IYO, are short scale Telecasters... worth it?

skunqesh

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thought I'd bump this thread a bit

spotted a short scale (24.5") for sale and it looks solid. am thinning the herd these days otherwise I'd be tempted.
Owner says its MIJ - wish there was some way to find out which factory/outlet made it?

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nojazzhere

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IYO = In your opinion 😁

Whenever I pick up one of my G-style guitars after having played my Tele(s) the first and most obvious difference to me is the scale length and how much of a difference .75 inch makes (queue the "that's what she said" jokes). It's not the bending or slinkiness or the tone or anything other than the fret spacing and "reachability" of them and the "stretchability" of my hands... it's just easier enough to where my first thought as soon as I switch is simply "oh, this is easier".

IYO... is chasing a 24.75 inch scale Tele worth it? Does it still sound like a Tele? Does it lose its mojo?

Just to clarify - I am not looking for a different tone, I am a diehard Telecaster fan for life; I am only interested in (for me) improved playability without sacrificing that Tele spirit. Special edition Fender Teles, licensed conversion necks, non-Fender T-styles... any thoughts on any of those?
Not sure how to search for them, but there are tons of threads here on "normal" Tele scale length vs shorter scale, and they ALWAYS receive opposing (and strong) opinions, but my practical opinion, (I have two Telecasters with Warmoth conversion scale necks) is there is ZERO difference in sound. (That means no difference) There is minimal difference in playability and feel. I've had other guitarists pick up one of mine, without knowing it's a 24.75" scale, and they NEVER can tell it's not a "regular" Telecaster. With respect......I don't believe in a true blind test, many experienced guitarists could tell either.
 

InstantCoffeeBlue

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If they work for you, great. There doesn't have to be a right or wrong answer here. Interesting to hear that some players didn't notice - I can tell scale length right away, and while I've owned a few guitars - including an MIJ Jaguar and a Mustang - with shorter scale lengths, I have larger hands and always gravitate toward the longer scale. The classical I played in college had a 665mm (26.18") scale, and I play bass as well, so comparatively a 25.5" Fender isn't really a big deal. It's all relative. If the shorter scale feels comfortable and helps you enjoy your Teles, I'm happy for y'all. Stretches and warm-up exercises (I highly recommend the book Pumping Nylon for this even if you have zero intention of ever learning classical) will help with facility on any scale length.
 

horseman308

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This is why I put 25" scale necks on my set-neck builds. I find it the perfect balance between reachability and space between frets.

My two Tele builds were done before I ever tried a 25" scale, so I haven't tried the short scale Tele, but I have no doubt that it would work just fine.
 

Boreas

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I have a Squire Thinline that by simply flipping the Jag/Jazz bridge around, I can use a standard neck, or a Gibson (NOT a conversion) spec neck for which it was built. It also has a Bigsby.

I played it for a couple years with the "Gibson" neck (rosewood) and absolutely loved it. My favorite guitar. I have numerous shorter-scale guitars in acoustic and electric formats, and I really like them. Recently, I decided to refinish the SS neck and installed a standard (maple) Squier neck on it. I noticed immediately there was an increase in acoustic volume and perhaps a little better sustain. How much is due to maple vs. rosewood, I don't know, but I assume it is minimal. Not a huge difference in playability, but noticeable. Amplified - not much difference other than perhaps a little more sustain.

The SS neck is ready to go back on but I am not in a hurry. Probably this winter when I have a little more spare time to tinker and play.
 
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brookdalebill

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Thanks for asking.
I personally greatly prefer long scale.
The low notes “pop” in first position.
I believe long scale sounds more in tune.
It may not be, but it’s my experience that it is.
I prefer the perceived extra resistance/string tension.
I realize this is variable, according to personal set-ups.
Short scales can facilitate bending, and close voiced/wide interval chords may be easier.
Smaller humans may also be better served, too.
I’m semi-apey;), and my largish frame and, ahem, big, strong paws demand 25 1/2 scale, most of the time.
 

Swirling Snow

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IYO... is chasing a 24.75 inch scale Tele worth it? Does it still sound like a Tele? Does it lose its mojo?
Where are the long necked Teles? If longer is better, then why would Leo make short scale guitars instead?

Scale length is an engineering compromise. You lose here, you gain there. There is no "better".

I tune all my guitars to C, so honestly, those differences reported by others are lost on me. My chickin' pickin' may not have the full twang, but I can bend those soft strings like a steel player. Be different. Be famous for it. We all need a schtick.
 

Twin52

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The other guitar player in our band just had a custom Anderson built with the shorter scale and for him it is perfect and he loves it. Tom told him that is what he plays as well. I think they are more popular than you might think. If it is an issue for you then I would get one. For me I don't mind the struggle :)
I bought a short Anderson S style and it’s a great guitar.
 

Si G X

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I have a 24" tele, the biggest thing is that 11-48's don't feel as stiff.... so if you like thick strings with less tension then it's cool.


.... not really sure what you mean by 'worth it' though? If you like shortscale guitars then yeah.
 

PCollen

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IYO = In your opinion 😁

Whenever I pick up one of my G-style guitars after having played my Tele(s) the first and most obvious difference to me is the scale length and how much of a difference .75 inch makes (queue the "that's what she said" jokes). It's not the bending or slinkiness or the tone or anything other than the fret spacing and "reachability" of them and the "stretchability" of my hands... it's just easier enough to where my first thought as soon as I switch is simply "oh, this is easier".

IYO... is chasing a 24.75 inch scale Tele worth it? Does it still sound like a Tele? Does it lose its mojo?

Just to clarify - I am not looking for a different tone, I am a diehard Telecaster fan for life; I am only interested in (for me) improved playability without sacrificing that Tele spirit. Special edition Fender Teles, licensed conversion necks, non-Fender T-styles... any thoughts on any of those?
If you have short arms, or if it's more comfortable for you to play, then YES. But just to have something different, IMO NO. John Lennon played a short scale Rickenbacker just because he liked it and it was easier and more comfortable for him to play on.
 

schmee

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IYO = In your opinion 😁

Whenever I pick up one of my G-style guitars after having played my Tele(s) the first and most obvious difference to me is the scale length and how much of a difference .75 inch makes (queue the "that's what she said" jokes). It's not the bending or slinkiness or the tone or anything other than the fret spacing and "reachability" of them and the "stretchability" of my hands... it's just easier enough to where my first thought as soon as I switch is simply "oh, this is easier".

IYO... is chasing a 24.75 inch scale Tele worth it? Does it still sound like a Tele? Does it lose its mojo?

Just to clarify - I am not looking for a different tone, I am a diehard Telecaster fan for life; I am only interested in (for me) improved playability without sacrificing that Tele spirit. Special edition Fender Teles, licensed conversion necks, non-Fender T-styles... any thoughts on any of those?
I have had at least 3 nice conversion necks. But I have to admit, that scale does lose some mojo, especially on the low E and a bit on the A.
I am however looking for a conversion neck, as my 75 year old hands are having trouble getting a good bar chord down low like an F on the first fret. Wrists wont bend......everything's a compromise...
 

Dan German

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I’m semi-apey;), and my largish frame and, ahem, big, strong paws demand 25 1/2 scale, most of the time.
I’m from the gibbon side of the family. My wingspan is 74” and I wear 2XL/3XL gloves, but only for the finger length.

When I was young, I thought that meant I should play bass. I wasn’t a good bass player. I went back to guitar not knowing about different scale lengths. 25.5” is a better fit for me. That said, I now play 24, 25, and 25.5” guitars, and I like them all for different reasons. I also play a 29.75” baritone, and it fits me like a gibbon’s glove.
 

proxy

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You can do a "short scale experiment" on your standard Tele.
1) tune down half a step
2) put a capo on the first fret
That leaves you a 24" scale Tele to play (with the dots in the wrong places!!). Give it a try...

I tune all my long scale guitars to Eb and it’s great - I prefer the tone and like the easier bending.

I also find it a little easier to go back and forth between my G and F style guitars.

Lastly, I kinda wish there was a line of F styles with offset dots for us Eb players.
 
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Grateful Ape

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The PRS pattern regular neck (25") is extremely comfortable. Check out the Vela for an interesting mix of twang ideas.
 

teletail

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I don’t know if it’s because I’m so bad or so good, but I don’t even think about it when I switch between a tele and a Les Paul.

When I played bass, it was the same thing. Someone asked me about my 35” scale bass and I hadn’t even noticed.
 




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