Electric guitar to start with?

Electric guitar is not the easiest instrument for a kid to start with. The strings are made of metal.  After a few minutes of playing, the childs fingers will start to hurt.

So they might give up sooner... but never the less, a motivated child will pick up the guitar and try again...and again....

After a few weeks the fingers will be hardened and won't hurt anymore.

classic guitar

Most children learn to play on a classic guitar with nylon strings. Nylon strings are softer, so it doesn't  hurt so much. The neck of an classic guitar is bigger which makes it easier to place the fingers in the right position. It is important that the neck fits  the hand of the child!

Kids electric guitar: size

On the picture you can see a 6 year old girl with a normal size guitar. The guitar is  to big. There are small sized electric guitars espacialy  for kids:

  • 1/4 size guitars (3 - 5 years)
  • 1/2 size guitars (6 - 8 years)
  • 3/4 size guitars (8 - 10 years)
  • 7/8 size guitars (11 - 13 years)


accessoires 

When you decide to buy an electric guitar for your child, you decide for some other equipment to!

  1. you need an amplifier (cheap practice amp for example)
  2. you need a guitar cable
  3. you need a plectrum 
  4. you need a guitar strap
  5. a guitar tuner is recommended 
  6. you might need some effects pedals

good to know

A small size guitar can sound out of tune, especially on the first 3 frets.

The reason for that?

Because the neck of a small size guitar is shorter than a normal size. That means that the strings will be shorter to. A shorter string is quicker in pitch than a longer one. So you don't need so much tension on a shorter string than on a normal size string. That is nice, because it is easier to play, but it has a downside:

If you push the string against the fret it will bent a little. Not much, but a little bit. On a normal size guitar you won't notice that if you play on it. But on a small guitar with less tension on the strings the guitar wil sound out of tune!

There are two things to do about it:

  1. Use heavier gauge strings on the guitar (0,11  or even higher)
  2. Tune the guitar higher than normal tuning.

Normal tuning is:

E A D G B E

Go a few steps higher:

G C F B D G  and if that is not enough you can try:

A D G C E A

What guitar to buy?

If you search the web you will see that there are many small size guitars for sale.

webshop

It is possible to buy a guitar in a webshop. But you have to know that a guitar needs to be set up properly. So if you buy an electric guitar in a webshop, you most certainly need to go to a local guitar store to make the right adjustments.

Especially for children it is easier if the strings are set as low as possible, so they don't have to push so hard.

So if your local store sells small size electric guitars, it is probably the best to buy your guitar there.

some examples

A view good guitars for kids:

  • Squire Mini Stratocaster
  • Ibanez GRGM21GB Mikro 3/4 Electric Guitar
  • Fender MP Shortscale Stratocaster

practice

After buying the right guitar and accessories it is time to learn to play! Practice, practice, practice....!

For beginner guitarists you find a great website here

You will be surprised what kids can do. I saw 10 year old kids play on a normal size guitar.

It is really amazing how fast a child can learn an instrument.Just check this 9 year old on the video!

Amazing isn't it!!

This kid is very talented and is very motivated to learn his instrument. 

Traveling guitar

Another great aspect of small size guitar is that you can use them as traveling guitar. They need less space and are easier to cary around. If you choose a small size electric guitar you need an amplifier also. Fender mini '57 twin amp is great for it. Very small and it works on batteries.

If you own an Iphone or Ipad, the Irig is a good alternative to!

If you don't like to play on a short scale guitar, you will find normal sized travel guitars. On those guitars the body is shortened. Hofner Shorty Electric Guitar for example

Of course you need a guitar cable to, so don't forget it when you are on a journey!


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