What are the best guitars for kids?

When your child takes an interest in a new hobby, it is always extremely exciting to see them engage in things and it is also important for their development. You want them to have the best chance of sticking with this activity, so they need to have a good starting point. For music, that means buying an instrument that suits them and their needs.
Best Guitar For Kids
This can be difficult to get right. It is hard to buy an instrument for yourself, let alone for someone else. You won’t know whether it will be the right size for them, whether the strings will be too tough to play, or whether they just generally enjoy the look of the guitar. To help you with this dilemma, I have compiled a list of the best guitars currently available on the market for kids. Now all you have to do is sit back and watch them flourish!

Ibanez miKro GRGM21

Ibanez GRGM21 GRG Mikro Electric Guitar Junior Mini (Black Night) w/Ibanez Bag If you are after a kid-sized electric guitar that has the same feel and sound as a full-size Ibanez electric guitar, then I would highly recommend the miKro GRGM21. It is close to a ¾ size electric, so this smaller body size and scale of the fretboard will be perfect for kids to have fun with. It is also extremely portable, so your child will be able to practice wherever they go! The miKro has 24 frets over its 22.2-inch fretboard. This means that kids will be able to reach more chords and notes without straining their wrists, and it also reduces the string tension. They will be able to achieve some cool, distorted tones with this guitar! Released in 2018, Ibanez designed this guitar to be easily accessible for kids. It has a thin body so kids will be able to reach the strings more easily, and there are also useful contours in place so that they will be able to comfortably play without having to stretch too far. The strings are not made out of the typical steel, which means that they will be easier to press down and get clearer sounds. It will also reduce the risk of developing blisters – especially the hand that is playing on the fretboard. The Ibanez miKro comes with a padded bag for added protection, and it also has built-in screws so that you can easily place a strap on the guitar. This will make standing up and playing that much easier for a kid. Overall, this guitar is the perfect size for kids, and you can achieve some amazing rock music with this handy piece of kit. What I will say is that the tuning isn’t the most stable. It sometimes struggles to keep its tune, which will be partly influenced by the string material. It is particularly noticeable when you first get the guitar – you will have to religiously tune it every few minutes. But after some time, the strings will stretch out and it will stabilize itself with practice. Pros:
  • Smaller size and thinner bodythan a typical electric guitar – This means that kids will be able to comfortably play it, and it makes it more portable.
  • Comes with a padded bag – This means that it will be protected when kids travel with it.
  • Ibanez brand– It has a good build quality, it uses the same power pickups, and it can create brilliant rock tones.
  • It has 24 frets over a 22.2-inch scale– This allows kids to reach more of the fretboard, and it also means that there will be less string tension.
Cons:
  • Tuning– Some users have said it isn’t great at keeping its tune, especially when you first get it.
Also available at: https://www.ibanez.com/eu/products/detail/grgm21_5a_02.html
Ibanez GRGM21 GRG Mikro Electric Guitar Junior Mini (Black Night) w/Ibanez Bag
  • 22-1/5 Inch scale
  • 24 frets
  • Dual Powersound humbucking pickups
  • Hardtail bridge

Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar

Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany Top The Baby Taylor is renowned for being the perfect, kid-sized, acoustic guitar. Many people start out using Taylor guitars because they know that they will be well-built and have a beautiful sound. The BT2 is no exception to this! The guitar is built from a mixture of Mahogany and Ebony wood. Both of these combine to fully amplify any sounds that you are creating, and they are also produced with a mellower tone. When I tested it out, I was surprised at how loud and crisp this smaller-sized guitar could be. This is helped along by its rounded back. Not only does this make the guitar more comfortable for kids to play, but it helps with the resonance of the instrument. The matte finish of the acoustic guitar has a textured feel, and it makes it look more authentic when compared to full-size acoustic guitars. When you buy this instrument, it comes with a padded gig bag that makes it completely portable – something that is also helped by its small size. I would say that, overall, it is a great guitar choice for a kid, and the sound is impressive for its size. One thing you might want to consider, however, is that the neck is particularly narrow compared to other smaller-sized acoustic guitars. Because the fretboard is smaller, it might be difficult for some people to achieve certain chords, especially ones that are quite close together – like a ‘D’. It might not be an issue for all children, though! Pros:
  • Made from Mahogany and Ebony– This helps to amplify the sound, and it gives a mellow tone.
  • Shorter scale– This makes it lighter to carry and easier to play.
  • Size doesn’t affect the sound– It still sounds incredibly loud and crisp.
  • Rounded back– This helps with the guitar’s resonance.
  • Comes with a gig bag– This will ensure that it is well protected.
Cons:
  • The neck is narrow– Some users have found it is difficult to achieve some specific chords because there isn’t enough space on the fretboard.
Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany Top
  • 6-string Acoustic Guitar with Mahogany Top
  • Layered Sapele Back
  • Sides - Natural
  • Neck Width 1-11/16 inch

Fender Squier Kids Mini Strat Electric Guitar

Fender Squier 3/4-Size Kids Mini Strat Electric Guitar - Imperial Blue Learn-to-Play Bundle w/Amp, Cable, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD The Squier electric guitar bundle is the perfect starting point for kids aged 6-12. It comes with a ¾ size guitar, as well as a huge range of learn-to-play accessories that will encourage so many kids to progress in their musical journey! This mini strat electric guitar is designed to be comfortable for kids to use. It is thin and lightweight, which means that a child will be able to play with it whilst standing up, helping them to live their rockstar dreams. It has a ‘C’ shaped neck, which will provide more comfort when they are leaning over the instrument to reach the string. On top of this, the small size will alleviate any wrist pain they might get from trying to reach chords, without affecting the amazing, Fender tone of the guitar. To help your child learn to play the guitar, a purchase of the Squier mini comes with free online lessons and an instructional DVD that will guide them through the basics in a stress-free environment. It also comes with an amp and cable so they will be able to experience the full volume of their playing. On top of that, it comes with picks to prevent any blisters, a tuner to keep it sounding amazing, and a strap so they can play while standing. I will say that, because the strings aren’t proper electric type steel (to make it easier for kids to play), they do need tuning more regularly. This is quite a common issue with most new strings, and they should be worn within a week or so of regular practice. To sum up, I would thoroughly recommend this electric guitar bundle for kids to learn to play this instrument. It sounds great, looks great, and it is the perfect size for smaller rockstars. Pros:
  • ¾ size– This makes it easy for kids to play, and is ideal for 6-12-year-olds. It also alleviates wrist pain.
  • Comes with a learn to play bundle– It includes an amp, cable, tuner, strap, picks, online lessons, and instructional DVD. This will save money in the long run as they won’t have to be bought separately.
  • Three single-coil Stratocaster pickups, five-way switching, and a vintage-style hardtail Stratocaster bridge– It has a great build and set-up for a child’s guitar, which will help them to learn how to play properly while keeping them invested in playing the instrument in the future.
  • Fender tone– It still sounds brilliant, even though it is a smaller size.
  • ‘C’ shaped neck profile – This helps to provide comfort when playing.
Cons:
  • Shiny body– It might slip off if the child is wanting to rest the guitar on their lap.
  • Have to tune the strings regularly– As they are not proper electric-type strings, they will need regular tuning until they are worn in.  
Fender Squier 3/4-Size Kids Mini Strat Electric Guitar - Imperial Blue Learn-to-Play Bundle w/Amp, Cable, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD
  • 3/4-size body; 22.75" scale length
  • Ideal size for children ages 6 to 12 years
  • "C"-shaped maple neck and 20-fret fingerboard
  • Three single-coil Stratocaster pickups with five-way switching, and vintage-style hardtail Stratocaster bridge
  • Bundle includes Guitar, Amplifier, Instrument Cable, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

Yamaha CGS102A Half-Size Classical Guitar

Yamaha CGS102A Half-Size Classical Guitar - Natural The Yamaha Half-Size guitar is a classic starter instrument that kids will easily be able to learn with. Its nylon strings are much easier to use than steel strings, which will reduce the amount of discomfort they may experience when first getting to grips with the guitar. As well as this, its deeply curved body is comfortable to hold and strum with. Essentially, all of this guitar is tailored to be the best it can be for a child to play. It is made from a variety of materials – it has a Spruce wood top, a Meranti back, and the fingerboard is made from Rosewood. Spruce is a great choice for a guitar because as a solid tonewood, it improves over time which in turn makes it more vibrant and clear. The Rosewood adds a warm tone to the instrument, and Meranti is a durable material that encourages the sound to travel evenly from top to bottom. It stays in tune well, and the variety of materials gives it a lovely tone. It is a loud instrument for its size! One thing to mention is that this guitar comes just as is, without a cover or accessories to help a kid learn how to play it. While this isn’t a dealbreaker, there is also an issue in that the guitar has no place to hook a strap on to it. Most guitars will come with strap holders screwed into them, and this is especially important for children who most likely won’t be able to stand up and play the guitar for too long without it resting on a strap. If your kid will play the guitar sitting down then this won’t be an issue at all, but it is something to think about. Pros:
  • Spruce top, Meranti back, and Rosewood fingerboard– These help the guitar make a beautifully clear and mellow sound.
  • ½ size – This makes it easy for a child to play the instrument without getting any wrist pain.
  • Nylon strings– These are also easier to play than steel strings, and are less likely to cause blisters and cuts.
Cons:
  • No place to hook a strap– Kids might find it difficult to play this guitar standing up, as they won’t be able to put a strap on it.
  • No accessories– It only comes with the guitar, so accessories will have to be bought separately.
Sale
Yamaha CGS102A Half-Size Classical Guitar - Natural
  • Spruce top
  • Meranti back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard & bridge, natural finish
  • Strings scale 25.6 inches, body depth 3.15 - 3.3 inches, finger board width (Nut/Body) 2.05 inches

Master Play Wood Classical Guitar

30' Wood Classical Guitar with Case and Accessories for Kids/Girls/Boys/Beginners (Pink) While all of the other guitars listed have more of a professional feel to them, this acoustic, classical guitar set is not exactly intended to be a professional instrument. It is, however, a brilliant starting point for kids to learn the guitar! It will definitely pique their interest in music and learning instruments while making it fun. This guitar set comes in a range of great colors, making it immediately engaging. It is created to be durable, which means that younger kids will be able to enjoy it too, and its lightweight (under 3 pounds) makes it perfect for a huge range of children. It is incredibly easy to tune and it has a simple strap attachment so children will be able to explore their musical talents while gallivanting around. As well as the strap, it comes with a set of picks to play with so they don’t hurt their fingers, a capo to learn about transposing and keys, a new set of strings in case the current ones break, and a tuner to ensure that their music is sounding the best it can! To help protect the guitar, it also comes with a polishing cloth and a case that matches the color of the instrument. In terms of learning, this guitar will teach them about how guitars work and how to do the basic chords and strumming, but one thing it lacks is dots on the fretboard. These are necessary for guidance, particularly when they are going to start exploring the rest of the fretboard, so the lack of dots may make it slightly more difficult to play as their skills develop. Overall, however, the whole set is fun and it is sure to make music interesting for young children. Once they have developed this interest, then they may want to switch to a more ‘professional’ guitar – but this one is purely for entertainment and enjoyment. Pros:
  • Fun colors – It is immediately engaging, and children will be more inclined to play an instrument they like the look of.
  • Comes with lots of accessories– It comes with a strap, picks, strings, capo, cloth, tuner, and bag, which will save you having to buy these things separately at a later date.
  • Easy strap attachment – This will allow kids to play the guitar while they are wandering around.
  • Lightweight – It weighs only just under 3 pounds, which will make it incredibly easy to carry and play.
Cons:
  • No dots on the fretboard– Without these dots for guidance, it might be more difficult to play some of the chords that are further down the fretboard.
  • Doesn’t say what type of wood it is made out of– This means that it might not be the best sound quality, as only solid wood will create a good resonance.
Sale
30" Wood Classical Guitar with Case and Accessories for Kids/Girls/Boys/Beginners (Pink)
  • BEGINNER CLASSICAL GUITAR: Would you like your child to become a guitarist?? Is your child always begging you to get him/her a guitar to play?? Do you feel your child will get calmer or stimulated by playing guitar?? here is your answer just get this great Master-Play guitar and get them started playing let him/her start learning or let her/him get stimulated by playing this nice real guitar
  • BEST QUALITY MATERIAL this amazing guitar is made from linden wood, top, bottom, and neck which is the most popular wood made for guitars. It’s strong, sturdy won't get affected if falling down has a great effect for the noise, the strings are half steel and half nylon which this is the right way to start playing guitar this strings are designed to have a comfortability to play with fingers without getting hurt your kids small fingers
  • GREAT SOUNDS this guitar will give you nice and real tunes you can play whatever style music you like this guitar won't disappoint you, it will give you real tunes, on the top of this guitar you will get 6 tuner for your 6 strings where you will give the opportunity to give you the sounds you want to
  • PRIME PACKAGE you get a whole guitar package you get a strap to hold the guitar on your shoulder than you get extra set of strings you get picks so you can play guitar with the picks you get a nice case to hold the the guitar inside guitar has traps on it to hold the whole guitar on the back you get a tuner which can guide you the right tune you also get a capo which will give a great direction for the tunes
  • DIMENSIONS this guitar 30 inch the height the thickens is 3 inch wide 11 you can give it for a child anywhere from 6-15 years old
Are you still struggling with which guitar would be suitable for your child? Carry on reading to find a buyer’s guide that explores what kind of factors might affect your choice!

Buyer’s Guide

Acoustic Or Electric

Choosing between an acoustic or an electric guitar is a tough thing to do, especially if your child has never owned a guitar before. It can often be simpler to choose an acoustic guitar, simply because there are fewer elements (like amplifiers) involved. They are more practical and don’t need many accessories, which can make them more cost-effective. However, you also need to consider what your child actually wants to play. Take notice of what they enjoy listening to! If they listen to more acoustic-based artists, they will probably aspire to play the acoustic guitar, and vice versa. For them to play this instrument, they need to enjoy the sound of it and they need to feel inspired by the music they will soon create. Ask them first which type of guitar they would prefer to play, and they will be much more invested in the long run.

Size

Size is very important when it comes to buying a guitar for a child. If they can’t physically play the instrument, or they get pain when they play it, then they will no longer pursue this as a hobby. There are quite a few guitar sizes available, some of which would be great for kids. These are all listed in guitar scales on the internet. The smallest size you will find is actually a guitarlele. This is a hybrid of a guitar and a ukulele, and is suitable for very young children to play, as they will be able to reach along the whole fretboard. The most common sizes for kids would be a half size and a three-quarter size. These are known as short-scale instruments, so both the neck and the body of the guitar have been shrunk down. This will help smaller children to reach over the body of the guitar to be able to strum the strings, and they will also be able to reach down the far end of the fretboard.

Comfort

Again, this will tie in with the size of the instrument, but you also need to think about features like the strings and the material. Steel strings will be particularly difficult for a child to play as they are thick and long-lasting, and will end up cutting their fingers or causing blisters within a few hours of playing. Nylon strings will be more comfortable, and kids won’t have to press down as hard on the strings to get a clear sound.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Guitar Size Is Best For Kids?

It can be difficult to say which exact size will be best for children, as they are all going to be of different ages and grow at different rates. For most kids who are old enough to properly start learning how to play the guitar, however, the size most suitable for them would either be a ½ size or ¾ size. It is generally recommended that when a kid gets past the age of 12, they might want to think about learning on a full-size guitar.

How Do I Know When My Child Is Ready For A Guitar?

There isn’t any exact time for a child to be ready for a guitar – it mainly depends on whether they show a huge interest in learning it! For children to pick up a new skill, they have to strongly want to do it, otherwise, they might give it up quite early on. If they are able to practice a new skill for at least 30 minutes without getting bored, and they have basic finger dexterity, then they should be ready for a guitar.
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Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.