Buying a short-scale electric guitar is no different from buying a full-scale one – there are always some things to pay attention to and others to avoid. In our quest for the best short-scale guitars, we have considered various criteria, including sound quality, durability, reliability, value for money—essentially, everything you would expect of a full-body guitar, only on smaller scale.
Now, if you would kindly disregard the previous pathetic attempt at a pun, let’s get to know the 4 guitars that stand out from the rest and their respective advantages and disadvantages. These are the best short scale electric guitars on the market.
We begin the list with the Squier Mini, an excellent starting instrument for your “minis.” Children will love practicing on this ¾-scale puppy, as it delivers a rich and strong tone while maintaining note consistency from low to high strings.
This baby is the smaller cousin of the iconic Fender Stratocaster and features most of the things its bigger sibling does – rosewood fretboard, a hard-tail bridge, master volume and tone controls, and 3 single-coil Stratocaster pickups. The fretboard nurses 20 medium jumbo frets and has a 9.5 radius; it’s all backed up with a comfortable C-curve neck with satin finish.
Talking numbers, the Squire Mini is 44.5 x 4 x 14.5 inches, and weighs pitiful 11 pounds. Not only is it perfect for kids, it will suit any small-handed players. Moreover, the Squier Mini is a perfect travel companion, whether you interpret the word “travel” literally or metaphorically.
SX RST 3/4 CAR Short Scale Red Electric Guitar
Your quest is over! We’re not sure what it was you were searching for, but rest assured you found it. The SX RST ¾-Scale Guitar is a Swiss-army knife of short-scale guitars – it packs everything you want, and everything you didn’t know you want (but definitely need), making you fully equipped to start jamming.
The offer includes the guitar itself, guitar amp, guitar bag, a strap, a guitar cable, die-cast chrome tuners and a DVD with guitar lessons. If you see “guitar” used again in this review, feel free to shoot.
About the instrument itself – it’s fully downscaled, features dual cutaway allowing you easy access to the highest frets, and yields a fat, well-balanced tone. The amp picks up some interference, but the sound is overall good.
The size of this puppy, like any short-scale, makes it perfect for kids and small-handed persons. It should suit people between 4ft.2in. and 4ft.10in., or taller (should they decide to travel with style). However, all things considered, the package and listed price make this best suited for beginners.
Kona Guitars KE55M KE55 Series Electric Guitar
Be ready to shake the pillars of Heaven and rock the foundations of the Earth with this bad boy. OK, the intro may have come off a bit fierce, but so is our excitement about this find! The Kona Guitars KE55N (part of the KE55 Series) may look unassuming due to its spalted maple body, but it is the go-to “axe” for anyone with small hands, be it kids, or adult beginners or seasoned players.
The sonic attack of this bad boy is bright and precise, with tight lows and sparkly highs, sounding almost warm and sweet in the mids.
Design-wise, the KE55N features a string-thru design and a single-cutaway body. The bridge is made in the classic tune-matic style, nicely complementing the hard maple neck and rosewood fretboard with silver/nickel frets. Topping all of that, the instrument sports classic-looking volume and tone knobs, as well as vintage-styled chrome buttons.
The offer further includes dual humbucker pickups (neck- and bridge-mounted), a 3-way selector switch, and die-cast sealed gear machine heads, making this one of the best short scale electric guitars period.
Peavey Iron Man ¾ Rockmaster
Peavey is a name known in full-size guitars for both quality and value. Their 3/4 sized model for younger players has a fun, kid-friendly design while still maintaining the quality standards they bring to their adult models. The end result is an instrument that will make musicians of all ages want to keep playing.
A lot of instrument manufacturers use lower-quality materials in the construction of children’s instruments, which can impact both their sound and their durability. Peavey uses an all solid wood construction in their ¾ Rockmaster, with a basswood body, a maple neck, and a 21-fret rosewood fingerboard. The hardware installed on it is equally high-quality, with diecast chrome tuners and custom-designed humbucker pick-ups.
The design of the instrument is equally important, especially when it comes to young players. The Peavey Rockmaster is visually appealing, with a sleek design and a choice of popular characters on the face. It’s also well-designed in terms of player comfort. In terms of playability, it’s ideal for children in the 9-13 age range; younger kids may still have some difficulty reaching the lower frets, though it depends on the child. The low price helps make it a very appealing starter guitar from the parents’ perspective, as well. This is easily one of the best short scale electric guitars for the money.
So . . . Which to Choose?
On a balance, the Fender Squier ‘Mini’ and Kona KE55M come neck to neck, albeit with one minor difference, technicality, really – the Squier Mini sits best with players that love that iconic Fender Strat vibe whereas the KE55M is more of a genre-oriented instrument, lending its voice well to metal and hard rock.
As far as durability and reliability are concerned, all of these fit the bill. One other criterion that comes close to these two criteria is versatility, and this is where the Kona K55N (see full specs) really shines. We were pleasantly surprised to find this hidden gem, as we hope you will be, too.
Value for money is another important thing to keep in mind when buying . . . anything, really. Given the package and listed price the SX RST has, it is, bar none , the best on list! Feel free to poke around the reviews. We’re sure you’ll find the best short scale electric guitar for your needs here. Good luck with your guitar purchase!