How to Choose the Right Guitar for a Child

Choosing the right guitar for your child is very important. Studies have shown that whether or not a person takes up an instrument hinges on the first few months of playing. This is particularly true of children with a short attention span.

Choosing the right guitar for your child is very important. Studies have shown that the first few months of playing are the most crucial time.  If a person makes it through the first 3 months, then they are much more likely to become a life-long player.

This is particularly true of children with a short attention span. If they find it too difficult or uninspiring then they will put it down and, most likely, that’s where it will stay! The best way to keep up interest is to:

  • Find the right guitar to suit their musical preference
  • Find the right sized guitar that will be comfortable to play

 

 

Acoustic, Classical or Electric?

In most cases the best place to start is on a classical guitar and there is a very good reason for this. A classical guitar has nylon strings which are gentle on the fingers, compared with the steel strings of an acoustic or electric guitar. However, if your child enjoys listening to rock or pop music, then they will be more likely to be inspired to play a guitar that sounds like the music they listen to.

Acoustic guitars are similar in shape to a classical guitar but come with steel strings. This gives the acoustic guitar a much brighter and louder sound. The downside being that the steel strings can be quite sharp, especially to young fingers. We normally recommend children start off with a classical guitar until their finger tips have hardened a little.

Electric guitars are much smaller than steel-string acoustic guitars and classical classical guitars so a younger or shorter person can comfortably play. Something to consider, though, is the weight. Some electric guitars can weigh 5 - 6 Kilograms which can be difficult for younger children to handle. If you think your child would be well suited to the electric guitar, we recommend starting out on the STH style, which is our lightest and easiest to play.

We would normally recommend children be at least 13 years before they try an Electric Guitar, because of the extra weight and the sharp steel strings. Every child is different and some children may be capable at a younger age. So if you consider your child quite strong for their age, then by all means go for an electric.

We carry a broad range of sizes in our entry level range. The correct size is most accurately determined by the player’s height, age and in some cases gender. If you can tell us these three details we can give you a personal recommendation.

 

What Size Should you Buy?

Electric Guitar:

  • Smaller in size than acoustic or classical
  • Good for rock, metal, pop and country music
  • Has steel strings which can be hard on young fingers
  • Can be heavy, depending on the model.
  • Recommended for:
Age Height (cm) Recommended Size
5 - 8 80 - 100  1/2 Size - See MiniS
8 - 12  100 - 125  3/4 Size - See ST34
12+ 125 + Full Size - See STH

 

Acoustic Guitar:

  • Good for folk, pop, country, slow rock music
  • Has steel strings which can be hard on young fingers
  • Sounds bright and loud, great for strumming chords 
  • Light weight but bulky
  • Recommended for:
Age Height (cm) Recommended Size
5 - 12 100 - 120  3/4 Size - See LSP34
12 - 15  120 - 165  Full Size (small body) - See LSPS
15+ 165 + Full Size - See LSP

 

Classical Guitar (Nylon String Guitar):

  • Good for classical, flamenco, Spanish music.
  • Available in the smallest size – 1/4 size.
  • Gentle on finger tips - perfect for young children
  • Sounds mellow and soft - not as loud as acoustic
  • Recommended for:
Age Height (cm) Recommended Size
2 - 5 75 - 100  1/4 Size - See CL14
5 - 8  100 - 125  1/2 Size - See CL12
8 - 12 125 - 165 3/4 Size - See CL34
12+ 165 + Full Size - See CL44*

* A full size classical guitar has a wider neck than other guitars. If your child has small hands we recommend the CL44S slim neck classical guitar.

 

I hope this guide has helped, if you need any assistance please email:

sales@artistguitars.co.nz or call us on 0800 025 467

 

If you would like more information on choosing the right guitar for you, then feel free to email us, give us a call or click the live chat button below.

 

© Artist Guitars 2013