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The Ultimate Guide To Short Scale Bass Guitars




short scale bass

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Do you love the sound of a bass guitar, but don’t like the size? Or maybe you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest in a full-sized instrument yet. If so, then a short scale bass guitar may be perfect for you! In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about these unique instruments.

We’ll cover the different types of short scale bass guitars available, as well as their pros and cons. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not a short scale bass is right for you!

Selecting the right short scale bass (Buying Guide)

Choosing the right bass guitar can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. There are so many different makes and models on the market, and it can be hard to know where to start. However, by keeping a few key factors in mind, you can narrow down your options and find the perfect bass for your needs.

First, consider the size of the instrument. Short scale basses are ideal for players with smaller hands, as they have a shorter neck and smaller frets. If you’re just starting out, a short scale bass is a great option as it is easier to learn on and less likely to cause pain in your hands or wrist.

Second, think about the sound you want to create. If you’re looking for a rich, deep sound, then an acoustic bass might be right for you. However, if you want to create a more versatile sound, then an electric bass might be a better choice.

Lastly, consider your budget. Bass guitars can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so it’s important to set a realistic budget before you start shopping. By taking these factors into account, you can be sure to find the best short scale bass guitar for your needs.

Ibanez miKro GSRM20 – Best Budget

The Ibanez miKro GSRM20 is a small, comfortable electric guitar with a full-size neck. It features Dynamix P/J pickups, which offer versatile tones. The Poplar body provides a light, mellow sound.

The tone of the maple neck and fretboard is bright and twangy.

This product was added to Amazon catalog by company “Ibanez” on March 22, 2016 and has over 200 reviews from customers who have purchased this product in the past as well as those who are currently using it.

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II – Best Overall

This junior jet bass is perfect for smaller players or anyone looking for an easy-to-play bass that delivers a thick, powerful tone.

The short scale length and low string tension make it easy to get a great sound, while the single coil pickups provide balanced, versatile tones.

The walnut fretboard is comfortable and smooth, making it easy to play for hours on end.

Lightweight and expertly crafted, this bass is a demonstration of Gretsch quality at its finest.

Squier Affinity Jazz Bass

The Squier Affinity Series Jazz Bass is the perfect bass for aspiring bassists.

The brilliant tones of its two single coil jazz bass pickups are sure to inspire creativity, while the smooth playability and fast action of its rosewood fingerboard provide you with all the tools you need to develop your technique.

Other features include a vintage-style open gear tuning machine that provides clear and precise tuning, as well as a four-saddle bridge that will keep your intonation rock solid.

Ibanez EHB1000S

Ibanez’s EHB1000S electric bass guitar is perfect for players who want an instrument that packs a lot of punch.

The roasted maple/walnut neck provides supreme playability, while the Bartolini pickups deliver clear, diverse tones.

And with its sensational design, the EHB1000S is equally comfortable to play sitting or standing up.

Epiphone Allen Woody Rumblekat

Epiphone’s Allen Woody Rumblekat is perfect for players who want a bright and clear tone.

The mini humbuckers provide resonant sound, while the chambered mahogany body enhances brightness. You can also shape your sound using the volume and tone controls.

LA Short Scale Bass Guitar by Gear4music

Gear4music’s Short Scale Bass Guitar is perfect for smaller players, or anyone looking for a more comfortable and playable bass guitar.

It features a crisp clear tone and punchy low end depth, making it the ideal choice for any style of music. It is also built from lightweight woods, making it comfortable and easy to play.

Ibanez TMB30

The Ibanez TMB30 short scale bass guitar is the ideal bass to hone your skills on, thanks to its shortened scale length.

The smooth maple neck makes playing at speed easy, while the versatile dynamix P and J pickups let you play any genre.

Hallmark Ibanez quality ensures this bass will last a lifetime and be a joy to play.

Fender Player Series Mustang Bass PJ

The Fender Player Series PJ Bass is a great way to get started on the bass. The classic P-style tone and comfortable feel of this updated classic makes it easy and satisfying to play.

Its shorter scale length gives you more control over the instrument, while its split single-coil pickup delivers plenty of punchy midrange growl.

And with its beautifully finished body and neck, as well as modern styling, the PJ Bass looks just as good as it sounds.

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass

The Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass is a 4-string electric bass with a basswood body, 2 single-coil pickups, walnut fingerboard, and maple neck.

This bass has a informal tone of voice that will make you sound great playing any style of music.

Traveler 4-String Bass Guitar

Looking for a comfortable and portable bass guitar? Look no further than the Traveler 4-String Bass Guitar!

This lightweight and compact guitar has a comfortable 32-inch scale length, making it perfect for players of all sizes.

The built-in headphone amp with aux-in lets you jam with your favorite MP3 player, and the deluxe gig bag is included for easy transport. Weighing just 6.8 pounds, the Traveler 4-String Bass Guitar is the perfect choice for musicians on the go.

Squier Mini Precision Bass

Looking for a mini bass that sounds as good as it looks? The Squier Mini Precision Bass is perfect for players of all levels and sizes.

Featuring a huge, punchy tone from its single Split Coil pickup, this bass plays exceptionally well thanks to its smooth maple neck and laurel fingerboard.

Enhanced playability and comfort make the Squier Mini Precision Bass the perfect choice for anyone looking for an exceptional mini bass experience.

Fender Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass Guitar

Looking for a bass guitar that can do it all? The Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass Guitar is perfect for players of all levels and styles.

With its alder body, maple neck and fingerboard, and single coil pickups, this bass is capable of delivering a balanced and resonant tone that’s perfect for a variety of genres.

And with its vintage tidepool finish and classy white pickguard, you’ll stand out on stage like never before. So don’t wait any longer, order the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass Guitar today!

Cons of the Fender Squier Modified Jaguar Short Scale bass guitar

While the Fender Jaguar short scale bass guitar has many features that appeal to bass players, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider.

One concern is that the shorter scale length can lead to a loss of tension in the strings, which can result in a less than ideal sound. Additionally, the shorter scale length may also make it harder to play certain techniques, such as slapping and popping.

Another potential issue is that the body of the Jaguar is narrower than other basses, which some players may find uncomfortable.

Finally, the Jaguar is also one of the more expensive bass guitars on the market. While it offers some unique features, potential buyers should be aware of these potential drawbacks before making a purchase.

Pros of the Fender Squier Modified Jaguar Short Scale bass guitar

The Fender Jaguar short scale bass guitar is an excellent choice for beginners for a number of reasons.

First, the shorter scale length makes it easier to play, and less likely that you’ll experience pain in your wrists or hands.

Second, the Jag has a very versatile range of tones, thanks to its two single-coil pickups and a passive bass boost circuit. You can easily get a deep, growling tone perfect for rock and metal, or a brighter, more pop-friendly sound.

Third, the Jag is very affordable, making it a great option for those on a budget. And fourth, the Jag is one of the most iconic bass guitars on the market, with a distinctive look that’s sure to turn heads.

So if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly bass guitar with plenty of style and tone options, the Fender Jaguar short scale bass is a great choice.

Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, Black with Maple Fingerboard

The Squier Bronco Bass is a slim and lightweight bass guitar that is perfect for players who are looking for an informal tone.

The “C”-shaped neck profile is comfortable to play, and the single-coil Bronco Bass pickup delivers a warm and punchy sound.

The short 30“ scale length makes the Bronco Bass easy to play, and the thin and lightweight body is perfect for players who are looking for a bass that they can take with them on the go. The satin finish neck gives the Bronco Bass a smooth feel.

Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar (GSRM25BK)

The Ibanez GSRM25BK is for players who want to rock without breaking the bank. It features a Poplar body that’s light on its feet and delivers a bright, twangy tone at the hands of a Maple neck.

The Dynamix P/J pickups offer versatile tones while providing enhanced string balance and separation.

Jackson JS Series Concert Bass Minion JS1X Bass Guitar

Looking for a bass guitar that’s easy to play and sounds great no matter what style of music you’re into? Look no further than the JS1X.

With its shortened scale length, this bass is perfect for beginners or experienced players who want a bass with a smooth, easy action.

The precision and jazz bass pickups deliver a range of tones that are perfect for any genre, while the unique design ensures you’ll stand out on any stage.

And thanks to its premium features, the JS1X is an incredible value at this price point. Don’t wait – order yours today!

What is a short scale bass guitar?

While a regular bass guitar has a scale length of 34 inches, a short scale bass guitar has a scale length of 30 inches or less. This makes it easier for younger players or those with smaller hands to reach the lower notes. In addition, short scale basses tend to have a warmer, fuller sound than their regular-scale counterparts.

For these reasons, short scale basses are an excellent option for beginner bassists or those who want a laid-back sound. However, it’s important to note that short scale basses can be more difficult to keep in tune due to their shorter strings.

As a result, they may require more frequent tuning than regular-scale basses. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an easy-to-play bass with a great sound, a short scale bass guitar is definitely worth considering.

What is the difference between short scale and long scale bass guitars?

Though they may look similar at first glance, short scale and long scale bass guitars actually have a few key differences. The most obvious distinction is in their size; as the name suggests, short scale basses have a shorter length, which makes them smaller overall.

Short scale basses also have narrower necks, making them easier to play for those with smaller hands. On the other hand, long scale basses have a longer length and wider neck, resulting in a fuller sound.

They are also better suited for lower tunings, as the longer length prevents the strings from becoming too tight. Ultimately, whether a short scale or long scale bass is right for you depends on your individual playing style.

Some Advantages Of Playing a Short Scale Bass

Though often overshadowed by its longer scale counterpart, the short scale bass has a number of advantages that make it a great choice for beginners and experienced bassists alike. For one, short scale basses are easier to play, thanks to their shorter necks and frets.

This can be a major benefit for those with smaller hands or those who are just starting out on the instrument. Additionally, short scale basses tend to have a warmer, rounder sound than their longer scale counterparts. This makes them ideal for genres like jazz and blues, where a laid-back tone is desired.

Finally, short scale basses are typically more affordable than their longer scale counterparts, making them a great option for budget-minded musicians. While they may not be suitable for every style of music, short scale basses offer a number of advantages that make them a great choice for many players.

What should I look for when buying a short scale bass?

When shopping for a short scale bass, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is the overall size of the instrument. A short scale bass should be comfortable to play, with the strings spaced relatively close together.

This is especially important if you have small hands or are just starting out on bass. Another thing to consider is the type of pickups the bass has. Passive pickups are typically cheaper and easier to replace, but active pickups can offer more control over your sound.

Finally, think about what style of music you want to play. A jazz bass might be a good choice for someone playing in a jazz combo, while a Precision Bass might be better suited for rock or punk.

Ultimately, the best bass for you is the one that feels comfortable and sounds good to you. So take your time and try out a few different models before settling on one.


Bass guitar pickups are an essential part of any bass player’s sound. They are responsible for converting the vibrations of the strings into an electrical signal that can be amplified. The type of pickup you choose will have a big impact on your overall sound.

Passive pickups are the most common type of bass guitar pickup. They are simple to install and require no batteries or external power source. However, they tend to be less responsive than active pickups and may not be able to handle the high frequencies as well.

Active pickups are powered by a battery or external power source, which gives them a boost in output. This allows them to better reproduce the low frequencies of the bass guitar. Active pickups also tend to be more responsive than passive pickups, making them a good choice for players who want a more aggressive sound.

When choosing bass guitar pickups, it is important to consider your playing style and what type of sound you are trying to achieve. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it is important to experiment with different types of pickups until you find the perfect match for your bass guitar.

Body style

The type of bass guitar that you choose will have a major impact on the sound that you produce. Different body styles and shapes offer different tonal characteristics, making some guitars better suited for certain genres of music than others.

For example, a hollow-body bass typically has a warm, rounded sound that is ideal for jazz and blues. On the other hand, a solid-body bass usually has a brighter, punchier tone that is better suited for rock and pop.

A short scale bass guitar will most likely be a solid body bass. However, just because they’re not common doesn’t mean that you won’t find hollow body short scale bass guitars out there somewhere so just keep these differences in mind if you do find one.

Ultimately, the best way to find the right bass guitar is to experiment with different models until you find one that sounds good to you.


How much should you spend on a bass guitar? It really depends on your budget and what you’re looking for in an instrument. If you’re a beginner, you might be able to get away with spending less than $200 on a decent starter bass.

However, if you’re looking for a high-quality instrument that will last you for years to come, you’ll need to be prepared to spend closer to $1,000. Of course, there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to how much you should spend on a bass guitar.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you can afford and what you’re looking for in an instrument. With a little bit of research, you should be able to find a bass that’s perfect for your needs and budget.

Neck Scale Length

The neck scale length on a short scale bass guitar is the distance between the nut and the bridge, measured along the length of the fretboard. A shorter neck scale length results in a shorter overall instrument, which can be beneficial for players with smaller hands or for those who prefer a more comfortable playing experience.

Additionally, a shorter neck can make fretting notes easier as there is less distance between the frets. For these reasons, short scale bass guitars are often recommended for beginners. however, it is important to note that the reduced string tension on a short scale bass can result in a thinner, less powerful sound.

As such, it is important to try out a variety of short scale basses before settling on one to ensure that you are happy with both the playability and tone of the instrument.

Fretboard, Frets and Nuts

The fretboard, frets and nut of a bass guitar together form the instrument’s neck. The fretboard is usually made of maple or rosewood, although some cheaper instruments may have a plywood fretboard.

The frets are strips of metal (usually nickel-silver) that are embedded in the fretboard. The nut is a strip of bone, ivory, plastic or metal that is glued or screwed to the top of the neck. It provides a hard surface against which the strings can vibrate, and it also helps to keep the strings in place at the correct spacing.

Without the nut, the strings would buzz against the fretboard and would be very difficult to tune correctly.

Together, the fretboard, frets and nut form the neck of the bass guitar, which is vital for both tone and playability.

Body shape and material

A bass guitar’s body shape and material affect the instrument’s sound. The most common shapes are the “J,” “P,” “D,” and “double cutaway.”

The J-bass is the original bass guitar, with a rounded bottom and two single-coil pickups.

The P-bass has a pointed bottom and a split-coil pickup, which gives it a growlier sound.

The D-bass has a asymmetrical body and two single-coil pickups. The double cutaway has two cuts in the body for easier access to the upper frets and is often used in heavier styles of music.

The material of the body also affects the sound. Alder is a common wood used in bass guitars because it has a balanced tone. Maple is often used in high-end instruments because it gives the bass a brighter sound.

Bass guitars can also be made of composite materials such as carbon fiber or aluminum. These materials are often used in electric violins because they produce very little acoustic sound.

As a result, the body shape and material of a bass guitar have a significant impact on the instrument’s sound.

Scale length and neck width

The scale length of a bass guitar is the distance from the nut to the bridge. The neck width is the distance between the outside edges of the fretboard. Bass guitars typically have a scale length of 34 inches and a neck width of 1.5 inches.

The scale length provides tension for the strings, while the neck width determines the spacing of the strings. Together, these two dimensions determine the playability of the bass guitar.

When choosing a bass guitar, it is important to consider both the scale length and neck width in order to find an instrument that is comfortable to play and has the desired sound.

Parts and features

When shopping for a bass guitar, it is important to pay attention to more than just the body style.

Electronics, wood type, and the quality of building materials can all have a significant impact on the sound and playability of the instrument.

The overall feel of the guitar is also important, as it should be comfortable to hold and play.

With so many factors to consider, it can be helpful to consult with an experienced salesperson or musician before making a purchase.

By taking the time to choose the right bass guitar, you can ensure that you will enjoy playing it for years to come.

Best brands for short scale bass guitars

When it comes to short scale bass guitars, there are a few brands that stand out from the rest. Fender is a perennial favorite, thanks to their quality construction and classic designs. Squier is another great option for those looking for an affordable instrument.

Ibanez is also a popular choice, offering a wide range of both budget-friendly and high-end instruments.

For those seeking a unique short scale bass, Rickenbacker is a great option. While they may not be as well-known as some of the other brands on this list, they offer a wide variety of unique and iconic basses that are sure to turn heads. whatever your budget or style preferences, there’s sure to be a short scale bass out there that’s perfect for you.


Ibanez was founded in 1957 by Hoshino Gakki, a Japanese musical instrument manufacturer. The company initially sold guitars and other stringed instruments under the brand name “Ibanez”, but later switched to the “Talman” brand name in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Ibanez began producing copies of popular American guitar models, including the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster.

These “lawsuit era” guitars were very successful, and helped to put Ibanez on the map as a reputable guitar manufacturer. In the 1980s, Ibanez introduced its now-famous line of road-tested basses, which have been used by everyone from legendary players like Steve Vai and Geddy Lee to modern heavyweights like Metallica’s Robert Trujillo.

Today, Ibanez is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric guitars and basses, and their instruments are played by some of the biggest names in music.


Fender is one of the most iconic brands in the world of musical instruments. The company was founded in 1946 by Leo Fender, and it quickly became a leading manufacturer of electric guitars and basses.

Fender’s instruments were used by some of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and George Harrison. In 1965, Fender was sold to CBS, and the company began to mass-produce its instruments.

This caused some deterioration in quality, but Fender regained its reputation for excellence in the 1980s when it was purchased by a group of investors. Today, Fender is widely regarded as one of the best guitar manufacturers in the world.

Its instruments are used by countless professional musicians, and they continue to be popular with beginners and hobbyists alike.

Is playing short scale electric guitar right for you?

Now that we’ve gone over the many benefits of playing a short scale bass, hopefully, you won’t ignore them the next time you’re looking for a new guitar.

They are a great option for beginners or players with small hands and many well-known professionals use short scale basses so they shouldn’t be overlooked.

Do some research and find the perfect one for your needs – you might be surprised at how much you like it!


Here are some more questions about short scale bass guitars that will help you decide if you should buy one.

Why are short scale basses popular?

Because they allow people to play the electric bass guitar with less effort. Usually, the electric bass guitar is a very physically demanding instrument to play because it’s so big. Short scale instruments like the Mustang bass are a scaled down version of the electric bass guitar which makes it easier to play and more accessible to beginners and children.

Are short scale basses good for beginners?

They’re often a great choice! Models like the mustang bass provide a great tone and a much more comfortable playing experience which owes to their great build quality and smaller size.

Is a 20 fret bass short scale?

Often, yes but not always. A P bass, for example, has 20 frets but is a standard size bass. The term “short scale” refers to the overall size and scall of the bass and not the number of frets. If you buy a precision bass that is a short scale size bass, it will also have 20 frets but also have a smaller overall size.

Are short scale bass guitars any good?

There are several great models. The Gretsch g2220 junior jet is a great option. The junior jet ii has a great tone that comes from the maple neck and great electronics. Why not read some reviews of the junior jet ii?

Is 32 short scale for a bass?

The best short scale bass guitars often start at 32 inches and then go down from there. Basses on the market that fit into this category are models such as GSRM20 mikro. This size bass guitar is a short-scale bass.

What bass is best for small hands?

Best guitar for small hands. All in all Squir Classic Vibe Mustangs. … Best Bass for Small Hands – Ibanez GSR200. ” ” Premium Picks – Jazz Bass from Gibson. … Budget choice Fender Squier. … Ibanez GSRM20 mikrokro. Best overall Squir Classic Vibe Mustang Bass. … Best Bass for Small Hand. Ibánez GSR 200. … Fender Player Jazz guitar. … Budget Choice Bass Squier Bronco Bass. .. Ibanez GSRM20mKo.

Can your fingers be too short to play bass?

Not really, but if you feel they are then look at a short scale model like the calssic vibe bass or the GSRM20 mikro which are both reviewed in this article.

Can you play bass with small hands?

Absolutely! Many great bass players have small hands so don’t be discouraged.

Do bassists need big hands?

It’s not essential. Some bassists have very large hands, while others are quite small. The important part is that they can reach all the notes on the fretboard comfortably and accurately.

Some players use their thumb to help them reach higher frets, while others just play with two or three fingers. It’s up to each individual player to find a technique that works for them.

What are small bass guitars called?

Usually called short-scale basses, they have scale sizes that start around 32 inches and decrease from there.

Are there small bass guitars?

Yes. These are known as short-scale bass guitars.

Does Ibanez make a short scale bass?

They do! Ibanez offers a variety of short-scale basses for different playing styles. The GSR200 is a great choice for entry-level players, while the GWB35NT provides more advanced 4-string playability. Both models feature 30” scale length and are available in several colors and finishes.

Are short scale basses worth it?

Absolutely! Short scale basses are perfect for both beginners and experienced players alike. They offer a comfortable playing experience, and when coupled with the right amp, can produce amazing sound. With shorter necks and shorter strings, they’re also easier to play than standard-sized basses. Additionally, they don’t require as much effort to get around the fretboard since they are smaller in size.

Is a short scale bass easier to play?

Not necessarily. It may be easier to play because of the smaller string length, but other factors hand size, the amount of practice time you put in and the quality of your teacher will also affect how easy you find a short scale bass to play.

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