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Which Bass For My 13 Year Old Daughter?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ampig, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    She's decided (to my delight) that she wants to play bass. Should I start her on a short or just get her a full 34" scale axe?
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    How tall is she?

    I started my daughter at age 11 on a 30" scale electric. I got her a 34" scale bass guitar and a 1/4 size (35" scale) Kay upright when she was 13 (she had been playing cello so she took to the upright quickly).

    See how comfortable she is with a 3 fret reach (i.e. "Simandl" fingering, using the pinky and ring finger together) in the lower positions on a 34" scale. If she's OK with that, skip the 30" scale.
  3. Hmmm...

    You could get her a cheap smaller bass to grow into, and promise her that if she practices and gets better, you'll get her a really nice full size bass. That way it'll give her incentive to learn, and also if she decides bass isn't for her, you've saved some cash. :)

    But then again, you could get her a full size bass to start out, figuring that way you won't have to take the trouble of getting her a new bass later. Also, that way she could get used to a full-scale bass early, so there's no transition.

    Oh, also, here's some tips on how to keep her from loosing interest in playing bass:

    1. Make sure she isn't too self-critical. Give her plenty of encouragement and make sure she "loves every note that comes out of the bass."
    2. Act as if playing bass is like a really fun activity and practicing isn't like a punishment or anything.
    3. Bring over friends and have jams and stuff.
  4. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    You may get a better reply in basses.

  5. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Check out daisyrock.com. I don't have a daughter, but if I did I would consider this for her... :)
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My girlfriend just got a Daisy Rock 'Rock Candy' bass. It is their slightly higher quality, full scale bass, costing about $399. Its not a bad bass at all.
  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    I would suggest that if she can be comfortable with a 34" scale, then go for it. PLEASE don't buy the cheapest thing you can get your hands on. Buy at least a Mexican Fender. I've seen too many kids quit because the instrument they started on was junk and it was too hard to play. If you get something decent at least you can get some of your money back if she quits and you can trade it up when she wants/needs something better. Buy a real cheap bass and you'll wind up throwing it away sooner or later because who wants a used junk bass?

    By the way, if she can't handle a 34" scale, Fender makes a P-Bass Jr. with a 28 1/2" scale and it's a decent bass. I've played one and liked it.
  8. you could get her a 34"scale bass. I'm nota tall guy and I started a the age of 14 with a 34. She 'll grow up a lot in the next monthes/years so...
    A Cort action bass is a light bass, good to start with.
    At first, if she's really bothered by the long scale, you can put a capo(same in english???) at the 5th fret.
    A short scale bass could be good for beginning but after a year or several monthes, she'll want to have another bass, a 34". And the resale value and opportunities for a short scale are not the same as a 34".
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I started a few years ago when i was only 5'2'' maybe and the 34'' scale was do-able. I think if she is under 5'1'' it might be a struggle.
  10. Pneuma


    Feb 14, 2004
  11. I would recommend a full size SX bass from www.rondomusic.com

    These basses have been getting rave reviews around here and they are cheap as dirt! Get her a couple!

    They have a few short scale basses too!

    SX SPB-57 Short Scale (30.5")
    SX SJB-62 Short Scale (30.5")
    Brice HVB-600 (30.3")
  12. Brat


    Jun 4, 2004
    NW Indiana.
    I'm 13 and a female and I play bass. I started with a 34'' scale with no problems. I'm about 5'4'' 5'5'' and it was perfectly fine. I can see shoter people having trouble. Also, depending on hand size, a jazz neck might be better.


    Sep 13, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    My daughter is 13 and started playing when she was 12. I got her this Squire Musicmaster ( short scale ) on EBay for under $200. Even though she is tall and has long fingers I felt that it was important to keep the difficult physical aspects of playing to a minimum. I put half round strings on it and had it set up nice and low. No matter how much a kid wants to play, if it's too frustrating , they'll give it up. A short scale makes it possible to learn good form from the beginning and use all four fingers on the left hand. She can also manage the weight of this bass better than my Fender P or MM Sterling. Your daughter can easily grow into a full scale bass, but she might have more fun with a short scale now. Good luck.
  14. +1

    also Ibanez make nice entry levels and are ideal girl basses.
  15. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    I am a woman and started bass when I was 13 at about 5'2. I am now many years older, but still 5'2. I started on a Fender Precision (probably made in the 60's) because that's what the jr. high school had (plus and Ampeg combo which was thought of at the time [69. 70] as sh%#). It never occurred to me to worry about the neck scale, and just played the thing. I could reach, no problem. However, when I bought my own 'real' bass (after the Hofner copy I bought after I decided I like bass for real) it was an EB-0 short scale, which was a happier thing to play. Most of the comfort, though, came in the smaller body size and lighter weight. I have neck and upper back injuries that were started by trying to hang that P Bass on my little frame. So, I'd say that weight and neck size (rather than length) are most important. A short scale is helpful, but not at all required.

    I don't know what kind of $$ you are thinking about, but I have a Warwick Corvette Rockbass that is comfortable: smallish neck, light basswood body and contoured body style (about $500 or less). The Daisy Rocks are kuuuul and the Ibanezes have small necks and contoured bodies. Even though the SX basses are cheap, I'd say get her a bass that she can play and that she can be proud of (kuuul factor).

    Oh, and tell her 'hey' from Talkbass!!
  16. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    I recently bought my 11 year old daughter (on the smallish side) an SX short scale jazz. I think it's 30-1/4". Plays great and is closer to her size.
  17. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    There are some used basses on sale here at the classfieds forum. Check ot this one:
    It's a bueatiful bass and the ATKs are well respected. If she lost interest, you get get most of your money back. Koa is a gorgeous wood.

    Here's another for only $150:

    Highway 1 Jazz bass i a very cool bass. Maybe a bit heavy, though:

    The Ibanez SR series have very thin neck:


    Enjoy! :p
  18. What I think would be best is to take your daughter to a music store and have her pick out what she wants that's in your price range, and what feels good to her. Being a young kid, in order for them to play well, they gotta like the instrument they're playing. I don't know why it works like that, but it does.
  19. MohawkHarry


    May 21, 2000
    The old Fender Musicmaster basses are pretty good investments. They can be setup to play very nice, so nice you might find yourself jamming on it!
  20. Ampig

    Ampig Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the input. Did I mention that she's a lefty? That realy narrows the field and makes trying out basses, especially short scale, in a shop problematic. I wound up buying a short scale SX. It was only $109.00 If she sticks with it, I'll be happy to get her whatever she wants (within reason)