PHIL KEAGGY - Grammy nominated and seven-time Dove Award winner, is one of the world’s great guitar players and a pioneer in contemporary Christian music.
- July 12, 2016
- Guitar Lessons
There are many options when it comes to a kids guitar. Getting the right sized guitar for the child or person is very important as it either aides in the success of learning or hinders. There was a story of a dad that signed his son up for violin lessons in the 1st grade, and the teacher was a little puzzled that their arms seemed to be too long for a 1/2 size violin, but too short for the 3/4 size. So, the dad ended up signing up his son for guitar lessons instead and bought him a starter guitar from a dollar store for $29.99. It was a 1/2 size guitar and seem to fit just fine. So, let’s look at a kids guitar. What are some of the popular options?
Best 1/4 Sized Kids Guitar
The First Act FG127 and the Stagg C505 offer a low cost 1/4 sized guitar for around $70 or less. But be careful to pick out a guitar that holds good tune, and make sure the frets are seated well. It’d be better to spend a little more and get yourself into a Luna SASSTR Safari or a Fender MC-1 Nylon Acoustic Guitar. There are many others to choose from. Most of these are made overseas and might need a little set up by your local music shop. 1/4 sized guitars are best suited for 3-6 year old, 3’3’’ to 3’9” tall. Many a teacher have had plenty of these little guitars come through their studio. They’re not great but do a decent job of getting a child started. It’s not a huge investment so think of it as a disposable guitar and know that they will be moving up eventually to nicer instrument.
Best 1/2 Sized Kids Guitar
Let’s start with the Rogue RA-100. It is a nice guitar for around $80. Oscar Schmidt offers an OGHS for just over $100 and one of our favorites is the Luna Aurora 1/2 sized guitars. We really like the Luna guitars, and they come in from the distributor well set up and ready to go. You’ll need to decide if you want to go with a classical 6 string or a regular 6 string. Classical guitars are usually harder to play and have a much wider neck than regular 6 string guitars. If you’re not taking classical lessons, we would recommend a regular 6 string guitar for yourself or your child. If you happen to have a nylon or classical guitar, that’s ok, the trade off is they’re much easier on your finger tips. The wire strings tend to cut more deeply at first until you build calluses. Some of these little guitars could stay with you for a while as they’re pretty well built and seem to have decent integrity, meaning they stay in tune pretty well and have good intonation. 1/2 sized guitars are usually best suited for 5-8 year olds, 3’10” to 4’5” tall.
Best 3/4 Sized Kids Guitar
With the bigger size, more options start to emerge. Here are a few: The Hohner HW03 at $80, the Ibanez AW54 at $199, the Yamaha JR1 at $135, and the Luna Safari or Muse at around $135 are all real nice 3/4 size acoustics. You can find these online at Guitarcenter.com, Sweetwater.com, SamAsh.com and others. Our only concern is that when you order online, but sure they have a good return policy, so if you get a guitar and the frets are unseated and sharp on the edge or it’s just unplayable because the strings are too high, you can send it back for another one. Really, it’s best to buy a guitar you’ve played, so your local music shop or Guitar Center is a good place to stop in and try out a few before you pick one. No two guitars are equal. Climate, shipping, and workmanship all play a role in turning out a great guitar. A kids guitar ¾ in size are best suited for 7-11 year olds, 4’6” to 4’11” tall but hey, our pros love jamming on these little beauties and their the teachers.
The Upper Level Small Kids Guitar
Now, if money’s not a problem, let us suggest a couple of nicer grade acoustics for you or your child to learn on. The Baby Taylor at around $350 and the Taylor GS Mini at $499 as well as the Luna Gypsy Parlor Student at $159 are all sweet guitars and well made. The Taylors are obviously more expensive but have that reputation you want. That said, these Luna guitars are easy to adjust and our experience has been that for the money, you can’t beat them. Now, Parlor sized guitars work well enough for your 8-12 year old most of the time. If he or she is real small, it might not be the best call but for most it’s a playable instrument, and they still have room to grow. Parlor guitars are just fun to have around the house to jam on even if you’re an adult. They’re also great for travel and if you get the pick up option, you’ll be surprised at how good they sound plugged into a PA. Don’t worry… there are plenty of mom and pop shops around you and even a pawn shop might have a wall full of these entry level guitars. The two main things are either to take the teacher, or have a friend who plays, ride along to pick out a good playing and sweet sounding guitar and in that order. Looks can be deceiving for sure. Find yourself a guitar that plays well. The strings should sit close to the fretboard. Just use a finger and note each note on each string from fret one to fret 12 or higher. If there are no buzzes or fret outs, and it doesn’t hurt to push the string down, that’s a good place to start. Look down the neck from the headstock. Make sure the neck isn’t warped or too bowed. Some bow can be adjusted with the neck or truss rod if it has one. I wouldn’t buy any guitar that doesn’t have a truss rod. Hope you find yourself a sweet student guitar.
Should you find your student a kids guitar, click the link below and see how our pro instructors can help your family to learn the right way to play guitar. At pro lessons you will find no foul language, songs with bad lyrics or materials that is not safe for you family. Check it out. Hope to see you soon!