What Child Acoustic Guitar to Buy?

Choosing a child acoustic guitar can be an overwhelming decisioning process .... what size, steel string, nylon string, best manufacturer?

Best Acoustic Guitar for a Child?

Guitar teachers usually recommend classical nylon string guitars for young, beginner acoustic guitar players - a child acoustic guitar. The best classical guitar provides a strong foundation for proper technique and musical theory. Classical guitars typically have wider fretboards that make it easy to finger the notes precisely. The body of the classical guitar is generally smaller and easier for a child to get their arms around. Very importantly, the nylon strings do not cut into young beginner fingers like the steel strings on an acoustic or electric guitar. That said, beginners who practice diligently will develop calluses quickly so the strings may not be a big consideration.

Click the images below for reviews of child acoustic guitar favorites...

Ibanez IJC30 Quickstart 3/4 Size Nylon String Pack
Ibanez IJC30 Quickstart 3/4 Size Nylon String Pack, ~$129
Ibanez IJV30 Quickstart 3/4 Size Steel-String Pack
Ibanez IJV30 Quickstart 3/4 Size Steel-String Pack, ~$129
Laguna LD1 Little Brat 3/4 Size
Laguna LD1 Little Brat 3/4 Size, ~$199
Cheap, nylon string guitar includes tuner and gig bag. Cheap, steel string guitar includes tuner and gig bag. Solid spruce top guitar. Excellent starter guitar for child.

Takamine Jasmine OF JS141 1/4 Scale
Takamine Jasmine OF JS141 1/4 Scale, ~$129
Takamine Jasmine JS241 1/2 Scale
Takamine Jasmine JS241 1/2 Scale, ~$139
Baby Taylor 3/4 Dreadnought
Baby Taylor 3/4 Dreadnought, ~$299
Beginner guitar for 4-6 year-olds. Child guitar for 5-8 year olds. Great, solid top guitar!

Taylor GS Mini
Taylor GS Mini, $499
Martin LXM
Martin LXM, $279
Martin LX1
Martin LX1, $299
Solid top mini that sounds like full-sized Guitar. Deeper body, bigger top, and longer scale than a Baby Taylor. Durable, laminate top guitar comes with padded gig bag. Consider Martin LX1 for $20 more. Solid spruce top, 3/4 scale quality guitar. Includes padded gig bag.

Hohner HW03 3/4 Size
Hohner HW03 3/4 Size, ~$89
Mitchell MDJ10 3/4 Size
Mitchell MDJ10 3/4 Size, ~$119
Yamaha JR1 Mini Folk 3/4 Size
Yamaha JR1 Mini Folk 3/4 Size, ~$129
Cheap child guitar. Consider buying a higher-quality instrument. Cheap but has great volume. Comes with gig bag! Cheap, even comes with gig bag. Many quality issues reported.

Takamine Jasmine JS341 Nylon-String 3/4 Size
Takamine Jasmine JS341 Nylon-String 3/4 Size, ~$149
Hohner HAG-250P 1/2 Size Parlor
Hohner HAG-250P 1/2 Size Parlor, ~$44
Yamaha Acoustic Guitars: 7/8-Size Classical
Yamaha 7/8-Size Classical, ~$129
Good choice for any beginner child guitarist. Kids love the nylon strings! Cheap. Cheap. Cheap. Need I say more? Looks nice. Nylon strings make it easy to play.

Fender Squier MC-1 3/4 Size Classical
Fender Squier MC-1 3/4 Size Classical, ~$99
Fender Squier MA-1 3/4 Size Steel-String
Fender Squier MA-1 3/4 Size Steel-String, ~$109
Taylor Swift 3/4 Size Dreadnought
Taylor Swift 3/4 Size Dreadnought, ~$299
Basic, nylon string guitar. USED ONLY. Cheap, steel string guitar. USED ONLY. Great, solid top, decorative guitar. Excellent, attractive choice!

Child Acoustic Guitar

Avoid this mistake

What if your child has their heart set on being a rock star, playing a sizzling hot red electric guitar in front of the cheering masses? It may be such a crushing blow to be gifted a boring old brown kids acoustic guitar that the child never learns to play. Sometimes the difference between learning to play and quitting after 1 month is just getting the child interested and passionate about music. If your child has their heart set on a certain kind of guitar, it might be a wise move to indulge them.

Child Guitar Size Chart

Age Height of Player Size of Guitar
4-6 years old 3'3" to 3'9" 1/4-Size
5-8 years old 3'10" to 4'5" 1/2-Size
8-11 years old 4'6" to 4'11" 3/4-Size
11-Adult 5' or taller 4/4-Size

Another Option for a Child

An alternative to a child acoustic guitar, my 6-year old started playing on a baritone ukulele. This kids acoustic guitar (baritone ukulele considered as a child acoustic guitar) is smaller and less expensive than most guitars and is usually tuned DGBE - exactly the same as the top four strings of a guitar. Or choose a soprano, concert or tenor ukulele, tuned to G C E A as alternative ukulele for beginners options.

Other Factors

If a child is on the border of, for example, a 3/4 and 4/4 guitar in terms of their age or height, it might be a good idea to get the larger guitar. Why buy a smaller guitar if you will need to buy a larger one in a few months or even weeks? A child with long arms may also need a larger guitar. While a child can generally learn on a guitar that is larger than recommended, it is much easier for a young child to get his or her hands around the appropriate-sized guitar. One risk of learning on an inappropriately-sized guitar is developing poor posture and hand position.


Beginner acoustic versus electric guitars are similarly priced. One consideration when buying an electric guitar is the you will also need an amplifier. A small practice amplifer starts at around $30-$50. (As an aside, have you considered your tolerance for the potentially loud sound of this amplified instrument?)

Generally beginner acoustic guitars are lower-priced and lower-quality guitars. Beginners simply avoid spending a lot of money. One can learn to play on almost any guitar.

Some may believe that small scale 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 size guitars would be less expensive than full-sized guitars. No, this is not necessarily true. In fact, quality small scale guitars can be even more difficult and costly to manufacture due to tighter production tolerances for smaller instruments. So, buyers may find the opposite to be true - that a quality child beginner guitar is more expensive than a quality adult beginner guitar.

Basic Guitar Chords

Start your child with some basic guitar chords and some easy acoustic guitar tabs.

Music for Homeschooled Children

Homeschoolers will appreciate the benefits of music education for their children. Parents find that music education for kids not only improves their children's memorization and small motor skills, but strongly contributes to the building of their child's self-confidence.

More Buying Tips

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see reviews from other visitors to this page...

Laguna Acoustic Guitar: LD1 Little Brat 3/4 Size 
Laguna Acoustic Guitar: LD1 Little Brat 3/4 Size ”The Little Brat that is Anything But Bratty” If you are looking for a great acoustic guitar …

Yamaha Acoustic Guitars: 7/8-Size Classical 
Yamaha Acoustic Guitars: 7/8-Size Classical TRACKINGGOESHERE “A Classy Way to Introduce Your Child to Classical Guitar” If you are looking for …

Takamine Guitars: Jasmine JS341 Nylon-String 3/4 Size 
Takamine Guitars: Jasmine JS341 Nylon-String 3/4 Size A Great Beginner’s Guitar for Young Players When it comes to guitars for young beginners, …

Hohner Acoustic Guitar: HW03 3/4 Size Child Guitar 
Hohner Acoustic Guitar: HW03 3/4 Size Child Guitar ”An Affordable Acoustic Sized for Your Child” If you are looking for a child friendly …

Hohner HAG-250P 1/2 Size Parlor 
Hohner HAG-250P 1/2 Size Parlor Beginning Guitar at Hard to Resist Price The Hohner HAG-250P ½ Size Parlor Acoustic Guitar is a great choice …

Mitchell Acoustic Guitar: MDJ10 Junior 
Mitchell Acoustic Guitar: MDJ10 Junior ”¾ Sized Student Guitar With Great Volume” When buying an acoustic guitar for the child who is just …

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