Choosing your Child's first guitar
As a parent, grandparent or caregiver, you fulfil many important roles in your child’s life. Your gift and provision of music, encouragement and confidence can last a lifetime. Having an appropriately sized and quality instrument is the best way to start your child’s musical journey.
There is no greater impedance to progress, developing proper technique and the enjoyment of learning to play than the “Wrong” guitar
Choose the right size.
This is especially true for children. A guitar that is too large will make it difficult for your child to make the proper reach with both the right and left hands. Having their arm as high as their shoulder to reach over the guitar can become uncomfortable and at worst painful. Over reaching for the first fret puts them at a great technical disadvantage.
Nylon strings vs. steel strings
Majority of beginner guitars will be Nylon string classical guitar. Why? The ease of playing the lower tension Nylon strings helps the child’s development as they are concentrating on building their muscle memory from playing without the initial discomfort of the higher tension harder to press down steel strings.
A steel string guitar will have a brighter pop, rock tone that the child will find more closely resembles their favourite songs.
Don’t just buy on price.
The old adage is almost always true, “You get what you pay for”. Sometimes you even get less. Big Box stores (think JB Hi-FI, Aldi etc. plus a number of “Online only” instrument websites) as a general rule sell cheaply made guitars are not really playable or adjustable. They are not worth your time or money. Known brands like Valencia have an excellent reputation as a quality “fit for purpose” beginner guitar.
Choose a guitar with a finish and colour you enjoy.
Having a guitar that not only plays and sounds well but also appeals to you visually can greatly contribute to your motivation to play and practice.
Ensure practice and playing is in tune by purchasing and using an electronic tuner. This will help their “Ear Development”
Often children are left far too long on their first guitar and this becomes the rate limiting step in the child’s development. Like any product designed for the beginner, the performance will be impacted. If the playability and sound of the instrument is not keeping pace with the ability of the student, then often the interest to keep playing and progressing wanes