Short scale. Who knew?

sshan25

Supporting Member
Messages
4,134
l have been playing guitar since 1969. l have owned literally hundreds of guitars since then but until recently, never had a short scale (24") or "student" model. l really don't know why except l guess l thought they were toys. l was in GC back in November and they had a used 2016 green Duo Sonic HS up by the accessories counter. While waiting to buy strings, l picked it up. lt was as light as a feather. l strummed it a bit unplugged and it played effortlessly. l put it down, bought my strings and left. The next time l went in, it was still there but it was hanging in the used area. lt also had been marked down to $299 because someone had put a ding in it. l pulled it down and plugged it into a DRRI. I was amazed at how good this little guy sounded in all pickup configurations. That, combined with it's easy playability, light weight and chump change price made taking it home an easy decision. Since restringjng it and giving it a setup, it has become my go to "sit in the easy chair and watch TV" guitar (which is pretty much the entirety of my playing time). l have short fingers but never really considered the effect they had on my playing until now. The short scale is a revelation. Everything feels easier to play on it. The small, light bodynis comfortable sitting in my armchair. l feel newly inspired playing this $300 simple piece of wood. Crazy? Maybe but l really am having a blast. l wondered if it was this particular guitar or short scales in general so l took a flyer on a MIJ Mustang Special with two humbuckers to see if that one has any magic, too. l just got it before l had to go away dor the holidays so l haven't been able to reach any conclusions yet. Maybe l've been a short scale guy all along and never realized it or maybe l'm just going through a particularly enjoyable honeymoon period. Any other short scale fanatics out there and what are your favorite models?
 
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Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,722
Love it! The olive green mustang is on my GAS list!

Middle position on my jag is the greatest Rythm tone
 

cam.man67

Member
Messages
2,507
I love short scale guitars. I'm a pretty tall dude (6'1"), but one of the few guitars I really regret selling was a 22.5"-scal MIM Duo Sonic. It was from the early 90s, and was beat to all heck, but the playability and sound was like no guitar I've ever experienced.
 

Papanate

Member
Messages
19,820
While not a big user of short scaled guitars - I do enjoy playing them
having a strong predilection for the Mustang over the DuoSonic.

And while my Mustangs won't make it to the recording studio - they do
seem to lend themselves to the fun and casual - it might sound weird
but I feel less pressure to play 'something' with a Mustang in my hands -
which has the effect of opening me up to 'play something'.
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
8,313
Thats great that you found something to enjoy while chilling out. I have a couple short scales. I like the sound. I personally have trouble playing them, my fingers are too big for a regular scale/neck size honestly.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,045
Scale is arbitrary.

There's nothing magically "right" about 25.5". If you've ever played a slightly longer scale, like a Soloway, you'll see/hear/feel the there's some aspects that are preferable, and maybe some that aren't. The idea that anything shorter than 24.34" is a "student" or "toy" guitar is just more of the same macho thinking that brought us heavy strings and "big iron" as tone "necessities".
 

GA20T

Member
Messages
5,079
Such a minute difference spread over the length of the scale, but definitely noticeable. I've always felt a little stretched out down low on a 25.5", but cramped on a Gibson a little higher up the neck. If I could, the next neck I'd order would be a 25". Definitely prefer a shorter scale bass to the traditional Fender setup.
 

Johnny21

Member
Messages
3,007
Lowest I can go is 25" of a PRS.

Tried the 24.5" and 24.75" and the strings were too flabb and tones were too dark for my tastes.
 

Jim85IROC

Member
Messages
4,163
I've been noodling on the 3/4 size guitar that I got my son for Christmas and it's fun! It gets a little cramped above the 12th fret, but in the lower registers it's great.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
12,503
I really enjoy picking up an Ibanez GIO Mikro when I spot one in a store. It's 3/4 (20.75") scale. I don't have extraordinarily long fingers, but 3/4 scale makes me feel like I do. It's fun. Enough fun that I sometimes feel like I should abandon 25" scale for 20.75" scale.
 

3of5

Member
Messages
592
I'm with you. 7 months ago I made this 7/8 size partscaster with a 24" scale Mustang neck. I am 5'9", have smaller hands and I have had wrist problems for several years. This guitar has allowed me to play in comfort for the first time in a decade. It is so comfortable that playing any other guitar is now kind of an imposition. A big part of the comfort factor for my wrist is that I don't need to bend it as much sideways when I am reaching out for the lower frets. Also, reaching for complex chords is so much more comfortable.

After reading on TGP, etc, about 24" necks, I was somewhat worried about how this guitar would sound after it was assembled. Not a problem at all. I put the same pickups and electronics in it as my beloved 35 year old Strat. I can barely discern any difference between the two. I am not so sure that I would be able to pick out which guitar was which on a recording.

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-6.6 pounds.
-Warmoth 7/8 size, alder, chambered, Stratocaster body.
-USACG roasted maple 24" Mustang neck, 1 5/8" width, 7.25-9.5" compound radius, .87" thick. SS frets.
-DiMarzio Area '61 in neck, Area '58 in middle, Virtual Vintage Heavy Blues II in bridge.
-SuperVee Bladerunner Trem.
-Tusq nut.
-Fender Locking Tuners.
-DR Pure Blues 9-46 strings.

This guitar NEVER goes out of tune, even with HEAVY trem use or severe changes in weather. Crazy.

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stark

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,598
I'm with you. 7 months ago I made this 7/8 size partscaster with a 24" scale Mustang neck.
How did you get the 24" scale neck to intonate on the 7/8 body that's made for a 24.75" 24 fret neck?
 
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bob-i

Member
Messages
8,762
I always loved the sound nugent got from his byrdland with the short scale, 23 1/2". One time on a business trip I saw a byrdland in a store, grabbed it and played for about 15 minutes. Very disappointing. The sound was there, but I found it very uncomfortable to play up high on the neck.

Nope, at least 24 3/4" for me.
 

thx712517

Member
Messages
194
I recently branched out to tenor guitars. The one I play right now has a 23" scale. My electric guitar is a PRS at 25" and that was a good size between a Jaguar I had and the Telecaster I had before that.
 

S1Player

Member
Messages
3,448
I have a Mustang Pawnshop - with a RW 1.125" thick Deep U, 1.75" wide nut neck. Scalloped fretboard. Absolutely love it. The splittable wide range humbuckers are some of the best PUP's I've heard. The big neck on a 24" scale is very comfortable and easy to play.

One of the best guitars I have ever played.
 




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