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  1. #26

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    I make all my own guitars, so I can make any scale I want. I usually like 25”, but I have made a couple with 24” and really liked them. Ironically, 24” is almost exactly the same as putting a capo on the first fret of a Fender scale guitar. It is not as strange as it may sound.

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    Last edited by rlrhett; 10-18-2021 at 12:46 AM.

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  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by rlrhett View Post
    I make all my own guitars, so I can make any scale I want. I usually like 25”, but I have made a couple with 24” and really liked them. Ironically, 24” is almost exactly the same as putting a capo on the first feet of a Fender scale guitar. It is not as strange as it may sound.

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    So if I tune down a half step and Capo the first fret, My L-5 will be at a 24 inch scale? That sounds good except for the fact that my position markers will be off which would pretty much result in clam city come gig time.

  4. #28

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    Following this link ... https://www.fender.com/en-US/electri...rs/telecaster/ ... I can see there are currently 56 Strat models and 45 Teles, and I can't be bothered to check each one, but I bet all but maybe one has scale length 25 1/2". You can make a similar observation about Gibsons (except the odd L-5 etc). It would be so easy to offer more variety in scale length -- heck, with 101 Strat/Tele models they must scratch their heads to come up with some distinctions. But they don't do this

  5. #29

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    So for me no jokes either, about things, given I am in a vow of celibacy. My hand from palm end to tip of middle finger is 8 inches. It just does not work out well.
    A Birdland is a fabulous guitar great no doubt. Roy Clark had no trouble getting around on his and he looked like he had fat fingers.

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    So for me no jokes either, about things, given I am in a vow of celibacy. My hand from palm end to tip of middle finger is 8 inches. It just does not work out well.
    A Birdland is a fabulous guitar great no doubt. Roy Clark had no trouble getting around on his and he looked like he had fat fingers.
    7.25 inches for me (with slim fingers). The Byrdland scale felt great.

  7. #31

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    Ditto, bought an Epiphone Elitist Byrdland new. After 6 months we parted company because of the crowding above the 9th fret. Also the pickups were so close together and took up space in my sweet spot for finger picking.

  8. #32

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    I've not played the Byrdland, but have played/owned several guitars with scales less than 24 3/4.

    Short scale is not for me. Harder to control intonation. Relative to longer scales, note to note separation is not great. Even the Fender jaguar (24" scale) strikes me that way.

    But many others do very well with shorter scale instruments. It comes down to personal taste.

  9. #33

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    I have one solid-body I built with 18.25" scale, designed as a 5-string mandola, as well as some mandolins. It's not hard to play those scales, at least for me. David Grisman does not look to have small hands with skinny fingers, but he gets around on a mandolin fine. It's not really hard, it just takes a modicum of practice. The primary reason I don't own a Byrdland is the cost. I think it would do fine with heavy strings, but I can't justify paying that much money for a used guitar. As others have pointed out, it's like playing a fret higher on a standard Gibson. How difficult is that?

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    Following this link ... https://www.fender.com/en-US/electri...rs/telecaster/ ... I can see there are currently 56 Strat models and 45 Teles, and I can't be bothered to check each one, but I bet all but maybe one has scale length 25 1/2". You can make a similar observation about Gibsons (except the odd L-5 etc). It would be so easy to offer more variety in scale length -- heck, with 101 Strat/Tele models they must scratch their heads to come up with some distinctions. But they don't do this
    Fender has linked scale to individual models for some reason or other. You want 24" then here are your duo sonics and mustangs

    You want 24.75" .. No no .. That is the forbidden Gibson scale (No quite true .. They had that Telesonic a while back with a 24.75" scale and gretch style single coils)

  11. #35

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    Besides Anthony Wilson and James Blood Ulmer I can't think of any recording/touring guitarist who actually and regularly used a Byrdland model in the past 20/30 years but surely I missed and overlooked some. Having owned 2 in my time I pretty much spot them easily due to their peculiar geometry but I could never attempt to discern a shortscale archtop by listening alone - as I mentioned before, Mr. Wilson has a great tone, taste and finesse - absolutely regardless of his choice of axe ....
    Re the Byrdland's less fancy sister, the ES-350T : I remember some very old photos of Clapton playing one, the young Chuck Berry of course (but not during his later years where he pretty much exclusively played an ES-355) , Danny Gatton and besides them I can't think of anyone else. Educate me !

    Listen closely and you'll hear him hitting the pickup with his pick - the short neck pushes the front pickup further back towards the middle of the body and when you have normal/long-ish arms your picking hand comes very close to that pickup ..... what I experienced too.
    Last edited by gitman; 10-18-2021 at 08:17 AM.

  12. #36

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    Yeee haw



  13. #37

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    there's always this guy.....


  14. #38

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    The 24 1/8 scale with a 1 23/32 nut on my Taylor GT flat top has become my favorite neck. The slight V shape compound neck carve is quite different from any other Taylor I’ve picked up.

  15. #39

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    One of my early guitar heroes, studio master, David T. Walker played a Byrdland for much of his early career.

    His picking style had his right hand hovering over the neck pickup and the end of the neck. He never seemed to have issues with its scale.

    David T. Walker | Discography | Discogs


  16. #40

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    I own a Guild Brian May Red Special. It has a 1 3/4" nut width and a 24" scale. I like the 1 3/4" nut width but above the 10th fret it is too cramped for my large hands. As far a tone goes, Anthony Wilson's tone on his Trio recording Our Gang is a tone I strive for in all my guitars.

  17. #41

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    Yeah, the neck pickup placement can be an issue. It sits right where I like to pick so I try to aim fore or aft to avoid it. Maybe that's why it's canted? I've always avoided three pickup guitars for this reason, but it isn't really a problem, much less a deal breaker.

    A skinny nut would be a deal breaker, though. 1 5/8" is manageable in most cases but really not my preference, but any less than that is just trash.

    And if you're a capo guy, you're going to run out of space much faster. That shouldn't come to you as a surprise, but be aware. Cutaway or not, you're going to run out of frets and they are going to be closer together which might complicate cowboy chords up the next, but it obviously makes other voicings easier.

    Like with anything, if you understand it and play to its (considerable) strengths, you'll be very happy. If you sit there and wonder why it doesn't want to do what other sized guitars do, that's on you. It really isn't meant for everyone.

  18. #42

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    Does the ES350T of the late ‘50s have same nut width as the Byrdland?

  19. #43

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  20. #44

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    I have a '56 Byrd and have had no problem playing with the shortened scale. In fact, its probably better ergonomically speaking which is why it was designed that way. As far as sound is concerned I cannot hear any significant difference with my other normal scaled guitars except for the fact they are not Byrd's...maybe its my old ears?

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEWCITY View Post
    I have a '56 Byrd and have had no problem playing with the shortened scale. In fact, its probably better ergonomically speaking which is why it was designed that way. As far as sound is concerned I cannot hear any significant difference with my other normal scaled guitars except for the fact they are not Byrd's...maybe its my old ears?

  22. #46

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    Beatiful guitars but the necks were both skinny width wise and to short of scale.
    I think a regular width and regular24&3/4” scale would have been a better option for Gibson. I prefer the long scale thin line Gibson L-5 CES models to the Byrdland overall.[/QUOTE] JADS



    I had an L5CES, a Wesmo and later an L5CT, all have a 25.5" scale, but even with my small hand size I found no difficulty moving from the long scale
    to the 23.5" scale of the Byrdland , however they all had a 1&11/16th" nut, and not skinny mecks, all four models are excellent, the best tone and
    overall sound achievable IMO is from the L5CES ( by the way ,the only "slimline" is the L5CT )
    If you prefer a 24&3/4" scale a L4CES is a good option.

    Silverfoxx

  23. #47

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    Anthony Wilson's sound on that old Birdland .... Damn !

    for me , Its the epitomy of the jazz guitar sound

    I'd love to get a nice 350t or Birdland one day
    and see if I can handle the thin neck

    Actually I believe Gibson made a short scale 350t
    with a normal width neck at some point (70's ?)
    which would be awesome ....
    also there the Epiphone elite/elitist Birdland
    which I believe was short scale , normal width neck
    that would be more affordable probably

  24. #48

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    I find it surprising that some consider this guitar (and the scale length) difficult to play given that it was designed to be easier to get around and faster to play.

    I concur with the vision of Byrd and Garland, even though I have big hands I find my Byrland to be the easiest to guitar to play (though I don't find the Fender scale difficult to play either).

  25. #49

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    I don't understand the argument that short scales are impossible, or even difficult, to play. Lots of people with large hands and thick fingers play the hell out of mandolins. I have instruments ranging from mandolins through mandola-size and a bit larger, through 19", and all the standard scale lengths up to 25.5". Switching between them requires no thought for me. If I can play a guitar with standard scale length above the 12th fret, playing the shorter ones is no problem, it's just like playing a couple of frets higher on a 25". The string feel may or may not be softer on a shorter scale, depending on tuning, but it's not usually that remarkable. The hardest thing about switching to a mando-something is the different tuning and different number of strings, but the scale length is pretty much a non-issue.

  26. #50

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    Electric guitar players are divas because there is so much choice.
    Imagine the technical hurdles bowed instrument players have to conquer yet it's not uncommon to hear from guitar players stuff like:
    "I can't play guitars that have bell style tone knobs, my hands slip in the middle of the performances. It has to be speed knobs."