Looking for the Best 1/2 Size Guitars? Find them all in this piece.
The name is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to a half-size guitar. It’s a guitar that is half the size of a regular guitar. But why? A shorter scale length is not a necessity; in today’s day and age, people are fighting over longer and longer scale lengths to tune down to abyss on their guitars, so what is the practicality of a ½ size guitar? Is it a ½ guitar or a guitalele?
No, a half size guitar is not a guitalele or a ½ guitar. The general target audience of the half-sized guitar is children. A full-size normal guitar is too big for children, and they generally have a problem playing it because the full-size fretboard with extra-jumbo frets (which are industry standards for most guitars) are too big for the tiny hands of young guitarists.
Not being able to play the large instrument causes discouragement and demoralization among kids, and they slowly lose interest in playing the guitar. So, how does the half size guitar help?
Half-size guitars have a smaller body and scale length that is built specifically keeping kids in mind. These instruments are available in all shapes and sizes; most guitar brands are starting to produce quality half-size guitars to inspire young musicians to play guitar and keep the history and the legacy of the instrument alive.
Before we delve into the reviews about the best half size guitars available in the market today, let’s learn more about half-size guitars first.
What are ½ Size Guitars?
½ size guitars are not toy guitars by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, ½ size guitars are not actually half in size to regular guitars. They are only a bit smaller and manageable as they are marketed for kids. Half-size guitars generally have a scale length between 20 – 22.8 inches, while full-size guitars have a scale length of 25 ½ inches.
Half-size guitars do not differ from normal guitars in many ways other than the difference in size. ½ size guitars also have the same features and functionalities as a regular-sized guitar. Half-size guitars are available in different forms as well, including classical guitar, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar.
It is important to know that ½ size guitars are not only for children. Adults can utilize it as well because the small scale length can be great for many reasons. Firstly, a smaller guitar is lighter, and that alone is a great reason for adults to try it out. Secondly, playing a guitar with a shorter scale length is great fun because you can do crazy things with your guitar.
Want an example? See this video of Rob Chapman & Lee Anderton playing half-size guitars and exploring their possibilities as adults.
IIn this article, we will look at some of the best ½ size guitars in all the categories mentioned above (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and classical guitar).
Best ½ Size Acoustic Guitar
Best Half-Size Acoustic Guitar
The Tanglewood TW2T is a half-size acoustic guitar; however, it is not marketed as a half-size guitar. Rather, it is marketed as a travel guitar, which is a common theme across many guitars available today.
Since marketing a guitar as a half-size guitar creates an idea among buyers that this guitar is just for kids, manufacturers have adopted the term travel guitars, so consumers keep an open mind.
When you look at it, this guitar is half-sized only because the scale length of this guitar is 22.4 inches which is similar to a half-size guitar. Now that the air is clear on that, let’s talk about the Tanglewood TW2T.
Body & Build
The Tanglewood TW2T is fully built out of mahogany, both for the body and the neck. As you know, mahogany is a good wood for guitars and is actually one of the premium woods used for making guitars, so that is a great addition.
The fretboard is made out of something called Techwood, which I did not know what it was, so I had to learn about it first. Tech wood does not come from a tree called tech tree. It is compound wood that is made from grounding and layering other woods.
The build quality of this guitar is okayish; there is not much to be surprised about, but for the price, it does hold up pretty well. The size of this guitar is also half-size, and it provides adequate comfort to the kids to finally have a guitar that they can play comfortably.
Tone, Sound, & Playability
Acoustic guitars are notorious for having a hard action when it comes to cheaper guitars. A shorter scale length can help you in that part for sure, helping you or kids play this guitar comfortably. In short, this guitar is a beginner-friendly guitar.
In terms of the sound and tone of the guitar, the mahogany body does have a good effect on the tone of the guitar. The sound is resonant but not very full. Why so? The shorter scale length and the size of the guitar gives less room for the sound to resonate, causing a less full sound than a jumbo acoustic guitar.
But, that is not something you should be worried about; it is a fact that makes little difference on paper when you are trying to learn guitar and need a guitar size that actually fits your child first.
In terms of sound, tone, and playability, this guitar is a solid choice, and you can use this as a beginner’s guitar to start learning. Or, as an adult, you can take advantage of the smaller size of this guitar and use it as a travel guitar for when you are out on the road.
My only advice/suggestion would be to change the guitar strings and use any of the popular branded strings available in the market (D’Addario, Ernie Ball) if you are unhappy and want a slight change in the tone of your guitar.
This guitar is a package deal available on Amazon where you can get this guitar with other accessories such as a bag, tuner, strap, strings, cleaning cloth, pick, and a beginner’s guitar learning DVD providing you with all the essentials you would need to get started on guitar.
CNBLUE Acoustic Guitar – Best Budget Half-Size Acoustic Guitar
If you are looking for a ½ size acoustic guitar on a budget, the CNBLUE Acoustic Guitar is your best choice. If your child is interested in learning guitar, but you are unsure and do not want to spend a lot on a guitar just yet, this guitar can be a great starting point for your child.
Looking at the cost of this guitar, it is important to understand that it is a genuine beginner’s guitar, so if you just want a half-size guitar for fun and you know how to play guitar, this might not be in your best interest.
The guitar is not bad particularly, but it is not great either; it is a starter guitar that students and children especially can use to learn how to play guitar before moving on to bigger and better guitars. However, it provides a comprehensive package of features at a low cost, which is nothing but commendable. Let’s take a closer look at the different aspects of this guitar.
Body & Build
The body of this guitar is built out of basswood, and the neck and fretboard are built out of maple wood, both of which are classic choices. Basswood is widely used in guitars today, even on some of the premium guitar models available in the market, and maple is a classic choice for neck and fretboard.
This guitar’s build quality is pretty good, and you can use this model as a travel guitar as well when you are going out. The dreadnought body style of this guitar is great for your children as it is comfortable to play and balance on yourself. Overall, this guitar goes above and beyond its price point to provide a quality body with top-notch materials that are well built.
The best part or feature about this instrument is that the build quality is good enough that even adults can use and play this guitar without any problems, which is really commendable given the price of this model.
Tone, Sound, & Playability
The tone of this guitar is pretty good more than you would expect. This is mainly because of the combination of woods that are used in the manufacturing of this guitar. Even though the guitar is half-size, the tone of this guitar resembles that of a full-size guitar.
The sound has richness, a certain amount of fullness, and resonant qualities. I personally do like the sound of this guitar, and I really like how the manufacturers have put together this model. Regarding tuning stability, you can expect a certain bit of tussle to keep your guitar in tune, which can be a bit frustrating, especially when you are new to guitar.
A piece of advice for youngsters who are new to guitar, always check your guitar’s tuning once when things you play sound really bad.
In terms of playability, this guitar performs pretty well. In my opinion, this is perhaps the only aspect of this guitar that does not blow me away. The small size and the good tone of this guitar are really good, but the playability and things like buzz are a general nuisance that comes with it as well.
These factors should not hinder your performance or your overall experience of playing or learning guitar.
This guitar does not come bundled with all the essentials you would need for playing guitar. You will need to buy them separately. Included with the guitar, you will find a gig bag for your guitar. This guitar is available on Amazon in different colors. You can opt for any of them, but the prices slightly differ from one another.
Best ½ Size Classical Guitar
Cordoba Mini II M – Best 1 2 Size Classical Guitar
Classical guitars are mostly known for their nylon strings. These guitars are easier to play than steel-string acoustic guitars, as the strings are not as hard on these guitars. The nylon strings have a distinct tone as well.
A classical guitar is one of the best choices for your child if they are first trying out a guitar because a nylon string is much less painful to learn playing than steel-string guitars. Classical guitars can also be played in fingerstyle, which gives you many playing styles to try out.
One of the only things you need to keep in mind is that nylon is not as hard as steel, and you would need to be a bit more gentle on these strings if you are playing this guitar with a pick. Having said that, the Cordona Mini II M is really one of the best half-size guitars available in the market, and the makers have put a lot of effort into manufacturing a quality instrument with a shorter size.
Body & Build
The Mini II is built out of Mahogany for the body and neck and Morado wood for the fingerboard. Morado is not a well-known wood choice for guitars, in my opinion, but this model does have potential. A mahogany body gives this model a quality look and feels that helps this guitar stand out from its market competitors.
This guitar’s build quality is pretty good, and you can travel with this guitar without any trouble. The overall quality of this instrument is good. Even though the model is built in China, they are built well and does not have any manufacturing defects.
Tone, Sound, & Playability
The Mini II from Cordoba has a quality sound that sounds very warm and rich, and it fits most styles of music as well. As a nylon string guitar, it excels and shines best when using it to play chords. The tone of the guitar will have you fooled that it is a full-size nylon string guitar.
I have not owned many classic guitars in my life, but this model especially stood out to me because of its unique tone characteristics, which I really like. The smaller body size makes it compact and ready to be taken outside for a quick jam no matter where you are.
The ability to carry this guitar everywhere makes it very easily playable, especially for kids and beginners who do not have experience playing guitar. You must know that this guitar is a nylon string guitar, and it will not be as loud as a steel-string acoustic guitar.
This guitar model does not come with any accessories or even a gig bag, all of which you will need to purchase separately.
Yamaha CGS102A – Best Budget ½ Size Classical Guitar
Yamaha is a legendary brand that has done it all, from automobiles to musical instruments. They are well-known for their quality and for being pioneers in various fields. This Yamaha guitar, the CGS102A, is just one of the beaming examples of the company’s expertise in producing quality musical instruments.
Nylon string guitars are available in various guitar sizes, and the CGS102A is a half-size classical guitar that can be easily played by kids and adults alike. The brand value of Yamaha makes this guitar reliable with good build quality.
As a budget choice, you might have your reservations against this guitar but let me tell you, the manufacturer has tried their best to provide the best quality instrument possible at the lowest price to make it available for everyone. Let’s take a detailed look at the different aspects of this guitar.
Build & Body
The guitar is made out of various woods that all play a crucial role in the build quality of the guitar, its performance, and eventually its tone and playability. The body of this guitar is made out of Meranti wood which is a cheaper alternative to more expensive wood in order to save manufacturing costs.
The body made of Meranti wood does not, however, feel cheap when you play it. The body and the back of the guitar are made out of Meranti wood. The top of the guitar is built out of Spruce which adds a great look to the guitar. Spruce is a popular top wood choice for acoustic guitars.
The neck of this guitar is built out of Nato wood which is a cheaper alternative to Mahogany wood. These are ingenious and rather creative ways the manufacturer has kept the production of this guitar low without compromising the quality of the instrument.
Finally, the rosewood fingerboard of this guitar adds a comfortable playing surface for guitarists of all skill levels. This guitar’s build quality is pretty good, and you will get much more than your money’s worth out of this guitar.
Tone, Sound, & Playability
In terms of tone and sound, this instrument mimics the sound of a full-body guitar beautifully. The rich and warm tone of this guitar is really good for all types of music. A guitar that sounds good can be a great boost for beginners who can get positive reinforcement for their efforts when they hear the beautiful results on hand.
The combination of a variety of woods and good build quality from an experienced manufacturer such as Yamaha culminates into a guitar that sounds much better than its price point and something that oozes quality while maintaining very nice playability.
The playability of this guitar is at par with full-size classical guitars. As a nylon string guitar, the action of these guitars is set rather high by default to accommodate all types of guitar players. You can easily fix that with a visit to your local guitar tech and get the action down to whatever feels comfortable for you.
This Yamaha guitar does not come with a gig bag or accessories. However, a bundle option is available on Amazon where you can get this guitar with accessories and a gig bag at a different price.
Best Half-Size Electric Guitars
Ibanez GRGM21BKN – Best ½ Size Electric Guitar
Remember that video that I linked at the top of this article? This is the guitar they were playing in that video. Finally, after all the boring classical and acoustic guitars, we can talk about the best guitars there are; electric guitars.
If you know anything about guitars, you might have heard of Ibanez. They are a legendary guitar manufacturer that has worked and still work with the best guitarists and musicians on this planet. They are well known for their affordable and premium guitars, and the GRGM21 is a classic example of just how good their affordable guitars are.
This ½ scale electric guitar from Ibanez is by far the best half-size electric guitar you will find on the internet. Best of all, this particular guitar is great for children, beginners, adults, basically everyone because it has been made to be just as good as a full-size electric guitar in every way.
Body & Build
This beautiful guitar from Ibanez has a body built out of Poplar, which is a very popular wood for guitars right now, and it is also quite cheap. The neck of this Ibanez guitar is made out of maple, and so is the fretboard. The combination of these woods gives this guitar a rich sound while having some sustain on your notes as well.
This guitar is a fixed-bridge guitar with a 22.2-inch scale length and an adequately reduced body size making it perfect for children to learn playing on this guitar. It should be noted that this guitar can be played by adults who want a light and small guitar because the quality is absolutely comparable to a full-size Ibanez electric guitar in every way.
So, you can count on this guitar’s build quality and rock with it as much as you want, no matter if you are a child or their parent.
Tone, Sound, & Playability
Unlike an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar needs an amp to be played. The tone of this guitar is led by the Infinity R pickups self-designed by Ibanez that are perfect for rock and metal mostly, but you can play other styles of music on this guitar as well without any problem.
The variety of tones you can get on this guitar with its two pickups and three pickup switch positions is amazing. No matter what kind of an amp you hook up your guitar to, you can get a quality sound out of it that is all set to rock your world.
Trust me, if you are an adult, you can gig with this guitar, and you will feel no difference except the weight difference. Thanks to its playability, you can do crazy things with this guitar. It really sounds good and feels good to play.
The playability of this guitar is very good, mainly because it’s an Ibanez guitar well-known for its low-action electric guitars. The low action makes it easy to play the guitar for everyone.
You do not get any free accessories or a gig bag with this guitar. Please purchase an amp separately or use a Virtual Guitar Amp Simulator so that you can play this guitar.
Fender Squier Mini Strat – Best 1 2 Size Electric Guitar For Adults & Kids
Fender is undoubtedly one of the most renowned guitar manufacturers in the world. Squier is a brand owned by Fender that makes affordable versions of Fender’s American-made guitars. Known for being one of the key manufacturers in the history of electric guitars, you can never go wrong with the quality of a Fender guitar.
This particular mini-strat model from Squier is a great guitar for kids and also adults. This guitar can be tuned to standard tuning, and thanks to the engineering of Fender, the string tension remains low, helping children and beginners learn guitar without hurting their fingers.
A Stratocaster is one of the most iconic guitars of all time, and it is great for all styles of music. Knowing kids today can grow up playing these great guitars and developing great taste in the process makes me really happy.
Body & Build
This guitar is made out of poplar, which you would have noticed was the same on the last guitar as well. This is done to save costs, but as a guitarist, you will not find any difference in the guitar’s performance because of this wood. It just helps keep the production and selling cost low for the guitar making it more affordable for everyone.
Next, we should talk about the quality of Squier instruments now; yes, Squier is not well-known for the best quality guitar but look at the price tag and the quality of the instrument you are receiving you will not feel too bad about any minor manufacturing defect that may come with the guitar then.
Overall, the build quality is good but if you find your guitar faulty or you do not feel satisfied with the craftsmanship, be sure to return and exchange the guitar from your retailer.
Tone, Sound, & Playability
Stratocasters are known for their signature single-coil tone. If you are a fan of John Mayer, you will be able to get similar tones on this guitar. So, in terms of tone and sound, this guitar is at par and better than the other half-size electric guitars available in the market. This is because of the brand value of Fender and the quality of instruments they produce.
The sound of this guitar is best suited for softer styles of music but make no mistake; you can rock as hard as you want with this guitar if you have the right attitude. Stratocaster guitars are well known for their versatility, and this mini version does not fail to impress in those terms either.
The playability of this guitar is the best feature of it. It is very easy and comfortable to play this guitar. Whether you are an adult or a child, you can get a great performance out of this guitar and play it with ease.
This Fender guitar does not come with a gig bag, but it does come bundled with a tuner, strap, picks, and a guitar instructional DVD for you to get started on guitar. You will also get access to Fender play which is Fender’s own beginner’s guitar educational platform.
To make a decision on which is the best 1/2 size guitar, we need to understand what is the difference between 1/2 size and full size guitars.
First of all, it’s important to know that they are very different in both sound and appearance. The main reason why most people choose one over the other is that they don’t want to spend too much money.
If you’re just starting out or don’t have a lot of money, then go for a half-size guitar. But if you already have some cash and still want something high quality, then buy a full-size guitar instead.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.