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Choosing An Acoustic Guitar for A Child

Choosing An Acoustic Guitar for A Child

Factors to Consider When

Child’s Acoustic Guitar

Choosing an acoustic guitar for a child is a bit different from choosing a guitar for an adult. Your major consideration is the size – the guitar you choose should be of a length, width and thickness that the child would find comfortable and easy to play.

A pre-teen, for example, may find a mini size guitar too small and a full-size dreadnought too big. In this case, it would be good to look for a guitar that’s just a bit smaller than a full-size acoustic, like the Big Baby Taylor model. Let’s take a closer look at size considerations and other factors you need to think about when choosing an acoustic guitar for a young player.

Guitar Size

The best way to find the right fit size-wise is to try different guitars out in person. If this isn’t possible – say, if you’re ordering online and want it to be a surprise – then you need to consider the age or height of the child and the overall length of the guitar.

  • 77 cm x 27 cm (30 inches, 1/4 size) – the smallest acoustic guitars would be a good fit for children ages 4 to 6, or whose height is at 3 feet 4 inches to 3 feet 11 inches.
  • 86 cm x 30 cm (34 inches, 1/2 size) – these models are suitable for kids 6 to 9 years old, or whose height measures 3 feet 11 inches to 4 feet 4 inches.
  • 92 cm x 34 cm (36 inches, 3/4 size) – these guitar models would be good for children 9 to 12 years of age, or those who stand 4 feet 4 inches to 5 feet tall.
  • 100 cm x 38 cm (40-41 inches, full size) – these guitars would be comfortable for children age 12 or older who are taller than 5 feet.

Child’s acoustic guitar Size

If the child you are choosing a guitar for is small to average for his or her age, it’s best to stay within the age group as listed above. If the child is above average in terms of height, consider moving to the next guitar size. For example, a tall 11-year-old would do well with a full-size guitar. A custom built guitar for a child is also an option.

image Guitar for a child by Haywire Custom Guitars

Guitar for a child by Haywire Custom Guitars

You may also find a guitar for a child has a length and width that sit somewhere between two sizes (a 7/8 guitar measures 39 inches in length). If you’re having a hard time choosing between smaller or bigger, for kids it’s always a good idea to go for the larger size because well, kids grow up really fast!


Guitar strings come in different gauges from light to heavy.  On a guitar for a child, it’s advisable to use medium-gauge strings first, as heavy-gauge strings can be too much and ultra light-gauge ones might cut into young fingertips. You can always change the strings on the guitar depending on what the child finds comfortable.

String Action

Action refers to the distance between the strings and the fingerboard. If the action is high, a child may have a hard time pressing the strings all the way down to the fret board. You need to choose a guitar with a low action that doesn’t compromise tonal quality. The action can be adjusted in most guitars to enhance playing comfort.

Those are the top 3 things to consider when looking for an acoustic guitar for a child. Have you found some good candidates yet?

This is a Guest Posting by:

Jules Fitzgerald

Haywire Blog Guest writer

About the Author:

Mr. Rick Mariner Owner and Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc. He is a member of The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A.) as well as a guitar player. Rick holds a bachelors degree from University of Md. and a Masters degree from George Washington University. Rick developed his exclusive 8 – Point “Gig- Ready” guitar process that allows for Custom Guitars that are “GIG-READY”. With Rick’s many years of development and guitar set-up experience, Haywire Guitar shop “Builds satisfied players… one Haywire guitar at a time”.


  1. Angela October 23, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    I decided to buy my six year old granddaughter a Ukulele simply because of the size, thinking it would satisfy her desire to learn to play a guitar. Do you think that was a good idea?

  2. Casi Casi January 22, 2019 at 7:28 am

    I decided to buy my six year old granddaughter a Ukulele simply because of the size, thinking it would satisfy her desire to learn to play a guitar. Do you think that was a good idea?

    • Rick Mariner February 9, 2019 at 4:09 am

      A ukelele only has 4 strings. If she decides to play guitar after trying it-she may be confused.
      I would start her on a 1/2 size guitar.Then she will be more familiar with the 6 strings immediately.
      We build those for kids. Rick

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