1/4 guitars are the small kid’s guitars. They are also called 30 inch guitar. Thanks to the small size these guitars are also often considered as a perfect travel guitar. You can easily slide them in your backpack and take it on every airplane as hand luggage. The name of the guitar does not mean that it only measures 1/4 of a full size guitar. Quite the contrary, the size refers to the guitar scale (the scale is the length between the bridge and the nut of the guitar head). The scale of a 1/4 guitar measures around 19 inch, whereas a standard sized guitar measures 25 inch. Based on the overall length a 1/4 guitar is about 20% or 8 inch shorter than a full size guitar.
Although the 1/4 size guitar is the smallest one, it is not really a guitar for toddler and not at all for babies. We see sometimes toddlers playing with a small size guitar but most kids under 3 years are not really ready for a real instrument. A toy guitar is absouletly the better choice in most cases.
Nylon string, steel string or electric guitar?
When looking for such a 1/4 size guitar we’ll quickly realize that there aren’t too many on the market. The kid’s guitar market is dominated by 1/2 and 3/4 size guitars. In addition to that fact, we’ll also find rather classical nylon string guitars than acoustic steel string or electric ones. This is absolutely reasonable since a 1/4 guitar is often the first guitar for young beginners. A young child won’t have neither the hand strength nor the calluses on the fingertips in order to hold the chords properly. For these little becoming guitarists classical nylon string guitars are the first choice. Nylon strings are just more comfortable and easier to press down than steel strings. So definitely go for a nylon string guitar for young kids which is the case when considering a 1/4 guitar.
Best 1/4 classical guitars
Most of the guitars you find in this size are classical nylon string guitars. Famous and big guitar brands don’t have any 1/4 guitar models. Even Yamaha, one of my favourite brand for beginner guitars, doesn’t have a 1/4 guitar. The reason why is that the market for 1/4 guitars is not that big. Only small and niche manufacturers build those guitars.
Best 1/4 acoustic guitars
There are also a few beginner 1/4 acoustic guitars. They come with steel strings and that’s why they have a louder and fuller sound. But they can’t compete with the sound of a full size guitar due to the reduced body size.
For young beginners between 4 and 6 years I would normally go for a classical nylon string guitar because they are easier to play. However, if you and your child wants to try an acoustic guitar, here are some choices:
Best 1/4 electric guitars
There are not many electric guitars in this size on the market. Most of the big guitar manufacturers start only producing electric guitars from 3/4 size since they are perfect for older kids and travellers. However, there are a few 30″ electric guitars, which all come in a bundle. So, when buying a bundle you have actually everything to get started: tuner, amp, cable, etc.
You can’t compare these guitars with pricey full size electric guitars but they are good to get started and they get the job done. I think the LyxPro guitar is a pretty nice starter guitar. You have a volume and a tone knob on the guitar. The 20 W amp has different integrated controls as well, such as volume, bass, treble and gain. It has also a headphone jack and an AUX input, which enables you to play along music from a phone or mp3 player. The LyxPro is available in blue, pink and red.
The 1/4 electric guitar from Best Choice Products is simpler and you have less control possibilities on the guitar and on the 5W amp. That’s why, this bundle is also cheaper. However, less control is not a bad thing for young beginners. The guitar is available in red, black, blue, light blue, pink and white/pink.
The electric guitar from Raptor is pretty similar to the one from Best Choice Products. The 3W amp is less powerful and can’t compete with real amps. But it’s alright to get startet. The Raptor guitar is available in different colors as well, such as in sunburst, black,