Our top picks at a glance
- Yamaha JR1
- Crescent MG38-CF
- Yamaha CS40 II
- Yamaha JR2
- Arcadia DL36NA
- Gibson Maestro Mini
- Lauren LA30N
- Fender MC-1
- Fender MA-1
As a parent, I think that the Yamaha JR1 is the best acoustic guitar for kids. Most standard acoustic guitars have a size that may not suit a child.
The 3/4 scale size of this guitar is just perfect for any kid who wants to start learning the guitar. And oh, about the price? It is one of the best value-for-money acoustic guitars in the market.
I have a 4 year old little girl who really loves to mimic cartoon characters on TV.
One of those characters she often copy while watching is Ash, a porcupine girl rocker from the hit movie, Sing.
Now my daughter wants to rock along with Ash and she wants to carry my guitar- which is by the way almost twice her size.
I don’t want her to break any piece of that guitar and she can’t rock well because it’s too heavy for her.
So I’ve decided to buy her an acoustic guitar that is just perfect for her size.
Here are my recommended small-size beginner acoustic guitars that your kid will surely love.
Here are the best acoustic guitar for kids in 2021
A compact and sturdy guitar like the Yamaha JR1 Junior-Size Acoustic guitar is what your child needs to hone his/her skills. As an acoustic guitar, you don’t expect to see some bells and whistles, but Yamaha ensures excellent playability and sound quality.
Made with Spruce top, Meranti back and sides, and Nato neck, Yamaha selects the best wood quality to unleash its authentic acoustic sounds. The glossy top and the satin finish for back and sides reveal excellent craftsmanship.
Though the neck isn’t solid, it’s very comfortable to move around and access the upper frets. The rosewood fretboard has 20 frets with 21 ¼-inch scale length to accommodate small players.
Yamaha gives no room for compromises, even on the hardware. The JR1 is equipped with rosewood bridge, compensated synthetic bone nut and saddle and chrome open-geared tuning machines. Perhaps with a change of strings and a proper setup, this guitar is great to produce a pretty good tone.
- 3/4 Scale mini guitar
- Solid spruce top
- Meranti sides and back
- Rosewood neck and fingerboard
- Well-made guitar that produces a decent sound quality
- Perfect-sized which is tuned well right out of the box
- Easy to handle and it fits naturally in your palm
- It’s smaller than expected, especially for a child 6 to 7 years old
The Yamaha JR1 3/4 Scale Guitar is just perfect for kids and adults alike. It provides a real comfort in playing and has a decent quality sound that makes it hard to beat for the price.
If you’re looking for a starter guitar, the Crescent MG38-CF Acoustic Guitar could be the one for you. It’s a 38-inch guitar with steel strings and wood frame construction, which is carefully polished to give you that classic and vintage look. The strings are strong and stable to provide you a one-of-a-kind playing experience.
Playing country and blues is made easier on this acoustic guitar. It’s versatile to accommodate different playing styles, strumming, fingerpicking and flatpicking.
It offers bright and loud tone with very clear projection. Tuning pegs are made of brass and steel, so tuning is easy and more accurate.
At a decent price tag, you’ll also get a digital tuner, so keeping the right tuning of the guitar becomes easier. With this, beginners can tune the guitar properly without the need for a professional to do it.
- Perfect for Beginner Students
- Steel Strings
- Wood Frame Build
- Comes with a Bundles of Guitar Accessories
- This guitar provides excellent acoustics — better projection and timbre
- A real beginning guitar that lets you get some good sounds
- It’s comfortable to play and fits the hands of new players
- Fretboard doesn’t have the usual inlays/markers so it’s hard for beginners to know which fret they are
- Needs constant tuning, but at least it includes a digital E-Tuner
If you want to just start playing without burning a hole in your pocket, then the Crescent MG38-CF 38″ Acoustic Guitar is just perfect. At a cheap price, its already loaded with a bunch of guitar accessories that is ideal for any beginner guitar players.
The quality craftsmanship Yamaha is known for, coupled with CS classic guitars’ promise of great performance is what you get with Yamaha CS40 II Classic Guitar. It’s a six-stringed nylon guitar with outstanding tone and quality without the expensive price tag.
You can see from its Spruce top, Meranti back and sides and the glossy finish that the guitar is made with passion. The Nato neck and Rosewood fingerboard make a good tandem in providing ease when surfing up and down the fretboard.
Though this has the 7/8-scale, which is slightly smaller than the full-sized, it’s not lacking in any aspect. It has the same capacity as the high-end Yamaha guitars.
With the keen attention to the finest details, this guitar rises above other classic guitars in reliability and playability. The sound quality can be greatly improved with a professional setup and changing to the right strings.
- Spruce Top
- Meranti Back
- Meranti Sides
- Gloss Finish
- Rosewood Fingerboard
- Has great value for money and produce nice classical acoustic sound
- Nylon strings are perfect for beginning guitarists
- It’s easy on the fingers and comfortable to play
- Action (distance between the fretboard and the strings) is way too high
- Needs professional to setup everything to get that desirable tone it has
For an affordable price, the Yamaha CS40 II 7/8-Scale Nylon String Guitar is one of the best guitar for beginners. It is available in full size and 7/8 scale and I would highly recommend the latter as it is more beginner-friendly. It may not be a top notch guitar but to get you started, this will more than suffice.
Save yourself from the hassle of finding an acoustic guitar for your kids. Get a Yamaha JR2 Small Scale Guitar. If you’ve not heard of the JR2, at least, you’ve heard of the greatness of its maker, and it’s more than enough to trust the brand.
I know the brand isn’t enough for those who are looking for quality guitars, regardless of the maker. However, the JR2 comes with Sitka Spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and you know that these tonewoods are some of the best for acoustic guitars. Though it’s a laminate construction with UTF (Ultra-Thin Finish), not only that it’s beautiful-looking, it’s also durable.
Measuring 21 ¼-inch scale length, going up and down the rosewood bridge and Nato neck is quicker and easier. With 33-inch full length, it’s a compact guitar that offers the best acoustic tones you’ll get from a junior guitar.
- Comes in two finish designs: vintage sunburst and natural
- 21 1/4″ scale length
- Mahogany Back
- Mahogany Sides
- Spruce Top
- Nato Neck
- Fit and finish are nice with keen attention to details
- Frets are smooth and the nut is well set
- Plays well since the strings have an appropriate height (action)
- Delivers good tone and doesn’t need much effort to play it
- The size is a bit smaller, like a ukulele in my arms
The Yamaha JR2 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar is modeled after the brand’s FG series, one of the best-selling guitars of all time. It’s a compact size guitar that is perfect for beginners who wish to practice in ease, kids who are just starting to play, and as well as intermediate players who wants to have a guitar that they can easily carry when traveling.
A guitar made with superior internal bracing for stability and excellent resonance is what you need to produce great acoustics. Among the acoustic guitars on the market, Arcadia DL36NA is the one that gives you a much better performance. Featuring finely grained laminate Spruce top and laminate Linden back and sides, giving it a more balanced sound with great projection.
Arcadia is simple, but it’s irresistible. It simply is a great guitar, probably, among the best-sounding guitar for beginners, for its price. It’s also versatile enough to accommodate different playing techniques, so intermediate players are also welcome to play this guitar.
Unfortunately, though it comes with steel strings, they snag, and they seem loose. It’s hard to tune them properly. The die-cast tuners are not a problem, in fact, they are excellent keeping the guitar in proper tuning. You just need to change them with new strings.
- Spruce Top Body
- Durable Body Bracing
- Great-looking Die-cast Tuners
- Meranti Mahogany Neck
- Excellent construction and bracing that offers better acoustic resonance
- Provides a balanced tone and projection
- Die-cast tuners are very accurate when tuning and keeping the guitar in tune
- With a very affordable price, it has the best value for your money
- Comes with low-quality strings, they snag and hard to tune
Another one of the cheapest and best acoustic guitar for beginners, the Arcadia DL36NA PAK 38″ parlor size comes in natural, black, and tobbaco sunburst and is available in 2 different sizes. For those who prefer a full size guitar, the DL41 model will suit you while those who prefer smaller guitars will love the parlor size DL36 model.
A pretty cool guitar for its price, Gibson Maestro Mini Guitar is a nice choice for beginners. It’s made with good tonewood — Spruce top with basswood side and back. It has a glossy finish, which is common for guitars in this price range.
For me, the maple neck (with gloss finish) and rosewood fretboard are okay. The fretboard has 21 frets with dot inlays and chrome hardware. Of course, since it’s a junior guitar, the frets could be narrower to adults or those with bigger fingers.
Since this is a low-cost guitar, I’m not expecting it to be great, just hoping some decency with its sounds. Well, when it’s properly tuned and set up, it sounds wonderful. However, the strings need changing and a little adjustment with the action. As they say, you get what you pay for.
- Select top spruce
- Basswood back and sides
- 21-Fret rosewood fingerboard
- Has the right size for small players, especially kids 5-6 years old
- Sounds better and way better than other models with the same price tag
- Aesthetically beautiful and looks great
- Tuners are excellent in keeping the strings in perfect tune and not slip
- Stock strings need a replacement for the guitar to come to life
- Some buzzing in the action
The Gibson Maestro lets you choose from 3 different designs of their stunning guitar: vintage sunburst, natural and ebony. I personally like the vintage sunburst finish. With a proper setup and use, this little Gibson guitar will show its full potential. Not to mention, its body size is perfectly built for beginners to practice with ease.
An easy-to-play guitar is what you need to start playing. Thankfully, the Lauren LA30N Acoustic Guitar offers you comfort, playability and durable construction. It’s made of quality woods, plus glossy natural finish for its nice appearance.
It sounds pleasant and very easy to play because of the nylon strings. Since it’s a ½-sized guitar, it’s perfect for kids. It has a narrower neck with perfect action, so those smaller hands can easily make chords and access upper frets without a sweat.
As a beginner guitar, it comes with nylon strings. There are advantages and disadvantages to this kind of strings. I understand and seasoned musicians do know that nylon strings are softer and easily gets detuned. This is a normal phenomenon since the strings easily warp with temperature changes.
The tuning pegs appear to be decent and reliable. Perhaps, an upgrade to a new set of strings could alleviate the drawback of nylon-stringed guitars. Or, at least, extending the retuning intervals.
- 30- inch steel string and nylon acoustic(3 steel-wrapped nylon and 3 pure nylon strings)
- Made from high-quality wood
- Glossed finish
- Strings are more comfortable to play than steel
- Narrower neck so the strings and the frets are close enough
- Construction and built seem professional
- The nylon strings make the guitar detuning constantly
- Replacement of strings is recommended
One of the best qualities that makes a perfect beginner acoustic guitar is how someone can easily play on it, and this Lauren LA30N guitar just delivers. This cheap guitar is perfect for parents who don’t want to regret buying later if their kid loses interest in playing.
Fender MC-1 Nylon Guitar is a beautiful and elegant instrument for kids. As a ¾-size guitar solidly built, it will be a good choice for professionals who want to shift from steel-stringed to nylon guitars. Though it has a scaled-down size, this is still Fender and you’ll never be disappointed with the sweet tone it has underneath.
It’s made with Agathis top and Sapele back and sides with time-tested bracing that offers full tone, indicative of a true classic guitar. The smooth and satin-finished C-shape neck is one of the things that I liked about this guitar. It provides more comfort when playing the guitar.
Whether you like fingerpicking or strumming the MC-1 is versatile enough to accommodate different playing skills. It provides performance beyond expectations. Hence, you’ll truly enjoy this amazing guitar.
- 3/4 Body Size
- 23.3 Guitar Scale Length
- C-shape Neck Profile in Satin Finish
- Agathis Top
- Salepe Back and Sides
- The feel, comfort and the tone it has goes beyond its price
- The feel, comfort and the tone it has goes beyond its price
- Nylon strings are easier to fingerplay which produce nice and rich sound
- It feels light and easy to hold, especially for kids
- The finish is a bit bland-looking and there’s no other option you have than the Natural
Players with small hands will definitely love Fender MA-1 3/4 Having said that, the neck size and nylon string makes playing really comfortable.
Offered at a price hard to beat, Fender MA-1 Steel String Guitar is a good instrument to start with. As a steel-stringed guitar, it offers playability and style with its traditional 3/4 scale parlor body. It has a compact body, which is great for smaller players.
Of course, at its price, you don’t expect a solidwood, but it has a decent laminate Agathis top with Sapele back and sides. What separates this from those cheaper guitars is the classic X-bracing and the attractive satin finish.
The C-shaped Nato neck and the rosewood fretboard sport the same satin finish, which offers comfort and fit. The fretboard has 18 frets with 23.3-inch scale length, shorter for better playability.
It still has reliable sealed die-cast chrome tuners, solid rosewood bridge, and decent hardware. It offers balanced crisp and clean sounds, with mellow, warm touch because of the Sapele back and sides. You’ll get a decent sound for its price.
- Small-sized body guitar, 23.3 string scale length
- 23.3 Guitar Scale Length
- C-shape Neck Profile in Satin Finish
- Agathis Top
- Sapele Back and Sides
- Smaller body makes it a great beginner’s guitar
- Very efficient in keeping the right tune for long
- Has decent build quality, which seems durable
- Very easy to play because of the smaller scale length
- Not a full-sounding guitar, but still sounds decent
At a 23.3 string scale length and 3/4 size body, kids and players who have small hands will definitely love the Fender MA-1 3/4-Size Steel String Acoustic Guitar. Its a perfectly portable guitar that any kid could carry around easily. The Fender MA-1 also perfectly stays in tune and sounds more than good enough for any beginner player.
What To Consider When Buying an Acoustic Guitar for Kids?
I think this is the most important thing to consider as playing the guitar can be difficult for them when they’re using a full-size guitar for adults.
We want to encourage our child in playing, so having a guitar on which they are comfortable in playing. Choose a low action guitar, which makes the strings easy to press. Double check with the seller to not make the action too low as it can cause some buzzing tone on the strings.
ALSO READ: Our ultimate list of the best acoustic guitar
Make sure not to buy a too costly guitar if don’t want to regret buying later(if you’re kid loses interest afterwards, or drops the guitar often). If they continue playing, you may want to upgrade their skills and improve their playing using these best acoustic guitars for beginners.
What is the best size for kids?
The correct size guitar is important as it allows the child to be more comfortable with the instrument and increase the chances of them committing to the craft. If the instrument is too small or too big, practicing will be a difficult task for the kid.
Below is a great children’s guitar size chart that recommends the proper size according to age:
|4-6 years old||30 inches|
|6-9 years old||34 inches|
|9-12 years old||36 inches|
|12 years old and up||Standard size|
What’s The Proper Age To Getting Started Learning?
Before you go consider other factors, the very first thing that you need to consider in the guitar-purchasing process is your child.
Answers usually vary as to the best age to start guitar lessons: some people say around the age of six but others can tell you that a five year old can start taking guitar lessons.
This is because the most important factor to consider is the physical strength of a student’s hand.
So if your child can physically handle playing the guitar, the next step to consider is the guitar size that matches your child’s age.
Our article on “what is the right age for learning guitar(click here)” will give you an in-depth answer on the what age should a kid start learning guitar.
Also check out our guide on best kids electric guitars if you think they’re more of the rocker-type kid guitarist.
Recommended Easy Guitar Lessons and Resources for Kids:
- Easy guitar Lessons For kids
- Beginner Guitar Lessons for Kids – Easiest Way to Learn How to Play Guitar
- Guitar Lessons for Kids – TeachWombat
- Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course 1
- Easy Guitar Songs for Kids
- 6 EASIER Guitar Chords for Kids or Total Beginners
Yamaha JR1 is the best acoustic guitar for kids, as it’s 3/4 scale size is perfect for most beginner kids. For kids 10-12 onwards, get the bigger Yamaha JR2 acoustic guitar. And for those budget-seekers, we recommend getting Crescent MG38-CF and Maestro by Gibson.
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