Buying A Guitar For A Child

Everything You Need When Choosing The Best Guitars For Kids

If you are still not sure how to choose a guitar for a child, acoustic or electric, see Part 1 – How To Choose An Acoustic Guitar or Part 2 – How To Choose An Electric Guitar. These are articles explain the difference between an acoustic and an electric guitar and why you would choose one over the other. Choosing between an electric or acoustic or nylon guitar is the same no matter what your age. However, keep in mind that nylon-stringed guitar or classical guitars are much easier on the fretting fingers so many people chose this style for a child because of this. The size of nylon-stringed guitars is also a bit smaller than other acoustic guitars. So in summary, these are the things to keep in mind for a child.

  • Guitar quality
  • A Guitar that is easy to play.
  • Guitar Size.
  • Which Body Style or Shape?
  • Is your child left or right-handed?
  • Should I get a starter pack?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Which brands are best?
  • What accessories do I need?

Guitar Quality And Easy To Play

If you get a guitar that doesn’t play well or sound right, your kid will hate it, and they will become frustrated and discouraged. It’s not hard to find an affordable quality guitar. A lot of people are calling today’s market the era of the affordable guitar. That being said there are still a lot of terrible guitars out there so you should be aware. Avoid department store guitars or something just because it is a kit. Kits are great and useful, but they are usually offered on entry-level instruments that are of poorer quality. Reviews are great if they are legitimate reviews. You can also check out some Facebook Groups or forums and see what other people are playing and like. This will give you an idea of what is out there when you start looking.

A good quality guitar should also be easy to play. This is true of most of us, but especially for children. Everyone’s body is different so different styles may suit different children. An easy-to-play guitar should be the right size and shape for your child.

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Guitar Size

What size guitar is right for me or my child?

Choosing guitars for kids’ biggest challenge is finding the right size guitar for your child. Finding the right size guitar is very important. If the guitar is too large for your child, then it will make it much more difficult for them to play. If it is even more difficult than it needs to be, the likelihood of them sticking with the instrument diminishes significantly. The wrong sized guitar will not only be uncomfortable but could be ergonomically bad for their little body. Your child will enjoy playing guitar much more if they have a guitar that fits their body. Here are some things to look at when choosing guitars for kids.

Here is a general chart for different sizes for different ages.

Size of ChildGuitar Size
3’3″ to 3’9″¼ size
3’10” to 4’5″½ size
7-11 years old¾ size
11 +years oldFull Size

Types of Guitar Shapes

What shape guitar is right for me or my child?

When deciding how to choose a guitar for a child, besides size the shape or type of guitar will determine comfort and playability. First, you should know which shapes are available. Second, you should go to a music store and have your child try out as many as possible and see how it feels for them. Here is a rundown of the available shapes for acoustic and electric guitars.

Acoustic Guitar Shapes

  • Parlor-sized acoustic guitars are one of the smallest available. They have a very brighter tone than most and are a great option for younger students.
  • Concert-sized guitars are slightly larger and have a bright tone as well.
  • Auditorium-sized acoustic guitars are great for older kids and have a better balance between high and low notes.
  • Dreadnaught guitars are one of the most popular style acoustic guitars on market. These tend to have a nice full should, however, they are larger and can be difficult for smaller arms and hands.
  • Jumbo or Super Jumbo style guitars produce a big sound with a good balance between highs and lows. These will probably be very difficult for younger hands to handle.
  • Classical guitars are often a great choice for kids. They are smaller than steel-stringed guitars and since they use nylon strings, they are easier to play than steel-stringed guitars. However, be aware that some have larger necks, so choose one that does not have a huge thick neck.
  • Travel Guitars are usually 1/2 to 3/4 sized guitars that are great for kids.

Electric Guitars Shapes

There are a vast amount of electric guitar shapes as well. We will concentrate on the most popular styles.

  • Fender Stratocaster
  • Fender Telecaster
  • Gibson Les Paul
  • Gibson SG
  • Hollow Body Electric Guitar
  • Semi-Hollow Body

There are many clones of these styles as well. A lot of these clones are very good guitars as well.

Is your child left or right-handed?

You should make sure that if your child is left handed that you get them a left-handed guitar. Most guitars produced and sold are right handed guitars so keep that in mind when you choose a guitar. Finding a smaller left handed guitar may be difficult, but if you search online you may have better luck.

Should I Get A Guitar Starter Kit?

Starter packs are great, especially with beginner electric guitars. Starter packs provide basic necessities for any guitar owner. At a minimum, they should provide a strap, a tuner, picks, and a case. If it is an electric guitar the kit should include a small amplifier and cable. There are lots of great starter packs out there, just avoid the department store packs with unknown brands. Stick to well know good brands like Fender, Epiphone, Taylor, Ibanez, Schecter, or Yamaha to name a few. Some lesser know brands that are also good quality include Harley Benton, a German brand, Firefly, Wolf. The key here is to try them out and make sure they play and sound good.

How much does it cost?

It is no secrete that guitars cost a lot of money, however, a good starter guitar shouldn’t cost you a fortune. At the same time, you should buy your child a toy guitar just because it is cheap. Get them a real guitar that they will enjoy for a few years until they are ready for an upgrade to something nicer.

Which brands are best?

Here are a few guitar brands and models that have a great reputation and also have some 3/4 sized guitars. While I don’t own all of these, I have played them in music stores and think they are good guitars at a great price. These also have great reviews on Amazon and other online retailers.

What accessories do I need?

If you get a kit then you are much, if not all of what you need is provided in many kits on the market.

Conclusion For How To Choose A Guitar For A Child

In conclusion, the most important things to consider when figuring out how to choose a guitar for a child are guitar quality, size, and shape which correlate with comfort, and price. Other considerations are accessories as well as whether your child is right or left-handed. Armed with this information you should be able to make a great choice for your child’s first guitar.

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