(edit:- please ignore things that don't make sense or sound the polar opposite of what the rest of my post is trying to say)

Let me start off by saying that I've played guitar for 7 years and obviously within the first year my fingers started to naturally spread over the frets of the 25.5" inch scale (roughly).

In the previous twelve months I have been playing bass guitar for about 2 hours a week. That is ACTUAL playing time ON a bass. I try to practice all of the bass stuff on my guitar because currently I do not have a bass.

The bass I've been using is a Wesley Gothic Dragon (belonging to my vocalist). It has two full octaves (24 frets) and has a 34 inch scale.

Both me and the vocalist insist that the scale length is too big. This is starting to worry me because 34" scale seems to be the standard on bass guitars and my vocalist plays his bass and he is the tall and skinny type with longer fingers.

So, I really need to buy a bass guitar because I'm not using that rubbish bass... which recently got a a lot 'rubbisher' due to lack of communication when I bought a replacement string (imagine the worst scenario possible).

However, I'm very scared about my fingers not being able to adapt to the mammoth scale. I have some questions for all you bassists out there and hopefully some guitarist turned bassist might be able to provide additional insight also.

1. How long did it take for your fingers to get used to the 34" scale?

2. Does a 34" scale with 24 frets have smaller sized frets than a 34" scale with 21?

3. If the above answer is yes then I want to hang myself. You've upset a guitarist, how do you feel?

And moving on to some non-scale related questions:

1. Does having active electronics actually make tones harder to dial in?

Imagine, I have active electronics with a 3 band EQ and I have an amp with a 7 band (I think bass amps can have 7, right?). Surely playing with the 3 band EQ isn't going to be very effective unless the active EQ corresponds to the EQ dialed on in the amp. Please tell me if there's a way to deal with this.

2. What are some good intermediate bass woods (I can't buy a Warwick)?

3. Is it really worth having a 5 string bass? If I bought one I would only need it for one song (I play in a rock covers band and an original metal band). That song is 'Comfortably Numb'. Will the 5th string make me feel better or should I get accustomed to playing with 4 strings first?

Now a special couple of questions for those of you who have played Peavey basses. People say they are good value for the money but the factory set-ups and QC is piss poor. This is acceptable because IF I get a peavey I will make sure it is setup properly and very well inspected before I buy.

1. The Millenium AC BXP. Am I just paying for the looks? I have 3 guitars already that having violet/purple colours on them and they are all rubbish. Okay, the Samick Rockwell was okay but every Samick I've owned starts to fall to pieces.

2. The Cirrus. Seems like a good quality bass. Woah! 35". Who thought this up? 35"! 35" over 21 frets seems like finger death on a guitar. I don't have 'small hands' but I'm certianly no concert pianist. Can I really get accustomed to a 35"?

3. Back to the Millenium AC BXP. Who's played one? I read a review where someone said it simply isn't 'bassy' enough and that you can guitar-style sounds from it.

Surely this means that it shouldn't really be called a bass. Who wants guitar sounds from a bass?

4. Can you please refrain from saying 'Warwick'?. It makes me jealous and my band simply doesn't earn enough money to allow us get such a piece of kit. I can only afford something cheap and nasty but want value for money and with Peavey mainly specialising in entry level guitars this seems like a good choice.
I collect clothes and IKEA furniture. Who are you?
Last edited by Ryan D' Ale at Aug 10, 2009,

1) I started on bass, so I had nothing to compare it to.
2) No. Fret placement is a precise measurement at set scale lengths. The 12th fret is always at the middle. When you add frets, you simply lengthen the fretboard, adding to, but not changing, the existing frets.
3) I hope the answer above made you happy.

Next bunch:

1) Hell no. It gives you more versatility. I have an active bass, and an active/passive. Versatility doesn't mean it's harder to dial a tone in, it just means you may find yourself at it more because you can tweak it more.

2) First of all, stop thinking about instruments in terms of beginner, intermediate and expert. You'll find the same species of wood amongst guitars of all price ranges- the only difference is the quality of the cut (in terms of solely the wood). Instead, you should be thinking about what tone you want.

3) Start with what you want. You can do everything you want to on a 4 and then some on a 5 string, but 5 strings may feel weird to you. I always preach about economy of motion- the 5 string has more notes in a single hand position, so I find it an invaluable tool. I only play 5 strings. 5 string is not harder, and if anything, learning from 4 string lessons on a 5 string will do nothing but help reinforce the information by making you think about that 5th string.

Last bunch:

1) The active bass I mentioned earlier? That's a Milennium ACBXP 5 string. It's a workhorse. Coincidentally referring to another part of your post, my other bass is a Warwick I gig quite a bit, and the Peavey still sees action alongside the Warwick. It's a beast for the price, and the thin (but very real) quilted maple top is a bonus.

2) You can and will get accustomed to the 35" scale. It isn't too much different. Hand size has very little to do with anything- it's your technique that will get you around the neck.

3) That review is bollocks. Whoever did that can't EQ properly.

4) ok, I won't say Warwick... I'll post a pic instead

They aren't impossible to get. Just work your arse off. I managed to get mine at uni, whilst poor and on a part time job.
Cheers for the good answers!

My mood has been lifted high. It's very inspirational about being a poor student in a part time job. I've struggled to save this much but I don't have much patience sadly. Makes problems for learning stuff with lots of different fills but my ambition over comes patience
I collect clothes and IKEA furniture. Who are you?
Patience comes with age. Maybe not phsyical age, but age with the instrument. My collective years of playing instruments spans longer than I've been around, and I didn't start being patient with music till a few years ago, and then it spilled into other aspects of life. Others become patient from the off, but patience will happen. Just at different times for different people.


At leaat I'm not doing a Victor Wooten and talking about hugging trees and making music.
I am going to talk a bit on the scale length. Ben's done a great job on the rest and hopefully I'll extend your happiness today. And the regulars can go off and have a beer since they know what's coming next...

I'm a short female with small hands who played guitar for decades before going over to bass. My main basses are normal scale and two (Accubass and Stingray) have chunkier necks (the other is an Ibby SR). With the right strap placement and some concerted practice, the scale length is not an issue. It took me a few months to get the finger stretch, but its doable (spider scales help btw). And make sure you keep your thumb centered on the back of neck and use it as a pivot.
I'm just going to throw in; don't take any shortcuts such as resting your thumb on top of the neck, going up a string when it's more economical to change strings, etc. They may become crutches and limit you later on. (took me months to palm mute correctly while slapping instead of just laying my fingers across the strings on my left hand )
Ideally, you want to get as many notes as you can from one position before shifting.
When I switched I started with a short-scale bass, which made the transition easier. I have a Peavey Millennium 5 BXP (not the version with active electronics) and it plays nicely. Really, you just need patience to get used to a longer scale. As for a 5-string, it is worth it as you can downtune the B string and get lower notes out of it.
Quote by RPGoof
I've killed many, many people.
They respawn though

Quote by the humanity
jazz bass.

t-bird is muddy inversatile, and reminds me of emo chicks.

Current rig: Peavey Millennium 5 - Drive B15

To buy: Ampeg BA112 or BA115
Last edited by cal1 at Aug 10, 2009,
Thank you everyone for the input.

It looks like I don't have anything to worry about afterall. I guess the key to succes is practicing with the correct technique and spider runs. I'm pretty sure my bass skills will develop much faster now. Can't wait to have my own bass.
I collect clothes and IKEA furniture. Who are you?
You can get warwick rockbasses fairly cheap. I just got a warwick fortress online for only $300 with 45 shipping
Quote by ExurKun
You can get warwick rockbasses fairly cheap. I just got a warwick fortress online for only $300 with 45 shipping

I'm in the UK. I was thinking of getting a Rockbass. There's an ex-demo still available and a new one but I'm extremely confused with the models and series in the Streamer Blackhawk series because there's insane price differences around.

It's probably just because I'm a spaz though.

Other than that, I have to admit I like pretty basses and black doesn't do it for me.

Being in the UK sucks for choice. I've got a choice between 4 basses in my price range that have got the 'value for money' aim (including the streamer) and that's from a place that exclusively sells Bass gear.
I collect clothes and IKEA furniture. Who are you?
Quote by Deliriumbassist
On the last sentence, to make it sink in, watch this:


Just ignore the first bit in the store.

I friends!

A bit off topic, but still

scale shouldn't be an issue after a few months, well at least in my experience. I don't own one, but play on my friends.

Thaks for reminding me btw that friends is on now