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.


The first few months of playing are the most crucial for a child learning guitar, so it's imperative that you choose a beginner guitar to suit them.  If they make 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:

1. Find the right guitar to suit their musical preference.

2. Find the right sized guitar that will be comfortable to play.




1. 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 the 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 fingertips have hardened a little.

Electric guitars are much smaller than steel-string acoustic guitars and 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.


2. 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




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 
  • Lightweight but bulky
  • Recommended for:
Age Height (cm) Recommended Size
5 - 12 100 - 120  3/4 Size
- See LSP34
12 - 15  120 - 165  Small Body
15+ 165 + Full Size




Classical Guitar (Nylon String Guitar):

  • Good for classical, flamenco, Spanish music.
  • Available in the smallest size – 1/4 size.
  • Gentle on fingertips - 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.


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

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