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Difficulty w/ Bass scale length...

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katmetal
(@katmetal)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

My new Rogue 5 string has a 34" scale, which seems too long for me to play comfortably. After looking at several basses, I see that they range from 30" - 35", for the most part. I am 5' 9", & if I measure from my armpit to out stretched hand, I get somewhere around 28"-29".

It really is uncomfortable for about the first 4-5 frets, especially when I stretch out my fingers to do octave stuff. Any of you "shorter" guys run into this situation at all? I believe I am going to have to send this thing back, because of it being uncomfortable.

Here is the funny thing; my dad played a Gibson Grabber for many years, & I fooled around with it quite a bit as well, and it was a dream to play. I just looked up the specs for the Grabber, & guess what? - 34" length... Is it maybe because of the 5 strings that mine *seems* longer/more uncomfortable? Not sure what to do here.

I have about 15 days left to return it yet, so I thought I would get some feedback from you guys....I am not sure I will be able to "grow" into it. :lol:


   
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Nuno
 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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I think you should get used to... Initially the basses seem uncomfortable: the scale, the string width, the distance between strings, etc. but after some time the you will get used to. I remember the same feeling the first time but now I fell my guitars too short sometimes!


   
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katmetal
(@katmetal)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Thanks Nuno. Guess I need to pick it up more often too. I have it on a double stand with my Ibanez 6 string electric - 25 1/2" scale, & the guitar looks like a midget compared to the bass! :lol:

The thing that is the most difficult, I guess, is trying to span 2 frets for octave work down on the first few frets. That requires a lot of finger strength, which I guess I don't have built up yet!


   
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Nuno
 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Yeah! As you know it comes with practice! :D


   
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Dan Lasley
(@danlasley)
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Thanks Nuno. Guess I need to pick it up more often too. I have it on a double stand with my Ibanez 6 string electric - 25 1/2" scale, & the guitar looks like a midget compared to the bass! :lol:

The thing that is the most difficult, I guess, is trying to span 2 frets for octave work down on the first few frets. That requires a lot of finger strength, which I guess I don't have built up yet!

Since the frets are farther apart, it's more than OK to use your pinky for that octave. I know that guitarists often assign one finger per fret, or stretch even farther for 6ths, but on the bass you may find that you do the opposite. Also, try to play at or above the 5th fret when you can. With a 5-string, you should be able to do that more often.


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Katmetal, I'm 6'52" tall with very long arms - and long fingers, too, which is an advantage for a guitarist or bassist. When I took up bass - a fairly cheap freshman bass, I think the scale length was 33" - it took me a while to get used to the change. I, too, found it difficult to play near the nut - some of the stretches seemed to require more hand strength than I have.

But like everything else, it just took a little time and a fair bit of practise - wasn't very long before I could play basslines to most of the songs I could play guitar too.

I'd been without a bass for about a year, till a couple of weeks ago - bought a new one, a Shine bass - there's a thread a little lower down with pics, "I found a real bargain today." The scale length on this one is only 30" - and it seems a heck of a lot easier to play than my old bass. Whether it's because I'd already played bass before, or whether the shorter scale really does make a difference, I don't know.

I'm guessing one big difference would be the width of the neck, with yours being a 5-er - that could make it a big stretch round to the bottom couple of strings before you even think about fretting. I've never tried a 5-string, though I've thought a few times about getting one - I like the idea of the low D string in the bass.

And as for one finger, one fret - despite my large hands, I never could master that. I just land the nearest finger behind the fret I need.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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97reb
(@97reb)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I have 2, 34" scale basses and they play so totally different. One is a Double cut away "fender/ibanez style". The feel of it is comfortable/normal. The double cuts run up by the neck. The other bass is more of a v style bass and has body extension beyond the bridge making the body really long and I can't reach the 1st -4th frets comfortably and I'm 6'2". I think some of it has to do with where the strap buttons/locks are located on the body and how the bass balances due to those locations.

It is a small world for metal fanatics. I welcome you fellow musicians, especially the metalheads!


   
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XylemBassGuitar
(@xylembassguitar)
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I think you should get used to... Initially the basses seem uncomfortable: the scale, the string width, the distance between strings, etc. but after some time the you will get used to. I remember the same feeling the first time but now I fell my guitars too short sometimes!

Definitely.

Also, you might consider experimenting with different playing positions and strap configurations. There are a lot of different ways to adjust your strap and hold the bass, you might find that one is much more comfortable than another.

Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars


   
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