Child Guitar - How to Purchase One
A Parents guide to buy an acoustic guitar, classical guitar or tenor Ukulele for your young child or young teenager.
- Child Guitar Buying Tips
- Buying Tips Continued
- Guitar Recommendations
A Child Guitar purchase can cause parents to ask lots of questions such as: How much do I spend or what size or type do I buy. We will help you through that decision-making process within this section and give you some general guidelines as to what you should do.
I taught guitar for 12 years and the vast majority of those students were young children. I had about an equal mix of boys and girls as the guitar has such wide appeal. So the definition of a Child Guitar has a great deal of importance to me.
The first and most important question for a Child Guitar is always - At what age should I start my child to take guitar lessons? Since the guitar is a rather large instrument to hold properly, it depends if your child is big for their age. If so, you can start them earlier, if not they may have to start when they are a bit older.
I generally felt the starter age was about 9 or 10. I found that if parents waited until their children were about 12, they have developed enough strength to press the strings down firm enough to the frets and would not get so discouraged with poor sound from all the buzzing.
The type of guitar plays an important role in a child guitar as well. Unless the parents and or child was determined to play a steel string guitar, I would rather start them out on a nylon string or classical guitar. There are several reasons for this. The body is smaller and thinner and allows them to grasp the guitar better and hold it properly.
The neck is shorter and the reach is not as long to the first 3 frets where they will be doing most of their study in the beginning. The strings are looser and easier on their fingers and they will not be faced with sore fingers from pressing down on steel strings and cutting short practice times.
more susceptible to damage as it is more fragile.
It really is not
proper to play the classical guitar with a plectrum or flat pick, but
rather with your right hand fingers.
This can be more intensive to
learn. For strumming though, they can strum with their right hand thumb
or index finger to form chords.
Does your child wish to start earlier than this? Are they super-excited but just can't hold a guitar or press the strings. Here is an answer for that. The ideal child guitar for them would be a tenor ukulele. You can buy a great koa tenor ukulele for less than $100 at Costco (I just saw one there last week - I was really impressed).
A Tenor Ukulele has 4 strings and you can tune them just like the top 4 strings of a guitar, in other words, E, B, G, D. This is just like a guitar, except the D string on the ukulele is one octave higher.
Anyway, it has a small body, is real easy to press the nylon strings, is reasonably priced and transition to a 6-string guitar in a few years is a cinch. On top of that they your child knows how to play 2 different instruments. So there you have it - an ideal young starter child guitar.
So the tenor ukulele is the ideal child guitar! They can go ahead and learn all their 4-string chords and all the notes, just the same as the lead notes on a guitar. They can strum it with their right-hand fingers or play it fingerstyle. Then they could get a great job is one of he Hawaiian Bands. Great option.
If your child insists on starting with an Acoustic Guitar consider the many 3/4 size guitars on the market. They are called 3/4 size because they are approximately 3/4 the size of a standard sized guitar. These Guitars have a shorter scale, which means the neck is shorter and their little arms can reach the lower frets more easily.
When you introduce your children to guitar lessons, search for a teacher that has taught many younger kids and has the patience for the very young. It is very important that they do not give up in frustration at this point as they may never go back to music if they do.
Also search out a place that has other children of their approximate age so there is the possibility that they could play together. This will give them a turbo-boost and get them over the learning curve".
I will get into this much more in the lessons section of this site. That information will be coming up in a few months.1
If your older child is dead set on an acoustic guitar, consider one of the smaller body guitars as a child guitar. They are called 000 or triple 0 guitars. They are smaller and have a neck that joins the body at the 12th fret.
The Dean Exotica Nomad is the ultimate travel guitar. The Nomad features a small auditorium-style cutaway body made with a solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides.
Appointments include maple biding on the neck and body, and a wood and abalone rosette.
A sophisticated instrument that also travels well, the Passport C25 T is a short-scale travel guitar voiced a fourth up from standard tuning - like playing a standard guitar capoed at the 5th fret. This unique voicing makes it a useful studio/stage instrument as well as a very practical travel instrument. The C25 T has a solid Cedar Top, Mahogany back and sides and soft cutaway, a satin finish and an active pickup.
Fishman Ion-T electronics with built-in tuner. Solid Sitka spruce top. Modified O-14 fret body. Inlaid boltaron w/red fiber rosette. Modified 1 Style bracing pattern. Inverted, crowned cross brace and graphite bowtie plate. Mahogany pattern HPL back and sides.
Mortise/tenon neck joint. Stratabond neck. Modified low oval neck shape. White Corian nut. Solid/square/tapered headstock. Mahogany HPL w/printed logo headplate. Black Micarta fingerboard.
Like its predecessors, this latest addition to the Martin line is built with the same Martin quality craftsmanship, with an emphasis on producing great sound in a smaller guitar.
The Little Martin is durable and easy to play. It is the perfect 'pick up and play' guitar that lets you jam at home or on the road and is the perfect choice for students.
Yamaha CG101 Classical Guitar for $199.99
Full scale Yamaha classical guitar. Despite its low price, it offers the player a mature tone and exceptional tonal balance throughout its entire range. Slightly lighter in weight than the average, it offers extended comfort when played.
Features a European spruce top, and nato back and sides, matte finished. The fingerboard and bridge are rosewood. Chrome tuners. A fine choice for students.
Also known as the "Kim-Bob", the Passport D20 FS is our first travel dreadnought. It's also a no-compromise guitar that sounds great and is easy to play.
This dreadnought has a 7/8- sized body and a full 25.5" scale. The D20, FS "Kim-Bob" has a solid Sitka Spruce top and Mahogany back and sides.
Slightly thinner sides and back as well as a thinner finish coupled with a solid cedar top deliver better sound and response.
It also has a thinner neck to increase playability, and is slightly lighter in weight, offering greater volume as well as extended playing comfort.
The Madrid is a traditional classical guitar with superior projection, balanced tone, and a relaxed feel. The inlaid sound hole rosette and the bound Macassar rosewood fretboard complement these performance qualities. A rosewood back and sides, and solid cedar top with quilted ash sides and back, enhance this guitar's sparkling sonic qualities.
Now, if your child is set on playing a classical guitar, or an acoustic guitar, do not buy them a piece of junk. That will only discourage them, they will not practice and give up in frustration. The guitar should have a straight neck, the ability to lower the string action to a level where the child can press the string to a fret and have a decent sound.
See our article on Best Guitar Buying Tips and How to Buy a Classical Guitar for a lot of addition information - and - some suggestions for guitars. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced guitars are covered.
Set them off in the right direction and watch them enjoy this musical experience for the rest of their life!