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tuning a 4-string with 35" scale length

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pianowire, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. pianowire


    Aug 14, 2005

    I'm a beginning bassist and just received as a gift an ESP 4-string electric bass with neck-thru construction and a 35" scale length. The literature that came with this bass emphasizes the benefits of the extra scale length for low-tunings. Since I'm just starting out, I just want to use standard pitch.

    Would it be "safe" to tune a bass with a 35" scale length to standard pitch? It's strung with 50/70/90/110 gauges, if it makes any difference. My concern is stress on the neck. Do I need to have a setup or adjustment done?

    (I wasn't sure whether to post this here in the Setup & Repair.)

  2. joeyhimself


    Jul 17, 2005
    You can tune it standard E-A-D-G. This won't hurt your neck or anything silly like that. The extra inch is supposed to provide extra tension for drop tunings, but it's not just for drop tunings only.
    Congrats on the new bass, by the way.
  3. metallicaorion


    May 31, 2005
    Oswego IL
    +1 dont be freakin out about the difference between 34 & 35. only difference is in the number of frets (35 usally has 24). but its near impossible to bust a neck tuneing. i play a Schecter Stilletto Deluxe 5 string (35) and i tune and drop tune all the time and the neck is fine. Congrats esp are nice
  4. 8guy


    Jun 19, 2005
    Madison WI
    I agree also, you wont hurt it at all, and welcome to the world of bass.....Have fun!!!!! :bassist:
  5. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Tuning your bass to standard pitch is fine; nothing to worry about at all. Have fun with your new bass.

    - Art
  6. you're saying this like the scale length and number of frets are related...they're not....scale is the distance from nut to bridge and the spacing between frets is set-up accordingly.

    35" gives you a little bit more tension is all? How much? well how about 35/34 or about 3% more. This extra length can allow you to use larger diameter strings and this equates to a clearer, more piano-like, fundimental-based voice.

    But not much.
  7. By the way, which ESP bass do you have?

  8. pianowire


    Aug 14, 2005
    thanks for the replies

    my ESP is the new LTD 30th Anniversary B-2005 model
  9. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses

  10. To quote from a remotely popular movie, quickly turning into a "cult classic..."


    Happy playing on that baby, Those ESP B series are some beasts from what I've heard!

  11. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Those are fairly heavy strings for standard tuning--not outside the "normal" range, but definately heavy. You might try lighter strings on it, but then again, you may decide you really like the sound of the heavier strings. If you're tuning up higher than it was initially set up for, you may need to tighten the truss rid a little bit to compensate for the extra tension.

  12. joeyhimself


    Jul 17, 2005
    +1. That is a very nice first bass. I hate you.
  13. pianowire


    Aug 14, 2005
    that's what I was concerned about. wonder if I should take it to a tech just to be on the safe side? the bass came tuned in BEAD, where I've left it.