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kevvo66

Thoughts on short scale basses?

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Ok people I have a on going problem with hands /fingers ,I posted a thread a few years back on this subject .it's a condition called hand held vibration,or havs or white finger it's brought about by using heavy plant with my job,now I've been looking at short scale basses ,I currently own all long scale basses but unfortunately I think the times come to swap ,only thing that worries me is I love my j bass and my p the others I could live without .I know  macca and the late great jack Bruce used shorties in their carears ,I've tried a couple didn't like them any recommendations on a decent one which will be a seriously good one and will give me what I'm after sound wise,cheers 

Edited by kevvo66

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I had a fender mustang (jap). Really nice, similar sound to a precision, maybe better. Wish I still had it.

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Musicman has just announced a short scale passive electronics Stingray (with a series/parallel/single coil rotary control).

May be worth considering but won't be available here until September. 

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Depends on your budget. Anything from £100 up to almost £3000. For a Jazz have a look at the Bacchus mini Jazz.  There used to be dealer in Petersfield in Hampshire but I'm not sure if he does them any more. There are several short scale Ps.  Also have a look at the Spector Bantam or Shorty, especially if you can find one with a Wimbush neck.

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1 hour ago, kevvo66 said:

... any recommendations on a decent one which will be a seriously good one and will give me what I'm after sound wise,cheers 

Hmmmmm. Depends. You don't actually say what you want "sound wise".

If you're after something that sounds just like a P or a J, only shortscale, then you're unlikely to get that in an off-the-shelf instrument. Shortscales have a character, a sound, and a feel that's all their own. People who want something that sounds like a Precision usually buy a Precision. :)

Fitting very bright rounds will help of course, but they won't stay very bright for long and that could prove an expensive route.

Very generic advice would be to start by buying a cheapish Mustang just to make sure that you get on with shortscales and that they actually solve your problem.

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37 minutes ago, drTStingray said:

Musicman has just announced a short scale passive electronics Stingray (with a series/parallel/single coil rotary control).

May be worth considering but won't be available here until September. 

🤢🤮

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Edited by AndyTravis

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I had the Gibson SG bass and loved the sound it made. If the Epi is half as good it’d be great. Gretchen do one as well which is pretty cheap and might be worth a punt, especially second hand.

As an aside, a friend of mine had vibration white finger (which I think is what you’re describing) and had it sorted with carpal tunnel surgery. Is this an option for you?

 

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Which ones have you tried @kevvo66 and what didn't you like about them ?

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This a kind off the wall suggestion, and a bit extreme, but you might consider a u-bass. A friend of mine has gradually developed shoulder problems and arthritis in his fingers, and has gone from a P to a viola-bass to a u-bass. He gets a better sound from the u-bass than he did from the viola, and finds it easier to play. I don't know the make but can find out if you like. 

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5 hours ago, josie said:

This a kind off the wall suggestion, and a bit extreme, but you might consider a u-bass. A friend of mine has gradually developed shoulder problems and arthritis in his fingers, and has gone from a P to a viola-bass to a u-bass. He gets a better sound from the u-bass than he did from the viola, and finds it easier to play. I don't know the make but can find out if you like. 

U-Basses are made Kala.

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I have a Cort action short scale. Love it! Has an amazing sound. 

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Thanks people ,I'll have a look at some shorties over the wknd I've looked at Scott Whitley basses but I'm not sure without playing one , operations on my hands is not a option really as industrial related 

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11 hours ago, kevvo66 said:

Ok people I have a on going problem with hands /fingers ,I posted a thread a few years back on this subject .it's a condition called hand held vibration,or havs or white finger it's brought about by using heavy plant with my job,now I've been looking at short scale basses ,I currently own all long scale basses but unfortunately I think the times come to swap ,only thing that worries me is I love my j bass and my p the others I could live without .I know  macca and the late great jack Bruce used shorties in their carears ,I've tried a couple didn't like them any recommendations on a decent one which will be a seriously good one and will give me what I'm after sound wise,cheers 

You can only try some and get the one that suits you. I have my favorite but that is simply personal choice. Enjoy the time trying out a few.

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Danelectros are great, but please don’t tell everyone.......

Squier Jaguar basses are a great way to dip your toe into the short scale pool. There are two though so be careful which one to try - the active ones are full scale, but the passive ones are 30” scale, PJ pickup arrangement and a great little bass. Weren’t that expensive too, and s/h ones often crop up for around £120. Most common colours are black and red, although there were some silver ones as well.

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I'm a bit similar to the OP in that the one's I've tried haven't done it for me, not for sound, but I can't get on with the lack of tension in the strings, they just din't feel right to play.  But that's me, YMMV

However, it always occurred to me that for short scale guitars that is solved by putting on heavier strings - I have 12's on all of my electric guitars, but those guitar playing mates with less robust hands than mine will play 8's or 9's on Fender scale lengths, and 10's on Gibsons.

Is that a thing with short scale basses?

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1 hour ago, Monkey Steve said:

I'm a bit similar to the OP in that the one's I've tried haven't done it for me, not for sound, but I can't get on with the lack of tension in the strings, they just din't feel right to play.  But that's me, YMMV

However, it always occurred to me that for short scale guitars that is solved by putting on heavier strings - I have 12's on all of my electric guitars, but those guitar playing mates with less robust hands than mine will play 8's or 9's on Fender scale lengths, and 10's on Gibsons.

Is that a thing with short scale basses?

It is. Like any stringed instrument, string choice and gauge is crucial, both for tone and tension. Lighter also need a lighter touch to avoid fret buzz.

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I'm not a fan of shorties generally but was almost tempted by a natural ash Chowny SWB in Bass Direct a while ago. plays very nicely too and not bad at £495 though they're out of them at the mo

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I had an Ibanez TMB short scale and that was fantastic. Very versatile and not a lot of money to invest in case it’s not for you.

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13 hours ago, drTStingray said:

Musicman has just announced a short scale passive electronics Stingray (with a series/parallel/single coil rotary control).

May be worth considering but won't be available here until September. 

I've googled this but can't find anything, have you got a link please? as I would like to have a look at the spec, Cheers.

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Another shout here for Mustangs.  While I'm happy on long scale I use 2 Mustangs (a Squier Mikey way and a CIJ Fender Comp Stripe Re-issue) for gigging exclusively.  Very competent basses.

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14 hours ago, kevvo66 said:

. . . . unfortunately I think the times come to swap . . .

Firstly, I'd see a professional bass tutor and ask him to suggest right hand technique changes that might help you continue playing the Jazz. If you have a problem with long scale that a shorter scale would fix, sounds to me you're stretching to reach the notes. Your technique can change so that you move your hand and don't stretch. With such a change you might be able to stick with your Jazz.

If that doesn't work, then you have to make the change. You can't think about preferring your old basses and the sound you used to have. You have to move on. There are great short scale basses out there, you've just got to find one that feels good to play and then learn to love the sound. There is always the option to change the pickups and/or pre-amp.

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