Starting out as a 6 string guitar player the first time I picked up a bass I expected it to be heavy and large since thats what people told me. What I didn’t know then was that I was in fact playing a short scale bass guitar.
What is a short scale bass
What is a short scale bass you ask? Well the main difference between what has become known as a “standard size” bass and a short scale model is the overall size or length. As the name suggests a short scale bass is usually around 3 inches shorter. This length is generally measured between the bridge and the nut of the instrument.
Like many who prefer the short scale bass I found it much easier to play. The shorter neck and sometimes narrower fret board allows you to move around more quickly and are much closer in structure to a typical electric guitar which is also helpful for those making the jump from one instrument to the other.
If you have smaller hands they are a great option as it will make your playing easier and more enjoyable.
Are short scale bass guitars inferior?
There are a number of opinions and schools of thought on the difference in sound between a longer and shorter scale bass but many professional players agree that there is a deeper and more rounded tone with a short-scale bass.
In fact many superstar level bass players prefer a short scale bass as their main instrument so this is really just an opinion some people hold which is not based on any real facts.
Apart from saving your fingers when it comes to stretching and reaching there is another important point which is that the strings are looser. This again is less harsh on your hands as well as having other advantages such as less tuning and a “fatter” sound.
Last but not least one obvious advantage is transport and being super portable. If you have to carry your bass to practice or put it into the car then the space and weight saving can be helpful.
Whatever your preference its hard to look passed a short scale bass as a great all round choice. Below we will take a look at some of the best short scale bass guitars on the market today.