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Short scale basses getting more popular

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hopsbb, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. hopsbb


    Nov 8, 2014
    Might just be me but it seems that short scale is becoming more popular. Good thing for me. I love SS. I own 4 currently. Anybody else notice an up tick?
  2. dragon2knight

    dragon2knight Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Bronx, NY
    Well, I'm happy it's an option. It should help me continue to practice due to some wrist damage I just got. Plus, they travel well ;) I'm honestly seeing a ton of options for them as well, available at more online retailers, then I've ever seen before, that could also be the reason.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  3. hopsbb


    Nov 8, 2014
    The Hofner Ignition is one of the 4 I own. Its great. It was the 2nd SS I ever bought.First being my Chocolate Satin SG special.Then I got a 2nd SG special in fireburst and a Danoelctro Longhorn 58.
  4. gsgbass

    gsgbass "ROAD REX" Supporting Member

    A nice group you have there. Unfortunate that it appears Fender may have dropped the Pawn Shop Mustang. A great SS also.
    7dollarbologna likes this.
  5. hopsbb


    Nov 8, 2014
    They got the Rascal still though. I think anyway.
  6. I think the appearance of popularity of short scales may be somewhat skewed by the membership of this and other active bass player message boards. We may be more likely to espouse our acceptance of SS as a regular player/gig bass than the general playing population, but that's just conjecture on my part. Myself I recently got my first SS, a Danno Longhorn, and I enjoy it but my go to's are still long scale.
    rufus.K and Herbie Chesnutt like this.
  7. Herbie Chesnutt

    Herbie Chesnutt Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2010
    Wake Forest, NC
    I think you are on to something here. I still hold onto my P even though I MUCH prefer my shorty Ibby that I just found. I'm test driving an SX shorty (should be here tomorrow) but I doubt that will be the answer. I'm really thinking about putting together a Warmoth shorty just to see if I can get a shorty that feels as solid as my P. Also I'm a short pudgy guy so a shorty doesn't look bad on me. In fact, a full scale bass looks just a tad overbearing on me. So that's a factor too. A lot of guys may think a shorty looks silly on them when a full scale bass fits their stature. Its a silly consideration, sure, but not everything about playing an instrument is black and white and scientific.
    Fat Freddy and EdO. like this.
  8. Tom0Blam0

    Tom0Blam0 Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    I am switching to all short and medium scale basses. The only 34" scale bass is a p-bass that I am going to string BEAD which shorties aren't typically great at handling. Otherwise I have a Squire Mikey Way mustang and SS Jag, a shortly EB-3 copy, and a fender MIM Urge. They just feel so much better to play.

    I don't know if a large number of consumers are buying short/medium scale basses, though I hope they are. It might encourage companies like fender or even lakland to produce a wider range of short and medium options. I'd love to get a medium scale jazz without having to find an MIJ or get an SX or warmoth build.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  9. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    It's not just you. There are some better choices available people are really trying and liking them and realizing the "beginner" bass stereotype is blather.
    I have equal long and short, and like anything else, you have to accept it on its terms and not have preconceived notions to be successful with it.
    I wanted a quality short scale P/j for years and Warmoth *finally* came up with components. I couldn't be happier.
    On the other hand, if you have real reasons for not liking them, so be it.
    rallen likes this.
  10. Yeah, there has been a lot of myth-busting on TB, clearing up much of the hogwash floating around for years about anything other than standard long scale. The attitudes of short and medium scale players like Stanley Clarke, Jonas Hellborg, Paul McCartney - and dozens of others - have helped bring a real awareness to the issue. I mean these folks could play any instrument they want with no restrictions or budgetary concerns. There has to be a good reason why they opt for shorter scales. If they really thought they were sacrificing tone, why would they continue to play them?

    Absolutely, medium and short scale basses are much more popular now than ever. If you spend any time at all visiting the short and medium scale threads - you know that countless players have made the switch. It happens all the time.

    Repetitive stress has resulted in serious injuries for some in the areas of tendonitis, arthritis, and other ailments of the spine, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists. The risks are even bigger with the number of players who have opted towards much bigger extended scale and extended range basses.

    It's unfortunate, but for some players the only choice turns out to be: "hang up your cleats or go shorter".

    The vast majority are finding that going shorter can add years to their playing careers - and it's most certainly a beautiful thing.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
    rallen, Gully Foyle, Mekana and 11 others like this.
  11. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    May be a trend due to age trends happening now across the world.

    There are 3 short scales(SG bass, Greco Violin bass SOLID BODY, and an SX jazz) here specifically used(now) when certain back issues start bothering me at 60 years old. They all weigh much less than my other basses and sound/play just as good. When you still move and setup your own gear and then play about 3-1/2 hours per show, it helps. We do about 85-90 shows per year and sometimes get that double-booked thing where we have 2 shows in one day. 12 shows in 25 days in February while having a fulltime engineering career/job was rough.

    There's also an inversion table at home and a TENS device(I call it my back zapper) that help a LOT with "carrying on" and avoiding surgery.
    Bunk McNulty and ICM like this.
  12. Bajo Clarkko

    Bajo Clarkko

    Aug 9, 2015
    As Bass players are getting older, and finding lighter, more compact amps to their liking (partially out of necessity, as well) , I think we will continue to see more short scale Basses becoming popular for the same reasons, as many TBers have documented in their posts.
    As a sign of an aging demographic sort of thing. I have a friend who was thinking of selling his MIJ Mustang, but I believe I have talked him out it. He's 60, and sees the value in hanging on to it.
    He's a big dude, and usually plays a P Bass, but I think he's at the point that he can now read the writing on the wall.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  13. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Short scale basses are often wonderful. I have had and have a few MIJ vintage models. The old ones usually need some TLC, but often sound great with a little fixer upper effort. I play upright bass a lot, and have noticed that on doubling gigs a short scale is very comfortable to switch to... Don't know why, since the upright is 43 1/2" and the short scale is 30". switching to a 34" requires more effort, it's prolly just me. Right now there are great short scale basses being made..their was a $125 Squire Musicmaster clone I tried that sounded and felt fab right off the rack. The Gretsch, the Dean, the Hofner, ect. I don't think age has a defining role in the switch to short from long scale...if you have good technique. I think it's more of a sonic and musical choice.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I not noticed - I've played some SS and prefer 34" scale.
  15. jazzyvee


    Aug 11, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I have short scale 30.75" and one long scale 34", 4 string bass and I prefer the short scale bass. They seem to have a sweeter tone overall and a beefier bottom end and easier to play. Maybe because I've moved to bass after playing guitar for a number of years.
    blue4 likes this.
  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Probably not
  17. Fingerpickingood


    Oct 30, 2014
    I LOVE my Ibby MiKro. And I'm a pretty big dude.
  18. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    pretty sure it's because of bands like tame impala, the psychedelic movement from label such as Captured Tracks, Modular People...

    these guys use the Paul's tone as the basis of their bass tone for their band. The guitars and synth that is going on at those tracks just allow the dubby tone to shine better than a roundwound high mid snappy tone.

    I think you are kinda right on this i am currently looking into short scale or bass that can do the dub tone well now, hofner, starcaster bass, sg bass...etc,etc

    This is after passing that i want a "custom extended range bass with exotic buckeye burl top, 4 band preamp, fan fret, graphite neck, LED inlay" phase that i have.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2016
    winterburn69 likes this.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I think part of it may be people are starting to get tired of the brighter slappier hi-fi sound of a lot of today's bass lines, and are now starting to reacquire an appreciation for that older tubbier and warmer sound of a short scale bass. It's really it's own 'thing' - and a different aesthetic when you get right down to it. I think of a short scale as an almost completely different bass instrument, in much the same way that the voice of a euphonium is different yet similar to a tuba.

    Extended scale, long-scale, short-scale, piccolo, 4/5/6/6+ strings, active, passive, solid body, semi hollow, hollow body, acoustic, acoustic electric, ukelele bass, ashbory, Chapman Stick, baritone guitar...it's a good time to be a purveyor of those low notes. Variety is certainly not lacking, that's fer sure.
  20. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I agree. People may dislike them but the indie bands have put a lot of old school brands and styles back on the map too.
    40Hz likes this.

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