How to Pick the Right Guitar for Your Child
If your child has shown interest in playing the guitar, an interest so strong that they claim they simply cannot live without it, then it is your duty as a parent to encourage them – and the best way to do that is to buy them a guitar of their own. But there is a lot that goes into choosing a beginners guitar, especially for a child.
When your child envisions itself playing, he or she probably has a mental picture of what their guitar looks like and what type of music they are playing. Now it is your duty to purchase a guitar that will capture and fuel this vision forward. For one you don’t want the guitar to be too difficult to play or your child might get discouraged. Similarly you don’t want a plain old boring guitar (unless your child demands it) or your child might lose interest – one such design could be a childrens black guitar, as they can fit for any gender and music type.
This is an opportunity to create some very fun memories with your child, while teaching them (or learning with them) how to play an intricate instrument. But you should remember to keep the process fun and relaxing, you don’t want to be too serious. If your child associated playing the guitar with something positive, it will help motivate them to learn.
Similarly, when looking for a guitar for your child don’t be too uptight, ask your child if they like the guitar before you purchase it – after all, they will be the one who plays it.
Decide the Type of Guitar
Some might say classic guitars are best for children because if their nylon strings, but I would have to disagree. Classic guitars have wider necks, which will make it more difficult for your child to grip the neck and press notes. The first guitar your child should own is an acoustic guitar for which you can especially buy nylon strings to make it softer for your child’s fingers (because metal strings can be very hard to press down for your child).
The classical guitar is a wooden light weight guitar, it is fitted with nylon strings and features a broad, wide neck. It is mostly used to play Latin and classical music, so if your child is a little Jimi Hendrix at soul, would disappoint them and might discourage them from playing.
Acoustic guitars have thinner necks than classical and thus all the strings are closer together, this can be a good asset for small hands. It is traditionally made with steel strings (but can be fitted with nylon string accessories) and has a steel rod inside the neck. Some acoustic guitars even feature the option to be amplified (much like an electric guitar), this can be a fun add-on since you can connect it with paddles to change the overall sounds.
The electric guitar is a solid slab of wood, fitted with a steel neck and steel strings. However unlike the previous two types, it cannot be head without being amplified (because it produces the sound with magnets), so you will need to purchase an amp in order to hear it (10 watt amp will be enough for a childrens black guitar). If your child was inspired by a rock star, they will not be satisfied with anything other than an electric guitar, with which they can shred and grind.
Figure Out the Size of the Guitar Needed
The size of the guitar is the most crucial point of picking the right guitar for a child. If the guitar is too big, it will make it way more difficult for your child to play and it might discourage them. If however the guitar is too small, it can teach your child incorrect playing and make it more difficult for them to adapt to a bigger guitar later on in their life.
- 4-6 years old, with the height of 99cm to 114cm need a guitar that is ¼ the size of a standard size guitar.
- 5-8 years old, with the height of 117cm to 135cm need a guitar that is ½ the size of a standard size guitar.
- 8-11 years old, with the height of 137cm to 150cm need a guitar that is ¾ the size of a standard size guitar.
- 11 year olds and above, with the height of 152cm and above can use a standard size guitar.
When it comes to accessories you should stock up on extra strings as your child will most likely break quite a few on their journey of learning a new skill. It is very important to change the string as soon as it breaks, because if you leave it broken, your child could lose interest. You should also stock up on a big amount of picks, just like professional guitarist, beginner guitarist too lose their picks.
If you are looking to purchase an electric guitar, you will also need to purchase an amplifier and a connector cable. You don’t have to go all out, as it is a beginner amp, so a 10 watt small amp would be perfect.
You should also consider buying the essential, helpful accessories such as a guitar bag, a guitar strap and a tuner. These accessories will help your little rock star in their path to greatness.