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.
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.
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.