When choosing a guitar for a child or younger player you have to consider a few things, the main one being the size of the guitar. Many beginners guitars will come in full size, ¾ size, ½ size and ¼ size. Generally for a child over the age of 11 a full size guitar will be adequate. Though different ages and sizes may require a different guitar. As a rough guide, ¼ size is good for 4-5 year olds, ½ size for 6-8 year olds and ¾ size for 9-11 year olds.You also have to think about price. Some children may not play the guitar for as much time as others. Where some may start with a smaller guitar and grow out of it.The last thing to think about is quality. While a more budget guitar may be great for a trial basis, it might not be ideal if you plan on keeping it in use over the next 5 years.Some options I would suggest for guitars for children are as follows. I am only looking at nylon stringed guitars, for younger beginners the lighter tension ensures that they can progress without having to struggle against strings that a much harder to hold down, such as steel strings found on acoustic and electric guitars.
The 3rd Avenue STX20 range of guitars come in ½, ¾ and full sizes. Aside from their attractive price, they also come with a gigbag to allow for easy transportation and storage. Along with this they come with a strap button attached to the bottom of the guitar, which many classical and nylon stringed guitars don’t have, so you can play this standing up.
The Rocket CG series are a good affordable option which offer a lot of variety. Coming in ¼, ½, ¾ and full size you are covered for any age and size. The rocket guitars also come in a couple of different colours. There is a blue option for ½, ¾ and full size, and black for full size only.If you want to buy a guitar along with accessories, the Rocket CG series also come with the Rocket XF201 packages. These are available in ½, ¾ and full size and come with a gigbag, some picks and a capo. Which should be everything you need to get started!
Stagg offer a few options which are suitable for younger beginners. They come in ¼, ½, ¾ and full size, all of which come in either a natural, blue or red finish in all sizes. They also offer a black finish that only comes in ½, ¾ and full size.These guitars don’t come with any accessories, just the guitar. With this, the instrument you are getting is of a good quality, though you will have to purchase any extras separately.
Jose Ferrer’s 5208 classical guitars are very popular amongst beginners. While they are more expensive than previously mentioned options, they are high quality instruments which adhere to a very traditional classical guitar design. With this, the Jose Ferrer models offer high quality materials, such as the rosewood fretboard.While having some higher quality design choices, the Jose Ferrer 5208 guitars only com in ½, ¾ and full size.
At the higher priced end of the spectrum, the Valencia models which come in ¼, ½, ¾ and full size. This might be an option for someone confident that the player in question is going to stay with the instrument for a while. These guitars are made from high quality materials and tonewoods to ensure comfort and consistent tone from the guitar.For players with more slender hands, the full size version of this guitar does come in a “narrow neck” model to allow for ease of use.