Best Short Scale Bass Strings

Bass guitars are undoubtedly one of the most popular musical instruments out there, for good reason too. They have an amazing sound, are portable, and are quite easy to master with a little bit of practice. While most people are aware that the strings on a guitar are the most crucial aspect of the instrument, few know about the different types of guitar strings that exist. Take a look at this article as we dive into the Best Short Scale Bass Strings – complete with a buying guide as well as the best ones.

Buying Guide

  • Why Scale Length Matters?

The scale length of a guitar is defined as the distance between the nuts and the saddles of the bridge of the guitar, which is also the length of the strings. The length of the scale or the strings has a huge effect on both the playability and the tone of the guitar.

If a bass guitar has a scale length between 30 inches to 32 inches, it would be considered a short scale. In this article, we are going to look into the strings that are specifically made for short scale bass guitars. Before that, let us look into the factors you should keep in mind before purchasing short scale bass strings.

  • Core

The center of the bass string is known as the core. The most common core is made of steel. There are two basic shapes for the core – round and the hex. Each shape has a different effect on the overall tone of the string.

Round cores produce a more balanced and flexible string which sounds vintage. Hex cores, however, produce a brighter sound due to the stiffer tension, overall ensuring more consistency.

  • Windings

The winding of the string is the part wrapped around the core. Windings can be found in both pure steel and nickel/steel. There are a few styles available as well. Roundwound and flatwound strings are the most commonly used in bass strings.

There is also the tapewound string in which a roundwound string is wrapped with nylon wrap. The flatwound string is best for you if you are looking for a more warm and mellow sound.

  • Materials

As we already mentioned above, the most commonly used material for making windings are steel/nickel or 100 percent stainless steel. A pure stainless steel string has a much brighter sound whereas the alloy made of nickel and steel sounds more muted.

  • Coating

Coated strings are amazing as they will surely last longer than uncoated ones. This is because there is an extremely thin coating applied over them which makes them corrosion resistant.

Best Short Scale Bass Strings

Product Name

Price Range

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Jim Dunlop
  • Flatwound bass strings made of stainless steel
  • 45-105 mm | Medium Gauge
D’Addario EXL170S


  • Round wound with nickel plated steel
  • A distinctive clear and bright tone
  • Fits scale length of up to 32 inches
Ernie Ball (P02852)
  • Bright and balanced tone
  • Signature Slinky feel
  • Element shield packaging
D’Addario ETB92S
  • Produces a warm, deep sound
  • Flattened black nylon is wound.
  • Fits basses with a string scale of up to 32 inches
Fender 5250


  • Nickel plated construction
  • Can be used with any brand of short scale bass

1. Jim Dunlop

Best Short Scale Bass Strings

Flatwound bass strings are in higher demand than ever, especially in the last few years. These short scale bass strings by Jim Dunlop are no exception. Their sound is reminiscent of classic rock, funk, and R&B music.

Although they have some modern breed characteristics, the tone is distinctly old school. The string tension is evenly distributed throughout the set, ranging from light to medium, but there is no shuffle like some lighter-tension strings have.


  • Warm and mellow sound
  • Very comfortable to play


  • The price is a bit high compared to other products on the list.

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2. D’Addario EXL170S

Best Short Scale Bass Strings

D’Addario’s best-selling bass collection, the EXL170S, is available in a short scale edition. It is the most flexible and widely appealing package for all playing styles, offering the perfect combination of distinctive vivid, booming tone and relaxed feel.

It fits basses with a string scale duration of up to 32 inches on short scale basses. Just like all other XL bass strings, these ones are also precision wound on cutting-edge, computer-controlled devices, ensuring excellent intonation, simple fundamentals, and unmatched quality.


  • Exceptional consistency
  • Excellent intonation
  • Consistent fundamentals


  • Some users have complained that these strings are a bit hard to play.

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3. Ernie Ball (P02852)

Best Short Scale Bass Strings

Nickel plated steel is wrapped around a hex shaped steel core wire in Ernie Ball Bass Strings. These bass strings are wound with nickel plated steel wire for a traditional, balanced sound with excellent intonation and clarity.

The core is made of tin-plated high-carbon steel hex wire, which is extremely durable. Brass wire rod is used to make their ball ends, which is machined and cut to exacting specifications to ensure a perfect fit and function.


  • Hex core made of high-carbon steel
  • A rich, well-balanced sound
  • Slinky’s signature feel
  • Both bass guitar forms and playing styles are complimented.


  • Some users have complained about strings being too short for their bass guitar.

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4. D’Addario ETB92S

ETB92S has the perfect blend of soft, deep tones and a silky smooth feel. It fits basses with a string scale duration of up to 32 inches on short scale basses.

D’Addario Tapewound Bass strings are wound with the flattened black nylon that is polished to an ultra-smooth finish to create a rich, warm tone with a smooth sound.


  • Crafted to create a rich, warm tone with a silky feel.
  • Long-lasting and well-balanced
  • Ensure that the stress is optimum


  • Some users have complained that the strings do not fit their guitars.

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5. Fender 5250

The Fender 5250 short scale bass is a great choice for rock, funk, and every other type of music where the bass needs to cut through. The nickel-plated construction of the Fender short scale bass 5250 provides the high performance and dynamic sound of steel with the smooth feel of nickel. Any brand of short-scale bass will fit in their 30 inch range.


  • Feel very comfortable
  • Deliver a solid and dynamic sound


  • Some users have complained about receiving brittle products.

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Final Words

We hope this article has helped you discover some great short scale bass strings for your bass guitar. Choose one from our list based on your preference. Happy drumming!

You can also read: Is Bass Easier Than Guitar

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