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short scale bass for 10yo girl

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jj.833, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. short scale 30"

    118 vote(s)
  2. standard scale 34"

    12 vote(s)
  1. Hi,
    I'm to teach a 10yo girl, starting September. She seems to me rather smallish, her mother is a little under the average height. She was studying a classical guitar for some two years and then, when offered to study a bass, her eyes started to shine.

    I'm thinking of what bass she should buy. She was trying my Fender jazz, right hand no problem, left hand can reach the first fret, but not easily. I'd be happy if somebody smarter than me could answer a few questions:

    1. short scale or standard scale? I generally prefer standard 34" scale for anybody, thinking 'learn standard first, then you can choose freely'. I had a short scale once, for a short time, and frankly didn't really feel a big difference in playing comfort. But I'm quite tall. I would very much like to hear some arguments for both sides.

    2. if short scale, what bass? Fender lover myself, I'm thinking about Fender Mustang. They make MIM P-J bass, nice, quite affordable, but they have 'common' pickups, not the original mustang micro-soap. So it's not exactly 'it' and it's quite expensive for being just a starter bass for just a few years. Have somebody tried this?

    3. there also are cheap short scales, Luna Tattoo or Ibanez TMB30. Does someone have any experience with these?

    4. Beatles Hofner is also short scale. I never tried it; I'm thinking the body could be too thick for a little student, making the right hand technique harder to learn healthy. Any opinions?

    5. if long scale, do you have any opinions about the pedagogy style 'learn higher on the neck, later you can go down to the bottom'? Myself, meeting this on double bass, I feel pretty much okay with it.

    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  2. walking Bass

    walking Bass Supporting Member

    May 24, 2005
    Northern California
    I'm over 6 ft with large hands and I play both 30 and 34, but prefer 30 most of the time. I have both the Gibson SG and the Fender American Mustang - both are excellent, but so is the Lakland HB30 and the Reverend Dubking. The Ibanez is probably the best for the least money.

    I'd also look at the Taylor GS Mini bass. The even shorter scale might be best to learn on for a small 10 YO.
    mattbass6945, cosmicevan and jj.833 like this.
  3. Something like a Squier Bronco or the SS Jaguar would be perfect.
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I'd recommend an Ibanez Mikro with its 28.6" scale. I use one myself. Good bass and not expensive (especially used) if she decides not to continue with it.
    Jazz Ad, MeLikeBass, Luigir and 24 others like this.
  5. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Squier Bronco, Mustang or Fender Mustang would all be good choices. She is at that age where she could sprout over night but to start with I would get here a short scale. There are plenty of good inexpensive "Beatle " basses out there that may also be a good choice the Epiphone Viola or the Hofner CT series are also good. Once she has her growth spurt I would transition her into a full scale bass. Ibanez also makes some nice shortys
    MCF, mattbass6945, bcbckr and 3 others like this.
  6. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    One of this SS jags would probably be good. They’re pretty inexpensive and fret reach is minimized. They’re good basses too, if you can find a good one. I wouldn’t take just the first one a music shop hands to you.
  7. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i'm 5' 3", and i recommend a bronco or mustang first, jag next due to body shape. as an alternative, an ibanez mikro has a 28.6" scale.
    MCF, ObsessiveArcher, Tommy V and 7 others like this.
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Really depends on the person - plenty of young people playing 34s. Really best for her to go to a store and try out different instruments.
  9. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi Jay Jay :)

    I voted 34" because there was no carrots 35" option! :D

    Honestly, I don' t think that the scale lenght is super important to a 10yo girl!

    They don' t start on a violin, when they want to play the cello!

    When she wants to play bass let her play bass.

    Her top priority will be the colour! :hyper: Better let her choose what she likes!

    Second will be weight. (for the moment even a short scale is too heavy for a long walk)

    may the bass be with you

  10. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
  11. thehindteet


    Jan 15, 2013
    my 10 year old daughter picked an Ibanez TMB30. I had figured we'd get one of the Fenders, but after playing all the short scales in the shop, we both really loved that one. The little Jackson came in second, but she wasn't into the pointy headstock :)

    It plays and sounds way better than my first bass, at a fraction of the price!
    Avigdor and jj.833 like this.
  12. lowdownthump


    Jul 17, 2004
    Mustang p/j.
    Great basses . Should be a keeper and one she can continue to use as she progresses . Professional players use these basses.
    Jon McBass, drumvsbass and JC Nelson like this.
  13. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    I would say Ibanez TMB30 of the ones you listed. They are (at least in USA) about a third of the cost of the Fender Mustang, but 90% of the way there. The pickups are not my favorite, but can easily be changed down the road. Otherwise, they are well built.

    The Ibanez Mikro would be my choice if she was not very strong and wanted to stand while playing - I remember it being light as a feather. From what I recall, the TMB30's can vary quite a bit in weight.

    My personal knock against the Mikro is the 28.6" scale. In my experience, short scale strings tend to be designed for 30" (in general) and therefore feel a little looser on a Mikro compared to the TMB30. This is more of a personal preference though, and to someone else this might be a pro instead of a negative.
    dralionux and jj.833 like this.
  14. LetItGrowTone


    Apr 2, 2019
    It would be ideal if you could let her hold and choose Mikro, TMB30, or a 34".

    Edit: Just tell her about the capo method for shortening it for now.
    Macht-0 and jj.833 like this.
  15. B-Mac

    B-Mac Sorting Things Out Banned Supporting Member

    One of these (The short scale one)

    Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar and Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass Reviews

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  16. Ibanez Mikro. I have one, and use it sometimes for pro gigs when my left hand cramps up from the P bass.
  17. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Another vote for the Short Scale (SS) Jaguar.
  18. I have a Jag SS, a tmb30 and a Hofner Club. The advantage of the Club is its light weight. The advantage of the Jag is its mini-Jazz neck and fretboard. The advantage of he Ibanez is it low price. They’re all good.

    I also have a Epi EB-0, which is my favorite shortie that I own, and I would not hesitate to recommend it as well.
    walking Bass and jj.833 like this.
  19. I'm surprised there's not more 34" lovers. I'd think it's a good scale for learning the technique. When it's not easy, you need to be careful with your physique, hence you learn to do it right. Right?
    [Carrots? Carrots are not very tasty this time of the year, at least here in Europe. Scales a bit too short, sound a bit too wacky; easy to smash though!]

    Good point.

    Thanks, good to know.

    Thanks, it didn't come to my mind. I could give her mine and tell her to pass it on when she learns to play Db chord on guitar :)

    Please keep the ideas coming!
    Novarocker and Killed_by_Death like this.

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