Neck for a 5-string...
 
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Neck for a 5-string short scale bass

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Marcel
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22/09/2020 9:55 am  

Two years ago i was asked by someone I knew from a bass player's internet forum to make a neck for a 5 string short scale (30") bass. I don't know how he got the idea for that but I agreed to make it for him. He had already made a routing pattern for it and bought a neck blank and a ebony fretboard blank but didn't trust his own skill to make a proper neck out of it. So he asked me to do it. He wanted it to have a quite flat D neck profile, no fret dots, only side dots. And he wanted a truss rod adjustable from the body side, which I had never done, so for me that was the biggest challenge. It took me some thinking on how to do it, but I found a way.

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  The neck blank was just a little too narrow for his headstock design so I glued two pieces of maple on the sides to sort that.

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 Making the neck profile he desired was the next challenge, but it worked out ok.

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 Put the side dots in and finished it with a few coats of oil.

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 The guy was very happy with the result, so happy he even payed me more for it than I had asked.

 

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception"
Groucho Marx


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Marcel
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22/09/2020 11:17 am  

Forgot this pic:

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"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception"
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Boo
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22/09/2020 5:38 pm  

The guy was very happy with the result, so happy he even payed me more for it than I had asked.

@marcel Those are the kind of customers we like! Good job Marcel, that’s a nice neck. 

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tv1
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23/09/2020 8:00 pm  

Two years ago i was asked by someone I knew

So, not a friend this time??

😉

 

Serious Question (I know, unusual).

What's the benefit of having a short-scale bass?  Apart from the headstock not being quite so far away, so I guess there are some playability benefits (are there?), what other reasons for a shorter scale?

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Boo
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23/09/2020 8:50 pm  

What's the benefit of having a short-scale bass?

@tv1010101 I don’t really know but I had a thought. Could it be to do with alternative tunings? If the string is longer, it has to be under more tension to tune to standard tuning. A short scale would mean the strings are easier to bend because they are less tight. If you tuned down to a lower key, the strings would be very loose and probably very difficult to play effectively, if at all. With a longer scale length, you can tune down and it would still be under enough tension without being unplayable. 

This same question can be applied to multi scale guitars? 

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Deej
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23/09/2020 9:01 pm  

Apparently it gives a looser feel for the player and easier to bend. It will effect tone though.

I have too many guitars...said no one in the world..ever!


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Boo
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23/09/2020 9:05 pm  

looser feel for the player and easier to bend

@deej I thought it might be something to do with that, it’s string tension. 

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tv1
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23/09/2020 9:09 pm  

This same question can be applied to multi scale guitars? 

I've got one of those ... but that's for another discussion, another day!!

 

IIRC, Alan Lancaster - Quo's original bassist back in the early 70's - used to play a short-scale bass.  Not sure he was much into string bending though ...

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Boo
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23/09/2020 9:27 pm  

Not sure he was much into string bending though ...

@tv1010101 maybe it was just easier and more comfortable for him to play then. 

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Marcel
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24/09/2020 11:48 am  

I really can't see any any benefit of a 5-string short scale bass myself. It's different yes, but other than that?

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception"
Groucho Marx


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Marcel
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24/09/2020 11:50 am  

It reminds me of when I was on one of the courses I did at the Bailey workshop. There was a young man there who was making a fretless bass with a trem on it. Now, if there is one thing you don't need at all on a fretless bass it's a trem.

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tv1
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24/09/2020 2:44 pm  

@johnnierox-boo

maybe it was just easier and more comfortable for him to play then. 

Yup - he wasn't the tallest bassist ever!

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tv1
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24/09/2020 2:45 pm  

@marcel

Now, if there is one thing you don't need at all on a fretless bass it's a trem.

If there is one thing you don't need at all on a fretless bass with a trem, it's strings.

😆

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