Yet another 34"-35" thread

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gazman_res, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Okay I've searched on this subject abit. And it seems people like one or the other.

    But i was just wondering if anyone has BOTH scales in their possession and how you are coping?

    Like just say a 4 string 34" and a 5/6 string 6" and how you go about switching between basses during a gig.

    For me, i have a 4 string 34" spector, and a 6 string 35" ibanez, and i find that i have to play with a much lighter touch on the 4. But thats probably due to many other reasons other that just the scale length.

    Any opinions on the subject matter is appreciated. :)
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I try to stick to one bass per gig, tone be damned! Always have a backup, though. I have a Status 5 and Warwick 4 (34"), Modulus 5 and Lakland 5 (35"), and a David King 5 (36"). I would go nuts swapping out instruments every other song or so. FWIW, the 36" scale feels a little funny at first but one acclimates. Just remember the Dingwall B string is 37".

  3. Sane


    Dec 4, 2004
    Melbourne Fl
    4 string 24 fret 34" Peavey and 5 string 22 fret 35" Lakland. Its a bit of a hand shock going back to the 24 fret 34 from the 35. But after a week or so it only takes a quick adjustment and im goin again. Though changing every song during a gig will surely cause a little mix... or it would to me. Im sure it only becomes easier. As long as my poor old Peavey dont get lonely... and I forget all bout it. :(
  4. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    I've got both in 4 stringers, but both instruments are feel so different from each other that I don't notice the scale difference, just the string tension is noticeable.
  5. I'd be interested in folk's opinions as well. I currently only have one bass :crying: a 35" BTB and I've wondered if I bought a 34" 4 stringer if I'd have trouble adjusting.

    When you change scale length like that doesn't it affect your muscle memory? I'm sitting here thinking that if you had a fretless instrument this could pretty seriously screw you up.
  6. I'm switching between a fretless 35" scale Rob Allen 5 and a fretted Dingwall 6 with fanned frets and I don't have any trouble. I think that it is not so hard to adapt to be able to play both.
  7. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I own a 30", two 32"s, a bunch of 34"s, and two 35"s. I could switch between any of them and it would not be a problem. In fact, I can't tell the difference between the 34"s and 35"s. It's only an inch spread out over the scale length of the bass. If it were applied evenly to each fret, that would make each fret spacing only a miniscule 1/35" longer.
  8. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Wouldn't it be just a little bigger? I figure since the 12th fret is always at the midpoint of the string, then 0.5" would be on one half, and 0.5" on the other half. So, from the nut to the twelfth fret, you've got an average change of 0.5/12, or 1/24". (And of course the difference is greater the closer to the nut you get.)

    This has been on my mind as I've always played 34" scale basses and am currently pondering buying a longer scale bass. It's not so much the distance between adjacent frets I worry about so much as the difference in how far the reach down to the low positions is. Reaching a half an inch farther is very significant, and since I'm comfortable with quick position changes on fretless now, I'm worried that my arm "muscle memory" would be messed with a little bit by switching back and forth between scale lengths.
  9. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I just got my first 35" scale about a month ago. In that time, I only played it, as it's now my main bass. But I have absolutly no problem going back to 34" at all. YMMV.

  10. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I really have no idea about the correct spacing, but even 1/24" is miniscule.
  11. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Well.. My Spector fretted 5 is a 35" and my TB Custom fretless 5 is a 34".. I don't have a problem switching, but the 34" is more comfortable for my wrist.
  12. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    My Roscoe-6 and Modulus Q-4 both have a 35" scale length, my other gigging basses have 34" scale lengths. The Modulus was my first 35" bass and it took a couple of weeks for my fretting hand to adjust. I now switch back and forth without really noticing any difference with my fretting hand. I don't know if this is psychological on my part, but on my Roscoe and Modulus my right hand plucking techinque seems better; the strings feel more responsive, even after experimenting with different string gauges.

    - Art
  13. I used to have a 35" scale 5 string with my 34" scale 4 string and I had not the slightest problem switching between the two back and forth.
  14. If your concern is on the fells of working on the frte's board, the preasure, I woundn't bother playing different basses at the gig. Though the tension on all strings on the longer scale bass, in your case is 36" are some more than on the 34" but you suppose not to notice it. The longer length of strings shall compensate that additional preasure.

    Therefore, I think it was the neck profiles that are different and for sure the radious of the 6 strings neck is greater than the 4 which mean that your grip tend to be flaten.

    Try to see the different between griping the bottle at the neck and at the body.

  15. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    DMB, were either of those fretless by any chance? I would think fretted wouldn't be as big a deal, since there's so much tactile feedback, but with fretless you have to rely on muscle memory more.
  16. No, they were both fretted, havent made the jump to a fretless yet. But I have played a couple and I can definitely see how that inch or two would mess you up.
  17. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    i was contemplating what it tonal difference it would make if i had the bridge on my p-bass moved about an inch back to the butt end of the body. anyone know, or care to comment?
  18. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    I have a 4 string 35" BTB as well- love the tension. A big pet peeve of mine is frett buzz and it is non-existant on the BTB. I have 2 fretless 34" that I love but as far as fretted I'd never play on anything less then 35" If I ever bought a 5 string I would want a 36" scale.
  19. PlayTheBass

    PlayTheBass aka Mac Daddy

    Dec 7, 2004
    Carmichael, CA
    Assuming you moved the saddles too, then I think your intonation would be shot.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    My simplisitic view saves me from a lot of angst...

    "It's only an issue if I make it one".

    I have 34", 34 5/8" and 35" fretlesses and I play them interchangeably. I have several basses ranging from 30" to 36" with all stops in between. Those too I play interchangeably. The only bass I really "feel" is the 36" Fodera... it's a big bass;).

    String spacing is an issue for me (I like wide spacing), scale length generally isn't. I've found that if I play the bass I have in my hands for what it is, no big deal. The only issue with the 36" is when I play down by first position, where the notes are much farther apart on each string.

    BTW I take two basses on most gigs. Scale length has never been a determining factor on what I bring.