This is Marco, he's 6 years old and wants to play bass. Being 6 most of the basses seem too big for him so I made him a mini bass that fit a little better.


Here's the mini bass concept in a nutshell. If you put a capo on a 34 inch scale 5 string bass at the fifth fret you get a bass tuned EADGC with a 25.5 inch scale. So I figured I could take a cheap guitar and an old set of strings and make a mini bass tuned EADG using the BEAD from a 5 string set.

I gots me a cheap strat copy from eBay.


The name was a bit ridiculous so I sanded it off.


Here's what the modified bridge looks like.


I used the saddles from an old Wilkinson bass bridge and by drilling some new holes in the old bridge, I got them to fit.


Look at the killer figuring on this neck!


The headstock was a bit tricky. I plugged the old tuner holes and drilled new ones to accept the tuners that I took off a Peavey.


Since they don't make bass strings this short I had to cut a full size set. This means there is no tapered section to go around the tuner posts. Using tuners with the widest post I could find made it possible for the B string to wrap around the tuner. It would have a hard time wrapping around a thinner post.


The bass tuners don't fit as close to the upper edge of the headstock as the small guitar tuners did. Placing them lower meant the strings came off the nut at a downward angle. This was just too much of an angle for the E string so I had to reverse the wrap on it which means it tunes backwards from the rest of the strings. A serious flaw and if I did this again I'd use a headstock with tuners on both sides. It works fine it's just kind of lame.

In the end I had a bass that worked pretty well. The bridge needed to be screwed down tight so the whammy bar no longer works. The tone is a bit tubby, not unlike that part of the neck on a 5 string.


The Strat pickups work very well, there is no problem with differing string volumes and all the standard controls work. You can imagine it happily funking away in this picture.


I'll close with a few shots of the builder and the client.


Click here to see the provenance of the mini bass