What makes a short scale bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SpareTomato, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. SpareTomato


    Oct 27, 2005
    Hi. Pardon my ignorance, having "played" bass for 10 years, I still know very little about my instrument. I've always enjoyed playing it, but it's only this last year that I've learned to LOVE playing bass, and want to learn more about my guitar.

    I play a Jackson Professional (that's all I know... oh, and it's white...) and I can't find any more information about it on the web. I found one which was close, but not my model. I'm at work atm, so can't post a picture of it.

    Anyway, back to my question...

    I've found that every set of strings I've put on it since I replaced the first set have been way too long (to the point where the e-string is actually wound on the tuning peg! (not good, I know, but I not had any problems with it so far).

    I suspect that my bass is a 'short scale', but how do I know? where do I measure the scale from? is it from the bridge to nut, or the length of the fretboard?

    It doesn't 'feel' any shorter than any other bass (i.e. I don't feel that I'm stretching any more to reach the bottom frets when I play a different bass to when I play mine).

    When buying strings what should I be looking for? I don't really understand guages, other than the lower the guage, the easier it is to bend notes...

    Any help is greatfully appreciated.
  2. she scale is the length from the nut to the bridge.. to get an accurate measurement you measure from the nut to the 12'th fret and take that times two..

    when i buy strings i look for the brand, the material it is made of, and then gauge.. there really isn't much more for you to understand about the gauges of strings other than with a heavier gaudge you get more tension and the other way around..

    i look at the brand first because i have realized that there is nothing to gain by cheaping out on the strings... and i always buy stainless steel strings because i prefer the way they sound and feel..

    i hope it helped..
  3. Bass Heaven

    Bass Heaven

    Jul 27, 2005
    I'm no expert but from nut to bridge:
    34"+ is considered long scale..
    31" - 33" medium scale..
    30.5" and down short scale.

    I use long scale strings on my shorter scales. I just cut them off before wrapping them and they work fine.
  4. SpareTomato


    Oct 27, 2005
    Thanks, guys :)

    but if I was to cut the strings, I would be cutting through the fatter part of the string, wouldn't that cause them to unravel?
  5. Bass Heaven

    Bass Heaven

    Jul 27, 2005
    I've never had a problem with them unraveling. Just cut the string about 4" past the tuner post, insert the string verticaly down inside the post then bend it over and out the side of the slot and start wrapping.