Best Starter Guitar for Kids

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
December 1, 2021
Boy Holding Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Beside Girl 1024x576

If you’re thinking about having your child learn to play an instrument but are on the fence due to cost or not wanting to put yourself through listening to them practice, you should know that developing a musical ability can have multiple and long-lasting benefits for children.

Research indicates that learning to play an instrument can help kids become more coordinated, improve their motor skills, and could even lead to higher IQs. Studies are showing that the benefits your child gains by becoming a musician can last into old age and possibly defend their minds against dementia.

So, if you’ve narrowed your instrument choice down to the guitar, then we can help you find some of the best starter guitars for kids.

Product FAQs

Brown Acoustic Guitar

Are all strings on guitars the same?

Guitars made for adult musicians typically have steel strings which can be rougher for children to play. When you’re shopping for a starter guitar for your child, you will probably want to double check that the description specifies that the strings are nylon.

Or if the guitar your child ultimately falls in love with has steel strings, you can always replace them with nylon strings until they feel comfortable handling the instrument.

How We Reviewed

Guitar

To come up with our recommendations for our unbiased “best of” list, we examined multiple customer reviews and testimonials behind some of the best-selling and highly rated items to find out what made them so popular. We also examined the brand reputation and any available data or news about the manufacturer.

Top Best Starter Guitars for Kids

grayscaled photo of boy playing guitar

CNBlue Kid Beginner Acoustic Guitar

Key Features

The CNBlue Beginner Acoustic Guitar is a great size for kids since it’s on the small side at 30 inches long and weighs less than three pounds so that they can comfortably handle it.

The body’s top, back, and sides are solid basswood which helps it to emit a vibrant, full sound perfect for playing a variety of genres like country, rock, and others. It has six nylon strings and a rich, glossy finish.

The tuning pegs are smooth to make adjusting the strings easier. The guitar comes in a variety of colors including pink, yellow, natural, and black.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Excellent size for kids
  • Includes additional strings and case
  • Produces great sound

CONS

  • Needs tuning often
  • Questionable quality
  • Felt like a toy

Users who bought the instrument specifically for their children to learn on said that their kids loved it and that although it’s not a professional-grade guitar, it is an excellent choice for beginners.

Martin LX1 Little Martin Acoustic Guitar

They call it the Little Martin because it’s a smaller version of the Martin, a top-rated guitar from a manufacturer that has been around since 1833. Its name speaks for itself.

Key Features

At just over eight pounds, the lightweight guitar should prove easy to handle for your child. It also comes with a padded gig bag so that you can protect it while stored.

The instrument has high-pressure laminate mahogany on the sides and back and uses solid Sitka spruce on the top. Smooth chrome tuners make it easy to tweak your strings to achieve the right note.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • High-quality construction and sound
  • Suitable for small hands and beginners
  • Lightweight and easy to handle

CONS

  • Durability issues for some users
  • Unresponsive customer service
  • High price

Parents who bought it for their children agree that it’s a high-quality guitar to learn on.

Best Choice Beginner Acoustic Guitar

If you’re looking for a bargain price for your older child’s first guitar, then you might like the Best Choice Beginner Acoustic Guitar.

Key Features

The starter kit comes with a shoulder strap, digital tuner, extra strings, and a guitar pick. The guitar measures 38 inches long, 14 inches high and is just over three inches wide.

This instrument is better suited for older kids or teenagers since the strings are steel and not nylon. A protective case comes with the guitar to keep it safe from damage while stored.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Good for beginners
  • Low price
  • Bright sound

CONS

  • Requires frequent tuning
  • Strings aren’t very durable
  • Does not have quality construction

Many buyers say that the Best Choice is an excellent option if your child has expressed an interest in playing the guitar, but you’re not sure how long the commitment will last and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a more expensive choice.

Fender Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Fender instruments and amps date back to 1946, and the brand is well-known by beginners, hobbyists, and famous performers alike, so you can rest assured that their beginner guitar can help your child develop their musical interests.

Key Features

The Fender Acoustic Guitar Bundle includes a gig bag for proper storage, a digital tuner to help your child learn how to reach the right sound when they tune their strings, and three picks. A combination of glossy spruce, walnut, and chrome make up the body of the Fender.

The kit also comes with a guitar strap so that kids can learn how to play and move with the guitar without worrying about possibly dropping it. An extra set of strings comes in the bundle in case any should snap or break, and an instructional DVD can walk them through the basics like how to set up the guitar and play chords.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Helpful instructional DVD
  • Produces a rich sound
  • Very lightweight

CONS

  • Might be too long for children under 12
  • Some buyers experienced durability issues
  • Might buzz when played

Buyers who rated the Fender Acoustic Guitar Bundle felt that it was worth they money and that they would recommend it for kids.

Yamaha JR1 Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha has produced basses, amplifiers, and guitars in Japan since 1966, and their JR1 three-quarter sized acoustic guitar’s smaller size is an excellent option for beginners.

Key Features

The JR1 is three-quarters of the size of Yamaha’s popular FG model, and it was initially made smaller to make it easier for musicians to take the guitar on the road, but an unintended side-benefit of the compact size is that it’s easier for beginners and children to practice with and handle.

The guitar itself weighs less than five pounds, so you don’t have to worry about your child lugging around a heavy instrument. The back of the guitar is mahogany, the fretboard is rosewood, and the top is spruce. The Yamaha also includes a gig bag to protect it in between uses.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Affordable price for the Yamaha brand
  • Excellent sound
  • Stays tuned longer than many small guitars
  • Quality construction

CONS

  • Some musicians experienced durability issues
  • The gig bag isn’t padded

Those who bought the guitar for their children said that the instrument had clear sound, excellent craftsmanship, and many music teachers recommend it.

Rogue Starter Acoustic Guitar

If you’re interested in finding a budget-friendly guitar that won’t break the bank while you test your child’s commitment to learning how to play, then you might like the Rogue Starter Acoustic Guitar.

Key Features

The Rogue’s eye-catching shade of blue might help entice your kid to stick with their lessons, and the seven-eighths scale size makes it smaller and easier for children to learn to play the instrument.

The back of the guitar is mahogany, the neck is maple, and the fretboard is rosewood, so it is a combination of solid woods that are known for durability. Also, the guitar weighs less than five pounds which should make it ideal even for younger children who are interested in playing the six string.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Good size for children and beginners
  • Doesn’t require constant tuning
  • Solid construction and feel

CONS

  • Strings can be hard for children’s fingers
  • Can sound buzzy when strummed
  • Some users had durability issues

While some buyers mentioned having durability issues, many other comments specifically praised that the Rogue stood up to their children’s less than careful handling. Also, a lot of reviewers noted that the Rogue was ideal for children, even some as young as 7 years old.

Amigo Acoustic Guitar

If you have a younger child that is expressing an interest in musical instruments and you’d like for them to learn to play the guitar, then the acoustic Amigo could be the right choice.

Key Features

Weighing just over three pounds, the Amigo Acoustic Guitar is lightweight to make it ideal for young children to carry and play. The instrument comes with nylon strings so that you don’t have to go through the chore of switching out steel strings for a child’s delicate fingertips.

The guitar is solid spruce which should hold up to occasional dings or drops, and it measures about 21 inches in length, so your child doesn’t need to have a long reach to hold the neck and strum at the same time.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Nylon strings are more comfortable for children to strum
  • Smaller sized instrument that works for little kids
  • Decent construction

CONS

  • Needs frequent tuning
  • Seems more like a toy
  • Takes work to tune strings

Some parents felt that the Amigo would not be a useful instrument for older children, but many buyers agree that it could be an option for kids under the age of 8 or so. Users who commented that they were experienced guitar players and music teachers said that once tuned, the Amigo is the guitar they recommend for lessons.

Hohner Half-Sized Classical Guitar

If your 4 to 7-year-old seems to have caught the six-string bug, then you might want to get them the Hohner Half-Sized Classical Guitar.

Key Features

With a length of 30 inches, the Hohner is the ideal size for kids. The guitar comes with nylon strings which makes it easier for young children to strum. If your child gets blisters or their fingers hurt from playing, it could cut short their desire to continue learning, so having the nylon strings should help avoid that hurdle.

Also, the guitar weighs less than four pounds, so kids can easily carry it around from room to room. The Hohner package includes a songbook and color stickers.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Excellent size for small children
  • Great intonation
  • Good for the price

CONS

  • No pins to hold a strap
  • Tuning difficulties
  • Durability issues

Many users thought the quality was excellent, did not have tuning issues, and felt that the guitar produced great sound for a child’s instrument.

Warranty

Hohner offers a one-year warranty.

Yamaha APXT2 Acoustic-Electric Guitar

If you want to encourage your child to learn how to play the guitar but would also like the option of controlling the volume they play at, then you might be interested in the Yamaha APXT2 Acoustic-Electric Guitar.

Key Features

The Yamaha APXT2 is three-quarters of another popular Yamaha model, so it is smaller which makes it better suited for children to play. The guitar has a built-in tuner and volume and tone buttons, so if you need for your child to turn it down a little, you have the option.

The top of the guitar is spruce, the back and sides are meranti, and you can choose from a variety of colors like black, natural, and tobacco sunburst. It also includes a gig back to store and protect the instrument.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Sounds as good as a more expensive model
  • Built-in tuner makes tuning simpler
  • Durable

CONS

  • Can buzz on some notes
  • Sounds better plugged in than full acoustic

Many users thought the quality was excellent, did not have tuning issues, and felt that the guitar produced great sound for a child’s instrument.

Those who bought it for their children felt that it is a great instrument for them to learn on, and parents liked the sound, size, and quality.

The Verdict

Woman Playing Guitar

If you’re looking for a small instrument for a toddler or very young child, we think the best starter guitar could be the Hohner Half-Sized Classical Guitar.

If you’re interested in a quality starter guitar that can give you peace of mind by allowing you to lower the volume when necessary, then the Yamaha APXT2 might be your best bet.

For those who are looking for the best overall starter acoustic guitar, then we think the Fender Acoustic Guitar Bundle could be the right choice for a brand name kit with all the basics without breaking the bank.

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