Buying a short scale Bass

Hi all,
Having played my brand new Full scale bass in my course, I’m having difficulty with my left hand and as I already have had shoulder surgery I find it also painful after a short time. I’ve decided to also buy a short scale Bass from Artist Guitars where I’ve purchased the full scale from. It’s a 30 inch scale or 3/4 size which I believe I can benefit greatly from. Less strain on my arm. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve bought it without the amp.


Short scales are cool. They’re hot rods, feeling much more like a guitar. They’re lighter and easier to do fret stretches with than long scales.

Just be aware that shorties’ string tension is much less than a long scale, so watch your fretting pressure/technique or you’ll get unwanted string bends that will throw your intended notes sharp.


Paul McCartney, Jack Bruce, Bill Wyman, Jack Casady, Tina Weymouth. You’re in good company with a short scale.


@fleurenf A good padded strap will make all the difference. A lot of folks around here have complained about shoulder pain before getting one. Not trying to dissuade you from a short scale but you could end up with the same problem.


A wide strap helps too


Gah, as a small human that has put off ordering a short scale bass after struggling to stretch across standard sized bass frets for months for no other reason besides assuming I’d need to play one to be taken seriously…I needed to see this humbling reminder! :v:


I have an Ibanez Mikro and I love it. That’s the bass that I take to work when I’m working a Saturday. The only downside is I have to tune it every time.


A “little” tuning is required on all short scales. :crazy_face:


You’ll love it, I wish I’d gotten one years ago. Make sure you research strings, you don’t HAVE to get thinner gauges since there are thicker ones meant for short scales. Since our strings are more expensive and we don’t change them as often, doing the research for your preferences makes a difference.


This is not a downside, you are supposed to tune your bass each time you play it.
Now, if you have to retune mid song, that’s another story, and that story is called a Hofner. :upside_down_face:


So i bought a shortie. I bought a gretsch 2220 from another b2b member here in the forum. I’ve had it for 2 or 3 weeks now. It had quickly established itself as a beloved member of the family.

The idea of a short scale was appealing to me. I dont really have any reasons why, but i always prefer to err on the side of yes. It’s always worked before and my instincts are (i think) pretty Good.

I love this little bass. Yes, it requires tuning when i pick it up. But it holds beautifully while playing.
This also gives me opportunity to train my ears better for getting in tune-and in that i need all the help i can get.

Couple downsides

  1. it’s not shielded cavities, so that is today’s project. Got my shielding tape ready and gonna get that done

  2. my 11 year old grandson thinks that because it’s smaller it’s for him😂…meaning i don’t get to play it as much as I’d like. He has an Ibanez es300, and he plays it, but the gretsch is up front.


Really glad you like the little feller. The bass, that is. :upside_down_face:


Yeah, i like the little feller. And the grandson ain’t so bad, neither. Except yesterday he kept singing the " back to school" song from billy Madison…it was funny the first 30 or so times…


I too am smaller-handed with back issues which led me to have difficulty with the length of a full scale bass guitar. I bought a Junior Gretsch short scale. Had it lined with copper to reduce system noise. It was decent. I contacted a luthier in Texas—Scott Beckwith of Birdsong Basses. He specializes in short scale basses. He also happens to make two styles of EVEN SHORTER scale (pocket) basses now—the Sparrow and the Companion. These are custom made basses so they are expensive, but they are amazing. I have the Sparrow and the Companion is on order. People will tell you the short scales do not have the sound of a full length bass. Scott’s do. And I can tell you that my Sparrow—the pocket bass ( which usually have poor sound) sounds fantastic—SO much better than the Junior Gretsch which is actually much longer. This guy knows what he’s doing. It’s worth it if you can do it. He’s a small business and you might need to wait for your bass to be made for a while, but mine is amazing and ridiculously comfortable to play. I can play more difficult songs better because I can reach the notes more quickly. And my band mates love the sound. I highly recommend Birdsong Basses and Scott Beckwith. Very honorable, nice guy.


I checked out their website and wow, those are some beautiful basses! They aren’t in my budget right now but I will definitely add them to the dream future upgrade list :). Thank you!

I bought a used Squier Bronco about a year ago, swapped the stock pick up for a cheap hot rails type, improved the sound immensely, but wandered into a GC a few weeks ago and they had a used G&L Tribute Fallout short scale (white body, RW neck) in GREAT shape and at a GREAT price, after playing it I couldn’t refuse. Sold the Squier on Craigslist and now extremely happy playing this G&L


I have had a great experience with a Fender Mustang (PJ configuration). It has become my favorite bass. Both round wounds and flatwounds sound great on it. I don’t use the bridge pickup so it feels like playing a SS P-bass.