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Scale lengths

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Deguello462, May 4, 2006.

  1. Deguello462

    Deguello462 Guest

    May 3, 2006
    Hey guys, I've only ever had basses that were 34" scale. What are the differences between say 32" 34" and 36" other than the length?
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Most 4 strings are 34, and many 5 strings are 35" scale. 35" scale results in the strings being able to be tightened slightly more when tuned to pitch... thereby supposedly helping that large, sometimes floppy low B string remain slightly more taught... aiding in tone and playability. 36" scale is based on the same thing, and just extends the logic of the 35" scale.

    Short scale basses (32") are just the opposite... the strings are less tight when tuned to pitch, given the basses a 'looser' feel and a somewhat different tone... and of course, for small hands or guitarist doubling on bass, they can feel more comfortable.

    One of the best B strings I'm ever heard is on my 34" scale Sadowsky 5 string... so it's not necessary to get a longer scale to have the B string sound good.

    PS.... I don't hardly notice the difference when playing a 34" and 35" scale... some players have strong preferences for one or the other... I find the difference very subtle and not an issue with playability.

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