LES PAUL JUNIOR
BY JORDAN WAGNER
Alnico-magnet mini humbucker
The short-scale bass is often misunder- stood. Though the instrument was
originally marketed for beginners, experienced bassists quickly discovered the ease
of play and huge lows these axes provide.
Guitarists also realized that the feel of a
short-scale bass was similar to that of a
6-string guitar, making it a viable tool for
players who wanted a taste of the low end,
but didn’t like the idea of getting used to
a longer neck. Hot on the heels of their
Thunderbird short-scale model, Gibson
USA has released another short-scale bass,
this one in the form of the famed Les Paul
Junior DC. This Les Paul Junior bass draws
influences from Gibson’s storied EB-0, but
also benefits from the addition of some
The Les Paul Junior DC bass is one of several Gibson USA basses the company is unveiling this year. Along with the Thunderbird
short scale (release in March) was an oversized Les Paul bass. Bassists rejoice—we’ll
be seeing the Explorer and Flying V basses
making their long-overdue return this year
as well. And according to Gibson, 2012 also
promises to be a big year for basses.
Put simply, Gibson’s LP Junior DC bass
is a stunning looker. The mahogany-slab
body is finished in the company’s gorgeous
Pelham Blue nitrocellulose finish with a
deep, baby-blue sparkle and luster. The
instrument’s 30. 5" mahogany neck is set
into the body and topped with a rosewood
fretboard housing 20 medium-jumbo frets.
And the large, shamrock-style Grover tuners work in tandem with an adjustable
3-point bridge that’s also found on Gibson’s
Being a short scale with large tuners, I
assumed immediately that the instrument
would be rather neck heavy, but it wasn’t as
evident as I thought it would be. The neck
only drooped slightly after standing up with
the bass and a nylon strap, and was extreme-
ly comfortable to hold in that position.
Individual pickup Volumes
and Master Tone
humbucker is located in the bridge position
for raunchy midrange and tones with a crisp
upper end. Each pickup has its own Volume
control for various amounts of blending,
along with a single Master Tone control.
Personally, I would have preferred separate
tone controls for further tonal shaping, as
some situations call for less highs on the
bridge, blended with a sharp, neck tone.
Don’t Call me Junior!
There’s nothing quite like a good short-scale
bass. Even with the incorrect “beginner’s
instrument” moniker, some of the most
famous players in rock, blues, and R&B
have used the super-fat low end these models