One of the most interesting things your 6-year-old can learn is playing the guitar. Studies have shown that playing an instrument benefits the brain, memory, and concentration and is also good for developing self-discipline.
Ideally, your child can start guitar lessons anywhere between 5 and 8 years old. So 6 is right on the money.
The short answer to the correct size guitar for a 6 year old is that it depends more on your child's size than their age. You should always look for the guitar size first because you don't want your child struggling while holding the guitar.
Read on the learn the options for your child and which would be the best for their first guitar.
For kids overall, here's a size chart to help you choose:
Choosing what size guitar for 6 year old to get is one of the most important tasks because it will make the learning process a lot easier and much more comfortable. Giving a full-size guitar or a generally larger guitar to a 6-year-old can cause a lot of frustration. It can also lead to a possible loss of interest because the child won't feel comfortable since they have small hands.
Even choosing a ½ guitar size instead of ¼ size can be tough for a kid mostly because their hands are small and can get around the neck.
Ideally, you should take your child to the music store to try out the best guitar. That way they can see if the overall length fits if they feel comfortable holding the guitar, putting the hand around the neck of the guitar and the other hand around the body. But, if your only option is to order the guitar online, follow this size chart we mentioned earlier for a better understanding.
Remember that this chart was made using the standard height for some ages. If your 6-year-old is taller than his peers, for example, 4'3'' or 130cm, then choosing a ½ size guitar or even ¾ may be ideal. On the other hand, a 3'9'' or 110cm tall kid can be perfectly satisfied with a ½ size guitar even though the chart says that the ¼ size guitar would be ideal.
It all varies from kid to kid, and that is why we recommend that you take your 6-year-old to the nearest store to try out the selection of electric or acoustic guitars.
One of the very first things you need to establish is the type of guitar for your 6-year-old. There are three main options you should focus on, electric, classical and acoustic guitars. All of them can be a perfect fit for your child's first guitar, but, there are major differences between them so choose carefully.
Electric guitars are most notably associated with rock, metal, jazz, and other popular music subgenres. They have signature models that you may already love like the Gibson Les Paul or a Fender Stratocaster (although we wouldn’t recommend forking out for one of these as a first guitar).
They have a smaller body and a thinner neck than most acoustic and classical guitars, meaning that they will be easier for your child to hold. And that is a big plus in favor of an electric guitar.
But, there are a few cons of course. First, they are more expensive than the other two variants. A standard smaller electric guitar roughly goes between 200-300 dollars, while you can get acoustic or classical guitar anywhere between 100 and 200 dollars. Besides that, they need an amplifier to hear what you are playing, so count in at least 100 dollars for the cheapest amp.
On the other hand, acoustic and classical guitar like the Baby Taylor or Loog mini have a lot of similarities. But, there are a few major differences between them that you need to know before you go shopping. First, the strings are different. The standard acoustic guitar uses steel strings, while the classical guitar goes with nylon ones.
What does that mean? Nylon strings will be much more comfortable for your kid. They are softer and require less pressure on them to play a note. On the other hand, the sound that steel strings produce is the one everyone knows, so if your 6-year-old is not interested in classical music, the fact is that they will go towards an acoustic guitar sooner or later.
The other major difference between the two is the neck. While the classical guitar has softer nylon strings, it also has a much wider neck meaning that it requires a bigger hand to play.
There are a couple of helpful tips you should follow when buying your child a first guitar.
Choose the right size - as we described above, choosing the right size is very important when buying your kid the first guitar. It will make their progress faster, and most importantly, playing the guitar won't be a struggle for the young guitarist.
Price - Kids lose interest very fast. They find new exciting things every day. Hopefully, your 6-year-old will stay interested in playing the guitar because it has many benefits. But don't overpay their first guitar. You can get a decent acoustic guitar for around 100-150 dollars, while the electric guitars are usually around 200 or 300 dollars. And if your child shows progress and starts getting more and more into playing the guitar, then you start looking for a better solution.
String action - When shopping for a new guitar, you need to check is the string action or string height. Due to the lack of good quality checks, some guitars have a higher action, meaning that it will require more pressure onto the strings to play a note. Avoid this because you don't want your child to feel pain every time they play.
Does the guitar stay in tune? - Ask the salesman if the guitar stays in tune. Smaller kids love to play with the tuning pegs. Having to tune the guitar every time your kid plays a chord should be avoided if possible.
Take your 6-year-old to the music store and figure out the best guitar for them. Kids love when they decide, and in this particular case, they'll love the fact that they bonded with the best guitar from the start.
Just be patient if they make a lot of noise at first, and take them to a guitar lesson or two (hundred). Soon, you'll see the progress, and that noise will turn into beautiful songs that your whole family will enjoy while your child rocks out on a Les Paul.