Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II Review: Stylish, Vintage-Inspired Short-Scale

If you're new to learning bass guitar, younger, or smaller than average, a short-scale bass is often the best choice of bass guitar to learn on.

These smaller bass guitars offer the same tuning, tone, and experience of a bass guitar, just in a more compact format, and are great for learners and youngsters.

Of course, there are many different short-scale bass guitars on the market, so often choosing the right one can be harder than you might think. But, it's important that you get it right so that the bass guitar playing experience is enjoyable and doesn't limit your learning.

Below, I'll be sharing my experience of using the Gretsch G2220 Electromatic Junior Jet Bass II Short Scale, giving an honest and fair review of this short bass guitar. Spoiler - I think it's a great deal for the price and style!

That said, the Gretsch G2220 might not be the best short-scale bass for all players, so make sure you check through my review to see if it's a good fit for you and check out our full list of Short Scale Basses!

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II: Overview & Specs

Overall Average Rating: 4.1/5

Why I Like It

  • It has a charming and distinct visual aesthetic.
  • You get a powerful and punchy sound from the mini-humbucker pickups.
  • Comfortable and easy to play, especially for those with smaller hands.

What I Think Could Be Improved

  • The tuners could be more stable and precise.
  • Limited tonal variety compared to some other basses.
  • The short scale might not suit players with larger hands or those used to full-scale basses.


  • Design:
    • Body Shape - Single cutaway Junior Jet
    • Neck Shape - Thin U shape with a bolt-on neck
    • Scale Length - 30.3"
    • Fretboard - 20 medium jumbo
    • Nut Material - Synthetic bone
    • Nut Width - 1.562"
  • Pickups:
    • Bridge Pickup - Gretsch Mini Humbucking
    • Neck Pickup -Gretsch Mini Humbucking
    • Controls - Master volume knob, master tone, pickup switching
  • Colors - Shell Pink, Walnut Stain, Imperial Stain, Tobacco Sunburst, Bristol Fog
  • Materials:
    • Neck - Bolt-on Maple neck
    • Body - Basswood body
    • Bridge - Four-saddle adjustable bridge

The Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II is a highly affordable short-scale bass guitar, making it perfect for new and younger bass players.

Sporting classic Gretsch appointments like the sleek design, in-house pickups, dot inlays, and stylish color options, this versatile bass offers essential Gretsch power, giving you either massive subsonic tones, or a light and airy vibe.

It uses Gretsch's own Mini single-coil pickups for both the bridge and neck pickups and features many other Gretsch components.

I'd say that the standout elements of this guitar are its very reasonable price tag, paired with a unique and attractive design. These don't really look like any other basses on the market. I think they have a bit of a Les Paul vibe to the body shape, but not exactly, and the chrome-plated pickups and pickguard have a really cool look.

As far as short and affordable bass guitars go, this is a very appealing model, but it might not be for everyone.

Now, let me share my experience of the key features of this short but sweet bass!

Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II Features & Benefits

Build Quality 4/5

The build quality of the Gretsch G2220 Junior is impressive for its price point. The vintage-inspired design elements, such as the stylish headstock and classic pickguard, give it a distinctive look that stands out. The basswood body is lightweight yet solid, providing a good balance of comfort and durability.

However, I did find that the die-cast tuners could be a bit more stable and precise. They did their job, but I had to make minor adjustments more frequently than I would have liked. It’s not a major issue, and it isn't worse than what I would expect at this low price point.

The build quality isn't quite what you get with an expensive Fender bass model, but neither is the price tag. I think you get really good build quality for the price here.

Feel and Playability 4/5

With a scale length just over 30 inches, it’s a true short-scale bass, which made it incredibly easy for me to play, given my hands are on the smaller side. Navigating the fretboard was a breeze, and the medium jumbo frets provided a comfortable and responsive playing experience.

The neck’s bolt-on construction ensures a secure fit, although it may not have the same resonance as set-neck or neck-through designs. I also thought that the neck could have been a bit more refined overall. The finish wasn't perfect, and it was a bit rough and scratchy around the edges, but it wasn't horrible to play, and this is what most guitars in this price range feel like in my experience.

If you're a fan of short-scale length basses, I think this will feel pretty nice to you for the price. Although it might be a bit cramped if you have larger hands.

Tone, Pickups, and Sonic Versatility 4/5

The dual mini humbucking bass pickups deliver a powerful, thundering sound with plenty of boom. It might be a bit woofy and lack some clarity compared to more expensive pickups, but I think it sounded decent for the price.

The bridge pickup gives a more biting, brighter sound with a bit more clarity. It isn't as rich as I would like it to be - but you also don't have to be rich to afford this axe.

I found it was pretty versatile thanks to the electronics configuration, which gives you a master tone, master volume, and three-way selector switch. This means that you can use the neck and bridge separately, or combine them both, basically giving you three tone options.

The tone control does have a more limited range than I'm used to with more expensive guitars – somewhat lacking in the amount of color you can dial in – but I still think it gives you enough to work with. Especially if you have some more controls on your bass amp.

Overall, I was impressed with the sound and versatility at this price point. It's a very affordable bass, so it's nice to see the level of depth you get. That said, it's pretty limited compared to other bass guitars I've tried and doesn't give you the broadest tonal variety.

Value for Money 4.5/5

Priced on the low-mid end of the price spectrum, I think the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II is very fairly priced, and you're getting great value for money.

In terms of style, I think you're getting spoilt here – as you're getting an instrument with a very cool and unique look that stands out compared to many of the standard designs in this price range.

Although, looks are really the least important element of an instrument. So you'll be pleased to hear that I also give this a thumbs up in terms of build and sound quality, feel, and tonal depth. While it isn't the nicest instrument ever, it's great for the price and I don't think you'll feel short-changed.

I think it's a strong starting point for new players, or intermediates who are looking for a slight step up over the cheapest starter models.

Best Alternatives to Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II

While the Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II is an excellent short-scale bass with a lot of charm, it might not be the best fit for everyone. Here are some alternatives to consider...

Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ vs. Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II

If you’re looking for a versatile short-scale bass with a blend of Precision and Jazz bass tones, the Fender Player Mustang Bass PJ is a great alternative. It offers a wider range of tones and a more modern feel, making it suitable for a variety of genres.

Sure, it's over double the price, but I love the quality of this instrument, and it's a great investment for serious players. Check out our full review to learn more.

Squier Classic Vibe '60s Mustang Bass vs Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II

If you can stretch your budget by an extra $100 the Squier Classic Vibe '60s Mustang Bass also offers excellent value for money. It has a vintage look and feel, with solid build quality and decent sound, making it a great option for beginners and budget-conscious players looking for a more typical design.

Epiphone EB-0 vs Gretsch G2220 Junior Jet Bass II

Another affordable short-scale option is the Epiphone EB-0. It has a warm, vintage tone and a comfortable neck, although it lacks the dual pickup configuration and some of the versatility of the Gretsch G2220. That said, I love the SG-style body shape, which has more of a hard rocker vibe.

Final Verdict

All in all, I'm very impressed with what the Gretsch G2220 offers. Coming with a very reasonable price tag, you get a stylish short bass guitar with a pretty versatile tonal output, and comfortable playability and build quality.

If you're a newer bass player looking for a decent instrument to last you the next couple of years, I think you'll have a great time with this Gretsch.

That said, I would also suggest that you take a look at our full list of the Best Short Scale Basses in case you find something more suitable!

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