Switching between scale lengths
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Thread: Switching between scale lengths

  1. #1


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Woodbridge, VA
    ME: KxK ProtoVii-7
    MA: Martin D-28
    Rig: Mesa/Boobies Stiletto

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Switching between scale lengths

    Until the new 25.5" V came in a week and a half ago, I was playing my 27" guitar pretty much all the time. I (obviously) spent the Christmas break playing the new guitar all the time.

    I'm sitting here playing the Sii-7 right now, and my left hand is feeling absolutely clumsy. It feels like I missed playing for a week, even though I did pretty much the opposite, as there was nothing to do in rural North Carolina but drink some beer and play guitar. On the other hand, my right hand is just a total machine. I pulled out another 25.5" scale guitar with a TOM bridge, just to make sure it wasn't the Floyd, and it was back to the previous feel.

    Who else switches back and forth between multiple scale lengths, what observations have you made, and does it pose certain problems?

    For me, the left hand stretches on the 27" scale are fairly prohibitive. I have yet to find that I cannot play the things I need to, but there are certain licks that really have to concentrate on nailing. Stuff that, after a year, still aren't quite on autopilot. However, the feel of the strings under the pick were so much more responsive; stiff enough to not flub around when I really dig in on fast gallops and triplets, but with the right amount of give to make playing so comfortable.

    Returning to the 25.5" scale made the left hand so much more comfortable. I was playing parts faster, trying certain licks that I wouldn't have thought of on the longer scale, and generally staying much more relaxed while playing. However, the strings felt a touch rubbery under the pick, and dropping down a pick gauge kept me from moving the strings around too much when playing fast rhythms.

    As much as it sucks, I think I am going to have to start carrying both to practice, since I definitely will need work switching between the two. It just does not feel automatic to me.
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  3. #2


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Baby Metal
    MB: ESP Horizon 5
    Rig: Rivera KR7, 5153, MKIV

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    My VB-200 (viper 27") is 'harder' to play than the others but really I think it's just because the neck sticks so far to the left because of where the body sits on your leg, playing it standing up is super comfortable.

    I switch between my 24.75, 25.5, 26.5 and 27 guitars every day so I have no issue playing any sort of scale as long as it's in that range. If you switch around a lot you are more comfortable playing them all.

    Like I mentioned a bit before, another thing to take into consideration is how the neck is situated, in a V or SG shape the neck sticks out more to the left than a strat shape which is normal or les pauls which is somewhat back to the right.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: London ONT
    ME: PRS
    Rig: JCM800

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    going from the C7 to the les paul wasnt too bad for me, but going from a 26.5 scale 7 to a 24.75 6 had an effect lol.

    any chance of a thicker string gauge on the 25.5 to give it the same tension/feel as the 27?
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  6. #4


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Woodbridge, VA
    ME: KxK ProtoVii-7
    MA: Martin D-28
    Rig: Mesa/Boobies Stiletto

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagami View Post
    My VB-200 (viper 27") is 'harder' to play than the others but really I think it's just because the neck sticks so far to the left because of where the body sits on your leg, playing it standing up is super comfortable.

    ---

    Like I mentioned a bit before, another thing to take into consideration is how the neck is situated, in a V or SG shape the neck sticks out more to the left than a strat shape which is normal or les pauls which is somewhat back to the right.
    Well, the longer scale is the Strat shape, but considering where the end of the fretboard is in situation to the body, it is more like a V. It still doesn't hang quite like a V, though, since the strap button is out on the horn, but it does feel sort of in between when standing up. I didn't even occur to me that sitting down changed things, since I always play the V standing, while I the Strat goes back and forth between standing at practice/shows and sitting on the couch.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Woodbridge, VA
    ME: KxK ProtoVii-7
    MA: Martin D-28
    Rig: Mesa/Boobies Stiletto

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by budda View Post
    any chance of a thicker string gauge on the 25.5 to give it the same tension/feel as the 27?
    I actually use different string gauges for the different tensions, for just this very reason. However, it is not a product of string tension. The string is physically longer, so it changes the physics of how it moves when it is picked.

  8. #6


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: The B.L., WA.
    ME: Buckethead Les Paul
    MA: Washburn
    Rig: Titan Custom

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    After only playing the RG1077XL for the last 2 months and recently getting the JP7, the JP feels like a ukulele. It's getting better, though. However, I feel like I can really fly on the JP. But, I'm sure that's just because of the build quality compared to the Ibanez. Not that the Ibanez is bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by budda View Post

    any chance of a thicker string gauge on the 25.5 to give it the same tension/feel as the 27?
    I was just thinking that the .009s are a bit too light for me on the JP so maybe bumping up a guage might make the switch a bit better.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Baby Metal
    MB: ESP Horizon 5
    Rig: Rivera KR7, 5153, MKIV

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    they definitely have more of a 'boing' on longer scales if you know what I mean

  10. #8


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    ME: Tom Anderson ProAm 7
    Rig: Brunetti XLII R-EVO

    iTrader: 4 (100%)

    my two main guitars at the moment are 25.5 and 27. i use the same gauge strings and tuning on both of them. the only thing i usually have to adjust to after playing one or the other for long periods of time is the difference in string tension.

    i've experimented with different string gauges on both of them to compensate, but i found that i like the same gauges on both, as it gives them an LP vs. strat feeling to me which i like.

    overall, i think i prefer 27 scale. i just like the feel and sound a little more than 25.5, and it sounds more "stable" and "in tune" for the ADGCFAD tuning i use. it's funny, i don't have terribly long fingers, but i feel right at home on 27 and haven't run into any problems with uncomfortable stretches or feeling slowed down by the longer scale.

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