The World of Guitars for Kids

Kid playing guitarBuying a kid’s guitar can be quite difficult as someone who can’t play the guitar is obviously not in a perfect position to know what to look for when getting one. Unfortunately, such a person may choose a guitar not based on the right criteria or even worse he could be an easy to target for unscrupulous salesmen. In the end of the day, you may hold a guitar in your hand that is even not suitable for your child. Buying a kid’s guitar requires some knowledge that I would like to provide you on this site. It’s already a good sign that you were landing on this site since it shows that you care about getting just the right instrument for your child.

If you’re looking for a guitar and you’re not a guitarist it may be quite hard to know which one to buy. Therefore, this site will help you choosing the right guitar for your child depending on your budget. In the near future, we plan to test also a range of guitars in order to provide some hands-on reviews (The first ones we have just recently published for a full size beginner guitar, a 3/4 acoustic guitar and a 3/4 electric guitar). Last but not least, you’ll find in addition a lot more information just beside the buying process, for instance which method is the best to learn guitar for kids (private guitar teacher, music school, DVD, Youtube, books, …? ), how to choose a good guitar teacher or which alternatives exist for younger kids, such as toddlers, which are obviously too young for musical instruments. So, in the following a short introduction to every leading article on this page is provided.

Is a guitar the right instrument for my child?

First of all, let me tell you that there aren’t too many musical instruments adapted for kids. For that reason a guitar is without doubt a good choice since there are different sizes depending on the age of the child. Of course we can see also kids learning guitar on standard sized ones but most of them wouldn’t feel comfortable with it because it’s just too big. It’s like wearing too big clothes … it just doesn’t fit. Having a guitar adapted to the size of your child, it is much easier and much more fun to learn and to play on it. Another fact people often forget when  In comparison to other musical instruments like a keyboard, a guitar for kids has also got a much better price-quality-relation. Your son or your daughter will be able to carry it wherever he / she likes to. There are so many more reasons why to go for a guitar for children that you will find in that article. But finally, you are the best person you can answer that question if it’s the right instrument or not for your child. I can only help you in that decision making process by giving you an overview of the advantages of a guitar for kids.

Which is the best age to start learning guitar for kids?

Generally, we can say that kids can start from an age of around 4 years. There are even a few examples on the internet where you can see even much younger kids playing the guitar. That’s incredible to see and we’ve to keep in mind that these cases are only a few exception. You shouldn’t push your child. The right age to start learning the guitar depends finally on his development. You should answer yourself questions like these: How patient is he? Can good is his concentration and his listening. How good is his understanding and his Aufnahmefähigkeit is an important question when it comes to guitar lessons. So before 4 years, you’re better off buying your child a toy guitar in order to  stimulate and let him experience that kind of instrument in a way of playing around.  A guitar toy is a perfect way to discover if he really admires guitars and he is motivated also for a real guitar as well as if his motivation rests. On the page the right age for start playing the guitar, we’ll discuss that question much more in detail.

Which types of guitars exist for kids?

Honestly, there are a lot of different types of guitars! There are even types you probably have never heard of or seen. At this point we really want to consider those types that are actually relevant for kids, so guitar that exist in different sizes. There are basically three types of guitars: the classical, acoustic and electric guitar. The classical one is without doubt the most sold guitar for kids. If you take a look in guitar lessons for kids you probably see all of them with a classical one. And that for good reason! The acoustic version is very similar to the classical one. It’s not so much recommended for kids to start on that guitar, except your child plays the guitar since a certain time and he needs or wants to change his guitar. It’s often the case that beginners start on a classical one but one day they feel like moving on with an acoustic one because it has got just a fuller and brighter sound. Almost every musician in pop and rock are playing that type of guitar. That definitely raises the motivation for an acoustic guitar too. Regarding electric guitars it was quite hard to find a kids version of it years ago but recently we can see that there are more and more on the market. Another great option for kids are ukuleles. The small size of these small “guitars”  and the fact thar they are quite easy to play make them a perfect instrument for young kids.

Which guitar size should I buy for my child?

The size is an important concern when buying a guitar for a child. It is essential to determine the right size for your child before you start looking for one at a local music store or at an online store. If you buy a guitar that is too large your child will have a much harder time learning to play it. A right sized guitar allows your child to wrap his left hand around the neck and the right arm and shoulder should fit around the body without any discomfort. There are generally 4 basic sizes:

  • 1/4 size guitars are the smallest guitars made for the youngest little guitar players. If a 1/4 guitar is too large for your child, you should wait and get a toy guitar instead.
  • 1/2 size guitars are already a bit bigger and its sound is close to a standard one.
  • 3/4 size guitars are slightly smaller than standard guitar at the first glance. Most of the kids start with guitar lessons, start also with that guitar size
  • 4/4 are full size guitars and can be used for teenagers over 12 years and of course they are used by adults

In order to determine the right sized guitar for your child, use our guitar size chart. Many guitar makers build 1/2 and 3/4 sized guitars. In the past many of them introduced also 1/4 sized guitars which can be found now nearly everywhere. In order to be complete, we should also mention that there are 7/8 sized guitars. But we don’t really want to focus on them since they are made especially for women with small hands. They can be used for kids as well but the thing is that you would just get a guitar that your child will outgrow just in a couple of months probably. Once the right sized guitar and type are chosen you might come with the question how to choose a good guitar?

How can you distinguish a good instrument from a low quality one?

That’s probably the hardest part but also the important one because you want to get the best quality for your money. The first time your child picks up a guitar he will already notice that actually it’s harder to get a nice and smooth sound out of it as it looks like. If then it’s also a low quality guitar it will be even harder and pretty uncomfortable to play any tone. Learning the guitar on a bad instrument leads just to frustration and you can be sure that chances are high that your child will give up.

If you have no experience in buying guitars, you probably decide on the wrong facts. You don’t know the good brands, you don’t know at which parts of a guitar you should better take a closer look and so on. I have seen already so many people picking up just a nice shiny looking guitar for a quite cheap price. That’s already the first big mistake. A very shiny guitar where you see more paint and varnish on the top than wood is already a sign for a bad quality guitar. Why? Because those guitars are made of poorly laminated wood covered by lots of varnish. The paint and varnish is cheap in comparison to wood but too much of these reduce first of all the sound quality. In addition to that, those guitars are poorly produced and are consequently not all adjusted as well as they don’t really stay in tune for a long time.  Those kind of guitars are often sold for around $40 and you’re better off to get not one of them. A guitar is a long-term investment in the musical future of your child and it’s worth spending a bit more. For around $100 you can get already really nice guitar models for kids. Therefore, we will present you soon some good models on our page. However, we don’t only want to recommend you good guitars but also to show you how to choose a good guitar. We’ll explain to you where you should look at a guitar to find out its quality and provide you some photos how high quality guitars look like in comparison to a cheap bad quality guitar.

After having bought the guitar, the next big topic comes up:

How to learn playing guitar for kids?

There are basically three different ways:

  1. You know how play the guitar and you will teach your guitar
  2. You send your child to guitar lessons
  3. Your child is already old enough and highly motivated. So learning the guitar on his own could be an option thanks to great guitar books and free online lessons.

Regarding costs, the first option would be the best one but most parents can’t even play the guitar. But if so, they don’t know how to teach or they just don’t dare to teach playing the guitar. The second option is the traditional option and most parents go with that because it’s quite probably that your child will properly learn the instrument if you’ve got the right teacher and it’s also the easiest way for you. It’s a good way for kids to learn playing the guitar but on the other hand, it’s quite costly to send your son or daughter regularly to lessons. The third option is not too often considered. For that option your child should be already a bit older, let’s say at least 10 years old. In most of the cases it will be quite hard to learn properly the guitar just from the internet and from books because nobody can point out your mistakes. Moreover, these are all just standardized methods and not adapted to individual needs. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible but at least it takes much more time and there is a risk that little mistakes will slip in. I think, it’s a great thing to give your child in the beginning also a guitar book so he can start straight away. If he stays with the guitar even with a book, it shows a lot of motivation and guitar lessons are definitely worth because he won’t give up. Beside that, online courses and books are great materials to fill the time between personal guitar lessons. In that way, you progress much faster and you will need less guitar lessons. So combinations of these option may be also quite reasonable. Find a complete overview in our article about the exisiting methods for learning guitar for kids.