The Best Guitars For Kids - Top Electric & Acoustic Guitars for Children
Discover the best electric and acoustic guitars to learn on, as well as other tips for children learning to play.
By Ben Nemeroff
For a kid who loves music, learning to play an instrument and getting their hands on their first guitar can be a life-changing experience. Learning to play guitar can help players develop immeasurable benefits, such as greater confidence in their abilities, patience, and self-expression alongside more tangible skills such as hand-eye coordination. Better yet, according to neuroscientist, musician, and record producer Daniel Levitin, "Learning an instrument can also help develop your brain when you are a kid,” giving children who play guitar an edge over their non-musician peers.
Compared to other, larger instruments, guitar makes a great choice for children due to the fact that it’s portable and allows them to see progress quickly. Kids can learn just a few chords and start playing some of their favorite songs.
To help younger musicians start down and stick with the path of learning their instrument, it’s important to help them choose the right one. Having an instrument that works with their developing physiology can make it easier for them to play, practice, and see progress. Here are some of our picks for best guitars for kids
The Best Acoustic Guitars For Kids
Acoustic guitars can be an ideal choice for kids beginning to learn to play. They’re portable and there are a number of relatively inexpensive models that can help them get started on their musical journey. They also don’t require an amplifier, making it easy to start strumming without having to worry about plugging in. Many of the best acoustic guitars for kids are scaled-down versions of full-size guitars, made with smaller hands in mind. This can make learning to play guitar easier and less frustrating to have an instrument that works with a child’s physiology.
Here are some of our recommendations for the best acoustic guitars for kids:
1) Redondo Mini
• Redondo Mini body shape with spruce top, scalloped “X”-bracing, mahogany back and sides
• Smaller size ideal for younger players with small hands
• Full size sound in a compact package
• 18 frets
• Includes gig bag
For budding musicians, the Redondo Mini guitar gives you the big sound of a full-size guitar in a smaller package. Its 22 ¾” scale length and half-sized body is ideal for young players with smaller hands. Compared to full-size guitars with 20 frets, the Redondo Mini has only 18 frets, making it easier for small hands to stretch between frets as they get familiar with the fretboard. The Redondo Mini also comes bundled with a padded gig bag, perfect for storage and for carrying it on-the-go and giving kids a chance to show off their guitar skills to their friends.
Click here to shop the Redondo Mini acoustic guitar.
2) FA-15N ¾ Nylon
• All-laminate construction
• ¾-size body ideal for smaller hands
• Nylon strings
• 18 frets
• Comes with gig bag
For portability, price, and tone, the FA-15N ¾ acoustic guitar can’t be beat! Its bright, lively tone makes this guitar a great choice for kids starting out on their guitar journey. This lightweight acoustic guitar has an 11.81” fingerboard radius, making it easier for players with smaller hands to get around the fretboard. Nylon strings make it easier on beginner players’ fingers, even during extended practice sessions. In addition to its $169.99 price point, the FA-15N ¾ acoustic guitar comes with a padded gig bag, making it an outstanding choice for a starter guitar for kids.
Click here to shop the FA-15N ¾ acoustic guitar.
3) Sonoran Mini with Bag
• Fender-exclusive Sonoran Mini body
• Spruce or mahogany top with scalloped “X”-bracing, mahogany back and sides
• ¾ body size
• 18 frets
• Includes gig bag
The Sonoran Mini has a scaled-down ¾ body size with 18 frets, ideal for children just learning to play guitar. This portable acoustic guitar packs a powerful sound -- with the same richness of tone as its full-size counterpart. The Sonoran Mini is available with either a spruce top or mahogany top, giving younger players a choice of sound. Want a brighter tone? Opt for spruce. Craving a warmer tone? Choose mahogany. The Sonoran Mini also comes with a gig bag, making this acoustic guitar even more portable.
Click here to shop the Sonoran Mini acoustic guitar.
The Best Electric Guitars For Kids
Few instruments have the appeal of an electric guitar. Even scaled-down beginner models feel “grown up” for kids who are eager to plug in and start playing some of their favorite songs. It’s the timeless allure of an electric guitar that, even as a starter instrument, can help keep kids wanting to practice and progress in their musical journey.
When choosing the best electric guitar for kids, size is often a factor -- especially for players with smaller hands. Slim necks and fewer frets can make it easier for young guitarists to more easily navigate the fretboard, strumming chords and playing scales with greater accuracy and confidence. In addition to finding the right electric guitar for a child, you’ll also want to consider an affordable practice amp, allowing them to plug in and hear the full power of their instrument. (Or to play with headphones in!)
Check out our recommendations for the best electric guitars for kids:
1) Squier Mini Stratocaster®
• Stratocaster body
• Smaller 22.75” scale length
• C-shaped neck for comfortable playing and 9.5” fingerboard radius
• Lightweight, thin body
• 20 frets
• Three single-coil pickups
• Left-hand model also available
The Squire Mini Strat packs the iconic style and sound of a full-sized Statocaster into a smaller body. Ideal for kids and players with smaller hands, the thin, lightweight Mini Strat won’t weigh them down or sit too heavily, even during spirited practice sessions. Whether they’re strumming beginner chords or practicing scales, the Mini Strat’s slim C-shaped neck and 9.5” fingerboard radius make it easier for kids to navigate the fretboard with greater ease. For little lefties, the Mini Stratocaster also offers a left-hand model, allowing them to better adapt to their own style. On top of that, its affordable price point of $189.99 makes this a great starter guitar for kids without breaking the bank.
Click here to shop the Squier Mini Stratocaster®.
2) Bullet® Stratocaster® HT
• Stratocaster body
• C-shaped neck for easier playing
• Variety of color choices
• 21 frets
• Under $200.00
While new musicians might not yet have developed an ear for tone and richness of sound, kids can certainly appreciate a guitar that looks cool -- and later appreciate just how good it sounds, too. Enter the Bullet Stratocaster HT, available in an assortment of classic and fun colors. Although this is a full-size guitar, it’s C-shaped neck and 9.5” fingerboard radius are slim enough for even small hands to play with ease.
Click here to shop the Bullet® Stratocaster® HT.
3) Mini Jazzmaster® HH
• Thin, lightweight body
• C-shaped neck for ease of playing
• Humbucking pickups
• 20 frets
The Squire Mini Jazzmaster HH is another excellent guitar for kids. Built for comfort, with a C-shaped neck and lightweight body, the Mini Jazzmaster reduces weight and won’t pull on young necks or sit too heavily while playing. Its dual humbucking pickups offer a thick tone alongside a 22.75” scale length body give kids the meaty sound of a full-size Jazzmaster in a more compact electric guitar that makes it easier for kids to play.
Click here to shop the Mini Jazzmaster® HH.
Buying Advice For Finding The Best Guitar For Children
When you’re shopping for the best guitar for kids to learn on, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Every child is different -- some grow at a faster rate than others and each child has their own musical preferences and styles they enjoy. Here are a few tips for choosing the best guitar for kids and getting them a guitar they’ll want to pick up time and time again.
What is the best age for a child to learn guitar?
There is no singular best age for a child to start learning guitar. However, the typical age for kids to start playing guitar is around 6 years old, after they’ve developed fine motor skills, coordination, and the ability to focus on tasks. At this age, a child is able to clearly articulate their likes and dislikes in terms of what music inspires them, as well as test out a guitar and compare different models along with adult supervision. They’re also able to start retaining knowledge like chords, notes, scales, and even songs.
Ultimately, it’s up to each individual child to determine when they’re ready to start playing. However, having a guitar that’s easier for them to play and made with kids in mind can be a great springboard for a lifetime of learning and building a greater appreciation for music.
What size guitar is right for a child?
The “right” size guitar depends on the unique physiology of each child. Some kids have a growth spurt overnight, while others don’t develop until later and are smaller than some of their peers. That’s why there is a diverse range of sizes of guitars, giving musicians of all ages and sizes more options to play.
Scaled-down mini guitar models are great for smaller children -- especially kids between the ages of 6 and 10 years of age. However, if a child is bigger or older than 10 years old, they can likely play a full-sized guitar. There’s no one-size-fits-all guitar for kids, but a combination of factors such as tone, size, and other factors that will make sitting down to practice exciting and comfortable.
Does my child need guitar lessons?
Even child guitar prodigies can benefit from lessons with an instructor. Guitar lessons can help children gain a greater understanding of musical theory from a young age, and pick up the basics they’ll need to carry them throughout their musical journey.
While in-person music lessons might not always be possible for kids, Fender Play can be an easy way to introduce children to the concept of more structured musical lessons. Fender Play breaks down lessons into bite-sized video sessions, allowing kids to learn, practice, and play for as long or as short a duration as possible. Professional instructors show and tell beginner guitarists about proper finger placement, technique, and give kids a chance to hear how chords and notes should sound, allowing them to develop their musical ear. Fender Play also has hundreds of popular songs that kids may recognize, giving them the opportunity to put their newly-learned skills into practice and strumming along to some of their favorite tunes.
Want To Find The Perfect Starter Guitar? Try Find Your Fender.
Encouraging a child to begin to play guitar is a great way to help them build confidence and skills that will last a lifetime. Choosing the best guitar for kids is the first step on the journey. Not sure where to start? Check out our Find Your Finder quiz to help narrow the field and find the perfect starter guitar.