Best short-scale basses 2024: the ultimate guide to the greatest pint-sized bass guitars at all price points

The short-scale bass – underappreciated, misunderstood and damn fun to play! Now, I think we can all agree that the bass guitar as we know it owes everything to its founding father, the Fender Precision Bass. This revolutionary instrument forever changed the face of popular music when it was released back in 1951, and it's still being mimicked today – with its 34″ scale length, arguably the most copied element of its iconic design. That said, not all basses follow in the footsteps of the P-Bass as this guide to the best short-scale basses proves. 

Daryl Robertson playing bass on stage
Daryl Robertson

As a Senior Deals Writer on Guitar World, I write about guitars for a living, but in a past life, I worked in music retail for seven years, advising customers on the right guitars, basses, drums, pianos and PA systems for their needs. During this time, I played bass in a classic rock covers band, performing songs from the likes of Rush, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and more. 

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Daryl Robertson
Senior Deals Writer

Daryl is a Senior Deals Writer at Guitar World, where he creates and maintains our 200+ buyer's guides, finds the best deals on guitar products, and tests the latest gear. His reviews have been featured in prominent publications like Total Guitar, Future Music magazine, and MusicRadar.com.

During his career, he has been lucky enough to talk to many of his musical heroes, having interviewed Slash and members of Sum 41, Foo Fighters, Feeder, Thrice, and more. In a past life, Daryl worked in music retail. For a little under a decade, he advised everyone from absolute beginners to seasoned pros on the right gear for their needs. 

Daryl is also a fully qualified sound engineer, holding a first-class Bachelor's degree in Creative Sound Production from the University of Abertay.