Electric Guitar for Kids

Electric guitars are really fun to play. And especially kids who are a lot into rock&roll and alternative music will adore that type of guitar. However, there are a few things to consider before getting one for a child. Let’s discuss this in the following, as well as for who an electric guitar is the right choice and who should maybe go for another guitar type. In addition to that, I want to recommend you the best electric guitars for kids!

Electric guitar with an amplifier (Image by William Iven from Pixabay)

Are electric guitars a good choice for kids?

acoustic and electric guitar

Many guitar teachers would recommend starting on a classical guitar because it’s easier to get started with them. The lower tension of the strings and the fact that the strings are made of nylon make them easier to play for beginners. Electric guitars are equipped with steel strings, which harder to play for beginners. However, they have a lower tension than on acoustic steel string guitars. In addition to that, you should be aware that any stringed instruments will require time for your fingers to get used to them . Even nylon strings will hurt in the beginning but you just get used to them quicker. With steel strings it takes a bit longer and they may hurt a bit more.

So, if the answer if an electric guitar is the right choice depends a lot on the motivation of your child to learn on an electric guitar. If the electric guitar is what excites your child and he loves rock music, then get you should consider an electric guitar.

An electric guitar is not difficult to use but it also requires an amplifier that needs to be connected with the guitar.  With that amplifier you control the volume, the tone and often you can add sound effects. Very young children won’t be able to manage this all alone and need definitely support from their parents. Ask yourself if your child already discovers those things easily and quickly or if something like that would be too complicated for your child and rather frustrate it?

The right electric guitar size for kids

kid with an electric guitar
Child with a too big electric guitar

When it comes to guitars for kids you need to get the right size since it has to fit like a pair of shoes. Young kids have smaller hands and arms and would have difficulties to play on a full size guitar. Finally, a guitar that is too big will lead to frustration since it’s hard and uncomfortable to play.

The most common guitar sizes are 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full size guitars. The electric guitar size chart below helps you selecting the right guitar size for your child depending on the age and height. If your child is between two sizes or very close to the next size, then go with the bigger guitar size. Otherwise, your child outgrows the new guitar too fast the slight bigger size won’t be a big issue.

You should always take the height of your child into consideration. The age is good indicator but some kids are taller and some smaller. Young kids between 4 and 6 years old should start with a 1/4 electric guitar. However, starting already at the age of 4 years is quite early and you should make sure  that he is serious about it and that the motivation comes from your child and from you as a parent. If your child is already tall enough (around 4’3), he can start with a 1/2 size guitar. This is the case for kids between 5 and 8 years. From 8 years to 11 years most kids play on an 3/4 electric guitar. And kids from 12 years that are at least 5’3 tall should start on a full size electric guitar.

Best electric guitars for kids

Since the small guitar market is a niche, the choice here is quite limited and especially for electric guitars. There are not too many young beginners that start with an electric guitar but rather with a classical guitar. The market looks already quite different for full size guitars since this size is also the choice for adults.

For smaller size electric guitars you won’t find the big and famous guitar brands. And honestly, this is not a pitty because you don’t need to the fanciest guitar as a young beginner. Most of the small electrical guitar are quite affordable and come from less-known brands. However, they are pretty solid in terms of quality. In addition to that, they are often sold in a bundle, which means they come at least with an amplifier and a cable. These two accessories are absolutely necessary to get started.

1/4 Electric Guitar

LyxPro Starter Bundle

The LyxPro guitar is a pretty nice starter 1/4 size guitar. You have a volume and a tone knob on the guitar. With the 20 W amp you  have different sound controls available such as volume, bass, treble and gain. The guitar also has 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 different colors: bluepink and red.

1/2 Electric Guitar

SX RST Guitar Package

SX is not a very well-known manufacturer but it offers some 1/2 electric guitars that look pretty nice and solid. They already come in a package, which is a great bonus for beginners and parents.It comes with all necessary equipment, such as amplifier and cable.

The LyxPro guitar is a pretty nice starter 1/4 size guitar. You have a volume and a tone knob on the guitar. With the 20 W amp you  have different sound controls available such as volume, bass, treble and gain. The guitar also has 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 different colors: bluepink and red.

SX is not a very well-known manufacturer but it offers some 1/2 electric guitars that look pretty nice and solid. They already come in a package, which is a great bonus for beginners and parents.It comes with all necessary equipment, such as amplifier and cable.

3/4 Electric Guitar

Squier by Fender Mini Strat

Squier is a brand that belongs to the famous electric guitar manufacturer Fender. So, you can take it for granted that a manufacturer like Fender knows how to build great guitars. The Squier Mini Strat is a 3/4 size guitar and one of the best electric guitar for kids that I know. I have already reviewed the Squier Mini Strat in and at the bottom line it’s a great small size electric guitar. The instrument is available in different colors, like sunburstblackred and pink

Full Size Electric Guitar

Squier by Fender Stratocaster

For a beginner that needs a full size electric guitar, I would recommend the same one just in full size. It’s very solid and nice guitar at an affordable price.

Squier is a brand that belongs to the famous electric guitar manufacturer Fender. So, you can take it for granted that a manufacturer like Fender knows how to build great guitars. The Squier Mini Strat is a 3/4 size guitar and one of the best electric guitar for kids that I know. I have already reviewed the Squier Mini Strat in and at the bottom line it’s a great small size electric guitar. The instrument is available in different colors, like sunburstblackred and pink.

For a beginner that needs a full size electric guitar, I would recommend the same one just in full size. It’s very solid and nice guitar at an affordable price.

 

What accessoires do I need to buy?

If you don’t buy the guitar in a bundle, make sure to get an amplifier and a cable. It doesn’t have to be the biggest amp with countless functions. A small and simple amp can already do a great job for kids. And a small amp might be also in your interested if you don’t want your child turning his room into a concert hall.

You also want to make sure to get a gig bag, which is important for transport and can be useful for storage. Check also if a guitar strap is included or not. This is not necessary but if you want to play guitar while standing, then you need one. And playing the electric guitar while standing is essential to imitate our favorite rock n roll star.

Another important accessories is a guitar tuner. If you get your new guitar, it might be in tune but it’s very easy to get it out of tune. In this case, a simple tuner will help you getting it back in tune. Because if you play with the tuning pigs and turn them in the wrong direction and you put too much tension on them, you can break them. This is not a big issue since guitar strings need to be changed from time to time. That’s why it’s wise to get some spare guitar strings as well, so that you always have some at home.

Fender Frontman 10G

Blackstar FLY3

You can’t expect a lot from this small amplifier but it includes a headphone, so that the child can play the guitar without making too much noises. Once, your chould gets more serious about playing the electric guitar, you can get a better amplifier. The Fender Frontman 10G and the Blackstar FLY3 are some really good amplifiers for beginners. They are small and have already a cable included.

What are good alternatives to electric guitars?

Electric guitars are one type of guitars that kids can play. The best alternative is a classical nylon string guitar. Most young students start with that kind of guitar because nylon strings are easier to play for beginners. There are also steel string acoustic guitars, which can also be an option but not really suitable for pure young beginners. Their string have a high tension and the steel string will hurt for sure the fingers of a beginner. A steel string guitar is a good choice for kids who have already played the guitar before regularly.

These alternatives are quite obvious but let’s also take a look at similar instruments, which might be interesting for young children. I think one of the best alternative are ukuleles. They are small and consequently have a suitable size for kids. In addition to that, they have only 4 strings instead of 6 strings and are much easier to learn to play than guitars. Good ukuleles are also much more affordable.