Short-scale bass for beginner?

I am considering getting the B-to-B course. I am doing more reading and watching the site’s videos before jumping in. One thing that cought my attention was in this reading: Which Bass To Buy? | In it was the mentioning of “If your hands are particularly small, it’s worth checking out short-scale basses.

I do not have small hands (6’-3", 270#) and wear a size large glove, but I do not have those “lanky” fingers that you see those amazing bassists on the yootoobs.

Should I consider a short-scale bass for the beginner as a first time purchase for learning?

Dude, virtually anyone without particular physical issues can play a long scale bass. You’re a big guy with big hands. The relative length of your fingers is not a thing. You can do this with a 34” long scale.

I have pretty normal size hands, certainly proportionate to my height and I have no problem with a full scale. The only places on the neck that are somewhat challenging to reach is between frets 1-4 & 2-5. You can try out a short scale at the store to see if you like it but you definitely don’t need huge hands to play a full scale

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Short answer - no, unless you fall in love with one.
You will be fine. More than fine. With a regular long scale bass

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If you are a beginner the scale length is the least of your worries lol.


I would recommend going into a music store that has a good selection of bass guitars and try out a variety of basses to find out what feels best in your hands. Become the main character in the story Goldilocks and the Three (or more) Basses.

A little over a year ago I tried a wide variety of basses to see what would feel the best in my small, previously injured hands. For me I found a Fender P Bass and a Music Man Sting Ray to be too big. A Fender Mustang (short scale) to be too small. Then I found a Fender Jazz (full scale) to be just right.

Have fun with the process. It is sort of like test driving new cars or getting to demo new skis. You will find out what feels best for you.

Lots of good advice in the replies above @Frank_Beard

I started age 49 on a short scale bass. I’m 5’7 with average hands so thought it made sense. After a year I switched to a full scale 34" P Bass and have been playing it for the last two years with no issues.

Going back to my short scale is fun but it almost feels cramped. At 6’3" you’ll have no problems with a 34" bass. Like @StevFargan said if you can try a few that’s the best.

Spend the money on B2B (education is more important than gear), a lot of us on here have gone through the course and it’s hands down worth it. :metal:


I’m 6"5" with big hands, and I love playing short scale basses.
They are cozy and comfy and sound great… depending on the bass.

I think it’s worth trying out everything.

There’s wild videos of little kids playing full scale basses (never watch those) and there fully grown men (self included) out and about with short scale’s in their bass arsenals.

Hopefully you can find a place to try it all out.


Try out both and play what’s feels good to you. There’s nothing wrong/right with a short scale or 34" scale, they’re just basses. What’s right is what’s right for you.


My preference is sitting on the fence with a medium scale 32" :rofl:

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That narrows the choices a lot. The only one that comes to mind is a Squier Jaguar; the Fender Jaguars have gone long scale. Probably some out there I don’t know about.

But in the medium scale spirit, you might try a Squier Rascal HH bass. It has a full size bass body and a 30" neck, so it looks an feels like a long scale with the cozy fretboard of a short scale, and no neck dive. It is a heckin good bass, check out the reviews, and I have one and concur. Those wide range humbuckers are simply mahvolous


@Frank_Beard, there’s really no worthwhile alternative to actually picking up and playing a bunch of basses - many brands, models, and scale lengths - to know which is going to speak particularly to you.

This forum is made up of players from around the world who have gone down the try-out discovery path to learn which style/type/scale length of bass feeds their musical souls. Many, if not most, have also evolved as they’ve learned more, i.e., they have either replaced or added to their initial darling with one or more basses. That said, some haven’t, and they are one-and-done happy with their first bass.

Where you will fall in this continuum is up to your exploration of the alternatives. It is also a great part of the fun of learning bass. Get thee to a music store and find out what moves you. :+1:


My Fender acoustic is medium and I was so comfortable with that that when I decided to get my first electric I went for the Ibanez Mezzo SRDM200D (in my avatar picture) based on a lot of very favourable reviews. It feels great and I think it sounds great. You’ll have to judge if ever I managed to both complete and then pluck up the courage to post my first ever cover :rofl:

But as everyone else is saying just got to go and find what works for you and run with that! I’m certainly big enough and ugly enough to play full scale but I’m just comfortable with what I’ve got. What is a pain is getting the strings for it! There are quite a few but there’s a lot of families of strings that just don’t do the medium. Whilst I could cut full scale ones down they’d be awfully fat on the tuners.

Interestingly the electric has no neck dive but the acoustic does. Much lighter body relative to the neck weight I guess.

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There’s tons. Ibanez Talmans and Mezzos, Yamaha MB-40’s and some other Motion basses, a bunch of smaller brands.


Yeah, I knew there were others. Not as familiar with Ibanez and Yamaha. Thanks

Gretsch hollow bodies are 32 as well.


I bought a used SS bass that needed some electronic work that I could not figure out so I dropped it a local shop, it has been there so long that my P-Bass with it’s wide nut neck now feels just fine, and when I play a thinner neck it feels strange to me.
I felt my hands were to small for my P-Bass but over time, my stretch got better and the small hands thing fell to the way side. I suggest you keep playing and you will be just fine in time.


Appreciate the responses. It is an indication of the activity here. I did not want to become immersed if there are not active participants.

In addition to my concerns of activity, I am overwhelmed at how much response this seemingly innocuous question is (was!) I need to take in all the replies. I kinda’ figured that a standard scale size is appropriate but wanted to gauge the responses to my query.

One item to note right out of the gate: I am kinda’ in the sticks and the closest music store of any caliber is some 150 miles away. I would really prefer to go “test drive” a few models but me getting to D-town is quite a few months away. Wondering if I should dive in and order one on-line or wait until I can get to a music store? I guess I could get the B2B and go through it without the hardware, but I feel as if I would be missing out.

Frank W.A. Beard

Your first bass is likely not your final bass. There’s plenty of low cost basses of good quality to be had, along with an amp will get you through the course. Once you have completed B2B you’ll have a much better idea of what you’re looking for in an instrument. A lot of bass buzzers get a new bass as a reward for finishing the course

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One’s first bass is generally not one’s last, either because you start buying multiples, or, you learn over time your likes/dislikes/preferences and “trade up” to your preferred bass (not necessarily a more expensive one).

It’s fairly impossible to know what you will love when you start. It will take time to find your forever bass regardless, so my advise is dive in. As long as it’s a solid bass that’s set up well it will at the very least guide you to what suits you best.