How To Choose Kids Guitar
Are you looking at buying a kids or children guitar for your loved ones?
If so, these are the common questions asked:
1. What guitar size is suitable?
2. Is Acoustic or Classical model better?
3. What wood type is good?
Let’s tackle these questions one by one.
Guitar size chart
Following is a Guide we use when customers step into our shop with their kids. By and large, we find this Guitar size chart pretty accurate:
30 inch (1/4 size) – Age 5 to 7
34 inch (1/2 size) – Age 7 to 9
36 inch (3/4 size) – Age 9 to 13
38 inch (7/8 size) – Age 14 to 20
39–42 inches (Adult sizes) – Age 18 & above
The best way to select is to bring the child along so that he or she could have a feel of the physical size and pick the colour and design they like. If they don’t like it, they won’t play it.
2. Acoustic or Classical model
In simple layman explanation, Acoustic refers to guitars with 6 steel strings with a narrower neck and typically played with a pick or plectrum. It suits those who are more into pop, contemporary, Blues music and those who like to strum and sing. However, the steel strings are more harsh to the fingers and generally Beginners (kids or adults) find it painful to play for too long.
The Classical guitar, as the name suggest is popular with those seeking to play classical pieces, fingerstyle (solo) and flamenco style. No picks or plectrums are used in these styles. The Classical guitar has a much broader neck and comes with 3 steel (bass) strings and 3 nylon (treble) strings. The action is often lower and the nylon strings are more gentle to the “tender” fingers, similar to the Ukulele.
There is no hard-and-fast rule on what’s the best children guitar choice. However, most kids or beginners will find it easier to play on the Classical guitar because of the low action and the ease of playing on nylon strings. My personal take is to go with the Classical guitar for kids under 12 years of age. One important point to note is that it is often easier for a Classical guitar player to take up the Acoustic, but seldom the other way round.
If you are going for the Acoustic type, make sure the strings tension are low so the steel strings “hurt” less for the kids.
3. What wood type is good?
This is extremely subjective. To begin with, there are the solid wood versus the plywood and these days, high quality or high pressured laminates. Most kids guitars are priced under $150 so I wouldn’t be too concerned about the wood type. It is the overall playability that’s more important. Go with laminates for a start and test out the intonation of the guitar and listen to how it sounds.
Check out our kids acoustic and kids classical guitar selections: https://ensemblemusic.com.sg/product-category/instruments/guitars/
Hope this helps!