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Why would anyone play a bass shorter than 35" scale?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bobdabilder, Nov 30, 2018.


  1. I'm serious about this. I see lots of threads about is it OK to play a 35 scale but never any from the other perspective. Maybe it's because I only started playing bass 6 years ago in my mid-somethings and started on a ibanez, maybe it's because I don't get tennis elbow if I play anything longer than a 30" scale on a regular basis, or maybe it's because I'm not a lead singer and don't have to try to play everything without looking down (as best I can LOL!). But I don't get it... why would anyone handicap themselves by playing a bass that is shorter than necessary.
    35 scales are easier to play no question. I don't think that's even worth debating. The selection of 35s is better than ever (and there should be more...). String selection is no longer a problem and tension issues can be resolved with the right strings (again it could still be better and will be once everyone switches to 35 scale :)). Tone is pretty subjective and for God's sake, most personal preferences can be solved by string choices and amp settings.
    So why do you guys play <35"s? Do you like clubbing your lead guitarist and/or singer in the head? Are you challenged by the shorter scale? Is it an image thing? Is it tone? Is it Machisomo?
    I used to think it was an image thing, but in the 100+ shows I've played with 35 scales not one person has ever said 'hey... your bass is too long'. In fact when I tell people I play a 35 scale, they are totally mystified by what I am saying.
    So why are you still playing a <35" bass?
     
    Jaco Taco, MakoMan, Jim Carr and 27 others like this.
  2. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    What a sport!!

    You done good...:D
     
    Ellery and bobdabilder like this.
  3. Picton

    Picton

    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    I see what you did there.

    It’s because people like even numbers like 34 over odd ones like 35.
     
  4. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Why does anyone play bass at all??

    What’s the point, everybody just wants guitar solos.
     
    dmt, GlassToMouth, Low84 and 10 others like this.
  5. Can't play those on less than 35 scale
     
  6. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    I play a 34" 5er, a 34"-36" Multiscale 5er and a 35" 6er.
    When I decide which bass to play, I think of the tone I get from each bass. I never think of scale length.
    Going forth and back between those three takes zero adjustment for me. The 34" has a narrower neck with less string spacing which is more of an issue.
     
    staccatogrowl and bobdabilder like this.
  7. red_rhino and Jeff Elkins like this.
  8. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Westchester County NY
    Yeah.:cool:
     
    bobdabilder likes this.
  9. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    California
    DE48D9CD-BD76-4559-A781-1A6531D333A2.
     
  10. Yall are on it tonight
     
  11. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    Because I play 18” scale.
    It only matters what I like. :)
     
  12. Well, I never paid attention when in play my fender p. I also play a LTD D4. When I play the D4 I notice it is a little easier to play & compact. I realized it is a 34. I guess I must get rid of it...
     
    bobdabilder likes this.
  13. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    Tone Twins 3.JPG Kramer 1.JPG T-Bird 2.JPG Why? Same answer I gave to the Short Scale Guy. 'Cause they don't make these in that scale...:rolleyes: And, because most all 35"+ scale electric basses are 5/more strings - which I have no, none, not any, use for whatsoever. So there...:p
     
  14. WhtMtnGrv

    WhtMtnGrv Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA
    Almost did this earlier, but I’m glad someone else did it better than I would have.

    Top notch.
     
    bobdabilder likes this.
  15. Fender made 34" the norm way back in the early 50's, and ever since, new manufacturers kept that standard. That's why most 4-string basses are 34" which I am good with.
     
    ghostinthemach and GlennRH like this.
  16. Jaco only needed 34" anything more is just showing off.....;)
     
  17. ficelles

    ficelles

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    Why play less than 35” scale ? All depends if you have delicate, musical hands or huge alien mutant mitts I guess.
     
  18. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I'll quote my daughters here...

    Because...

    Good Luck!
     
    staccatogrowl, Amano and bobdabilder like this.
  19. InnerBass

    InnerBass Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2014
    In the Zone
    I personally don’t how someone can play a single note without Flats.
    I mean how do some people even get up in the morning.

    :laugh:
     

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