Your Child’s First Guitar

I often have parents asking me what is a nice starter guitar for a child. My answer, of course, is dependent on the budget the parent has allocated towards an instrument purchase.

Baby Taylor Guitar

Baby Taylor Guitar

While I try to steer the parent in the right direction, I do not attempt to persuade them to purchase anything beyond what they can afford.  That is a personal decision and not all financial conditions are the same for each family.

In my children guitar classes, I see guitars of all types.  Some of these guitars are toy guitars purchased at a local department store.  Others are adult-size guitars that are too big for the child. Once, I even had a young child, five to seven years of age, bring in an adult 12-string guitar. Of course, a string or two was missing from this “larger than the child” guitar.

Some of the guitars that show up in class have nylon strings (classical guitar), while others have steel strings (standard on acoustic guitars). While I don’t allow amplifiers in class, I will always have one or two children show up with an electric guitar.  The parent will later inquire whether or not the child should start with an electric guitar or an acoustic acoustic. My advice is usually to have them play an acoustic first, develop their finger strength, and then play the electric.  However, it is important that the child enjoys the instrument they will be playing, whether it is an electric or an acoustic.

Little Martin Guitar

Little Martin Guitar

If your budget permits and if your child is serious about learning to play the guitar, I would recommend that a parent consider purchasing a mini-sized good quality acoustic guitar, such as a Little Martin or a Baby Taylor.  The quality of these instruments are quite good.  They are easy to keep in tune and will be enjoyable for your child to play.

When the child out grows the mini acoustic guitar, you can always resell the instrument.  On the other hand, it is a nice memento for them to have hanging on their wall later in adult life, as a testament to the hard work they put into learning how to play this wonderful instrument.

Our friends at First Quality Musical Supplies sells both of these instruments and if you use my promotional code “JAKUBIAK” when you order, they will provide you with a 5% discount on your purchase.

These mini acoustic list at $399 and usually can be purchase for approximately $299.

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About fretmentor

Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history. His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin. For over 35 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced six instructional books on CD. David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and is in the process of writing an article for the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of www.fretmentor.com. To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT fretmentor.com (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)
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4 Responses to Your Child’s First Guitar

  1. avatar Sean Henshaw says:

    Sounds pretty right on to me

  2. avatar Amy says:

    I purchased by daughters classical Epiphone at the thrift store for forty dollars…it came with steel strings but as you told me it needed nylon for a classical. Do you think I got a good deal? I think it’s beautiful and she enjoys playing it.

  3. avatar fretmentor says:

    I am sure at $40 you likely got a decent deal. It is something your daughter can start out with and should she take here lessons seriously, then she can always get a better instrument in the future.

  4. avatar Amy says:

    Thanks! We are enjoying your lessons!

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