So your child wants a guitar. Or perhaps maybe it’s you that wants them to learn to play. Either way, you need a little more guidance and info before you spend your hard-earned money. Getting guidance on buying a guitar can be a bit tricky, but don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. Let’s learn a little more about your options, and then I’ll give you my insight on the best acoustic guitars for kids.
What is an “acoustic” guitar?
Here’s how Wikipedia defines it : An acoustic guitar is a musical instrument in the guitar family, that simply projects the sounds of its vibrating strings acoustically through the air. This means that the guitar is hollow and has a “soundhole” on the front (aka “top”) of the guitar, which allows it to be heard clearly without the use of external amplification. This also produces a tone that is difficult to reproduce accurately with electric guitars. Classical guitars are a type of acoustic guitar that incorporates nylon strings for a very distinctive sound. These nylon strings can be much more comfortable for younger players than the steel strings used on most standard acoustic guitars
How are they different from electric guitars?
As we mentioned earlier, acoustic guitars do not need to be amplified to hear them. Electric guitars on the other hand, require the use of an amplifier to hear what is being played. Electric guitars are largely constructed of solid wood bodies (there are some exceptions) and electronic “pickups” that pick up the vibration of the strings. The pickups convert vibrations to electronic signals which are then passed to the amplifier.
When buying an electric guitar as a beginner guitar for kids, it is important to keep in mind the cost of cords and an amplifier as well. With an acoustic guitar, you will need to purchase some accessories as well. We will cover those items a little later.
Can I play an acoustic guitar through an amplifier?
In a word…yes. Many acoustic guitar manufacturers make acoustic guitars that have a pickup that allows you to amplify the sound of the guitar. These can be used with or without an amplifier and still offer all the tone of a traditional acoustic guitar. In addition, a pickup can be added to any acoustic guitar at a later time if you choose to want to amplify it.
My top picks
So now it’s time for me to present the acoustic guitars that I feel are the best choices in regards to quality and value. I am listing only 3/4 scale guitars, which will be easier for younger children to handle and play. Generally speaking, these are ideal for children ages 7 – 11 years old. After that, the full scale versions of these same guitars can be chosen instead. Full scale acoustic guitars will almost always have a much more full and rich sound. That being said…let’s get to the list.
- Taylor “Baby Taylor” BT2 – Taylor is one of the best acoustic guitar makers in the world. This 3/4 scale guitar is very good quality and sounds great for it’s size. This, along with the Martin LX1, are the most expensive on the list. They are also the best quality overall.
- Martin LX1 “Little Martin“ – Martin and Taylor are arguably the two finest acoustic guitar manufacturers. This Martin LX1 3/4 scale guitar will not let you down as the quality and playability are excellent.
- Yamaha APX Thinline 3/4 scale – The thinline design makes it feel a bit smaller than other acoustic guitars due to it’s shallower body. You do sacrifice a little of the richness in tone. With this model being an electric/acoustic version and with a price tag nearly half of what the Taylor or Martin are, this is an excellent value.
- Oscar Schmidt OG1FYS – This Oscar Schmidt (by Washburn) 3/4 scale guitar is a bit of a sleeper. Washburn has been building guitars for many decades. The OG1FYS is a good quality guitar with an amazing price. At around $150, it is the least expensive model on the list.
- Luna Muse Safari Series – This 3/4 scale guitar features a mahogany top, back and sides. It sounds great and plays well. Another good contender if price is an issue. It is also available with a spruce top which has an even better tone.
Many of these models can be purchased in bundle packs with accessories you will need such as a carrying or “gig” bag, picks, a strap, tuner, extra strings, a capo, etc. Many of these are also offered in acoustic only as well as electric/acoustic versions.
The journey begins here
You now have some knowledge and advice to help you sort out what may have seemed like a big decision. The most important decision in my opinion is your decision to allow and encourage your child to pursue music. I cannot imagine where I would be today or what my life would have looked like had I never bought my first guitar. Music has truly been a blessing.
Even though I consider these to be some of the best acoustic guitars for kids, if at all possible, go to a local music store and let your child hold some guitars and see which ones feel the best. Then maybe see if there are similarities between them and my suggestions. Ultimately, the guitar that feels right will be the one that your child will want to play more often.
Here’s to the musical journey that awaits you!
Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know if this article was helpful and which topics you would like to hear more about. Thanks!