What is guitar and bass scale length? Scale length is simply the musical vibrating length of the string. How is it measured? The best and most recognized way to measure Bass scale length is to measure from (inside) edge the nut to the center of the 12th fret. Then double that measurement. Intonation becomes important when the neck is installed and bolted on. In the case of a neck through body-it’s when the bridge is placed.
Final adjustments are made at the at the bridge. Each string has a saddle where fine tuning takes place. Once the scale is roughed in and close, it’s time to set the intonation. The importance of knowing the scale when building an instrument is better approximation when adding the neck and bridge. If the estimates are correct and very close then the saddles will easily cover any gap to setting intonation. The throw of the saddle adjustment screw is usually about 3/4″. So, there is some room to find the perfect intonation settings.
Finding The Correct String For Your Electric Bass Scale Length
There are basically 3 scales available. There are more scales when looking at 5 and 6 string Basses. For this discussion we’ll talk about 4 string Bass guitars. A scale of 30 inches (76 cm) or less is a short scale for a 4 string Bass guitar. Then there is a medium 32 inch (81 cm) scale. Next is a “standard” scale of 34 inches (86 cm). Sometimes a standard scale is referred to as a “long scale”. The extra-long scale basses of 35, 36 and 37 inches (91 cm) are also used. On a short scale Bass I would recommend a slightly thicker gauge string for better snap back.
It’s not difficult to find the correct replacement strings for your Bass guitar. They come in the following sizes: Short Scale, Medium Scale, Long Scale and Extra Long Scale Sets. After you determine the scale your Bass guitar, then look for the proper string set. With all of the choices available Bass strings are well labeled.