View Full Version : Best sized guitar for a 10 year old?

11-18-2006, 01:42 PM
My grandson wants to learn guitar. My question is, should I buy him a ĺ-size nylon stringed guitar? He is 10 years old and on the smaller side of most his age? I started playing this fall, a full sized Dreadnaught guitar seems huge to me, and I am over 200lbs. Iím looking at a Stagg SW240 for him, any thoughts?

Thanks Danny

11-18-2006, 03:32 PM
I have an 11 year old daughter that started out with an ovation. The neck seemed OK, but she struggled with the body size. She then played a Little Martin LXM and liked it a lot. It's a great sounding guitar for a smaller body. It's also inexpensive and will take a lot of abuse. She has now decided that the Martin is too small and has started playing our Gibson CJ165, which she loves.

11-18-2006, 04:25 PM
While I am not small :) I think my Epiphone EL00 is a great size. It isnt as small as the Martin LXM so probably wont become too small for him as he progresses. I like the smaller size because of a shoulder injury. It is a short scale guitar so the frets are closer together and the strings are a bit closer.

11-18-2006, 04:38 PM
IMO a child this young does not have the hand strength to play as yet.
Perhaps if they only learn and play the last three stings until such time they might comfortably play.
The innocent push of a child might well have the opposite effect if you know what I mean.

Regards, Jack

11-18-2006, 04:47 PM
Nylon strings are easier on a beginner's fingers, but a great many people start their playing on steel strings without problem.

Beside size, three other factors might be good to consider:
1. How soon do you anticipate his being able to get a bigger guitar? Buy a Baby Taylor, for instance, and the size may be fine this year, but by next year he may be wishing for a "real" guitar.
2. How much money are you willing to invest at this point. At ten, I didn't take very good care of my things. My friend was the opposite. He was the type who always made his bed and kept his room neat. Made me sick! :ha: However, he always got the good stuff. His dad told me it was because he took such good care of things. I didn't get it, but I did remember it. If you grandson is this kind of guy, you might look for a nice, used Larrivee parlor. Good sound, great looks, easy to play - I think he might like one a lot better than an inexpensive 3/4 size classical.
3. Will your grandson be taking lessons? I would recommend it highly for his age. If so, it would be a good idea to talk with his teacher before buying a guitar.

The truth is that many of us here started our guitar playing on instruments that were far from ideal. His desire to learn to play is far more important than your success in finding him the perfect guitar.


11-18-2006, 05:12 PM
Well, the nylon strings are easier on the young digits, so long as the nut width is not like a classical guitar, 1 7/8 or even 2 inches is common on those.
My 5 year old has a Martin LXM! A ten year old may require something a little bigger, such as a 000 or an OM size. A dread is quite large indeed for a kid!]
When I was 10, my first guitar was a Stella Harmony, which was the size of a 00, and I played it til it fell apart!

Sugar Bear
11-18-2006, 05:16 PM
Get him a J-200. He'll never be afraid of a challenge in life after that.

Sugar Bear :D

11-18-2006, 06:21 PM
Hi Danny...

How about...
Mini Strat 3/4 size short scale - click (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StratMiniTR/)

Mini Acoustic 3/4 size - click (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-JR1-Mini-Folk-Guitar?sku=510692)

Or maybe...
3/4 size Classical - click (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-CGS103-34Size-Classical-Guitar?sku=511070)

11-18-2006, 09:48 PM
The last time I gave a guitar to a child, this is what I gave her. My local store didn't have any 3/4 size, so I got them to order it. When it arrived, I was most pleased. Very nice, and great value, for the price.http://ibanez.com/guitars/guitar.asp?model=DTMANT

11-18-2006, 10:27 PM
IMO a child this young does not have the hand strength to play as yet.
Perhaps if they only learn and play the last three stings until such time they might comfortably play.
The innocent push of a child might well have the opposite effect if you know what I mean.

Regards, Jack

Most kids this age (boys anyway) start on electrics which are alot easier to start with.

11-19-2006, 11:47 AM
All good points. Probably like all young boy he thinks he will be a rock star and wants an electric guitar. I donít think the rest of the family or the neighborhood could take the noise initially.
He thinks heís a Ninga fighter also, I donít want to buy him an expensive guitar. If he decides playing guitar is something he wants to stay with, I donít have a problem replacing it as he grows.

Has anyone had experience with the Stagg line? I listened to a guitar shop owner in OK. describe and play one and it sounded like a good deal. He also has a money back guaranty. This is his link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Stagg-3-4-Travel-Acoustic-Guitar-for-Adults-or-Children_W0QQitemZ130046598199QQihZ003QQcategoryZ3 3028QQcmdZViewItem


11-19-2006, 12:06 PM
Have you looked at the Seagull Grand parlor guitar or the less-expensive Art & Lutherie Ami? The Seagull has a nice sound for a small guitar and you can even get one with a pickup if you want to. -- Seagull also makes a folk body which is something like a 00-size guitar. I don't know how wide the necks on these are, though. Anybody else have any thoughts on these?

The sound clip on that Stagg didn't appeal to my ear.

11-19-2006, 02:42 PM
I teach a 5th and 6th grade guitar classes every day. We use Baby Taylors.
They sound great, but they do not stand up well to student use. (school)

One of my students showed up with a small Alverez. It was about the same size as a baby Taylor. This was a great little guitar. It had binding all over, unlike the Babies.

It has not been my experidnce that hand strength is an issue with 10-12 year olds. Just don't start them on barre chords the second lesson. Coordination is the main issue. I start them with a pick and tablature. We work for about 3-4 weeks on hand positions and single notes getting them familiar with feel of the left and right hands, and then begin to work on melodies as sonn as possible after that. IMHO, hand strength is not the issue, it is the development of neural connections in the brain through consistant repitition that really makes the difference to a beginner. I really have to hound them about technique until is becomes 'built in' to their playing.

Best wishes...

11-19-2006, 07:41 PM
My boy is 10 years old and in the past had tried baby Taylors and they were ok but at 10 were actually small looking and frankly did not sound very good and of all 3 Baby Taylors I have had they all had poor intonation. One day I was in my favorite guitar shop and played an inexpensive guitar and was actually very impressed with it for the money.

The guitar was a Alvarez RF8 for ALOT less than a Baby it comes with a hard case (though not as heavy duty as like a Taylor case it`s not a CARDBOARD case either-- it FITS the guitar) It also makes the baby sound like crap! intonation was spot on too. low action. It uses the smaller folk body but has a NORMAL sized neck and I think that is good for learning how to play. less adustment needed... I`ll never use a Baby again for a young child around 8 -10. the RF8 seems just fine


11-19-2006, 07:56 PM
here is a link for a pic of my 10 year old with his Alvarez RF8