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Long Scale vs Short Scale

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Telenator, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I have a Fender Jazz Bass and I'm learning to play on it.

    It's loooong and my old geezer hands are just not fond of the stretch required to play some of the bass lines in the songs I'm playing.

    My experience with short scale bass guitars is limited, although I don't remember ever being offended by the sounds I've heard coming from them.

    Any thoughts / opinions on long vs short?

    Advantages/disadvantages?
     
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  2. Cpb2020

    Cpb2020 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    They’ve got a significant following over at talkbass. Particularly the Fender mustang line and EBMM stingray ss. My son plays a vintera mustang as anything larger is not really an option (he’s 10) and I know quite a few guitarists that play short scale bass. Plus, the weight of full scale basses can get way up there.

    Here’s an example of mustang tone (only split P pickups; some have a J as well) with flats. The first bit is just through a Roland cube and the rest is through a Genzler amp.

     
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  3. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    For a time, I wanted to learn bass. I bought a Squier 70s edition and a Markbass CMD121P. I gave up one month after, and re-sold all the stuff same price. No way. Not for me... Maybe if I started with a lighter, short scale bass, things would have been different ? o_O

    -tbln.
     
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  4. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Personally I like the sound of the 34 scale. You are right though, the reach can be an issue.

    String tension is higher on the longer scale. So easier to bend the shorter scales.
     
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  5. Nahtabot

    Nahtabot Tele-Meister

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    Just need to shift is all. No biggie.
     
  6. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I'm thinking 30" scale is the way to go. I was looking at the Ibanez Mikro. Found a MINT used one for $100. Great reviews, but has a 28.60 scale length. The strings might be really floppy at that length. Not sure the string availability for that scale either.

    I live in a rural area where there just aren't many accomplished players, and of course the there are more guitar players than anything. I'm looking to do a good job at playing bass because bass players are always in demand.
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    These sum up my feelings.
    I also love the “ring” of a long scale bass.
    There are also 32 inch scale basses, like the Fender Stu Hamm model.
    Of course, if longer scales are a pain, there’s Kala “Uke” style basses.
    They record well, too!
     
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  8. screefer

    screefer Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    McCartney and lots of other short slingers sound great! :)
     
  9. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I just don't hear much difference in long vs short scale bass. Go for it! The stretch is a bit much at my age too.
    Basses with long upper bout help put the bass with the nut closer to your body. That's another consideration. But even with a bass like many Ibanez etc with that long upper bout, the spacing fret 1-5 or so is just too wide for my old hands.
     
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  10. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    My main bass for years was the Fender Precision because back then, 1965, that was the go to bass. A friend had a Gibson EB0, which I wanted so bad. I have one now and I find the sound to be more boomy. I picked up a Kubicki ExFactor 32" scale after listening to Stu Hamm and to my ears I think it is the best of all worlds. It produces tone from that deep driving bass to that trebly slap, if you want it, I don't, and everything in between. It tunes from the bridge assembly so the neck dive is non existent. I recently built a Vox Phantom IV bass in a 32" scale hoping the neck dive wouldn't be a problem, but it still wants to creep. Sounds great, but the Kubicki 32" is still hands down the best bass I own.


    ps All that being said, for youngsters and those with a shorter reach, I still think a 30" scale is the best way to go........
     
  11. timbgtr

    timbgtr TDPRI Member

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    My aversion to short scale basses isn’t tone. It’s that when I had one it was too easy to lapse into guitar finger memory and sound like a guitarist on bass rather than a bass player. So for me the longer stretch is worth the trouble.

    Also, you have more options (headless, fretless, pickups) in the long scale world.
     
  12. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    My wife, the bass player has owned just about every model of short scale basses and she loves her Fender Mustang Bass (30") the most by far. I have played them all and like the Mustang the most too. The Ibanez Mikro is much shorter, but impressive for the price if you find one well made. 34" puts out the best modern tones IMO, but for us guitarists, I'm not too sure the difference is going to matter while ramping up the chops and techniques. I like the retro bass sounds of an earlier era and found an excellent 30" from my wife's collection, but at that point it becomes very personal and you need some experience playing bass to determine those decisions IMHO.
     
  13. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    Take it for what it’s worth. I’ve owned two short scale basses and several long scale models. I currently have a Player P-Bass which I really like. Like you the stretch is hard on my hands.
    I really liked the short scale in terms of comfort but my issue was the tension. It seemed to be that I had more noise from string meeting the fretboard. Now that could entirely due to my crappy technique. (My bass technique really sucks!)
    That said, I may eventually swap my P bass for a Mustang.
     
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  14. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I currently have a Precision and an EB0. The EB0 gets more play because my creaky fingers won't do what I want them to any more. If I were to be buying another bass, I'd make the Mikro my first choice. I played one in a shop while waiting for counter service and it has niggled and gnawed ever since. Damn thing. Good looking, well made, easy to play, nice balance, affordable. How dare it!
     
  15. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Holic

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    i generally like longer scale instruments cause they force me to be less lazy with my left hand. with the exception of big long scale acoustics, i prefer the sound of a shorter scale instrument. i always want the sound of a jag with the feel of a jazzmaster, or the sound of a mustang with the feel of a p-bass.

    are you trying to fret the bass like a guitar? try using both your ring and pinky in tandem for whole steps and minor thirds like an upright player would.
     
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  16. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    In my limited experience, almost everything about short scale basses is smaller. I have a couple that I play for rehearsals because they are a bit lighter and such. Of my ‘short scales’, I seem to the prefer the 32” scale, but I’m not sure that it really reduces the stretch required up at the nut end all that much.

    I still pretty much exclusively gig my Rickenbacker bass, everyone tells me I really look weird playing anything also after all these years.

    I also have a Kubicki X-Factor, which plays very well, but I can never quite seem to get the tones I want from it...I seem like to have this problem with most active basses. And sadly, it looks reallllly odd playing 70’s Classic Rock with one of those hanging around your neck. FWIW, mine seems to have the opposite of neck dive, it really seems to pull down hard at the butt. And considering what they cost these days, it real doesn’t seem like an entry-level option.
     
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  17. Mur

    Mur Tele-Afflicted

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    I play long, short, and upright bass ..and never give a thought to scale length.
     
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  18. Paulie_Boy

    Paulie_Boy Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Gold Tone Micro Bass

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Friend of Leo's

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    Ibanez Mikro has a lot of praise over on TalkBass...Ibanez are well made and great value even at their lower price point offerings/ If you can get that for $100 bucks, go for it- you can go for the Mustang or EB-O if the micro doesn’t do it for you!!
    Oh hey! I was up in Northern Vermont before I headed out West 6 years ago. I was in Hyde Park- yeah- lots of folks play guitar and need bass players to fill out the sound!! Keep us posted!!- Carl (C-Note :cool:)

    (edit) p.s.- Ibanez makes a Talman TB100 in short scale...I picked up the 34” one with the maple fretboard— check them out- great quality at under $200. Can’t miss and the look cool! Here is one- $189, p/j pickups!!
     
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  20. 68Telebass

    68Telebass Friend of Leo's

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    upload_2020-10-31_13-12-41.png
    here it is...actually called TMB30!
     

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