Making the switch to short scale is a painless and pretty immediate transition. Here are a few quick tips that will help your journey into short-scale bass world even more successful and enjoyable…
Choose the right strings!!!
Short scale string choice can be a bit of a minefield, much more so than with long-scale. Please take the time to read my String Choice article here where I share my findings so far. It’ll save you hours, and money!! 😉
Tune your E-string flat!
What????!!!!! Yes, you read that right – tune your ‘E’ string very slightly flat, and I mean VERY slightly. See picture below…
The reason is, because of the generally lower tension of short-scale strings, the pitch will often rise a tiny bit when the string is played, only really noticeable on the E string (even at that, most people wouldn’t notice it at all). This is true of even long-scale basses, and Stu Hamm, for example, recommends tuning the entire bass slightly flat on sessions to compensate.
Use a lighter touch
Whilst not completely necessary, you will find on short-scale basses you’ll get a much more beautiful tone if you relax and ease-up just a little on the amount of digging-in you do. Don’t get me wrong – short-scale basses will handle any amount of digging in you throw at them, I just find you’ll just burn up energy needlessly and the sound produced is MUCH better if you don’t!!
That’s about it!!!! 🙂
Now go and enjoy your smaller, easier-to-play, lighter bass – you won’t look back!