The guitar may look like a simple musical instrument, but it hides a vast world. Different types of guitars serve divergent purposes. One of the prominent names includes the bass guitar. It differs from others completely, including its infrastructure, but its Neck hides a fascinating question why are bass guitar necks longer than other guitars.
Bass guitars have longer necks for smooth production of high pitch tones. High pitch tunes need stronger pluck at the string as the strings are longer, so the Neck is longer to support them.
I will explain in detail the reasons why the bass guitar’s necks are longer.
- 1 Bass Guitar Neck Length
- 2 Frequency and its Relation to Length
- 3 The Thickness of the String
- 4 Different Types of Bass Guitars
- 5 Tips to Handle Large and Extra-Long Scale Bass Guitars Effortlessly
- 6 Which Guitar Is Best For Me?
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 FAQs
Bass Guitar Neck Length
Bass is the backbone of all the rock, pop, and hip-hop music we listen to today. You can distinguish bass from other tunes easily so do the bass guitar.
The Bass guitar may look like an electric or acoustic guitar at the first sight, but you can soon distinguish it from others by its Neck, which is about 34 inches.
The purpose of the bass guitar is to produce deep notes of lower frequency which require more area for their propagation, so bass guitars have longer necks.
Frequency and its Relation to Length
Frequency and length are inversely proportional. Higher frequencies require less space for propagation. On the other hand, short frequencies need more space.
The reason behind this inverse relationship is the length of both the frequencies. They are opposite to their names. Lower frequency sound waves are Longer and vice versa.
Lower frequency tunes also require additional effort. You have to put more pressure to pull the String, and the wire should also be longer for effective results.
Support of the String should also correspond to the length of the String to make it effective, so you require a longer neck.
The Thickness of the String
The intensity of the pitch is inversely proportional to the thickness of the string. The thicker the String lower will be the frequency of the tune. You can not manage to stabilize a Thicker and longer String with average length support, so you should extend the length of your Support to reach the particular level.
If the Neck is inadequate to handle the wire, it will cause your String to move out of the place, causing distortions and incorrect tone.
You can also testbench it by using the bass guitar String with an ordinary acoustic or electric guitar. It will not produce bass but some distorted low pitch notes. It is why the length and thickness of the String should work parallel to each other.
Different Types of Bass Guitars
There are two different categories of bass. They are long-scale bass and short-scale bass, respectively.
You can differentiate the two guitars based on their scale length.
New readers who don’t know what scale length is. It is the distance between the nuts and the bridge. Distance between the bridge and nuts does not directly influence the Neck’s Length, but you will often notice that long-scale bass guitars have longer necks than guitars with short-scale bass.
Well, both the guitars don’t differ drastically. They diverge by 3 to 4 inches.
Long Scale Bass
Professionals and musicians regard long-scale bass as standard-size bass guitars. It was first introduced in 1951 by an American Leo Fender, previously founder of P Bass guitar. Today it is available on the market in 34 inches.
You use long scale bass for intense bass. The length of the string from the bridge induces higher tension in the String, which produces a low pitch tune with higher and definite bass levels.
The downside of this guitar is the heavyweight due to the extra portion of the Neck. It may not be a problem if you have to play the guitar in a studio setting or sitting position. But if you plan to take it to a concert, its heavyweight may give you a hard time carrying it.
Short Scale Bass
You can call the short-scale bass guitar the mini version of large-scale bass. Its length varies between 30 to 32 inches.
Weight of the Short-Scale Bass
For qualifying for the category of short-scale bass, your guitar must have measurements not exceeding 32 inches. Large-scale bass was very much welcome by the professionals for its sharp bass, but musicians have a hard time managing it during stand-up concerts to tackle the problem Short-scale bass kicked in.
Other Aspects of Short-Scale Bass
Apart from the weight, short-scale bass guitars are easier to play because of the lesser distance between the frets. Lesser distance between the frets makes switching effortless between complex high and low notes and chords.
Tension and Short-Scale Bass Guitars
Another reason to choose short-scale bass guitars is the lesser tension in their strings than the Long-Scale Bass Guitars. Short- Scale Bass Guitars have a Brief neck. Hence, the lesser effort is needed to keep them in place.
Many musicians prefer slinker Strings as they are easy to pick and comfortable for the fingers Long-Scale Bass guitars, on the other hand, have longer necks and tense Strings, which can be uncomfortable for the fingers sometimes.
Other Types of Bass Guitars
Above are the two most popular forms of Bass Guitars, but other varieties are also available in the market to meet nontypical needs.
These include middle-scale bass guitars and extra-long neck bass guitars.
Middle-Scale Bass Guitars
This guitar falls somewhere in the mid-large-scale bass guitars and short-scale bass guitars. Its length varies from 32 inches to 33 inches. Measurements for the Large-Scale Bass Guitar are 34 to 35 inches, and those for the Short-Scale Bass guitar are 30 to 31 inches.
This type of guitar is for those individuals who are unhappy with the specifications of Short-Scale Bass but can’t handle the stress and weight of Large-Scale bass guitars.
The middle-scale bass guitar offers the same level of tension in the String as the Large-Scale Bass Guitar, but its weight is comparatively lighter than that of the Large-Scale Bass Guitar.
All these factors make it a decent choice for users who are lingering between the options of Large-Scale Bass Guitar and Short-Scale Bass Guitar.
Extra-Long-Scale Bass Guitar
I consider the Extra-Long-Scale Bass Guitar one of the most nontypical forms of guitar in the world of Guitars. It ranges in length from 36 to 38 inches. Many of you might be thinking, what is the purpose of the Extra-Long-Scale guitar.
Apart from the weight, the Extra-Long-Scale Guitar offers five to six additional strings with added tension. Due to low pitch, High Tension, and extra Strings, Extra Long-Scale Bass Guitar Offers a Sharper Bass, which is mostly part of Hard metal music and some high rock and pop songs.
Tips to Handle Large and Extra-Long Scale Bass Guitars Effortlessly
Large-Scale Bass Guitars and Extra-Long Scale Bass Guitars offer bass at another level, but their handling becomes difficult sometimes due to their heavyweight, tense Strings, and extra-long size. Here are a few tips you can follow for dealing with them effortlessly.
Change Your Position
Large-Scale Bass Guitars and Extra-Long Size Bass Guitars may be harder to play in the standing position. You can switch to a sitting posture while playing the guitar, or if playing while standing is necessary, you can switch between both the Postures from time to time.
Use of Lubricants to Reduce the Tension
The tension in the String is necessary to produce good-quality bass, but at the same time, plucking tense strings can be damaging to your fingers.
You can use moisturizer more often and apply lubricants when playing the guitar to reduce the friction between your skin and the guitar’s Strings.
Adding Extra Straps
Another efficient way of dealing with a heavy guitar is adding an extra strap. The purpose of Strap is not only to make the transport of guitar easy, but it also serves as a support to reduce burden by shifting it equally.
By adding an extra strap, you will provide room for the uniform division of weight across the body, so practically, your guitar will not feel that heavy when carrying.
Which Guitar Is Best For Me?
With the wide variety of guitars, you may feel lost and confused about which one to choose. You can make the options easy for yourself by keeping in view what you demand from the guitar. If you require bass on the move, Small-Scale Bass Guitar is best for you.
On the other hand, if you are looking for regular bass guitar for your studio, Large-Scale Bass Guitar is the right choice for you.
Bass is the backbone of all the music genres. This low pitch audio completes all sorts of music. You can easily distinguish it from other forms so is the bass guitar. The signature Longneck of the bass guitar makes it easily differentiable.
The long neck tends to offer a greater level of tension which lowers the pitch of the tune and elevates the sharpness of the bass.
Due to the Elevated popularity of the Bass guitars, there is a wide variety available in the market to meet individual needs. It includes Large-Scale Bass Guitar, Short-Scale Bass guitars, Middle-Scale Bass guitars, and Extra Long-Scale Bass Guitars.
Each differs from the other in size and weight. The Bass of all the guitars remains lesser or more the same. The best for you is the one that makes you comfortable and produces a decent output. You can choose according to your needs.
How Long is a Standard Bass Guitar Neck?
The neck of the standard bass guitar is 33 to 34 inches. Guitar with a Neck greater or less than the standard will be considered part of other categories of bass Guitar.
Is a Short-Scale bass Easier to Play?
The short-Scale guitar carries many advantages, including its lightweight. It is easier to Carry, and its slinkier strings make it easy for the user to pluck and play the guitar.
What is the Nut on the Bass Guitar?
The nut on the Bass guitar marks the boundary of each String from the fingerboard. It also acts to hold each String in place.
Are Bass Guitars longer Than Guitars?
Yes, bass guitars are longer than other guitars because of the extra size of their neck. The Bass guitar neck lies between 30 to 34 inches. The neck of the ordinary guitar measures from 22 to 25 inches. The extra neck of the guitar is to provide added tension for the Bass.