Figuring out how to find a great first-time guitar can be a challenge in itself, but what to do when you’re looking for a child? Have no fear, guitar instructor Matthew K. is here! Read on for some professional insight, purchase recommendations, and how to find the best guitars for kids…
Parents who want to give their children the opportunity to explore music and learn a new skill have many options.
From traditional pianos to trendy ukuleles, there is no shortage of instruments for kids.
One popular choice that offers both ease of use and an incredible sound quality is the guitar. The issue? There are so many great guitars on the market – which one should parents choose for their kids? We’re here to help!
In this blog post, we will outline five of our top picks for kid-friendly guitars that your kid won’t easily grow out of!
Our selection ranges from beginner models with basic features ideal for a few leisurely strums after school, advanced designs built with ease-of-play in mind, and even accessories like practice amps or effect pedals perfect for jam sessions. Whatever your child’s preferences may be, you’re sure to find something they’ll love in our list!
What Guitar is Best for a Child to Learn On?
For children just starting out on their guitar journey, finding the right instrument is essential. A well-made, beginner-friendly guitar will motivate and inspire them to keep practicing and developing their skills:
- Depending on size and budget, parents can select from a variety of full or 3/4 scale student guitars in acoustic or electric.
- Acoustic guitars carry a traditional look, though they have the disadvantage of requiring more finger strength to press the strings down.
- An electric guitar tends to be easier for beginning players as it has lighter strings and utilizes pickups for amplification.
- Whatever guitar you choose should also fit comfortably with your child; make sure to bring them along when you shop so they can test it out themselves!
When in doubt, ask your child’s guitar instructor for recommendations. And if your child isn’t yet taking guitar lessons, be sure to sign them up! Your kid will learn everything they need to know as a new guitar player, like what you see in the video below:
Best Beginner Guitars for Kids: Top 5 Picks
Learning to play the guitar can be the most exciting time in a child’s life so it’s important to choose a guitar that fits! Full-size guitars can be too big and bulky for a child’s small hands to work around, which can be extremely frustrating and result in aggravation directed at the parents or the teacher. Nobody wants that frustration!
To help your child love playing guitar, I have selected a list of five guitars that, in my eyes, are the best five guitars for kids. The list includes both acoustic and electric guitars. Just keep in mind if you go with an electric guitar, you will have to buy an amp to accompany it. The following are in no particular order since it’s most important to try guitars out in the store and see what works for your child. Let’s get started!
Yamaha has a reputation of making great affordable acoustic guitars. Their ¾ size JR1 is no exception. This one is modeled after Yamaha’s famous FG folk guitar series, and has a great tone for such a small-bodied guitar.
It’s listed at $129.99 on Sweetwater.com.
Ibanez PF2MH Performance 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar
I actually own this guitar and love it. Personally, I use it as my travel guitar, but it’s also a great guitar for beginners. The neck is very easy to maneuver, and the sound it produces is almost of full size quality.
It too is listed at $129.99 on Sweetwater.com.
Squier Bullet Stratocaster HSS Electric Guitar with Tremolo
If the electric guitar is more your kid’s style, the Squier Fender Bullet Stratocaster HSS is an excellent choice. Modeled after the American Series Fender Stratocaster, the Squier Bullet is the perfect electric guitar to get your child excited about music.
It can be found for $129.99 on Amazon.com.
4) Epiphone Les Paul 100
This guitar is slightly more expensive, but tonally superior. If you’re more of a Gibson than a Fender person, this is the guitar. The Epiphone Les Paul 100 is a slimmer guitar, so it is perfect for a beginner with smaller hands. It is a little more expensive, but this is a guitar that will remain in their collection for some time.
It can be found on Sweetwater.com for $269.00. The bag and amp are sold separately.
5) Martin LXM Little Martin
This little guitar was just made famous by Ed Sheeran. Extremely playable, it sounds like a full-size Martin. It may be a bit more expensive than the rest, but this is a guitar that should last your child a lifetime.
GuitarCenter.com has it listed for $299.99.
What Are the Best Acoustic Guitars for Kids?
If your child has expressed an interest in playing the guitar, then you’re probably wondering what type of acoustic guitar is best suited for them. Here’s a guide on how to pick the perfect acoustic guitar for your little rock star.
Guitar Size and Weight
The first factor that you need to consider when selecting an acoustic guitar for your child is size and weight. It’s important that they are able to hold the instrument comfortably without straining their arms or back. Most guitars come in three sizes: full size (41-inch body), ¾ size (38-inch body) and ½ size (34-inch body). The smaller the body, the easier it will be for a child to play.
Sound quality is also important when selecting an acoustic guitar for your child. Look for guitars with solid bodies as these tend to have better sound projection than those with laminated bodies. Additionally, make sure the strings are not too heavy as this can make it difficult for small hands to play properly. Steel strings are typically more durable than nylon strings so they may be better suited if your child is just starting out.
Price should always be a consideration when purchasing any musical instrument, particularly when it comes to buying one for a child who may not stick with it long term. There are plenty of budget-friendly options available but keep in mind that cheaper instruments tend not to produce great sounds or last very long so you might want to invest more money if you think your child will stick with it longer term.
What Are the Best Electric Guitars for Kids?
Electric guitars are a great option for kids who want to learn how to play. But when it comes to finding the best electric guitar for kids, there are some things that you should consider before you make your purchase. Let’s take a look at what makes an electric guitar the best choice for kids.
The size of the guitar is one of the most important factors when it comes to finding the best electric guitar for kids. It needs to be big enough for them to comfortably strum and fret without too much strain, but small enough that they can easily reach all of the frets and strings.
Fortunately, there are many mini-guitars on the market today that are specifically designed with smaller hands in mind.
Tone is Key
Tone is also something that you should consider when shopping for an electric guitar for kids. You want something that sounds good, but not too “rock-ish” or loud that it will scare away your kid’s enthusiasm! Look for guitars with single coils or humbucking pickups if possible – these tend to provide a warmer sound than high-output pickups. Additionally, look for guitars with adjustable tone controls so your kid can customize their sound as they become more experienced players.
Finally, easy playability should be top priority when shopping around for an electric guitar for kids – especially if they have never played before. Look for guitars with low action (the distance between the strings and fretboard), as this will make playing easier on little hands and fingers.
Also, check out guitars with “wide” necks so your child doesn’t have trouble reaching all of the frets and strings while playing chords or solos.
Take the Time to Find the Best Kids Guitars for Learning Guitar
There are many guitars for kids out there, so hopefully this list will help to narrow your search. Remember that it’s important to try before you buy- especially for beginners, so don’t just buy online! Once you’re all set with an instrument, you’ll be ready to find your child the right guitar teacher and get rocking!
Matthew K. teaches guitar, piano, and music theory lessons in Brooklyn, NY. He studied music composition at Mercyhurst University, and he has been teaching lessons for four years. Matthew is available to teach in-person lessons as well as online via Skype. Learn more about Matthew here!
Photo By Eric Peacock