What's The Best Small Guitar for Children? - A Guide to Choosing the Right Instrument
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What’s The Best Small Guitar for Children? – A Guide to Choosing the Right Instrument

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Selecting the best small guitar for a child can seem daunting with the vast array of instruments available. Yet, it’s crucial because the right guitar can significantly elevate a child’s learning experience and maintain their interest in music.

Children’s guitars come in various sizes, with the most appropriate options being designed to cater to their shorter arm length and smaller hands.

These instruments are not merely scaled-down versions of adult guitars; they are specifically crafted to offer a comfortable learning curve for the young maestro.

A small guitar sits on a colorful rug, surrounded by toys. Its bright strings and smooth wood make it perfect for a child's hands

When choosing the ideal guitar for a child, several factors come into play.

  • The size of the instrument is paramount—too large and it can be unmanageable for a child to hold, too small and it may impact the sound quality and playability.
  • Quality and additional features also contribute to the child’s overall playing experience, influencing factors such as the ease of tuning and the robustness of the guitar to withstand the enthusiasm of young players.

Key Points

  • A correctly sized guitar is essential for a child’s comfort and playability.
  • Nylon or steel strings and guitar type impact a child’s learning.
  • High-quality construction and user-friendly features enhance the learning experience.

My Top 3 Picks Found on Amazon

Yamaha JR1 FG Junior 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar, Natural
  • The JR1 has a smaller body and shorter neck, perfect for young players or those with smaller hands
  • Yamaha craftsmanship and a spruce top give this compact guitar an authentic acoustic tone
  • Great for use as a travel guitar when space is limited
  • Gig bag included for safe storage and easy transport. 
Fender Squier 3/4 Size Kids Mini Stratocaster Electric Guitar
  • This guitar's 3/4-size body with 22.75 scale length is the perfect companion for kids.
  • C-shaped maple neck provides absolute comfort and a bright tone.
  • Three single-coil stratocaster pickups with five-way switching provide quick switching.
  • Vintage-style hardtail Stratocaster bridge
Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro Electric Guitar - Black Night Finish
  • The first Ibanez compact guitar
  • 22" scale Maple neck offers low tension and small size
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Set-up like the full-size GRG models
  • Left-handed model available
  1. Yamaha JR1 3/4-size Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
    • Price: Often under $150
    • Features: A genuine spruce top, easy playability, and a reputation for durability.
  2. Squier Mini Strat Electric Guitar
    • Price: Usually around $180
    • Features: Classic Stratocaster styling, kid-friendly size, and it comes in various colors.
  3. Ibanez GRGM21BKN Mikro Electric Guitar
    • Price: Typically available for under $200
    • Features: Good quality build, smaller scale for small hands, and a sharp look.

What Are the Guitar Types for Children?

A small child-sized guitar sits on a colorful rug in a bright, cheerful room. The guitar is smaller in size, with vibrant colors and simple designs, perfect for a child to learn and play

When selecting the best guitar for a child, it’s important to consider the size, weight, and type of guitar that suits their needs and interests.

Whether it’s the gentle strumming on an acoustic guitar or the exhilarating riffs on an electric, children have unique options that cater to their learning stages. The two main types are below:

* Acoustic Guitars for Kids

Size and Comfort: Acoustic guitars for kids typically come in smaller sizes, ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 scale, to accommodate their petite frames and ensure comfort while playing. A 1/2 scale guitar often suits younger children well, while older kids may handle a 3/4 scale with ease.

  • Nylon vs Steel Strings: For beginners, I recommend nylon-string guitars, as they are softer on little fingers. The wider neck of a classical acoustic can also make learning finger placements easier.

* Electric Guitars for Kids

Ease of Playability: Electric guitars, often favored for their cool factor, are generally easier to play due to their lighter gauge strings and slimmer necks. This reduces finger strain and can motivate my young rockstars.

  • Amplification and Accessories: An electric guitar requires an amplifier to produce sound, which can be an additional expense. However, the ability to control volume can be a parent-friendly feature, especially with headphones.

I ensure to pick a guitar that isn’t just a downsized version but one that’s designed with a child’s ergonomics in mind. Whether it’s an electric or acoustic model, the best guitar for a child combines playability with a comfortable learning experience.

Best Guitar Models for Kids

Choosing the best guitar for a child, it’s essential to consider size, playability, and appropriateness for the child’s age and skill level. Here are some of the prime options I’ve found in terms of brands, budget-conscious choices, and top picks available on Amazon.

  • Yamaha JR1 3/4-size Dreadnought: Yamaha guitars are renowned for their quality, and the JR1, being a 3/4-size dreadnought, is perfect for kids due to its manageable size and great sound.
  • Fender Squier Mini Strat: The Squier Mini Strat is an electric guitar that offers young players the feel of a full-size Stratocaster in a smaller, more comfortable size.
  • Ibanez Mikro: Ideal for kids who want to rock, the Ibanez Mikro is a compact electric guitar that doesn’t compromise on quality and still offers the feel of a full-size guitar.
  • Epiphone: With models like the Les Paul Express, Epiphone offers 3/4-sized electric guitars suitable for smaller hands, making the transition to larger guitars easier.
  • Martin LX1, often referred to as the “Baby Taylor”: This is a high-quality option for kids who are serious about pursuing acoustic guitar playing.

Budget-Friendly Options

  • Classical Guitars: Often less expensive than their steel-string counterparts, classical guitars have nylon strings which are easier on the fingers, making them a fantastic option for beginners.
  • Rogue Starter Acoustic Guitar: A cost-effective choice for parents not willing to make a big investment in the initial learning phase.
  • Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH: It’s a budget-friendly electric guitar that gives kids a taste of the rock and roll experience without breaking the bank.

Choosing the Right Size and Type


In my experience, selecting the right guitar for a child involves considering size, scale length, and whether to choose an acoustic or electric model. Let’s explore what you need to know to make an informed decision.

Size Guitar

Body Size: When I look for a guitar for a child, I focus on the instrument’s body size. Kids need a guitar that is comfortable for their size and age to facilitate easier learning and playing. A full-size guitar typically feels too cumbersome for a child to handle. Instead, I consider options like 3/4-size dreadnoughts or mini guitars. These are designed with smaller bodies that suit younger players.

  • Ages 4 to 6: I recommend a 1/4-size guitar
  • Ages 6 to 9: A 1/2-size guitar is usually ideal
  • Ages 9 to 12: A 3/4-size guitar often works well before moving to a full-size model

Features and Accessories

A small guitar with colorful accessories on a child-sized chair in a bright, playful room

When choosing the best small guitar for a child, I always consider the features that will make learning both enjoyable and comfortable. Equally important are the accessories that enhance the playing experience while ensuring the instrument stays in top condition.

Must-Have Accessories

  • Tuner: A simple clip-on tuner is essential for learning tuning. Maintaining proper intonation is crucial for developing a good ear.
  • Strap: A sturdy strap helps in maintaining the right posture while playing.
  • Gig Bag: A durable gig bag protects the guitar when not in use or during transportation.
  • Amplifier: If opting for an electric model, a small practice amplifier is necessary.
  • Nylon Strings: For beginners, I recommend nylon strings as they are gentler on the fingers.
TunerEnsures the guitar is in pitch.Clip-on type recommended.
StrapHelps to hold the guitar properly.Adjustable for comfort.
Gig BagProvides protection and ease of carrying.Padded options offer more protection.
AmplifierNecessary for electric guitars to produce sound.Practice amps are sufficient.
Nylon StringsSoft on fingers, suitable for younger children.Choose light gauge for playability.

Guitar Materials and Build Quality

  • Materials: A solid spruce top is advantageous due to its tonal qualities, while laminate options are more affordable and resist changes in humidity well.
  • Build Quality: The action should be low enough for ease of play but high enough to avoid any fret buzz. The quality of the build affects the weight and balance, important for the comfort of young players.
TopSolid spruce for better tone; laminate for durability.Affects sound and resistance.
StringsNylon for beginners; steel for more advanced students.Influences playability and sound.
ActionSufficiently low for ease of play without fret buzz.Important for comfort.
FinishSatin or gloss; satin is less slippery when held.Affects the grip and aesthetics.

Practical Tips for Young Guitar Learners

A small guitar sits on a child-sized chair, surrounded by music books and a metronome. The room is filled with natural light, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for young guitar learners

When I first started teaching guitar, I noticed that children who begin with the right lessons and a well-maintained instrument have a smoother learning experience. Let’s dive into some specific advice for young guitar learners.

Starting Early with the Right Lessons

I always encourage starting lessons early, as it sets a solid foundation for future musical endeavors. When I teach young students, I focus on:

  • Simple Chords: Starting with basic chords helps to build confidence and interest.
  • Playing Songs: Integrating simple songs into practice sessions makes learning enjoyable.
  • Consistent Practice: I recommend short, daily practice sessions to keep skills sharp and progress steady.

Maintaining and Caring for the Guitar

A well-cared-for guitar not only plays better but also inspires continued learning. Here’s how I advise my young students to maintain their guitars:

  • Stays in Tune: Ensuring the guitar stays in tune is crucial. I teach my students to tune their guitar at the start of each practice.
  • Cleanliness: Wiping down the guitar with a soft cloth after playing prevents build-up of dirt and oils.
  • Safe Storage: A sturdy case keeps the guitar safe from damage when it’s not in use.

Additional Considerations


When choosing the best small guitar for a child, it’s essential to weigh both the financial aspect and the enjoyment factor. These considerations ensure that the investment aligns with the child’s interest and learning progression.

Understanding the Investment

Investing in a guitar for my child means more than just purchasing a musical instrument—it’s a commitment to nurturing a hobby that could turn into a lifelong passion. Here’s what I keep in mind:

  • Budget: Setting a budget is crucial. I look for the best value for money without compromising on quality. An affordable and inexpensive option can often be found with a bit of research.
  • Options: I explore various options within my budget. There are numerous guitars that are priced reasonably, yet still offer great sound and build quality.
  • Guide: A good guide, whether online or from a music store, can provide insights into which guitars offer the most bang for my buck.

Making Learning Fun

The objective is to make learning a cool and enjoyable experience for my child. Here’s how I ensure that their musical journey is as fun as it is educational:

  • Preference: I consider my child’s preferences in color, design, and style to keep them excited about their instrument. A cool looking guitar can make practice sessions more appealing.
  • Musical Instrument as a Hobby: By choosing a guitar that resonates with my child, I’m encouraging them to view playing an instrument as a fun hobby, not a chore.

Frequently Asked Questions

When choosing the best small guitar for a child, it’s important to consider the size, playability, and suitability for the child’s age and hand size. Here are some specific questions answered to help guide you in this decision.

What are the top recommended acoustic guitars for young beginners?

The top recommended acoustic guitars for young beginners often include half-size or three-quarter size models because they fit smaller statures comfortably.

Brands like Yamaha JR1 and Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor are highly regarded for their quality and manageability.

What size guitar should I choose for a 5 year old?

For a 5-year-old, a quarter-size guitar is usually the most appropriate.

These guitars are designed for the smallest fingers and should allow a comfortable reach for both fretting and strumming.

Which guitars are best suited for children with small hands?

Children with small hands would benefit from half-size or three-quarter size guitars.

These guitars have narrower necks and shorter scales, which make it easier for small hands to form chords and navigate the fretboard.

Are there any specific electric guitars suitable for a 5 year old?

Electric guitars like the Squier Mini Strat and Jackson Minion series are suitable for a 5-year-old.

These models are scaled down in size and have lighter bodies, making them easier for little ones to hold and play.

What factors should I consider when buying a guitar for a 10 year old beginner?

When buying a guitar for a 10-year-old beginner, consider the size of the guitar, the ease of playability, and the child’s musical preferences.

Three-quarter size guitars are often a good fit, and nylon-string classical guitars can be gentler on their fingers.

How do miniature guitars measure up in terms of playability for kids?

Miniature guitars are designed to offer better playability for kids by providing a more comfortable, scaled-down instrument that still delivers good sound quality.

They are built considering the ergonomic needs of children, making the learning process more accessible and enjoyable.

Author Profile

e66008612cd0c420d29af7274c8d94be?s=100&d=mm&r=g What's The Best Small Guitar for Children? - A Guide to Choosing the Right Instrument
Daniel Johnstone
Daniel Johnstone is an English writer with a love for stringed instruments from around the world.

He shares his love for these instruments through his writing for folkstrings.com, a website dedicated to all things related to folk string music.

Daniel's passion for music started at a young age, and he has since become an accomplished musician, playing guitar, cavaco, and recently, the harp.

His dedication to learning and sharing his knowledge of stringed instruments is evident in his insightful and engaging blog posts. Whether you're a seasoned musician or a beginner, Daniel's writing is sure to inspire and entertain you.

When he's not playing music or writing, you can find Daniel exploring new instruments and seeking out new sounds to share with his readers.

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