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mmgarrett
06-03-2013, 12:16 PM
With the help of Jamplay and YouTube, my kids (ages 12 & 10) and I have learned to play guitar and have a blast jamming in the basement. Now we want to add bass to the mix, so I'm looking for advice to purchase a beginner bass that the three of us can share. I've found a few that are appealing (leaning towards a Squire Vintage Modified Jaguar), but I am concerned that my 10 year old may have trouble with a full size bass. She is 10 years old, but she is small for her age (smaller than most 7 year olds) and has short arms/small hands. With practice and patience, can a 10 year old handle a full scale bass or would I be better off picking up a short scale bass? Will a short scale bass play/feel like a real instrument or will I be getting a toy that I'll want to upgrade quickly? Any thoughts/advice are appreciated.

kirklander
06-03-2013, 03:22 PM
I'm not a bass player per se, but I own a Fender Jazz bass (full scale) to learn on. I tried out a few short scale basses and in particular really liked the Gibson SG bass. I settled for the Fender because it was 1/3 the cost. Although I don't own or play a short-scale bass, I didn't find it lacking in tone, and found it very playable. Aside from the slightly narrower frets, the strings are not as taut since they're shorter in length. Both make make it slightly easier to play--especially for a guitar player. How the action is set up can make a big difference as well. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a short-scale bass. Keep in mind that whether it will feel like a toy probably depends more on the make/model, and sometimes the particular instrument.

I'm sure that with time, patience, and practice--as you said--a child can learn the play on the long-scale, but maybe your daughter would have less of a fight with a short scale. Jack Bruce (Cream) didn't seem to think it was a toy.

Just my 2

vikingblues
06-04-2013, 01:56 PM
Short scale bass can sound fine - and is much less of a stretch for the fingers. I use one due to joint pains in my hands if they get worked too hard. I use a Hofner Violin Bass occasionally - used to play Fender Jazz style basses and the Hofner Violin is soooooo much easier to play!.

The better quality short scale bass guitars will certainly feel just like a real instrument.

Danny.Morris
06-13-2013, 05:45 PM
Fender Jaguar and Mustang basses are short scale and sound great.A Hofner (Paul McCartney) Beatle bass is also good. all are short scale and easier for some younger hands..Gibson EBIII like jack Bruce played in the Cream daze also good (short scale)..

platofunfactory
07-17-2014, 06:56 PM
Minor point of clarification: Fender makes a short scale Jaguar, but they also come in a 34" (full scale) length. Doesn't particularly matter but, you know, pedantry...


Fender Jaguar and Mustang basses are short scale and sound great.A Hofner (Paul McCartney) Beatle bass is also good. all are short scale and easier for some younger hands..Gibson EBIII like jack Bruce played in the Cream daze also good (short scale)..

AaronMiller
07-17-2014, 08:44 PM
I don't have any advice but just wanted to say how awesome it is that you are learning with your kids! Gives me the warm and fuzzies! :-)

mouser9169
07-21-2014, 12:30 AM
Can they? You bet. Take a look at that YouTube video of North Korean children playing full sized classical guitars.

I had a Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Special for a while - loved it but had to send it back when my van blew a tire. I'll pick one up again one of these days. My fingers have stretched enough from the guitar that I could play 'open' hand position all the way down to the first four frets no problem.

Having said all that - will it be easier for your kids to learn on a short-scale? Almost undoubtedly. As long as you realize you're going to buying a replacement for them at some point when their arms grow there's no reason not to go with the shorter scale length, and there's some good budget friendly ones out there (Ibanez has a P/J style short scale, forget the model).

mista.snowman
07-21-2014, 09:00 AM
(Ibanez has a P/J style short scale, forget the model).

http://www.ibanez.co.jp/world/miKro/GSRM20_usa.png

Ibanez Mikro GSRM20

platofunfactory
07-21-2014, 02:25 PM
A few thoughts:

I have small hands for a guy (my wife's hands are the same size as mine) and play a full-scale (34") bass. That said, I'd guess that would be quite a bit of a stretch for a 10 year-old girl.
That leads me to think you'd do well to go with a short-scale instrument. I definitely don't think a short scale bass has to be toy like. Paul McCartney played a short-scale bass in the Beatles so if it's good enough for him...

Here are a few possibilities:

The first bass is the one I intend to buy when I have the cash: Epiphone Allen Woody Limited Edition (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/epiphone-allen-woody-limited-edition-bass). I really want a semi-hollow body!
I'd also look at the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Short Scale Special (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/squier-vintage-modified-jaguar-bass-special-ss-short-scale). I have the full-scale version and I really like it. The price is unbeatable.
If you want to look like Sir Paul you could always go with the Hofner Ignition Violin Bass (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/hofner-ignition-series-vintage-violin-bass). (Rogue makes a similar model that's even cheaper, but it's 31" rather than 30".)



I'd love to hear what you with and how you like it. Good luck to you and your kids!



With practice and patience, can a 10 year old handle a full scale bass or would I be better off picking up a short scale bass? Will a short scale bass play/feel like a real instrument or will I be getting a toy that I'll want to upgrade quickly? Any thoughts/advice are appreciated.