Kids electric guitars – What guitar size to buy
Not so long ago, I was visiting a friend who has his own guitar shop, and I saw some really small electric guitars there. It didn’t occur to me at the time what the possible reason could be for any guitar company to make such small electric guitars.
Maybe I was just too blind to the idea that anyone could actually start to play electric guitar at an earlier age than I did, which was about 12 years old, so the idea behind these miniature electrics – Well… sort of miniature, didn’t quite dawn on me.
Small children also need electric guitars. If I remember back to the way my daughter of 1 year old reacted when she first saw a Fender Stratocaster, I guess I should’ve known. We had to forcibly remove her from the room where the guitar was.
Hell yeah, kids should definitely have their own electric guitars.
Here’s an article that just about sums it up as far as what to get a kid for an electric guitar.
Kids Electric Guitars – The 3/4 Kids Guitar and Other Options
By Andrew Gavin Webber
Choosing an electric guitar for your child.
The description usually assigned to kids electric guitars is “Short scale or 3/4 sized”.
But this description, while fairly accurate, isn’t quite the whole story. Some short scale electrics are longer than others, so it’s necessary to look at the specific scale length, and whether that’s right for your young one.
A three quarter sized scale length for a kids guitar can be anything from a 22.2 inch scale length to a 24 inch scale length. This may be different for acoustics, but having decided on an electric is definitely a plus in my book.
Scale length is defined as the distance from the bridge of the guitar to the nut, so a kids electric guitar with a short scale length means that the frets on the guitar are closer together, making it easier for small hands to reach across more frets.
A less obvious advantage to learning on a kids electric guitar
One extra advantage to learning how to play electric guitar on a short scale length, is that the strings need a lot less tension to be tuned up to pitch, making it so much easier to press chords and notes.
You may want to put some slightly heavier gauge strings on the guitar, especially the very short ones.
A good gauge of electric steel string for a 3/4 short scale electric guitar would still be classed as light gauge.
The thinnest string on a light gauge set of guitar strings would have a thickness of 0.010 of an inch.
What ages are kids electric guitars good for?
I think for a six year old, up till about ten, a short scale guitar with a 22.2 or 22.7 inch scale length will work quite nicely.
One has to look at just how big a ten year old we’re talking about though. Perhaps for a 10 year old, a 24 inch scale length will work out just fine.
For kids around 12 years old, I don’t think it’s all that necessary to think in terms of kids electric guitars anymore.
From my own experience as a youngster, about 30 odd years ago, at 14 years old I was playing quite comfortably on a Fender scale length.
A fender scale length is about the longest scale length, at 25.5 inches, and I’m not really such a big fellow.
To be on the safe side, for a 12 year old I would say buy something with a Gibson scale length, which is 24.75 inches.
How long will a kids electric guitar last?
The thing is to see a kids guitar as not just something that’ll work as a guitar up till a certain age and then be useless.
Kids electric guitars make excellent travel guitars, and they’re also fun to have around when visitors say “Gee! Look how small that guitar is!”
Andrew Webber is a professional guitarist with over 30 years of experience playing and modifying electric guitars. He has an excellent article up showcasing various children’s electric guitars titled Kids Electric Guitars Where I’m sure you’ll find what you need.
Enough said. I’m even tempted to get myself one, just for the convenience of having a showpiece I can actually play, and take anywhere without a hassle.