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Username: smalls

Post Number: 10
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 3:55 pm:   Edit Post

I've been thinking about what I liked about my 5 string. I've decided it's the comfort of playing everything I'd normally play in 1st position at the 5th fret. Could a 5 string be made with an extra short neck? Basically imagine capoing a 5 string w/low B at the 5th fret and then chopping the excess off. The resulting bass would be tuned E-C, be shorter (good for travel?) weigh less, and definitely have no neck dive, opening up the use of small body shapes, if so desired. What do you think? Am I crazy, or could this work?
Username: sgh

Post Number: 5
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 4:11 pm:   Edit Post

Why not just use a "standard" set of 4 bass strings in E A D G tuning and add a C string from a 6-string bass set for the high notes to your comfortable 5 string bass? After listening to some Michael Manring and Trip Wamsley tracks, that's what I tried (and failed) :-)
Username: smalls

Post Number: 11
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 4:14 pm:   Edit Post

It's not so much the high notes I'm after. I just figured this was an interesting way to play in a little more comfortable playing position.
Username: sgh

Post Number: 6
Registered: 7-2010
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 4:20 pm:   Edit Post

That's a very good point and you're not crazy at all for considering it. Looking forward to seeing the results.
Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1306
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 6:58 pm:   Edit Post

I know there are several medium scale (32") 5's floating around. If I remember correctly, there is a featured custom (Direwolf) that is a 32" 5 stringer. The same owner also had another 32" 5 string built.

Were you hoping for a short scale (30")? They've done that too, but I can't remember any examples off the top of my head.
Senior Member
Username: elwoodblue

Post Number: 1216
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 9:20 pm:   Edit Post

This months Featured Custom is a 29" scale 6 string. I think they are calling it a bass : )
Senior Member
Username: crobbins

Post Number: 825
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 - 10:02 pm:   Edit Post

scroll down to the middle. 32" 5 string.

Senior Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 784
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 26, 2011 - 1:05 am:   Edit Post

You can tune your 5 strings with eadgc, it's work fine ! I did it with my MK5
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 620
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 6:17 am:   Edit Post

The idea seems to be trying to make a much shorter scale Bass than 32". If you "cut" a neck to the 5th fret you'll get something like a 25" 1/2 scale Bass and I think you're right, it'll work better if you use thickier string. That way you may get a more proper (or regular) string tension in such short neck. Great idea and I think it will work as you expect (althought it seems too short for my taste).
Username: smalls

Post Number: 15
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 8:32 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, that's pretty much what I'm going for. Purely hypothetical right now though.
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2366
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 11:10 pm:   Edit Post

You may find that the thickness of strings needed to do this may make playing in the higher end of the neck uncomfortable as the frets will be pretty narrow. I notice this on my Short scale SC bass when playing up the neck on the lower strings.

Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 622
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 - 4:33 am:   Edit Post

There is another question...

If you do this as a 24 fretted Bass, the PUs will need to be pushed to far towards the Bridge and this will affect the tone. I don't know if this change would be necessaraly bad, but certainly different.
Senior Member
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 434
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 - 8:20 pm:   Edit Post

For all intents and purposes you have described a 5 string "piccolo" bass tuned hi C~low E on a short scale, typically 30", very easy to play with light bouncy strings tuned an octave higher in the guitar register. If you cut a bass neck off at the middle, be prepared to put a new fingerboard on it with frets in the correct positions for the new scale length. Also, a new truss-rod, and a re-positioned head stock. It might cost less if you search for this configuration already built than modifying a longer scale bass.
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 912
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 5:17 am:   Edit Post

Hey, Kris, I think was talking about a new build, and the "chopping off the excess" line was meant as an illustration of the effect, not the actual plan.

Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1680
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 6:45 am:   Edit Post

Alembic made a 4 string 28" scale length bass a while back. The FTC thread is here.

Username: davehouck

Post Number: 10152
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011 - 2:02 pm:   Edit Post

Harry's five string short scale is tuned E to C.
Username: ojo

Post Number: 62
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2012 - 2:28 pm:   Edit Post

Oddly, I had the exact same thought when I was playing my fiver. In some ways, it really does surprise me that someone hasn't made one of these.

Seems to me that the biggest problem would be finding strings with the proper taper/tension.


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