The Best Short Scale Electric Guitar to Consider in 2022

Harvey Fletcher
  Nov 30, 2022 6:26 PM

In 1964, Fender produced the Mustang as part of their student line; the company sought to create a little guitar for younger players. Some 30 years later, grunge musicians like Mark Arm and Kurt Cobain, and indie rockers like Buzz Osborne and Damon Albarn, have all adopted the short-scale guitar. In the '90s, the Mustang symbolized the underground culture's fashion. The short-scale market now includes instruments for adults looking for a workhorse and younger players who may find traditional guitars too intimidating. Fender has a wide variety of 3/4 models, including scaled-down versions of their iconic Jazzmaster, Jaguar, and Stratocaster guitars, as well as their Mustang and Duo-Sonic models. Several other manufacturers, like Ibanez, Jackson, and Epiphone, also make versions that are up to par. There is just as much variety as with regular guitars. However, we have created an effort to give a diverse selection in terms of design, mood, and cost at Jacob Golden. We have no doubt that you will locate the best short scale electric guitar that suits your demands, whether it is a child's first guitar or a professional short-scale model for the stage.

Our Top Picks

1. Best Overall: Fender Mustang 90

Fender added the Mustang 90 to its Offset Series after the popularity of its Duo-Sonic versions. As of now, it has become a legendary symbol of garage rock, played by guitarists from bands as diverse as Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. The offset body proportions and slim double-cutaway alder body make this instrument a sight. Its design deviates somewhat from typical Fender fare, but it's still made with the same high-quality materials and to the same exacting standards. The Pau Ferro fretboard on the C-shaped maple neck has 22 medium jumbo frets and a relatively small radius of 9.5 inches.

2. Best High-Quality: Ibanez GRGM 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar

After you've decided this list is all Fenders, Ibanez swoops in with a smaller model of their popular guitar that's perfect for beginning musicians. We've highlighted the GRGM21 since it's a MiKro series instrument that's both affordable and high-quality. Ibanez is well-known for its full-size guitars, but they were one of the first companies to create a specialized short-scale line with the introduction of MiKro in the early 2000s. These guitars have a Nato-wood body, a 22.2-inch scale length, and a body shape inspired by the RG series.

3. Best Easy to Use: Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS32

The J32's low price, high quality, and user-friendly design come as a pleasant surprise. It's a traditional "Super Strat" guitar design with some unexpected upgrades. Features like an arched top, 24 jumbo frets, a 2-way Fulcrum Tremolo bridge, and a compound fretboard radius are notably absent from instruments in this price bracket. In addition to being more comfortable to use, it includes several neat design elements.

4. Best Thin and Lightweight: Squier by Fender Mini Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar

The Squier by Fender Mini Strat is a colorful mini-electric with a narrow neck and a shorter scale length, making it suitable for young musicians. Student bundles of this guitar include textbooks, a clip-on tuner, picks, and a lint-free microfiber cloth, all designed to make learning this instrument as easy as possible. Arctic White, Sunburst, and Trans Blue are just a few of the traditional and vivid color selections. The Mini Strat, which comes in a 3/4 size, is a little version of the original Strat. Built to last, this guitar has a solid basswood body and a C-shaped maple neck with a 9.5-inch radius.

5. Best Sound-Quality: Fender Squier 24-Inch Short Scale Strat Pack - Transparent Blue Bundle

Austin Bazaar includes useful extras in your instrument package to increase its worth. In one single box, you'll get everything you need to begin playing right now. Forego the trouble and the wasted cash. Included is a simple clip-on tuner that will help you maintain your instrument in tune at all times. You may use the provided strap to stand up and rehearse or even give a greater performance. Straight out of the box, you can begin playing thanks to the provided picks. You may learn to play your new instrument with the help of the accompanying Austin Bazaar instructional DVD.

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Last update on 2022-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

1. How do short-scale guitars differ from full-scale guitars?

Some guitarists may find it simpler to play on a short-scale guitar because of the closer spacing of the frets. String bending and fretting are simplified by the instrument's low tension and movement. A decrease of only a few inches may make the difference between comfortable playing and strained, cramping fingers for people with shorter statures.

2. Does scale length affect playability?

Performances are less cumbersome with a short-scale guitar because of its manageable weight and small size. The strings of a small-scale guitar are more pliable than those on a full-scale guitar. Having such a low tension, in addition to the guitars' slender necks, makes it simpler to play chords and notes. They have a more robust and warm tone.

best short scale electric guitar

3. Are short-scale guitars only for kids and young students?

There are two distinct types of short-scale guitars. The Mini Strat, Ibanez MiKro, and Jackson Dinky Minion are all examples of guitars in the "beginning guitar" price range aimed squarely toward children. In the second group, you'll find well-known guitar manufacturers like Fender. These guitars are favored by adults due to their attractive design, pleasant sound, and easy playing.

Conclusion

If you need a guitar with a shorter scale length, maybe for a youngster or so you can play some Nirvana riffs, I highly recommend the Fender Mustang or Duo-Sonic, or if you're on a tighter budget, the Ibanez. If you're looking for something to scratch that short-playing-time itch, go no further; these guitars aren't simply for beginners or novelty purposes.

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