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Short Scale 30" or 32" ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eno50, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. eno50


    Jan 31, 2009
    North of Memphis
    I think I want to try a short scale bass,What is the difference in playability and sound?
    Is the shorter scale going to be floppy feeling?
    Frets going to be closer togeather or on a fretless the spacing is going to be shorter?
    I have never played one and was just wanting the scoop on them before I get too interested in one,I really don't care for the so called beatle bass clones, but there are others out there i see for sale. I would just like the scoop, good or bad.

  2. I find that with 30" scale basses, there is a noticeable "floppy" feel to the strings using normal gauges, and a bit of a "rounder" type of sound. Generally though, I find 32" scale basses to feel very much like 34" scale basses. At the end of the day though, they're all pretty playable!
  3. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I bought my GF's 7 year old son a 32" bronco - so I play it a bit when I'm at their house...

    The strings DO feel much looser - and yes, of course, the frets are closer together. If the distance between the nut and the bridge is 32" (rather than the 'full scale' 34") then tha distance between your open E and the 12 fret active will be 16" - one inch less than full scale. That 1" is spread over those 12 frets.

    *most* folks think that shorter scale makes for less tone, cramped playability, etc. However, many great bassists have used short scale basses - Stanley Clarke leaps to mind.

    If you want to try SS basses, I'd suggest getting a SX short scale - You cans spend as little as $120 and if you don't dig it, you're only out $120. If you do, you can get a nicer bass later.

    Why do you want a SS bass anyway?
  4. eno50


    Jan 31, 2009
    North of Memphis
    Good question,I dont really know why i want one,I just been hearing about them being used nowdays and I wanted to try one, I always like the Jack Bruce sound in the Cream days and I think he played a gibson short scale SG bass.
    Anyways It's one of those want's A fever if you will .
    Thanks for your input

  5. I find short-scale basses to be a lot more fun, physically, to play. String tension can be looser or floppier, depending on the particular manufacturer and gauge (and depedning on what tension/gauge you normally play on your long-scale basses).

    I find the sound has more organic roundness to it, like more "boingy-ness" from initial attack to the decay of the note. I guess this is why some people think it's easier to get a more "uprightish" tone from them. If you mute the strings and play fingerstyle, the thump can be satisfying and addictive.
  6. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Jack's Cream basses, while all short scale, were all pretty different animals, Fender Bass VI, Dano Longhorn, and Gibson EB-3.
  7. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    If you want to get an idea of the different feel put a capo on the 2nd fret of your bass and tune to pitch.
    Serek_Basses likes this.
  8. Hey, did Squier change the Bronco?
    I still have an older beaten Bronco and it's definately 30" and I wouldn't trade it for any Mustang after what I've done to it! lol

    If you're considering a shot scale, go for it!
    I love 'em but for some reason I also have a 35" scale bass and I find the transition very easy!
    The shortie is my taveling beater bass because of the size!
  9. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    My preference is 32".
  10. Go figure I ordered a 35" scale 4 from ya. :p
  11. Hopper


    Sep 24, 2008
    I like 32" as well but there are no necks for sale that size and very few cheap to medium range basses. Why has it got to be 34" all the time?:(
  12. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Both have thier advantages. I've owned a couple of each. The short scale definately has a nice full roundness. Not very bright and snappy, but I like the tone. I agree with those who say that medium scale (the accepted term for 32" basses) sounds and feels like a 34" bass. It'd be great for someone who wants a smaller easier to play bass.

    While there are plenty of short scale basses, there aren't too many current production medium scale basses. However, there are alot of used 32" Aria, Aria Pro II, and Vantage basses from the early 80's that are very well made, and available quite inexpensively. Fender has also had a number of medium scale basses that they have made in the past that are not usually too expensive.

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