Should your child learn to play guitar? Scientific studies show that children who learn music also 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 a 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.
Some other benefits of an electric, is 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.
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 in buying a first guitar is what is known as the cutaway guitar. In this photo you can see that it makes it so much 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 are many great posts to help you choose a guitar for your child, you may wish to read a post by Guitar Fella.
What Size Guitar should I buy for my kid?
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 who 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)
- Yamaha JR2 small guitar
- Yamaha APXT2 Children Acoustic Cutaway Guitar
- Squier Strat Mini Guitar by Fender
The Yamaha and Squier guitar links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate site. Should you buy through this link I will receive a commission and you will be supporting my family and I thank you.
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.