short scale basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AddSomeBaw-Tom, Aug 25, 2001.

  1. AddSomeBaw-Tom

    AddSomeBaw-Tom Guest

    Aug 25, 2001
    what are some of the advantages of a short scale bass? mainly sound wise, not just that they are easier, lighter,etc...also, on a short scale, what would be the best strings for a funk style?


    oh, andwho are some famous short scale users?
  2. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I'll give you a very narrow point of view. I had an Alembic Stanley Clarke Signature bass. 30 3/4" scale. It was an absolute blast to play. The shorter scale made fingering a lot easier and I could really get some speed going with my left hand. Of course, that's relative. There are guys that can whip their way around a 35" scale faster than I did the 30 3/4".

    As for strings, I pretty much alternated between Alembic CX3 and D'Addario. I had to custom order the D'Addario, but they sounded awesome.

    I say my point of view is narrow because this is an expensive brand of bass, so it's not for everybody. I've heard knocks on the tonal quality of short scale basses. I didn't perceive any loss of tonal range with this bass, but then, for the price....

    On the lower price end I've heard great things about the Danelectro Longhorn. I'd suggest you try both out if you can. Alembic Stanley Clarke's go $3,500 - 5,500 new, and about $1,800 - 2,300 used. Longhorns I think go about $5 - 700 new.


  3. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    The commonly held view is that the longer the scale length, the better the tone especially for lower notes. This is why 5 strings with longer scales are "supposed" to be better. Also, this is the rationale that Novak fanned frets have - the low B has a 37' scale. Conversely, people believe that basses with 30' scales do not sound as good as longer scale basses. Personally, it is a matter of taste and opinion. I have only limited experience with short scale basses - my 2nd bass was a short-scale cheap Samick - it did not sound very good at all, but was easy to play. My suggestion is to use what works for you. :)
  4. There used to be this idea going around that you weren't a "real" bass player unless you were playing a neck that was about the length of an electricity pole, or similar.

    My first bass was a Gibson EB0 which was short scale but I can't remember exactly how short. In playing that bass, therefore, I was perceived as some kind of nancy-boy bass player and not at all in keeping with the men who naturally played a Precision. (We are going back some 25 years, here).

    As I remember the Gibbo was really quite good and I damned well wish I'd still got it now.:D

  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I dunno... for a cheap short-scale bass, the new Longhorns are hard to beat. IMO they've got plenty of tone and I don't see any other short-scale touching 'em at the $200 range. Plus, they weigh like a pound or somesuch, which can be a big relief after two sets of 'P-Bass Shoulder'...

    I'm currently looking to buy a Fender Musicmaster, as it holds some personal appeal, (trying to recapture my youth!).

    Short-scale players... Well, there's Mike Watt playing an EB-0, Felix Papparaldi toted one around for awhile. Tina Weymouth with the Talking Heads and the Tom Tom club. Colin Moulding kept one around during the XTC heyday, (though I think he's a Wal guy now...). Tony Levin's recorded with an Ashbory, (okay, I know that's different, but hey, 18" is a pretty short scale!)... Jack Bruce, Jeff Berlin... Then there was this McCartney guy that played with a little band called The Beatles! :D

  6. lobster_boy

    lobster_boy Guest

    Aug 6, 2001
    Squier from fender makes a short scale w/ 1 single coil and its about $150 i think from memory i bet sounds like crap thouh
  7. lo-end

    lo-end Guest

    Jun 15, 2001
    Squier Bronco Bass. Its 30" scale and it has a single coil pup on it. (I bet it hums like crazy too)