Introduction: A Foreword about The Best Short Scale Electric Guitars
To many “serious” players, short-scale guitars have always seemed like a bit of a joke. They were seen as either children’s instruments or toys. The fact is though that if you are a road warrior, hauling around your full size guitar everywhere can be get to be a hassle.
If you are in a hurry these are our TOP 3 Picks:
- The classic 24" shorter Scale provides an easy playing experience
- Two specially voiced MP-90 single-coil pickups
- Perfect for beginners
- 22" scale Maple neck offers low tension and small size
- Legendary Peavey reliability
Guitars are bulky, heavy and easy to break. For this reason, many musicians are turning to small scale guitars.
Whether you are just picking up an axe for the first time or having been playing for decades, these small guitars make traveling so much easier and honestly just a blast to play!
Not only that, there are plenty on the market with great size that can rival any of their full-size brethren.
This guide will give you the tips on how to find the best short scale electric guitar as well as some of our top choices.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Short Scale Guitars
We have compiled a list of the best short scale guitars to match all price ranges. We have tested these for build quality, electrical components and most important of all, the feel of the guitar.
All of these are great options and suitable for a range of uses from practicing at home to taking them on the road.
Out of all these great guitars, our top choice the Fender Mustang 90 as best overall for price, quality and functionality. If you are going for budget, then you Squire Mini-Strat which gives you plenty of features, robust built at a fantastic value.
BEST SHORT SCALE ELECTRIC GUITAR
Best Short Scale Electric Guitar Under $550:
At 24 inches, this is a massive drop down from the 27 inch guitar might be used to playing with. This increases the playability without any sacrifice in sound quality.
The smooth fretboard and solid electronics come out of this mid-range Fender. Gigging it is no challenge too with its addedportability and great feel. The Fender Mustang 90 is a choice for best overall short-scale guitar.
- Hardware & Electronics 90%
- Sound 88%
- Value for Money 92%
Best Short Scale Electric Guitar Under $200:
This is a 3/4 size model and it comes in three different color variations. Our personal favorite is the Natural Semi-Gloss as the finish on the other guitars seems a little cheap, but this is entirely up to you.
• The guitar comes with a standard 3 pickup, 3 knobs and 5-position switch configuration for a huge variety of tones.
• The combination Natural semi-gloss body and a Tortoiseshell pickguard is almost iconic
- Hardware & Electronics 85%
- Sound 90%
- Value for Money 96%
Best Short Scale Electric Guitar Under $150:
This is actually the first small sized guitar offered by Ibanez. Though it may have a small size, but it still packs the sound quality of a full sized Ibanez, especially when you have it hooked up to a decent amplifier.
Unlike other small guitars, the Ibanez Mikro is no toy! Mikro features the same construction, high quality and careful set-up of the Ibanez full size GRX and GRG models.
- Hardware & Electronics 89%
- Sound 92%
- Value for Money 95%
Peavey doesn’t just produce amazing amplifiers, but insanely good guitars and basses, as well. Their high-end stuff compares to Ibanez guitars in terms of quality and sound. But what about the lower-end models?
They are simply great for their modes price! The Rockmaster series has very unique designs from Marvel comics, Star Wars and The Walking Dead, which you either like or you don’t. Regardless, what you get is a completely unique guitar that stands out from all the other instruments.
Some older, full-scale Rockmaster models were available in more traditional finishes, but the 3/4 Rockmasters only come with some Marvel superhero designs like Iron Man and Captain America, as well as Star Wars edition.
These guitars come with only one humbucker pickup, but they are equipped with a push/pull tone knob which enables single coil operation as well. This makes it very easy to switch between a humbucker and a single coil, but uses less resources, which is just one of the reasons why this guitars sound great, yet are very affordable.
Further advantages include a 21 fret layout, a durable design and binding on the body. All in all, this is a fantastic instrument for players of all ages and levels of skill and the Peavy Rockmaster series is more than capable of standing up to more expensive instruments on the stage.
• Single humbucker pickup with a single-coil mode (using a push/pull switch)
• Very unique Marvel, The Walking Dead and Star Wars design
• String-through-body design for maximum sustain
• A comfortable Scale Length: 22.5″
- Hardware & Electronics 87%
- Sound 91%
- Value for Money 94%
This is a great starting place for any musician but particularly for kids. This 3/4 scale bad boy still has rich and strong tone and has pretty good note consistency.
It is basically a small scale Stratocaster and for the price you really can’t complain. It is a great on the road and definitely ready to stand out to some of the abuses travel can bring.
- Hardware & Electronics 89%
- Sound 89%
- Value for Money 92%
BUYING GUIDE – THINGS TO CONSIDER:
What to Look For
When searching for the best short scale guitar, you will be looking for the same things as you would any of guitar. More than anything it is about quality of construction and components.
Pros and Cons of Short Scale Guitars
At the end of the day, it comes up to what guitar fits you best. Size is just one of many factors that you would have to consider. But it is one of the most important ones. Larger scales give you more room to play with chord voicing.
Smaller scales may be easier for those with small hands to do jazz chords and other moves that require a good deal of finger stretching.
There are guitars of all sizes between large and small scale so play around. For example, a Fender Jaguar is quite a bit smaller than a Strat, but you might not even notice the difference. You don’t want to go too small or your fingers may be cramped.
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is “Does this guitar feel wonderful in my hands?”
Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first guitar or adding to your massive collection, a short-scale guitar is a great idea.
They are perfect for new players or for those looking to carry around something a little smaller between band practices. Best of all each of these models is very robust and can produce gig worthy sound.
Also be sure to pair a great amp to go along with your new guitar!
So which of these guitars would you choose?
Let us know, best of luck!