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Small bass


jar546

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My youngest daughter is 14 and likes to play my bass. She is only about 5' tall and needs something smaller. Since she is showing an interest I am contemplating getting her a cheaper bass for Christmas for her. She shows interest but does not take lessons.

 

Any recommendations?

"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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Jeff,

 

I had a thread going a while back about short scale basses and I got some really good ideas from some guys here including links to several different bass models that have a 30" neck.

 

Here's the link to that thread:

 

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1801737/page/0/fpart/1

 

I hope that helps!

 

Rob Robitaille

 

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Hey, Jar. I've been contemplating a bass for my 10 year old (who's a little tall for her age). I've really been drawn to the Epiphone basses, in particular the Allen Woody & the Viola. Each is a 30" scale bass. The Viola--a Hofner copy--can be had for about $300, and I think it is an outstanding value; it sounds great, is pretty versatile, & the set neck gave the one I played excellent & even sustain.

 

A good & well-meaning salesman recommended a starter Ibanez. It was a cool red color, active, & just over $100. It also had dead spots that sucked sustain out of other instruments nearby, & the preamp was, predictably, nothing special (shall we say).

 

You probably don't want to pour a whole lot of money into it. But if you go too cheap, it'll have no resale, & an upgrade will be needed much sooner.

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I used to have one of those Hofner style basses (not an Epi, alas) and indeed it was small, not much bigger than a guitar.

 

I've also played the Epi version of the EB, and I think that's a pretty good bass. It also looks a lot more "rock and roll" than the Hofner copies, which might be handy for someone that's 14 and might not want to look as if she's into the same records as her dad. :D

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My youngest daughter is 14 and likes to play my bass. She is only about 5' tall and needs something smaller. Since she is showing an interest I am contemplating getting her a cheaper bass for Christmas for her. She shows interest but does not take lessons.

 

Any recommendations?

My first acoustic guitar, at age 9 or 10, was 3/4 scale. It was purchased for me because I showed an interest in a full-size acoustic with abnormally wide string spacing, and of course something like an F barre chord was a bit of a challenge. Whenever I could, though, I'd play the full-size instead because it sounded better; the 3/4 played and sounded more like a toy.

 

I even went on to tackle a full-size acoustic 12-string. That thing had so much string tension it was a miracle I could play anything on it! In pretty short order I was playing F barre chords on this one, too.

 

At age 11 I showed interest in a P bass. Again it was determined that due to my size I needed a smaller instrument. (Sure, at that time I was struggling up by the nut but that was because I was used to guitar scale length.) My first bass was a Fender Musicmaster (similar to the Mustang, 30" scale length). I played it up until college -- mostly in jazz band and garage bands -- then traded it for a (full-size, 34") Peavey T-40. It did not take long for me to make the transition.

 

Now I play a slightly smaller scale Rickenbacker 4003 (33.25"). I'll probably always feel just a tad more comfortable on smaller basses; that's just what I'm used to.

 

The few times I've attempted URB, with its gigantic 42" scale, I felt like that 9-year-old kid again with the full-size guitar: everything is a bit of a stretch, especially close to the nut. But I have the fullest confidence that should I choose to seriously take up URB I would be able to adapt.

 

Does a 5' tall, 14-year-old need a smaller bass? I'll let Jeremy answer that.

 

Would it be a disservice to give that person a smaller bass to learn on? Based on my own experience I would say "no". But be careful. As dcr points out you still want a quality instrument. And consider your daughter's reaction. Would she feel that you're saying she's not worthy of a "real" bass by giving her a smaller one? Especially if it didn't sound as nice or play as nice as yours? I think it would mean a lot more to her if she got some one-on-one time with Daddy (assuming she hasn't gotten to the point where she would rather drop dead than be seen in public with you ;) ) at the music store to pick out her own bass. Have her try out a Mustang (or other small-scale bass) as well as all the full-size basses (in your price range, of course) and see which one she likes best. At 14 she should be able to make a rational decision.

 

Of course it's hard to wrap a trip to the store and place it under the tree on Christmas morn'.

 

Sure she wouldn't rather have a Ford Mustang instead? Or is it still a bit early for that one? :D

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I'd probably go with a Fender Mustang bass -- you get the look and sound of a Fender in a smaller package. They're a bit pricey though.

 

But if she sticks with it, you can have the body routed and standard P-bass pickups installed.

 

 

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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I saw the Mustang and it would be a better fit. She is small for her age but her mother barely touched 5' so yeah, a smaller bass is better. She complained about the size of the Fender P that I use.
"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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The SX line of basses at Rondo music have a good reputation and are very affordable. From all reports you will most likely have to have a good setup done when you recieve it. They have short scale basses in both Precision and Jazz styles as well as others.

 

http://www.rondomusic.com/

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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who knew all the choices available. Now I have to look into rondo and ibanez along with the fender mustang. choices are a good thing. Luckily I have a little 15 watt kustom combo for her to practice with if she decides to do something with it.
"The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know" by Me
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I like the Father/Daughter trip to the music store... not necessarially GC but a music store. (For this purpose maybe just this once :) ) Not to overwhelm her with options but to see her in a real environment.

She how she looks (comfortable?) with a bass sitting down, get her a strap. Standing? Too heavy? She might try the Ibanez and find with their thinner neck the body shape and hitting in at 32" might be just the thing.

As for the gift under the tree thing... If you KNOW that she wants to play, I.E. Stealing you BP mags to read them... brings YOUR attention to bass lines or is asking you questions. Take your MF catalog cut out a bunch of basses, sets of strings and things like that. Wrap it up and stick a note in it that you two are going shopping and included a date so it is in stone.

I would have loved it if my "Pa" would have done that for me instead of buying me those dreadful Tap Dance shoes one year. My counselor says one more year and I should be over that episode.

 

Brocko

Don't have a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. ~ Johnny Carson
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I remember reading reviews of the Daisy Rock basses - they had the "regular" reviewers as well as some young women try them. I think the biggest issue is the body style makes the sitting position awkward. Otherwise it was a pretty positive review.

 

My singer uses a Daisy Rock 12-string guitar, and it's a surprisingly good instrument.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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