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Short scale bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by J.R.1, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. J.R.1


    Aug 7, 2004
    What is the difference between a short scale bass and a regular bass? Any difference in sound? different style strings? Pros and cons please. Thanx in advance! :bassist: :)
  2. Shorter scale might mean better playability, but longer often sounds better (deeper, less 'twangy') for bass. Some prefer the tone of short scale basses though- Mike Watt, I believe.
    Oh, & long scale usually means 34", short is 30", IME. 'Scale length' is the distance from the nut to the bridge- the part of the string that vibrates when plucked.
  3. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    Found this Allen Woody (of the Allmans and Govt. Mule) interview and quote about short scale basses:

    "The short scale (compared to the 34" "standard" set by Fender's Precision and Jazz models) has been derided by players for years. However, the short scale feels like home to Woody.

    "'The basses that I play in Gov't Mule especially, most of them are old Gibson EB-0s, EB-1s, EB-2s and EB-3s,' he said. 'Those were all 30"- scale, so we wanted that. There's something about that short string-scale that gives it more overtones and more problems here and there, but it's a bassier, bigger sound. You learn to work around the idiosyncrasies of that short scale and you can really make it work cool for you. So we wanted it to be as much like an EB-0 as possible.'"

    Found it at the Gibson website.

    I have a Gibson EB-2 (30" scale) and love it! As noted above, a lot of people put down short-scale basses (and Gibson EB-2s for that matter), but I think a lot of it depends on the bass, and also what you expect to hear. The EB-2 doesn't put out any high end at all, but that's a good thing! The pickup is extremely powerful, and I've never noticed any deficiencies in the bass end.
  4. superjake


    Nov 6, 2003
    I own a Fender Mustang and I love it!! Currently it's the only bass I own, but I'm savin' up for a jazz bass of some type so I'll have more frets to thump with (the 'stang only has 19).
    I always get odd looks when I say I like playin' short scale and I can't figure out why.....
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I play medium scale, 32", and I'm very happy with the sound. I haven't tried 30" scale, but I find 32" to be noticeably more comfortable for me to play.
  6. NSX_R


    Nov 14, 2004
    I have a short scale bass.
    it is fun to play with and a little "acoustic" like