Switching Between Bass Sizes

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BumbleB, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. BumbleB


    Mar 19, 2013
    aurora, colorado
    Is it detrimental to the learning process to switch between different sized basses?

    I had been playing on a 3/4 scale for around 15 years, be it sporadically though, until a year and a half ago when I got more serious about keeping up with learning and playing.

    A few months ago I bought a full scale bass and have mainly been playing that one.

    Will it be more difficult to learn songs if I'm on the shorty one week and the full size the next?
  2. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    You want the double bass forum.
  3. BumbleB


    Mar 19, 2013
    aurora, colorado
    These are electric basses I am talking about.

    I can post over there if it really is the correct place but the electrics are held differently than uprights so might that not make a difference? :)
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Then I think you mean a 34" scale bass, not 3/4. Otherwise, you'll have to define "3/4" for us. never heard of such a thing in an electric bass.

    Common scale lengths on electric basses are 34", 32" and 30".

    However....to me it has never made much difference what scale length bass I play. Others differ.
  5. BumbleB


    Mar 19, 2013
    aurora, colorado
    Sorry about the confusion.
    My little bass probably is 34".
    Sometimes when I play it I feel squished.
  6. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Sorry, BumbleB . . . it never occurred to me that you might be using "3/4" and "full size" to refer to an electric.

    But I don't think your "little bass" is 34". Unless you are a giant. 34" is long scale.
  7. EduardoK


    Jun 28, 2004
    A short scale bass= 30"
    Medium scale= 32" ... I love my 33" which I consider "medium" as well
    Long (regular) scale= 34"
    X-long scale= above 34"
  8. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    The answer you want is no, not gonna make any difference in learning songs.
  9. I have a standard 34" Jazz Bass and a 30" Rob Allen Mouse
    Is it detrimental to switch between these two? Not with regards to "learning " a song. I would like to add though that I'm a relative noob and half of what I practice is proper technique. I find switching back and forth detrimental to that part of my studies. The difference in scale length throws me off
  10. zphreaky1

    zphreaky1 Far from good

    Apr 25, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    It might slow you down a little but I don't think it's a detriment. I have a few different lengths and play all of them. Might take a min to adjust but I'm still pretty new.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You can get used to anything if you practice it enough. But if you're just starting out, I think it's best to pick a bass and stick to it. Not that you couldn't switch between the two easily enough with some practice, but I think it needlessly complicates the learning process and distracts attention away from it. I'm sure someone will come along to tell me how they started out with 5 basses and switched between them all day long and still learned how to play well, but that's how I feel about it.
  12. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    My biggest problem is switching between 5 strings and 4, I'm so used to 5 strings and out of practice with 4 now that it's almost impossible to play. It's also a bit difficult to switch between a few of my basses because they hang differently on my body, the left hand position changes quite a bit.

    I think it would make sense to practice on the same bass to begin with, so you don't have to deal with more obstacles than necessary at the same time, and so you develop your muscle memory. Then go to multiple basses later.
  13. Wait, if what you have is a 34-incher, what are you referring to when you say "full scale"? If you're referring to a 35-incher I don't think you'll have problems switching between the two. Personally, I get more disoriented when shifting between my 35's 5 strings and my 34's 4 strings rather than the scale length.
  14. BumbleB


    Mar 19, 2013
    aurora, colorado
    My short bass is 30" scale and my full is 34". I do feel the difference between them and the full scale bass is going to be my primary one to avoid finger confusion :) Thank you for your replies!