Shorter Scale Guitars?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Chuah Hui Hsien
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:14 am

jsscott:

Is the guitar having 335mm scale length or 635mm?
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

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James Lister
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by James Lister » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:14 am

robkay15 wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:28 am
From reading on the internet its seems that a shorter scale guitar requires less effort to play as the frets are slightly closer together, does anyone have any thoughts on this?
Rob
Hi Rob,

If you do a search on the forum you'll find a lot of discussions about scale length. It really boils down to finding what works for you. I used to say that anything less than a 630mm scale resulted in some compromises in tone, volume and projection, but last year I received a commission for a 613.5mm scale guitar. I have to admit that I wasn't entirely confident that the guitar would work well at that scale, but I was very pleasantly surprised by both the tone and the projection. Yes, I'm sure the volume and sustain were a little less than my standard guitars, but it wasn't really obvious. Playing that guitar higher up the fretboard did feel slightly cramped, but bear in mind that playing a 613.5mm scale is just like playing everything 1 fret further up the fingerboard (you can check how a 613.5 scale feels by playing with a capo on the 1st fret).

Also worth mentioning that the above advice mainly relates to luthier-built instruments. Changing from 650mm to 640mm doesn't really require any changes in construction, but at 630mm or less, the body size needs to be reduced, and the top needs to be thinner for the guitar to work well, and I'm not sure whether factory made short scale guitars incorporate these changes.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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Michael.N.
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:39 am

My experience (which is a lot with 630 scale guitars) is that the bass isn't quite as deep. That's just the impression that I get but then again I'm judging it on a model that is slightly smaller than the largest Torres, which itself is considered small as far as modern classical guitars are concerned (all those pesky variable factors raise their heads again). Even if the bass isn't quite as deep it doesn't mean it's a bad thing, it just might mean that there's better balance between bass and treble strings. Can't say I've noticed any difference with volume or the trebles, in fact many seem to comment very favourably in respect of those trebles. Projection is difficult to ascertain. You really need to go into a fair sized room and listen from the back of that room. That goes for any guitar though.
Historicalguitars.

jscott

Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by jscott » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:15 pm

Chuah Hui Hsien wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:14 am
jsscott:

Is the guitar having 335mm scale length or 635mm?
oops, make that 635! corrected now.

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Amy Gaudia
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Amy Gaudia » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:22 pm

Hi,
When I was planning my custom build, I initially wanted a guitar that would be about the same size as this 3/4 Raimundo I have. The scale of that guitar is 610 and my small hands really enjoyed it. After trying alot of guitars I finalized my specs for the Luthier (Marcus Dominelli) and chose a 626 scale, small body.

I am really happy I did that. The little Raimundo is fun, but the scale is too short and crampy feeling, and the entire guitar now feels too small and does not feel as comfortable as it used to and also causes a variety of small problems with positioning the guitar in the ideal way for me.

It's amazing how such small increments is size can make a difference.

So what I learned is that there is more to it than just scale length. You want the guitar to feel good for left hand technique, but you have to consider how all the other the dimensions will work out for your body size.

My new 626 small body Dominelli has a wonderful sound that projects well with a rich bass, and everything else balanced.
1992 Martin 00016
2016 Pono ULN-30 (nylon string Terz guitar)
2019 Marcus Dominelli custom small body

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:52 pm

Hi, Amy,

I admired the Dominelli 626 mm that you have.May I know the dimension of the reduced body size? My 64cm has a small Torres plantilla which measured 35cm on the lower bout and 9.cm on the sides.So this smaller size accomodates well to me than standard concert size 64cm.

I need a big dynarette cushion cum footstool to raise the height when playing smaller guitars.Can you share with us the type of guitar support that you use in order to hold the smaller guitar in proper position?
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

yylik
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by yylik » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:21 am

Hi,
I can manage 650 scale but used to owned a 640 scale. To me, shorter scale is easier to play. I suggest shorter scale units to those with narrower palm players. One of the downside of owning a shorter scale guitar might be the resale value.

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Amy Gaudia
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Amy Gaudia » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:59 pm

Chuah Hui Hsien wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:52 pm
Hi, Amy,

I admired the Dominelli 626 mm that you have.May I know the dimension of the reduced body size? My 64cm has a small Torres plantilla which measured 35cm on the lower bout and 9.cm on the sides.So this smaller size accomodates well to me than standard concert size 64cm.

I need a big Dynarette cushion cum footstool to raise the height when playing smaller guitars.Can you share with us the type of guitar support that you use in order to hold the smaller guitar in proper position?
The upper bout width is 27 cm and lower is 35. The depth is 95 mm.

Right now I am using a foot stool and it seems pretty good because I don't have to set it very high and I don't seem to get any back discomfort. I just ordered a cushion that is a cheaper knock off of the Dynerettte (a little smaller), because I'm exploring the options just to find the ideal set up for me. I'm only 5'1" tall and it seems that this is the one time in my life that being short it helpful!

One thing for sure is that I don't like the look of the other supports like Ergoplay or Barnett that stick onto the guitar. Not to offend anyone that uses those because these things are very subjective. To me it makes a beautiful guitar, especially one with a smaller body, look a bit robotic.
1992 Martin 00016
2016 Pono ULN-30 (nylon string Terz guitar)
2019 Marcus Dominelli custom small body

celestemcc
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by celestemcc » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:10 pm

To me it makes a beautiful guitar, especially one with a smaller body, look a bit robotic.
I can see why you think that, and if a footstool/cushion helps you, great! I'm small-ish and the Dynarette, no matter the size, just didn't work for me. I've found I like the DeOro very much. It's very minimal and sets the guitar at just the right height and angle for me, without feeling quite like an appendage. That said, my guitar is a 640 and not what I'd call small-bodied.

A lot of people swear by the Guitar Lift. It attaches via suction cups to the back of the guitar and you can get it in clear or black. When it's on it's not very noticeable from the audience point of view.
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:30 pm

Hi, celeste,

I am reluctant to use guitar support that has sucction cups on it, I heard from many that they will leave rings marking on French Polished.Is the DeOro support FP friendly?
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

celestemcc
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by celestemcc » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:58 pm

Is the DeOro support FP friendly?
Unfortunately no suction cups are FB friendly. But a lot of people use sheets or cut-outs like Finishield (available from DeOro) or Kling-on. Remove after each use. My own guitar is FP only on the top, and the sides are fine with the DeOro -- and yet I still remove the support after playing.

Maybe you'll find this discussion helpful, as it's about suction cup type supports in general at this point: viewtopic.php?t=120223&start=15
2015 Connor spruce/Indian rosewood
1978 Ramirez 1a cedar

Wuuthrad
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Wuuthrad » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:49 pm

Wuuthrad wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:12 am
David Norton wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:12 pm
Wuuthrad wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:08 pm
Segovia and Bream certainly influenced the trend towards longer scale guitars, as did their Luthiers, amongst others, and this tradition has continued.
From Julian Bream "A Life on the Road", speaking about his 1973 Romanillos, page 8:

It's about half the weight of many of the instruments that are in use today, although it's only about five percent smaller. The string length is just over 64cm, whereas the string length of some modern instruments can be as much as 66 or 67 cm."
Of course, and 640 is still bigger than the majority guitars of the 18th, 19th and early 20th Century, isn't it?

Did Bream not also play larger scale guitars?
Well then I guess I'll just have to answer my own question!

:cool:

Of course he did! On the 1960 Album The Art of Julian Bream, he played a 1957 Herman Hauser II with a 653 scale length and 50 mm nut. This guitar is currently for sale at GSI with the listing "Inquire" as to its price. Hmm I do wonder how much that would be?
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Amy Gaudia
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Amy Gaudia » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:33 pm

celestemcc wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:10 pm
To me it makes a beautiful guitar, especially one with a smaller body, look a bit robotic.
I can see why you think that, and if a footstool/cushion helps you, great! I'm small-ish and the Dynarette, no matter the size, just didn't work for me. I've found I like the DeOro very much. It's very minimal and sets the guitar at just the right height and angle for me, without feeling quite like an appendage. That said, my guitar is a 640 and not what I'd call small-bodied.

A lot of people swear by the Guitar Lift. It attaches via suction cups to the back of the guitar and you can get it in clear or black. When it's on it's not very noticeable from the audience point of view.
I will check that one out. After all that's been said, it sounds like the cushion might not work for me. But I'll know soon.... it was delivered today and as soon as I get home I'll put it to the test
1992 Martin 00016
2016 Pono ULN-30 (nylon string Terz guitar)
2019 Marcus Dominelli custom small body

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Amy Gaudia
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Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Amy Gaudia » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:30 am

Amy Gaudia wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:33 pm
celestemcc wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:10 pm
To me it makes a beautiful guitar, especially one with a smaller body, look a bit robotic.
I can see why you think that, and if a footstool/cushion helps you, great! I'm small-ish and the Dynarette, no matter the size, just didn't work for me. I've found I like the DeOro very much. It's very minimal and sets the guitar at just the right height and angle for me, without feeling quite like an appendage. That said, my guitar is a 640 and not what I'd call small-bodied.

A lot of people swear by the Guitar Lift. It attaches via suction cups to the back of the guitar and you can get it in clear or black. When it's on it's not very noticeable from the audience point of view.
I will check that one out. After all that's been said, it sounds like the cushion might not work for me. But I'll know soon.... it was delivered today and as soon as I get home I'll put it to the test
Ok, I am now using the Oasis medium size cushion and footstool set at the lowest setting. Check out the posture... do I seem like I'm slouching a bit?
IMG-1404.jpg
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1992 Martin 00016
2016 Pono ULN-30 (nylon string Terz guitar)
2019 Marcus Dominelli custom small body

Chuah Hui Hsien
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Location: Penang, Malaysia

Re: Shorter Scale Guitars?

Post by Chuah Hui Hsien » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:03 am

Hi, Amy,

Nice,nice guitar you have!

From the picture I noticed that the guitar head is higher than yours, and your left elbow lifted up little bit.Please try to bring the guitar lower bout up just by a slight degree, your both shoulders should look more balance.
2017 Karel Dedain Spruce/Maple (Torres) 64cm
1998 Yamaha GD 10, Spruce/IRW 65cm
1988 Alhambra AL 8, Cedar/IRW 65cm

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