5 Best Short-Scale Bass Guitars

The Short scale bass guitar is an amazingly cool part of the electric bass family tree that is often criminally overlooked. We usually think of basses as large, long instruments, which they are, but a short scale bass has its own unique set of charms to offer.

Comparison Table of Best Short Scale Bass Guitars

Product
EpiphoneEB-0 Electric Bass Guitar, Cherry Red
Scale Length
30.5 Inch
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Product
Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, Black with Maple...
Scale Length
30 Inches
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Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Brown Sunburst...
Scale Length
28.6 Inches
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Product
Hofner HOF-HI-BB-SB-O 4-String Bass Guitar
Scale Length
30 Inches
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Dean Evo XM Mahogany Short-Scale Electric Bass...
Scale Length
30 Inches
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Shorties are great for bass players of smaller size who aren’t physically comfortable on a full-scale instrument. They are much easier to play than something modeled on an old P-Bass with a neck like a felled tree! This also makes them an excellent choice for guitarists who need to play or track bass parts.

While not the best basses for those using drop tunings, there isn’t much of a sonic difference compared to a longer bass when tuned to E.

Today, we are going to help you find the best short scale bass guitar for your needs and applications. Ready? Here we go!

Best Short Scale Bass Guitar Review

Epiphone EB-O

EpiphoneEB-0 Electric Bass Guitar, Cherry Red

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It is tough to go wrong with the Epiphone EB-O Electric Short Scale Bass. The original Gibson versions from the 1960s were a popular and affordable way to get cool bass tones in a smaller axe in the old days and this Epi version is exactly the same in the present day.

The styling and sound of this short scale bass guitar is a total throwback to yesteryear and instantly gives off that warm and fuzzy bass sound from your favorite old records.

The EB-O features a carved Mahogany body with a bolt-on Mahogany neck with a Rosewood fingerboard. That wood combination, coupled with the single SideWinder bass humbucker in the neck position, is where all that warmth gets created. Hardware is chrome all the way around and includes a fully-adjustable bridge.

The EB-O short scale bass guitar is light and easy to play, thanks to its 30.5-inch scale length (which is the distance from the nut to the bridge saddle) and the timeless SG body style makes high fret access a beautiful thing. Guitar players doubling on bass may find one of these to be all they will ever need.

PROS

  • Super playability!
  • Easy on the shoulder and back!
  • Classic sound and styling!

CONS

  • Not much treble to be had.
  • May be too simple for ultra-modern players.
EpiphoneEB-0 Electric Bass Guitar, Cherry Red
  • Affordable electric bass in cherry red with classic Epiphone SG shape
  • Carved mahogany body with bolted mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fretboard with dotted inlay; 30.5-inch scale
Epiphone EB-0 SG Bass, Cherry | Gear4music demo

Squier by Fender

Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, Black with Maple...

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The Squier by Fender Bronco Short Scale Bass Guitar is a great-sounding affordable shorty with classic looks on a thin and light body.

It positively oozes that classic coolness that makes pulses pound. The timeless classic body style will look at home in any genre of band.

The Bronco sports a Maple neck and fretboard connected to a solid-wood body.

Pickups are of the Special Design Single-Coil variety and that makes this little beast capable of dialing in any required bass tone this side of modern metal.

There are master volume and master tone knobs. Nice and simple. These things are a blast to play, sound great, look cool, and Squier needs to send me one now.

PROS

  • Rockstar good looks!
  • Lots of sounds on tap!
  • Good value!
  • Lightweight and playable!

CONS

  • Not great for metal and heavier styles.
Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, Black with Maple...
  • Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile
  • Single-coil Bronco Bass pickup
  • Short 30“ scale length
Squier Affinity Series Bronco Bass Guitar

Ibanez GSRM20BS

Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Brown Sunburst...

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You wanna get small, man? Have I got the bass for you!

The Ibanez GSRM20BS Short Scale Bass is a total runt with a scale length of only 28.6 inches! That is just a little longer than an average electric guitar and makes this blaster deliver a whole lot of heat in a tiny package.

This is a bass guitar perfectly suited for smaller or younger players, guitarists, those in small studio spaces, or anybody else who wants a featherweight instrument that still packs a punch. It rocks a Poplar body with a normal Maple/Rosewood neck, chrome hardware, and that P/J pickup configuration we all love so much.

This short scale bass guitar is going to be a dream instrument for a lot of people. It puts outstanding bass sounds in small hands, on bad backs, and in-home studios at an unbeatable price. Many short scale basses are based on vintage designs but this Ibanez is a modern shorty that will appeal to the tiny-but-current crowd. Hot stuff, indeed.

PROS

  • Super small!
  • P/J pickup set!
  • Featherweight!

CONS

  • Could possibly be TOO small for some people.
Ibanez 4 String Bass Guitar, Right, Brown Sunburst...
  • Fast, slim Maple neck
  • Compact, light-weight Body
  • Dynamic P pickup
Ibanez GSRM20 miKro – A Short Scale Bass For Players Of All Sizes

Hofner HOF-HI-BB-SB-O 4-String

Hofner HOF-HI-BB-SB-O 4-String Bass Guitar

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The short scale bass guitar from Hofner was made popular and eternal by four long-haired guys from Liverpool in the 1960s and they are still a fine choice for anyone seeking an old-school shorty.

The Hofner HOF-HI-BB-SB-O short scale bass is an instant ticket to the tried-and-true but can also create new sounds in the right hands. It has a hollow Maple body with a Spruce top, a Maple neck with a Rosewood fretboard, and two 70s-style Hofner “staple” pickups. Of course, it also has the legendary Hofner control panel that includes On/Off switches for each pick-up, a Solo/Rhythm switch, and individual Volume controls.

This is a perfect short scale bass for anyone seeking the vintage Hofner sound, charm and look made popular by Paul McCartney. This is another instrument with major garage band/indie coolness built in and makes a worthy contender for anyone looking for something a little past average.

PROS

  • Light and hollow!
  • Two pickups!
  • Garage band cred for days!

CONS

  • Looks: love ‘em or leave ‘em!
  • Another one not really suited to metal styles.
Hofner HOF-HI-BB-SB-O 4-String Bass Guitar
  • One of the World's Iconic Guitars
  • Fully Hollow Body
  • Hofner Style Tailpiece
Höfner HI-BB Ignition Violin Bass

Dean Evo XM

Dean Evo XM Mahogany Short-Scale Electric Bass...

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The Dean Evo XM Short Scale Bass is one for the rockers. You wanna be a shorty metal bassist? This is your new ride.

The Evo is another Mahogany-bodied short scale bass guitar but with two high-output humbucking pickups that will pump plenty of wattage into your cottage. The 30-inch scale makes it easy to get around on and, once again, makes this a perfect bass for rock guitarists needing to go lower.

The look of the Evo is strictly rock and roll, with a satin finish and black hardware. This is one serious-looking short scale bass instrument that will boost your stage presence immeasurably. The Dean brand has been associated with rock’n’roll since the day it was born and the Evo XM certainly carries on that family tradition.

Looking for a short metal axe to grind then this is the best short scale bass for you.

PROS

  • A full-on rock machine!
  • Very lightweight!
  • Two humbuckers!

CONS

  • All metal, all the time.
Dean Evo XM Mahogany Short-Scale Electric Bass...
  • Mahogany Body^Mahogany Top^Bolt-On Neck^Rosewood Fingerboard^Black Hardware
Dean EVO Bass Guitar Black Satin | Gear4music demo

Last update on 2020-12-04 / Source: Amazon

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