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<  Music Gear  ~  Bass for a woman

nargoroth
Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:19 am Reply with quote
Joined: 17 Jun 2007 Posts: 118 Location: Baltimore, MD U.S.A
hey guys, i was wondering if i can get some suggestions. my wife has expressed interest in picking back up playing the bass, and i want to get her one as a surprise birthday present. she has about 2 years prior learning, is about 5ft 1 inch tall.

thanks for any and all input.
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Mazzy Maz
Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:25 am Reply with quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2008 Posts: 1661 Location: http://bit.ly/QahY0C
you probably wanna get her a short scale bass. Here's a good starting point for reference: http://www.thomann.de/gb/short_scale_basses.html
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Leather Mike
Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:28 am Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Sep 2008 Posts: 2827
Maz is spot on here, short scales are a good idea, it'll depend though if she's used to a full-size one. smaller people can play full-blown basses quite sufficiently, off the top of my head Hailey (sp?) from Belfast band Rebels By Nature is of a fairly small stature and plays a full-size bass like an absolute bad-ass. Maybe a small-bodied bass would be an idea (like a Warwick Corvette or an SG/Viper style bass) as they'll be more manageable but will still have the fuill-size neck

One advantage a smaller bass will have though (obvioulsy) is a weight reduction, which might be a good thing. Hope you get sorted anyhoo!

As an aside, when I saw the thread title I thought you wanted to swap a bass for a woman. which would be cool.
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FERGLOR
Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Jun 2005 Posts: 5035 Location: dubh linn/crow u r lovely o)
my gf got one of these... http://www.thomann.de/de/gibson_sg_reissue_bass_hc.htm

probably the only short scale you'd ever want. tone is INCREDIBLE. plays like a dream.
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desertfather
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:24 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 04 May 2011 Posts: 605
I've said this a billion times so, I will say it once more: Fretless and full scale. Reason being that no frets and full scale are more challenging and train the ears better. Frets make it boring and easy. Fretless and upright allow more opportunities to improvise. Frets have too much friction. Without frets and upright basses there are also opportunities too experiment with weirder tunings and if she decides to ever join a band telling them she plays fretless or upright will translate to virtuoso. Bringing a more contemporary slant to an otherwise mediocre metal or rock situation.
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Leather Mike
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:32 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Sep 2008 Posts: 2827
desertfather wrote:
I've said this a billion times so, I will say it once more: Fretless and full scale. Reason being that no frets and full scale are more challenging and train the ears better. Frets make it boring and easy. Fretless and upright allow more opportunities to improvise. Frets have too much friction. Without frets and upright basses there are also opportunities too experiment with weirder tunings and if she decides to ever join a band telling them she plays fretless or upright will translate to virtuoso. Bringing a more contemporary slant to an otherwise mediocre metal or rock situation.


I'm not being obtuse, but i can't agree with that. Fretless basses are a specialised, niche instrument. And while I can sort of see your argument for a fretless offering more "opportunities to improvise," not everyone would have that as a priority. Few people getting in (or back in) to playing an instrument have a burning desire to craft epic prog/jazz oddyseys. If the girl in question were to buy a fretless bass right off the bat, not only would re-learning be much more daunting a prospect, but chances for re-selling said fretless bass would be much fewer than flogging on a decent regular bass.

As to frets making it "boring and easy" and having "too much friction," sorry but that's bollocks, as any number of legendary bassists would attest to
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TMTC
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 Posts: 1499 Location: The Hall of the Mountain King
Leather Mike wrote:
desertfather wrote:
I've said this a billion times so, I will say it once more: Fretless and full scale. Reason being that no frets and full scale are more challenging and train the ears better. Frets make it boring and easy. Fretless and upright allow more opportunities to improvise. Frets have too much friction. Without frets and upright basses there are also opportunities too experiment with weirder tunings and if she decides to ever join a band telling them she plays fretless or upright will translate to virtuoso. Bringing a more contemporary slant to an otherwise mediocre metal or rock situation.


I'm not being obtuse, but i can't agree with that. Fretless basses are a specialised, niche instrument. And while I can sort of see your argument for a fretless offering more "opportunities to improvise," not everyone would have that as a priority. Few people getting in (or back in) to playing an instrument have a burning desire to craft epic prog/jazz oddyseys. If the girl in question were to buy a fretless bass right off the bat, not only would re-learning be much more daunting a prospect, but chances for re-selling said fretless bass would be much fewer than flogging on a decent regular bass.

As to frets making it "boring and easy" and having "too much friction," sorry but that's bollocks, as any number of legendary bassists would attest to



Agreed I would never recommend anyone to start (or restart) learning on a fretless. They're great and I have two but it really takes ages to tackle one and a lot of practice and effort to make it sound good. I've played in a good few bands now and I always make sure I have both my fretless and fretted on hand to see what the song demands. If is a run of the mill pop/rock song, playing fretless will kill the tone as the intonation will be way off (unless your a master at it) and just distracting to other members of the group.

Improvisation is all fine and good and I'd use fretless when playing Jazz/free imrov etc. but for someone just getting back into playing bass microtones and slide harmonics aren't top priority.

It sounds like she's just taking it up again as a hobby, not joining Weather Report. Get a fretted. Short scale/long scale doesn't really matter I think its just what ever she's comfortable with. My mate is tiny and she plays a full scale Fender Jazz just fine!
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roast
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:56 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 30 Jan 2006 Posts: 468 Location: Limerick
I'm fuckin' tiny, and I play a 34" scale - and soon going to be moving to a 35". While a short scale bass might be the best option for her, I'd definitely recommend getting her to try out a few different basses, short and long scale. It all depends on what's more comfortable for her to play. Short scale and long scale all have their own pros and cons.

Although, if she has her heart set on a short-scale, check out the Mustang bass. They are GORGEOUS basses. Shame they don't manufacture them in various colors anymore.

http://www.fender.com/en-GB/products/search.php/?partno=0253900541
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desertfather
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:27 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 04 May 2011 Posts: 605
TMTC wrote:
Leather Mike wrote:
desertfather wrote:
I've said this a billion times so, I will say it once more: Fretless and full scale. Reason being that no frets and full scale are more challenging and train the ears better. Frets make it boring and easy. Fretless and upright allow more opportunities to improvise. Frets have too much friction. Without frets and upright basses there are also opportunities too experiment with weirder tunings and if she decides to ever join a band telling them she plays fretless or upright will translate to virtuoso. Bringing a more contemporary slant to an otherwise mediocre metal or rock situation.


I'm not being obtuse, but i can't agree with that. Fretless basses are a specialised, niche instrument. And while I can sort of see your argument for a fretless offering more "opportunities to improvise," not everyone would have that as a priority. Few people getting in (or back in) to playing an instrument have a burning desire to craft epic prog/jazz oddyseys. If the girl in question were to buy a fretless bass right off the bat, not only would re-learning be much more daunting a prospect, but chances for re-selling said fretless bass would be much fewer than flogging on a decent regular bass.

As to frets making it "boring and easy" and having "too much friction," sorry but that's bollocks, as any number of legendary bassists would attest to



Agreed I would never recommend anyone to start (or restart) learning on a fretless. They're great and I have two but it really takes ages to tackle one and a lot of practice and effort to make it sound good. I've played in a good few bands now and I always make sure I have both my fretless and fretted on hand to see what the song demands. If is a run of the mill pop/rock song, playing fretless will kill the tone as the intonation will be way off (unless your a master at it) and just distracting to other members of the group.

Improvisation is all fine and good and I'd use fretless when playing Jazz/free imrov etc. but for someone just getting back into playing bass microtones and slide harmonics aren't top priority.

It sounds like she's just taking it up again as a hobby, not joining Weather Report. Get a fretted. Short scale/long scale doesn't really matter I think its just what ever she's comfortable with. My mate is tiny and she plays a full scale Fender Jazz just fine!


I can see both sides of the arguement but, I believe the challenge of relearning and reinventing onsself comes from taking themselves out of their comfort zone.
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spiderjazz
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:27 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 14 Apr 2011 Posts: 55 Location: Cork
If she ever intends on playing downtuned material, she might have problems on a short scale instrument as well, especially is she needs to get bigger strings for this. I'd stick with a 34" scale anyway, any music shop would have a bass in that scale so she could always try one out beforehand.

The Squire Vintage Modified range are supposed to be great altogether, it'd be a bass that wouldn't require an upgrade for a while either if she stayed interested in it http://www.thomann.de/gb/fender_squier_vint_mod_jazz_nt.htm

Always worth giving a look on adverts.ie as well.
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Padraig
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:38 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Jun 2005 Posts: 670
Short scale is pointless. Whats will actually be more of a hinderance is body size. By a proper bass but preferably one with a smaller body.
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richie from metallitia
Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:33 am Reply with quote
Joined: 06 Jun 2005 Posts: 1530 Location: oirelend
Dessertfather is totally wrong here, use fretted all the way and if ya master that up to billy Sheehan standard then head off and experiment with fret less.
To be honest the easy option for weight is one of the steinberger copies from Hohner. Thomann ave them, they're handy small and sound grand
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TMTC
Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:57 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 Posts: 1499 Location: The Hall of the Mountain King
desertfather wrote:
TMTC wrote:
Leather Mike wrote:
desertfather wrote:
I've said this a billion times so, I will say it once more: Fretless and full scale. Reason being that no frets and full scale are more challenging and train the ears better. Frets make it boring and easy. Fretless and upright allow more opportunities to improvise. Frets have too much friction. Without frets and upright basses there are also opportunities too experiment with weirder tunings and if she decides to ever join a band telling them she plays fretless or upright will translate to virtuoso. Bringing a more contemporary slant to an otherwise mediocre metal or rock situation.


I'm not being obtuse, but i can't agree with that. Fretless basses are a specialised, niche instrument. And while I can sort of see your argument for a fretless offering more "opportunities to improvise," not everyone would have that as a priority. Few people getting in (or back in) to playing an instrument have a burning desire to craft epic prog/jazz oddyseys. If the girl in question were to buy a fretless bass right off the bat, not only would re-learning be much more daunting a prospect, but chances for re-selling said fretless bass would be much fewer than flogging on a decent regular bass.

As to frets making it "boring and easy" and having "too much friction," sorry but that's bollocks, as any number of legendary bassists would attest to



Agreed I would never recommend anyone to start (or restart) learning on a fretless. They're great and I have two but it really takes ages to tackle one and a lot of practice and effort to make it sound good. I've played in a good few bands now and I always make sure I have both my fretless and fretted on hand to see what the song demands. If is a run of the mill pop/rock song, playing fretless will kill the tone as the intonation will be way off (unless your a master at it) and just distracting to other members of the group.

Improvisation is all fine and good and I'd use fretless when playing Jazz/free imrov etc. but for someone just getting back into playing bass microtones and slide harmonics aren't top priority.

It sounds like she's just taking it up again as a hobby, not joining Weather Report. Get a fretted. Short scale/long scale doesn't really matter I think its just what ever she's comfortable with. My mate is tiny and she plays a full scale Fender Jazz just fine!


I can see both sides of the arguement but, I believe the challenge of relearning and reinventing onsself comes from taking themselves out of their comfort zone.



Yes but to reinvent yourself you must first invent yourself ie. get to a level of playing that you are happy with, then when you find yourself plateauing you step out of your comfort zone and experiment with new ideas techniques etc. When your first learning (or re-learning) an instrument your going to be out of your comfort zone for a long time anyway. Might as well make the transition as easy as possible (ie. start with fretted).
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Bigwan2062
Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:46 am Reply with quote
Joined: 08 Jun 2005 Posts: 188
Short scale probably isn't the best way to go. Light weight and slim necked would be my recommendation. A Cort Curbow is probably a good option. There's a local lass plays one and she's tiny! Ibanez SR300 (or any soundgear series) would be next. Nice slim neck and usually VERY light weight. Great sounding basses for the money too.
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desertfather
Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 04 May 2011 Posts: 605
Nothing compares to a tea chest bass, hand made, like all the skiffle bands, most cost effective and only one string. I deserve a blue peter badge
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