Updated: Jun 26
The 3 Things you Need to Know Before Buying your Kid a Guitar.
With few exceptions, most beginner guitar players learn the same chords and play similar songs. Give your child the advantage they deserve to stay focused and play their heart out.
1. Type of String
Wait a minute; I thought you just said the 3 key things for guitars, why are we talking about strings?
The type of string will factor in so significantly, it can be the difference between your child putting their best foot forward into a life full of musical artistry and a story of pain and misery to be recounted in a psychologists' chair decades from now. The thin metal strings of an electric and especially an acoustic guitar can dig into the fingertips noticeably and cause mild discomfort for the first couple weeks of playing. Swapping an electric or acoustic guitar out for a classical style guitar (see below) equipped with plastic strings can be a much more comfortable experience on your child and ultimately you too! Don't worry if your kid has their heart set on rock-stardom, having a guitar they want to play as their first guitar beats the best guitar in the shop that hurts their fingers.
2. Not Too Big!
It can be discouraging for beginners when everything does not immediately go their way. If your child tries to play on a guitar that is too large, they may not be able to accomplish the most basic of tasks, regardless of their talent or understanding. One key element to consider is how large of a guitar you are buying for your child. These are the general guidelines for how large of a guitar to buy:
If your child is 3'10" - 4'5" they need a 1/2 size guitar.
If your child is 4'6" - 4'11" they need a 3/4 size guitar.
After that, they can move up to a full size guitar. There is no reason to get rid of a 3/4 size guitar. Many adults find it more manageable and easier to play, provided their hands are on the smaller side.
3. How Much Noise Can you Take?
An acoustic and classical style guitar can only be strummed so loud. A closed door or a pair of earplugs can block out most of any over-zealous practice sessions that coincide with Mommy or Daddy having a headache. An electric guitar plugged into an amp is another story entirely. The amp will use a series of circuits and speaker(s) to make the guitar sound waaaaaaaay louder than it would otherwise. There is a button or two that will bring the volume down, but how long before your little genius figures out that the same button can also turn the amp back up?
If you have any questions about buying your child's first (or second) guitar, please feel free to reach out!
For 1 on 1, fun kids' acoustic guitar lessons: bestmusiccoach.com/guitarlessons