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Tuning a Short Scale Guitar

Bill Ladick   June 1st ,2015

     Recently we have received some questions about short scale guitar tuning. To clear up some of the confusion, it's importand to understand that a short scale guitar neck will have an incrementally greater increase in pitch over a shorter distance. Because of this, the frets need to be placed closer together in increments that are based on the overall scale length. The shorter the instruments, the closer the frets need to be. In the case of a very short instrument, standard tuning is difficult to achieve, as the scale distance does not meet minimum fret distances required. The overall intonation as well as string tension is also affected.

      At Lap axe, we have designed two models. Our smallest model, the Deluxe, is an instrument designed to have unlimited travel capabilities, while at the same time, maintaining great playability and sound. We therefore recommended you to tune this guitar a minor 3rd above standard. In other words, low E would now be tuned 3 semitones up to G. The remaining strings would follow suit, thus resulting in the following format. G, C, F, B flat, D, G. The instrument is played normally but sounds slightly higher. ( G major chord sounds B flat major). There is no change in how you physically structure or finger chords and scales etc. The only challenge is when jamming with other musicians, you may need to transpose to an unfamiliar key. As for practicing and playing while traveling or at home, it truly is the ultimate portable guitar. 

     As we continued to develop our product line, we realized the need for a model that could be tuned to standard, for musicians who require a great sounding and playing guitar for use on gigs and while jamming and maintaining standard note to fret positions. Our answer was the release of the EX and Lipaxe EX series. In order to achieve standard tuning, we needed to build a version slightly longer than our Deluxe model. The EX still has great portability, but maintains all of the features of a full scale instrument. Both models are small, high quality sounding and playing guitars, with slightly different benefits. Check out our specifications page shown here to decide which one is best for you. You can also check out our full product line at, and drop us an e-mail at if you have any questions.

Happy chopping!

Bill Ladick


Small guitar dimensions by Lap axe Travel Guitars

Lap axe is a registered trademark and is solely owned by Quaystone Music Singapore Pte Ltd


1 Coleman Street #10-06

The Adelphi , Singapore 179803



Quaystone Music 2015

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