Note: This guide will help you choose the perfect guitar size for kids even if you have no idea about guitars whatsoever. I have also compiled the best guitar in the category according to the children’s guitar size to help you short-list and pick the right gear for your young one!
* There may be affiliate links on this page. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Summary of Guitar Size for Kids
|Overall Length in Inches
|Height of the player (In ft.)
3' 4" - 3' 7"
3' 7" - 4' 2"
4' 2" - 4'6"
11 years onwards
4'7" - 5'2"
12 years onwards
4/4 (Full Size)
More than 5'2"
Getting to the end of the neck of a full-size guitar is one of the biggest problems for young kids.
That’s why in recent times, manufacturers have created a range of guitars size for kids. To prevent any problem at the beginning of your child’s musical journey, you need to choose the right-sized guitar. Picking the right guitar for your kids is extremely important for numerous reasons. After thousands of hours of research (or you know, asking my fellow friends with kids), I have concluded that whether or not a child takes up an instrument hinges on the first few months of playing.
That fact is particularly true in the case of children i.e: extremely adorable creatures with the shortest attention span possible. The first few months of playing are the most crucial for a child learning guitar because any problem with the guitar can ruin their interest, so you MUST choose the right guitar for them. It is likely that your decision will make or break their abilities to be musically inclined as an adult as well.
If your kid finds it too tricky or uninspiring, they will put it down and, most likely, that’s where it will stay. The necessity of choosing the right style and kid’s size guitar cannot be over-emphasized. But worry not! I have written this article which will help you choose the perfect guitar for your kid even if you know 0% about guitars yourself.
This article will explain everything you need to know about children’s guitar size and help you choose the most appropriate guitar for your kids. It will also help you learn about the instrument more along the way! So let’s get started –
Choose the right guitar size for your kids
1/4 Size Guitar
Ages 4-6 Years
1/4 size guitar is absolutely perfect for 4-6-year-old kids. It is also popularly known as a 30 inches guitar. The scale measurement of this kid’s size guitar is smaller – 19inches. On a standard guitar, the scale measurement comes in at 25 inches.
That is also popular as a travel guitar, so you kid can easily pack it in a bag and carry it, it’s easier to handle and also more portable. These guitars are generally 20% (8 inches) shorter than a full-size guitar. The price of these guitars are fairly reasonable – the cheapest guitars in the market as your kid will be asking for an upgrade within a matter of a few years, if not sooner.
You can get these guitars in electric and acoustic both (Yes! Even in an electric model). Although it is not even close to a real deal in an electric version, but it would definitely help your kid develop an interest or fondness to the instrument and that’s basically the purpose of 1/4 guitars. My pick for the best 1/4 size guitar would be Yamaha GL1 Guitalele.
1/2 Size Guitar
Ages 6-9 years
If your kid is too small to hold a guitar then nothing can be better than 1/2 size guitar. These guitars are specially designed for 6 to 9 years aged kids. It is also perfect to carry where ever they want. You cannot give your kid a better introduction to the music world if you get a 1/2 size guitar for them. They’ll thank you later, trust me.
Typically not that durable, these guitars come in handy for regular-sized humans for traveling and on-the-go music playing but they’re also perfect for kids who are looking to start their musical journey. Their size is 34 inches whereas the regular-sized guitar sits at 41 inches. Just like the 1/4 guitar, this one can be the perfect way to introduce your kids to the world of guitars if they’re starting out at age 6 and make sure that playability doesn’t affect their interest towards the guitar. A safe choice for 1/2 guitar would be Yamaha CGS102A.
3/4 Size Guitar
Ages 9-11 years
Size-wise and sound-wise, this is where we start getting towards the actual standard guitars. These guitars sit at 36 inches (the standard one comes in at 41 inches) and they sound pretty much identical.
Even professionals can use a good quality 3/4 guitar and get away with it. It’s the most preferred travel guitar and on-the-road instrument. Easy-to-carry and 9-year-olds would love to learn to play music on it. It also makes sense to invest in a 3/4 guitar even if it costs slightly more because this may end up being your kid’s final guitar.
This isn’t really the case with the aforementioned guitars as they will outgrow those sizes eventually. You can get these guitars in classical, acoustic and electric versions and get a variety of options in each. It is safe to say that you don’t compromise in any aspect when it comes to 3/4 size guitars. Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor is the most popular 3/4 guitar and I, myself, own one.
7/8 Size Guitar
Ages 11 onwards
Again, you can invest in a 7/8 guitar without thinking too much of it as it can be the final guitar that your kid plays. This guitar is preferred by both teenagers and girls equally because it gives a slight edge over a standard size guitar due to its playability while it sounds exactly like any big guitar. You are not compromising at all when you get yourself a 7/8 size guitar.
This guitar is 38 inches long while the standard size is 41 inches so there’s not much the manudacturers have to change. You can use a lot of standard accessories with these guitars, although it’s not preferred as a travel guitar – you can get yourself much smaller guitars if you are looking for portability from the guitars above. Also, it’s the closest you can come to a standard-size guitar and the difference isn’t all that much, so you can always go for a full-size guitar if you’re looking for longevity. Cordoba makes the best 7/8 guitars, Cordoba Dolce Classical being one.
4/4 Full Size Guitar
Ages 12 onwards
4/4 size guitar is also popularly known as a 40-inch guitar. It is the biggest size guitar in the market. From 12 years kids to anybody can play this guitar easily. A full-size guitar is perfectly manufactured for both beginners and professionals.
Once you enter the zone of 4/4 full-size guitar you get the widest range of options and you can choose and select the one tailored to your needs. To make matters easier for you, you can choose guitars that have thin neck, lightweight guitars, and many more! That’s why once you reach the age of 12-13 years old, you can select a full-size guitar and just focus on other features of the guitar that make the playing easier for you.
Types of guitars - Electric, Acoustic & Bass guitars
An electric guitar is a guitar that produces sound by vibrating strings over a pickup. It converts the vibrations into electrical signals. Those electric signals are fed into an amplifier. That projects the musical performance at a wide range of volumes. Both magnetic and non-magnetic pickups exist on electric guitars. There is no hole in the electric guitar.
An acoustic guitar is easy to use a musical instrument. It produces sound via vibrating strings above a hollow chamber in the guitar’s body. An acoustic guitar does not require electricity to produce sound. It has 6 strings to make a sweet sound. The strings are available in various options like a steal, nylon e.t.c. Acoustic guitar players can create sound in the guitar with both their fingers and a pick. This varies on the type of music or the purpose of the use.
A bass guitar for kids is a plucked string instrument built-in guitar. That has a touch of electric guitar but produces lower frequencies. After vibrating the metal strings of the bass guitar over one or more magnetic pickups it produces a soothing sound (although non-magnetic pickups are occasionally used as well). The pickups then transmit a signal, via instrument cable, into an amplifier, that allows the bass to be heard at a wide range of volumes. Bass guitar is used in pop, jazz, rock, country, hip hop, R&B, and even classical music.
At what age should guitar lessons start?
There is no exact age to start learning about new things, guitar is one of them. Some say one can start at the age between three or 5 or the other says the age between 8-10 is perfect. Learning depends upon the sense of the children. If anyone can learn or catch new things at the age of 5 then they can start from that time.
According to me, anyone will be able to learn guitar if they can:
- Spell and write their name
- Read and write one-syllable words
- Recognise two-syllable words
At your first Gentle Guitar lesson, your kids will receive an interesting workbook. This workbook will help your child to learn the fundamentals of music theory and the musical alphabet. They will also gain deep knowledge about their learning.
They will learn about different kinds of notes and their rhythmic values. That will increase interest in the learning in them.
Regular practice and proper guidance will make their lesson much easy and more interesting. They can also note down all the things to make their guitar learning stronger.
How long does it take to learn the guitar?
Learning is a never-ending process, so it is next to impossible to calculate the time of learning. All I can say is, it generally takes 3-6 months for kids to start getting comfortable with basic chords and start playing easier songs. Learning guitar is a completely new process like learning walking. You have to learn the work with your two hands. It also depends on many more things like if you are talented then your process of learning may take less time than others. You also must keep your interest in learning guitar every time. Because many beginners stop learning or give up in the first stage.
If one does not practice properly they will surely face the problem and consume more time in learning. One must have practice guitar 30 minutes per day of 3 to 5 weeks after that they will achieve their success and will be able to learn harder things. Learning guitar will give you some advantages like you will face amazing coordination between your two hands. That will help to make you build a great concentration which is one of the most essential things behind learning. Your mind will get sharper because you have to remind all the notes and patterns properly while playing the guitar and last but not least learning or playing the guitar will give you great fun.
What to look for while buying a kid’s first guitar?
For a kid, buying a first guitar is like achieving his or her first dream. Identifying the most satisfying guitar for a kid is the most important part. Most kids are fascinated by the colour of the guitar, the design of the guitar etc. But you have to keep in mind why you are purchasing the guitar? For the sound. If a guitar produces a good sound, you can go for this. Also, you have to check the build quality of the guitar.
A wooden guitar will be a good option for a kid. But though you have to check the quality of the wood. If the wood of fretboard surface is straight, well-polished or not etc. Also, these qualities may vary upon the brands and prices. Also here sizes matter. If the guitar is too small, it will be less interesting. Or if the guitar is too big, it will be hard to play.
Now coming up to the strings, which is the main part of the sound section. Most guitars have steel coated strings that are hard to press. For a kid, nylon string will be good. And for learning acoustic is all people’s first choice. But you can also go for the electric one if you want so. Now make a kid happy, by buying him or her their first guitar.
Here we are! I hope I have taken you through all the sizes available that will best suit your kids. I really hope you can easily compare and pick the right guitar for your kid. Remember, kids can get bored easily and that’s why you need to make the process of learning simple and convenient for them.
Pick the guitar according to their age and make it extremely easy for your child to start their music journey. That’s all from me. All the best to you and your future rockstar!