Short Scale Bass Recommendations

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Frank_BlankFrank_Blank Frets: 5

So, having gotten used to my Taylor GS Mini-e bass, in fact I am unable to put it down as it is more addictive than crack, I have come to realise that the vast majority of my bass playing woes over several years stem from my small hands vs. full scale bass necks. So I’ve decided to sell up all my full sized basses (Godin A4 and my new Aerodyne that’s barely a month old) and stick exclusively to short scale. I’ve been looking at a Gretsch G2220 but as I am a novice in the world of short scale basses I thought I better see if anyone has any recommendations or ideas. I have the Taylor and I’ll be getting a second as a back up but I want a short scale electric bass and as it will be my only EB I’d like as good quality as I can get...

Whaddya think?

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  • Moe_ZambeekMoe_Zambeek Frets: 1994
    edited January 2
    Reverend Wattplower might be a contender?

    Doubtless budget will be the main concern.
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 842
    edited January 2
    Scott Whitley produced a run of his own design short scale, but they are now produced by Chowny, there are vids of them on YouTube......

    http://chownybass.com/product/swb-1-scott-whitley-signature/




    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • Yes, a Chowny SWB Pro is top of my list at the moment.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 27523
    This might sound odd since the scale length is almost as long as a standard full-scale - only 3/4" shorter, 33.25" - but see if you can find a Rickenbacker 4001 or 4003 to try. Like you I have small hands, and I've never been able to quite comfortably play a 34" scale - but I've also always found a 30.5" scale unsatisfying in the end, even though I've quite liked some basses with it.

    Surprisingly given the small difference, the Rick scale is *perfect* for me, to the point where I've simply lost interest in all other basses really. They aren't cheap, but you only need one!
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 347
    This fella makes a lot of short scale versions of his basses, never tried one but he comes highly recommended on bass chat

    https://www.public-peace.de/bass-guitars/maruszczyk/elwood/4-string/1981-elwood-4p-tobacco-burst-short170308

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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 10166
    This fella makes a lot of short scale versions of his basses, never tried one but he comes highly recommended on bass chat

    https://www.public-peace.de/bass-guitars/maruszczyk/elwood/4-string/1981-elwood-4p-tobacco-burst-short170308

    Maruszczyk basses are excellent.. really top quality..
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  • KoaKoa Frets: 26
    In terms of playability and tone a Fender Mustang with flats works for me as does a Gibson EBO. 
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  • ICBM said:
    This might sound odd since the scale length is almost as long as a standard full-scale - only 3/4" shorter, 33.25" - but see if you can find a Rickenbacker 4001 or 4003 to try. Like you I have small hands, and I've never been able to quite comfortably play a 34" scale - but I've also always found a 30.5" scale unsatisfying in the end, even though I've quite liked some basses with it.

    Surprisingly given the small difference, the Rick scale is *perfect* for me, to the point where I've simply lost interest in all other basses really. They aren't cheap, but you only need one!
    Despite Chris Squire being a very early bass influence of mine, I just don't dig Rickenbackers. I love the sound but something about the looks leaves me cold!
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 10166
    ICBM said:
    This might sound odd since the scale length is almost as long as a standard full-scale - only 3/4" shorter, 33.25" - but see if you can find a Rickenbacker 4001 or 4003 to try. Like you I have small hands, and I've never been able to quite comfortably play a 34" scale - but I've also always found a 30.5" scale unsatisfying in the end, even though I've quite liked some basses with it.

    Surprisingly given the small difference, the Rick scale is *perfect* for me, to the point where I've simply lost interest in all other basses really. They aren't cheap, but you only need one!
    Despite Chris Squire being a very early bass influence of mine, I just don't dig Rickenbackers. I love the sound but something about the looks leaves me cold!
    I wouldn't worry. Nobody ever looks at/listens to the bass player. 
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  • Moe_ZambeekMoe_Zambeek Frets: 1994
    ICBM said:
    This might sound odd since the scale length is almost as long as a standard full-scale - only 3/4" shorter, 33.25" - but see if you can find a Rickenbacker 4001 or 4003 to try. Like you I have small hands, and I've never been able to quite comfortably play a 34" scale - but I've also always found a 30.5" scale unsatisfying in the end, even though I've quite liked some basses with it.

    Surprisingly given the small difference, the Rick scale is *perfect* for me, to the point where I've simply lost interest in all other basses really. They aren't cheap, but you only need one!
    Despite Chris Squire being a very early bass influence of mine, I just don't dig Rickenbackers. I love the sound but something about the looks leaves me cold!
    I wouldn't worry. Nobody ever looks at/listens to the bass player. 
    Unless it's Lemmy.


    Who used a Ric....
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 10166
    ICBM said:
    This might sound odd since the scale length is almost as long as a standard full-scale - only 3/4" shorter, 33.25" - but see if you can find a Rickenbacker 4001 or 4003 to try. Like you I have small hands, and I've never been able to quite comfortably play a 34" scale - but I've also always found a 30.5" scale unsatisfying in the end, even though I've quite liked some basses with it.

    Surprisingly given the small difference, the Rick scale is *perfect* for me, to the point where I've simply lost interest in all other basses really. They aren't cheap, but you only need one!
    Despite Chris Squire being a very early bass influence of mine, I just don't dig Rickenbackers. I love the sound but something about the looks leaves me cold!
    I wouldn't worry. Nobody ever looks at/listens to the bass player. 
    Unless it's Lemmy.


    Who used a Ric....
    Nah. He was a singer who used a bass to point at stuff :D
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  • DarnWeightDarnWeight Frets: 717
    The cheap Hofner Ignition Beatle-style basses (the Violin or Club shape) are really good for the money...short scale, super light (fully hollow), unique sound.  No idea if the spendier versions offer much more in the way of playability or refinement, but might be worth investigating.
    New fangled trading feedback link right here!
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 842
    For me the issue with short 30" scale is finding the right strings, in my admittedly blissful ignorance, on a long scale steings dont seem to matter so much, but the short scales get a bit flappy and tensionless with some brands, trouble is Ive forgotten what works for me on my Squier Bronco and Epi EB0......Both are pretty good for the price and have both had pickup changes...I particularly like the Bronco, but prefer Fender style guitars too....
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • The cheap Hofner Ignition Beatle-style basses (the Violin or Club shape) are really good for the money...short scale, super light (fully hollow), unique sound.  No idea if the spendier versions offer much more in the way of playability or refinement, but might be worth investigating.
    They might, I have never considered one before, I hear wildly differing reports about them.
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  • paulnb57 said:
    For me the issue with short 30" scale is finding the right strings, in my admittedly blissful ignorance, on a long scale steings dont seem to matter so much, but the short scales get a bit flappy and tensionless with some brands, trouble is Ive forgotten what works for me on my Squier Bronco and Epi EB0......Both are pretty good for the price and have both had pickup changes...I particularly like the Bronco, but prefer Fender style guitars too....
    I am lucky (in a sense) that the Taylor GS mini-e bass that turned me on to short scale in the forst place, has its own set of strings designed specifically for it. It is something I must discuss when choosing.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 10166
    paulnb57 said:
    For me the issue with short 30" scale is finding the right strings, in my admittedly blissful ignorance, on a long scale steings dont seem to matter so much, but the short scales get a bit flappy and tensionless with some brands, trouble is Ive forgotten what works for me on my Squier Bronco and Epi EB0......Both are pretty good for the price and have both had pickup changes...I particularly like the Bronco, but prefer Fender style guitars too....
    I am lucky (in a sense) that the Taylor GS mini-e bass that turned me on to short scale in the forst place, has its own set of strings designed specifically for it. It is something I must discuss when choosing.
    The Danelectro Longhorn also has its own set of strings made by la Bella..
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 11377
    The two that occurred to me were the Ibanez Talman short-scale bass and the short-scale Jaguar bass.
    Never forget that you are wearing your invisible tiara.
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  • Sporky said:
    The two that occurred to me were the Ibanez Talman short-scale bass and the short-scale Jaguar bass.
    I don't dig the Jaguars but I'm liking the look of the Talman basses.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 6152
    Just reading through. I was in PMT a couple of weeks before Xmas and the Talmans ( Talmen?) quite caught the eye. 
    The Gretsch has the Royal Blood connection although I think he's moved on now. 
    Usually there is  a reasonable showing from Ibanez, Fender and Gretsch at the Birmingham guitar show so I'm reserving my bass GAS for that or after that now. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 27523
    paulnb57 said:
    For me the issue with short 30" scale is finding the right strings, in my admittedly blissful ignorance, on a long scale steings dont seem to matter so much, but the short scales get a bit flappy and tensionless with some brands, trouble is Ive forgotten what works for me on my Squier Bronco and Epi EB0......Both are pretty good for the price and have both had pickup changes...I particularly like the Bronco, but prefer Fender style guitars too....
    It's worth looking for one with through-body stringing, like a Fender Mustang Bass. That adds about 2" to the effective string length and makes it easier to find full-scale strings that will fit. In fact, it can cause trouble with some short-scale strings because it brings the cotton wrap back to over the nut.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • ICBM said:
    It's worth looking for one with through-body stringing, like a Fender Mustang Bass. That adds about 2" to the effective string length and makes it easier to find full-scale strings that will fit. In fact, it can cause trouble with some short-scale strings because it brings the cotton wrap back to over the nut.
    Any SS bass I consider purchasing would be after contacting the makers to find out all about compatible strings. I'm just awaiting a reply from Chowny about just that. I will bear your comments about the Mustang in mind, thank you.
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 1785
    Similar to the Hofner Violin bass is the Hofner Club bass. Same scale length, light weight and ultra slim neck. Tina Weymouth uses one and she gets some cool sounds.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 10166
    JezWynd said:
    Similar to the Hofner Violin bass is the Hofner Club bass. Same scale length, light weight and ultra slim neck. Tina Weymouth uses one and she gets some cool sounds.
    The Club uses the same body as the Club guitar - and is very similar to the Violin sound wise - it's a Violin for people who don't want a McCartney look alike but want the sound ;)
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 12586
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 10166
    Fretwired said:
    Isn't that just a big guitar, tho?
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 11377
    Fretwired said:
    That looks like an excellent idea - not daft money either.
    Never forget that you are wearing your invisible tiara.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 12586
    edited January 3


    Isn't that just a big guitar, tho?
    Not really. It's a baritone scale but with a hybrid string set and bass voicing via pickups and EQ. You can sound like a regular bass and do things normally done on guitar, but it doesn't sound like a guitar. Great for metal riffage though ...

    Check this out .. very versatile ...




    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • 4stringer4stringer Frets: 1
    A pal of mine bought a A fender Mustang which I thought was very usable.
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  • kjdowdkjdowd Frets: 603
    I have a Gretsch G5442 semi which is fantastic
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  • Squier Bronco. Change the pickup and tuners and you're laughing for not much money.
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