What Are The Best Guitars for Kids? – 2019 Edition
Do you think your kid can be the next Jimi Hendrix? What about Bob Dylan? No matter what your child’s musical inclinations are, they’ll need a guitar to get started with their music crafting.
Unless you’re an expert picking a guitar is very difficult, however. Guitars appear mostly similar on the surface, but there is a large variation in the build quality and sound quality. To make matters more complicated, guitars for kids have a huge range of prices.
In this article, we’ll smooth over a lot of the uncertainty by explaining to you what features you will need to look for when purchasing a guitar for your child.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to grab an entry-level guitar for your child to start strumming on.
Guitars For Kids Reviews
Our #1 Choice – Music Alley MA-51 Music Alley 1/2 Size 30″ Junior Classical Guitar, Pink
The Music Alley MA-51 Music Alley 1/2 Size 30″ Junior Classical Guitar, Pink is a decent guitar which might be a great introduction to music for a child who has never played an instrument before.
- Comes with carrying case
- Classical style
- Exterior may be off-putting to some children
Don’t let the pink exterior of this guitar fool you: this guitar is perfect for learning the basics whether your child is a boy or a girl. The guitar is sized for children under 10, who will find it to be lightweight and easy to use.
The sound quality produced by this guitar is rudimentary, but it’ll be more than enough to teach your child how to play each note. The nylon strings are easy on the fingers, which is a big difference early on.
The carrying case is of average quality, and you’ll find that the strings don’t need much tuning to sound their best. You can safely purchase this guitar without worrying too much about buying a lemon.
Our #2 Choice – Smartxchoices Acoustic Guitar for Starter Beginner Music Lovers Kids Gift 38″ 6-String Folk Beginners Acoustic Guitar With Gig bag, Strap, Tuner and Pick (Blue)
The Smartxchoices Acoustic Guitar for Starter Beginner Music Lovers Kids Gift 38″ 6-String Folk Beginners Acoustic Guitar With Gig bag, Strap, Tuner and Pick (Blue) is a moderate intensity guitar for kids who are looking for a bit more than a basic model guitar.
- Attractive electron blue aesthetic
- Lots of great accessories
- Perfect for those who are looking for a second guitar
- Sound quality could be better
- Size may be awkward
This guitar has a cool aesthetic, but its real strength is that its accessories are numerous, and high quality. With this guitar, you’ll get a pitch pipe, a strap, a carrying case, an extra set of strings, and a pick.
The addition of the pitch pipe is extremely useful because it will help your young virtuoso tune the guitar to their liking, which is an essential skill for guitarists to have.
The sound quality of this guitar is fairly good, but there may be issues with its build quality. Nonetheless, the construction of the guitar is sufficient to last your child a long time. They will probably want to graduate to a normal size guitar eventually, however.
This guitar is scaled down by about 15% relative to a normal guitar, so it’s still a bit big for toddlers. It is about the right side for a child between 8 and 13; beyond that, a normal sized guitar will be more appropriate.
Our #3 Choice – First Act FG127 Acoustic Guitar
The First Act FG127 Acoustic Guitar is a guitar with a traditional look which boasts a handful of useful features for children that you might not find elsewhere.
- Very small
- Useful set of chord cards
- Tinny sound quality
This guitar has a slightly different form to make it easier to use for children, but it is also explicitly much smaller than a normal guitar. Toddlers can comfortably use this very small guitar.
The guitar’s sound quality is far from ideal as a result of its small size, but it’ll be enough for some strumming by a novice guitarist.
There are several string guards which make the strings less painful to play without a pick, which your children will appreciate. Likewise, the guitar itself is plastic, so it’s very lightweight.
The guitar also comes with a unique learn-a-chord card set, which is helpful for children who are starting on their guitar journey. You’ll still need to provide lessons, but the cards can help smooth over some of the memorization difficulties during practice.
Our #4 Choice – Hohner HAG250P 1/2 Sized Classical Guitar – For Toddlers
The Hohner HAG250P 1/2 Sized Classical Guitar – For Toddlers is a simple but effective small guitar that is effective for the youngest guitarists to start learning.
- Excellent online course set
- Perfect for very young players
- Great warranty
- Child will outgrow the small size quickly
This guitar is tiny, but it still has a decent sound owing to its wooden construction and proper proportions. The nylon strings are soft on the hands, which will allow your child to have lengthy practice sessions.
The guitar has a one-year warranty, which is something most other children’s guitars lack. You can trust the build quality of this guitar. Your child will probably outgrow the guitar very quickly, however. Its small size makes it uncomfortable for most people who are larger than a toddler.
If you want, you can choose to use the Fender company’s online guitar lessons for free if you purchase this guitar. This makes up for the guitar’s slightly high price. The price tag may be higher than other guitars for kids, but this guitar is a great deal because of the online courses.
The online courses are good enough that they might replace regular in-person lessons for children who are at the very start of their guitar journey. They’re also a great way to see whether your child has an enduring interest in guitar playing or whether they’re going through a phase.
Our #5 Choice – KidKraft Lil’ Symphony Guitar
The KidKraft Lil’ Symphony Guitar is a quick and cheap guitar for kids which your kid won’t feel intimidated by.
- Good for kids with short arms
- Good for very young children
- Low sound quality
While this guitar’s aesthetics leave a lot to be desired, it is lightweight and very easy for your child to pick up and use.
The stem is much shorter proportionally as well as in absolute terms. This means that your child can easily do all of the frets that they need to without needing to contort their arm into uncomfortable positions.
The material of the guitar is a plastic and wood composite. While light, this composite, unfortunately, gives this guitar a bad sound. Especially when it is played vigorously, there is an unpleasant reverberation created by the plastic.
Your child will probably learn to love this guitar regardless of its shortcomings, but you’ll probably need to buy a new one if it is treated roughly.
What To Look For In Guitars For Kids
You should pay attention to three features while looking for guitars for your child.
First, the guitar needs to be the right size. Your child’s dimensions may make using a full-size guitar a hassle, which will get in the way of their learning. There are many guitars for kids which will be scaled down to compensate.
Scaled-down guitars tend to be made with lower quality materials, however. This is the second important consideration. You want your child’s guitar to be made from a material that serves the intended purpose of the guitar.
If your child needs a lightweight guitar, plastic is preferable. If your child wants a guitar that they know they will use for many years, then a wooden guitar is better. Plastic guitars tend to have poorer sound quality and are also typically far less durable than wooden guitars.
For guitars intended for children who are starting to learn, it may be a better idea to get a wooden guitar. The sounds generated by plastic guitars or mixed material guitars can be deceptive to the ears of a young learner. This can teach them bad habits as a result.
Wooden guitars are not always suitable for the youngest of children, however. If your child has difficulty keeping their toys clean, a wooden guitar will become battered very quickly. Wooden guitars are typically a bit harder to clean.
For most children, keeping the guitar clean will be less of an issue in comparison to getting the guitar to sound good. Most children’s guitars compromise on form and also on string quality for the sake of being easier to use — and that’s fine.
Don’t try to maximize the sound quality of your child’s guitar beyond a minimal level. The point of a child’s guitar is not to produce a magnum opus. It’s to get the basic mechanics of the guitar into muscle memory and to vaguely know what sounds should be produced.
In other words, even if a child’s guitar sounds bad in absolute terms, it could still be a good guitar for kids. Remember that bad tone identification can haunt your child for a while, however. This is where having a good teacher comes in.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Skills Will My Child Learn From Guitars For Kids?
There are three skills your child will learn from playing their guitar. First, they will learn how to use their hands to make frets. This is a very difficult skill for first-time players because of the contorted state that the hand must be in.
If your child has weak motor skills, this will be the hardest step by far. If your child has decent motor skills, it’ll be more of a matter of practice and memorization. Switching between frets rapidly is something that will take a very long time to develop, so it isn’t something guitars for kids will help with specifically.
The second skill guitars for kids will teach is strumming. Strumming is a skill that requires a lot of building, but your child will know the basics of it after five minutes with their guitar. Pretty much every single guitar for kids will teach strumming competently so long as it is not broken.
The final skill is rudimentary tuning of the guitar. Tuning the guitars for kids can be an exercise in frustration for adults who may not realize that the maximum sound quality is not very high. For children, it’s a valuable skill which they will need later on when they get a real guitar.
Are The Guitars Good For Creative Play?
Once your child knows the basics of playing the guitar, guitars can be among the best toys for creative play. Your child will be able to make music that they design, which is among the highest modes of creativity.
They will need to forgo the creative aspect of playing the guitar for a while, however. Your child will need to learn how to operate the guitar to a high level of competency before their individual creations will have any chance of sounding like anything other than noise.
It might be a good idea to set your child up with two kinds of time playing their guitar: structured time, and free play time. The structured time can be used for improving technical abilities on the guitar, whereas the free play time can be used to play songs of their choice or make songs for themselves.
What Is The Best Way To Use Guitars For Kids?
The best way to use guitars for kids is to give your child the foundation they need for musical success, then set them free. Their first guitar will not be their only guitar, but it will be the guitar which probably determines whether they think they like playing guitars or not.
Comfort is a priority. Likewise, you will need to invest a lot of energy in educating your child to be diligent with their practice and persistent with their creativity. The more you invest into your child’s guitar playing abilities, the closer they will come to getting the most out of their guitar experience.