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Venturing into short scale

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by B-Bassic, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm pretty new here so apologies if this is in the wrong place. I don't think it is.

    Anyway, I'm thinking about picking up my first short scale bass (one of the Ibanez Artcore series) but I've been told some horror stories by a friend of mine which has made me slightly apprehensive.

    I'm planning on heading down to my local music store before parting with any cash to get my own take on it but I wondered if any of you guys have had any experiences with short scale, good or bad.

  2. Cannabass


    Jan 22, 2010
    i have no experience with short scale but get a mustang instead :D
  3. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    What's the problem you're expecting?

    Short-scale is nothing new. It has unique tonal qualities, and if they're what you want, you won't find it easily in a longer scale. What's the harm in trying it?
  4. First will you tell us all what are the "horror stories" you heard about shortscales basses ?????

    There are lots and lots of shortscale basses , and there are different scales within the shorscale area , ie from ultra short scale 25 inch to medium scale 32 inch,,generally short scale is around 30 inch.

    Most shortscale basses sound slightly different to the standard scale , some like the difference and some dont.

    Heres a link to huge thread about short scale basses http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=379257&highlight=short+scale+club

    I have a number of short scale basses , i use them cause i have some back problems and my hands are slightly too small for standard scale ,,,so i find shortscale more comfortable .

    I really enjoy my squier bronco , really cheap and under rated , i also have a fender p bass jnr and i want to get a ibanez GSRM20.

    I think you should keep an open mind and play as many short scale basses as you can and then make up your own mind.
  5. 49sfine


    Apr 20, 2008
    Austin, Texas
    If there is any way possible, check out Birdsong Guitars. Hand built, wonderfully made shorties! They are on my GAS list for sure ...
  6. BassmanAd


    Mar 19, 2008
    +1 Awesome little bass.

    I've been playing 20 years now and only ventured into the short-scale realm a couple of years ago. The result? Two years ago I had four Fender P's. Now I have one. And a Gibson EB-3. And a Fender Mustang. And a Danelectro shorty.

    Still got one of my P's in case I need one but apart from that I only wanna rock the short scales from now on! :hyper:

    I guess the only problem you might encounter might be if you want to downtune, the strings will get pretty floppy and your tuning might suffer. Apart from that I can't see why you'd have any real problems.

    Enjoy you short-scale adventure!
  7. You don't mention what horror stories you've heard - That only girls & girly men play short scale? - That short scales are strung with unicorn entrails?

    There are an awful lot of short scales out there, ranging from $110 for an SX (Which I have and play as my main bass) to custom builds in the thousands.

    I'd be more concerned about the Artcore hollow body because I'm not a big hollow body bass fan (It's where the gremlins hide from daylight so they can come out at night). If you're getting it locally just play it through as many amp/cab combinations as you can. If you like it buy it, if it seems lacking to you in some way, don't.
  8. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    After 35 years (20 on the double bass) I only play 30" scale basses. The short scale "horror stories" are fantasy. Lots of people have used them quite successfully....Stanley Clarke is the first one who comes to mind.
  9. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Same boat here. I have one 34" ABG but the other 3 BGs are 30". I have no qualms about playing a 42" upright but my preferred BG scale is short.
  10. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    Interesting. As a double bassist I worked hard on a sound mechanical approach to the big bass. While it has a longer scale and higher action I've always found it easier to play from a purely mechanical standpoint than the 34" scale bass guitar. The 30" scale instrument though has never seemed to be as big a struggle to find a comfortable left arm position. I don't have nearly the problems with the energy flow being broken at the shoulder, elbow and wrist I do on a 34" scale.
  11. becker4567


    Jul 26, 2008
    Why hesitate? What horror stories? I have a shorty (30") and love it! I also have a 32" and a 34" plus a 30" hollow body violin bass, and they all have pluses and minuses, but they are all good. To be honest, I seem to enjoy the 30" and 32" more than the others. Great sound, light weight, looks cool, and the fretboard is much friendlier to my short little pickle like fingers.
  12. GassieBall


    Oct 15, 2006
    I would also like to hear about the "horror stories."
  13. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    You hit the nail on the head. Ergonomically, the DB easier on your left hand because there is no twist required. Once you become used to that feeling then playing in the lower frets of a 34" BG becomes undesirable. To me anyway. YMMV.
  14. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Unicorn Gut strings sound great, and the rainbows they generate are nice too.

    Not to mention they taste like cotton candy.
  15. Rob Martinez

    Rob Martinez

    Sep 14, 2005
    Short scale basses are great! I play a Hofner Icon, a Waterstone Indra, and seomtimes use an Eastwood Club bass or a Danelectro Dano 63 short scale. All are great basses, sound cool, and are fun to play.
  16. LotusCarsLtd52


    Dec 6, 2009
    I'm having that debate myself right now. Prefer the feel of the Mustang bass, so-so on the tone. Like the looks of a '51 P bass body with Jazz neck, don't necessarily like the longer scale/finger stretching involved. So I'm stuck! :meh:
  17. Short-scale basses are just big fun to play! I like the sound better too in most cases.
  18. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I keep thinking on those Birdsong five-string short-scales.

    After I’m finished with this latest project (PC-based recording setup in my studio), I’m going to seriously look at them.

    A five-string short-scale would be like a dream come true.

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