The guitar is an amazing instrument. You can bet there are few other instruments as cool as the guitar. The guitar I am talking about is, of course, electric guitar. When you are just starting out, the electric guitar might be a little out of your comfort zone, so you need something else. Plus, as a kid, you can’t play full-size guitars yet, so what can you do to get started on guitar now?
Well, to ease your problems, smaller guitars exist called half-size guitars, ¼ size guitars, ¾ size guitars, and non-guitars like ukulele and guitalele that can be a great starting point for kids.
But, which guitar should you get?
And what guitar would be best suited for your age and size? Do you have to buy the guitar that corresponds to your age, or can you just buy whatever you want?
Let’s answer all of these questions in this article. So, without any further delay, let’s get started.
Recommended Sizes for Electric Guitar
|Age||Height (cm)||Recommended Size|
|5 – 8||80 – 100||1/2 Size|
|8 – 12||100 – 125||3/4 Size|
|12+||125 +||Full Size|
Recommended Sizes for Acoustic Guitar
|Age||Height (cm)||Recommended Size|
|5 – 12||100 – 120||3/4 Size|
|12 – 15||120 – 165||Small Body|
|15+||165 +||Full Size|
Recommended Sizes for Classical Guitar
|Age||Height (cm)||Recommended Size|
|2 – 5||75 – 100||1/4 Size|
|5 – 8||100 – 125||1/2 Size|
|8 – 12||125 – 165||3/4 Size|
|12+||165 +||Full Size|
What Are The Various Smaller Guitar Sizes & Who Should Get Them?
¼ Size Guitars
¼ size guitars are the smallest guitars available. Contrary to common belief, a ¼ size guitar is not actually one-fourth the size of a full-size guitar. It is actually just somewhat smaller.
The scale length of these guitars is 19 inches as compared to the 25.5 inches scale length of a full-size guitar. The smaller size of the instrument makes it easier to play for kids. Even adults can play a ¼ size guitar, also known as a guitalele for adults.
Who Can Play The ¼ Size Guitar?
The ¼ size guitar can be played by kids around the ages of 3-6. This is just an estimate as children over and under this bar can also enjoy playing this guitar if they find it comfortable.
When you are buying this guitar, make sure that you check out the action and the string tension of these guitars to make sure they are comfortable to play for a child.
Not many top guitar manufacturers make a guitar in this size, so you can just check online or go to your nearest music store and see what you can get. For product recommendations, you can check out my previous blogs on this subject.
Characteristics Of The ¼ Size Guitar
Apart from the obvious smaller size, this guitar has a distinct size as well. ¼ size guitars have a more rounded and thin sound as compared to bigger guitars. This is mainly because of the smaller size of the guitar and the shorter scale length.
This nylon-string instrument truly has a unique sound that does not sound like a toy at all. It is in every way a serious instrument that is a great starting point for your kid. If you want to get any ¼ size guitar, I would suggest going for the Cordoba Protege Series for the best products in this size.
½ Size Guitars
Half-size guitars are the second smallest size of guitars available after the ¼ size guitars. These instruments play quite well and have a scale length of around 23 inches which is just 2.5 inches less than a full-size guitar.
This makes it a great transition instrument before you start playing a full-size guitar. A half-size guitar is available in virtually all forms, namely classical, acoustic, and electric. So, you have a lot of options.
The best part, it is also playable by adults who might struggle to play a full-size guitar. Even if you don’t have any problems with a full-scale guitar, these instruments can be a fun instrument for you because of their shorter scale length.
Who Can Play The ½ Size Guitar?
The ½ size guitar can be played by kids around the ages of 6-9. These guitars feature a greater scale length which introduces slightly higher string tensions. If your child has started their journey on guitar using the ¼ models, this will be a great step up for them to slowly become accustomed to the full-size guitar.
These guitars can also mark the first time your child plays a steel-string guitar, which can be a major change from the nylon string guitars, so it’s better to be careful and make the transition slowly in order to make it easy for your kid to get used to the harder steel strings.
For adults, these guitars can be a great tool in the studio and on stage to do absolutely crazy things with your guitar. Crazy means a double whole step bend, or incredibly long-range arpeggios, and very embellished and complicated chords.
The shorter scale length will make it easier for you to reach the frets and play more complex music without any finger fatigue from overstretching.
Characteristics Of The ½ Size Guitar
The ½ size guitar is more similar to a full-size guitar than the ¼ models. These guitars have a sound that more closely resembles that of the full-size guitars.
For the acoustic and classical models, the sound is still more treble-heavy and does not have a very good body due to the literal smaller size of the guitars.
But, for the electric models, it is practically indistinguishable that you are playing a smaller guitar because it sounds exactly like the real thing.
Half-size guitars are more popular and more popular, and big-name brands produce half-size guitars. My all-time favorite is the Ibanez Mikro series for ½ size electric guitars.
For acoustic, I really like the Pyle guitars for their steel-string series. The classical guitar range has great models from both Cordoba and Yamaha, which are great in their own right.
¾ Size Guitars
This is the last step before you are able to play a full-size guitar. The ¾ size guitar has a scale length of around 24 inches.
These guitars are just a little bit smaller than full-size guitars, which gives these instruments a wider appeal than being just kid’s guitars.
These instruments are seen as travel guitars that are smaller and easier to carry around when you are going anywhere.
The travel guitar has become immensely popular nowadays, with many artists opting for the smaller size guitar for the sake of better playability and logistics.
¾ size guitars are available in all shapes and forms and are available from some of the top brands in the world as well. They are also targeted heavily at women since they tend to have smaller hands compared to men.
So, overall, these guitars have a huge market, and thanks to major artist endorsements like Ed Sheeran, who famously plays a ¾ size guitar, these instruments are just growing more popular.
Who Can Play The ¾ Size Guitar?
Ideally, it is aimed at kids around the ages of 9-13. Regardless of your prior experience with guitar, you can easily get started on the ¾ size guitars. These guitars are also very easy to play for adults, thanks to the smaller scale length.
Overall, it is a great instrument that is easy to get into and take along with you anywhere you go. Electric, acoustic, and classical models are all available in this size so that you can choose your weapon as per your choice.
Characteristics Of The ¾ Size Guitar
These guitars have a unique sound due to their smaller body size and shape. I mean, top artists like Ed Sheeran have gone on record to state they like these instruments for their unique sound, so you can count on it. The rest of just how your guitar sounds depends on the model you are going to buy.
If you want to go for professional models, you will be able to have a completely new and beautiful sound that is hard to match with other guitars. If you buy budget guitars, they will have a shallow sound with less body due to the shape and size.
Overall, it is a great instrument that you can count on without any issues. If the string tension and action of this guitar are as per your liking, you can have a great time playing it. However, be wise with your purchases as they can either make or break your experience.
For recommendations, you can try the Iberia series from Cordoba for classical guitars in this size. You can also get great guitars from Yamaha in the classical ¾ size range.
For acoustic guitars, you can get various brands as per your budget, the best of which would be Martin guitars.
Electric guitars in this range have lots of options from top brands. In my opinion, you can try out the Fender models in this range as they are really good.
There is no segment about full-size guitars; that’s because there is not much to say about them. They are the instruments that you see everyone play, and they are the instruments that you have been dreaming of playing since your childhood. Anyone over the age of 12 can easily play a full-size guitar and rock their hearts out.
After a decade of preparation playing smaller guitars, this is your time to truly master the instrument that has inspired you to keep going. Just remember to also try and inspire others as someone had done for you to keep the legacy of this beautiful instrument alive. Thanks for reading; please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time, stay motivated and keep rocking.