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why wouldn't anyone play basses with a variety of scales?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pcake, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. I love having and playing different scale basses

    70 vote(s)
  2. Not me - I only play long scale basses 34" or longer

    32 vote(s)
  3. Short scale is the way to go - 30" or shorter only

    5 vote(s)
  4. I only play a single scale (please post reason below)

    14 vote(s)
  5. I only play carrot scale basses!

    12 vote(s)
  6. I just play multiple scale lengths and don’t care which I do.

    32 vote(s)
  1. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    okay, this is from reading the threads about why would one play a longer scale than 30" or a shorter scale than 35". because for me, i've always had basses with different scales around the house. when my injury was worst, i had a 28.6" scale micro, a 19" scale ubass and a 30" scale which varied from a bronco to a hofner violin bass with a couple others in between. right now, i have a couple 28.6" scale basses, a couple 34" scale basses and a 32" scale bass, and i expect over time to have at least one sub-micro scale bass and will add another 30" scale at some point.

    this isn't just for the sake of having more than one scale, although sometimes one scale feels better for a song than another. but it's also because the basses i like that have features i want don't all have the same scale. and that works out well for me.

    how about you? do you like to play a variety of basses with different scales, only long scales, only short scales or only a single scale?
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Variety of scales. Keeps the mind and fingers fresh.
  3. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    With the exception of short-scales, which I have historically avoided ( but, nowadays, I'm re-evaluating) Ive never thought too deeply about it
    ghostinthemach and pcake like this.
  4. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've always played different scales ranging from 18" to 44".
    macmanlou and pcake like this.
  5. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I donated my 32 inch bass - the different scale length involved a different muscle memory. If I wanted to play it for a gig, I'd have to play it a week in advance to be able to play it without staring at my fingers the whole time. And then then next week, I'd have to unlearn that. Having everything the same scale length works better for me.
  6. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    actually i never did either, but once i injured my shoulder, shorter scale basses came into the mix, and these days i'll play and own any bass i really love playing.
    ghostinthemach and rllefebv like this.
  7. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Other than a Ric 4003, everything is 34" or 35". It's just the way it is.

    I tried a small Ibanez, Mikro? It felt like a student instrument, like a 3/4 violin. I prefer normal size.
    pcake likes this.
  8. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    Ive historically avoided shorties because, growing up, they always seemed "woodier" in tone ( is that an apt description?) and always seemed less lively --- As I said, though: thats in the past --- Modern manufacturing and technological advancements has rendered some of that thinking obsolete which is why I have a mild interest in them now (especially as I'm getting older)
    pcake likes this.
  9. It's not that I have any aversion to other scale basses , I just happen to have four basses that are all 34". I am very happy with the basses that I have and have absolutely no reason to buy any more basses. I would probably only have three basses except that an absolute twin to my main bass came up for sale on Craigs-list a few years ago at a very good price. A great back up for cheap? I couldn't pass it up. I'm so used to the 34" basses that I don't think I would get anything else even if I could.
    Hmmmmm.... a bass player with no GAS. Is something wrong with me? Phhhhffffttttt , who cares?:thumbsup:
    pcake likes this.
  10. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I voted for the 30". I generally play a single scale. I see many people who believe that playing a variety of scales is beneficial. I'm the opposite. When I had 30's and 34's it seemed like I was forever relearning things I already should have had down. So I made a choice. Those of us who are hobbyists don't always get the practice time we need to effortlessly switch. When your ability comes less from a natural talent and more from work like me, it seemed to make sense to maximize my limited practice time by picking a scale and sticking with it. I believe it has helped me.
    OldFunBass, Reg Braithwaite and pcake like this.
  11. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    mikros are little guys, and i sometimes find them more cramped than smaller basses with less frets. have you tried a 30" scale - they are roomier and usually have bigger bodies, too.

    :D :D :D
  12. ak56

    ak56 Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Carnation, Wa
    Bass #1: 30" scale Fender Musicmaster. Passive - flatwound strings.

    Bought it brand new because it felt right, out of all the basses I tried at the time. Played it exclusively for 37 years.

    Then I found TalkBass.

    Decided to look for a 5-string.

    Bass #2: 35" 5-string MTD Kingston. Active - rounds.

    Found that I didn't have much problem switching between the different scale lengths.

    I'm a church bass player and would only play one of the two on any given Sunday.

    Fast forward a little over two years, and I'm intrigued by the sound of the U-Bass with the polyurethane strings. Which leads to:

    Bass #3: 20-3/8" scale Kala ubass. Active - pahoehoe (polyurethane) strings.

    Now on some Sundays I'll bring the U-Bass and one of the others.

    So- three basses, three different scale lengths, three different sounds, but the basses weren't chosen for the scale lengths. They were chosen because they were the right bass for what I was looking for.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
    Supadope, rllefebv and pcake like this.
  13. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Ah I didn't realize they were even smaller. I'm curious about trying an SS Jaguar, just haven't come across one yet.
    pcake likes this.
  14. I do mainly play 30" scale basses, but my 32" basses also get regular work. I play 34" basses and my electric upright bass less often, but "less often does not equal "never."
    pcake likes this.
  15. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I like all scales, but like yourself, I have shoulder issues that make "reach" a problem. Given that, even some short scales have become uncomfortable due to bridge placement, etc. My Guild Starfire, Univox Coily and Univox 'Lectra, while being 30", all have mid-body bridge placement making reach a factor...

    Body-end bridge placement works great for me up to 32" scale... I have two, a P and a home brew that are comfortable. While you may not think that 2" would make that much difference, it really does! Currently, I only have one 34, and it sits in the case unplayed.

    My main player is a 32" Cigarbox bass played upright. I have another in the works...

    pcake likes this.
  16. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i've never seen a jag ss in a GC, but i have come across a couple in sam ash stores, although not in the last year.
    MCF likes this.
  17. I had the Squier version of the Jag, easy playing bass, sold it to a friend because I decided I had similar basses. A nice used one wouldn't cost much.
    pcake likes this.
  18. ak56

    ak56 Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2015
    Carnation, Wa
    For those who liked my previous post, you may want to read it again now that I finished it. It's too easy to hit the 'Post Reply' button on the phone, especially when I haven't had any coffee, yet.:meh:
    Gaolee and pcake like this.
  19. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    re-read it, still like it :D

    at least you can edit posts on TB. send off an email before making sure it's what you want to say and you can have problems.
    ak56 likes this.
  20. And then there's the fanned fret guys, of which I am one; 34" to 37" on a single five string bass. The six string starts at 33.75".

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