtube?
    Links please.... I know there must be some.
    Yet all I keep getting while searching is Bass fishing clips..
  20. BartmanPDX

    BartmanPDX Supporting Member

    I really don't know what the "bassfish" is. Haven't heard of it.

    The Squier short scale jaguar just arrived:


    Initial impressions:
    It's a surprisingly good deal. It's a functional bass, sounds decent through a practice amp, plays quite well. It does have bad neck dive, especially while sitting, but the weight of my right forearm resting on the bass while seated makes it not a big issue for me. This is not a bass I would gig or play standing as I'm 6'3" and it would be comically small on me, so as a sitting down bass the neck dive is fine but it might be a serious issue with a strap.

    Tuners are usable, the bridge is adequate, and there are no sharp fret ends, the neck is surprisingly comfortable and the short scale is fine for me for sitting down. The pickups are fine for practice.

    Body is not much smaller than a regular jazz, but at this price you might be able to get one even cheaper used and cut it down with a bandsaw. Sounds barbaric but you might end up with a really small (if horribly ugly) bass that's perfect for the road. Weight is very light -- 7 lbs.?

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