Why Are Bass Guitar Necks Longer?

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It is no secret that the bass guitar differs from other regular guitars in several ways.

It is suitable for various genres, and its role in providing a song’s groove and foundation is indisputable.

However, for it to function expectedly, a bass guitar will have a relatively long neck.

For example, the long neck gives the bass guitar’s thick strings room to vibrate, thus producing the deep sound they are known and loved for.

The heaviness and the length of its strings are vital for the deep pitch sound it produces, and only a long neck can support them.

So, without further ado, let’s learn why bass guitar necks are longer than other guitars.

Why Is a Bass Guitar Longer?

The bass guitar neck is longer because of the following reasons;

The Thickness of Bass Guitar Strings

Expect the vibration sound’s pitch to reduce with an increase in the thickness or radius of a guitar.

So, what do bass guitar manufacturers do to avoid such an outcome, given how thick their strings are?

That’s where the long neck ensures the string’s tension is right regardless of the thickness.

Otherwise, these strings would vibrate and flop extensively, thus leading to an incorrect pitch.

The Bass guitar’s thick strings on a regular guitar wound make the sound note low.

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As a result of the short neck, its low-frequency waves wouldn’t travel the right distance necessary for generating the bass guitar’s right pitch.

Wouldn’t all that produce the contrary of what a bass guitar could offer?

Frequency

It is no secret that long-frequency waves extend more than their short counterparts.

So, these waves will only occur as they should if the designer gives the strings extra length and more space to extend accordingly.

Accommodating the long-frequency sound waves will be impossible unless the bass guitar has a long neck.

Since thin and short strings aren’t an option due to the sound this guitar is expected to produce, the manufacturer uses a long neck to accommodate the needed long and thick wires.

Remember that the guitar strings’ length and radius determine the noise it produces once the guitarist plucks them.

These strings must also vibrate accordingly to create the required sound waves, including their desired frequency.

The length of the bass guitar neck plays a significant role in producing its signature pitch.

What Are the Lengths of the Necks of the Various Types of Guitars?

Having established that bass guitar necks are longer than their counterparts and the why, what about figuring out how long they are?

Let’s see how it compares to the lengths of other types of guitars too.

What is the Length of an Acoustic Guitar Neck?

Depending on the brand you settle for, the neck of an acoustic guitar can range from 24 to 25.5 inches.

Unlike other guitars, an acoustic guitar doesn’t transfer vibrations, which explains the short neck.

Playing it in its neck’s lower positions is advisable because of its concise vibrating string length.

Whereas the neck is relatively short, its body is larger than its electric counterpart’s.

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Its body, size, shape and material are responsible for the guitar’s projection and sound.

Consequently, its manufacturers are usually keen when manufacturing acoustic guitars to ensure they serve their purpose excellently.

It heavily relies on its large sounding board for air in the guitar’s internal parts and the vibration necessary for the resonance and projection it offers.

What is the Length of an Electric Guitar Neck?

You can’t afford to overlook the length of an electric guitar neck either due to its significance in tuning.

One significant part of an electric guitar is its pickup for converting the vibrations of its strings into electric signals.

When the pickups send the signals to the amplifier, they become the desired sound.

The length of an electric guitar neck differs from one brand to another, and here are excellent examples of various lengths;

  • D’Agelico: 25 inches
  • Fender Jaguar or Mustang: 24 inches
  • Gibson Les Paul: 24.75 inches
  • Gretsch: 29.75 inches
  • Ibanez Artcore: 24.7 inches
  • PRS 245: 24.5 inches
  • PRS McCarty 594: 24.594 inches
  • Stratocaster: 25.5 inches

So, whereas some electric guitar lengths, such as the Fender Jaguar or Mustang’s, are about 24 inches, some, such as the Gretsch, are almost 30 inches long.

What is the Length of a Bass Guitar Neck?

Lastly, the average length of a bass guitar neck is between 30 and 36 inches, depending on the brand.

Their necks are longer than their counterparts, electric and acoustic guitars, for them to project a deep pitch.

Why Does the Length of Your Guitar Neck Matter?

The length of your guitar neck makes a huge difference in the following areas hence the importance of choosing one wisely;

  • Versatility:Short guitar necks are suitable for chopping and chording, whereas long counterparts are ideal for shredding.
  • Flexibility:Short guitar necks allow you to perform various techniques easily, whereas long ones are perfect for producing low notes.
  • Fret:People with long and thick fingers love long guitar necks, thanks to the space between their frets, but people with short fingers appreciate short necks because of their close frets.
  • Comfort:Short guitar necks need less tension and are thus easy to play, whereas long ones are challenging due to the extra pressure needed to pluck their strings.
  • Sound:If you want a light and warm tone, go for a long guitar neck, but consider a short one for a fuller one.
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Can You Use a Regular Guitar Neck for the Bass?

Whereas it is not highly recommended, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a regular guitar neck on the body of a bass guitar.

After all, a typical guitar neck is designed to handle relatively high string tension, unlike its bass counterpart.

Consequently, using your normal guitar neck for bass can make it break or warp.

Are Bass Necks Thinner Than Regular Guitar Necks?

The guitar’s thickness, whether a bass or a regular one, mostly depends on its model and make.

Nevertheless, in most cases, bass guitars’ necks are thicker than their regular counterparts.

It is worth reiterating that the thickness of a bass guitar neck depends on its brand.

For example, the thickness of a Gibson Les Paul Bass guitar neck is 1.5 inches, while that of a Fender Precision Bass guitar is 1.625 inches.

References

https://www.bassminds.com/post/why-are-bass-guitars-so-long

https://rockshopguitars.com/learning-guides/why-are-bass-guitar-necks-longer-than-other-guitars/

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