#1
Does anyone have some recommendations for a shorter scale blues guitar that has a thinner neck more like an Ibanez neck?

I looked around for one, but the guitar shops don't carry many except a few I was not interested in (and the kiddie guitars).

I have been playing 25.5" scale guitars all my life, but I have pretty small fingers and my finger strength isn't what it used to be I guess. I need a smaller guitar

I started playing again not long ago (like 3 months ago), and I have fully developed calluses again, but geeze my fingers are getting ripped apart doing only moderately bendy leads...

I guess I am going to try 0.08 gauge strings first, I have never tried 8's though. I'm currently using 9's on an Ibanez s521 (no Tremolo). I no longer have the original 1990's series Ibanez that I learned on, but it seemed to be easier to bend strings (and I think it was also a 25.5" scale), maybe it was the Bridge I guess...

I'm ripping holes in my calluses almost every day I play, it sux.
#2
What you need is a Mustang, if you don't play modern heavy metal. I have average size hands and I love the 24" scale, it makes me a better, more aggressive player, instantly.

This is a useless post if you play metal though.

Also, if your fingertips are open wounds, you're doing something wrong. Maybe changing your strings and keeping them clean will help
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
Last edited by lucky1978 at Aug 18, 2014,
#3
Something Les Paul-ish is probably what you need. Not likely an actual Les Paul, since their necks aren't very thin, but a few companies make guitars with similar shapes, and the <25" scale.
#4
For Les Paul clones with skinnier necks, I'd look at:

1) Malden Karma. (The Bad Karma would also work, but it has hotter pickups and is only available in matte black.)
www.maldenguitars.com

2) DBZ Bolero. (Their Royale and Imperial would be excellent doublecut options.). This up was Dean Zelinsky's second company- Dean guitars was his first- and he kept the slender shred-friendly necks of his early designs as a feature of this company's guitars.
http://www.dbzguitars.com/the-guitars/view-all-products#bolero

3) Fernandes Monterey
http://www.fernandesguitars.com/products/guitars/monterey.html

4) Electra Omega or Omega Prime. I own an OP- it has the thickest neck of the ones I have mentioned, but also the most classically voiced HBs of the bunch as well.
http://www.electraguitar.com/pages/guitars

5) Dean Zelinsky Private Label Strettavita or Zenyatta. Dean Zelinsky likes slender necks. He had them on his Deans, the DBZs, and his latest company is no different.
http://deanzelinsky.com/collections/strettavita
http:/deanzelinsky.com/collections/zenyatta

I'd also look at Reverend's set-neck models, which are all 24.75" scale. Their necks are a medium oval- as are all Reverend necks- making them a little thicker than some of the ones I listed above, but still fairly slim. They're also damn good guitars, many of which are aimed squarely at classic rock/blues/country tones.

They rarely have any models that actually have a LP shape, but the one they have in production right now- the Rick Vito signature- is one of my favorite LP cousins out there. I have the hardtail version, in the out-of production black color.
http://www.reverendguitars.com/instrument/rick-vito-signature/
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 18, 2014,
#6
Yeah, you ninja'd me while I was editing that in.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
I play a mix of stuff, about 50/50 between blues and some lead that I guess some might call metal, but I never do "White Zombie metal rythym type banger stuff"...

I'm leaning towards a Fender Mustang due to the 24" scale instead of most of the others listed are 24.75" scale. 24.75" scale seems like it wouldn't make that much difference compared to going to a 24". Because as I said I really do have pretty small hands (my middle finger is about 3" long), I do play some David Gilmour like leads that are a bit faster than Gilmour (let's call it almost metal), but I don't really use the whammy much like a Vai or EVH would.

I'm trying to get a bit more of a bluesy lead rock sound that has a slightly dirtier version of something like a Gilmour tone (hard to explain).
Last edited by coderguy at Aug 18, 2014,
#8
3"? OK, reality check time: I don't think your hands are all that small.

I just measured my fretting hand, and my middle finger is exactly 3" long from the tip of my finger to the palmside crease of the knuckle joint. The span of my hand from the tip of my index finger to the top of my pinky is 6.5". That means the maximum span I could fret would be between 5.5-6".

And I play guitars that are 24.75" and 25.5" scale. Plus some bass and I used to be a cellist.

Now, I can't play some of the classical pieces my former instructor could due to lack of reach, but it really hasn't stopped me in general.

You want to see what a guitarist with very small hands can do, check out Kaki King. Her preferred acoustics are Ovation Adamas- 25.25" scale- and she's something like 5'2" tall.

As for the Mustang itself...well, it's pretty good for indie and some classic tones, but I doubt it would be the best for "White Zombie"-style riffage. OTOH, John 5 plays Teles most of the time...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 18, 2014,
#9
I am looking for something with a good bluesy sound, I already have 2 metal guitars. I hear you on the 25.5" scale, the size and spacing of frets isn't my problem, it's my string bending ripping apart my calluses.

I said I don't play white zombie type stuff...
#10
Sorry, misunderstood!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#11
The Mustang may be able to deliver the tones you seek. If you need to, you can always swap out the pickups for some more suited to your tone.

If you don't need the HB tones, the Brian May Special (SSS) is another 24" guitar that could work for you.

My bet, though, is that lighter strings and/or a 24.75" scale guitar would be enough to let you bend away blissfully.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
If you go with a Mustang and you want snappy, defined single coil tone the '65 reissue is where its at. The stock pups are excellent and imo it'd take away from the charm of the guitar if you swapped either of the pups, they're very unique sounding pups. If you want one with a humbucker for versatility or plan on swapping pups I'd get one of the cheaper ones or a JagStang or something. All my opinion of course, good luck and happy hunting.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#13
I just actually measured the neck on my Squier strat myself, comparing it to the specs of the Ibanez Wizard II. However, though my hand may feel more comfortable, I doubt the thickness of the neck at the 1st and 12th fret, nut width, as well as the width at the last fret of the scale really affects how easily I can reach with my pinky down into the higher registers on the fretboard.
I need a "three-quarter" neck (24.75), or less. I think I just saw where the Mustang has a 22" scale. I've also read that shorter scale lengths really affect the tone, especially the bass. So if the 24.75 makes it easier to pinky-reach, then I'd be reluctant to go any shorter.
Here is the information I gathered for comparison between the neck of my Squier strat, and the Ibanez Wizard II. I obtained the Squier measurements myself, so there may be some slight deviation from factory, but only by a mm or two:

Thickness @ 1st fret:
Squier: 24mm
Wizard II: 19mm

Thickness @ 12th fret:
Squier: 28mm
Wizard II: 21mm

Thickness @ last fret:
Squier: 72mm
Wizard II: 56mm

WIDTH of nut:
Squier: 54mm
Wizard II: 44mm
If I'm wrong here, please correct me. I would also appreciate any recommendations myself.
#15
My Gretsch Pro Jet has a 24.6 scale length it plays nice sounds awesome. There is a pawn shop version of the Mustang with humbuckers Jaguars are also 24" scale.
#16
Quote by coderguy
Does anyone have some recommendations for a shorter scale blues guitar that has a thinner neck more like an Ibanez neck?


Check out the Agile AL-3XXX series guitars on RondoMusic. it's an LP-style guitar (24.75" scale). Look for (and if necessary, send an email to Kurt@rondomusic.com) the SLIM neck profile for these guitars. There are usually a few of them available at any given time. The depth at the 1st fret is 17mm and about 21mm at the 12th fret. While these normally ship with 10's, 9's are highly appropriate for these guitars and 9's on a shorter scale like this are much easier to play than the same gauge string on a 25.5" Fender-scale guitar.
#17
Saw a YT vid demonstrating the Fender Mustang...22" scale length, I do believe. Sounds good playing Nirvana. However, I also saw where shortening the scale length begins to affect tone, especially the base.
Isn't a good base tone especially desirable in 'da blues?
#18
coderguy...do you think it may help if you were to pull the headstock up higher, so the neck was closer to your face? Seems to also pull the fingers into a less compromised position, possibly increasing strength and control. The fingers seem more aligned with the areas marked off by each fret, at least up to the middle of the fretboard.
Last edited by pointnplink at Oct 8, 2014,
#19
Quote by coderguy
Does anyone have some recommendations for a shorter scale blues guitar that has a thinner neck more like an Ibanez neck?

I looked around for one, but the guitar shops don't carry many except a few I was not interested in (and the kiddie guitars).

I have been playing 25.5" scale guitars all my life, but I have pretty small fingers and my finger strength isn't what it used to be I guess. I need a smaller guitar

I started playing again not long ago (like 3 months ago), and I have fully developed calluses again, but geeze my fingers are getting ripped apart doing only moderately bendy leads...

I guess I am going to try 0.08 gauge strings first, I have never tried 8's though. I'm currently using 9's on an Ibanez s521 (no Tremolo). I no longer have the original 1990's series Ibanez that I learned on, but it seemed to be easier to bend strings (and I think it was also a 25.5" scale), maybe it was the Bridge I guess...

I'm ripping holes in my calluses almost every day I play, it sux.


Check out THIS bad bwa!
http://www.deviantart.com/morelikethis/259515861/digitalart?offset=24&view_mode=2#skins
#20
Quote by coderguy

I'm leaning towards a Fender Mustang due to the 24" scale instead of most of the others listed are 24.75" scale. 24.75" scale seems like it wouldn't make that much difference compared to going to a 24".


There's a pretty noticeable difference between the 25.5" and 24.75" scales; you'll probably find that sufficient. It's worth about a string gauge difference, IMHO. If you move from 10s on the longer scale to 9's on the shorter one, that's more like two, and that's quite a change. One of the reasons is that on the shorter scale, you don't have to bend as far (distance wise, across the fretboard) to get the same amount of change in pitch. In addition, you'll run into fewer of the OTHER strings in making that same amount of pitch change; those other strings are requiring hand/finger strength to move out of the way as well.

You'll also want to make sure that you have low action on your guitar and that you're playing with a light touch. Gorilla gripping chords really isn't necessary on an electric guitar. And it's likely that you'll be better off with jumbo frets than with "vintage" low ones. There's a bit more leverage to be hand on bends with jumbo frets.
#21
Take your 25.5" scale guitar, tune it a half step below the tuning you'd normally use and capo it at the first fret - instant 24" scale guitar.