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#beginnerguitars

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.

Thinking back to when I was about nine years old. I would watch guitar players wishing I had a guitar. I thought if I asked my mom, I might have a chance of getting one.

As I watched The Green Valley Mountain Boys, a local TV show starring REM WALL and several others who worked at the Gibson factory down the street in Kalamazoo, I said, “Mom, mom, come here. Come see Billy. Isn’t he good?”

“He’s just a kid,” she said. “He can’t be much older than you.”

“See. That’s why I need a guitar. I’m behind already. Could I get one for Christmas?”

She paused, “It’s only January. It’s a long time until Christmas. But, I saw a guitar in the second-hand store. Stop in and see how much it is.”

I looked at the clock on the wall… 4:00 pm. I had 30 minutes to get there. I ran for the door, hopped on my bike, headed for the store. I pulled up in front, dropped my bike, and reached for the doorknob just as the lady approached with a key in her hand.

I stepped inside.

“We’re closing,” she said.

“Please, do you still have the guitar?”

“Yes, come on in. I’ll show it to you.”

I picked it up, cradling it in my arms like I had seen others do, and started to strum.

“It’s really out of tune,” the lady said.

I didn’t care. I kept strumming.

“Young man, young man.”

I looked up.

“If you want to play it, you’ll have to buy it. It’s $5.00”

I put it down and reached into my pocket and pulled out $2.75. “This is what I’ve got.”

“Well, you need $2.25 more. But this will hold it until you get the rest,” she said scrapping the coins into the drawer.

“What do you mean, hold it?”

“I won’t sell it to anyone else. Bring me the rest of the money and it’s yours.”

“Thank you,” I said running out the door. I didn’t think to give her my name.

“Mom, mom,” I said running in the backdoor. “Do you have $2.25? She put the guitar on hold. All I need is $2.25. Please, mom.”

“Well, I’ll give you $.50 on Saturday if you’ll do the dishes every night for the next 5 days.”

I looked at the floor shuffling my feet. I would still need $1.75. Tears began to form in my eyes.

“Go ask the neighbors if you can mow their yards or help with something else. You can earn the rest,” she said. “Check at school. Mr. Allen might have something you could do in the music room.”

I managed to get several jobs lined up. I worked hard to get the rest of the money. Mr. Allen, the music teacher, seemed so impressed that I would work to earn the money that he gave me a little extra. He even told me to bring the guitar to him and he’d help me. It took me four weeks to earn the rest of the money.

The day finally came. I didn’t ride my bike to school because I was going straight to the second-hand store to get my guitar.

I walked in and laid the money on the counter.

“Very good, I knew you’d come back with the money,” she said walking into the back room reappearing with my guitar.

She handed it to me. I brushed off the dust and cradled it in my arms. It was mine.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “It didn’t come with a case.”

But, I didn’t really hear her. I didn’t even notice the long walk home. I had it. I had my guitar. I had borrowed a guitar music book from the library. It was on my bed waiting for us. The old upright piano in the dining room was in tune enough to tune the guitar like the book said, I thought.

I went straight to my room. I didn’t want to see any of my brothers or sisters. I wanted to be alone with my guitar. I sat on the bed with it in my lap and opened the music book to the first song. I placed my fingers on the strings as the book showed. I went from one fingering pattern to the next until my mother called bedtime. I had played through dinner and didn’t even notice.

“I look at your fingers,” she said as she walked into my room. “They’re bleeding.”

I stopped and looked down. “Mom, they’re not bleeding, they’re just red when I held the strings down.”  I hadn’t even noticed the welts on my fingertips from the guitar strings.

I carried it to school the next day where it waited in my locker.

After school, I took it to Mr. Allen. I waited until he was finished with another student then walked up to him handing him my guitar.

Image by MegLearner from Pixabay“You got it, alright. Let me see it,” he said almost as excited as I had been. As he turned it every which way looking at it, his excitement seemed to fade finally saying, “You can learn the fingering on this guitar, but it’s not going to be good for much else. See this,” he said running his finger around the bottom side of the body of the guitar. “This crack can’t be fixed. It will never really sound very good. I should be able to tune, but it will be hard to play. Let me see your left hand. See your fingertips? That’s because it is made with the strings too high off the fretboard.”

Mr. Allen tuned it and showed me how to tune the first string then tune the other five by tuning the next string to the one you just tuned.

My walk home took a little longer than usual as I thought about my guitar. I wasn’t going to give up. I just couldn’t. Over the next few months, I continued to work as hard as I had the first day. I was going to learn how to play and that was that! I learned about seven chords and I had a good rhythm in my strumming. I took my guitar to YMCA summer camp and was able to play some campfire songs.

Christmas morning finally arrived. I stumbled out to the living room with the rest of the family. I hadn’t seen anything under the tree with my name on it. As I sat on the floor watching the other kids open presents my mom walked out with a brand new guitar case containing a new Gibson LG-1 Sunburst Acoustic Guitar. I was in heaven!

“I know you were disappointed that there wasn’t a present for you under the tree, but I couldn’t wrap this. Will this do?” she said handing the guitar case to me.

Don’t get stuck with an old clunker as I did. Find out how to get your Best-First-Guitar.

by Dena Warfield.

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