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Teddo renatolongo

Long scale to short scale, you thoughts.

I've been looking at a short scale GJ guitar and I'm wondering if I'm going to find it uncomfortably small. It took awhile to adjust to the longer scale when I first started playing GJ but now that I'm used to it everything else seems crowded. Anybody out there switch between long & short?


  • I flip from short to long. Takes a few minutes warmup. Have had both for several years now. At first it took some time, mostly in chording
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,296
    I just built a short scale 14 fret. No problem adjusting and I like the tone. The biggest adjustment for me was that the 14 fret short scale moves the bridge location further up toward the neck so I had a tendency to pick too close to the bridge which gives a weird tone but once I adjusted for that it was fine.
  • Posts: 4,299
    I get the feeling of a crowded fretboard when I play my Strat but not when I play a GJ short scale guitar. So to me it has more to do with the width at the nut than the scale length.
    Why switch though now that you're used to the long scale?
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • altonalton Keene, NH✭✭ 2000 Dell'Arte Long Scale Anouman, Gadjo Modele Francais, Gitane DG-330 John Jorgensen Tuxedo
    Posts: 109
    I own both. I played long scales first - a Selmer length, then a Favino length. I go through phases, but lately I find myself reaching for the short scale first. It's definitely easier on the left hand.

    I think that my short scale gypsy jazz guitar still has a longer scale length than all of the electrics that I own. I don't feel like I have to think much to switch to the short scale gypsy guitar, but I do when I pick up my old Gibson SG. That certainly feels "crowded" like you mentioned.
  • Buco wrote: »
    I get the feeling of a crowded fretboard when I play my Strat

    With my stonemason type fingers/hands playing a strat would be weird indeed. Fretting 2 strings with one finger a breeze and 3 might be possible if I was careful B)=)=)

    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    edited July 2018 Posts: 527
    I have more trouble switching between the narrow neck of standard guitars and the slightly wider neck of my gypsy jazz guitar. The scale change doesn't bother me as much as the 1/8" difference in nut width, strangely enough.

    [edit 7/7/18] To clarify, since picking up a gypsy guitar about 4 years ago, I hardly play other guitars any more. I have gotten accustomed to the slightly wider spacing on SelMacs, and now going back to standard guitars is uncomfortable to me. Regarding scale length, I've had both a 670 mm Favino-style and a 12-fret short scale (650mm). As a guitarist who is much more a "strummer" than a "picker," I prefer the short scale for its lower tension (although I use 11's rather than 10's for a fuller sound).
  • slowlearnerslowlearner ✭✭
    Posts: 36
    Buco, I wasn't looking for a short scale guitar. DjangoBooks has a guitar that I quite fancy and it just happened to have a short scale. I do appreciate everyone's input.
  • Posts: 4,299
    Ah I see, thanks. Well I can tell you that I tried several short scale (14 fret to the body) GJ guitars that were wonderful sounding and projecting extremely well.
    One of them just recently at DiJ.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,296
    Yeah good point about neck width. My short scale is only 1/16" less wide than my long scale. That makes a big diff on playability for me since I have small hands and arthritis but not so much that the string spacing still does not feel too close.
  • PompierPompier MarylandNew Cigano GJ-15
    edited July 2018 Posts: 62
    By neck width, do you mean front to back or across the fretboard? I didn't realize short and long scales differed in either dimension.
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