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shoulder trouble and long scale bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by One_Dude, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. I am currently playing bass in a Bluegrass band. I normally play mandolin in the same band, but am filling in on bass while our regular bass player is on an extended trip. I am also having rotator cuff issues with my left shoulder. This makes playing a long scale fretless a bit painful at times. I do have two short scale basses that I can use, but I am really enjoying playing a fretless right now.

    I have searched the net looking for fretless short scale basses with only limited luck. There is one brand that seems to be made in the UK by a relatively new startup company. This individual makes a short scale fretless, but I don't think they are sold by any US outlets. I am reluctant to buy something I cannot play first.

    Do any of the more commonly available short scales offer a fretless?

    Thanks in advance for your responsesl

    Thump on

    One _Dude
  2. Ghastly


    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    Interesting question. I don't know but have never seen a shortscale fretless neck.
  3. ajkula66


    Sep 23, 2016
    Birdsong may or may not offer something that meets your needs, can't say for a fact but can see no harm in contacting them.

    Other than that, Guild JS II was available as fretless and it's a short-scale offering, but definitely not an easy find in good shape given that these were discontinued roughly 40 years ago.

    Good luck.
  4. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Defret one and make your own short scale. I’ve been [very loosely] considering this myself.

    Another thing I thought of was to rip (well, have steamed, I guess) the whole rosewood fretboard off of a short scale bass and have it replaced with an ebony fingerboard so as to convert the instrument to fretless. I haven’t really looked into it seriously though, it’s more just an idle thought that’s occurred
  5. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Is your issue with how far apart the notes are from each other or how far you're having to extend your left arm to reach the notes?
    I've had rotator cuff problems in the past, and scale length wasn't an issue. The problem was how far away the nut was, which has more to do with where the front strap button is than anything else.
    Had to temporarily stop playing my Godin A4, which had a really long reach due to its tele-style body, and use my EUB on a tripod set up at an odd angle (kind of like wearing a bass on a strap at a 45 degree angle from the floor) so I could stand slightly to the left of where I normally would. That way I didn't have to reach as far over.
  6. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Years ago, I briefly had a Rondo/SX Ursa 4 (aka Jaguar-clone) short-scale fretless. Turns out, fretless isn't my thing, but it's worth mentioning that it was incredibly light. That might help with the shoulder issues.

    They don't offer them anymore, but there could be some floating around the web.
  7. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass **** Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    You may have tried this already: Lowering the strap and angling the neck higher, it worked wonders for a friend of mine with shoulder issues. He found it pretty comfortable and actually still plays in that position.
  8. mysteryclock

    mysteryclock Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Warmoth makes 30" and 32" scale necks which are available fretless. But you have to use them with their short-scale bodies I believe, so you'd have to put it all together from parts.
  9. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

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