The Best Guitars for Kids Review

Young girl sitting on a pier with her electric guitar

Should your child learn to play the guitar? Scientific studies show that children who learn music alsoSmall child with small guitar in lap with adult hand in picture excel in maths and other subjects. In this review on the best guitars for kids, I will try to make it less confusing for you, the parent.

They are creating talent for life and may even have dreams of becoming a rock or classical guitar star.

It can be so confusing because if you are not a musician yourself, the challenge of getting the right guitar can be impossible.

Which are the best guitars for kids and what do you need to be looking for in a guitar for your child?

Which Guitar does your child Want?

The easiest way to help your child want to practice a new skill is to let them inspire themselves. Therefore, choosing their own guitar can make a world of difference.

The internet gives us quick access to guitars from around the world. Don’t assume. Ask your child lots of questions and listen closely to what brings that gleam to their eyes. Perhaps, they have a family member who plays and they want to be just like them.

Maybe, they saw a guitarist on the TV or in a movie. Let them tell you all about them and listen very carefully to their dreams.

What you are listening for is:

  • What music do they want to play? (Folk, Ballads, Rock, Jazz)
  • Was the guitar electric or acoustic?
  • What sort of songs?
  • Does the thought of being a star excite them or would it be nice to be able to play for friends
  • Do they want to impress the girls/guys?

Every child is different in what they see for themselves and we can scare them by trying to read their minds. Perhaps, they only see it as a fun thing to be able to play some tunes for themselves. Or maybe they have dreams of rocking the world.

Create a safe place for them to tell you and it will make your job easier.

Which are the best Guitars – Electric or Acoustic?

I play both types of guitars but I started on an acoustic. Obviously, because it is cheaper to only buy a guitar and not to have to buy an amp as well. But with the great packages available today like the Epiphone Les Paul Package. Which include an electric guitar and amp, there is no reason to ruin their dreams.

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Some other benefits of electric are that the strings are lighter to push down and you can use distortion to sound pretty good very quickly.

A steel-string Semi-Acoustic designed for children or a nylon string Acoustic is wonderful for learning on as well. They are very easy to play in a bedroom, are quieter and the nylon strings can be a bit gentler on soft fingers. It all comes down to what your child wants to play and maybe your budget.

A new guitar doesn’t have to be expensive and in fact, you can get the whole setup for between $150 and $500. Because, you want to get the best guitar for a kid, without breaking the bank.

Best steel string guitars

Any guitars or gear that you buy through these links will help to support this website and my family. So I say thank you in advance. These are the best deals around.

Working out your budget

If your budget is even tighter, not to worry, ask around your local school and friends. There are a lot of closet guitars out there that are never used. Perhaps, someone is just waiting for you to ask. Now the next important challenge is size.

One feature that is often overlooked is buying a first guitar is what is known as the cutaway guitar. In this photo, you can see that it makes it so muchCutaway Guitar for Kids easier to play high up the neck.

Your fingers can get closer to the body of the guitar, where all the highest notes are.

Most electric guitars are designed with a cutaway, sometimes on top of the guitar as well. But not all acoustic or steel strings have a cutaway.

There are many great posts to help you choose a guitar for your child, you may wish to read a post by Guitar Fella.

Guitars Come in all Sizes

Guitars come in all shapes and sizes.

A rule of thumb is that a 13-year old will probably be comfortable with a full-size guitar. The only way to be sure is to try each size and style of guitar in a shop.

There are also companies that have created and build the best smaller-size guitars just for kids.

Go to a shop and let your child try holding as many guitars as possible. This would include, electric and acoustic guitars. You will be able to easily see if they are struggling with the shape, size, or weight of a guitar.

The Best Guitars for Kids

Here is a list that you can look at:

  • Artist Guitars have a range of smaller-sized guitars designed for kids. Shipped worldwide (click the picture to view their range)

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  • Yamaha JR2 small guitar
  • Yamaha APXT2 Children Acoustic Cutaway Guitar
  • Squier Strat Mini Guitar by Fender

The Yamaha, Squier, and Cordoba guitar link below will lead you to my Sam Ash Affiliate site. Should you buy through this link I will receive a commission and you will be supporting my family and I thank you. Above is my link to an all Australian owned family company who make gorgeous guitars and ship all over the world, I own several of the Artist guitars.

Guitars for Teenagers

A lot of adults play the three quarter size guitars on stage as they are great for handling but if you have a teenager looking for that first guitar to rock the world a very popular guitar is the Squier Classic 70’s Vibe Stratocaster. It really can’t be beaten for sound quality, a timeless classic look, and a truly astounding finish.

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Encouraging your child to play their instrument will come down to them choosing a guitar that they want to play. I have also made a list of the 10 best budget guitars for beginners that you may like to read.

I personally feel that a nylon string classical guitar can be more gentle on young fingers. The Cordoba guitar I use was inexpensive and is a joy to play. If you wish to do more research you can read more about the Cordoba guitar.

I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about the perfect guitar for your child or want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below.



14 thoughts on “The Best Guitars for Kids Review

  1. Great read!  I love the advice you have given regarding listening to what your child wants.  It is so important not to force these types of things on your children.  I remember when I was younger, my parents wanted me to join the band.  I had no interest in learning an instrument whatsoever,  I ended up just picking the flute because, why not?  That flute ended up sitting in my closet for the next ten years, never being used.  Had my parents listened, they may have realized that my heart was not in it.  Anyway, my child has recently started idolizing some of the great musicians and has expressed taking guitar lessons.  I will support him on this journey and I am very happy to come across your site.  Any suggestions on soundproofing equipment? I have a feeling we are in for some long jam sessions in the near future! 

    Thanks for your help. 

    1. Hi Ashley, what a great story and so true. What a shame for you. 

      Soundproofing. Most amps have an outlet to plug earphones in and I think this is a great idea. Simple and cheap to start with, as he does his first lessons. I guess later if he wants to play with a band, they usually find someones garage (usually the drummers house Lol)

      A lot of schools have soundproof rooms now for jamming. Hope these suggestions help and please feel free to ask me anything you need help with.


  2. This is a great article and one that gives some insight into the age old problem, when it comes to buying any instrument for our children. You certainly want them to have something decent but at the same time being aware that it might end up sat in the corner of the room after a few weeks and you’re still paying for it months down the line.

    So good to see the names of the past are still at the forefront of the future, Les Paul, Fender and Yamaha, though I didn’t realise Yamaha did guitars, shouldn’t surprise me really, I remember drooling over my friends flute when I was in my teens, finally having the chance to play it and realising that the notes came out, virtually on their own.

    Keeping it fun and interesting will always help with their learning and desire to keep going. Even it does mean we have to endure endless nights of Ed Sheeran. There are worse things I suppose, they might want to play the violin.

    1. So right Twack and thanks for your kind comments. I hear too many stories from adults of why they gave up trying to play when they were kids.

      It’s really sad. It’s gotta be fun.


  3. Hi Lily

    Great article and review of kids guitar playing, options, and factors to consider before buying.

    Personally, I’ve always wanted to play guitar but have never quite got around how to do it well. I have bought (and still own) an acoustic and a bass in the past- and I bought also a small guitar for my elder son when he turned 2. Though it was spoilt in no time at all! 

    And I think that’s also a factor to consider. Fortunately, it was not an expensive piece and it really excited him. I don’t know at what age I should consider buying for him another one?

    Boniface- from AndroidBix 

    1. Hi Boniface,

      It sounds like your son enjoyed the experience anyway. Probably, depending on your son’s interest 8 years of age would be a better idea. Let him hold your acoustic, stay close and see what happens. If he moves the strings, he could be interested. I think I better write a post on this.

      You need a plan, if you want to learn guitar that will help you get started. Either a song you want to learn, a lesson you find on you tube or a teacher that you admire. Something, that will inspire you. 

      You may enjoy some of my other posts on getting started.

      Lily 😊

  4. Being a die-hard fan in music all I can say is your article does give a brief, yet thorough overview of choosing a perfect guitar for kids.

    I am sure it can help a lot of parents to buy the perfect guitar, especially at the great prices available in the market today. Thanks for your post.

  5. Hey there!

    I really enjoyed reading your post. I’m actually looking for some guitars to recommend to my students (mostly kids, but not all beginners).

    One of my favourite guitars in my personal collection is the Squier Classic Vibe 70s Stratocaster. It’s incredibly affordable (I think I paid mine $400 CAD), but it’s perfect even for professionals such as myself. I would’ve loved to recommend that one, but it seems like it’s been discontinued.

    I noticed you recommended the Squier Strat Mini, but I was wondering if you had anything full-size for some of my older students (10-16 years old). Anything similar to the Classic Vibe 70s Stratocaster would be great (or if you know a place where they can get their hands on that one).

    Thanks again for the review, all the best!

    – Stefan

  6. I am looking for a Guitar for my niece. She is 10 years old and she like Jazz music. She wants to learn Guitar so she can play with her friends. She will prefer an acoustic guitar where she can carry it simply without the need for an amp.

    I think the nylon string acoustic should be good for her because she will practice in her room, a quieter guitar is good. And it is gentler on her fingers.

    Thank you for the information.

    1. Hi Christine,  you may wish to consider buying a nylon string Cordoba for your daughter, a lovely guitar, quiet and gentle on the hands too. Not very expensive and a small body for transport,  it’s one of my favourite guitars and I play it every day. 

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