Kids Electric Guitars

electric guitar
Peter Suhm asked:

Lots of kids want to play the electric guitar. Creative exploration and expression are a vital part of self-discovery and positive personal development, so if it is the electric guitar that is tugging at a child’s heartstrings, by all means, indulge! This article will give you some easy-to-follow guidelines to help you choose the best electric guitar for your child. First of all, size does matter! Learning to play on the wrong size instrument can lead to frustration at best, often leading to giving up, possibly the worst consequence of learning on the wrong size is the development of poor technique. Generally speaking, guitars are made according to four different sizes, referred to as quarter, half, three-quarters, and full size. The overall length of electric guitars varies greatly depending on brand, style design, and model, so the full length does not account for the size. For accurate sizing of an electric guitar, measure the distance from the “bridge” of the guitar to the “nut”. This is called the scale length of the guitar. This measurement is only of the part of the strings that actually vibrate when you stroke them or pluck one. Although lengths can sometimes vary, the following chart is a good indicator of the four different sizes of electric guitars. Quarter size:  31”Half size:  33”Three-quarters size: 34-36”Full size:  38-40” The height of the child playing the guitar is what determines what size is the best fit. The following chart is a good reference: Size of Guitar              Height of PlayerQuarter size:               3’3” – 3’9”Half size:                    3’10” – 4’5”Three-quarters size:     4’6” – 4’11”Full size:                     5’ or taller It is much easier for a young child to get his hands around the appropriate sized guitar. If a child is bordering two sizes, it is recommended to buy the larger guitar simply because the child is still growing. Technically speaking, there is no such thing as a “beginner’s guitar”. As far as the structural components of the instrument are concerned, all electric guitars have the basic 6 strings, several frets on the neck, and pickups. “Small” does not necessarily mean “beginner”. That being said, however, it is a good idea to buy a simple, low-cost, no-frills instrument for a child’s first electric guitar. All brands manufacture such low-end basic electric guitars, but Ibanez and Yamaha are usually considered to be the best choice because these companies have targeted the novice player in several of their models.  Getting a kids’ electric guitar is an exciting event for both the child and the parent. Remember, the most important factors to consider when buying kids’ electric guitars are: a) the passion and dreams of the child, and b) the right size for the child’s body.

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