4 Best 3/4 Electric Guitars in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best 3/4 Electric Guitar

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Best Overall

Squier Mini Stratocaster

My Rating:

4.7/5

Best for Metal

Ibanez GRGM21BKN Mikro

My Rating:

3.8/5

Best Budget

SX RST 3/4 CAR

My Rating:

3.5/5

For anyone who feels that a full-size electric is more guitar than they can handle, 3/4 electric guitars are an awesome option.

They give you comfortable, full playability, and all the tone you need to level up your jams in a compact, fun-to-play size.

Whether you’re big, small, or somewhere in between, the best 3/4 electric guitar will be a delight to play.

In this post, I’m going to recommend/review the following 3/4 size guitars:

Squier by Fender Mini Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar – Indian…
  • 100% designed by Fender
  • Thin and lightweight body
  • 22.75″ scale length
  • Three single-coil pickups
  • Sealed die-cast tuning machines

3/4 Size Electric Guitar Package Beginner Red with Amp, Carry Bag ,…
  • A Great 3/4 Size Guitar Package at an unbelievable…
  • Package includes everything you need to start playing:…
  • Scaled down guitar is about 3″ shorter and 2″ narrower…
  • Dual cutaway allows access to the highest frets.
  • SX RST 3/4 size guitars come in sunburst, black, red, 3…

Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro Electric Guitar – Black Night Finish
  • The first Ibanez compact guitar
  • 22″ scale Maple neck offers low tension and small size
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Set-up like the full-size GRG models
  • Left-handed model available model (GRGM21BKNL)

Every one of these guitars is here based on my 10-year experience and extensive research.

Let’s first look at these fine axes, and at the end of the post, you can find the FAQ section that helps you to make the best choice possible.

Use the table of content to jump to the section you want:

Best 3/4 Electric Guitars

Best Overall – Squier Mini Strat

Sound

This Mini Strat has 3 Standard Single-Coil Strat pickups(just like The Original Stratocasters). These offer you bright and sparkling tones, and this axe surprisingly close to original Strat tones. 

Clean tones are clear and dirty ones have plenty of attack, classic rock music is a great fit for this mini axe.

But, if you play really heavy stuff, the tones can be a little bit fuzzy. If you want to play metal, Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro might be a little bit better option for you because it has 2 humbuckers.

But overall this Mini Strat sound excellent for the price, and gets beginner guitarist started with a great variety of different tones.

Hear how this guitar sounds:

Playability

Mini Strat’s nut with is only 1.6”(40,6m), so the neck really is narrow. Add the C-shaped neck to this and you got axe that’s really easy to play, even for kids and adults with really small hands.

And the short scale length of 22.75” makes things even easier. This cuts down string tension and makes playing smoother.

Overall, this axe is really easy to play, if you got really big hands or really long and thick fingers, this is not a good choice because small frets will be hard to hit for you.

Quality

I have always been satisfied with the quality of Squier guitars, and this is no exception. For the price, you get darn good value for money.

Looks

If you like iconic Stratocaster looks, you’ll like this one too. I do. All the color options, pink, black, and red look great, and the headstock of the guitar fits well into the 3/4 size.

Summary

Pros

  • Bright Stratocaster sounds
  • Comfortable and easy to play
  • The neck is narrow and thin(great for small hands and kids)
  • Quality is great for the price
  • Stays in tune well

Cons

  • Little bit fuzzy tone with the distortion
  • If you spend more, you get higher quality

This is(in my opinion), the best option out there if you are looking for a 3/4 sized guitar.

With Squier Mini Stratocaster, you get a comfortable guitar that provides a great variety of tones. It’s great for rock, blues, jazz, and handles other genres too. ‘

Note: there are Squier Mini Strat beginner packs available too. These include all that you need when starting out.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 

Really Easy to Play – Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH

Sound

Maybe these Squier stock pickups are wound too loosely, or perhaps it’s a problem of weak magnets. Whatever the case, playing this guitar with no overdrive results in a tone I can only describe as “fluuub.” 

Distorted, it starts to sound magnitudes better, but it’s still a beginner guitar that you wouldn’t want to head on stage with.

Of course, this is a low-cost guitar that you shouldn’t expect too much from tone-wise, but I think just a little more attention to the pickups would have resulted in a much, much better model.

Playability

The reduced Jazzmaster body shape is as comfortable as it looks, contouring nicely with your body. Plus, it’s thin and lightweight, which means less playing fatigue during your longer sessions.

You need to get a feel for this guitar; it requires a fairly delicate touch because of its extremely loose string tension. Couple this with its narrow-tall frets and you can pitch bend almost a full half-step just by pressing too hard on the string. 

This is a bit annoying, but if you can adjust your playing style to accommodate it, isn’t too much of a problem.

But the low string tension gives you some benefits too…this guitar is super easy to play. Strings don’t require a lot of strength from your fingers, and moving your hand around the fretboard is really smooth-

Quality

I won’t rag on the pickups anymore here, and overall, this is a well-put-together little electric. All the pieces are solidly attached to one another, and, though small, it feels dependable. 

Its main construction quality issue is its tuning hardware. This is a common problem in guitars at this price point, so I’m not surprised about this much.

The Mini Jazzmaster’s tuning machines are a bit self-contradictory. First, you’ll notice that some of them are very hard to turn. That almost sounds like a good thing, but due to some mishap with the tuning pegs, they don’t hold pitch for any reasonable amount of time. 

You’ll definitely want to buy a tuner along with this 3/4 Jazzmaster, but this is the case with almost any guitar.

Summary

Pros

  • Dual humbuckers eliminate feedback issues
  • Classic Fender poplar + maple tonewood combo
  • Snappy maple fingerboard adds pop to the round humbucker tone

Cons

  • Tuning machines are hard to turn and don’t hold pitch
  • Low-grade humbuckers unable to produce a good clean tone

All in all, it’s not a bad model. Could it use some improvement? Absolutely. But, is it terrible to play? No, it’s actually rather enjoyable for the most part.

This is not a lifetime companion type guitar. It could make a good project axe if you want to invest in new pickups and tuning machines. Then, you’d actually have a formidable mini electric.

If you’re just looking for a student guitar- maybe your kid’s first electric- you could do a lot worse. Your child is bound to have a good time learning the fundamentals on the Mini Jazzmaster.

In the end, it’s worth the cost as a beginner guitar but you could better in your search for an instrument you’ll want to play for years.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 

Best Budget – SX RST 3/4 CAR

Sound

SX packs three single-coil pickups into this model made with a basswood/maple tonewood combo.

Basswood generally delivers a warm tone with somewhat underwhelming sustain, so it’s nice that it’s brightened up with these three treble-pumping pickups.

The tone is surprisingly good for such a low-cost shorter scale electric. It blends creaminess with clarity for a six-string that will work just as well in jazz as in punk.

Playability

The scale of this SX is a bit longer than normal for a 3/4 guitar, measuring 24 inches. Regardless, it maintains itself as a great guitar for small hands with a nut even more narrow than the Mini Strat.

This slim neck is complemented by a springy and smooth-playing rosewood fingerboard that’s silky under your fingertips.

As a nice bonus, this guitar comes with a tremolo bridge. This is a rare find in inexpensive guitars that adds a whole other dimension to your playing possibilities. Granted, it’s not a tuning-stable bridge by any means so you’ll be out of pitch a lot. But, on the whole, it’s a great addition.

Quality

This model has all the prerequisites for an awesome practice electric. Its build is solid. Its pickups are exceptionally balanced and powerful for the price.

Despite being super low-cost and lightweight, it’s a guitar I’d consider buying to be my main practice axe if I ever needed a quick replacement. In every way, it’s an excellent guitar for beginners.

Summary

Pros

  • Comprehensive starter pack with everything you need to start jamming
  • 3 single-coil pickups with versatile tone controls
  • Sensitive tremolo bar for fun and funky pitch shifting

Cons

  • Highly susceptible to feedback
  • In dire need of a setup

Comparing the price of the guitar with its exceptionally high quality, any extra accessories it comes with should be regarded as a very kind bonus. 

While the amp included in the pack might be an underperformer, it’s plenty enough to jumpstart your hobby and let you start working on your chops.

This is one of my favorite beginner guitar bundles, and overall I think you get more than your money’s worth from the guitar alone.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 

Best For Metal – Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro Review

Sound

Neck and bridge Infinity Humbuckers and Poplar body, provide well balanced and controlled tones. But these axe doesn’t give you that warmness and thickness some of us are used to with humbuckers, this guitar provides slightly brighter tones, but it still gives you some of that humbucker magic. 

Still, sound-wise, this guitar is quite versatile. Good for metal and rock, but clean tones are still nicely soft. Sometimes sounds can be a little bit fuzzy, but when you look at the price tag, it makes sense.

Hear how this one sounds:

Playability

Solid string action and 22-1/5″ scale make strings very easy to press down. You can pull crazy bends with this. The downside is that those ‘’crazy bends’’ can sometimes make this guitar out of tune, this is definitely a flaw, but not too bad.

Nut width is 41mm(1.61 inches). It’s really easy to access every corner of the fretboard with this neck, you definitely don’t need the hands of the basketball player to play very fast with this.

Quality

Quality is nice, one of the best ¾ size guitars quality-wise too. 

But, this guitar has one quite big issue. Staying in tune. In some cases, this is not a problem, but a little bit too often I found users complaining about staying in tune. Maybe this is not a problem if you end up buying this axe, but be ready for some issues with tuning.

But for the price, the quality is good in my opinion.

Looks

This guitar is cute. It lacks some high-quality finish, but on the other hand, this is a budget guitar for beginners. When I keep that in mind and look at this axe, I’m satisfied with the looks of it.

Summary

Pros

  • Really good for small and small-handed people(for kids too)
  • Versatile
  • Price
  • Great value for the price
  • Really easy to play

Cons

  • Tuning issues
  • Slightly fuzzy sound
  • You get what you pay for(if you spend a couple hundred more, you get a lot better guitar).

This guitar is a great option for those who are searching for small, easy to play, and versatile guitar with a budget price. It lacks some quality(tuning issues), but for the price, it’s a solid choice. A great option for kids.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

 

Verdict

I think that Squier still got the upper hand with the ¾ size guitars. Mini Strat is easy to play, sounds good, and offer high valuer for money, this is why it’s my best overall pick.

On the other hand, Jazzmaster misses with clean tones a little bit, but playability and value for money are solid. It’s a good option for some folks.

If you are into metal, you might want to consider Ibanez Mikro, but a chance of tuning issues keeps the Mikro below Mini Strat in my books. But still, Ibanez Mikro is easy to play and offers high value for money too.

The SX RST 3/4 CAR is a solid option if you want everything that you need in the same pack with a budget price. And it’s still better than 90% of the  ¾ guitars on the market.

FAQ

What Size is a 3/4 Electric Guitar?

We’ll take a look at a few examples of these 3/4 electrics compared to their full-size parallels to see how they measure up.

First, let’s consider the Squier Mini Strat. Based on the celebrated Fender Stratocaster, this 3/4 guitar has a total length of 39.6 inches and a scale length measuring 22.75 inches. The original Stratocaster has a total length of 44 inches and a 25.5-inch scale length. 

With a little simple math, we find that both the scale and total length of the Mini is really only a 1/10 decrease from the “big” Strat, making it a 9/10 size electric guitar.

Next up, the Epiphone Les Paul Express, modeled after the famed Gibson Les Paul. The full-size Les Paul is 40 inches long and has a scale length of 24.75 inches. The student model, Epiphone’s Express, is 36 inches long with a 22-inch scale.

Plug this into the calculator and we get the exact same 10% decrease in size as the Mini Strat. This is, again, a 9/10 guitar.

Now, because the third time’s the charm, let’s measure up one more shorter scale electric. The Jackson Dinky Minion is marketed as a 2/3 size version of their Dinky series. The Minion’s scale is 22.5 inches and it’s overall 34 inches long. Compared to the full-size Dinky at 25.5 inches and 39.3 inches respectively, we again see that they’ve barely knocked 1/10 off the size, not nearly the 1/3 they advertise.

Why do manufacturers brand their short-scale guitars with these inaccurate labels? I’m not really sure. 3/4 is arguably more catchy than 9/10, and it certainly makes it seem like there’s a much greater difference in size. Plus, it makes a bit simpler to categorize guitar sizes (3/4, 1/2, 1/4), but I can’t think of many other reasons for this.

Whatever the case, 3/4 guitars are NOT 75% the size of a normal electric. They’re a couple to a few inches smaller in length and width, which does have its benefits, but know you’ll be getting a larger guitar than you might have bargained for. For a truly 3/4 size guitar, you’d have to find one with a scale length around 19 inches, a total length of about 30 inches, and a body width of only 9 or 10 inches!

Are 3/4 Guitars for Adults?

The main benefit of these 3/4 electrics is their shortened scale lengths. Although there’s only a decrease of a few inches, this makes a huge difference in both the space between frets and string tension.

Many of the 3/4 models fit the same number of frets as their full-size inspirations, which means the distance between frets has to shrink as well. This can make playing these guitars a lot of fun since complex riffs and scales become a lot easier to reach.

Shorter scales means shorter strings, which in turn equals less tension required to get the strings to pitch. This makes these guitars quite gentle on the fingertips. You don’t have to press as hard to fret a note as you do on a full-size guitar.

Both these traits make 3/4 electrics a joy to jam on. Having an easier time can make entering the world of guitar playing much more inviting for adults and children alike.

Who Should Get a 3/4 Guitar?

Now, if you’re a pretty massive individual, 3/4 guitars might feel too small, but you’d have to try one to find out for sure. Even if you are on the tall-side, having a small guitar is a fantastic option for traveling, and these 3/4 electrics make travel a breeze.

These guitars work great for just about everyone looking for a low-cost electric. They’re especially good for people with small hands. Their shorter, narrower necks make fretting much easier for people with short fingers.

This is as great a benefit for young students as it is for adults who are tired of straining to hit wider chords and scales.

What Makes a Great 3/4 Electric Guitar?

It’s important to keep in mind that shaving a couple of inches of wood off the build isn’t sufficient to account for the huge price drop you see in these 3/4 guitars.

Companies keep the costs of these beginner models low knowing that many people pick up the guitar on a whim but don’t follow through with the work it takes to become proficient. If student guitars were expensive, far fewer people would ever think about starting.

To counteract this, these models are made with generally low-value electronics, mid-quality hardware, and basic tonewoods.

They’re not necessarily bad guitars, but tone- and performance-wise, they’ll never compete with better quality models. 

This means you need to know what is acceptable in a 3/4 electric guitar and what isn’t.

First, keep an eye out for plastic hardware. This is an immediate deal-breaker found in only the lowest quality instruments. Your guitar’s hardware (tuning machines, bridge, frets) should definitely be made of metal. Only the best 3/4 electric guitars keep it real with steel throughout the hardware specs.

Next, the pickups need to at least be functional. Some really bad guitars will have electronics that fizzle out the minute you start playing. This can be due to poor wire wrapping or weak soldering, and it’s another thing that disqualifies a guitar right out of the gate. The pickups of a low-cost 3/4 guitar aren’t going to be amazing, but they should work like any other pickup without an overwhelming amount of snap and crackle.

Finally, be sure to avoid any guitars that come defective. Most electrics will need a setup after you get them, but you shouldn’t accept any guitar with broken pieces, cracked wood, curved necks, or scratched finishes. While most of this can be repaired, the costs of this maintenance will quickly total the cost of a much better guitar.

To sum it up, great 3/4 size electric guitars will combine working, metal hardware, effective pickups, and flaw-free builds at an affordable price. 

Conclusion

These were the best 3/4 electric guitars, and I didn’t’ honestly found any more solid options than these 4. There would surely be room for solid Single-Cut 3/4 electric guitars at the market.

All these are tons of fun for all adults, children, beginners, or pros, and everyone in between. They’re easy to play little music makers that will always have a fond place in my heart.

But at the end of the day, I would recommend Squier Mini Strat and Jazzmaster for most players who desire 3/4 electric guitar.

I hope that this review helped you out! If you have any questions, leave a comment down below. Feel free to share this post too.

I wish you all the best and keep rocking!

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