A beginner's guitar modeled after the popular FG series. Sounds and feels like a professional guitar. Top is made of spruce wood. Back and sides are made of mahogany. Includes gig bag.
Slightly smaller than the average 3/4-size.
38-inch guitar with a rosette design and glossy finish. Features a 19-fret fingerboard and nylon strings. Made of sapele and synthetic wood. Includes soft case, strap, tuner, capo, cloth, and picks.
The included strings may not be durable.
6-string guitar set includes case, clip-on tuner, extra nylon strings, picks, and cloth. Made of linden, birch, and maple wood with rosette design and laminate top layer. Has 18 frets.
May need to be tuned frequently.
41-inch guitar. Classic design. Set includes extra strings, pick, strap, and case with zippered pocket. Features a pickguard and 6 strings. Made of basswood, birch, and maple wood.
May be lacking in durability.
Made out of high-quality materials, including a spruce top and rosewood fingerboard. Includes a padded bag, strap, 3 picks, a pick guard, and a hex key (to adjust the string action). Great kit for a serious beginner. Nice sound for the price and size.
Not quite professional construction, so it may lack some durability over time.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Learning to play a musical instrument like the acoustic guitar is a worthy endeavor at any age. However, a child beginner is faced with a few more obstacles than an adult beginner, the primary concern being the instrument itself. All acoustic guitars are not the same, and the one a child learns to play must be specifically designed for a small person for it to be playable.
If you're not a music teacher, you might not know what size guitar your child needs, which strings are better, and what price range you should be considering. Luckily, you've come to the right place.
If you sat on a bike but your feet couldn’t reach the pedals, you wouldn't get very far. The same is true of a guitar. If your right arm (for right-handed players) can't comfortably reach over the body of the instrument to strum the strings, you're not going to get very far. If your left forefinger (again, for right-handed players) can't comfortably reach all the way across the fretboard to play a low F, you will not be able to play the instrument.
Luckily, some manufacturers make guitars specifically for players with small hands. Other manufacturers make small guitars for kids. Kids grow at different rates, and it's hard to know if a guitar would be the right fit until the musician holds it in their hands. Following are some general guidelines to help you make the right choice.
These ranges are estimates based on a child of average size, so take that into account if your child is exceptionally short or tall for their age.
Although size is crucial, there are a few other factors that could facilitate or impede a younger student's progress. Here are some other features to consider.
Type of strings
There are two basic types of strings (with many variations) to consider when choosing your children's acoustic guitar. The first is steel strings. These are what you'll find on most acoustic guitars in most genres of music. Since they can be painful to learn on, it is a good idea to get lighter-gauge strings until the player's fingers get tougher. The second option is nylon strings. These are mainly used in classical, flamenco, and jazz music. However, they can be incorporated into any genre. Nylon strings are much gentler on the fingers and a good option if your child is not practicing because of finger pain.
The closer the guitar strings are to the fretboard, the easier they are to play. If the height (action) is too high, the strings will be hard to press down. If the height is too low, it can create a buzzing sound as the strings vibrate against the frets.
Acoustic guitars come in a variety of shapes. Some have wide bodies and wide fretboards, while others are narrow. The shape of an acoustic guitar can make it easier (or harder) for a child to play the instrument. For instance, if your child will frequently be playing on the highest frets, getting an acoustic guitar with a cutaway (a section cut away so it's easier to reach the higher notes) would be wise.
All acoustic guitars look similar ... until you own one. After that, you will be acutely aware of the differences between instruments. It can be something as bold as a brightly colored body or something as subtle as stylized marker dots on your fretboard or the shape of the tuning pegs. The idea is to choose a guitar that appeals to your child's aesthetics as much as possible. Remember, however, that proper size is even more important than style.
Inexpensive: It's easy to make decisions based on budget, but unless you're looking for a toy, most of the children's acoustic guitars under $50 are not reliable musical instruments.
Midrange: In the range of $60 to approximately $125, you can find some great starter guitars and bundles. These instruments are designed for young musicians, so they are more suitable for serious study.
High-end: If you want craftsmanship of higher quality — an instrument that can stay with a child for several years — expect to pay at least $150 or $200. The priciest models can cost $400, which could be overkill, depending on your child's age.
The guitar can have a steep learning curve. It's not necessarily because the instrument is harder to grasp than other instruments. Rather, it's because the instrument can be painful to learn. In order to facilitate advancement on the guitar, here are a few tips to make the experience more enjoyable for the student.
Q. What is a good age to start guitar lessons?
A. It depends on the child. When the interest/passion is there and it is fortified by the maturity needed to sit still and practice, it's time for lessons. There also needs to be a good bit of determination because learning guitar can be frustrating and painful, especially on soft little fingers. Many kids aren't seriously interested until they are about 12 or 13, but there are those who might have a sibling who already plays, so they are driven to learn at a much younger age.
Q. What if my child is left-handed?
A. Guitars are played with two hands, each doing work independently of the other. Traditionally, the left hand voices the chords or fingers the notes while the right hand strums or picks. Choosing a left-handed guitar allows a left-handed child to have his or her dominant hand in charge of the strumming and picking. This is ideal. However, guitar choices are limited for left-handed players, and the guitars are often more expensive. Additionally, if a player needs to borrow a guitar from another player in a pinch, chances are a right-handed guitar might be their only option. The answer comes down to a personal choice: which is more important, ease of play or a larger selection of instruments?
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.