Buying a guitar for kids can be an overwhelmed task.
You’ll probably want to get the best guitar for the most convenient price, without emptying your pocket and there are plenty of physical and Internet stores with a variety of guitars for kids.
After years of specializing in guitar teaching for children and purchasing hundreds of guitars in the guitar projects
I set up in schools and music study centers (pictures and videos below),
I can help you get the right guitar for both of you.
As you can see in the photos below the classical guitars my kids students play on are laminated ( when the top part of the guitar is made of layers of thin processed wood that are glued together).
I want to point out that your child doesn’t need an expensive instrument to succeed in guitar playing.
It is important that the guitar for kids you purchase meets several criteria:
Whether its an acoustic or classical guitar, the 1/4 size guitar is the right one if the age of your child is 3-5.
A 1/2 size guitar is the right one if your kid is in grades 1 through 3/ages 6-8.
Sometimes there are children in the third grade who are developed for their age,
and then I would recommend a3/4 guitar size.
From age 9 onwards I would recommend a full-size guitar.
However, I had quite a few students aged 9-10 who were more comfortable staying with the 3/4 size guitar.
And that was fine with me as long as their fingers were not too big to mute the nearby strings on the guitar fingerboard or if I noticed that they sit with their body bent inward trying to grab the small guitar size.
The principle that guides us is whether the child holds the guitar comfortably
without over-lifting the shoulder of the hand resting on the guitar and that the other hand comes conveniently to all the strings in the guitar neck in the first part of the frets near the headstock.
Playability (The distance of the strings from the fretboard):
The higher the distance the more the kid will have to put more effort by pressing the string. If you went to an average guitars seller he might have started to “philosophize” about this central theme in the guitar world. The truth is, I would not bother myself about it at all.
None of my student with the guitars I recommended to buy did have to make a setup.
why is it?
Because most of the popular brands produce the guitars at a reasonable and normal height, children aged 6-8 will play mostly in the first fret 1-7 of the guitar where the height is relatively low and investing in a setup that is apparently not necessary is not worth the financial investment in relation to the low guitar cost.
What guitar for kids should you buy? Acoustic, classical or electric?
I must note that I never taught children an electric guitar but some of my colleagues did. Anyway, I have to say that kids do not need an electric guitar to get started.
Electric guitar for kids
– It’s definitely cool.
– The playability is comfortableת the strings are almost attached to the fingerboard.
– Possibility to connect to many sound effects.
– Heavy on the leg when sitting and creates pressure on the child’s back and neck.
– Requires amplifier, cables and most often also hard loops.
– A relatively expensive investment especially if it’s a short or long romance of your kid with guitar playing.
Acoustic Guitar vs. Classical Guitar?
It depends on:
– The musical genre and method according to which the teacher / online course of your child teaches. If the teacher is an electric guitarist then he will probably recommend acoustic or classical guitar.
– If the teacher is a classical guitarist and teaches according to his musical background then he will recommend classical guitar.
Acoustic guitar is very common in types of music like rock, pop, indie, country.
Classical guitar is the most common in classical, Latin and Spanish music and you can certainly find it in quite a few songs in the genres of pop and rock.
In the end, it’s also a matter of personal taste.
A tip for you:
No matter what type of guitar you choose, I would recommend that you child starts playing with fingerpicking and not with a pick if only for the maximum cognitive and motor development your child will obtain from it.
Personally, if a student comes to me already with an acoustic guitar it is perfectly fine.
However, if I should recommend him I would go for classical because of my background and because the nylon strings are more comfortable to the child’s fingers than the metal strings of the acoustic guitar.
Most students will get used to the metal cords within a few days, but it is important that you do everything so that this critical initial period of whether or not the child will connect to the tool will go as smoothly as possible.
What guitar to buy if your kid is left-handed?
You Can buy a left-handed guitar model.
If you have a small size right-handed guitar with a symmetrical design on both sides rather than with a cutaway
( an indention in the bottom of the guitar body under the fingerboard)
then simply restring it upside down and flip the bridge and nut accordingly.
As I mentioned earlier, kids students at the starting level mostly don’t play in this part of the guitar
I hope I’ve touched all the points regarding buying a guitar for kids.
If I had to give you one more tip it would be that your child will feel comfortable playing the guitar
and less if it is a classical, acoustic, electric guitar, special design, etc.
I wish you a successful journey in the guitar world!