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How to Choose a Guitar for your Child

Child Guitar Guitar Guitar Size How To

How to Choose a Guitar for Your Child
One question we get asked a lot is what size guitar is appropriate for a child. If you are looking for a guitar for a child, here are a few thoughts to help during this process.
Find the right size guitar
There are several body sizes and scale lengths that will impact the comfort for the player. A guitar that is too large may be impossible to play, whereas a guitar that is too small will teach improper technique.
Here is a chart that can be helpful when finding the right size guitar. Please note that these are only guidelines and that the best way to find a guitar for a child is to be “fitted” in the music store.
  • Age 5 to 8 (Height range from 3'10" to 4'5"): 1/2 size Acoustic, Classical or Mini Electric
  • Age 8 to 12 (Height range from 4'6" to 4'11"): 3/4 size Acoustic, Classical or Short Scale Electric or Bass
  • Age 12 and up (Height from 5' and up): Concert size or Dreadnought Acoustic, Classical or Full-size Electric or Bass
Knowing your child's height will help in finding the right guitar. If you child is taller than average, you should consider moving up to a larger guitar. Also if your child is smaller than average, consider remaining in the age categories above.
Proper Setup
Learning on a guitar is easier when it has been setup or inspected for playability. The spacing between the strings and the string height action will impact the comfort level for the guitar player. Nobody wants to learn on a guitar if the strings are way too high off the fretboard and hard to press. If the guitar is too difficult to play, it will be discouraging to the child.
Acoustic? Electric? Classical?
The most common starting guitar that we see for beginners is the steel string Acoustic. However Classical guitars with nylon strings are a popular choice because the nylon strings are softer and easier to press than a steel string causing less discomfort for the player. On the other hand, Classical guitars traditionally have a wider neck than an Acoustic guitar which can be more difficult to play for children with small hands. Electric guitars are another option because they use thinner steel strings compared to an Acoustic guitar and so they are easier to press and play. However the Electric guitar tends to be a more expensive option as an amplifier will also be needed.
You should also consider choosing the guitar that is of interest to the child. If possible get input from your child as to what he or she wants to play. This may make it more likely that they will continue to play the instrument long term. Also, if you are planning for your child to take guitar lessons, consult with the instructor on the type of guitar to be purchased.
Cost
1/2 size and 3/4 size Acoustic guitars start at $149. Classical guitars start at $149. Full size Acoustic guitars start at $169. Mini Electric guitars start at $179. Full size Electric guitars start at $179.
The pricing on guitars tends to increase depending on the type of woods, the quality of hardware and the country where the guitar is made. Each instrument will have its own sound and tone so we recommend hearing the differences.   
If you are looking for a guitar for your child, stop by Music World and we can help you find the right one.  We have a wide assortment of brand new smaller sized guitars in stock in a variety of colours. 

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