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Perfect Fit

A quality acoustic guitar must have good sound, durability and looks good.
 
The days are gone when you would have to empty your bank account to get a quality acoustic guitar. Now, many leading brands offer high-grade models that are available at budge prices.
 
Yet, you need to know how to choose a quality guitar. There are some on the market that look good, but don’t have the durability and have problems staying in tune.
 
The best starter guitar for any guitarist is one that fits well in the guitarist’s hands.

 When referring to something that fits well, we’re usually referring to an item of clothing. But a guitar must fit like a glove, otherwise, the beginner will soon giveup and quit. You must consider: 

  • Age and hand size of the beginner
  • Guitar construction
  • String action
  • Type of string
  • Music to be played
  • Budget.

Average Cost 

On average, a new acoustic guitar will cost between $150 and $5000 depending on the type of guitar you choose. A basic beginner’s guitar will cost between $150 and $750. The short-scale guitars start around $350 and go up depending on the manufacture.

To find the best starter guitar at a cheap price, look a leading trustworthy companies, such as:

  • Yamaha 
  • Fender 
  • Martin 
  • Epiphone
  • Ibanez
  • Taylor
  • Gibson
  • Takamine

Listed here are some of the best guitars for new beginners. They are the Fender CD-60S, Yamaha FG800, Epiphone DR-100, and the Ibanez  AW54OPN. These guitars are of good quality for a very affordable price.

Go online to eBay, find the guitar and check the customer ratings. You will find information to help you make your decision.

Fender CG-60S
Total 5 out of 5 
5 Star Rating

 

These little Beginner Acoustic Guitars sound Excellent for the Price! 

Yamaha FG800
Total 5 out of 81
5 Star Rating

This little guitar is outstanding. It’s ideal for anyone wanting to learn to play the guitar.  

Epiphone DR-100 
Total 4 1/2 out of 314-half stars

Great Starter Guitar. The tone, quality and setup is amazing. 

Age and Hand Size

This may be a strange question, but does the starter guitar fit well in the beginner’s hands? When referring to something that fits well, we’re usually referring to an item of clothing. But a guitar must fit like a glove, otherwise, the beginner will soon give up and quit. 

Smaller hands have less finger strength and power when playing a regular guitar. Play the chords on a regular guitar resulting in hurt and, sometimes, cut fingers.

The starter guitar must fit the body and hand size well. If the beginner is a small child or an older person with small hands, a child’s mini guitar or a short-scale guitar.

Child’s Mini Guitar

If the beginner is a small child perhaps a child’s mini guitar Loog Guitar would be a good choice.

The Loog Guitar designed for younger children with small hands, grows with the child. The Loog is new on the market and a great starter guitar for small children. You can get it disassembled so you and your child can put it together. As the child grows, the guitar can also grow by changing out the smaller parts for larger ones. 

 Ben Brill Music for Kids on YouTube does a complete review and recommends the Loog for his students.

Loog Guitar
Total 4.9 out of 5
5 Star Rating

 

The construction and finish are very high quality. Perfect for little hands and weak fingers.

Short-scale Guitar

The short-scale or shorter string length is easier for smaller hands to finger the chords for a full tone. They make it easier to reach between frets, which minimizes finger pain for beginners. They also use a smaller gauge string which is easier on beginner’s fingers.

A short-scale refers to the string length of 22” to 24.6” from the saddle to the nut. A short scale guitar is not a smaller bodied guitar, which we will review later.

If you use the same string gauge on a standard size guitar and on a short-scale the tuning is different. Tuned the same, the standard size guitar will have more tension. The standard size guitar has more volume capability. It also has more snap in the string action and resonance.

The Little Martins, the Taylor GS-Mini and the Ibanez AW54JR guitars are the best for small hands. These short scale guitars are more expensive than the standard sized guitars.

Taylor GS-Mini
Total of 26 Reviews5 Star Rating

The Taylor GS-Mini is great for smaller hands but is also great as a travel guitar. The guitar quality and sound are great.

Ibanez AW54JR
Total of 23 Reviews 5 Star Rating

This little guitar is one of the best buys on the market. For about $200 you get a guitar that compares in sound to an $8000 guitar. 

LXK2 Little Martin
Total of 7 Reviews 


The LXK2 is a great little guitar with amazing sound and volume. It stays in tune. Great travel guitar or for small hands.

Thinner Neck Acoustic Guitar

The flat, thinner neck guitars also make great starter guitars for smaller hands. The neck measures across the front of the neck, below the nut, not around the neck. 

Standard acoustic guitars usually measure about 1.9”. width across the neck just below the nut. Thinner necks measure between 1.61″ to 1,85″. 

Contrary to the short-scale, the thinner neck does not affect the sound of the guitar.

Fender FA-15
Total of 5 Reviews 4-half stars

The finish is perfect. The neck is straight. The action is low and easy to chord for small hands, perfect for a beginner. 

Small Bodied Guitar

A small bodied guitar is also a great starter guitar. They usually measure ¾  or ½ the size of a regular Dreadnought, Concert or even a Parlor guitar. 

The smaller diminutive body is easier to hold. Great to travel with, but still sounds good. Many artist are singing the praises of the small body.

Recording King Dirty 30’s Harmonella. Price: $199 Street
Washburn Guitars WP11SNS Price: $299 Street Price
Luna Henna Oasis: Price: $399
Epiphone EL-00 PRO Acoustic/Electric Guitar: Price: $299 Est U.S. 

Yamaha APXT2 -size Thin-line Cutaway

Yamaha APXT2 
Acoustic-Electric
Total of 30 Reviews 4-half stars

This little travel guitar plays great with good action and tuning. Sounds a little thin acoustically, but great plugged in.

Six ways to help your guitar stay in tune

Guitar buyers want a good quality guitar that holds up over time even if its a starter guitar.

One of the most important things to be considered is whether the guitar stays in tune. Unfortunately, many cheaper guitars do not.

Maximize your playing time by taking the following steps to keep your guitar in tune. Take the following steps to keep you guitar in tune longer.

Here are a few tips that will help your new strings “settle in” quicker and stay in tune better.

According to the experts at Paul Reed Smith (PRS) Guitars:  “New strings require at least of few minutes of breaking in (or stretching) before they achieve the ability to hold the desired tension, seat properly in the nut, tuners, and the ball end.”

String Action

A guitar is not manufactured correctly if the neck is warped or the strings are too high. The saddle or bridge, that supports the strings, could be cut incorrectly. (Pic of the bridge)

If the grooves are cut too deep, the string will be too low and will buzz when played.

If the string action is too high it will cause pain, calluses and even bleeding to the fingertips. Many beginners who experience finger pain stop playing.

Ways to check the action:

Purchase in store or online

On average, you will pay more to purchase a guitar in a store. My suggestion is to go into a store where the beginner can hold different guitars to determine which guitar is the most comfortable. If the instrument isn’t comfortable they will lose motivation to practice. Then, check the prices in different stores and online and choose the best deal for the best guitar for the student.

Purchasing a used guitar

Use the list above and your in-personal evaluation of the guitar that is the best fit. Check out the list of things, on our website, to be aware of when purchasing a used guitar. If you decide to purchase a used guitar buy it from someplace like eBay where you as a buyer have the opportunity to obtain a full refund if the guitar is not what was stated in the description. Don’t purchase from a pawn shop or an individual unless you take someone with you that can evaluate the quality of the guitar.

Loog Guitar Kit Loog Guitar Kit

Larry was 10 years of age when he got his first guitar. He was so determined to learn how to play, even though it required some stretching of his hands across the fretboard, not to mention the cuts and blisters to his finger tips. Many kids, especially younger ones, give up because of the pain. But Larry kept practicing, even when his finger tips were bleeding.

Guitar Perfect for a younger Child – Loog Guitar

Pro Electric Loog

Mini Loog

In 2011, Rafael Atijas, a self-described amateur guitarist, designed the Loog Guitar especially for younger children so they can have fun while learning to play without all the pain.

The Loog comes in mini acoustic  like the little one on the left and the pro electric.

Upon first sight, you might think they are toys, but don’t be fooled. 

They are constructed out of real wood. It tunes, plays and sounds just like the bigger guitars. It is not a downsized-replica of a regular guitar. 

Atijas’s goal was to design a guitar that was comfortable, safe, and fun for small kids to learn on. The body comes in fun shapes with rounded corners or square. Their signature feature is “3 strings.”

Why does the Loog Guitar have 3 strings instead of 6?

If you are a guitarist, I can hear you now, “3 strings?? You can’t play a guitar with 3 strings.”

Because of the design and the three strings, the younger child can start playing right from the start. The Loog is easier for a younger child to tune, play, and hear the notes. The narrow neck makes it easier for little hands to form the chords.

The best part is that it is not painful, no finger welts or cuts, no stretching the little hands to fit around the neck.  So, it’s fun from the start!!!

The first three strings of the Loog are the same as the first three strings on a bigger guitars making the fingering the same. Therefore, it’s much easier for them to graduate to a 6-string when they are ready.

For more information from an instructor about the Loog, check out this YouTube video.

The Loog guitar grows with your child

The Loog’s design allows the guitar to grow with the child. As the child grows just swap out the short neck with a longer, wider neck, without the need to buy a whole new guitar.
To make it even better, every part of the Loog is interchangeable with other Loog models. So, you can exchange a rectangular shaped body for the triangular body. And, instead of buy a whole new kit, you can get just the body. Sweet!!

In fact, every part of the Loog Guitar is interchangeable (check out the kit). The parts are compatible with all other models of the Loog.

The kit includes an app with video lessons, a tuner, and flashcards. With the Loog app, kids can begin playing their favorite songs right from day one. A songbook is also included so they can learn to play real songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars and more.

The Loog designers believe that building the guitar is an important part of understanding and loving the instrument. Helping to build the instrument gives the child a deeper connection with the instrument. 

Other Options For An Older Child

Tenor Guitar

A four string Tenor Guitar is another option for an older child. The four strings are easier to learn than a six-string… but just as much fun.

The Tenor Guitar is a ¾ sized guitar that is as easy to play as a ukulele. It is also as versatile as a regular electric guitar, only smaller. A few years ago the Tenor was primarily played in traditional jazz bands. But, today, the tenor seems to be played in any type of music.

Ukulele

Another option for an older child is a ukulele. Many of the pictures you see of kids with a four string guitar, it is really a ukulele.

The most obvious difference between the ukulele and the guitar is the size. The ukulele is 35% to 50% smaller than the standard acoustic guitar. The difference in size between the guitar and ukulele affects the volume, tone, and playability.

Again, the ukulele only have 4 strings as compared to the 6 strings of a guitar. As with the Loog, the ukulele is considered an easier instrument to learn. On both the Loog and the ukulele, there are a variety of simple one- and two-finger chords available to play. This gives the beginner an easier learning path to the guitar or other stringed instruments.

The standard ukulele is tuned differently and the chord fingerings are different. There are larger ukuleles which four strings tuned like a guitar. For more information on tuning  check out Ukulelebuddy.com.

A Child's Guitar

The Loog Guitar:

The Loog was to designed to grow with the child. It’s a guitar that is comfortable, safe, and fun for small kids to learn on. The body comes in fun shapes with rounded corners or square. Their signature feature is “3 strings.” Find out how it grows!!!

Beginning Guitar:

Starting with the right guitar helps beginners build a good foundation upon which to develop their skills. Students need a guitar that fits well with them. One that is fun, looks nice and, most of all sounds good… a beginner-friendly guitar.

Martin says their guitars aren’t just a guitars. No, it’s playable history. Martin, as a company, started producing guitars in 1833. It is reported that soldiers in the civil war strummed Martin guitars around their campfires. They helped to shape the music world in the 20th century and they are still shaping the music world today. Many of todays top musicians, like Ed Sheeran and John Mayer, help to create the music of 2021 with a Martin Guitar.

Check out our Martin Reviews:

              • – Little Martin LXK2
              • – Little Martin LX1R
              • – Little Martin LX1RE
              • – Martin GPC-16E
              • – Martin D-16E
              • – Martin GPC-28E
                and Many More

Taylor Acoustic Guitar Review

https://ebay.us/E2pPia

The BBT (Big Baby Taylor), a top travel acoustic guitar, is portable, playable, and affordable. It is designed after the bigger dreadnoughts, but size-wise, it is bigger than the Baby Taylor and smaller than the dreadnought. Even though the BBT is small, the volume and bass are more than other travel guitars.

 Taylor Mahogany GS MiniTaylor Mahogany GS Mini

Both the Big Baby Taylor and the GS Mini are great travel guitars while maintaining good sound quality. The GS Mini maintains the responsiveness and sustain that you’ve come to expect from the bigger guitars, yet, without the muddiness.

 

Image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay

More Guitars by:

  • Martin
  • Taylor
  • Ephipone
  • Ibanez
  •  Yamaha
  • Fender

Taylor Guitars

Taylor Guitars, one of the largest guitar manufacturers in the United States, is located in El Cajon, California. They specialize in acoustic guitars in a variety of different sizes, plus semi-hollow body electric guitars. Their lower-priced guitars, the Baby Taylor, Big Baby Taylor, GS-Mini, and Academy Series acoustic guitars and acoustic-electric guitars are all made just over the border near Tecate, Mexico. 

The GuitarSquid stated in a review that Taylor Guitars have produced some of the greatest guitars in the business and have continued doing so for more than 40 years.

The GuitarSquid goes on to say that the GS Mini, one of their newest guitars, is a compact guitar that gives the guitarist great quality and can be valued as a guitar superstar.

In an interview, GuitarSquid stated that Taylor had produced some of the best guitars during their 40 years in business. They went on to say that one of Taylor’s  newest models, the GS-Mini, another small travel guitar, is being seen as one of the guitar superstars.

Disclaimer

Taylor recently released that, “The Taylor Big Baby (BBT) and Taylor BBTE are not currently offered as standard production models. Although, many authorized dealers do have the Big Baby Taylors in stock. Contact your local distributor for more information. You can also contact Taylor directly to find a distributor at 1-800-943-6782.”

Another option is to check different music stores that offer online sales, such as eBay who offers many guitars both new and used. You can also find several well-known music stores selling on eBay.

Taylor Big Baby vs GS-Mini Comparison Review

Taylor Big Baby and GS Mini Comparison Review

The BBT (Big Baby Taylor), a top travel acoustic guitar, is portable, playable, and affordable. It is designed after the bigger dreadnoughts, but size-wise, it is bigger than the Baby Taylor and smaller than the dreadnought. Even though the BBT is small, the volume and bass are more than other travel guitars.

Sound Quality

Both the Big Baby Taylor and the GS Mini are great travel guitars while maintaining good sound quality. The GS Mini maintains the responsiveness and sustain that you’ve come to expect from the bigger guitars, yet, without the muddiness.

The Big Baby Taylor’s Sitka Spruce top deliveries a broader dynamic sound range for playing a wide variety of styles, yielding more bottom-end and volume, with more projection, resonance, and sustain, then the GS-mini.

Even though it does not have the full jumbo body sound of the dreadnought, it does produce a fair amount of volume. If you are looking for a travel guitar with full sound, you might consider the Big Baby Taylor.

The intonation, another consideration when buying a smaller travel guitar, is great in the BBT, where it can get a little quirky in some of the other small guitars. The arched back that Taylor added to the BBT compensates for the intonation, giving it more strength and a fuller tone.

Size

Even though the BBT is only slightly larger than the GS-mini, it has a 15/16th size non-cutaway dreadnought shape with a full 4” depth and a scale length of 25.5”.

Because of the GS-Mini size, it is very portable providing the same playability and comfort level no matter where you are. Some do say it requires some adjustment to adapt to its small size, but they also state that the adapting was not an issue. It has been stated that the smaller size makes it easier to play the single-note lines.

Patented Neck

Both guitars feature Taylor’s patented neck which has a very natural feel to the guitarist.

Taylor patented a unique neck construction, a bolt-on neck, called the NT (New Technology) neck. Its construction, form, and function are unique in design. First of all, the Taylor NT Neck consists of one continuous piece of wood all the way to the 19th fret to support the fretboard as opposed to the typical design of ending the neck at the 14th fret where it attaches. That leaves the 19th fret supported by being glued to the guitar top that is actually designed to move. The slim neck is constructed of solid sapele, with a genuine African ebony fretboard.

The perfect neck angle is set and maintained throughout the life of the guitar by a very unique attachment method. Instead of being glued, the neck is bolted into a custom-fit pocket. Alignment is set by precision laser-cut spacers placed in the pocket in tolerances of 1000ths of an inch. Should realignment be necessary for any reason, the neck can be disassembled and reassembled with new spacers.

This ensures that the fretboard is aligned perfectly and completely supported, even with years of changing heat, humidity, and natural stress. Also, with the new construction, the Taylor NT Neck can be easily “reset” by replacing the spacers, instead of removing and replacing the neck and bridge as with other guitars.

Scale Length

Some have stated that the slightly larger size and the scale length of the Big Baby Taylor, make it feel more like a standard-size guitar, even though you can tell it’s smaller.

The scale length is defined as the portion of the open string that vibrates between the nut and the saddle. The BBT scale length feels more natural at 25.5”. The GS-Mini, on the other hand, is shorter at 23.5”. Guitarists have reported that the strumming feels more normal and familiar on the BBT.

Tonewoods

The tonewoods construction gives both guitars the look and feel of quality that the Taylor is known for. Both guitars are constructed with a solid Sitka Spruce top and laminated Sapele, a type of African Mahogany, is used for the back and sides. They include a single-ring rosette and tortoise shell pickguard to enhance the look of the guitar.

The wood used on the top makes a huge impact because the top distributes the string vibration through the instrument to make the sound. Most of the BBT guitars come with the Sitka Spruce top, which seems to be the most popular today. That may be because the wood has a perfect blend of stiffness and elasticity with just the right proportions, which produces a wide range of crisp articulation.

The sides and back also work with the top in emitting the sound by giving it a firm platform. They make the guitar less susceptible to temperature and humidity changes.

 Both guitars are ideal for traveling because the layered wood of the sides and back are less susceptible to temperature and humidity changes which are often encountered during travel.

Hardware for Both

The tuners, on both guitars, are standard. The Nubone nut, which sits just below the head is similar to TUSQ. At the other end, you will find an African ebony bridge where the Micarta saddle sits.

Taylor Big Baby & GS-Mini Features

Taylor BBT Big Baby Specs

  • 15/16 Size Dreadnought
  • Sitka Spruce Top
  • Sapele Back and Sides
  • Maple Neck
  • Ebony Fretboard
  • 25.5″ Scale Length
  • 1-11/16″ Nut Width
  • 15″ Fretboard Radius
  • X-Bracing
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Tusq Nut and Saddle
  • Die-Cast Chrome Tuners

Taylor GS-Mini Specs 

  • Natural Finish
  • 6-String Miniature GS Body Shape
  • Sitka Spruce Top
  • Sapele Laminate Back and Sides
  • Sapele Neck
  • Ebony Fretboard
  • Lexan Headstock Overlay
  • 23-1/2″ Scale Length
  • 1-11/16″ Nut Width
  • 20 Frets
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Chrome Tuners

The Big Baby Taylor or The Taylor GS-Mini

The Big Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitars are well suited as a travel guitar, but because of their larger size, they are not limited to being a travel guitar or for children or those with smaller hands. They have great sound and enough projection for strumming, flatpicking, or fingerpicking.

The Big Baby was tested by the musicians at The Music Zoo. They did not find any unbalanced notes on the neck, the frets had good spacing, the string height and the thin neck provided a very comfortable play.

The Taylor GS-Mini is smaller in size, but is definitely not a toy. It is a powerhouse. It is very versatile making it a great guitar for beginners, children or people with small hands. Because of its size it makes a great travel guitar.

It is also great for fingerpicking or strumming with enough volume for home or around the campfire. For many, the size is perfect, not too big, not too small. It’s just right as a ultra-portable Taylor guitar.

If you need an acoustic or acoustic-electric with a sound quality closer to the dreadnought, but small enough for smaller venues or practice sessions, consider the Taylor BBT Big Baby. It can meet your needs with ease.

So now the choice is yours. Which guitar is best for you?

Most music stores online price the Taylor GS-Mini for about $599 with pre-owned prices between $400 and $500. The Taylor GS-Mini-e acoustic-electric is priced between $700 and $800, depending on the type of wood used.

The Big Baby Taylor new prices ranges between $400 and $600, whereas, the pre-owned price varies between $300 and $500.

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Martin Acoustic Guitar Reviews

Acoustic Guitars: Image by endri yana yana from Pixabay

Martin Acoustic Guitars

C.F. Martin & Co.® a leader in Acoustic Guitars Worldwide has been inspiring musicians for nearly two centuries with superior quality guitars and strings. Martin’s quality in their craftsmanship and tone keep Martin guitars the choice of many guitarists. Martin products are used in all music genres including pop culture, concerts, and even television and movie flicks.

Martin have been chosen by Musicians for years because of their craftsmanship and ton quality. Martin maintains an excellent, unwavering commitment to the quality of their products and their commitment to environmentally responsible in production practices.

Martin’s ingenuity in creating innovative features for their guitars continues to drive the market forward with a number of their innovations such as the X-bracing, the 14-fret guitar, and therefore the “Dreadnought” large-sized guitar.

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AllMusicThings.com is a participant in the EBAY Partner Network, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to EBAY.com. For more info check our Affiliate Disclosure page.