How To Choose The Best Short Scale Bass

What Is The Purpose Of A Short Scale Bass?

He was a musician and composer who lived during the American Revolutionary War. His invention consisted of two small metal tubes attached to each other with a piece of wood between them. Each tube contained a different note; the lower one played low notes while the higher one produced high ones. In order to play both simultaneously, he added another piece of wood between them. This instrument became known as the “double reed” because there were two pieces of wood separating the two reeds.

How Does It Play?

This type of instrument has been around since the early 1700s. At that point, musicians started using it more frequently. Today, many popular bands still use the short scale bass. Most of these instruments are made out of brass. Some of the most famous players include Béla Fleck, Paul Simon, and Sting.

Where Can I Find One?

Most music stores sell short scales basses. If you're interested in purchasing one, be sure to check out our selection of musical instruments here!

Other Uses For This Instrument

Besides being used in music, the short scale bass is also useful in other areas. Many companies use it to test products before selling them to customers. Other uses include testing food samples, measuring liquids, and checking blood pressure levels.

The Importance of Purchasing a Quality Short Scale Bass

It seems like everyone has a different opinion regarding the best way to play the guitar. Some prefer using the standard tuning while others enjoy playing with open strings. There are many other ways to approach music making, but there is no denying that the short scale bass is one of the most popular methods of playing the instrument. If you're interested in learning more about this method, read on!

How Does Playing With Open Strings Benefit You?

Playing with open strings gives you access to notes that aren't available in standard tuning. While this sounds simple enough, it does require a bit of practice before you become comfortable with the technique. However, once you've mastered the basics, you'll be able to create interesting melodies and harmonies that wouldn't be possible in standard tuning.

What Are The Benefits To Using An Extended Range Instrument?

One benefit to using an extended range instrument is that you can explore a wider variety of chords and progressions. Another advantage is that you can play songs that might sound too difficult in standard tuning. In fact, you could say that playing with open strings makes it easier to learn songs because you can pick up where you left off.

Which Is Better - Standard Tuning Or Open String Guitar?

While both options have their advantages, we recommend sticking with standard tuning. Not only is it easier to master, but it's also the easiest option for beginners who haven't yet developed the dexterity required to play with open strings. Once you gain experience, however, you'll see why so many musicians choose to play with open strings.

Is Learning How To Play With Open Strings Difficult?

Learning how to play with open strings isn't nearly as challenging as you might think. All you really need is a good set of chord charts and a few lessons. Chord charts provide a visual representation of the chords needed to play a song. As long as you know which key you're working in, you'll be fine. Lessons teach you the techniques involved in playing with open strings. Most teachers will start with the simplest exercises and gradually build upon those skills.

Can Anyone Learn To Play With Open Strings?

Yes, anyone can learn to play with open strings. Just remember that it takes patience and dedication to develop the necessary skill level. Don't expect to be able to play complex pieces right away. Instead, concentrate on mastering the fundamentals. Then, once you've gained confidence, you can begin exploring more advanced concepts.

Features To Look For When Buying A Short Scale Bass

The short scale bass guitar has become more popular recently because of its versatility. The short scale bass offers many advantages over other types of guitars including the ability to play chords with ease and the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of room to be played. However, there are certain features that you must take into consideration before purchasing a short scale bass.

Scale Length

This refers to the distance between the nut and bridge. Most short scale basses have a scale length of 24 inches. If you plan to play songs that include open strings, then you might want to choose a longer scale length. In addition, most short scale basses are designed to fit inside standard-sized acoustic cabinets. Therefore, if you plan to play electric music, then you might want to opt for a shorter scale length.

Neck Shape

Most short scale basses have a neck shape that resembles a violin. Some models have a flat back while others have a curved back. Flat backs allow players to bend notes down further towards the floor. Curved backs provide greater comfort for the player.


There are two main types of pickups available for short scale basses – single coil and humbucking. Single coils are generally preferred by beginners who are learning to play the instrument. Humbuckers produce a brighter sound which makes playing easier.


Short scale basses typically have frets located closer together than traditional double basses. Frets are numbered starting from 1st fret to 12th fret. Fret numbers increase as you go higher.

Bridge Type

Some short scale basses have fixed bridges while others have floating bridges. Fixed bridges are preferable because they are easy to adjust. Floating bridges are great for jazz musicians who prefer a wider range of tonal variations.

Body Wood

Many short scale basses are constructed using mahogany wood. Mahogany is known for producing rich tones and warm sounds. Other woods commonly used include maple, rosewood, spruce, and ebony.


The finish applied to the body of the short scale bass determines whether it is matte or glossy. Matte finishes are darker and give off a warmer tone. Glossy finishes are lighter and create a brighter tone.

Tuning Machines

All short scale basses come equipped with tuning machines. Tuning machines consist of a set of gears that turn based on string tension. As the gears rotate, they change pitch.

String Gauges

String gauges determine the size of the strings. String gauge ranges vary depending on manufacturer. Generally speaking, lower string gauges are recommended for beginner students. Higher string gauges are ideal for intermediate level students. High string gauges are best suited for advanced students.


The short scale bass guitar has been around since the early 1900’s. The instrument was originally designed by luthier John Dopyera who created the instrument based upon his experience with the double-necked bass. He wanted to create a smaller version of the double neck which could be played sitting down. In addition to being able to play seated, he also wanted the instrument to sound good while playing standing up.

Scale Length

For example, a C note is two whole steps above middle C. If we take a step up from C to E, we go three half steps higher. So, a G note is three half steps above C. We call these notes “half steps” because each note is exactly halfway between its neighbors.

String Gauge

This refers to the number of strings per octave. Most guitars have six strings per octave, so there are 12 strings total. However, the short scale bass has only five strings per octave, making it 15 strings total.


Most modern instruments have frets running along the fingerboard. The fret board is where the strings rest when they're plucked. There are 22 frets on the short scale bass. Each fret represents one half step.


There are several different pickup options available for the short scale bass. Some pickups are humbucking, others single coil. Humbuckers produce more sustain and tone than single coils. Single coils are typically brighter and punchier.


On most electric guitars, the body cavity is open behind the bridge. That hole lets air pass through the body, creating resonance. Resonance produces a richer, fuller sounding tone. With the short scale bass, the soundhole is covered by a metal plate called a grille. Because the soundhole is closed, the resonant effect isn't present. Instead, the instrument sounds hollow and bright.


Like other acoustic guitars, the short scale bass uses a fixed bridge. Unlike traditional bridges, however, the short scale bass doesn't have individual saddles for each string. Rather, the entire bridge moves up and down together.

Tuning Machines

Unlike standard tuning machines, the short scale bass does not include a truss rod. As a result, the tension of the strings changes slightly depending on how hard you press down on the strings. Tuning the short scale bass involves adjusting the action of the instrument using the saddle height adjustment screws located near the nut.


The nut is the part of the instrument that holds the strings in place. Like many other musical instruments, the nut is adjustable. The nut is tightened down to secure the strings in position.

Saddle Height Adjustment Screws

These screws allow you to adjust the saddle height. Lowering the saddle lowers the pitch of the instrument.

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