In Santa Cecilia, Mexico, Miguel dreamed of becoming a musician, even though his family strictly forbade it. He then learns later that his great-grandfather was a singer. The climax scene shows Miguel playing his guitar and singing and enjoying with his family in the 2017 animated fantasy movie, Coco. This beautiful scene must have inspired a lot of children and adults to learn how to play guitar.
Having your child interested in taking up the guitar can often be a major task, not to mention the added difficulties of finding the right instrument and equipment, searching out the right teacher, and above all keeping them motivated.
If you’re here it means two possibilities exist. Either your child wants to play the guitar? Or they asked for one for their birthday? Or showed an interest in learning how to play?
The second possibility is that you are a music enthusiast and want your child to experience the wonders of music and gain some experience.
If yes, congratulations to you on getting to the right spot. Buying a brand new guitar for your child as a first can seem scary. However I would have to say NEW here. I believe buying a new instrument and starting fresh is the best option; you don’t want to waste money on anything shabby. Starting with old, defective equipment, the musical journey can have a devastating effect.
I’ve put together a list of the best guitars for kids to buy. I have divided the results into three categories – toy, acoustic and electric. Plus, stay tuned to the end, where I’ll be offering some tips and guides. Let’s start playing!
Best Toddler Toy Guitars
The Learning Journey Early Learning – Little Rock Star Guitar
- Age: 12+ months
- Item Weight: 1 pounds
- Length: 15 inches
Our Review for little Rockstar Guitar
This little rock star guitar is a perfect choice if you want to get something with colorful buttons and preloaded songs for your kid. The interactive aspect of this toy leaves kids getting comfortable with it and they feel like little rock stars in their own worlds with all the fun sounds.
And guess what! It also has the critical volume control to keep the adults happy. Additional advantages are the On / Off option and auto-shut-off.
The Little Rock Star Guitar is a champ, with colorful buttons, gadgets and a five-note keyboard that triggers fascinating melodies and percussion mixes plus dumb sounds.
VTECH ZOO JAMZ
- Age: 18+ months
- Item Weight: 1.47 pounds
- Length: 21 inches
Our review for VTECH ZOO JAMZ:
Want to present a super cute guitar toy with a zoo animal theme to your toddler? So then there’s the VTech Zoo Jamz to cover you up. There are 8 buttons that will light up and let your kid play along with the recorded music, or make up their own songs.
The toy’s design is a giraffe, the long neck being the guitar neck. This makes it more appealing to the kids. Switch the knob to choose an acoustic, electric or distortion guitar and learn about different guitar sounds. The lightning buttons make both sweet animal sounds and chords. It comes with a strap, so your little baby can easily take it anywhere.
But what are parents really fond of? Volume control!!! And on those working days, when you’re completely exhausted, your little one will have the fun.
KidKraft Lil Symphony Electric guitar
- Age: 3+
- Item Weight: 3.52 ounces
- Length: 23 inches
Our Review for KidKraft Lil Symphony:
The KidKraft Lil Symphony Electric guitar toy is not simply a set of push buttons for listening to a song. It allows a kid to choose between two separate rhythms, or switch modes to strum single notes and create a new song.
Children are getting a kick out of this reality because they can make their own songs. It’s heavy-duty enough to handle all those drops on the floor. Have I mentioned the lights flashing along the neck? Boom! Boom!
If there is a toy guitar that will motivate a kid to be playing a real guitar in the future, I’d bet on this one. And even if it doesn’t motivate them, they’ll be having a lot of fun.
This completes our coverage for the toy best guitar for toddlers. Next let’s discuss more about the acoustic guitars that are suitable for kids.
Best Acoustic Guitars For Kids
- Age: 5+
- Item Weight: 4.94 pounds
- Length: 36 inches
Our review for YAMAHA JR1:
For those seeking a smaller and more affordable guitar, the Yamaha RJ1 is a worthy choice.
Although it is a very popular travel guitar that sports a reduced body of 3/4 size with simple yet stylish aesthetics. Built with legendary quality and playability, it is an ideal first guitar.
The features of the guitar include a spruce top, nato neck, rosewood fingerboard, and meranti body for strong, light tonality and great looks, chrome hardware, and a Gig case.
It is a Yamaha junior guitar, scaled down for the small arms and feet.
This is our Top recommendation for best acoustic guitar for kids.
ROGUE STARTER ACOUSTIC GUITAR
- Age: 4+
- Item Weight: 4.75 pounds
- Length: 40 inches
Our Review for Rogue Starter Acoustic Guitar:
Presenting you one of the best cheap acoustic guitars on the market, the Rogue Starter. The smaller profile (7/8 “scale) makes it very playable with smaller body frames for aspiring guitarists and kids.
The first thing that stood out with this fella is the aesthetic side, I must confess that with such good looks it is rare to encounter guitars that cheap. The guitar plays sweetly with a tone appropriate by the standards of beginners. The material is a mixture of maple in the neck, rosewood on the fingerboard, and a body crafted from mahogany. We have covered Guitars by Fender that you can check out – Fender FA-125 CE Review
The sound it makes is not the best out there but you can deal with it. When your child is just starting out, this guitar is a good alternative. The style is something that makes them proud to be showing it around.
- Age: 6+
- Item Weight: 1 pound
- Length: 31 inches
Our review for Hohner HAG250P:
If you’re searching for a guitar for a slightly older child, this is an excellent choice. This traditional, Hohner Accordions acoustic guitar is the perfect match for a beginner. It is a 1/2 size nylon-stringed guitar, at 31 inches long. The guitar works well with kids between the ages of four and seven as the six nylon strings make it much easier for the fingers and more playable. This guitar was designed specifically for young players.
It sports a typical body shape, and the design is a mixture of different wood types, one of which is Agathis on the top and back sides. The neck is made of Mahogany. This gives it a rounded, crisp sound when playing.
LOOG MINI ACOUSTIC GUITAR
- Age: 3+
- Item Weight: 15 ounces
- Length: 23 inches
Our review for Loog Mini:
The Loog Mini Acoustic Guitar was created to help the young minds understand the instrument’s fundamentals. Unlike a ukulele, there’s a lot of fun in this boy.
If you like wide neck guitars, you can check out the Best Wide Neck Acoustic Guitar
The guitar has three nylon strings made of real wood with a cool retro style. The guitar comes with a few aids to help your child reach the perfect notes.
Best Electric Guitar for Kids
SQUIER STRAT MINI
- Age: 6+
- Item Weight: 9 pounds
- Length: 22.75 inches
Our review for Squier Strat Mini:
Want to rock out your kid with some noise, and make you go “Down the floor”? Voila!! This might be your perfect choice.
Squier’s Strat Mini is a smaller version of the iconic Fender Stratocaster. The guitar features a set of three single-coil pickups plus a regular five-way switch that can create a range of sounds, from soft tones to a more rock-filled bass tone.
The guitar is much easier to play because the strings needless strain. Electric guitars have a neck issue that tends to be wide and therefore hard to reach for small hands, but this model doesn’t have that problem. Since it has been made especially for young rockstars, it has a “C “- shaped maple neck with a length of just 22.75 inches and a 3/4 body size. One of the best 3/4 Guitar for Kids and Beginners.
In short: Sounds great, plays well and is finished well.
EPIPHONE LES PAUL PLAYER PACK
- Age: 9+
- Item Weight: 22.1 pounds
- Length: 41 inches
Our review for EPIPHONE LES PAUL PLAYER PACK:
The epiphone is a trusty replica of the iconic Gibson guitar. This guitar makes a fantastic vintage sound and has a classic appearance with mahogany finish. It is lightweight, feeling relatively stable in the side.
Les Paul Player Pack by Epiphone is filled with everything you need to start playing the guitar immediately. The set includes a genuine Les Paul Special-II LE guitar with two standard humbucker pickups and an Electar 10-watt guitar amp with a 10 ft guitar cord. It also features a chromatic tuner for the clip-on headstock, a guitar strap, medium picks and an easy-to-carry gig bag.
Even though the name suggests it’s for kids, this Epiphone guitar is full-size and would be a great match for older children.
The instrument’s excellent quality ensures the guitar will stay intact with you for years to come. It’s definitely an amazing rock ‘n’ roller your young guy would love to own.
- Age: 4+
- Item Weight: 8.45 pounds
- Length: 37 inches
Our review for IBANEZ GRGM21BKN:
If you are looking for a guitar for your young metalhead, go Ibanez! The electric guitar on the Ibanez Mikro 3/4 scale is great for someone who only needs a smaller body and neck.
The guitar comes with two pickup humbuckers, making for a solid metal snap. The finish is good, and a strong hardware with decent strings and action.
Go with GRGM21BKN if you want the best Metal guitar for kids.
If you want to learn more about Electric Guitars, checkout our Guide: Best Electric Guitar for Small Hands where we have discussed about electric guitars which can be played by people with small hands.
Frequently Asked Questions
There could be some questions in your mind before you buy that cute little guitar for your rockstar. Let’s make them straight first.
“Toy or Acoustic or Electric Guitar” – What’s Better?
If you’re looking to buy a guitar as more of a game then you should wait for an actual guitar. Your child may be showing some interest in the beginning and then the magic of a new interest comes outright. It is here that toy guitars come in!
Let me put it like this: a toy guitar will introduce your toddler to the music world. They’re big, noisy and it won’t cause you a heartbreak even if they’re dropped now and then. To children who want to get their hands on daddy’s acoustics, they’re fine alternatives.
Your toddler will learn all of the basic parts of the instrument with a toy guitar. It may support them once they start playing a real one, and give them a sense of accomplishment. And, all that really matters right now is keeping their hope alive.
Research indicates that a toy guitar can help motor skills growth and hand-eye coordination. They can even give a feeling of achievement when playing. Yet, ensure they are of good quality.
Acoustic guitars have a higher action, feel pretty solid when held in hand and give the feeling of being a professional concert player. In case you want to give your kid a reduced replica of your guitar, this might be a good bet.
But to make a sound you’d have to press harder which can result in hand cramping and blisters. With practice, this gradually stops, however the pain may be really frustrating.
Purchasing an acoustic with nylon strings will help make the transition easier. And, after your little enthusiast mastered the strings you can upgrade.
Generally speaking, electric guitars are more convenient to play, as they need less movement and effort to create sound. And on little fingers, they are even more generous.
Which size of guitar for kids?
Children have smaller reach than adults, and therefore playing an adult-sized guitar is difficult, unless you play it lying on the floor. The size of the guitar depends on your child’s age. For most of the cases, either a 3/4 or a parlor guitar can do the trick, but full-sized instruments are a valid option as well.
Below is a size guide that might help you:
What To Look For When Buying a Guitar?
Once you’ve selected the guitar type, the next task is to pick the ONE guitar that your kid won’t let go of. When selecting the guitar there are many things to look for.
First of all look for guitars with smaller bodies, usually, it would be great for parlor guitars or 3/4 models.
Secondly, the guitar needs to be easy to play with lightweight bodies.
Thirdly and most importantly let your toddler pick his instrument. This will keep his interests alive
Image Source: gettyimages
How Much Money To Spend for a Kid Guitar?
A good quality toy guitar can be priced anywhere between $15 and $30. In the case of a good acoustic guitar with a decent sound, anywhere between $100 and $200 will do the job.
If you are buying an electric guitar, then you can find one anywhere between $120 and $150, but there will be additional expenses around $50 to $100 for additional gear.
Remember: The guitar price is NOT the final cost you’re going to pay. I have listed some of the gears which you might need for electric guitars.
Amp: Without a good amp the electric guitars can not create a decent sound. Usually, you can get one at about $100. You would need a cable to connect the two so add another $10 to the list.
Tuner: A tuner is crucial because a newbie player can struggle to tune a guitar. These are basic tools that are user friendly and will keep the guitar in good shape.
Metronome: Another key tool to proper guitar is a metronome. Therefore we suggest that you get a wireless tuner with a built-in metronome that is commonly available. It will cover about $30.
Spare Strings: These are good to have in the closet in case one breaks.
Gig Bag or a Case: Carrying the guitar in a cardboard box, unprotected is risky for the instrument. Again, spending around $30 to $50 for a Gig Bag will provide to be fruitful.
Guitar Strap: A strap offers good play protection, which should be factored into. Adds between $10-$20. Finally, you’re going to need some picks, which are around 50 cents each.
If you think it’s a little difficult, you can always find a decent starting kit that bundles all in a box.
Where should I make my Kid learn – Online or Offline?
Yes, I think kids need lessons. In the vast majority of cases, children are not completely able to direct themselves, making teachers utterly necessary.
As for the online lessons vs. tutoring in-person, use all the resources you can get.
It doesn’t make too much of a difference these days if you meet the teacher in person, or you learn it through youtube, or you take lessons through Skype. What’s more important is how good the instructor is. You can also take support from previous students, online feedback and such items.
If you want a visual guide on how to begin, there are lots of videos online, such as this one:
Few hints and tips for keeping their guitar interest alive.
- Reward your child when he completes the lessons.
- Set small daily goals which the kid can complete.
- Make sure your kid has access to music libraries, discuss music with them, because you being a fan of music will be an important factor.
- Get involved with your child – dance while they’re playing, hoot and holler to their solo. This will give motivation to the child.
Getting your child interested in guitars and music early on is one way to increase the chances of it becoming a lifelong hobby.
We have reached the end of our voyage here folks! Hopefully, this guide has been of use to you and I hope you’ve found the right guitar for your child. Happy Learning.
If you have any doubts or queries feel free to ask them in the comments below.