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What is the Best Guitar Size for Beginners?

The best guitar size for beginners is the one you are comfortable playing with. A kid shouldn’t get a big guitar, but rather a mini guitar or guitarlele. A child that’s 8-12 years old needs a ¾-sized guitar, while adults or those with bigger profile might need a full-sized guitar.

Sizes of Guitars

Different types of guitars have different sizes. There are sizes perfect for kids and there are those that are only suitable for bigger players. Whatever your body profile, you should get the right size for your next guitar.

Here is a tabulated summary of the common guitar sizes for different guitar types. Also, it includes the height of the player, as well as the overall length of the guitar. This table is particularly helpful to you if you want to buy your first guitar online.

Age Size of Guitar Height Scale Length (inches) Overall Length (inches)
Classical Acoustic Electric Bass
4-6 1/4 3’3″ to 3’9″ 19 31 32 31 36
6-8 1/2 3’10” to 4’5″ 20.5 33 36 33 39
8-12 3/4 4’6″ to 4’11” 22.75 36 38 34- 36 42
12-Adult 4/4 or full-size 5′ or taller 24.75 or 25.5 38- 40 40 – 42 38- 40 43- 46


How Do I Know the Size That I Need?

As you can see from the table, there are two measurements mentioned — scale length and the overall length. The former is the measurement of the stretch of the strings from the bridge to the nut, while the latter is the overall length from the headstock down to the bottom.

The overall length isn’t a good indicator of the right size that’s good for you. There are smaller travel guitars, yet some of them have a full-sized scale length. So, it’s best to compare the scale length of the guitar.

While the table above is very clear about the age bracket and the height. This isn’t true for all. If an 8-year-old child has a smaller profile, maybe he’ll find the ¾-size guitar more challenging. So, it’s important to consider the built of the player.

However, if your child is 12 years old, rather than giving him a ¾-sized guitar, it’s wiser to get the full-sized already. In terms of investment, it’s better to buy a bigger one, rather than getting the ¾ and replace it after a few months.

Playing a larger guitar that’s beyond what’s recommended has its good and flip side. The good is that the child can easily get his hands to the right guitar. The flip side will be, the player may develop poor posture and incorrect left-hand position. So, it’s good to get a guitar that fits your profile and comfortable for your fretting and strumming hands.

Why Should I Get the Right Guitar Size?

The right size guitar is the most comfortable guitar to play. That simple. Kids will find it frustrating to play a full-sized guitar because their hands can’t fret the chords well. Likewise, a big player will find it peculiar to play a 1/2-size guitar because it’s way too small for him. Hence, getting the right size is essential to maximize your playing potential and that of the guitar.


Getting the best size of guitar for beginners doesn’t only allow better performance, but also the motivation to play. If you have a guitar that’s comfortable to play without feeling unease for an extended period, you have the best guitar size.

Furthermore, there are already established guidelines to get the best size of guitar for any age. You can refer to the table above or it’s very helpful to play the guitar in your local store before deciding to have them.


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