My son is about to turn eight and has been asking for guitar lessons. I want him to have something he can feel comfortable learning on so I decided to do some research to find the best guitars for small hands that are available on the market today.
Purchasing a guitar can be an investment in a quality instrument that will last for years, or it can be a matter of finding the best deal so you can get started learning and worry about quality with your next guitar. Making that purchase for a child is even harder because who knows if your child will get started with lessons and realize guitar is harder than he thought it was going to be and tougher on his fingers than he imagined. In a couple weeks, will he be ready to move on to drums or tennis? Will you then be stuck with an expensive piece of wood?
You also have to consider if your young guitar student wants to play acoustic or electric. These two types are very different instruments in the way they sound and how they play. An acoustic with a preamp system is not the same as an electric. I’ve done some research and came up with a list of some of the best guitars for beginners with small hands.
The Martin Lx1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar, priced around $300, is a quality learner’s guitar. The Mahogany Pattern high pressure laminate overlays a solid Sitka spruce top giving the instrument beauty and fine sound. The beauty and quality are enhanced by the hand-rubbed finish, Rust Stratabond neck and solid Morado or Indian Rosewood fingerboard. These materials combined with chrome small-knob tuners along with a black Micarta bridge having a compensated Tusq saddle make the instrument a head turner and a satisfying instrument to play and listen to. The guitar dimensions are 18 x 7 x39 inches and weigh 8.3 pounds. A bonus is the padded gig bag it comes with.
The body is solid construction with modified X series X top braces which help to enrich the sound and reverberation. The frets are 14 in number due to the smaller size.
Pros include the signature Martin solid spruce top which guarantees a good sound. Measuring 18 x 7 x 39 inches, these guitars are specifically designed for players who have small hands. Made of high pressure laminate it has a beautiful Mahogany pattern.
Cons include the fact that the guitar is made in the Mexico plant so it was kiln dried, not air dried and this affects the richness of the sound. The small body inhibits the vibration so the sound will be tinny compared to the full-size guitars.
This is still considered a high-quality child’s guitar and has a good price for the Martin name.Check Price On Amazon
The Yamaha FG700S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar with “X” bracing is made to last. Yamaha is known for making outstanding, solid instruments and this little guitar is no exception. It measures in at 21 x 43 x 6 inches so it is a bit bigger than our other two choices, but it is a light weight at 6.7 pounds. In spite of this, it is durable and guaranteed to last for years as a quality investment instrument. It features the solid Sitka spruce top that gives so many quality guitars their warm voices. Along with this is a nato body, die cast turners which keep it faithfully in tune while being played and moved around and a rosewood fretboard. Yamaha backs the FG700S with a limited lifetime warranty.
Pros include the great durable construction and the rich sound. It has a solid Sitka Spruce top, rosewood fretboard and dovetail neck joint which contributes to the full tone. This is one of the best acoustic guitars for small hands and will play well for years.
Cons include the price being on the high side at almost $400 and the fact that the 700s are harder to find because the 800s have now been released by Yamaha.
The Yamaha FG700S Solid Top Acoustic Guitar is probably one of the best acoustic guitars for small hands.Check Price On Amazon
The Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar is specifically designed with the young musician in mind with its smaller body. With dimensions of 16 x 38 x 7 inches, it is the smallest guitar on our list. The classic dreadnought 3/4th scale cutaway is what gives this beauty its full, loud voice. The beauty is not skin deep either as it is solid Mahogany top, back and sides. To finish the look and quality, it has a genuine African Ebony neck and fingerboard. The frets number 19. Built to last with layered sapele bracing pattern and Taylor standard baby X-bracing body finish. In addition, the Baby Taylor features a 2.0 Electronics pickup/preamp so you can electrify its acoustic sound.
Pros include solid mahogany back, top and sides with the finger board and neck made of genuine African Ebony. The bonus is you can plug it in! It comes with 2.0 Electronics pickup and preamp which will be fun for the young learner. The neck is just the right size for smaller hands.
Cons would be the sound not being quite as rich as the larger version, but this is to be expected with smaller models.
The Taylor is comparable in price to the Yamaha and both are well constructed which puts this on the list with the best.Check Price On Amazon
The Taylor and Yamaha being the closest in sound quality, durable construction, and reputation, I would find it difficult to pick between them. In the end, it may be a matter of personal preference about looks that will help make the decision.
I looked at three electric guitars for my second list. Electrics are very different from acoustics, so different considerations need to be made. When looking for an electric guitar for your student, consider these things:
Here is a list of small electric guitars I took a look at.
Squier Mini Strat by Fender (Electric) comes in a starter kit with an Austin Bazaar instructional DVD, polishing cloth, strap, picks and clip on tuner with the beginner in mind. The ¾ scale body size measures 15 x 40 x 4 inches and weighs in at 9 pounds. It has that classic vintage Strat look in a size just right for a beginner with small hands. The “C” shaped neck profile is perfect for all styles of playing and comfortable to hold and play. This mini-Stratocaster features three single coil pickups and five-way switching. With the instructional DVD, you can get your new musician playing their first licks in no time flat.
Pros for this electric are the starter kit which makes this appealing to beginners and its small size makes it comfortable for small hands. It has the classic 50’s and 60’s Fender look and typical Strat ergonomic body design which allows the musician to hold it close and be comfortable. Another pro is the cost. At just over $100 it is a very economical guitar.
Cons I found were in some of the reviews I read that warned that it falls out of tune easily. This will be frustrating to a beginner. It will also require a professional set up to get a better sound. Taking that into consideration, rather than paying the nearly $100 a new set up will cost, you might consider taking the money for the set up and buying a higher quality guitar.
This guitar is acceptable as a child’s learning guitar, introducing them to guitar care and the fun of an electric at an affordable price.Check Price On Amazon
The Epiphone SG – Special Electric Guitar gives you the Epiphone name in an affordable instrument. A favorite brand used by the Beatles, the Epiphone name has been around for well over 140 years.
This cool looking guitar features twin open-coil Humbucking pickups and a Tune-o-matic bridge/stopbar tailpiece combo to create maximum sustain. The Special Electric is a very affordable Epiphone at just under $200, with a bolt on hard maple neck shaped in the classic SlimTaper “D” profile making it easy for small hands to play and get those cool sounds. Its dimensions are 44 x 16.5 x 4 inches, weighing 10 pounds. It features the patented Ephiphone combo Tone/Killpot control. When turned, it works as a regular tone control. Pushed in, it is a momentary “kill” switch with the ability to mute all output for special effects. This electric is sure to please beginners and more experienced players.
Pros include twin open coil Humbucking pickups with a Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece comb. The body has a very cool fully carved SG body. The neck has a slim taper D profile which makes it ideal for small hands.
Cons are the unreliability of the “Kill Pot” switch which is used to instantly quiet the guitar. This features sometimes fails to work.
Overall this is a quality instrument with a good sound performance for an affordable price. The quality of the instrument will allow it be played for years to come.Check Price On Amazon
The Fender Classic Player Jaguar Special with rosewood fretboard and 3-color sunburst is a top of the line electric guitar with a top of the line price. The Fender Jaguar has been played by such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. The Classic Player Jaguar Special takes what is amazing about the Jaguar model and modernizes it with cut switch, hotter pickups and an Adjusto-Matic bridge. The neck pocket has a deeper back angle, improving stability and sustain. The 24” scale will make it easier for players with small hands to do some string bending and fast runs. The Fender designed solid wood body makes it easy to hold close which can only be a benefit for smaller stature players.
Pros include the shorter scale which makes string bending, fast runs and large cords easier, especially for players with smaller hands. The classic Fender shape makes it easy to hold the guitar close while playing. It stays in tune well which is good for beginners who are learning what the notes should sound like. It has a Telecaster 4-way blade switch which makes switching sounds less complex. This also prevents loosening of the switches which is also a bonus for beginning players.
Cons would be the price. At around $800 it is hard to justify this purchase for a beginning child student whose commitment might be questionable.
Fender produces amazing guitars and it can be argued that you get what you pay for. This being said, this guitar may be something to invest in after you see how committed your young musician is. This guitar is one of the best guitars for small hands available but whether you can afford to put it into those hands is up to you.Check Price On Amazon
These three electric guitars discussed here have good things about all of them. In the end, you have to decide if you want something to just get your child started, if you want something that will last or if you are willing to make an investment in a high-quality instrument that you hope will be appreciated for years to come.
As I studied this list of best guitars for small hands, I had to decide what was the wisest use of my money. I felt like the Taylor and Yamaha acoustics are the best acoustic guitars and so similar it comes down to cosmetics. I would choose the Taylor because I really like the mahogany wood. As for the electrics, I choose the Epiphone as it is a good, reasonably priced instrument. Maybe someday, I’ll get my kid a Fender full size electric when he graduates from high school, after he has gotten some years of playing under his belt!
Hi, I am Joe Nevin, 30 years of age. Despite being involved in a different occupation where I have to work from 9 to 5, I am very passionate about music and playing guitar since I was 12 years old! Thus, being inspired to start guitareviewed.com with an intention of pursuing my passion as I offer important information in the line of music and guitar.
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