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Review: RainSong Shorty SG Guitar

RainSong continues to expand its line of graphite guitars with its new Shorty models, the company’s first guitars with short-scale necks that meet the body at the 12th fret. The Shorty models also have the smallest body shape of any RainSong guitar, making them the perfect choice for players who prefer Orchestra Model–style guitars.


In addition to its new body shape and short 24 7/8–inch scale, the Shorty has RainSong’s new unidirectional carbon-fiber soundboard (introduced on the Concert Series) that mimics the grain pattern of a traditional spruce top and is the lightest soundboard RainSong has produced to date. As on typical guitars with 12-fret necks, the bridge is positioned in the center of the lower bout, which drives the top more efficiently and enhances bass and volume output.

The Shorty’s back and sides are constructed of a carbon-fiber/glass-fiber hybrid that keeps the overall weight light while it provides greater strength and projection than typical tonewoods. RainSong offers the Shorty SG (reviewed here) with a high-gloss polyurethane finish and the Shorty SFT with a matte “finely textured” polyurethane finish. The Shorty also comes with a built-in Fishman Prefix Plus-T preamp/pickup system.


Common attributes of all RainSong guitars are their well-balanced tone and impressive volume output. The Shorty possesses these same characteristics, but thanks to its 12-fret design, unidirectional soundboard and smaller body size, its tone is more focused and sweeter.

This is an outstanding fingerstyle guitar that delivers expressive dynamics, responsive nuances and rich sustain, but it’s also a great acoustic for guitarists who strum rhythms with a pick, as the top can withstand aggressive flourishes without succumbing to overdrive mush. The neck’s round, C-shaped profile feels solid and stable, providing enough heft for rhythm guitarists to anchor their fretting hands, but with a slim feel that facilitates fast single-note solos.


With its short 24 7/8–inch scale and 12-fret Orchestra-size body, the RainSong Shorty SG delivers the sweetest and most focused tone of any RainSong model to date, making it a great choice for fingerstyle players.

MANUFACTURER RainSong Graphite Guitars,

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Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.