Beginner bass for women

Hello,
I am interested in learning to play the bass. I was wondering if you would recommend starting to learn on a standard size model or if I would benefit more from a 3/4 model.
I am thinking in terms of hand size and such.

Thank you.

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Hi @EmK, welcome to the forums! I don’t think that you would need a smaller/short scale bass because you are a woman. It depends more on how tall you are, if you have relatively short arms or small hands, etc. Then again, plenty of smaller people play long scale basses. I’m sure some of the women in here will be able to help you with your choice!

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Hi @EmK im 5foot 3inches and have small hands… I have a regular size bass and im fine with it… I do have a pretty good hand spread from playing piano when young but I still micro shift my hand to play notes which is prefectly fine. I dont know whether you can try any basses out near you but I would do that if you could. Hope that helps some.

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Welcome @EmK, Glad you are here.
Are you able to go to a store and put both in your hands (full scale / short scale)?

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Going to beat @howard to it this time.
Small hands are no worries. It’s down to talent and practice.
Welcome to the forums @EmK

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Welcome @EmK!

The examples of very average to petite women playing bass is extensive.

Carol Kaye was certainly in that range and used a full size Fender Precision Bass to become the most prolific bass player ever at having played on 10,000 recordings.

There is also our very own @PamPurrs that started out with and did the whole course on a full size five string bass.

The only reasons I would specifcally reccomend a short scale bass would be if you had shoulder problems or some other health issue. Or if you just liked them better.

Other than that, it’s like choosing any instrument. Go with what you think looks good, feels good, and sounds good. :sunglasses: :+1:

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Welcome @EmK and ditto what everyone else says.
I started on a full scale 5 string and now play a very light weight short scale Hofner. I can go back and forth with ease.

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Also, even though @JoshFossgreen, our fearless teacher, is a giant with elongated alien spider fingers, he realizes that we don’t all have that advantage and teaches to make bass playing accessible, no matter the size of your hands.

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Whatever you prefer, hand size is irrelevant. Exhibit A (for “Audrey Anne” :grin:)

I’ve found that the weight of the bass is an important factor for keeping neck/shoulder issues in check. And the same model and make of bass can have varying weights. One of the things I love about Sweetwater is that they tell you the specific weight of each guitar.

Good luck!

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Just re-watched this interview the other day. Victor Wooten on the size of a bass versus the size of a person at 26:50 (link is timestamped for your convenience) :smiley:

For the record, I’m about 5’6" and lighter built, play a 34" bass that’s on the heavy side. I have a harder time holding a squat little Les Paul for more than an hour :slight_smile:

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This is where a nice WIDE strap becomes very important.

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@EmK
Suzi Quatro is all of five foot nothin’ and her first bass was a 1950’s Fender P-bass, probably one of the most boat anchor-inspired basses out there, with a baseball bat neck, so the size is not a huge thing, methinks. Personal preference and comfort is a much better indicator.

What matters most is that you enjoy and look forward to picking up the bass and playing.

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And why strap locks are a good idea.

Welcome @EmK
Enjoy the journey.

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@EmK Pay special attention to this advice.
It will make your learning more enjoyable and less expensive :slightly_smiling_face:

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Welcome aboard @Emk,
Enjoy the ride,
Cheers Brian

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Actually…

I tried the KLIQ Aircell Guitar Pad and then a Walker & Williams Super Wide 4". Neither worked for me. :disappointed: Exasperated, I just decided to buy something “pretty” and ended up with a Revo strap. To my shock, they are the most comfortable straps I’ve tried. They are flexible and lightweight even though they’re made from wood. You can see mine in the Show-Your-Bass thread.

There is one catch, literally. These straps grab hair strands very easily, and they do not let go. :haircut_woman:t2:

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Whatever works for you, that’s what’s important. We don’t want to see anyone give up on bass simply because of the weight on their shoulder.

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@emme if it is any consolation, I DESPISE that KLIQ Aircell strap.
It is as slippery as an eel!
Actually, I think I will go add it to the giveaway page.

I wondered about that cocobolo strap and comfort.
I might have to try one out one day.

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We do have an entire thread devoted to straps here.

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My tip would be to try a few different basses (if that’s possible) and see what you find comfortable. My hands are on the smaller size, and I personally didn’t like the width of a P-bass neck but love the slimmer J-bass neck. I was actually advised not to start on a short scale, since it could cause growing pains when transitioning to a full scale bass.

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