All kids should have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. Even if they don’t intend to pursue a career in music, the process of learning to play an instrument will promote the development of some very valuable qualities in your child, including discipline, concentration, dedication, and perseverance.
I firmly believe that the guitar is an excellent first instrument for a child to learn to play. It is a relatively inexpensive option when compared to other instruments, and it should be very easy to find a qualified teacher to provide guitar lessons.
If you have decided to buy a guitar for your child, you need to make sure that you choose the correct size for their age and physical size. Buying the wrong size will seriously hamper your child’s progress and possibly cause them so much frustration that they simply quit altogether.
If you can find a good local guitar shop, I recommend that you and your child visit them and ask for some expert advice about which guitar size would be the best fit for your child. This is particularly important if your child is either unusually large or small for their age, or they fall towards the borderline of 2 different average age categories (eg. 8 years or age or 12 years of age).
If your child is average size for their age, and they are in the middle of one of the brackets described below, you are probably fine to order a guitar online without needing to have your child measured for size by an expert.
Of course, if you don’t have the option of a reputable local guitar shop to visit for advice, I hope that the guidelines below will help you to make the best guitar size choice for your child.
Please note that these guitar size guidelines are geared towards the average sized child of a certain age, and you may have to make slight adjustments if your child is unusually small or large for their age.
Don’t be tempted to buy a guitar that is too large for your child upon the basis that they will “grow into it”. Whilst it is perfectly okay for a child, or indeed an adult, to play a guitar that is smaller than the recommended size, it is a really bad idea to force your child to play a guitar that is too big for them.
Ed Sheeran, for example, often prefers to play a 3/4 size acoustic guitar despite the fact that he is clearly big enough to play a full size guitar. The opposite approach is not recommended. An 8 year old child is
So, what are the appropriate guitar sizes for kids of different ages?
Guitars For Kids: 5 to 8 Years
A child aged between 5 and 8 years should use a 1/2 size guitar.
Guitars For Kids: 8 to 11 Years
A child aged between 8 and 11 years should use a 3/4 size guitar.
Guitars For Kids: 12 Years+
A child aged 12 years and above is probably ready to play a full size guitar.
If you have any questions or comments about the most appropriate guitar sizes for kids of different ages, please leave them in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.