Short scale bass guitar has come a long way since instruments have been made. Indeed, with close to eight decades of existence, there have been many iterations to the short scale bass guitar. Favored by many prominent players such as Owen Biddle, Paul McCartney and Allen Woody, the short scale bass guitar is indeed widely used by the masses. All of these players chose their own best short scale bass guitar, and each of them has their own specific needs. In that case, what really constitutes to being the best short scale bass guitar? Or, what are the best short scale basses that you can find now? Let’s find out!
Best Short Scale Bass Guitar Reviews
It is clear that short scale basses are on the rise. With many models infiltrating the market in recent years, as well as the short scale basses being favored by many prominent players, it is the time of short scale basses! Don’t be swayed that the naysayers claim that the length of the short scale basses is the downfall of the guitar. Indeed, the length of the guitar is not indicative of how professional you are. Just ask Allen Woody!
As you might have read in our previous article, the best place to purchase guitars is actually on Amazon. With so many short scale basses on Amazon, which is the best? We have narrowed down to a few models for you to consider.
1. Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass
In terms of popularity as well as economics, the Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass is one of the top choices for the best short scale bass guitar. This specially made variant has a 30″ scale as compared to the usual 34″ scale, hence the name short scale bass guitar.
This vintage short scale bass guitar is touted as the perfect short scale bass guitar for beginners. However, we recommend this even for seasoned players too. Indeed, some prestigious players chose this short scale bass guitar due to the warmer and softer low end while having the subdued highs.
In terms of the handling of this guitar, which is an important aspect when we select the best short scale basses, this high quality short scale bass guitar. What we love about this short scale bass guitar is that it has the perfectly shaped maple neck capped with a rosewood fretboard. It does have a 9.5″ radius which is obviously optimal for a good handling experience. The inlays are dotted, and this best short scale bass guitar has 20 frets instead of the usual 22. Does this affect the sound? No, it does not. It just limits your range by 2 frets, but that itself is not a concern for most players. Apart from that, the finish is exceptionally smooth. Given that the Jaguar SS is not an expensive variant to the vintage short scale bass guitar, it is indeed surprising to see such a high quality finish to the guitar.
As for the main body, it comes with two finishes for you to choose from. There are two pickups that are quite standard amongst Squier models. There is the split-coil P-bass and the single-coil jazz bass. To control the volume, there is the dual volume knobs as well as the master tone control knob. All these are pretty standard I figure. What stands out is that the volume and tone control is beautifully crafted such that both compliment one another. The magic between both truly stands out. You can literally find the perfect sound that you wish to achieve if you play around with the controls long enough.
Perhaps the only downside is that it can be tough trying to keep the tone tight, especially at the low-end nature of the short scale bass.
In conclusion, we will still choose this as the best short scale guitar due to its versatility, quality as well as the beautiful body that this short scale bass guitar has.
What we like:
- Excellent sound
- Good ergonomics
- Sleek design
What we don’t like
- Tone can be loose.
2. Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro 3/4 Size Bass Guitar
Another top selection for a high quality short scale bass guitar is the Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro 3/4 Size Bass Guitar. It is touted as one of the best entry level short scale bass guitar too. Having said that, I do know of many professionals who swears by this during their gigs. I must say it is lovely hearing those overtones and flats flying beautifully all around.
When you open up the box, you will be surprised at the intricate design as well as the overall aesthetics of this short scale bass guitar. You will be more amazed when you finally plug the short scale bass into the sound system. It have a very nice full sound that suits many purposes. making it one of the best short scale bass for gigs.
When you feel this short scale bass, you will be glad to know that there is no fret sprout nor any sharp end that exists on this short scale bass itself. This means you will have a good time while making awesome music with this short scale bass.
When I try on the short scale basses, I will inevitably hold it in my hand to determine if the neck or the body of the guitar suits me. True enough, it does have a good feel to it. I am really a sucker for the feel of a product, and this is certainly the best short scale guitar for me.
The width of the nut is at 1.5″, and the fretboard radius is at 14. For the uninitiated, such a number means that the neck is flat when compared to most another short scale bass.
The tuners of this short scale bass is just the average tuner. It is nothing compared to the Jag SS. Nonetheless. it still functions exactly like how it is supposed to, except that it doesn’t have the backlash that exists within other inferior short scale bass. What stands out is that the tuning buttons hold well, hence you wouldn’t need to tune your short scale bass guitar often.
Perhaps the only downside is that the pickups are not exactly that optimal. However, this should not have a big implication at all as the sound is still pretty solid, and you can put good variance when you combine the volume and tone controls properly.
What we like:
- Superior sound
- Good ergonomics
What we don’t like
- Average pickup
3. Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Electric Bass Guitar II
When it comes to high quality short scale basses, how can we leave out the popular Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Electric Bass Guitar II? A quick check on various popular guitar forums shows that this particular short scale bass guitar is indeed popular.
We chose to do this Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Electric Bass Guitar II review simply because of the reputation behind the Gretsch brand of guitars. For those in the know, the Gretsch brand of guitars is known to be extremely hardy, durable and well-suited for songs of most genre, especially the rock songs. True enough, I have read a review of a guy belting out blues just like as if it was the lead guitar.
The neck is at 30″, and it is actually the perfect length if you intend to have a good transition over the bass lines. Actually, this is the main reason why people chose the short scale basses. The transition over long necks can be pretty tricky, especially if the piece that you are performing requires many movements. Hence, having this as the perfect short scale bass guitar will ensure that you can belt off the songs with much ease!
The tone and volume control work extremely well to give me near perfect sound quality at times. When you first control this high quality short scale bass, you might realize that there is some fret buzz at times. With better control, you will be able to overcome that.
What we like:
- Affordable for a reputable brand
- High quality sound. Deep base
- Good feel
- Used by many musicians
- Good pickup
What we don’t like
- Some models have loose controls, but can be rectified by checking on the back screws.
After doing the best short scale bass guitar reviews, we concluded that it is really up to the individual to decide which is the best. What we do is simply list out what we love and dislike about each guitar.
Do let us know if you would want us to review any particular short scale bass guitar!