Top 10 Best Short Scale Bass Guitars – Our Recommended Picks and Buying Guide

Our #2 Rated
Squier by Fender 328800506 Vintage Modified Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass, Black
Our #3 Rated
Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat (GSRM20BWNF)
Our #1 Rated
Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Beginner Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar - Candy Apple Red
Our #4 Rated
Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar - Natural
Our #5 Rated
Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Electric Bass Guitar II - Black
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Super-versatile bass guitar with superior sound true to the Fender brand
Shorter in size than most options, making it lightweight and portable
Plays like a regular guitar with a high-quality sound
Good quality bass guitar with a good price
Plays a big bass tone despite its smaller body
Offers great support and comfort and has smooth playability
Smooth and tiny neck with frets made perfectly for smaller hands
Provides a lot of control over volume through a good quantity of knobs
Beautiful asymmetric design unique to Dean guitars
Made with lightweight basswood, making it travel-friendly
Features a classic Fender design but with a pocket-friendly price
Great quality bass for an affordable value
Has a beautiful vintage design for those who love old-school aesthetics
Features a neck that's made to be fast and easy to play
Comfortable to play even after long hours of rocking out
The best option for those who prioritize comfort while playing the guitar
The best pick for people with smaller hands and for young beginners
A great pick for guitarists who are interested in learning bass for the first time
A competitive option for guitarists who want a smooth neck
A great pick for bass players looking to perform long gigs
Our #2 Rated
Squier by Fender 328800506 Vintage Modified Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass, Black
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Super-versatile bass guitar with superior sound true to the Fender brand
Offers great support and comfort and has smooth playability
Features a classic Fender design but with a pocket-friendly price
The best option for those who prioritize comfort while playing the guitar
Our #3 Rated
Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat (GSRM20BWNF)
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Shorter in size than most options, making it lightweight and portable
Smooth and tiny neck with frets made perfectly for smaller hands
Great quality bass for an affordable value
The best pick for people with smaller hands and for young beginners
Our #1 Rated
Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Beginner Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar - Candy Apple Red
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Plays like a regular guitar with a high-quality sound
Provides a lot of control over volume through a good quantity of knobs
Has a beautiful vintage design for those who love old-school aesthetics
A great pick for guitarists who are interested in learning bass for the first time
Our #4 Rated
Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar - Natural
Good quality bass guitar with a good price
Beautiful asymmetric design unique to Dean guitars
Features a neck that's made to be fast and easy to play
A competitive option for guitarists who want a smooth neck
Our #5 Rated
Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Electric Bass Guitar II - Black
Plays a big bass tone despite its smaller body
Made with lightweight basswood, making it travel-friendly
Comfortable to play even after long hours of rocking out
A great pick for bass players looking to perform long gigs

A regular bass guitar is designed to have a longer body and a heavier weight. Unfortunately, it is for that reason why some people may be turned off by learning the bass guitar.

Younger guitarists or aspiring bassists with smaller hands might not have the best experience with a regular-sized bass. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from playing an instrument they love.

best short scale bass guitars

That said, a short scale bass guitar is the instrument of choice for those who are interested in learning bass but are struggling with the size of a regular one.

Choosing the perfect short scale bass guitar could be difficult, especially for beginners. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best short scale bass guitars in the market today!

 

Top 10 Best Short Scale Bass Guitars in 2019

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Beginner Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar - Silver
195 Reviews
Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Beginner Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar - Silver
  • Short scale length (30")
  • Maple neck with "C"-shaped profile, black headstock and 20-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • Single-coil Jazz Bass bridge pickup, vintage-style split single-coil Precision Bass middle pickup
  • Volume control knob for each pickup, master tone control knob
  • 1 Year Warranty Included

Looking for an oldie but goodie, minus the age and the hefty price tag? This electric bass guitar is the perfect companion for those who love a nice vintage look.

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Beginner Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar
Photo provided by FMIC

Appearances aside, the Squier Jaguar beginner lives up to its name as one of the best bass guitar options for beginners. Its neck is a regular 30″ in a C-shape, and it has a 20-fret fingerboard. The Jaguar Beginner also has two pickups: the Jazz Bass bridge pickup and a vintage split single-coil Precision Bass middle pickup.

What I love most about this beautiful bass is that it has a volume control for each knob, as well as a master tone control knob. This gives beginners a lot of room to find a unique sound that they love and something that represents their music style.

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Pros
  • No frills
  • High-quality guitar in a classic vintage Fender design
  • Can be played like a regular guitar – not much learning curve for guitarists

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Cons
  • A little bit on the heavier side compared to other guitars
  • Harder to find hardshell guitar cases for this model

 

Squier by Fender VM Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Beginner Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar - Candy Apple Red
195 Reviews
Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Beginner Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar - Candy Apple Red
  • Short scale length (30")
  • Maple neck with "C"-shaped profile, black headstock and 20-fret rosewood fingerboard
  • Single-coil Jazz Bass bridge pickup, vintage-style split single-coil Precision Bass middle pickup
  • Volume control knob for each pickup, master tone control knob
  • 1 Year Warranty Included

Here’s another impressive selection in the Jaguar line from Squier by Fender. Like the beginner version, the Jaguar special also has a 30″ C-shape neck and 2 pickups similar to the Jaguar Beginner. But it has 20 medium jumbo frets that promise to be fast-playing and easy on the fingers.

Squier by Fender Vintage Modified Jaguar Special Short Scale Bass
Photo provided by FMIC

Another thing that is not seen on the Jaguar Special is the generous amount of volume control on the Beginner. The Jaguar Special only has 2 volume controls and 1 master volume control.

However, what I love most about this is its design. Fender fans would love its sleek classic appearances at a much affordable price range. The Jaguar Special also makes a great short scale bass for first-timers because of its beginner-friendly and ultra-slim neck.

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Pros
  • Packs a lot of value for a humble price tag
  • The ultra-slim neck makes it easier to hold and play
  • Makes a great guitar for practice

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Cons
  • Weighs heavy – it is heavier than the Jaguar Beginner
  • Limited control knobs
  • Not suitable for recording purposes

 

Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar (GSRM20BWNF)

Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat (GSRM20BWNF)
132 Reviews
Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Walnut Flat (GSRM20BWNF)
  • Fast, slim Maple neck
  • Compact, light-weight Body
  • Dynamic P pickup
  • Short Scale 28. 6"

One could mistake the ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar for a toy, but I personally think it is one of the more robust options out there for smaller bassists. This short scale 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.

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Pros
  • Ibanez standards and quality but in a more affordable price
  • Lightweight and very portable
  • Also great for packing with restricted space
  • Competitive easy playability compared to other short scales

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Cons
  • Looks like a toy
  • A minus for a rockstar who wants to impress
  • Guitar strings may sound too scratchy for some people

 

Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar

Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar - Natural
105 Reviews
Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar - Natural
  • 34-inch maple neck with rosewood fretboard and abalone dot inlays
  • Dean passive soapbar pickup with volume and treble controls
  • Dean vintage-style bridge with adjustable intonation
  • Diecast Dean tuners
  • Basswood body and natural satin finish

If you’re looking for a guitar that’s all about comfort and ease, the Dean E09M is the guitar for you. Although its neck is a lot longer than the average 30″, the Dean E09M has a 34″ maple neck that was built for easy playability.

When I first saw the length of this neck, I didn’t think that this would be a good option to include in this list. But upon closer inspection, I realized that the makers at Dean had a custom joint/heel design that makes it easier for bassists to hit those hight notes.

I cannot recommend a better guitar that prioritizes the player’s goals better than the Dean E09M. The classic vintage-style Dean design is also a plus.

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Pros
  • A solid short scale bass for beginners
  • Nice to hold
  • Easy on the shoulders
  • Good quality sound at an inexpensive price range

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Cons
  • Neck length may be too intimidating for some players
  • Color might not be off for some who are meticulous about appearance

 

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Electric Bass Guitar II

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Electric Bass Guitar II - Black
10 Reviews
Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Electric Bass Guitar II - Black
  • 4-string Electric Bass with Basswood Body
  • 2 Mini Humbucking Pickups - Black
  • Rosewood Fingerboard

If there’s a short scale bass guitar that can truly deliver that deep, baritone bass sound, it would have the be the Gretsch G220 Junior. Although a tad bit more expensive than other options on this list, this bass promises high-quality sound and a beautiful body design.

I personally think that this guitar is one of the best options for someone who is looking for something a bit more advanced than a beginner short scale bass. It’s a step up from the beginner range of short scales, making it a good choice for those interested in advancing.

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Pros
  • Easy neck and a sleek body with a beautiful finish
  • Sound quality comparable to higher end brands
  • Offers a variety of sounds – comes with 2 pickups
  • A selector switch
  • And a tone knob

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Cons
  • Neck dive might feel uncomfortable for some users
  • Price range is a bit higher than other options

 

Squier by Fender Bronco Bass

Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, Black with Maple Fingerboard
191 Reviews
Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, Black with Maple Fingerboard
  • Agathis body with gloss polyurethane finish
  • 30 in scale length C-shape maple neck with 9. 5 in radius maple fingerboard and 19 medium jumbo frets
  • 1 Special Design Single-Coil Pickup
  • 2-Saddle Chrome Bridge
  • 1 volume control and 1 tone control

Here’s another lovable Squier by Fender choice: the Bronco Bass. This is a bass guitar that was built specifically for the beginner and for the user with smaller hands. You can tune it easily, giving beginners less of a pain in the neck trying to get their sound right. And it also has that classic bass guitar design a lot of people love.

This 30″ scale C-shape guitar packs a lot of value for an affordable price. It has 19 medium jumbo frets, 1 volume control and 1 tone control – a great set for first-time users who are just starting to learn how to play the bass.

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Pros
  • An affordable Squier by Fender choice
  • Easy to play
  • Has all the basics every beginner needs
  • Lighter than most 30″ scale bass guitars

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Cons
  • Not a lot of controls to experiment
  • Considerably weaker pickup than other options

 

Fender 6 String Mustang PJ Bass-PAU Ferro

Fender Mustang PJ Bass - Pau Ferro Fingerboard - Sonic Blue
7 Reviews
Fender Mustang PJ Bass - Pau Ferro Fingerboard - Sonic Blue
  • This Bass features a short scale length (30") for pronounced playing comfort for students and beginners and anyone who enjoys the easily reachable range of a short-scale bass.
  • Bassists will appreciate the tonal versatility of the "PJ" pickup configuration
  • This Mustang Bass features a three-way toggle pickup switch, giving you either the bridge or neck pickup alone, or both.
  • This 144053572 features a Hard tail four-saddle Bridge for solid tuning stability, precise intonation and increased Sustain.
  • This instrument features a modern "C" shaped neck designed for comfort and performance

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 bass should be priced a little bit higher considering its top quality features.

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Pros
  • 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

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Cons
  • A high end guitar with a hefty price tag in comparison with other guitars on this list

 

Ibanez GSR 4 String Bass Guitar GSR200BWNF

Ibanez GSR 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Walnut Flat (GSR200BWNF)
54 Reviews

The Ibanez GSR is all about sound quality; it is a no frills guitar that takes pride in the sound it produces over all the fancy configurations. If you’re looking for a guitar that can help you on your playing during practice, this is the guitar for you.

What I love most about this guitar is its weight. Like most guitars in this list, the Ibanez GSR is a 30″ short scale but it is surprisingly light. It’s even lighter than a guitar with a shorter neck! And for me, that means that this guitar is a keeper, especially when I need to pack light for travel.

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Pros
  • Ultra lightweight
  • A perfect companion for the travelling musician
  • High quality sound with a good range of tones at an affordable price
  • Comfortable to play and little to no adjustments needed

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Cons
  • Durability issues
  • Material not as sturdy as others
  • Does not do well with wear and tear
  • Ages quickly than most guitars

 

Dean Evo XM Mahogany Short-Scale Electric Bass Guitar

Dean Evo XM Mahogany Short-Scale Electric Bass Guitar - Natural
20 Reviews
Dean Evo XM Mahogany Short-Scale Electric Bass Guitar - Natural
  • Mahogany Body
  • Mahogany Top
  • Bolt-On Neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
  • Black Hardware

The Dean Evo has all the basic features on point. If you are a beginner who is looking for a good guitar to practice long hours with, this guitar model should be on your list. Although it is also one of the more expensive bass options on this list, the quality and craftsmanship required to built the guitar is worth it.

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Pros
  • Comfortable and easy to play with
  • Lightweight
  • Made of good quality materials with a beautiful finish

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Cons
  • Adjustments required after purchase
  • Tuning machine heads may be loose compared to other options

 

Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar (GSRM25BK)

Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Black (GSRM25BK)
27 Reviews
Ibanez 5 String Bass Guitar, Right, Black (GSRM25BK)
  • Fast, slim Maple neck
  • Compact, light-weight Body
  • Dynamic P pickup
  • Short Scale 28. 6"

Don’t be fooled by what you see. The Ibanez GSRM25BK may look like a weak contender but believe it or not, this 28.6″ scale guitar produces a great bass sound. The GSRM25BK is also a member of the Ibanez GIO series and it was made with the same materials, construction, and standards of all the other Ibanez guitars.

I absolutely love how this petite 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.

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Pros
  • High quality sound and materials with an inexpensive price tag
  • Ultra light and small
  • Perfect for travelling and packing with restricted space
  • Produces a deep sound bassists love to hear

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Cons
  • May be too tiny for larger people to play with

 

How To Choose A Short Scale Bass Guitar

One might think that a short scale guitar would be cheaper than a regular-sized bass, and they couldn’t be any more wrong. You can easily waste a lot of money by purchasing the wrong short scale for you.

Some people tend to judge the value of a guitar based on its material. But as you know, it is more than just what the guitar is made of that makes the guitar worth buying. The trick on how to choose a short scale bass guitar is to understand how the guitar fits with your body and how you play it.

It’s all about the size

Some people may find larger short scales like the 34″ to be uncomfortable. There are others who also do not like a super petite short scale with a neck length that’s below 30″. The best thing you can do is to hold the guitar yourself and determine what feels comfortable for you.

Best Short Scale Bass Guitar

Also, choose a guitar that’s easy to play

The neck length of the guitar may also affect its playability. But the other thing you need to consider is its frets. Some people like jumbo frets while others prefer the medium. Figure out what works for you before purchasing.

 

EDITOR’s CHOICE

This roundup contains a lot of great choices for short scale bass guitars, making it very difficult to choose just one option. But if we had to pick just one winner, it would have to be the Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar.

This list was made with young users and guitarists with smaller hands in mind. The Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar Short Scale Electric Bass Guitar may be tiny but it has quality, comfort and easy playability – two factors that make a guitar worth buying. Plus, it comes at a very affordable price, making beginners feel more at ease with their investment.

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