trouble getting used to 35"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tranceFusion, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. I always play one-finger-per-fret in all positions, and I just got a 35".. it is a freakin stretch!!

    anybody have problems with this? am I going to need to learn new technique or just deal with the pain for now and i will get used to it?

    i'm considering swapping the bass just because of this.. i don't know if am making too big of a deal though..
  2. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Take it slowly. Practice chromatics at slow tempo, it will become comfortable over time, but if you go too fast it could end up hurting.
  3. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    I have small hands and 35" was just too much to have any sort of fluidity in the first position, so I've stuck with 34". I think I have two of the best 34" B strings money can buy.
  4. MellowTone


    May 26, 2008
    Slow and steady is key.

    As Marcury said, do exercises at slow tempos and build up the muscles and get them used to the positions.
  5. Use 1-2-4 fingering. Why are you stretching?! It's a 5 string, you should have more notes available at a more comfortable position. I'm probably one of the shortest guys here and I do very well on a 35" scale 6 string fretless.
  6. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    In a week or two and you won't notice the difference.
  7. T-MOST


    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    When I had a 35" bass I didn't notice much difference. I have long fingers so maybe that why. Just ease into it. In a month your hands will be adjusted to the difference.
  8. I'm, in general, back to using 34" scales. I found the impact of 35" scale to vary greatly by instrument, based as much on the arm extension required in the first position as the very tiny additional space between frets. When I had my Lakland 55-94, I didn't every notice the extra inch of scale, but other basses, like the some of the Skjold, MTD and Fodera models felt very 'big' and stretched to me, even though they were the same 35" scale.

    The other thing I noticed was that the extra inch has very little to do with whether the B sounds 'good' or not.

  9. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I had played bass for 20 years before I ran across this forum, and during that time I was unaware that there were basses with different scale-length necks. I thought they were all the same, but I soon discovered that I had at least one 35" scale bass in my collection and a couple 34s too. To me, each bass just felt like what it was, and it was never a surprise that one felt a little different than another.

    Net-net, I think it's something people tend to think about too much.
  10. I don't use 1-2-4 fingering right now. I haven't really found a benefit to doing so, until now. I can play just fine in first position on a 34" using finger per fret.

    I can play the 35" just fine but it just hurts my hand after a while. Also, the length of the neck makes requires my arm to be outstretched and makes it seem like my wrist is twisted when playing the lower positions.. I have a 34" 5 string and this stuff isn't a problem..
  11. yep, me too, I traded a 34" 5er and the extra inch really took me by surprise. It put me off at first so much I put it up for sale after a week. Fortunately no one bought it! So I went back into the woodshed.

    Granted you have more notes available and you can shift down to 5th position or higher to get the same notes you get in 1st postion. But it is still a pain to play on those first 5 when you need or want to and it's taken me a while to get comfy down there.

    Now I wouldn't part with it (at least not unless I got another 5) but it did take me some time. I'd consider going back to a 34" 5-string if I could afford one that has as tight a B as my 35. But most 34"s just can't compare (please don't jump on that, I didn't say they don't exist or you're not allowed to like the 34" scale you have, but the ones I can find or can afford just don't have the tight sound an string tension of the 35)
  12. Smokey, did you switch up your fingering style? or you just got used to the stretching?
  13. It sounds like you are confusing 24 fret instruments with scale length. These are totally separate issues, and the additional frets add nothing to the scale length.. they are just tacked onto the end of the board.
  14. i think he just meant, you can play alot of the first position stuff in the 5th position since you have the b string.. you really only NEED to go to the 1st position if you want to unlock those 5 notes..
  15. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    Just keep playing it and getting used to it.

    Too many basses go on the chopping block after a few minor "problems."
  16. If that's the case, he's confusing a 5 versus a 4 string with 35" scale versus 34" scale... again, relatively unrelated:) Plenty of great 34" scale 5 strings, and a few 35" scale 4's out there.
  17. Ok, my 2 cents on this debate.

    People who complain that it's too much of a left hand (reverse for lefties) stretch hang their bass too high. The first position on a 35" scale is uncomfortable if you wear your bass like a bowtie.

    Really, the only weakness of a 35" scale 5 or 6 string is Cmin. So far, I've only had to do this with metalcore bands. I no longer play that type of music, so it's no longer a problem. Literally, every other key and mode will allow you to use more open notes or play up in an area where it's not so much of a finger stretch.

    As for the 34-35" scale B debate, I always question the few who have played a 35" scale with a bad B. Currently all of my 5-6 string basses are 35", but I've played a few 34" scale basses that sounded so good that I had no clue they weren't 35" scale. Heck, Cliff Bordwell has been known to get a stellar low B out of 32" scale. It's true that it's very easy to get a solid B out of 35" scale, but it can be done with a shorter scale length, though not for cheap!
  18. Just got used to it, or actually, got used to shiftig just a bit to use my pinky accurately.
    Practiced playing w/o looking at the freboard. Slow, like some of the guys recommended.

    Some folks take to it like ducks to water, it just took me a while and I should add that I'm not playing out, so my skill level has not really been tested.
  19. No, I am not making that confusion. I'm talking about 5 string basses, one with a 34" inch scale and one with a 35" inch scale.
    Where did you see anything about 24 frets? And I didn't mention 4 strings

    My only point was that little bit of extra space is more noticable at the head-stock end of the bass where the first 5 frets are. So if the scale lenghth is an issue the difficulty can be lessened by playing up higer on the neck where you have the same notes as on a 4 and still have the option of shifting down.

    Yeah Spade, it is possible to get a great sounding B on a 34, at least I believe what I've heard, I just haven't been able to find one I can afford.
  20. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    I wear my bass completely normal. Not too low, and definitely not too high. Right at my waist. The 35" just doesn't work for me. I like how it can make the B string sound, but I also think it affects the other strings tone a little too (good or bad is for the player to decide).

    Like KJung said, it varies a lot from bass to bass how much the 35" scale is felt. The ones that I have tried, it was a real stretch and it just wasn't for me, so I've stuck with 34" scale basses. I was also taught to avoid open notes at all costs, but I'm not digging that so much any more.

    And to those who just say "Get used to it" that's not the most practical advice. Reality is that a 35" scale isn't perfect for everyone. The most important thing is that the player is comfortable with it. It may get better over time, true, but if it doesn't there is nothing inherently inferior about 34" basses.

    It really does vary a lot though. I played a dingwall which had a 37" B and had no problem with it...

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