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Question on kid's guitar.

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Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 27
Topic starter  

I'm thinking about buying my 9 year old daughter a 1/2 size acoustic guitar.

I'd like to know if the width of the fretboard is smaller or standard width.

Her hands are pretty small even for a 9 yr old, and a normal width fretboard would make it hard to get some chords, e.g. G and any chords with a ringing open high E.


Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1681

1/2 size usually means 1/2 scale too(thats the length) I'll bett the neck is smaller but I'd take her out to try guitars like that because the neck might not be comfortable.

Stairway to Freebird!

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

"1/2 size" is a generic term - it's not literally half the size of a full-size guitar.

The exact dimensions are going to vary by manufacturer, but the scale length of a '1/2 size' guitar is about 15% smaller than a full size, and a '3/4 size' is about 10% smaller than a full size.

Those percentages go pretty much across the board - the width will also be 10-15% less, and the body dimensions too.

Those percentages might seem small, but they make a big difference. Most 1/2 size guitars are tuned a minor third higher than standard, to G-C-F-Bb-D-G. If you tune the shorter scale length to standard, the strings might be too 'floppy'.

That shouldn't stop you from getting a half size, if that's what's right for her - just capo on 3 and you can play together just fine.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 339

I bought my daughter a mini strat as the acoustic was not "Cool enough dad!" It is a 3/4 size and as small as she is it fits here fine and is not really heavy like my mahogany bodies I have. This was done for her 9th birthday. Take her to a shop and let her try the one you have in mind and then ask an instructor what he/she thinks. FIW nylon is easier to play. Good luck on your search!

John M