Do you have a small frame and struggle reaching your chords on the guitar? Don't give up, because we have a solution for you. Short scale electric guitars have a shorter fret distance, which makes playing easier for fun sized people, which is why we've rounded up the best short scale electric guitars for your budget. But first, should you get one?
Do I Need a Short Scale Guitar?
If you are looking for a short scale electric guitar, the first thing to understand is whether or not a short scale guitar is for you! This type of guitar can have the same number of frets as a regularly sized guitar, but the frets will be a lot closer together. Sometimes these guitars may have fewer frets than a standard guitar. Depending on your preferences, a short scale guitar can be better or worse for your guitar practices and performances. Some guitarists prefer this type of guitar if they enjoy playing chords more so than solos. Musicians also sometimes prefer a short-scale guitar if barre chords are very difficult for them or if they have a very small frame.
However, that short scale electric guitars are not for everyone. The closely spaced frets can make it difficult for some guitarists to fit their fingers on the frets! Some musicians also experience wrist pain if they are already accustomed to a full-length guitar and try to switch to a shirt-scale guitar!
You should try playing the short-scale guitar you intend to buy for approximately 20 minutes to see if you will have any issues with playing that specific guitar. If you already know that short-scale electric guitars are for you, or if you are just beginning your research on short-scaled guitars, you’ve come to the right place! Here are our top 5 recommendations:
Our Favorite Short Scale Guitars
Squier Mini Strat
Gibson SG Special Editor's Choice
1. The Epiphone EB-0
The Epiphone EB-0 electric bass is a sturdy 4-stringed guitar, which features a mahogany body and neck, and a stunning rosewood fretboard at an affordable price. This 30.5-inch scale guitar comes in a beautiful cherry red color with the traditional Epiphone SG shape. Guitarists love the Epiphone for its retro look without the retro guitar problems!
Musicians also rave about the EB-0’s single SideWinder bass humbucker pickup system. It additionally features a full-adjustable 3-point bridge as well as full-function volume and tone controls. Customers report that the Epiphone Eb-0 is an amazing guitar for the price and also love the final look and finish of the guitar. This small-bodied guitar is an excellent option for a reasonably priced short-scale electric guitar with amazing action!
- Mahogany body and neck with rosewood freboard
- Cherry red retro look
- Very affordable
- You'll want to change the strings
If the Epiphone EB-0 is not your speed, you may want to consider the Ibanez GSRM20, which has a slightly smaller body and a variety of color options!
2. Ibanez GSRM20
The Ibanez GSRM20, measuring 47.6 x 16.2 x 3.6 inches, is a sleek short scale bass guitar for the individual on a budget or considering purchasing a guitar for travel purposes. It features a mahogany body, a rosewood fingerboard, and a pearl dot inlay which gives the guitar a smooth finished look. The frets on this guitar are slightly closer together than on other guitars, however, the smaller fret size is not noticeable until you reach the 12th fret.
This guitar is ideal for those who are searching for a small-scale guitar with excellent tone and versatility. It features a small-bodied neck and comes in starlight blue, root beer metallic, black, flat walnut, pearl white, brown sunburst, and a metallic purple finish. The Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro is also well-loved for its incredibly lightweight design, as it weighs just 8.4 pounds!
- Great tone and versatility
- Stays in tune well
- Super lightweight and easy to handle
- A little fret buzz
Looking for a guitar for the young learner? Try the Squier Mini Strat!
3. Squier Mini Strat
The Squier Mini Strat is the perfect small scale electric guitar for youth and is an excellent travel guitar due its small neck and body. The Squier Mini Strat features a 22.75 string scale, a classic ‘C’ shaped design and finish, and a rosewood fretboard. It is a favorite among young learners who are looking for a guitar that they can play at their level and size too!
The ‘C’ shaped design gives this guitar a vintage look without the vintage price tag. The Squier Mini Strat with its thin body is perfect for the beginner electric guitarist. Additional features of this guitar include a 5-way pick up selector switch, one tone control and master volume controls, as well as an adjustable truss rod.
Overall the Squier Mini Strat, which comes in black, pink, and red, is perfect for the young learner or the guitarist with small hands and has a solid construction with no noise from the pick-ups.
- Perfect for younger guitarists
- 5-way pick up selector switch
- Great bang for your buck
- Tuning can be tricky
If you have a higher budget and are looking for a more professional guitar, you may want to look at the Gibson SG Special.
4. Gibson SG Special
The SG Special is a stellar guitar from Gibson, a widely-loved and best-selling brand in guitars. The SG Special features a standard Graph Tech nut, a thick rosewood fingerboard, and a historic heel shape that customers love.
Its high-quality manual tuners make it easy to keep this guitar in tune, and its hand-rubbed oil finish is bound to impress you, your spouse, your mother, and your house guests too! You can also choose the look that works for you as the Gibson SG Special comes in satin cherry and worn brown.
The SG Special is made from very lightweight solid mahogany and weighs less than 3 pounds to our amazement too! The guitar’s traditional tuners, tune-o-matic-bridge, and humbucking pickups give this guitar its finished look and high-quality sound!
- High quality hardware and tuning machines
- Well balanced and easy to play
- Great tone
- Some have noted rough fret ends
Last but not least, the Luna!
5. Luna LAB30Tribal
We also love the Luna LAB30 Tribal, which features a select spruce top, a mahogany neck, a rosewood fretboard, and laser art by Alex Morgan. This 4-stringed, 4-pound guitar measures 7 x 15 x 28 inches and features 20 frets, which is two or more frets fewer than a standard-sized guitar.
Customers love the Luna for its sound, its unique design, tribal-like artwork, and reasonable price. This short-scale guitar is perfect for small-framed guitarists looking for a guitar that will fit their body type without negotiating on quality sound and feel. The Luna LAB30 Tribal is described as a comfortable guitar great for jamming and practicing!
- Great action right out of the box
- Quality tone woods like the spruce top, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboad
- Acoustically not very loud