Short scale bass for playing with pick

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by PRW94, May 26, 2018.

  1. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Some great bass players use a pick ... Carol Kaye, for example. FWIW, on the subject of "Beatle basses", Epiphone makes a good Hofner copy. Problem is, they are neck-heavy. Fender Squier short scales are better balanced and more comfortable when seated, too.
     
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  2. Emster

    Emster TDPRI Member

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    Might also look into rubber picks.
     
  3. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    I do! In fact I play a short-scale bass with black tapewound strings, and I use a pick and fingers, sometimes the thumb.

    I got a very inexpensive (less than $100) made-in-China short-scale replica of a P-bass. It works just fine.

    I heard from many people that I should learn to play bass "the right way", meaning whatever way they themselves play. I thought that since I was 60 years old and had been playing guitar since I was 12, it would be counter-productive to not use all the techniques I had developed over the years.

    In fact I found it quite easy to adapt my right-hand technique, and I am able to control the attack/decay of the notes to a great degree, and achieve a variety of tones using palm and finger muting, etc.
     
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  4. kookaburra

    kookaburra Tele-Afflicted

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    Squier Jag ss here, it's great for the price. I'm also a guitarist who dabbles in bass.
     
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  5. PRW94

    PRW94 Tele-Meister

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    Closing this out, got a Hofner Contemporary for a price I could not pass up. Thanks for input.
     
  6. Oldgitplayer

    Oldgitplayer Tele-Holic

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    I'm with you on this. I'm primarily a rhythm guitarist but play some bass. Like you, I pluck strings or push them with my thumb. And when I need a lot of drive or attack, a plectrum becomes the essential tool.

    I've played with bass players who believe that the only right way to play bass is the 2 finger plucking technique. When they can't keep up or can't play a song that has dominant bass attack in it, I tell them to use a plectrum. They shake their heads at the suggested heresy. These are bass players who didn't play in the 60's and don't understand flat wounds either.
     
  7. Believer

    Believer Tele-Meister

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    Squier Jag SS. The Bass choice for guitar players everywhere!;)
     
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  8. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    As a recording guitarist, my bass needs are very minimal.

    I bought the Squier Jag SS to lay down some bass notes on my recordings. It's well-suited to the task and quite moderately priced.

    Then, I decided to check out an Ibanez SRC6 (a six-string "cross-over" bass). This one is especially well suited to guitarists.

    As a guitarist, I get a LOT more use out of the Ibanez SRC6. It's an amazing 6-string bass instrument, which opens up a lot of great tonal possibilities for a guitarist! Especially if you play with a pick. It is, though, a good bit more money than you are considering spending.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SRC6WNF--ibanez-src6-walnut-flat?mrkgcl=28&mrkgadid=3247037265&rkg_id=0&product_id=SRC6WNF&campaigntype=shopping&campaign=aaShopping - Core - Bass&adgroup=Bass - Bass Guitars&placement=google&adpos=1o2&creative=226299461018&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CjwKCAjwjZjZBRAZEiwAPeLSKwBOz1Uluyhdfm4uGVijDdmEnrngFwZepV24YBElxFO-Bh9UmV3qrxoCT14QAvD_BwE

    I'd say if you want more traditional bass playing, finger-style, and short scale, the Squier is a good choice for the money.

    If you want an instrument that you can play bass with, and also play a lot more guitar-oriented stuff on, the Ibanez SRC6 is awesome. Worth considering beyond just basic "bass guitar needs". The SRC6 brings out creative options, for a guitarist, that are REALLY amazing.



     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
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  9. PRW94

    PRW94 Tele-Meister

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    Let me repeat post 45 ... I bought a Hofner Contemporary violin bass, the one that's made in China with German parts, including pickups, at a factory with workers trained by Hofner in Germany. It's got a center block as opposed to the regular Hofner bass which is hollow, but to my ears it still has plenty of the Hofner sound.

    They list for $1200, Sweetwater sells 'em for $879, used they run about $699 ... I got a mint one for $400 plus shipping, already strung up with LaBella flats.

    I considered the Squier, seriously, but I simply could NOT let the Hofner go by at that price.
     
  10. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    For the record, Leo Fender intended the Fender bass to be played with a pick.

    You can get all kinds of sounds with a pick. Paul McCartney didn't sound percussive.

    Bill Wyman always played short scale basses... don't know if he used a pick or not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  11. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  12. lossfizzle

    lossfizzle TDPRI Member

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    I've been playing a lot more bass (and purchasing a lot more basses and bass gear) in the last few years. Short scale basses have a genuine hipster appeal to me, and my hands are only average size, so I've tried quite a few in the lower end of the market to see if I could make them work. I never end up liking them nearly as much as regular 34" scale instruments.

    The Mustang PJ that Jeru has is a very popular choice right now and you can see why - it's a super nice-looking instrument that they've outfitted with bread-and-butter PU configs for bassists (unlike the Squier Bronco, which by the way is extremely noisy with stock electronics; I've owned two Broncos, both pre-upgraded in the PU cavity by their previous owners before I got them). I personally still prefer my long scale Ps and Js from just a playing perspective. I feel like the longer scales are worth it for the additional brightness and sustain, and are easier-accommodating for my own particular right-hand technique.

    I've sample-played about a dozen of those Mustang PJs fresh from the factory, BTW - they come and go from the local Guitar Center floor with almost shocking frequency. I really do like their look but I just can't bring myself to spend that much on something that I already know won't end up on the top of the pile of basses. If I found a Capri orange one secondhand for $300, OK, I'd probably bite :)

    SX / Rondo does have a lot of short-scale options on offer too, usually in traditional P and J styles, and I think those look very nice. Although again I've only owned their 34" models, I actually quite like SX basses, have gigged out several, still own a couple. There's actually one (a Jaguar style so-called Ursa 4 in surf green) that gets immediate compliments from audience members and yes, even other musicians just about every time I get it out at the gig, more so than any other bass I've rolled up with!

    Three good used / low-budget options in long-scale-land with slinky necks that will accommodate a crossover guitarist very nicely: 1) Ibanez Soundgears and similar; 2) Yamaha RB series and similar; 3) post-T-40 Peavey USA basses on the whole (esp with more vintage-sounding Super Ferrites over the newer and more modern- / hifi-sounding VFLs that appeared in Peavey stuff starting mid-90s - if you find a Dyna Bass with SFs for around $200 and everything seems to be working, seriously, buy it).
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
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  13. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    I mentioned above that I bought a very cheap short-scale replica of a Precision, and it works quite well for me. Here is a picture comparing the "toy bass" with my real Precision. The short-scale bass has some obvious advantages:
    1) for an old guy, it is very light and easy to play for three sets
    2) it is very small, and I am much less likely to smack my friend the guitar-player in the head on the tiny stages we are used to in local clubs.
    3) by repositioning the strap button ala Bootsy Collins in his James Brown days, I can wear the bass very vertically, which a) suits my eyesight, b) causes even fewer on-stage collisions, and c) makes for a very distinctly "Bill Wyman" look which intrigues the audience and causes them to ask questions which start conversations.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This girl is doing it.. short scale Mustang with a pick....:cool:

     
  15. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Short scale Squier or Mustang Bass gets the job done just fine.

    This little Squier Jaguar Bass of mine works great - no complaints.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Welcome to the deep end. About 20 years ago I played bass only, for about 10 years. I went with 34" scale and gravitated to 5 string with a low B, but have no strong opinions. I know Tal Wilkenfeld seems quite competent on long scale, and she's no giant. And Stanley Clarke seems happy with short scale and he's pretty tall.

    As others have said, it's a good idea to start bass as a new instrument. Not just patterns and licks. I took it as an opportunity to study some scale and chord theory and found it fascinating and very useful for my playing and general musical appreciation. I remember Ed Friedland has some very useful books on walking bass lines for example. I also finally got round to learning to read standard staff notation in bass clef. Opens up a whole new world. I ended up playing a lot of cello pieces, like the Gabrielli Ricecari, but that's another story.

    Enjoy it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  17. Gunny

    Gunny Tele-Holic

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    I also have the Hofner Contemporary. Not the only short scale I've owned (and I currently use a Squier VM Telecaster bass, medium 32" scale - my go-to at the moment). I use flats on the Hofner, tape wounds on the Squier. Although I pluck 50% of the time on the other basses, I find I can only use a pick on the Hofner. No problem. The sound is there (no treble clank) and of course it's light as a feather.
    As to the earlier thread "Bill Wyman always played short scale basses... don't know if he used a pick or not." -- Bill did play with a pick.
     
  18. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Just some observations about the Mexican Mustang PJ since I got one not too long ago. It exceeded my expectations in that right out of the box I could have taken it to rehearsal and it would have played and sounded well. The thing has some real punch given it's shorter scale. The one thing that bothered me about the was the misalignment of the pole pieces in the bridge pickup and the P pickup to a lesser degree. It also had significant hum from lack of shielding. I ended up replacing all the electronics but as stated, despite the pole alignment issue it still sounded really good in stock form. I feel the high overall build quality, the comfort of the neck, and finishing compensate for the electronic issues. I'm hoping to grab an orange one used if the prices ever go down.
     
  19. marshman

    marshman Friend of Leo's

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    I have a few medium and short scale instruments, but my current favorite is an Epiphone Rumblekat Allen Woody model. The p’ups are kinda ‘nasally’ sounding to me, which can be dialed out to a large degree by prudent amp tweaking, and it is kinda light while maintaining a guitar look with its large, hollowbody design. Mostly available in wine red, a few royal blues have turned up on eBay lately. Patience should be able to land one with a hard case for @ $400.
     
  20. Mr Green Genes

    Mr Green Genes Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually, Bill Wyman played short scale basses pretty much exclusively.
     
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