#1
Hey, guys! I want to buy a Fender Jaguar (as it best fits my small hands) but I'm worried about it sounding too dark, as it is a 24" scale guitar. I love the sound of a 25.5" scale guitar, so here's what I was thinking: Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan would tune their Strats a half-step down to get a lower pitch. So couldn't you just tune a shorter scale guitar up a half-step or even a whole step up to increase the string tension and make it sound closer to a Strat?


My reason: I recently picked up a Squier Jaguar in a guitar store and was blown away by how well I could maneuver over the fretboard. I played over the intro to Little Wing with ease, when I usually struggle a bit with it.
In my years of playing guitar, I own a Stratocaster, a Les Paul, a Jackson Dinky and an Ibanez RG350DX. I love the sound of my 25.5" guitars the best, but have come to realize that a 24" guitar fits my hands perfectly.


So anyways, has anyone else tried this? If so, does it work well? (And if you haven't tried this, I'd still love to hear your opinion!)

Thanks!
#2
No that's not how it works. It's still a 24" scale length.
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#3
If you want more string tension, just throw a heavier set of strings on it.

Tuning up from E-E standard is just crazy. At least when you tune down, you can capo back up to standard pitch. Then too, none of the open chords will have their correct pitch values. Up two semis makes G major A, and so forth. Plus you'd lose the low A & E bass notes, which are real handy to have around.

Why don't you throw a set of P-90s on the Les Paul. That should give you the best of both worlds. I've always been led to believe that a Les Paul sounded sounded mostly like a Les Paul due to the humbuckers, as opposed to the single coils in a Strat. Not because of the scale length.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 10, 2013,
#4
Quote by Captaincranky
If you want more string tension, just throw a heavier set of strings on it.

Tuning up from E-E standard is just crazy. At least when you tune down, you can capo back up to standard pitch. Then too, none of the open chords will have their correct pitch values. Up two semis makes G major A, and so forth. Plus you'd lose the low A & E bass notes, which are real handy to have around.

Why don't you throw a set of P-90s on the Les Paul. That should give you the best of both worlds. I've always been led to believe that a Les Paul sounded sounded mostly like a Les Paul due to the humbuckers, as opposed to the single coils in a Strat. Not because of the scale length.


I see! Yeah, I would never get used to G major being A. Wow. Shows how much I know about different tuning styles.

That's a great idea about the Les Paul, but the problem is that I have fallen in love with how the Jaguar feels in my hands, as the frets as closer together. I was always told that the frets are closer together on a Les Paul, too, but honestly, I can't tell much of a difference, fret spacing-wise, from my Strat to my LP. But I can definitely feel the difference on a Jaguar!

Maybe I am just over-thinking all of this? The thought of only being able to play Kinks style riffs, The Smiths, Nirvana or surf rock music on a 24" scale guitar scares me! (Even though I like these bands.)

But then again, Brian May played a 24" scale guitar, didn't he? And wow, Queen made all kinds of different sounding songs! But surely, scale length plays a big role in tone, right?
#5
Not a huge amount... Just make sure you get the correct gauge of strings on it then its fine, start with 11s
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#6
Scale length =/= pitch. It only accounts for the different tension of the neck. At the same tuning a longer scale length requires more tension and short less so. This makes the longer scale length sounds more bright and clear which the short is warmer and smoother. Pitch is still the same.

Tuning up anything above standard E is a bad idea. The neck can compensate quite alright with lowered tension but when you do the opposite it might be too much stress for it to handle. Thin strings will probably snap before that, though.
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Last edited by hminh87 at Mar 10, 2013,
#7
Ok, considering what everyone has taught me here, I think I understand, now. I will definitely need a thicker gauge of strings, like the 11s suggested by GABarrie. But because I am going with thicker strings, I believe jumbo sized frets would better suit my playing style, as I love to barre chord. Plus I play with a soft touch.

And yeah, I didn't think about increased string tension and the possible harm it could cause. Good point!

Hmm... I think I have my answer, now. Thanks, everyone!

Now if I could just rig up a Jaguar with three single coils, instead of just two...

I wonder why Jaguars are only suited with two pick-ups, instead of three? Is it because there is less room between the fretboard and bridge, because of the shorter scale? And therefore, three pick-ups are just not needed?
Last edited by BrokedownPalace at Mar 10, 2013,
#9
Heavier strings will give a 24" scale more twang. They will not make it sound like a Strat. Just buy a $90 Jay Turser strat copy on Amazon.
#10
Quote by Captaincranky
If you want more string tension, just throw a heavier set of strings on it.

Tuning up from E-E standard is just crazy. At least when you tune down, you can capo back up to standard pitch. Then too, none of the open chords will have their correct pitch values. Up two semis makes G major A, and so forth. Plus you'd lose the low A & E bass notes, which are real handy to have around.

Why don't you throw a set of P-90s on the Les Paul. That should give you the best of both worlds. I've always been led to believe that a Les Paul sounded sounded mostly like a Les Paul due to the humbuckers, as opposed to the single coils in a Strat. Not because of the scale length.

Not insane, I do it on my 7 sometimes. It lives in Drop Bb most of the time (which has the 6 string part of the guitar tuned up to F standard).
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#11
Quote by jpnyc
Heavier strings will give a 24" scale more twang. They will not make it sound like a Strat. Just buy a $90 Jay Turser strat copy on Amazon.


I read those Jay Turser guitars are a 3/4 body size? So the scale length is 24"? (I checked their website, but scale length was not listed.)

That's a really good idea about buying a 3/4 guitar. Why didn't I think of that.
#12
Heavier strings don't give you more 'twang'. Quite the opposite, really.

A 24" scale guitar will always sound like a 24" scale guitar. If you put thicker strings on then you'll get more tension and have to adopt a more heavy-handed playing style and tonally all you'll get is more bass. It won't give you the sound you want and you won't play properly on it. Brina May plays damn fine on a 24" scale guitar with .009 strings and Billy Gibbons does alright with .007 and .008 strings on a 24.75" scale, so there's really no reason to use .011s on a 24" scale unless you know you like the feel of that tension with that scale length.

Ultimately you need to use the thing which you are most comfortable with. The more comfortable you are, the better your playing will be.

What I would suggest, if you want a snappier tone, is to use a different ytpe of the same gauge of string. Brain May famously uses (relatively expensive) gold-plated strings because they retain more treble; you could use something like the Ernie Ball titanium-coated strings for an inherently brighter tone.
Changing other elements can also help a lot. Swapping the current bridge for a stainless steel or titanium one (or just the saddles) will add a lot of brightness, as would replacing the stock plastic nut with a bone one, or, better yet, a brass nut. Lowering the pickups will bring back a little clarity; replacing one or more of the control pots with 500k ones will help retain some brightness.
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