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"short-scale"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nicholai91, Apr 29, 2009.


  1. Nicholai91

    Nicholai91

    Nov 19, 2007
    When a bass is "short-scale", what does that mean exactly?
    From what I understand, the neck is shorter... am I wrong? What advantages/disadvantages does that bring
     
  2. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Short scale usually refers to basses with a scale in the neighborhood of 30 inches.
     
  3. Oric

    Oric

    Feb 19, 2008
    Georgetown, Kentucky
    also, scale refers to the distance between the nut and bridge. The different harmonics from changing the vibrating length of the string is what causes the different tone of the short-scale (usually deeper and thumpier). The neck can be short, or not.
     
  4. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Are you saying a 34" string and 30" string tuned to the same pitch will have different harmonics? If so, which harmonics are different?
     
  5. Nicholai91

    Nicholai91

    Nov 19, 2007
    ok guys no need to start a fight haha

    Im looking at two P-basses to purchase. One is short scale and the other is not. I just want to know what the difference will be in playability and tone mostly.
     
  6. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Two otherwise identical basses having the same scale can sound very different so it's probably best for you to try them both. Predicting tone is a crapshoot at best.

    However, I have several 34" scale Fender and DIY Js and a couple of 30" scale SX Js (with Fender pickups) and both scale lengths sound just like a J bass should.
     
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    The only way to really know is to try both. I personally don't hear any significant difference in sound, and for me, playability is better on the short scale.

    But understand - even if the two basses sound different, that may be GOOD. Each of them may sound exactly as it's supposed to. In that case, you just have to decide which you like better.

    No one can decide for you.
     
  8. Oric

    Oric

    Feb 19, 2008
    Georgetown, Kentucky
    eh, I don't really know what I'm talking about, they're different in someway or another
     
  9. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    Short-scale is any bass with a scale length of 31" or less. The scale length is measured from nut to bridge (or nut to 12th fret then doubled). Shorties also usually have smaller bodies than long scale basses.
     
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale_(string_instruments)

    Check out the parts about electric guitar and electric bass. It lays it all out there.

    Just as there are a couple of most-common guitar scale lengths, there are a couple of bass guitar scale lengths that are most common. 34" being standard (long) scale and 30" being the next most-common (short scale).

    There are a lot of threads on this forum dedicated to short scale basses. For most uses, I actually prefer 30" to 34" scale. Other people are the opposite.
     

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