Hi, I’m Scott Whitley and would like to welcome you to Short Scale Bass – the UK’s only specialist small bass site!  Here I aim to share my experience switching to short scale and how to avoid the many pitfalls and mistakes I made along the way!

Short scale basses historically have been associated with students and quirky tones but rarely seen as a serious option for the modern bassist requiring a flexible instrument with a wide variety of tonal options.

Through research over several years I’ve discovered how playing short scale bass needn’t be a compromise, in fact there and many benefits over playing bigger, bulkier long scale instruments the most obvious being a much faster neck, less weight, less stretching and easier to transport.

This research lead me to design a new short scale bass, the SWB-1.

I’m currently working on the SWB-1 Standard which when in full production will be affordable to all players with a range starting from only £399.



36 Responses to “”

  1. Phil 28th April 2020 at 5:41 pm Permalink

    Hi Scott
    I sent 2 emails now asking how to order a custom SWB-1 and whether you have any p/ex options. Both have gone unanswered. I’m trying this option then I’ll give up if I don’t get a reply.
    Feel free to reply direct to my gmail

    • Gordy 14th May 2020 at 6:04 pm Permalink

      Hi Phil, just browsing around and saw your question, Not good that it’s gone unanswered. Have you seen that Anderson’s are doing the SWB-1 basses under the Chowny brand? Not a custom option but they seem highly rated. Good luck

      • Scott Whitley 14th May 2020 at 6:10 pm Permalink

        Hi Gordy!

        I replied via email to Phil. Thanks for the concern though – much appreciated.


    • Scott Whitley 14th May 2020 at 6:18 pm Permalink

      Replied via email. 🙂

      Kindest regards,

  2. Ian 29th March 2018 at 6:32 pm Permalink

    Does anyone know what that amazing little bass? that Sting was playing on The One Show this evening? There is just a chance it was a guitar because he had a regular Fender playing bassist also

  3. Gerry Beckles 28th November 2017 at 11:19 pm Permalink

    Beautiful instrument! I saw an earlier inquiry re: availability of a 5-string version – any update?

  4. Gerry Beckles 28th November 2017 at 11:17 pm Permalink

    Beautiful instrument! I noticed someone posted a request for a 5-string version – any update?

  5. charles Koegler 25th July 2017 at 6:51 pm Permalink

    I’m interested in the SWB short scale bass. I would like to try one but cannot find a shop where I van play the bass.
    Are they for sale in Holland?
    Regards, Charles

    • Scott Whitley 28th July 2017 at 12:17 pm Permalink

      Hi Charles – thanks for your question!

      I’m not sure there’s anywhere you can currently try the SWB-1 in Holland but several have already been shipped to happy customers over there. 🙂 The bass is now produced my good friends at Chowny and after reviewing feedback from customers have improved the bass even further. Here’s a short video all about it with a link through to the Chowny website – https://youtu.be/Da3KNm0eobw

      Hope that helps, Charles,

      Kindest regards,

  6. Bruce Moyes 23rd June 2017 at 10:01 am Permalink

    Our singer wants us to de-tune to Eb what in your experience will impact the sound tones of my SWB-1 Active?

    • Scott Whitley 20th July 2017 at 8:56 pm Permalink

      Hi Bruce!

      You’ll likely want to introduce a little more relief in the neck (about a 1/4 anti-clockwise turn on the truss rod) as there will be less tension on the neck. I recorded two entire albums for a chap called Mike Fleming all tuned to Eb and it worked well. 🙂

    • Tom 25th October 2017 at 5:24 pm Permalink

      I use a short scale bass in an open Gb (yes thats right) tuning it required some truss rod adjustment.
      The lowest string is a little flappy in the open position but it works.

  7. Gary Gould 20th February 2017 at 9:21 pm Permalink

    Price of the fretless and are they lined.
    Also, how much to ship to USA.
    What kind of strings..flatwounds?

  8. Kwame 22nd December 2016 at 2:53 pm Permalink

    Sorry meant SWB1……of course ?

  9. Kwame 22nd December 2016 at 2:51 pm Permalink

    How can I get a left hand SB1 in uk

  10. Matt Clements 13th October 2016 at 10:11 am Permalink


    Do you have any sound recording/samples for each spec of the bass, so I can spend hours deliberating what to order, only then to go with my initial choice?

    I appreciate you’ve already done a YouTube video of this already, but I find it hard to get a sense of each by going backwards & forwards through the clips. Then again, you did say there’s not too much between them, I could just get a life!


    Matt Clements

  11. Marcello Montecchi 6th October 2016 at 3:19 pm Permalink

    Dear Mr. Whitley

    I’m looking for a shortscale Bass since a longer time and I like Your Basses (SWB-1 Standard). If it’s possible to got a fretless without lines, only with dots?
    I play a Tune Bass Maniac fretless from the eighties.
    Another question is, which kind of wood for Rock will be better and passive or active.
    My Tune has new components, passive EMG HZ PJ and a Aguilar OB-1.
    But I’m think about passive for a new Bass.

    Thank You for Your answer and best regards

  12. Mike 21st August 2016 at 6:34 am Permalink

    Scott –
    Received the SWB-1 a few weeks ago, and just got back from a four hour gig with it.
    Fantastic, growly tone, cut through the mix, a blast to play finger and slap/pop on.
    Compliments from both the drummer and guitarist. I have the passive version and run it through a Sans Amp into a mini Ampeg and it has a great P/J bite to it. Great stuff!

  13. Don M 19th May 2016 at 1:56 am Permalink

    Hi….how is the progress on the 5 string coming? Have you had a chance to try some DR Black Beauties on the SWB-1 yet? Thanks

  14. Paul 15th April 2016 at 11:56 am Permalink


    Will the bass be available in any other finishes?

    I’d love one in Daphne or Pelham blue.

  15. Terry 31st March 2016 at 10:46 pm Permalink

    Can I have a SWB-1 setup with piccolo strings?

    • Scott Whitley 1st April 2016 at 8:05 am Permalink

      You can indeed Terry! 🙂

      Just make a note of it in the additional information box at checkout and I’ll set it up as a piccolo. 🙂

      Kind regards,

  16. Mark 6th March 2016 at 11:22 pm Permalink

    Just seen you playing bass for Big Country in Liverpool tonight. You sounded and played great. Reminded me of Chris Squire.

  17. Gordon Rowe 18th February 2016 at 4:17 pm Permalink

    I assume you’re shipping to the US? Just checking, because I haven’t seen it specifically mentioned here, even though the web site has dollar pricing. If not, what would be the up-charge for USA delivery?


  18. Randy 6th February 2016 at 11:38 pm Permalink

    I’ve been looking for a short scale bass like this for a VERY long time!! I really prefer playing a short scale, but like you say they are quirky and a bit too vintage sounding. My one concern is the playability out of the box. I’ve had some bad experiences over the past few years with basses that are setup so badly they are basically unplayable until I get a luthier to do a setup. These basses are restrung and setup after arriving in the UK?

    • Andy 7th February 2016 at 5:04 pm Permalink


      Scott sets them up himself to his own specs and fits GHL strings too. I asked the very same question myself so I’m in the know!!

      Hope this helps 😉

    • Scott Whitley 7th February 2016 at 9:23 pm Permalink

      Thanks Andy for the reply!!

      As Andy said, all basses are thoroughly inspected and FULLY set up by me in the UK before going out to the customer. Also, like Andy said, a new set of GHS strings is fitted to each bass.

      I want the bass to be the best thing you’ve ever played right out of the box!! That’s my goal…. 🙂


  19. Tommy Gunn 26th January 2016 at 8:30 pm Permalink

    I have attempted contacting you several times now with no results. I have questions regarding the SWB_1 and possibly distribution in the US. Please contact me either at my email or by phone. 646-897-0109
    Thank you in advance for your consideration in this regard…

    Best day ever:
    Tommy Gunn

    • Scott Whitley 27th January 2016 at 10:15 am Permalink

      Hi Tommy – thanks for your message.

      I have sent a few emails to you – not sure why their not getting through Tommy? I’ll try again from a different email account mate….


  20. Paul Absalom 3rd January 2016 at 10:43 am Permalink

    Hi Scott.. is there any real decreeable sound differences between the passive ash and mahogany options?.. or is it a visual preference?.. Are both necks maple?

    • scottwhitley 5th January 2016 at 2:50 pm Permalink

      Hi Paul!

      The mahogany is slightly more mid-biased, and (believe it or not) ever so slightly lighter. Both necks are maple.

  21. Frank Helio, Jr. 12th December 2015 at 6:20 pm Permalink

    Who is the builder of this bass, a chinese company?

    • scottwhitley 12th December 2015 at 7:20 pm Permalink

      The Custom is hand built in the UK and the Standard is built in China.


  22. Paul Schoeber 7th November 2015 at 11:30 pm Permalink

    Hi Scott,

    the instrument looks quite attractive to me as I am intending to purchase a short scale bass. The reason simply is, that my finges are not long (or strong?)enough for my 30 year old Squire J.bass – long scale. No matter how hard I try – there is only “microscopic” progress as far as speed is concerned.
    My question is how can I order the guitar and what happens, (for what reason ever) I am not satisfied with it?
    Many thanks for your reply!
    Paul Schöber

    • Tommy Gunn 7th January 2016 at 5:59 am Permalink

      I am quite enthralled with your instruments. I currently play a “Longhorn” and have been seeking a replacement because frankly the long horns look pretty silly. PLEASE CLARIFY two things for me. Firstly which of the WSB models are made in China. Finally, how long can one expect delivery should I order either the base model and the custom $3,000 model.

      • scottwhitley 7th January 2016 at 9:41 am Permalink

        Hi Tommy – thanks for your questions, and positive wrods re my SWB-1. 🙂

        All the SWB-1 ‘Standard’ models are made in China, the Custom is hand made in the UK.

        Delivery is expected approximately two months from Pre-Ordering. I am aiming to build a stock here in the UK asap, but the demand is so great at the moment that every bass I order is sold on pre-order before they arrive! The production run will arrive with me in the UK late March so if you ordered now you would receive yours fully inspected, setup and re-strung with GHS strings days after that. I ship in order of pre-order date.

        The Custom model uses some beautiful woods etc., and of course if fully hand-built. From a playability/tone point of view, there isn’t much in it. In fact I’m gigging & recording the Standard models all the time myself now.

        Hope that helps Tommy,

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