Hello, for the new year I thought I would start a new bass ramblings blog where I will write about the miscellaneous bass related stuff the fills my brain on any given day. Recently my bass brain has been filled with the notion of getting a short scale bass. In reality, I actually already own two short scale basses, a Rogue Beatles style “Violin” bass and a Fender Acoustic bass. The Rogue is strung with flat wound strings and the Fender with Half wound strings. Anyway, in the process of working my way through Roy Vogt’s “Teach Me Bass Guitar” I decided one day to work on a lesson with the Rogue bass as that it is small and was easy to grab. I quickly realized how much easier it was to run through scales and exercises than it was with my Fender P-bass. This got me thinking and I broke out my Fender acoustic and found that it also was a joy to play. I bought my Fender acoustic bass back in 1998, I believe that it was one of the first acoustic bass offerings by Fender during the MTV “Acoustic” era. What I remember the most is that I wasn’t actually looking for a bass the day I bought it, I just happen to see it in a music store and decided to give it a try. I immediately fell in love and could not put it down, I HAD to buy it. Needless to say, 11+ years later I am still happy with my purchase. I am now realizing that the appeal may well have been the fact that it is short scale and easy for me to play. I do not have big hands and have always found it a bit of a challenge to play bass. My normal weapon of choice has been a Fender P-Bass, although I have tried several other basses I typically end up back with the P-bass. On a side note, I also own a Lakland Skyline 5 string which I also decided to play during this experiment and found that, even with it being a 35″ scale, I enjoyed playing it more than my normal 34″ scale basses. Perhaps the fact that the string spacing is closer together than a 4 string bass makes it easier for me, I am not sure.
So, I started an online obsession looking for a quality short scale bass. My rogue is cool, but is essentially a one trick pony and as that it cost me less than $200, is cheaply made. I love my Fender Acoustic, but it is Acoustic. Yes, it has a pickup, but I am less than happy about the sound it produces plugged in and could not see using it as my main bass do to it’s body size. I quickly found that there are not that many quality short scale basses available. Ibanez makes one, but it is really short, 28″ scale. I looked at one at the local music store but honestly it is too small. Squire makes the Bronco bass, but it is a Squire and made on the cheap. Don’t get me wrong, I own an 80’s Squire P-Bass that was made in Japan which I consider my first “Real” bass, but today’s Squire’s just don’t really compare. Long story short, my searching led me to the Fender Mustang Bass, a made in Japan bass that seems to be loved by many whom own them. I looked and called around to all the local music stores but none of them had the Mustang in stock. The new ones are pricey, but I was able to find an “as new” one on ebay for about have the cost of a new one. So here I sit in anticipation waiting for it to arrive, possibly Monday. Will it be a disappointment or will it take my playing to a whole new level? Only time will tell. Needless to say, my next post should be a full review of the Mustang, assuming it arrives in one piece. Until then, rock on little soldiers!