Choosing the right-sized guitar is an integral first step in selecting a new instrument with staying power. Though adults generally use the same size guitar, selecting one for child musicians can be a bit more tricky. Discover some tried and tested guidelines to help you or your child choose a guitar that fits.
Narrow down the approximate guitar size for you by considering your age. If you are 13 years old or older, you should be using a full-sized guitar.
If you or the guitar player in question are younger than 13 years old, again use age as a general guideline. For acoustic guitars, a half-size guitar will likely be the best fit for 3- to 6-year-olds, a three-quarter, 34-inch guitar is best for most 6- to 9-year-olds, and 9- to 12-year-olds should fit a 36-inch guitar.
If you are searching for a child's electric guitar, remember that 6- to 10-year-olds will usually use a junior electric guitar, while a short scale electric bass is more appropriate for 9- to 12-year-olds.
Choose the guitar suited for the next highest age range if a child is exceptionally tall or is on the cusp of joining that age group.
Always verify that a guitar is not too large for a child, and that she does not have to strain to reach the guitar strings. Regardless of size, only choose a guitar that has been fully inspected and adjusted to allow for easy playing and accurate sound tone and tuning. When in doubt, don't hesitate to ask a guitar salesperson for help and advice. They are professionals trained in matching up the right size guitar for each individual.
Avoid buying the cheapest guitar you find in the interest of saving money, as you will likely have to spend any initial savings on adjustments and repairs.