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What is bass scale length?

What is bass scale length?

You may see bass string sets advertised in short, medium, long or extra long/super long scale.  It can cause some confusion but it's actually fairly simple when you know.  You may hear people refer to 'Scale Length' or "Speaking Length' of the string but the extra terms are needlessly confusing; we're going to call it Scale Length here and below is how you work it out.

How to measure your scale length:

While your bass still has it's current set of strings on make a mark just after the top nut on the lowest (thickest) string.  Now detune and take that string off and measure the distance from the Brass ballend to the mark you've just made.  This measurement will give you your scale length.

I know the scale length, which strings do I need?

  • Up to 32" = Short
  • 32" - 34" = Medium
  • 34" - 36" = Long (Standard)
  • 36" - 38" = Super Long/Extra Long