Will I regret buying a short-scale bass?

Cellordin

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Main purpose is jamming along with my teenage daughter who is learning guitar, though I think she will probably want to play it too. I only intend to buy one bass.

Mostly bedroom playing, I think, but possibly some school gymnasium etc., gigs for her rather than for me.

I think I am choosing between the Ibanez TMB-30 and TMB-100, or Squier equivalents. I prefer the look of the Talmans.

I'm not sure I buy the argument that a shorter scale is easier for guitarists to adapt to - my mandolin isn't "long scale", for example

I'm not totally devoid of bass technique - I haven't touched a bass in about 25 years but back then I was good enough to pick up some beer money filling with local bands in a pretty wide range of styles, and my instruments were a very heavy long-scale partscaster and a standup acoustic double bass.

I'm a bit put off by the active electronics in the TMB-100, as the single most annoying feature of my Godin acousticaster is the batteries that require a screwdriver to replace.

On this basis I am leaning towards the TMB-30, especially given that my daughter will be one of the users, but I'm well aware that kids can definitely play full-length bass guitars if they want to.

Should I be letting the battery thing put me off? Or should the short scale be putting me off more?
 

Digital Larry

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I have a TMB-30 as well as two long scales (Fender Aerodyne and Carvin fretless), TMB-30 is fine. I've got flats on it so it sounds quite different from the Fender. I like em all. I don't dislike the short scale one. I also dislike active guitars/basses mostly because I tend to forget about batteries and don't want to deal with the ghzhzhzhz that accompanies too-old batteries.
 

Chiogtr4x

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Main purpose is jamming along with my teenage daughter who is learning guitar, though I think she will probably want to play it too. I only intend to buy one bass.

Mostly bedroom playing, I think, but possibly some school gymnasium etc., gigs for her rather than for me.

I think I am choosing between the Ibanez TMB-30 and TMB-100, or Squier equivalents. I prefer the look of the Talmans.

I'm not sure I buy the argument that a shorter scale is easier for guitarists to adapt to - my mandolin isn't "long scale", for example

I'm not totally devoid of bass technique - I haven't touched a bass in about 25 years but back then I was good enough to pick up some beer money filling with local bands in a pretty wide range of styles, and my instruments were a very heavy long-scale partscaster and a standup acoustic double bass.

I'm a bit put off by the active electronics in the TMB-100, as the single most annoying feature of my Godin acousticaster is the batteries that require a screwdriver to replace.

On this basis I am leaning towards the TMB-30, especially given that my daughter will be one of the users, but I'm well aware that kids can definitely play full-length bass guitars if they want to.

Should I be letting the battery thing put me off? Or should the short scale be putting me off more?
I'll show you short scale bass!

( I'm not a bass player, just play with a crazy one who has left hand/thumb issues and has techs put together cool short scale basses that used to be guitar- we play together in Bluegrass and R&R bands- good guy!)

The Fender looking one is 22" scale, and the red Supro is 23.5" - wow!

* Good luck- play something comfy!
 

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jhundt

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I own a very nice '72 Precision, which I used to play live. I played a short-scale bass one day, and it was fun. That's how I describe it - just plain fun! So I bought one - a very inexpensive P-style short-scale, and I found that it suits me very nicely. I can adapt many of my guitar-playing techniques, and I have developed a very personal style. Recently I purchased a very nice Ibanez acoustic bass that is the size and shape of a parlor-style acoustic, 2ith 24 3/4" scale. It is wonderful.

Some bass players look down on short-scale, as if long-scale is the only true bass. i think that the short-scale has much to offer in it's own right, and should not be considered as something inferior.
 

Old Smokey

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I started out on a Jazz bass but once I discovered short-scale basses I never looked back. I don’t feel like I’m missing out or like there are things I wish I could do if only I had a long-scale bass.
 

Killing Floor

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I play 34, 35 and 30.7” scale basses so I’m no help. I don’t think it matters as long as you have decent strings. I really like my short scale. And honestly if switch to a standard scale I really don’t notice that much. Just imagine putting a capo behind the first fret and tuning down half step, it’s not that much difference but the reach is really comfortable. And if he doesn’t have super long hands she may appreciate the slightly closer stretch. You won’t regret it. It’s still a lot bigger than a guitar;)
 

tfarny

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I've never owned one, but played several that put me somewhat off the idea. They were all very flubby / floppy / buzzy in the way only too low of a string tension can give. Maybe I played the wrong ones or maybe they just weren't set up right, but the low notes prefer at least a 34" scale at least in my limited experience.
 

Telecaster88

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I love short scale basses, and have a bunch of them... Gretsch G2220, Squier Mini Precision, Ibanez Mikro, and a TMB 30. I also have a TMB 100, but bear in mind that model is a standard 34" scale bass.

My favorite is the Gretsch, but I need forearm contours currently due to nerve pain in my right arm... The TMB is a really great guitar... The neck is pretty thick though, so depending on how you feel about that it may or may not work for you. The necks on the Gretsch, Mikro and Squier are thin, but comfortable.

Good luck, and have fun! Short scale bass is a blast.
 

Dismalhead

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I've had a couple - my first was a Squier VM Jaguar SS - great neck but the pickups and electronics were junk, which I replaced with used US pickups. Sold it a couple of years ago and replaced it with a new Player Series Mustang SS - build quality is great but I can't say I'm happy with the pickups - a bit on the thin trebly side for my taste. When I get around to it I think I'm gonna put some SD Quarter Pounders in it.

Short scale is good for people like me with short stubby fingers who have a hard time traversing a big full-scale neck. Sound is just as deep and rich as a 34", but the low E string can get a bit floppy. Your guitarist friends will dig playing it, 'cause it's like a fun bass for part-timers.

I also have a full-scale P-Bass, so it isn't like I'm against full-sized basses or anything. But if you don't have giant hands (like most of the bass players I know) a SS might be the ticket.
 

Otisblove

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I have two full scale basses. One with flat wounds, one with round wounds. I also have a short scale violin shaped bass with flat wounds. I enjoy playing them all.
They all sound different.

The P bass with round wounds sounds tough and gritty and the short scale bass thumps just like McCartney in the Beatles.
 

BroGreg

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Here's another vote for the Gretsch G2220. I have it paired with a Rumble 40 and it sounds great and, like the gentlemen say, it is super easy and fun to play.

I sound better than Sid Vicious when I plug it in..
 

bendercaster

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I have an inexpensive Hofner Beatle Bass. It is a short scale, hollow body bass. With flat wound strings, it is super fun to play and sounds cool, even unplugged.

I generally prefer it to my long scale Ibanez Jazz style bass, but for some songs I prefer the punchy sound I get from the long scale bass.
 

Twang-ineer

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I am primarily a bass player over the decades. I am sitting here looking at three short scale basses. I really love them, there is no sacrifice in going short scale. Stu Hamm, Stanley Clarke and Leland Sklar all say it's OK to play short scale. And short/stubby fingers are not required.... Fix the Floppiness of the bass by getting a correctly gauged set of strings for short scale tuned to standard. The Billy Sheehan custom set is the easiest way to order a great set of strings that will do the trick. They are heavy on the bottom, steel and basically the best made string on the planet (IMHO).
 

SRBMusic

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Short answer: no, you won’t regret buying and playing a short scale bass. I bought my SX J-bass in 2006 and have had a blast playing it ever since. Sounds good, looks good and is great for my smaller hands.
Do it!
 




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