WHAT'S A "SHORT SCALE"?

Simply put - a shorter bass with less reach and the frets a little bit closer together. Great for anyone wanting a more comfortable, better balanced bass. What WE do is design them so they keep the BIG bass tone, and hand build them in Texas! For size comparison, here are (left to right) - Fender P (34" FULL long scale) with our 31” scale Cbass; another Fender with our Fusion bass (body comparison); headstock and reach comparison, our 1st fret is about the reach to a full scale bass’ 3rd fret; and the comparison is the same for our 31” scale 5 string vs. a full size 5.

"A Birdsong, by design, is not just one of the best short scales in the world - but a world class bass that happens to be smaller, lighter, and more balanced & comfortable."
~Scott Beckwith, designer/luthier

"Never had to tune it once during the entire 2-hour straight set (and we were outside in 100 degree temperatures)! Thanks Scott Beckwith, you design and make some awesome instruments!"
~Mike in TX

”A few years ago I bought a Birdsong (Corto #284). I like it very much! Without this bass I probably wouldn't be an active player anymore. And the tone is great. It's a big bass in every aspect but size!”
~Hylco in the Netherlands


Birdsong Guitars formalized & opened shop in 2004 after searching for an instrument that couldn't be found - a shorter, lighter, better balanced, easier playing bass guitar with a full size tone and hand built to professional standards, with none of the issues of the "old classics" or other short scale basses. Scott Beckwith built his first original design in 1997, ultimately coming up with the ingredients for a really great little bass, the Cortobass. We built a company around it. The Wingfeather Workshop menu grew to build other instruments such as lap steels, Scott's side projects, and to bring back the SD Curlee name.

Literally a Mom & Pop business started by Scott and his wife Jamie, 14 years later in 2018 Birdsong is still the flagship of all we do. Our instruments - your instruments - are still "craft brewed" on small workshop benches, to high quality boutique standards, with care and devotion to detail. Though our basses are played worldwide by players of all shapes & styles, and we now have one for just about everybody, our way hasn't changed. We make instruments in a small workshop - it's who we are and it's what we do. The Texas "Hill Country" is beautiful - maybe we can send you a little piece of it.
 

For additional information on Birdsong Guitars, please read through the Info page.


Offerings & Info for 2018:

ALL Birdsong Basses ON THE MENU include:

  • Money back satisfaction guarantee - even on custom orders!

  • Short 31" scale for less reach and easy fretting - comfy 24 fret neck.

  • LEFTY builds NO EXTRA CHARGE! Anything we make.

  • SIDE DOTS ARE THERE - small face dots are optional.

  • Standard mahogany, walnut or Spanish cedar body (see FAQ)

  • Balanced & light weight - 7 to 8 pounds - some even closer to 6!

  • Maple neck with rosewood or maple fingerboard (we can't ship Rosewood out of the USA)

  • Warm passive tones, incredibly big sounding. These are REAL basses.

  • 1.5" nut width, 17.5 mm spacing at bridge, 14" radius

  • Pro-quality parts throughout, beautiful hand-rubbed oil natural finish.

  • Prices include hard shell case or high quality padded gig bag.

  • SHIPPING INCLUDED fully insured to your door (CON-US ONLY) directly from our workshop.
    (AK, HI & worldwide shipping available)


the Cortobass

Our original professional quality short scale bass; the bass that built Birdsong! Everything I wanted in a bass - without the size & weight. Wide variety of voices, very comfortable. Anyone wanting a real high quality bass that just happens to be smaller & easier to handle, here you go! $2200 w/case & shipping

Shown: Spanish cedar with matching headstock (150), wood control plate instead of standard matte black (100), black hardware (50).

Variation: A "C1" is a one pickup version with the humbucker moved more central, jack in the plate, from $
1995 w/bag.  

Other options not shown:
Chrome hardware (standard)
Gold hardware (100)
Rear routing (no face plate) w/wood cover (100)
Rosewood or maple board (no charge)
Fretless, unlined rosewood (no charge)
Other body woods, stringers, etc. (Inquire)
 


the Corto2

A variation on the Cortobass theme that instantly became one of our best sellers! Rear routed controls and twin soapbar pickups in more of a J-style position give the "2" a sleek look and clear, more modern tone. Think "J" but more powerful and no pickup hum. And of course much smaller & more comfortable!
$2300 w/case & shipping

Shown: Spanish cedar with rosewood fretboard, matching headstock (150), black hardware (50).

Options not shown:
Chrome hardware (standard)
Gold hardware (100)
Rosewood or maple board (no charge)
Fretless, unlined Rosewood (no charge)
Other body woods, stringers, etc. (Inquire)
 



the C bass

What do you get when you cross the best of an old P bass (its tone) with comfy Birdsong feel and great balance, and season with a vintage look? The Cbass! Refined tonally against an actual vintage P and presented standard in poplar with vintage tortoise & chrome. Full up it's strong & punchy - roll the volume back to 9 and the tone halfway, and it's "that" classic P tone! $2300 w/case & shipping

Here's the Cbass demo video with it and the old Pbass.

Options:
Maple OR rosewood fretted or fretless
Pearloid ("Mother of toilet seat") plates
Black or gold hardware
Other body woods

"I've been meaning to write a testimonial for awhile now, but just haven't been able to put down this beautiful instrument long enough to do so. It's nearly impossible to fully put into words just how pleased I am, but I'll try.

My other basses have all been collecting dust lately; this bass really can "do it all". Even though the EQ is passive, I've never seen a passive one that has so much tonal range. You can easily get the "BITE" of a pick-like attack, even with your fingers; or smooth background textures that just blend in. You mentioned to me the care with which you made the decision of just where to place that P-Bass pickup, and it's just where it needs to be. PERFECTLY balanced, ya couldn't ask for better. SO easy to play.

I'm torn between keeping her all to myself, or letting other folks play her, so I'm kinda possessive about letting another player touch her. On the other hand, I wanna "spread the word" about how wonderful Birdsong basses are, so I've let a few folks noodle around. They all comment about how low the action is, and how easy to play. 

Among others, I've owned a Fender P-Bass & Jazz Bass, a Rickenbacker, and Spector Basses; including a Euro 4 (retails for around $3500). Also two short-scale vintage Gibsons (a '68 EB0 and a '69 EB3) This Birdsong bass is, by FAR, the most comfortable to play, and has the widest tonal range of any bass I've ever had." ~Larry W.

"It's been three or four weeks... I just wanted to let you know how psyched I am about this bass. I don't even think I'll ever look at another P BASS again." ~Miguel G. 

"Cbass arrived today safe and sound!  Everything about the instrument, from the feel, to the look, to the SOUND has exceeded my expectations!"  ~Chris M.

"Had a few days to play and feel and evaluate this thing. I think you’ve created the perfect instrument. Holy crap. I’m in love with it. The sound is everything I’ve been searching for, for many years. Better, far better than any Fender I’ve ever heard or played. Perfect." ~Dan R.

 


The PB "Power Bass"

With a fresh infusion of Birdsong comfort, build quality, and attention to detail, we pay homage to an old friend with all the vibe, none of the quirks, and twice the tone. 

"I've had my old '69 EB for a long time; it's a sentimental piece for me. But as a functional bass I always wished it balanced, held tune, sustained & sounded better... those wishes became the original Cortobass. Now the Cortobass morphs WITH it to become the Birdsong PB." ~Scott

Thinner mahogany body with carved edge, mahogany stained maple neck with rosewood board, black/white/black plates, numbered knobs, chrome or black (+50) hardware.
CLICK HERE FOR DEMO VIDEO!

PB-1 single pickup (shown)
$2200 w/case & shipping
PB-3 two pickup version $2400 w/case & shipping


Our Short Scale 5-string: The C5

A Birdsong Hy5 5-string is a miracle bass of sorts, mostly because people will still tell you "It can't exist..." but it does. Really it's nothing more than the Birdsong 4-string recipe for a BIG sounding, resonant short scale bass expanded and tweaked for 5. Our exclusive B stringing and careful voicing results in a compact, easy playing, balanced short scale 5 that feels small, sounds huge, and behaves about like a good 34" scale. It's a little giant, the truth comes out of the speakers, and money back if you're not blown away!  Here is a demo video of the 5-string from a few years ago.

In the line since 2007, for 2018 our standard 5 string model is based off of a slightly redrawn Cortobass body (to fit visually AND balance the 5-string neck). In 2017 we made a custom order of one and it felt SO right we pulled templates, took measurements, and... here you are! The Corto5.

Shown: Alder body with rosewood fretboard, rosewood stringer (100), black hardware (50), and an example of a single pickup version.

$2500 w/case & shipping
(Single pickup $2300 w/case & shipping)


the Fusion

Scott's favorite Birdsong, the Fusion was designed as a classy jazzy blues bass with an almost upright tone. It can rock too - Tommy from My Morning Jacked toured with one - and is great for backing up acoustic players. Elegance, warmth and articulation... it sounds just like it looks.
$2500 w/case & shipping

*Fusions come in walnut with black hardware standard, trimmed in hand carved rosewood.


Options:
Body wood veneer on headstock (150)
Fretless, unlined Rosewood (no charge)
Gold hardware (100)
Rear routed (150)
Left handed (no charge)


the CoRTO 4


Slap yourself silly on this Cortobass variation with the HUGE sounding (and beautiful) Delano humbucker, or just dig in and shake the walls. VERY refined and has a tremendous high fidelity frequency range for such a powerful pickup, you can roll the volume back a little and the tone control a lot and play reggae with it. Incredibly versatile with lots of options for your build, but poplar is a very good body wood for this recipe.  $2300 w/case & shipping   Here's a demo video!


Birdsong Customs

Mix & match present & past body shapes, pickup arrangements & features to come up with your own model! Sadhana, Talisman, Bliss, and more - all here as starting points. Let's talk on the phone and work up a dream bass for you, you probably deserve it!

Top row for additional body shapes: Sadhana, Talisman, Bliss, Skyrider, Odyssey, Original Hy5.
Middle row for pickup setups: S/H Cortobass, C2, Cbass, C4, 2 hum, PB-3
Bottom row for wood ideas: rustic pecan, stringers & pinstripes, scroll and maybe two necks, 5 pc. with German carve edge, contrasting wings, and hey - why knot?

Custom orders start at
$2500 w/case and shipping. And they do climb... but we love making dreams happen as inspirational tools, so give a call and we'll talk about it. 


SOUTHWESTERN

Playable works of southwestern art, this can be applied to any of our models of guitar or bass. We build with native Texas mesquite, fill the voids & natural character with real turquoise, and "full dress" it out with hand engraved solid silver plates by the world renown Clint Orms Silversmiths. 


the Turquoise Package

Genuine turquoise crushed & inlaid into your Birdsong for players who want a little more of the Southwest in their mojo. The design is generally left up to the artist based on your input and his inspiration. $250 and up


the Birdsong Artist

Artist builds are the very high end of what we do. Time & money; they take a lot. But if you like what we do and are thinking of an heirloom quality piece you can display but also play, maybe it's time to mark a chapter in life and we'd be honored to craft you something very special ~ full of symbolism, meaning, and above all... Birdsong tone & playability. As pretty as they are, they're our same great instruments underneath all the exotic woods and inlays!  


BIRDSONG TONE ON A BUDGET!
DESIGNED BY BIRDSONG
and now available from Thin The Herd Guitars.com: The Tbass!

What do you get when you combine a more traditional look and body with what Birdsong knows about making short scales work GREAT and sound HUGE? The Tbass! Thin The Herd is a small company a little north of us here in central Texas. Their specialty is VALUE - bang for the buck - and they combine international building with careful QC & setup (they're real players too), and the input & design of luthiers expert in their fields. Their "Custom Build Guitars" line of small-batch variations on tradition are just wonderful, and Birdsong is proud to be working on the bass line. We started with this, and it's a GIANT KILLER. We spec'd it with a P-bass feel to the neck but in 30.5" SHORT scale, and special Punchbucker soapbars in just the right spots. For more info and to order, contact brent@custombuildguitars.net.