Ibanez GRGM21BKN Review – A Giant-Killer Small-Size Guitar

If you can’t play a full-scale guitar because of an injury or you just want to play smaller guitars, the Ibanez GRGM21BKN is perfect for you. It’s a downsized ¾ size guitar with superior craftsmanship, good electronics, and better sound quality. Since it’s a short scale guitar, it’s very lightweight, therefore it’s a great travel buddy!

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Ibanez GRGM21BKN review
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The Ibanez GRGM21BKN

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Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro 3/4 Size Electric Guitar - Walnut Sunburst Finish
38 Reviews
Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro 3/4 Size Electric Guitar - Walnut Sunburst Finish
  • Body Body shape: Double cutaway Body type: Solid body Body material: Solid wood Top wood: Not applicable Body wood: Poplar Body finish: Gloss Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck shape: GRGM Neck wood: Maple Joint: Set-in Scale length: 22.2" Truss rod: Standard Neck finish: Gloss Fretboard Material: Maple Radius: 15.75" Fret size: Medium Number of frets: 22 Inlays: Dot
  • No toy by any stretch of the imagination, the Ibanez miKro is conforms to the same high standards as all of the GIO series guitars
  • The GRGM21M features the same high-output Powersound pickups, the same construction, same materials, same set-up and same inspection
  • In fact, the only difference is its shorter 22
  • 2-inch scale neck, something that makes it perfect for tour buses, songwriting, running scales while downloading and, of course, for young rockers and beginners

Not all guitars with a shorter scale length (around 24 inches) are for kids and beginners.

Some guitars are made with an even shorter scale length (23 inches) because it’s a travel guitar. Therefore, it’s ideal to be lightweight and small.

Speaking of a travel guitar, the Ibanez GRGM21BKN could fall under this category. It is reliable, versatile, plays beautifully and durable. What else are you looking for in an electric guitar?

Decent Look

Let’s not expect too much for GRGM21BKN so that we’ll have a new level of excitement. Its body is wrapped with one piece solid mahogany.

Mahogany is a very common body material which gives deep, warm mid-tones, a very good sustain, and of course, a nice “bit” for Telecasters.

It has a 22-inch scale length of bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fretboard. The neck is one piece of maple, while the fretboard has 24 frets with signature Ibanez inlays.

Variants to Choose From

Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro Electric Guitar - Black Night Finish
38 Reviews
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)
Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right Handed (GRGM21MJB)
38 Reviews
Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right Handed (GRGM21MJB)
  • Fast, slim Maple neck
  • Compact 22.2" Scale
  • High output Infinity R pickups
Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right Handed (GRGM21MMPL)
38 Reviews
Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right Handed (GRGM21MMPL)
  • Fast, slim Maple neck
  • Compact 22.2" Scale
  • High output Infinity R pickups
Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro 3/4 Size Kids Electric Guitar - Vivid Pink Finish
38 Reviews
Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro 3/4 Size Kids Electric Guitar - Vivid Pink Finish
  • Body Body shape: Double cutaway Body type: Solid body Body material: Solid wood Top wood: Not applicable Body wood: Poplar Body finish: Gloss Orientation: Right handed Neck Neck shape: GRGM Neck wood: Maple Joint: Set-in Scale length: 22.2" Truss rod: Standard Neck finish: Gloss Fretboard Material: Maple Radius: 15.75" Fret size: Medium Number of frets: 22 Inlays: Dot
  • No toy by any stretch of the imagination, the Ibanez miKro is conforms to the same high standards as all of the GIO series guitars
  • The GRGM21M features the same high-output Powersound pickups, the same construction, same materials, same set-up and same inspection
  • In fact, the only difference is its shorter 22
  • 2-inch scale neck, something that makes it perfect for tour buses, songwriting, running scales while downloading and, of course, for young rockers and beginners

Perfect for Small Hands

Fitting the 24 frets on the short neck is amazing. It’s really made for players with small hands.

In addition, the fretboard appears to be fairly flat and designed to practice shredding so you can achieve a few metal tricks from this thing.

Great Playability

The neck is thin and flawless, which makes it easy to play the instrument. Although it’s lightweight, it seems to be more solid so it’s very easy for kids to hold.

At the same time, it’s sturdy enough to withstand possible harsh treatments – if kids are to use this one.

Some may come out lucky and can play their guitars immediately right out of the box. In this case, the tension is lower and pressing the strings down for a chord or two is very easy for kids.

But, for those who are extra lucky, they might need to see a guitar expert do the preliminary rituals of tuning the guitar and setting the action in place.

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Average Hardware

Even though this thing may be designed for small hands, but, it’s not just for kids, but it’s made for metal shredders.

You got two double humbuckers with rich gain-driven sound for shredding. These two are very responsive to the three-way pickup selector switch and tonal adjustments.

In addition to the three-way selector, you’ll have a tone knob and a master volume control knob. The tone knob gives you additional control over the sound frequencies.

To tremolo bridge, but instead a more secure hard-tail bridge that keeps the six strings in place.

At its classic Ibanez headstock, you can see six die-cast tuners, which fairly did their part in keeping the tuning well.

There is nothing fancy to be expected from the electronics and hardware department of this little shredder.

Just plain, straightforward and common configuration. Maybe an average, but the whole system does its job pretty well to give us more entertainment and desirable sound output.

Clean and Versatile Sound

It’s first compact guitar from Ibanez. No wonder, it effortlessly produces better and richer sound – strong low tones, with punchy mids and bright trebles.

The humbuckers give players a great metal soloing to produce loud and heavy tones. Doing repeated quick complex playing styles can be done in a breeze because of its a short scale guitar.

The tonewood used is perfect for metal shredding. Hence, the build and the sound quality combined is one step higher compared to more expensive Ibanez guitars.

So, now, you really have something to be proud of, even if your guitar only costs you a hundred dollars plus.

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Great for Kids, Beginners, and Travelers

For kids and beginners alike, this is no doubt a guitar perfect for them. Best fit, durable, quite versatile. For travelers? For musicians-on-the-go, this may come in handy for you.

Having to practice in your spare time before your concert or live performance?

Ibanez GRGM21BKN might come in handy. It’s lightweight, short, and has everything your expensive guitars at home has.

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Pros

  • Frets edges are smooth
  • Fit and finish are superb
  • All control knobs are easily adjustable and responsive
  • Guitar plays nice, stays well in tune

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Cons

  • Average humbuckers
  • Needs a few adjustments

Drawbacks

To sum it all up, you got an affordable ax with a decent look and clean sound. It’s great to play with even with your small hands. That’s it? Nothing exciting?

How, about, if you can play with a little more versatility? Would you be pleased to know what’s even better than this?

It’s, of course, the popular Squier Mini Stratocaster for kids and ESP LTD EC-10000 for professional and serious metal shredders.

This is just my opinion, though. Why bother to look for another guitar, when this ax can serve you well.

Just like a cheap Ephipone can be a Gibson for some, this could be a valuable tool for some wannabes out there.

Verdict

Not all ¾ size guitars come with poor sound quality and craftsmanship. This guitar is an exception.

Ibanez worked well to provide excellent build, look and feel, at the same time passing down the sound quality of their expensive full-scale guitars to this one.

Will I buy it, if I were you?

Hmmm… It’s cheaply priced and it’s a cute little ax. I’m going to buy it, if and only if, I’m a fan of head bangs and screaming, but I’m not.

However, for those who really love exploring this extreme end of the music genre, this guitar will serve you well.

Aside from the fact that it’s designed as an ax, the Ibanez brand is trusted. It’s a guarantee, our guarantee of quality and lasting guitar, even if your kids are going to be using this one.

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