A regular bass guitar is designed to have a longer body and a heavier weight. Unfortunately, those design characteristics are why some people may be turned off from learning the bass guitar.
The short scale bass guitar has its distinctive charms to offer. The shorter scale makes the guitar easier to play specifically, for people with shorter hands and beginner players that are younger.
That said, a bass guitar with short scale size is the perfect choice for those who are interested in learning bass but are struggling with the size of a regular one.
Choosing the best short scale bass guitar could be difficult, especially for beginners with small hands. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a TOP 5 list of the best short scale bass guitars in the market today!
Looking for one of the more high-end bass guitar from the bunch? The Fender 6 String Mustang PJ packs a lot of enviable features that are definitely worth the extra cash. The first-generation Mustang Bass was first released in 1964. With a history as long as that, you’d expect them to deliver only the best – and it does.
I love the PJ pickup configuration, giving users a variety of tones. I also like the fact that this beautiful guitar has a three-way toggle pickup switch; there’s a lot of room to discover your personal sound of choice. If you ask me, this short-scale bass should be priced a little bit higher considering its top-quality features.
The body of the bass is a solid built made out of alder with a nice satin finish. The neck is a C-shaped bolt-on maple neck with a Pau Ferro fretboard sporting 19 medium-jumbo frets and a scale length of 30”. The neck is firmly bolted to the body and the neck pocket is very tight. There are White position markers on the front and side neck facings. The fretboard radius is 9.5”. It is equipped with P and J Bass single-coil pickups that offer that classic Precision Bass sound and vibe with a dynamically intense tone. It has a 3-way toggle switch as well as volume and tone controls.
- Offers a lot of control and configurations.
- Has a Hardtail four saddle Bridge for tuning stability and precise intonation.
- Promises playing comfort for its users.
- Has a big price tag
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As far as playability goes, the Mustang is, as ever, a joy. The overall smaller size gives a definite sense of fun to the instrument although, like all Mustang Basses, it lends itself to a neck heavy balance. The short-scale also brings with it a decreased string tension, requiring less fret pressure even with the good-not-great factory setup.
This Ibanez bass came as surprise to me considering it is a short scale five-string bass that is quite light easy to carry. It is an entry-level bass but still, it provides a wide range of tone shaping, it has a nice warm sound with a good low-end response.
I absolutely love how this short-scale beauty plays. It is so easy on the shoulders, fun and easy to play, plus it has a tone that’s comparable to the high-end Ibanez guitars.
The body is a smaller size according to the shorter scale neck made out of poplar which is quite light, and it gives the bass a warm tone with good presence. The rounded edges of the body make it comfortable to hold and play as the bass sits nicely on the shoulders. The body has a nice gloss polyurethane finish. The thin short scale neck is made out of. The pickup setup is two single-coil magnets, at the bridge and neck positions. It has a plastic nut and a set of Ibanez die-cast tuning machines that hold the intonation with a B15 Fixed Bridge.
- High build and sound quality.
- Perfect for traveling and ultra-light.
- Produces a deep and confident sound.
- May be too small for larger people to play with.
Great compact size makes it fit for carrying outside and using in space-restricted home studios. Sturdy and loud Ibanez GSRM25 is a real hit for the bucks.
One could mistake the Ibanez miKro GSRM20 for a toy, but I personally think it is one of the more robust options out there for smaller bassists.
This short scale bass guitar was built to pass the same high standards of the other Ibanez guitars in the GIO series.
This guitar is also a lot shorter than most short scale guitars coming at 28.6′′ but don’t be fooled by its size – it has full size pickups and the same craftsmanship as all the other Ibanez guitars.
I personally love how this guitar is smaller than the rest – it’s perfect for kids to play on plus it will be a great companion when you need to bring your instruments on the go or while traveling to far places.
The body is a pretty standard Ibanez design made out of Agathis it maintains the same contours as the rest of the GSR line. While Agathis might not be the high-end tone wood, in beginner bass guitars it does a pretty good job. The slim-shaped maple neck is really interesting as it comes with a scale of 28” which is significantly shorter than your average scale bass. The fretboard is rosewood with pearl dot inlays and 22 medium-size frets. It’s mounted with a standard bridge with fully adjustable saddles on one side and die-cast tuning machines on the other. The pickup setup is a precision split-coil at the neck and a single-coil at the bridge which showed to be quite versatile. These are controlled by your standard Tone, Bridge pickup volume, and Neck pickup volume knobs.
- Lightweight and very portable
- Competitive easy playability compared to other short scales
- May require a professional setup to minimize fret buzz
- Build quality is acceptable given the cost, but it could be better
For the price, the Ibanez GSRM20 is hard to beat. It’s a solidly performing short scale that has loud and wide sound and won’t make a big hit on your budget. It is also really good for guitarists with smaller hands.
Epiphone is no stranger when it comes to great bass guitars in the affordable segment of the market. They may not be the most popular choice for most players, but this old brand sure knows how to throw a curve ball to the competition every once in a while.
Their EB-0 brings the style and somewhat even the sound of an old Gibson model which is no longer in production.
The body is the recognizable shape of Epiphone, the body is made out of mahogany that provides really good sustain. The 30.5” scale neck is easy to play and has a good range of tones which makes it easier to navigate the fretboard. It is perfect for beginners and players with smaller hands. It keeps the intonation quite well. The pickup configuration is a little different than the rest as it has a single humbucker in the neck position. With this configuration, the bass has a fat warm sound. It is equipped with simple controls, a single tone, and a volume knob.
- A great recreation of a classic bass design.
- A different playing experience compared to more modern basses.
Epiphone EB-0 is an amazing bass for its price and is definitely worth a try. The playing experience is different from modern basses but it’s easy to get used to. Build quality is sturdy.
Squier is most notably known as Fender’s budget brand, but you may be surprised at what you get for your money. The Squier Affinity Series Bronco Bass is, in our eyes, a testament to that perception.
For a cheaper bass I’m really surprised how sturdy it is, the body is double-cutaway made from solid Agathis and it’s quite light, the neck is slim C-shape made out of one-piece maple with a satin finish that provides a solid tone and is very comfortable to play. As it’s a short scale (30”) it lacks the depth of long-scale basses, and the sound it produces is less wiry. The fretboard is also made from maple, and it has 19 medium jumbo frets which are good for beginners, the radius of the fretboard is 9.5”. As expected from a short scale bass, sacrificing the range of notes for a lighter and more playable instrument. With the 2-saddle chrome bridge, tuning on the bass holds up fine as long as you don’t start digging in too much. It contains two knurled dome control knobs, a master volume knob, and a master tone knob similar to a P-bass. All of the hardware is in chrome finish.
- Budget pricing makes it an excellent choice for beginner bass players
- Simplified electronics configuration keeps things on the easy side
- Overall, the single-coil pickup tone could be more robust, as the tone controls do not make a huge impact
- Quality level is to be expected from a bass targeted at this market level but could be better
Fender Bronco Bass is a great way to get into bass guitar without spending a lot of money. The guitar feels nice and solid, the sound is very good and the price feels like a steal for a guitar that performs like Fender Bronco Bass
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