The Best Kids Acoustic & Electric Guitars

kid playing guitar
best overall rating
  • Sitka Spruce top
  • Birch laminate neck
  • 16-inch fingerboard radius
premium choice rating
  • Scaled down body size
  • Solid Mahogany body
  • Impressive sound for a small body
great value rating
  • A beautiful 3/4 size body
  • Highly playable
  • High quality and affordable instrument

Parents can find the task of getting a guitar for kids quite challenging. Two major concerns are about finding the right guitar for kids that meets their playing needs and finding an affordable kid’s guitar that will not break after one play.

This guide will help you find the right instrument for your children and help you know what to look out for when buying a guitar for your kids. The joy on your face when you see how happy your little ones get when playing will be all worth it.

Music can help your child develop life and social skills, so you should try as much as possible to get them to play an instrument, and the guitar is one of the most popular instruments played by kids around the globe.

We are experts at guitars and have gone through the instruments available on the market to bring you the ten best kid guitars. This guide focuses on the best kid’s electric and acoustic guitars and provides you with a buyer’s guide, so you know what to look out for.

The 5 Best Acoustic Guitars For Kids

Product PhotoGuitar and RatingDescriptionCheck Price & Read User Reviews
+ Martin LX1 Little Martin

Overall Score: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Amazing sound in a solid downsized acoustic guitar body. A high-quality instrument your kid will play for years

+ Taylor GS Mini

Overall Score: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Get ready to be blown away by the sound of this high-quality little instrument. Taylor didn’t miss a beat with this one

+ Yamaha JR1

Overall Score: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

An excellent value for money. A great choice if you want something cheaper but still deliver on performance and playability

+ Yamaha APXT2

Overall Score: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Warm lows, bright highs. This is a perfect kids guitar to learn and grow with. This 3/4-size delivers a heavyweight punch

+ Rogue Starter Acoustic Guitar For Kids

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

This budget-friendly acoustic offers an amazing value for money. Good intonation and action. It stays in tune

Martin LX1 Little Martin

Martin LX1 Little MartinMartin is one of the best acoustic guitar brands on the market, and this Little Martin is an excellent instrument for your playing kid. It is an affordable big-name instrument for people with small or short hands.

The LX1 Little Martin has a Sitka spruce top supported by high-pressure laminate mahogany sides and back. The neck is made from Rutland Stratabond (basically a bonded plywood) with an Indian Rosewood fretboard.

Don’t be fooled by its size because this is not a toy guitar but a serious acoustic guitar with excellent sound quality. That’s because it was made to be used as a travel guitar rather than a kid’s guitar, but the small size makes it perfect for kids.

This is a pure acoustic with no electronics, but you can retrofit it with electronics if that’s what you want. You also get a well-padded gig bag when you buy the LX1.

Taylor GS Mini

Taylor GS Mini-e x300

The Taylor GS Mini is a powerful instrument in a small body and one of the best kid’s acoustic guitars on the market. Although technically not made for kids, the mini size makes it a perfect instrument for your baby guitarist.

We are wowed by the impressive design and sound quality of this little guitar. It has a solid Sitka spruce top with mahogany sides and back. You get a solid Sapele bracing, a Sapele neck with an ebony fretboard.

This guitar has excellent volume and excellent tone clarity. The GS Mini is great as a travel guitar but also ideal for kids who love to play. This guitar will grow with your kid well into their teens and adulthood.

Taylor GS mini does not come with any electronics, but it has a mounting system that allows you to attach a pickup easily. This is an awesome guitar to add to your collection or buy for your kid, and it comes with a free gig bag.

Yamaha JR1

Yamaha FG JR1Don’t let the price tag and small size of the Yamaha JR1 fool you; it is an awesome instrument that is mostly regarded as a travel guitar but also makes an excellent kid’s acoustic. The size makes it a perfect fit for kids between 5 and 11 years old.

This 3/4-size baby packs a punch and comes with a spruce top and a Nato wood neck with a rosewood fingerboard. This guitar is fun and easy to play and guaranteed to keep your little one interested in music.

The JR1 from Yamaha is an affordable and capable guitar for traveling and for kids who love to play. You get a free gig bag when you buy it.

Yamaha APXT2

This is another 3/4-size instrument on our list of the best guitars for kids. Again, this is a serious instrument and not a toy, so you get an awesome sound quality when playing the APXT2.

This acoustic has a spruce top and with a beautiful dark-finished Meranti on the sides and back. The small Nato or Mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard is very easy to play for kids as young as 5. You get to pick from a wide array of colors, so you are bound to find one that pleases your kid.

The sound is great but not as punchy as a full-size guitar. This is an electric-acoustic, so there’s a built-in pickup for connecting to an amp and an integrated tuner. Check out our comprehensive review of the Yamaha APXT2 for more details.

Rogue Starter Acoustic Guitar For Kids

Rogue Starter Acoustic GuitarThis is a cheap first guitar for children but sounds great when played. It isn’t going to win many awards, but it looks great, and it’s easy to play enough to keep your kid interested for a while. And if they do decide they don’t want to play anymore, you can use it as a backup or travel acoustic.

The Rogue starter acoustic is ideal for kids from 5 years old to about 10 years old. However, older children with smaller hands will also love playing this. The sound is pretty good for the price, and it also has a strong and sturdy build. It has beautiful aesthetics, which is a rarity in guitars of this price range. The instrument is easy to play, making it a good guitar for beginners.

This is obviously not a Martin or Taylor quality, but it makes a very good option for those on a budget.

Other Kid’s Acoustic Guitars We Recommend

We would love to go into details about all our favorite children’s guitars, but we can’t on here, so we’ll list a few more of our top recommendations below.

The 5 Best Electric Guitars For Kids

Product PhotoGuitar and RatingDescriptionCheck Price & Read User Reviews
+ Fender Squier Strat Mini

Overall Score: 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

An excellent instrument for practicing or for kids starting to learn how to play. Good sound and playability

+ Ibanez GRGM21BKN Mikro Electric Guitar

Overall Score: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

We think this one of the best value starter electric guitars out there. Great sound, fun and easy to play

+ Epiphone Les Paul Special-II LTD with Player Pack

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Great looking guitar with humbuckers that deliver warm and rich tones even a professional will love

+ Mitchell MM100 Mini

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

An affordable kid-friendly guitar that is fun and comfortable to play. Good setup and it stays in tune

+ Peavey Captain America 3/4 Rockmaster

Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

A comfortable and easy-to-play guitar with a decent sound and good tune retention. Your little rocker will love this one

Fender Squier Strat Mini

You can’t look further than a Fender Squier Strat Mini when looking for an electric guitar for your young rock star. This guitar is made the Squier company for Fender and modeled after the legendary Fender Stratocaster.

The 3/4 body size and 22.75-inch scale make it ideal for children aged 6 and up. It is also suitable for adults with small hands. The Strat Mini is one of the best electric guitars for beginners, and your kids will have loads of fun with this instrument.

This guitar sounds good out of the box, but we feel like you need to upgrade the strings to bring out the best sound quality. This electric comes with three pickups and five-way switch to give you different sound outputs.

As good as the Strat mini is, we don’t recommend it as a gig guitar. It works well for your young ones learning to play, and they’ll enjoy it, but we don’t believe you can buy this as a serious electric guitar.

The Strat Mini has a beautiful finish and a premium look. This Fender is well-made and excellent value for money.

Ibanez GRGM21BKN Mikro Electric Guitar

Ibanez GRGM21 MikroThe Ibanez Mikro is essentially a miniature version of their RG series of electric guitars. It’s designed for people with small hands, beginners, and kids.

A 3/4-size instrument, the Ibanez Mikro is a serious electric for kids aged 6 and above to learn to play on. In general, kids of average height (maybe from 12 years old) should play a full-size electric guitar.

When connected to a decent amp, this little electric guitar produces high-quality tones. It comes with a very simple three-way switch and a tone and volume control to give you loads of different sounds. Two pickups deliver the sound to the amp.

The guitar sounds good, and the slim maple neck makes it highly playable. We highly recommend the Ibanez Mikro as one of the best electric guitars for young children.

Epiphone Les Paul Special-II LTD with Player Pack

Epiphone Les Paul Special II x300This package includes the Epiphone Les Paul Special-II LTD electric guitar and a 10-watt amp to get your kid going right out of the box. 

The legendary Gibson electrics inspires this guitar with its design and sound quality. It is affordable and comes with everything you need to start playing. This makes this package attractive to parents on a budget because you don’t only get a great guitar but an amp, a bag, picks, amp cable, and a strap.

Mitchell MM100 Mini

Mitchell MM100 MiniThe Mitchel MM100 is beautiful and looks and feels premium. It may not sound like an expensive instrument, but the sound quality is excellent for a kid’s electric guitar. This reduced size comes with a double-cutaway body and a 22.5-inch scale, making it suitable for children.

The MM100 has a basswood body and a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. You can choose from three colors and a glossy or matte finish.

It comes with two pickups that deliver a flawless, high-volume sound to your amps. Your little rocker will have a lot of fun with this guitar, and maybe, you the adult, can have a go on it as well. It is that comfortable to play, and you don’t have to break the bank to get it.

Peavey Captain America 3/4 Rockmaster

Peavey Captain America 34 RockmasterPeavey combines the two things most kids want to be, a superhero and a rock star, with this Captain America themed electric guitar. This Marvel superhero is printed boldly on this guitar along with the words “Captain America” in the USA colors.

This 3/4-size body makes this Peavey an ideal first instrument for kids and adults with small hands. The electronics work flawlessly, and the 22.5-inch scale is easy and comfortable to play. The instrument comes with two pickups and volume and tone controllers.

The electric guitar is the perfect way to get your 5 to 12-year-old kids into guitar because the comic theme appeals to them and gets them to keep playing. It is good-looking, affordable, and plays well.

That covers our review of the top electric guitars for your child, but it’s now time to delve into a few considerations you should take before choosing an instrument for your toddler or child.

Electric or Acoustic – Which is Best For Children to Learn Play With?

Most people will tell you to start your kid on an acoustic guitar because it allows them to learn the basics of playing without the special sound effects an electric guitar can offer. While this may be true, we strongly believe parents should allow their kids to practice on the type of instrument they prefer.

We say this because forcing your child to play on an instrument they don’t like is a sure way to get them to lose interest in playing. They will love to practice more, and you’ll most likely see them improve faster when you let them play their instrument of choice.

It is important to let your little learner be free in deciding the type of instrument and the style they want to play. They’ll learn a lot quicker, and once they know the basics, they can switch to different styles and different instruments if they wish to.

In addition, the differences between an acoustic and electric guitar are not that apparent at their level of play. You only really notice these differences once you move away from being a beginner.

We all know that the most important ingredient in a child learning anything new is their interest. They’ll learn faster, practice more, and improve quicker if you keep them interested in playing. This is why you don’t need to bog them down with too many rules when they start playing. They’ll naturally explore other types of instruments as long as you keep them interested.

Get them both an acoustic and an electric guitar if you can afford it, and they can alternate learning with either type of instrument.

Children’s Guitar Sizes – Which is the Right Size For My Kid?

It would be easy just to group all kids into age groups, and recommend a guitar size for each age group, but we all know people of similar age groups come in different sizes.

We will give you a rough age-related guideline, but, in the end, you will have to know your kids’ size related to the average adult to help determine what size guitar your child should play.

In general, follow the following guidelines to find the right size for your children.

  • Kids under 5 would generally play a 1/4-size to a 1/2-size acoustic instrument. They are lighter and smaller, so your kid can hold them and play.
  • Children between the ages of 6 to 9 years can play a 1/2-size to 3/4-size classical or acoustic guitar, or a mini size electric guitar.
  • Children 9 to 12 should be playing a 3/4-size acoustic or classic, or a full-size electric.
  • Children older than 12 can comfortably play full-size instruments, but those smaller than the average 12-year-old may want to stick with one of the smaller size instruments.

When in doubt, you can take your child to a local music store to try the guitar you want to buy before placing an order. There are several sizes of starter guitars for kids to choose from, so we encourage you to explore a bit to find the right size for your child’s needs.

We also have dedicated pages on the best beginner acoustic guitars and the top electric starter guitars. You may want to take a look at any of those pages if you’re buying an instrument for bigger-than-average children.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Guitar For Children

One of the most obvious considerations is the size of your child and the right-size guitar for them. Small body guitars like 3/4-size instruments, parlor guitars, and those labeled as “mini” should be on top of your considerations.

Instruments with slim necks and shorter scales are easier to play for smaller kids than full-scale instruments.

The young player’s niche is saturated with so much cheap and substandard instruments you need to avoid. Most of these are no different in build and sound quality than toy guitars. This is one of the reasons we’ve gone through what’s available on the market to compose this list of the best instruments for children. Each guitar on the list is a durable, proper, and high-quality instrument to be taken seriously.

How Much Does a Children’s Guitar Cost?

This is one of those questions that does not have a definitive answer that fits all. It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend. You can get a $10,000 if you have the money or find a doable one under $100 for those on a budget.

Anything between $150 t0 $300 is a reasonable amount to spend on a good acoustic guitar for children.

A decent electric guitar falls within a similar price range. However, you may have to budget an extra $50 to $120 for a good guitar amp for beginners and then a little extra for a strap, cables, and picks.

Other Considerations to make

The cost of the instruments does not typically include the cost of additional gear that may be needed to play the instrument.

Electric guitars do not make much sound if you don’t plug them into a decent amp. A decent one can set you back an additional $80 to $150. Then you have to buy a compatible cable to connect the guitar to the amp, and that can cost an extra $10.

Acoustic guitars do not require an amp (it is an optional accessory for electric-acoustic guitars). Still, you may have to buy some other gear you may need for both electric and acoustic instruments.

While these are not absolutely required, a good tuner {i} will help your little player keep their instrument in tune. Most beginners will do not know how to tune their guitar without the help of a tuner, so you must buy one for them.

A serious learner will also need a metronome to help with practice and develop their music skills. Some digital tuners come with an integrated metronome and should set you back an additional $40 or so.

Most guitars on our list come with a gig bag (a soft carry bag), but there are a few that do not include a bag. It’s highly unlikely that your kid is going to play the instrument just at home. They will soon want to play with their friends or carry it to lessons or band practice. It’s not advisable to transport the instrument outside the house without a bag as they can get damaged or have the finishing scratched. They should also get a bag even if they’ll only play it at a home. A good bag provides protection when the instrument is in storage.

A gig bag will set you back about $20 to $60, while a hard case will be a more expensive choice.

Beginners do not need a guitar effects pedal {i} when learning the basics of playing. Pedals add cool sound effects, but at that stage, they need to learn to play with just the pure, natural sound of the instrument.

Another accessory you may need to get is a good guitar strap {i}. The strap is essential for carrying the weight of the guitar when playing in a standing position. Although not required, a strap will provide an extra layer of instrument-safety when playing in a sitting position. A good strap may set you back an additional $20.

One solution to avoiding having to buy all these additional items is to consider buying a guitar starter pack package {i}, which typically includes all the required accessories in the price. You should, however, be careful because most starter packs only bundle inferior and cheap accessories to make their offer look attractive.

Should I buy a New or Used Guitar For my Toddler?

We recommend that you should always buy new whenever possible because it gives your kid a clean slate to start learning with. A secondhand instrument may be faulty and not enjoyable to play.

Having said that, getting a secondhand guitar from a certified dealer can get you some pretty awesome deals. It is even possible to find some good bargains from individual resellers, but you should be aware of the risks associated with such trades.

Generally, we advise that you only buy used instruments if you know what you’re doing or, at the minimum, bring someone along that knows what to look for.

Private Lessons or Online Lessons? Which is the Best Guitar Lessons Approach?

While some adults can follow free guitar lessons online and improve their skills, it’s a much tougher proposition for kids. This is why we recommend that you pay for lessons when your kid starts to learn to play.

So, the question is, should you hire a private tutor or subscribe to an online lesson? We recommend that you go with both approaches if you can afford it. A private tutor can even give lessons to your kid via a live online section, so it really doesn’t make too much of a difference these days. You just need to hire a competent guitar tutor, which is why you should research and ask for references before hiring someone.

One good way to keep your child interested is to hire a tutor that specializes in the same genre your child is interested in. Children will lose interest if they don’t think they are improving.

There are online guitar lessons {i} that can teach your kid from the basic level to advanced lessons. These lessons are pretty very good and often put together by some of the top tutors and players in the industry. Your child can follow at their own pace, and besides, kids love doing everything online these days. Online lessons also tend to have tons of practice materials to keep your kids going.

Our Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading our guide on the best guitars for children. We hope that we’ve been able to help you pick an instrument for your child.

It’s not that difficult to decide what to get them. You just have to know what your child wants – that means getting familiar with their taste of music and the type of guitar they want to play – and deciding how much you can afford to spend.

All the instruments on our list are more than good enough for kids to play easily and comfortably. Happy shopping!

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