One of the most overlooked things when it comes to buying guitars for kids is mistakenly comparing the guitar size with the age of the kid.
Even though this seems super obvious, people get it wrong all the time: it’s not about age, it’s about height.
So let’s talk about this because if we choose the wrong guitar, it might lead to painful back problems or an uncomfortable experience. And maybe the kid will stop playing the guitar because he or she thinks it’s not something pleasant. While it should be fun, rewarding and comfortable.
This is really important. Because if the guitar is too big, it may cause back problems. The scaled down size means a young child can reach over the body and comfortably reach the fretboard. It’s like buying shoes for a kid. We know he or she is going to grow up, but we don’t buy shoes that are bigger than their current feet. Doing that would be stupid—it could harm the kid’s feet. With guitars the same thing happens, but instead of hurting the knees it hurts the back and cause frustration to the beginner.
Before we talk about sizes there are a couple of things to consider first.
The first one is the height of the strings. If it’s too high, the kid might have more difficulties playing the chords. So we need to find the right strings action.
And secondly, it’s worth considering investing more money on a guitar. It’s tempting to buy a cheap guitar just to get the kid started, but cheaper guitars tend to have bad adjustments. That means if the adjustment is bad, the kid is not going to have enough strength in his or her hands when putting the chords on the guitar.
This is especially true with Asian made guitars. They’re cheaper for a reason, and most of them have a really bad adjustment.
So, in short: what guitar should you buy?
We know it’s a complicated choice, but again don’t choose one based on age. Instead, compare the height of the player.
Generally, different guitar sizes are recommended depending on the age of the guitarists. As we all know, not all children have the same height at the same age, therefore we must compare the child’s height with the average height of their age and decide the size of the guitar based on this.
Some parents think that buying a small quality guitar for such a short time is throwing money. Nothing is further from reality. A good small guitar can be a perfect travel guitar for an adult. In fact, the Requintos (1/2 size guitar) are very popular guitars in many countries, and are played by adults.
Classical guitar sizes:
The most popular special sizes for classical guitars are the 1/2 guitar or “Requinto”, the 3/4 guitar or “Cadet guitar“, the 7/8 guitar or “Senorita” . The 4/4 guitar would be the standard full size guitar.
The 1/2 guitar or “Requinto” and the 3/4 guitar or “Cadet guitar” are generally chosen for children while the 7/8 and 4/4 are chosen by adults. Having said that, there are many adults who choose any size of guitar based on their needs.
In short, we can’t give you a cheatsheet and tell you precisely what you should buy. Again, there are different sizes for different needs. If the guitar is for you, of course it completely depends on your needs. On the other hand, if the guitar is for a kid, keep in mind that kids the same size can have arms longer than others. Either way, you’re better off comparing height rather than age.
Got questions? Email us. We’ll probably be able to give you a customized recommendation for your needs.