The Best Short Scale Electric Guitar for Small Hands 2022

Last Updated:
Editor's Choice
Fender Vintera '60s Jaguar Modified HH
Fender Vintera '60s Jaguar Modified HH
  • An extremely versatile guitar that can suit lots of genres and playing styles
  • The slim neck feels light and breezy in your hands
  • Transform your guitar from a jangly single-coil to growling humbucker with the turn of a wheel
  • Channel the inner beach-bum with this retro Fender surf-rock guitar
Best Semi-Hollow
Gretsch G5655T Electromatic
Gretsch G5655T Electromatic
  • The guitar has a rich, bold sound with lots of sonic versatility
  • It has a solid spruce woodblock that reduces resonant build-up and feedback at high gain
  • The guitar is beautiful to look at, with a variety of retro colors to choose from
  • Broad'Tron humbucking pickups have a great modern edge that can be beautifully clean and gritty, and growly
Best for Metal
Jackson Pro Mark Morton Dominion
Jackson Pro Mark Morton Dominion
  • The Dominion is a highly versatile guitar that can do both high-gain and clean tones well
  • The guitar is designed for shredding lead lines and fast playing across the neck
  • The solid mahogany body improves sustain and projection
  • Even with extreme playing, the locking tuning system keeps the guitar in tune

Is a short-scale guitar right for you?

Finding the best short-scale electric guitar for small hands can be a challenge. Knowing which is right for you can be a tough decision with so many different brands and models on the market.

This blog post will look at the best options available and help you decide which one is right for you. Whether you’re a beginner, an experienced player, an indie rocker, or a metalhead, there’s sure to be something here that’s perfect for your needs!

So without further ado, let’s get started!

The Best Short Scale Electric Guitars in 2022 at a Glance

Editor's Choice
Fender Vintera '60s Jaguar Modified HH

Looking for a guitar with as much variety in tone as it does mojo? Then check out the Fender Vintera '60s Jaguar Modified HH.

These Dual Atomic Humbucking pickups can transform into single-coil pickups with a wheel's turn, giving you endless tonal options. And with its retro-surf look, this guitar is sure to turn heads.

So whether you're looking for that perfect vintage sound or something a little more modern, the Vintera '60s Jaguar Modified HH is sure to have what you're looking for.

Suppose you’re an intermediate to advanced guitarist looking for a retro-looking surf guitar with as much variety in tone as it does mojo. In that case, the Fender Vintera ’60s Jaguar Modified HH is the guitar for you.

This offset body guitar pays homage to the California Surf Culture that Fender is synonymous with but adds modern features that take this Jaguar to the next level.

First, the Fender Vintera Moded Jaguar comes with Dual Atomic humbucker pickups. These pickups have tons of output gain for getting wonderfully dirty, mid-range tones from the guitar. Fender’s Jaguars typically come equipped with single-coil pickups. The utilization of humbucking pickups is a step in a very new and excellent tonal direction.

However, Fender did not abandon the single-coil design in the Vintera 60s Jaguar HH. These Dual Atomic Humbucking pickups can transform into single-coil pickups with a wheel’s turn. While you could play this Jaguar as a humbucker setup or single-coil setup, it gets more interesting as you blend the two for endless tonal options.

The Jaguar’s unconventional pickup selectors and tone controls are overwhelming at first. However, once you get the guitar, you’ll find tweaking and bringing new and inspiring tones to your playing easy. The biggest challenge with this guitar is remembering what combination of settings you used to create specific tones.

This electric guitar has a short scale length of 24”, making it highly comfortable for players with smaller frames and small hands.

The modern maple C-shaped neck doesn’t feel bulky in hand and is comfortable for playing barre chords and picking out lead lines up and down the neck. The neck width is small at 1.65”, which makes open cowboy chords easy to play.

The floating tremolo system and Adjusto-Matic bridge look great and do a suitable job keeping the instrument in tune.

The tremolo bar stays snug in the bridge. It is easy for light to aggressive whammy-ing without compromising the tuning. The placement also doesn’t get in the way of your strumming hand.

One thing to be aware of is the radius of the Adjusto-Matic tuner doesn’t quite match the radius of the fretboard. So not all the strings sit evenly over the electric guitar’s neck. Most players won’t notice this; however, you can always ask to replace the bridge during a professional setup if you are sensitive to it.

While you can get loads of tones out of the Fender Vintera 60s Jaguar, I find that the guitar doesn’t have the best sustain. This electric guitar also has a very colored, vintage sound to it.

This Fender Jaguar features a bolt-on neck that needs to be removed if you want to make adjustments to the truss rod. This can be a pain because you need to make the strings slack before removing the neck from the body to make adjustments. This is not as convenient as accessing the truss rod from the headstock on modern instruments.

In my opinion, the Fender Vintera 60s Jaguar is the best short-scale electric guitar because it’s incredibly versatile, high-quality, and has a great vibe. However, I wish a guitar in this price range would come with a hardshell case.

All in all, this guitar will make a great addition to your guitar collection. Especially if you are an intermediate to advanced electric guitar player looking for a guitar that will keep you inspired while playing it!

Pros
  • Wide range of tones that will suit lots of genres and playing styles
  • Extremely easy and comfortable to play
  • Great retro look with modern features
  • Blending between humbuckers and single-coils is an excellent feature
Cons
  • Doesn't come with a hardshell case
  • The vintage design makes truss rod adjustments a pain
  • Adjusto-Matic bridge radius is different than the fretboard, making strings sit unevenly above the neck
  • It could be too expensive for some guitar players
Best Alternative to Vintera 60s Jaguar
Squier Classic Vibe '70s Jaguar

Are you looking for a retro-style offset body electric guitar that won't break the bank? Check out the Squier Classic Vibe '70s Jaguar.

The alnico single-coil pickups give a clear, punchy, and vibey tone that Fender electric guitars are known for. While best suited for indie, rock, and jazz, this short-scale electric guitar can also be pushed into fun distorted territories with its high output gain.

The Squier Classic Vibe '70s Jaguar is excellent for any budget-conscious musician.

Suppose you’re looking for that cool-looking offset body design of Fender’s most popular Jazzmaster and Jaguar guitars but are on a budget. In that case, the Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Jaguar is a wonderful alternative to the American and Mexican-made Fender’s.

Squier has recently stepped up their production game, and the Classic Vibes series will not disappoint you if you’re a beginner or intermediate guitar player.

The alnico single-coil pickups give a clear, punchy, and vibey tone that Fender electric guitars are known for. While this short-scale electric guitar is best suited for indie, rock, and jazz, it does have high output gain. This allows you to push the guitar’s tone into fun, distorted territories.

However, Jaguars, in particular, don’t have the best sustain. So if your playing style gravitates toward big soaring lead notes and chunky chords, you may want to look at another guitar on this list like the Epiphone SG.

The thin, short-scale C-shaped maple neck feels very comfortable in hand and works great for electric guitar players with small hands. The offset poplar body is lightweight and comfortable in your arms, making playing this guitar very enjoyable for long periods.

Another feature celebrated on the Squier Classic Vibe ’70s Jaguar is the Fender Mustang Classic Vibes bridge. The Fender Mustang bridge creates less buzzing and string friction giving a more consistent and reliable guitar.

A negative to be aware of when you are purchasing a Squier, or any budget guitar for that matter, is that you will likely need to get a professional setup after purchase. You can’t rely on an excellent factory setup with these Indonesian reduced-scale length guitars. You often find intonation issues, string height issues, and bridge issues. Although this is a budget-friendly guitar, you should factor a professional setup into your overall price.

However, as affordable short-scale guitars go, the Squier Classic Vibes ’70s Jaguar is a great choice. You get a beautiful and classic-looking electric guitar and one that has lots of sonic versatility. With help from a professional luthier, you could have a short-scale guitar that you will love playing for years to come.

Pros
  • The shorter-scale length and offset body make for a very comfortable playing experience
  • Loads of versatility in tone
  • Outstanding looking vintage Fender design for an affordable price

Cons
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag
  • May need a professional setup after purchase
  • Some have stated issues with the bridge sinking and the tremolo arm being noisy
Best Semi-Hollow Body
Gretsch G5655T Electromatic

The Gretsch G5655T Electromatic is the perfect short-scale electric guitar for rockabilly, blues, and rock. 

With its Bigsby Tremolo system and laminated maple body, this guitar is beautiful to look at and delivers a huge tone with remarkable sustain. 

The Broad'Tron humbucking pickups provide surprising versatility, making the G5655T Electromatic ideal for any player looking for an intimate-feeling electric guitar with a huge tone.

Gretsch is a guitar brand that makes some of the best semi-hollow body electric guitars on the market.

While the Gretsch G5655T Electromatic is not the shortest scale guitar on this list, it’s a smaller-bodied electric guitar that feels intimate in your hands while providing a huge tone and remarkable sustain.

The G5655T features a solid spruce woodblock that runs through the center of the guitar, which reduces resonance and feedback that is often an issue for hollow-bodied electric guitars. This lets you play the guitar with more gain and push the guitar into bigger and bolder distorted tones.

The Thin U maple neck has a bit more bulk, and the 12″ radius will feel a bit more round in hand. So while this short-scale electric guitar will still be an excellent option for players with smaller hands, it will have more of an acoustic guitar feel which might not work for some.

This Gretsch guitar is beautiful to look at with the Bigsby Tremolo system and laminated maple body. It also comes in various retro-looking colors, with my favorite being jade green.

The Broad’Tron humbucking pickups have surprising versatility and can deliver clear and silky jazz tones up to gritty mid-range growl. Suppose you’re looking for the best short-scale electric guitar for rockabilly, blues, and rock. In that case, you will fall instantly in love with the G5655T Electromatic when you first pick it up.

The G5655T punches well above its weight for the price. You’d be surprised at the amount of guitar you are getting, and you will be hard-pressed to find a better guitar below $1000. However, one of the drawbacks is that this guitar does not come with any kind of case or gig bag.

Suppose you’re an intermediate to advanced player looking for short-scale electric guitars with great tone, sustain, and aesthetic. In that case, the Gretsch G5655T Electromatic is the guitar you should be looking at with serious intent.

Pros
  • This guitar has a big tone, great sustain, and retro vibes
  • The Broad'Tron humbucking pickups offer sonic versatility and modern tones
  • It's beautifully constructed and feels comfortable in your arms
  • Bigsby Tremolo system is comfortable to play with and cool looking
Cons
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag or case
  • It may be too expensive for some
  • The neck might feel bulky to those with tiny hands
Best for Metal
Jackson Pro Mark Morton Dominion

The Jackson Dominion is the perfect short-scale metal guitar. With its fast, unfinished mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard, this guitar feels like it's flying beneath your fingers. 

The DiMarzio Mark Morton signature humbuckers are incredibly aggressive. Still, a toggle switch transforms them into bluesy single-coiled tones, making the Dominion great for all kinds of rock n' roll music.

So whether you're playing at a gig or jamming in your basement, the Jackson Dominion is sure to deliver.

Finding short-scale electric guitars for metal playing can be difficult. This is because metal guitarists often play in dropped tunings, requiring the string tension of a full-sized guitar.

However, the lead guitarist for Lamb of God, Mark Morton, has a signature short-scale electric guitar that will be perfect for the small-handed guitarist who wants to shred.

The Jackson Dominion is a high-octane guitar with features that make it easy to play and sound amazing.

First, the unfinished mahogany neck paired with the ebony fingerboard makes the neck play very fast. It’s effortless to play up and down the neck and feel as if your fingers are flying above the fretboard.

The neck has a compound radius. As you move up the neck of this shorter scale guitar, it gets flat and makes playing fast lead lines easy. Then as you move down the neck near the nut, the guitar rounds out, making it easier to play big chunky barre chords.

While the Jackson Dominion does high-gain tones exceptionally well, a toggle switch transforms the aggressive DiMarzio Mark Morton signature humbucking pickups into a twangy single-coiled pickup sound. This makes the guitar great for clean, bluesy tones and gives the guitar versatility you don’t find in other metal guitars.

This electric guitar features a solid mahogany body, and while it’s chambered (hollowed-out), the guitar still feels heavy. While this helps with the sustain and projection of the guitar, it can be a little cumbersome for smaller players.

The hardware used on the Jackson Pro Mark Morton Dominion is high-quality. The tuners have a die-cast locking system which helps keep the strings in tune even with aggressive bends, fast picking, and hard strumming. The anchored tailpiece with the Tune-O-Matic bridge helps with the guitar’s exceptional sustain.

For the price of this guitar, you would think that Jackson would include a hardshell case, or at the least a gig bag, but this is not included in the purchase of this guitar.

Suppose you’re a player with smaller hands looking for a short-scale guitar that will excel in the metal genre. In that case, the Jackson Pro Mark Morton Dominion is the guitar you need to buy now!

Pros
  • The extremely fast-playing and comfortable neck is perfect for shredding
  • Extremely versatile tones with the coil-switches
  • Piercing metal tones can cut through a dense mix with ease
  • The locking tuning system helps keep the guitar in tune even with aggressive playing
Cons
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag or hardshell case
  • Coil-tap switches feel low-quality
  • Nut material could be of better quality
  • It's expensive
Best for Budget
Epiphone SG Special VE

Looking for an affordable electric guitar that doesn't sacrifice quality? Look no further than the Epiphone SG Special VE. 

This rockin' short-scale guitar is perfect for beginners, and its lightweight body and comfortable neck make it a joy to play. Plus, the SG's cool vibes and sweet tone will inspire your creativity. 

So what are you waiting for? Grab one today!

If you’re a beginner learning to play guitar, then most of the short-scale electric guitars on this list may be out of your price range.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t find an excellent short-scale axe for a beginner’s price.

The Epiphone SG is an instantly recognizable body shape you have often seen used by some of the most famous guitar players in history. The SG features a lightweight poplar body and bolt-on slim-tapered Okoume neck. This provides a very comfortable playing guitar that feels great in your hands.

This guitar has a very rock n’ roll vibe to it, and the guitar’s tone matches its aesthetic.

This electric guitar features humbucking pickups providing an articulate, creamy crunch and incredible sustain. This guitar sounds good while playing with a clean tone, but it’s a guitar that wants to be in overdrive.

While this short-scale guitar doesn’t have as many features as the other electric guitars on this list, the value-for-money on the Epiphone SG Special VE makes this a no-brainer.

Pros
  • High-quality classic guitar for an affordable price
  • The guitar is light, and the neck is easy to play, especially for those with small hands
  • Great look and aesthetic that makes you feel cool when you play it
Cons
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag
  • The tone of the guitar is a bit of a one-trick pony
  • The rock n' roll vibe isn't for everyone

How to Choose the Best Short Scale Electric (Buyers Guide)

Look, I’m only one man’s opinion regarding the best short-scale electric guitars on the market. While I think that these guitars on my list will make most guitar players happy, I understand that many more short-scale guitars that deserve to be on the list weren’t covered here.

The following short-scale guitar buyer’s guide will help you sift through other options if you wish to go further into your research. Thus, allowing you to find the perfect short-scale electric guitar for you.

Pickups

There are loads of pickups on the market. You have to ask yourself if you are looking for the single-coil jangly twang or a humbucker’s mid-range punch.

Some guitars like the Vintera 60’s Jaguar HH and Jackson Dominion come with switchable pickups that give you both flavors. However, these guitars will usually get into a more premium price range, but the flexibility is well worth it.

Single coil pickups often have more noise associated with them. So if you are playing through higher gain amplifiers, be aware that you will have lots of extra noise that comes with the guitar. As the name suggests, Humbuckers help reduce/eliminate that 60-cycle hum and help keep your high-gain tones sounding crisp and clean.

Single Coil Pickups
Single-Coil Pickups
Humbucker Pickups
Humbucker Pickups

Body Shape

While body shape often boils down to personal preference, there are some things to be aware of when looking at the best short-scale electric guitars for your needs.

Guitar Body Shapes

First, most electric guitars have a solid body. Solid-body electric guitars are more durable, have good sustain, and often have less body depth. This makes them feel less substantial in your arms. This can make playing the guitar sitting down uncomfortable. Still, it often makes playing them with a strap standing up a better experience.

Hollow-body and semi-hollow body guitars will have more depth and body to the guitar’s sound. However, you may get a guitar that is more likely to feedback when played with lots of gain. These body shapes are snugger in your arms but could be too bulky and uncomfortable for guitar players with smaller frames.

Are you looking for a kid that is more suitable for a kid?

If you need an electric guitar that is smaller than the guitars on this list, then you should check out my article “The Best 1/2 Size Guitar for Your Musical Kiddo in 2022

Neck Shape

The neck shape is crucial for your comfort when looking for the perfect short-scale guitars for your needs, especially for the small hands of women and children.

Most modern guitars come with some variation of a C-Shape neck. The C-Shape neck is great for guitar players with smaller hands as they tend to be more shallow and suit most playing styles.

Bridge and Tremolo System

Having a whammy bar is a super fun thing on your short-scale electric guitar. However, if the tremolo system is made with cheap parts, having one might be more trouble than it’s worth.

Tremolo Bar on Guitar

They can quickly go out of tune, and changing the strings can be a little more difficult for new guitar players.

Fixed bridges often provide more tuning stability, are easier to maintain, and generally, keep the guitar’s price more affordable.

However, if the other hardware, such as tuners, are of low quality, then fixed bridges will also come with their fair share of problems.

You must consider your needs as a player when deciding whether a fixed bridge or floating tremolo system is right for you. Just know that if you go with a cheaper short-scale electric guitar, you will most likely need to get it professionally set up. You may also have to replace some parts to ensure the guitar plays as best as it can.

FAQ

The most common questions about short-scale guitars answered.

What electric guitar brand has the shortest scale length?

The electric guitar brand that has the shortest scale length for full-sized guitars is Fender.

Fender Mustangs and Fender Jaguars have a scale length of 24”. This is around .75” less than other short-scale guitars such as an Epiphone or Gibson.

What are the benefits of a short-scale electric guitar?

The most significant benefits of a short-scale electric guitar are:

String Tension
Sound
Portability

Because the scale length is shorter, there is less string tension. This creates a more “slinky” playability with the electric guitar. This can benefit players with smaller hands or those who might suffer from an ailment like arthritis.

Short-scale guitars also have a different sound type than their full-sized guitar counterparts. Often short-scale guitars have a warmer, more mid-range focused sound. This can often make them sound more “vintage” and often is the desired tone for many players.

Short-scale guitars are easier to fit in smaller spaces like cars and practice rooms.

Are short-scale guitars only for players with small hands?

No. Players of all shapes and sizes can play short-scale electric guitars.

What about short-scale bass guitars?

If you’re on the hunt for an awesome short-scale bass guitar, I’ve created the perfect resource you should check out here.

To Recap

So, what is the best short-scale electric guitar for small hands? In my opinion, the Fender Vintera 60’s Jaguar HH is a great option. It’s lightweight and easy to play, with a flexible tone perfect for indie, rock, and pop music. It also looks incredible!

Thanks for reading, and I hope this article has helped you find the perfect short-scale electric guitar for your needs.

Happy playing!

Editor's Choice
Fender Vintera '60s Jaguar Modified HH
Fender Vintera '60s Jaguar Modified HH
  • An extremely versatile guitar that can suit lots of genres and playing styles
  • The slim neck feels light and breezy in your hands
  • Transform your guitar from a jangly single-coil to growling humbucker with the turn of a wheel
  • Channel the inner beach-bum with this retro Fender surf-rock guitar
Best Semi-Hollow
Gretsch G5655T Electromatic
Gretsch G5655T Electromatic
  • The guitar has a rich, bold sound with lots of sonic versatility
  • It has a solid spruce woodblock that reduces resonant build-up and feedback at high gain
  • The guitar is beautiful to look at, with a variety of retro colors to choose from
  • Broad'Tron humbucking pickups have a great modern edge that can be beautifully clean and gritty, and growly
Best for Metal
Jackson Pro Mark Morton Dominion
Jackson Pro Mark Morton Dominion
  • The Dominion is a highly versatile guitar that can do both high-gain and clean tones well
  • The guitar is designed for shredding lead lines and fast playing across the neck
  • The solid mahogany body improves sustain and projection
  • Even with extreme playing, the locking tuning system keeps the guitar in tune
Photo of author
AUTHOR
Brad Johnson
Brad is the creator of Song Production Pros. He writes songs and surfs on the weekends when he's not too busy with family or this website. He writes music under the moniker FJ Isles, and can be heard on all streaming services.