Some players find long-scale instruments physically harder to play because of the increased reach. (my guitar's scale length is 650mm) I was convinced that I couldn't do anything about my small hands and my inability to reach. The range of tones these strings can produce is determined by three primary factors: the linear density of the string, that is its mass per unit length (which is determined by its thickness and the density of the material), the tension placed upon it, and the instrument's scale length. This is still often regarded as the standard length for a bass guitar. Violas are commonly described in terms of their body length rather than—as with other violin-family instruments—by a fraction. First, unlike that of the violin and the cello, the viola scale length has not standardised, but rather advanced players use whatever scale length best suits them. As explained above, the most immediately noticeable aspect of scale length is that it affects fret spacing. This adjustment is necessary to preserve intonation across the instrument, due to the variations in string weight and tension, and the fact that the neck will inevitably bow slightly more on the bass side of the fretboard than on the treble side. The system of conventional fractions is taken to its logical conclusion with string bass sizes, in that a full-size (4/4) bass is uncommon. If the luthier is of the Torres school, the scale is 25.6 inches. Let's assume that you want to design a guit… The larger models, about 6 ft (183 cm) or more in scale length, may have the full grand piano action, and are used in smaller concert spaces. Speaking of guitarists who do not specialize, “crossover guitars,” which have nylon strings but are similar in size and design to steel string instruments, are increasingly popular. He typically builds 660mm scale length. Again, in practical terms, if you have a few different guitars with different scale lengths that you want to play really similarly, let’s say you have a set of 10s on your 25-1/2 inch or 25 inch scale guitar, once you get up to about 26, 26-1/2, or 27 inch scale length, you’ll want to go about a 1/2 gauge down in order to match the same tension at the same tuning. Gibson has used other scale lengths on various models through the years. Classical Guitar Scale Length and Size Designation Standard classical guitar scale length is 26.0 inches. Guitars that have a scale length toward the upper end of the spectrum of common lengths are called long-scale guitars, while those toward the lower end of the spectrum are called short-scale guitars. However, the official specs list the scale length as 656mm (25.8”). Theoretically, the same principles would apply to acoustic guitars. You can see the previous posts there: Basic physic principles of wavelength and frequency dictate that the 12th fret of a guitar, which marks a pitch one octave above the open-string note, falls at the halfway point of the free-vibrating section of the spring. Guitars in the Hill Guitar Company’s Torres crossover series, for instance, are available in 640mm (25.2”) and 630mm (24.8”) lengths. Your email address will not be published. Classical guitars, compared to electrics and steel strings, are generally the largest guitars out there when looking at a combined scale length and nut width, so don’t feel bad about using a non-standard sized nylon guitar. The bridge will be slightly slanted, so that the vibrating length of one string differs from that of another. Like that of the violin, the scale of the classical guitar was standardized by the work of its most famous maker. A player with shorter, narrower fingers will tend to find short-scale guitars more comfortable, whereas one with long and/or thick fingers will often prefer the wider fret spacing of a long-scale instrument. The correspondence between National guitars and the guitars of Paul Reed Smith is no coincidence: Smith specifically designed his instruments to have a similar feel to classic steel guitars. The result is a crisper, clearer, brighter (and some would say thinner) tone. After reading posts on here yesterday, I stopped by the shop, and we discussed putting a 650mm on mine. There are current manufacturers whose specifications indicate a 660mm scale length, although many of them “cheat it” just a little to make their instruments feel more playable to modern players. Do you want to have a big guitar or a small one? A Dreadnought, as its name would suggest is a big guitar that makes a big sound. A mahogany guitar with an ultra-short scale length will still sound crisper than a long-scale rosewood dreadnought. There are also smaller versions of this "full scale" double bass with the same scale length but with a smaller sound box, intended for other musical idioms. The most common scale length for a classical guitar, particularly low to mid priced guitars from well known companies is 650 mm. Like that of the violin, the scale of the classical guitar was standardized by the work of its most famous maker. Electric guitars reflect the range of scale lengths found with steel-string acoustics. So, if your hand is big or small enough to handle such standard, go for 650mm. Note that 640mm is well within the normal spectrum of scale lengths for steel string guitars, so these instruments feel very comfortable to players who are not classical specialists. However, from the mid- 20th Century luthiers seeking increased volume have moved to a 26 inches (660 mm) scale, which is now the standard for such leading makers as Ramirez. In the realm of electric guitars, especially solid body instruments, scale length has a significant effect on an instrument’s timbre. Concert grand pianos range in scale from about 7 ft 6 in (229 cm) to 9 ft (274 cm) or occasionally more. Many guitarists mistakenly associate scale length with the number of frets on an acoustic guitar. Gibson's nominal "24.75" in scale length has itself varied, sometimes measuring 24 5/8" or 24 9/16" depending on the production equipment used. At 662mm (26.06”) our scale length raises the tension just a little and helps deliver more energy into the soundbox for us to harness and shape. Other guitars like travel guitars and parlor guitars also have smaller overall length, but their scale length is adjusted to full size. A vintage classical guitar will generally have a scale length of 660mm—a whopping 26 inches, longer than any common steel string guitar. Antonio De Torres (1817–1892) used a scale length of 25.6 inches (650 mm), and later makers have followed suit. Maker Roger Williams, for example, offers a 650mm scale length as his standard neck, but also offers a 640mm (25.2”) alternative for all models. The reason that they don’t just measure the entire vibrating section of the string, from nut to bridge/saddle, becomes clear if you look carefully at the saddle of any acoustic guitar. Nowadays, 650mm is standard which is also standard to many string manufacturers. For example, a 3/4 size steel string guitar might have a scale length of 23 inches (580 mm). On a modern bass guitar, 30" (76 cm) or less is considered short scale, standard (also called long) scale is 34" (86 cm) for a 4-string and 35" (89 cm) for a B-E-A-D-G 5-string, and extra-long scale basses of 36" (91 cm) also exist. Overall, classical guitars have longer scales than steel string guitars. Later makers have been unwilling to deviate from this. Players specializing in purely classical technique value wide fret spacing, as it enhances the effect of traditional vibrato. ). Not surprisingly, such guitars tend to have shorter scale lengths than their classical cousins. This greatly reduced the tension on the strings, lowered the string height at the new first position, and effectively reduced the scale length from 650mm to 520mm. However, a few years later and I scarcely notice that my guitar which was previously "too large" is now a very good fit, I can make most reaches quite comfortably (for example index finger on 6th string g, middle finger on 3rd string d and little finger on 1st string b) Guitar sizes – The Classic shape: Dreadnoughts. However, from the mid- 20th Century luthiers seeking increased volume have moved to a 26 inches (660 mm) scale, which is now the standard for such leading makers as Ramirez. The table below shows some of the standard scale lengths used by major steel string acoustic guitar manufacturers. There is some variation in the scale length of an orchestral double bass, generally in the range 41.3–43.3 inches (1,050–1,100 mm). In 1951 the Fender Precision Bass shortened this to 34" (86 cm). A big guitar gives you possibilities to end up with a guitar with a large sound volume and strong, durable, sustaining basses. Your email address will not be published. A small one may also be preferred if you have small hands, and find it hard to play specific accords on a big guitar. Add Jazzy Chords and Progressions to Your Tunes. You will find more options for kid-size guitars in Classical guitars. Instead buying a shorter scale guitar, I just tuned my current guitar two steps lower and put a capo at the 2nd fret. As this is normally the lowest bass note, it is a single string. Acoustic Guitar Neck Width Comparison Chart, Budget-Friendly Wide Neck Acoustic Guitars, USB-Powered Mini Pedal Board for Acoustic Guitar, Takamine TF740FS Wide Neck Acoustic Guitar, Most modern acoustics (J-45 Legend, etc.