An important decision
This short article is intended for the parents of primary school children who are looking to start guitar lessons. At this stage, the main priority is often price, and fortunately there are plenty of decent quality instruments on the market.
Generally, children will begin on a nylon string classical style guitar. I want to make it clear that this is not mandatory, but most children will find the softer nylon strings easier to play, and will suffer far less sore fingers. If your child is determined to play a steel string guitar, make sure the guitar is playable and seek the advice of an experienced guitar teacher.
The first thing you will need to establish is the size guitar your child requires. Trying to make a saving here by buying a ‘size up’ is not recommended, as a guitar that is too big may put your child off learning altogether! Generally speaking, if you have a child of average height and build, you can go by the following sizes, but it is best to seek the opinion of a professional guitar teacher who is used to working with children.
3/4 size 6-10 years old
Full size 11 years and older
You may also wish to consider the following – does the guitar come with a decent, protective bag or case? If the child is taking their guitar to school, this is absolutely vital to protect the instrument from the general chaos of a school!
There is a massive range of nylon string guitars on the market, and there isn’t the space and time to cover them all here, so here is a short list of guitars I have experience with.
80% of my students in schools turn up with these. They are amazing value for money and often come bundled with a basic case as well.
Squier are the budget arm of legendary guitat manufacturer Fender. The acoustic guitars they are making at the moment are really nice for the price, and their electric guitars and basses are outstanding value for money.
Well-known for their acoustic guitars, they are always well-made and I haven’t played a bad one. Also manufacture electric instruments.
This is a personal favourite. The budget line of guitars they make are brilliant, and amazing value for money.