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Four steps to choosing the right guitar for your child

 

Four steps to choosing the right guitar for your child:

When choosing a guitar for your child there are four basic steps you need to think about:.

1. Choosing the type of guitar, steel string acoustic, nylon string acoustic or electric.
2. Choosing the right size for your child.
3. Buy a quality instrument not a toy (how to tell the difference between the two).
4. Purchase a tuner and quality bag or case to protect the guitar.

1. Choosing a guitar, steel string acoustic, nylon string acoustic or electric guitar.

Step one; what type the guitar should your child play? For most beginning students, I would recommend a nylon acoustic guitar.  The advantages of having your child start out on a nylon acoustic guitar is that it is easier on their fingers and does not require an amplifier . I have found that many children get frustrated playing on steel string guitars because their fingers start hurting after just a few minutes of playing. With a nylon string guitar that adjustment time is a lot less and the enjoyment factor should be a lot higher.  As your child gets older they may want to try an electric or steel string guitar but for starting out I would recommend nylon strings.

2. Choosing the right size guitar for your child

A guitar that it’s too big makes it difficult for a child to hold the guitar hold the guitar. A guitar that is too small makes it difficult to fit there fingers on the fretboard and play the notes and chords.  Guitars come in three basic sizes, 30 inch or half size, 34 inch and 36 inches or larger. The chart below is a good guideline to use when choosing the size of guitar for your child. Some children are bigger or smaller for their age. If that is true for your child, then I would use the age that closely matches your child’s size. For example, a small size 7 year old child may want to choose a 30 inch guitar. This chart applies to both nylon acoustic and steel string guitars.

Acoustic Guitars
* Age is only a very general guideline
* 3 to 6 years old – Half Size or 30inch Acoustic Guitar
* 6 to 9 years old – Three-Quarter 34” Acoustic Guitar
* 9 to 12 years old – Student 36” Acoustic Guitar
* 12 Years to Adult – 39 “ guitar depending on size of adult or child
* 13 years to Adult – Full Size Acoustic Guitar

* Electric Guitars
* Age is only a very general guideline
* 6 to 9/10 years old – Junior Electric Guitar
* 8/9 to 12 years old – Short Scale Electric or Bass Guitar
* 9/10 Years to Adult – Full Size Electric Guitar
13 years to Adult – Full Size Electric or Bass Guitar

3. Buy a quality instrument not a toy (how to tell the difference between the two)

A poor quality cheaply made guitar is not much fun to play. Generally speaking any guitar you buy that is 30.00 or less is a toy not a quality instrument. The sound quality and playability of these instruments are terrible. When choosing a guitar you want the distance between the fret board and the strings to be really close so that it does not take as much pressure to push down the strings and create a sound. .The distance should be fairly consistent all the way to the sound hole of the guitar. The tuning machines should operate smoothly and not feel hard to turn.  Everything mentioned above, also applies to electric guitars. When purchasing an electric guitar make sure that it is in tune with itself. This simply means that when you play an open string, it is exactly one octave higher when you push down on the 12th fret of that string. Some acoustic and electric guitars may need to be adjusted by a technician after you buy them.  Choosing a quality instrument increases the chance that your child will “stick with it” and greatly increases there enjoyment of the guitar.

4. Purchase a tuner and quality bag or case to protect the guitar.

I would recommend purchasing a good quality bag or case to protect the guitar you just purchased. A soft shell case can provide a buffer against scratches and dings when the guitar is being transported or stored. A hard shell case is more expensive but provides even more protection from the slings and arrows of everyday use.

A tuner is also a good idea to help you keep the guitar in tune.  Even if children are just playing around with the guitar, they are developing an ear for that instrument. They are associating different sounds with the placement of their fingers on the guitar. It is important that this association is accurate, and a tuner helps make sure that the guitar is properly tuned and the child is hearing the right pitch.

Choosing the right guitar will give your child a great musical experience for many years and increases the chance that they will make music an important part of their life. At Creative Kid Music we want you to help you make good choices when it comes to your child’s musical experiences.     https://creativekidmusic.com/

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