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Which guitar, and what size, for a 6-year-old?

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Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

My son says that he wants to learn to play guitar. He has been saying this for more than a year now, so we're thinking about having Santa bring him a guitar.

Which guitar would you recommend for a 6-year-old boy? Also, which size? And is a nylon-string guitar better for a very young child than a steel-string one?

I went and looked at a local music store, and they had a Jay Jr steel string guitar and a Hohner nylon string guitar. The woman (who says she teaches a couple of 6-year-olds) recommended one of those for him. They're 3/4 size. She said that a 1/2-size guitar would be too small for a 6-year-old. Now that I've found this forum, though, I'm wondering about that; I've seen a couple of posts talking about 1/2-size guitars for 5-year-olds and 9-year-olds.

What would you recommend?

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1882

One of the kids in my son's grade one class is taking lessons on a 3/4 size steel string acoustic.
He's one of the smaller boys in my son's class, but he's doing fine with the 3/4.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep

Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 58

I just bought my 7 year old son a 3/4 Ibanez electric guitar. It was $129 at Guitar Center. I thought about buying him an acoustic, but opted for the electric instead. The 3/4 is the right size for him, I wouldn't do the 1/2 size. You may want to see my post in the "I'm looking for a new..." forum.

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1675

My son was about 9 when we got his first guitar, also a Christmas gift. It was a half-size nylon-string acoustic from a discount store, probably about $35-$45 plus another $20 for a case, if I recall. The brand was Mark IV I think.

He loved it at first, but we found that it wouldn't stay in tune well at all. So we soon moved up to a better guitar.

So the only advice I have is, if you think your son is truly interested, don't bother with the el cheapo setup to start with. Invest in something with some quality to it.


When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 190

My 8-year-old, who is typical size for his age, fits a 1/2 size axe just fine. Really, it's all he can do to cover two frets. Is there any way to size the child up with the instrument without blowing your cover? Maybe it's more important to get him the right instrument than surprise him via St. Nick....

"Yes and an old guitar is all that he can afford,
when he gets up under the lights to play his thing..."-Dire Straits

Riff Raff
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 371