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Shorter scale length is a bit easier to bend. Though I don't think that stopped Jimi. I've found string gauge to be more of a factor.
 

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Robert1950 said:
Shorter scale length is a bit easier to bend. Though I don't think that stopped Jimi. I've found string gauge to be more of a factor.
Hah, fret size is a big part of bending too... jumbo frets make it easier than 1 + 1, lol.
 

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Peavey Wolfgang EVH Wolfgang Charvel Style 2
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Scale lenth effects tone aswell... tighter=twangy'er, looser=more growl amonst other things.
Shorter scale lenth also means less distance between frets overall. So things that may be harder or simply impossible to reach on a longer scale ( especially at lower frets ) could be obtainable on a shorter scale. However by the same token... the higher frets are closer together makeing fingerings in the upper registers more compact and possibly more difficult or even impossible than the longer scale at the higher frets.

Makes sence... right?

Khing
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have small hands and small fingers so maybe a shorter scale length is suitable...what is the smallest scale length that is practical?
 

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Fender Jaguars are the shortest I've seen thats not a kids guitar. It's scale is 24". I perfer 24 3/4" like my les paul and the Hamm. PRS are 25 and strats are 25.5" just for some comparison.
 

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To add to other previous posts, the shorter the scale; the less string tension required to produce the same note, which gives for example a guitar with a 24 7/8" scale a typically darker sound than a guitar with a 25 1/2" scale. I'm not sure I agree with the frets making anything actually easier, but it does make the guitar nicer to play. That's for sure:D
 

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Bigger the frets the more space there is to get your finger under that string to bend. If you try a bend on a vintage strat with 9.5 radius and small frets ur will have a tough time making big bends fast down the neck.
 

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String Tension

You can adjust the string tension on some guitars, the two piece tune-o-matic style is a perfect example of a tension tunable bridge.

If you want more tension, lower the stop bar all the way down. If you want a looser, more slinky feel then raise the tailpiece. You must be aware that there is a certain amount of downforce that is required to keep the strings in proper contact with the bridge, and too much tension will cause the bridge to collapse over time.

The much talked about overwrap of the tailpiece gives you less tenstion on the strings and the added benifit of better tone coupling to the body (the better the bidge/stoptail connection to the body, the better the tone transfer is from the strings to the body).

When adjusting string tension there are a few things to consider.

If you go with less tension, you will have to bend further to reach the same note as you would with more tension. With more tension, the strings are tighter, but the bends are shorter. Too little tension and you might find yourself needing to develop a technique to deal with bending into the adjacent string(s). Too much tension and you might find it harder to tune a bent note as smaller movements will make bigger differences. Tension is a personal preferense, and it should be set up by the player, if they know what they are looking for.

The tone of the guitar may change. Too much tension will put more stress on your neck, and will give you more downforce on the nut and the bridge. Tone coupling is theoretically better with more tension, but better coupling does not allways equal better tone. With most things, there is a 'sweet spot' where things come together.

If you have string tees, you can also adjust the tension by raising (or lowering them = moving their location or shimming them). But keep in mind that their sole purpose in life is to provide downforce on the nut for guitars without and angled headstock.

To experiment with string tension to see what works for you, I would suggest the simple route of tuning your guitar up or down to see what turns your crank.
 

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Hey all ... my first post here. Cool forum. Lots of variables affect playability. As a longtime fender player, I find the shorter scale tougher to play. Less string tension, but it is harder to intonate notes properly, easier to push a note sharp by pressing down harder. Something else: total string length (apparently), both behind and in front of the nut, seems to affect string tension. On a LP scale Dearmond M75T I play, there's a pretty high bridge, then steep dive behind the it to a Bigsby roller and back to the string attachment part of the Bigsby. A rather long lenght of string overall, and what I'm guessing is a lot of down pressure at the bridge. More string tension here than on my 335 with a trapeze and same length scale.
 
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