49+ Acoustic Guitar Scale Length Differences
Another difference in long scale and short-scale models is the tonal quality.
Acoustic guitar scale length differences. Commonly used short scales are 25 249 2475 and 24625 inches. The scale length difference is approximately 2 5 cm. The shorter scale also makes the guitar feel easier to play due to less string tension when compared to a long-scale instrument. A scale length of 254 inches 255 inches or longer is considered long for steel-string acoustic guitars.
Short scale guitars are typically 24 34 or less such as the Les Paul whereas long scale guitars are typically 25 and over such as the Fender Strat and Telecaster. The dimensions of an acoustic guitar take into account the upper and lower bouts waist and depth of their sides which can vary along the length of the guitar. One obvious difference that is the 41-inch variety enables guitarists to play higher notes. Small travel guitars and guitars specifically designed for children can have even shorter scales.
Because the scale length influences the tonal value due to the tension of the string at a certain pitch the tonal quality on 5 string bass guitars is enhanced with a longer scale neck because it gives better sound to the lowest string. The laws of physics however require that saddles be placed a bit beyond the length of the scale. The tone difference between a 38-inch and a 41-inch acoustic is significant considering the overall similarity between the guitars. Short-scale classical guitars generally come in at 650mm 256 and at that are still longer than the vast majority of steel string acoustic instruments.
Dropping the tuning to Eb as Jimi Hendrix occasionally did also softens up the feel of the longer-scaled instrument and makes it easier to play. The steel-string acoustic guitar typically has a scale slightly shorter than the classical instrument the most common scales ranging between short scale 24 inches 610 mm and long scale 255 inches 650 mm. The most obvious difference is the length. Based on this anything below 255 would be considered a short scale guitar and anything over 255 inches would be referred to as a long scale guitar unless a bass guitar in the majority of cases.
The overall length of 14 guitars is only about 1 2 cm longer than 18 guitars which is around a 35 increase in size. Anything less is considered short. We find that using a short scale will most often make a guitars tone softer and warmer. The different body shapes also affects the tone.
The scale length represents the length of the guitar string that can vibrate between the nut and the saddle. It means that you will have to stretch your hands when playing which can be hard for people with smaller hands. Shorter scales mean a lower string tension as ukuleles while longer scales in guitars bring higher tensions. Since scale length helps determine where the bridge will rest in relation to the placement of the X brace scale length really can change a guitars tone quite a bit.
If you want to warm up a 255 scale guitar you can try tuning down a half step which thickens up its overtones and makes it sound a little closer to a 2475 scale guitar. Actual scale length can be determined by doubling the distance between the nut and the center of the 12th fret. On the other hand the guitar has frets that are far apart. The most common acoustic guitar body styles are the Dreadnought Jumbo Orchestra Concert Parlor Classical and Flamenco along with travel guitars and 12 and 34 models.
However to determine the scale of a guitar you cant just measure from nut to saddle since the bridge saddle positions are moved or compensated away from the theoretical scale point to correct intonation. The scale length also affects the tension of the guitar.
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