Registered: 1423961515 Posts: 92
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I started tapping by modifying my basses, so being used to the full 34"/35" scale (which is barely enough for good tone on the very low strings) i am concerned by the loss of usable scale length on a tapguitar due to the string damper and the fact that tapped strings are only fully playable from the 2nd fret and up.
My idea; make a tapguitar that is deliberately too long for the bass strings it uses, the distance form bridge to 2nd fret being around 35"/36", such that the tapered or silked part of the string runs over the string damper. This design works because the full gauge of the string is only needed over the 2nd fret and up. There would need to be individual height adjustable nuts for each string to compensate for any tapering or silking at that point. Many strings now use a winding length of 38", subtracting 2" for the ball end to saddle distance leaves us with a usable 36" scale from 2nd fret to bridge. In fact the first fret can be removed as it is never usabe. Bass strings' total length is very long to be compatible with various headstock designs, so the length of tapered/silked section used over the damper could be made quite large, causing improved damping and strings that are easier to tap and bend at the '2nd' fret. The optimum design would be a headless tapper with string clamps, this would free up an even longer length of tapered/silked section for improved damping while not making the instrument an unmanageable length, it could still be no longer than the average bass and so would fit in standard cases. Tapguitars with very long scales are very playable due to the fact that we do not need to reach the bridge, so the instrument can be shifted down and to the right, the bridge can be shifted out of reach, bringing the nut closer to the player.