#1
I'm not really a bass player, guitar's my main interest but I keep thinking it'd be nice to have a bass knocking around. It'd help with demo recordings, song writing and whatever. A few years ago I got a regular 34" scale bass and really struggled with it, I gave up and sold it after a month. With electric guitar I play 24.75" and 24" scales, 25.5" always feels like the beginning of hard work to me. I'm not exactly a large guy.

I noticed that Squier are about to put out a 30" Jaguar bass at a really good price. So that's got me tempted. But I hear that 30" basses can sound quite bad and/or need excessively thick strings for anything close to reasonable tension, which puts me off a little.

Basically I'm wondering if I should grab this - after all it's dirt cheap and I'm hardly planning to tour the world with this - or if I should man up and take another stab at 34" scale. Anyone else really struggle with regular bass scale at first but got used to it? Last time I struggled to stretch from the 1st fret to the middle of the 3rd fret. Playing the 4th fret and then the 7th required me to shift my hand entirely. I don't see how it would be possible to get used to or over come that.

tl;dr are short scales really that bad tone/set up wise, is 34" something small hands cna get used to given enough time, am I just being a giant wimp?
#2
I haven't heard anything about short scales sounding necessarily bad, but I can see why people would think so.

Just like when you first started to play guitar, you have to get used to the movements and stretches you do when playing. Regardless of whether you played guitar or not before picking up bass it's still a different scale length and feel, so you need to adjust. If you're willing to put the time in and stick through it, then I think a 34 inch scale bass would be better to go for. There's absolutely no harm in playing a short scale, but you're limited for choice should to time come when you want to upgrade.
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#3
i dont know what the hate is about on short scale basses. i think theyre more comfortable and faster then a full scale. my dad has a 1969 eb3 bass. its a terrific bass. great sound, great feel. i want to get a short scale bass and scrap it for parts so i can build my own some day.
#4
Try out a Dean EVO XM short scale bass. These are only $199 new and cheaper on e-bay. They also sound great, way bigger than you'ld think.
#6
This is a case where size doesnt matter... Im like 5"8, but i was playing a full scale bass at 15 when i was 5"5, and i managed perfectly well You might find it more comfortable on a short scale now... but i wouldnt bother, after a month of a full size you will feel completly at home on that anyway
#7
I play a 34" and i always try to play with 4 fingers per 3 frets lower down the neck (say 1st to 9th frets) so i dont over stretch my hand, even though i can play 4:4 and did for a year or so. You might find this technique useful and this way you could get a full scale without having to stretch too much
Last edited by rottingzombie at Apr 21, 2011,
#8
My bassist swears by them. He plays a Fender Musicmaster and an Epiphone Rumblekat
Fender Jaguar 1994
Gibson Thunderbird

Fender Hot Rod Devile 4x12

Zvex Fuzz Factory
EHX Big Muff
Zvex Box of Rock
Joyo Tremolo
Digitech Whammy
EHX Cathedral
Boss DD3
Boss TU3
#9
All of my basses are 34" except my 5 banger, which 35".
Lately I've been GASing for a Danelectro dead on 58' which is a semi hollow short scale.

A few things to take into account about short scale basses:

1 they do have a different tone, not necessarily bad just different.

2 any type of gauge will work, but some prefer heavier strings to get the deep boom that they get with a 34" scale, which I think is stupid. You get a short scale for the sound they produce.

3 Short scales are easier to play due to the shorter scale and thinner neck.

4 Short scales are kind of a love 'em or hate 'em type of bass.
I do suggest you try a few out and see what you think, it may work for you it may not.
Quote by FatalGear41
In the end, the only question is: what bass would Jesus play?

I think he's a Fender Jazz guy.
#10
Some short-scale basses - notably the Gibson EB series - have been known to have intonation problems, but there is nothing about a short-scale bass that is inherently "bad." If there were, then I am quite certain that Stanley Clarke would never have adopted a short-scale Alembic as his signature bass. You might have trouble finding short-scale strings in stores, though. Most of the guitar shops I frequent don't usually carry them. They can order them for you, but make sure you stock up on them just in case you break a string.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#11
here are some things you can do. get a 34 inch bass and string it with a low B (bead) then just play around the fifth fret of everything as opposed to the open.

what this does is gives you the feel of a 27 inch scale and the same tension as a 34, and unless you were planning on playing above the 15-19th fret you won't really lose any range.

you could also get a 5 string bass and do this but it may be even more uncomfortable for you.
no sir away a papaya war is on
Last edited by the_perdestrian at Apr 21, 2011,
#12
short scales would only have poor tension If you didn't buy short scale strings. given, short scales do have a slightly different timbre. but Paul McCartney used 'em.

I don't like them personally, but they can sound great. one
benefit is the G strings sounds more even on short scales.
#DTWD
#13
I've wanted a Gibson EB-3 for years. I love the tone, and the feel of them but can't afford one. =P
#14
Had a Epiphone EB-0 the mahogany version, wasn't my cup of tea. Now I have a mustang bass and it's the best bass I've ever owned, that being said, everyone here is right short scales do have a different tone out of the box, it can be shaped, but I find it's by and large always there. I also have a P and J bass, tone wise both to me have the ability to get "angry", the mustang can get annoyed, but largely it stays in a mellow, smooth thumpy range, Aston Barrett (bob marleys bassist) used the same hofner as Paul McCartney both have different, but also similar tone. I want to hot rod a bronco with 3 pickups like a strat, and see if that adds to the tonal situation. If you notice most short scales keep the pickups close as possible to the neck for low end retention, but then you lose the ability to dial in some natural highs and possible growl.

TL;DR IMO if you playing this on your couch only, get short scale, all the people saying you can learn 34" in a week or two, who cares, if you don't want to don't. That being said, if you play any kind of music heavier than classic rock/grungy and plan to do so in a jamming situation ever, I'd get a longer scaled bass just so you can have a larger tone arsenal. I said my mustang is my favorite, but I play my jazz in drop C when we're playing Melvins style sludge.
#15
Quote by askrere
Had a Epiphone EB-0 the mahogany version, wasn't my cup of tea. Now I have a mustang bass and it's the best bass I've ever owned, that being said, everyone here is right short scales do have a different tone out of the box, it can be shaped, but I find it's by and large always there. I also have a P and J bass, tone wise both to me have the ability to get "angry", the mustang can get annoyed, but largely it stays in a mellow, smooth thumpy range, Aston Barrett (bob marleys bassist) used the same hofner as Paul McCartney both have different, but also similar tone. I want to hot rod a bronco with 3 pickups like a strat, and see if that adds to the tonal situation. If you notice most short scales keep the pickups close as possible to the neck for low end retention, but then you lose the ability to dial in some natural highs and possible growl.

TL;DR IMO if you playing this on your couch only, get short scale, all the people saying you can learn 34" in a week or two, who cares, if you don't want to don't. That being said, if you play any kind of music heavier than classic rock/grungy and plan to do so in a jamming situation ever, I'd get a longer scaled bass just so you can have a larger tone arsenal. I said my mustang is my favorite, but I play my jazz in drop C when we're playing Melvins style sludge.


I have actually been meaning to ask someone about a Mustang.
Sorry if I'm hijacking the thread, but I play in a Hardcore band where bass and drums are the main focus. Now I normally play a P-Bass, but I'm looking for something with more of a shorter scale that still has that P-Bass like tone. Does the Mustang have that?
#16
Hmm, from the sound of it I think I'll give the Squier VM Jaguar SS a try - it's even cheaper than the Squier Standard series and apparently better, dunno how that works - and if all goes well with that then maybe pick up a 34" again a few months down the line. Thanks people.