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Are you trying to motivate your child into learning the guitar?
Has your child shown an interest in wanting to learn the electric guitar?
It’s a special kind of responsibility to help get your kids started in learning an instrument, but it’s a rewarding experience when they can show you they’ve learned a song or two.
But, what’s it going to cost you? How prepared are you to keep them motivated? What if they lose interest?
There’s a lot to consider, and we’ll help organize your thoughts down below. For now, let’s explore some durable and good sounding guitars that’ll help your little ones get started without breaking the bank.
Remember, the best electric guitars for kids are the ones that get played!
QUICK ANSWER: Top Electric Guitars for Kids
- Best Starter Kit: Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Package Review
- Best for Beginners: Glarry GST Electric Guitar w/Amp Review
- Best Full Size Electric Guitar: ZENY 39″ Full-Size Guitar Beginner’s Package Review
- Best 1/4 Size Electric Guitar: WINZZ 30″ Kid’s Beginners Kit Review
- Best Value: YMC 30″ Kid’s Electric Guitar Pack Review
- Best Mini Electric Guitar: SmartXChoices 30″ Kid’s Mini Review
- Best Budget: Best Choice Products Jr Size Starter Kit Review
Top 7 Best Electric Guitars for Kids
Let’s get some things clear from the get-go. We’re talking about scaled down guitars, guitars made for kids, and low-priced guitars with starter kits intended for learning children. It’s not fair to set yourself up to expect brand-name quality and brand-name performance. However, you may be surprised with the build and sound quality of some of these mini guitars.
So, what should you expect? Guitars made for children will be entry-level, basic, and will absolutely require some tweaks to have it setup properly for those little hands that will be playing it. While most guitars in this lineup are under $100 and they all come with accessory kits, it’s best to remember that it will cost you a little more to get it setup, and it’s a very high probability that you will need to replace and upgrade some hardware and accessories. It’s just the way it is.
But, don’t be fearful of the buying process. A lot of the time, you’ll get a decent guitar with great value for the price, and you won’t have to replace a thing until your kid decides it needs a bath or it takes a tumble down the stairs. . . You know it will happen at some point.
If you’re looking for a higher-end guitar that’s not necessarily marketed towards kids, but it would be a perfect fit for your older child, we do have many quality alternatives not reviewed here. Why not here? Well, they’re extremely popular and highly ranked and rated by the masses, and as such, they’re featured elsewhere in our lineups, and we want to avoid repetition as much as possible. To that end, we’ve provided you quick links to those guitars that will be sure to please your child and will earn parental approval.
- Davison Guitars Full Scale Electric Guitar
- Best Choice Products Full-Size Electric Guitar
- Donner DST-1S Electric Guitar
- Squier Bullet Mustang HH
- Squier Affinity Telecaster
- LYXPro Electric Guitar
- Ibanez RG GIO Electric Guitar
To check out the ones we’ve found that are dedicated to kids, read on.
1. Best Starter Kit: Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Package Review
- PAC012 Old violin sunburst
- 15-watt Yamaha amp
- Quickstart DVD
If you don’t already have an amp and other gear to pass on to your kid, you may want to consider a guitar and amp bundle to get started. To do it right, stick with Yamaha.
- Starter kit
- Pacifica guitar
- H-S-S configuration
- Guitar setup required
The Gigmaker Guitar Package includes a Yamaha Pacifica PAC012 guitar. It’s a full-size guitar with a 25.5″ scale length with exaggerated double cutaways and black gloss polyurethane finish. If your “kid” is more like a pre-teen or teenager, the Gigmaker will be a suitable fit.
Even if your teen has hands on the smaller side, the fingerboard radius is 13.75″ which is flatter than a 9.5″ seen on most Fender Strats, so it should help smaller hands work the neck. There are 22 medium frets all easily accessible thanks to the deep cutaways, but there has been talk about fret buzz.
The frets will likely need some smoothing down as well as other touch-ups that are required to get the guitar fully set up. Replacing the strings are a good idea, intonating the guitar will go a long way, and making slight truss rod adjustments will help to get low action and set the bolted-on neck straight.
It has two single coils at the neck and middle and a humbucker at the bridge all with Alnico V ceramic magnets that produce warm, full, thick, and clear tones. The bridge is a vintage style tremolo that is not the highest quality and may present some tuning issues, but it will help a beginner get started with the wah-wah basics.
Included in the guitar bundle is a 2-channel (distortion and clean) 15-watt Yamaha amp with a headphone jack. You’ll also get a gig bag, strap, cable, picks, extra strings, and a clip-on tuner. To help with the learning process, Yamaha throws in a Quickstart DVD.
2. Best for Beginners: Glarry GST Electric Guitar w/Amp Review
- 【PERFECT GIFTS】- Best choice for yourself or as a gift for your dear friends. A perfect solution for beginners who want to learn to play guitar.
- 【COMPLETE ACCESSORIES】- Come with 1x electric guitar, 1 x Amplifier, 1 x Guitar Bag, 1×Shoulder Strap, 2 x Plectrum, 1 x Tremolo Arm , 1 x Connecting Wire, 1 x Spanner Tool. An instrument you can...
The GST guitar is a full-size, 39″ electric guitar that’s styled after a Stratocaster. If you have a child over 12 years old that’s wanting to learn the guitar but you’re on a budget, consider the Glarry bundle package.
- Strat-style guitar
- S-S-S configuration
- Bundle package
- Minor quality control issues
As is true of every guitar, the Glarry will require setup before you start playing. Keep in mind frets may need a little smoothing, strings replaced, and a little more securing of the pots and output jack may be required.
The GST guitar is a Strat copy, so if you’re after that Fender look and feel but you want to spend less than 100 bucks for the lot, this is your best buy. It’s a reliable starter guitar that has room for upgrades in the future and as such, it’s one of the best beginner guitars you can start on and expect to grow with.
As a 39″ guitar, it’s intended for older kids and even adults. The body is made with basswood and it has a maple neck and fretboard, and the guitar is finished in a Dark Blue color. Since it’s a guitar made to Strat specs, we’re assuming it has a C-shaped neck that’s a little thick and chunky, but it’s smooth to help move along the neck and grab chords.
With an S-S-S configuration, you have three single coil pickups to achieve that classic, crisp, and vintage sound of a Strat. It has a 5-way pickup switch, 1x master volume, and 2x tone controls to provide a versatile tonal range between pickups.
As a bundle package, you can expect a 20-watt amp with a headphone jack, a gig bag, strap, tremolo bar, cable, and some tools.
3. Best Full Size Electric Guitar: ZENY 39″ Full-Size Guitar Beginner’s Package Review
- Right-handed electric guitar with accessories is ideal for beginners and is ready to use out of the box
- Comes with a nylon carrying case perfect for traveling musicians and easy storage
- Made of an all wood construction, steel strings, and an attractive, smooth finish
Here, we have another full-size guitar for the older child or for the kid that wants to grow into their guitar. Keeping the price tag low with accessories thrown in brings value into the buy.
- S-S pickups
- Adjustable truss rod
- Beginner’s bundle
- Sharp frets
When you get the guitar taken in for a setup, which we highly recommend, make sure the frets are smoothed down at the edges and they may need filing down if they’re the culprit for fret buzz. Some buyers have said it arrives with the action set too high, so an adjustment will need to be made for that.
As a complete bundle, it comes with everything: 10-watt amp with headphone out, gig bag, strap, cable, extra strings, picks, Allen keys, and a whammy bar to use with the tremolo bridge.
As for the guitar itself, many have been pleased with their buy, and many have bought it for their older children. It’s presumably made from basswood while it’s confirmed the neck is made from maple and the fingerboard from rosewood. It has a Strat-inspired body shape with contours made for comfort, three single coil pickups for crisp, vintage tones, and a tremolo bridge with adjustable saddles.
It’s an entry-level guitar with a good setup for a beginner – child or adult. You won’t have to feel guilty about upgrading the gear or any hardware and electronics in the future as this entire package costs less than $100.
4. Best 1/4 Size Electric Guitar: WINZZ 30″ Kid’s Beginners Kit Review
- GREAT GIFT IDEAL - Double cutaway style 30 inches mini electric guitar with 21 fret & 20” scale length perfect for 4 - 10 years old right-handed children
- POSITIVE ENERGY - Bright attractive colors like the light of the sun bring full of energy
WINZZ is a collection of guitars produced by the Chinese brand Aileen Music. Their 30″ electric guitar is designed for kids between 4-7 years old. Splurge on a real guitar that’s very simple and easy to learn on.
- 1/4-size guitar
- Single coil pickup
- Bright finish
- Real wood
- Double cutaway
- Very basic quality
The company says this electric guitar is well-suited for children aged 4-10, but we’re going to play on the conservative side as it being good enough for ages 4-6 and maybe smaller 7-year olds. While there haven’t been any issues with quality, some have found it a little too basic for their expectations.
However, for a mini guitar with a 30″ overall length, 19.7″ scale length, and 22 frets with black dot inlays, it’s a real guitar and not a toy. It’s also made with real wood, so it’s no plastic instrument made for toddlers to drool over. The body is made from basswood and Aileen Music claims both the neck and fingerboard are made from maple.
The bright color is covered with a gloss finish that kids will instantly be attracted to. There is one single-coil pickup and a volume control, so kids can get a feel of using real pickups and hardware to feel like an up-and-coming guitarist.
Arriving with the mini guitar is a gig bag, strap, cable, 2x picks, and a battery powered (9V) amp. It’s been said the amp buzzes a lot, but we don’t think the kids are going to notice. If they do, an upgrade is worth the buy.
It’s a cute, tiny Strat-like guitar for little hands and short arms. Skip over the Hot Wheels and Barbie dolls and opt for a gift that can spark and inspire a passion for music in their lives.
5. Best Value: YMC 30″ Kid’s Electric Guitar Pack Review
- 30-inch Guitar Length, 20-inch scale with 21 frets. Right-handed kid’s electric guitar is ideal for beginners
- Double cutaway style basswood body. Maple Neck, Maple Fretboard. Single coil pickup, volume control knob. Hardtail Chrome Alloy Bridge.
- Battery-powered 5-watt amplifier; 9V Battery not included.
30″ guitars make the perfect size for a small kid that just came out of their toddler years. If you’re the type of parent or grandparent that wants your child to start learning music skills at a young age, do it with a guitar that fits them without spending a great deal.
- 30″ length
- 21 frets
- 20″ scale length
- Single coil pickup
- Accessory kit
- Hardware needs attention
It’s a kid’s guitar with glued-down hardware such as the pickup and the bridge screws may need tightening. Quality isn’t the best from the get-go, but for a child in kinder, it’s good enough for them to bash around and learn some chords.
It’s just like other comparable mini Strat-style guitars with a double cutaway, gloss finish, and has a single coil pickup. Interestingly, that’s not a volume knob on the body, it’s a tone pot. This feature plus the pickup in the bridge position sets itself apart from the many other kid’s alternatives in the market with the pickup in the middle and a volume control.
The 5-watt amp has volume and tone knobs and a drive button. Power it with a 9V battery or plug it in with an AC adapter you may have lying around in the junk drawer. The YMC guitar also comes with the usual such as a cable, strap, picks, strings, and a gig bag.
Geared towards kids aged 3-6 years old, it’s a guitar they can play all they want and can call their very own.
6. Best Mini Electric Guitar: SmartXChoices 30″ Kid’s Mini Review
- Recommended for children 3 years and up, this mini electric guitar set has an attractive all black color, smooth finished appearance. Appealing and shinning effect you may don't see often, the light...
Have a kid in kindergarten that’s interested in learning the guitar? You may want to consider a 1/4-size instrument that’s light enough to hold, easy to play, and of course, something that looks just like mom or dad’s guitar!
- 30″ overall length
- 22 frets
- Single coil pickup
- Mini guitar
- Beginner’s starter pack
- Very basic quality
Like many guitars in this price range and of this size, the quality will be more than good enough to hold up to the inevitable abuse a child will put an instrument through. You don’t need to hover over them as they’re not wielding your $2000 Les Paul. But, it is a very basic and cheaply made guitar. It’s not junk or a plastic toy – it’s an inexpensive, real wood electric guitar for a beginner child aged 3-6 years old.
With its 30″ length, it’s a mini guitar with double cutaways, 22 frets, and six strings. The guitar body is made of some sort of hardwood, the neck from basswood, and the fretboard from rosewood – all wood construction.
There is a single-coil pickup on the body and volume control, so your kid doesn’t wake the household on a weekend morning. It’s a non-tremolo bridge, so no whammy bar is included. Besides, you don’t need the issues of introducing a tremolo bridge at this stage – that can come later.
As a beginner guitar for a youngin’, it comes with a gig bag, strap, cable, extra strings, and two picks. Notice something missing? The amp. An amp isn’t included in the buy, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To get all this for under 50 bucks, you can spend a little extra and buy a decent amp to pair with the guitar. Usually the amps included in starter packs are mediocre anyway.
And, yes, you read that right. This guitar is under $50!
7. Best Budget: Best Choice Products Jr Size Starter Kit Review
- PERFECT FOR KIDS AND BEGINNERS: This 30-inch guitar is the perfect size for children or beginners who want an easy-to-play starter guitar. Plus, it helps with developing musical skills, finger...
- QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP: Designed with classic, s-type electric guitar style that kids will love. All-wood construction includes steel strings and a glossy, attractive finish that lasts through...
- AMP IT UP: Start rocking right away! This set includes a 5W amp with a strap to conveniently carry around, plus a cable cord to plug in and amp up the sound!
No one can say there aren’t any real guitars made for kids. As Best Choice Products specializes in affordable guitars, they also cater to the junior players looking to get started. Best known for their starter packages at low cost, this Jr Size guitar kit is no exception.
- 30″ length
- Single coil pickup
- All-wood construction
- Accessory kit
- Needs machine head upgrade
Right off the bat, the tuning gears have been reported to be useless. It’s worth buying the guitar if you decide from the get-go that you’ll replace them. It will make a world of difference in improving tuning stability, although there have been good ones that report zero issues with tuning when strings have been stretched and the guitar intonated.
The pickup, build quality, neck, and yes, there’s even a truss rod too, are all great quality. It’s a real hardwood guitar made with a real maple neck and rosewood fretboard with 21 frets. There’s a single coil pickup in the middle, a volume knob, and a fixed bridge.
The action comes low, the neck is easy to play, and the 19″ scale length all adds to its playability for a small hands and sticky fingers. It’s a decent guitar, and surprisingly, there aren’t as many legitimate complaints against the guitar itself.
With a little setup care to intonate the guitar, maybe smooth fret ends, and check that everything is good at the nut, it can be a long-lasting, mini guitar for your kindergartener to learn on and master skills.
Included in the accessory kit is a 5-watt amp, cable, strap, gig bag, extra strings, and a pick. Also, it’s a toss-up if you get an amp that works. However, it’s not a flaw unique to Best Choice Products. Nearly all amps that are included in accessory kits are prone to fail – quickly, if not immediately. Just add a small, decent amp to your upgrade list regardless of which guitar you choose to buy.
How to Choose an Electric Guitar for a Child
Yes, choosing a guitar for your child is an important decision. But, the most important factor that impacts a child’s music journey and their dedication to learning starts and possibly ends with you.
Do you have the patience to support them throughout this new adventure? Do you have a passion for music yourself? Are you willing to discuss and explore the many different music genres and playing techniques that might pique their interest and motive them to practice?
While the following considerations will help you identify guitar features needed to choose the right electric guitar for your kid, you may want to look inward and add yourself to the list. After all, most kids just want to be like and please mom and dad.
New VS Used:
You may be tempted to purchase a second-hand guitar, especially if it’s priced down and labeled as a signature guitar or other high-end model that landed in their shop. But, we highly recommend steering clear of used guitars. They’re often heavily modified, it may have issues that can’t be repaired or will require costly repair, and is nearly always sold AS IS. If you insist on buying used, you better be someone who knows guitars or can get a warranty with it.
For the low guitar prices we see today, there’s no reason you shouldn’t start out brand new. Yes, you still must purchase additional gear to gear started, but there are beginner’s bundles that can help with that. You’re also able to get a warranty for service on the guitar, you can get your money back if there are issues, and your child can learn the guitar free of influence and inhibition of any previous owner’s mods and wear and tear.
How much cash you got on you? You can spend as much as $1000 on a short scale guitar to get your kid started, but will he really appreciate the build quality and high-end pickups on the guitar? What happens when he leaves it out next to his juice box or it takes more than a few knocks which will inevitably happen in the hands of a child?
Our recommendation is to set aside $100-$500 for the guitar and accessories needed to get started. Additionally, part of that fund should be set aside for a setup on the guitar, especially if you don’t have the skills necessary to do it yourself. Replacing the strings, intonating the guitar, smoothing the frets, and perhaps action and truss rod adjustments may need to be made.
Why should this be done on a brand-new guitar? It’s just the nature of the beast. Most electric guitars under $500 will require this level of setup especially on mass-produced, low-price guitars, but even very expensive ones will need a tweak or two.
There’s no hard and fast rule to sticking to this budget, but it gives you a good idea of what to expect.
You probably didn’t think too much into what “extras” you’d have to buy, but we did. You probably thought amp, cable – cool, done and done. But, there’s more.
Invest in a gig bag or hardshell case. It’s a given – the guitar is going to leave the house at some point. Best protection for it other than buckling it in with its own seatbelt is to get a bag for it. Not only is it protection for transportation, it also provides cover for it when it’s not being played. Little feet, sticky hands, and a left out and unsupervised brand-new guitar doesn’t make for a good mix. Get your kid in the habit of respecting and having pride in their instrument by protecting it whenever it’s on the go or put aside for the night.
A child that’s learning how to play doesn’t yet know how to tune by ear – that is an acquired skill. We recommend a clip-on digital tuner because it’s affordable, easy for a child to use and interpret, and is accurate.
A metronome is another great tool to buy. It can help your child learn to play to rhythm. You can buy a metronome or look for this built-in feature in a digital tuner.
A shoulder strap will go a long way when learning how to play in various positions. Playing standing up and being mobile on stage requires a good strap and quality strap buttons on the guitar.
While we’ve provided a few accessories to think about, we want to tell you what to avoid at this stage. Guitar pedals, audio interface devices, and anything that may complicate and interfere with the learning process. At this point in time, it’s just about getting the basics to get started. All that other stuff will come later, and besides, it’ll cost you a heck of a lot more to get that kind of gear that you may not be willing to pay for right now.
As you can see, there’s a lot of things to consider. Sometimes, the most economical option is to purchase a beginner’s package, starter bundle, complete kit – whatever term is used by the manufacturer. It usually includes all the accessories we just mentioned to help with the upfront costs of getting started.
However, the quality of the accessories isn’t always the best, and it’s almost always true of the amp. Do some decent digging if you decide to go the package and bundle route. You may save a lot of money and be completely satisfied with the included accessories especially if you check out the best starter kits we’ve listed here. Besides, you can always upgrade the accessories later.
Size matters, and so does age. How old or young and how big or small is your child that’s learning to play? How much does your child already know?
These are things to consider as it affects the size, weight, and quality of the guitar you choose to buy. If your child is older with some skills under their belt that they’ve already acquired from music class at school or from bashing on a buddy’s guitar, then you will be able to get away with a full-size guitar of better quality. If that is the case, the best intermediate electric guitars might be worth your attention.
If the child is under 12, has small hands and short arms, he may be better off with a mini, 3/4-size, or short scale guitar while they learn the ropes of how to properly hold and play it.
You must consider these factors as you don’t want to equip a 16-year-old with a tiny electric guitar that feels like a kid’s toy and you shouldn’t dump an 8 lb guitar on a youngin’s lap. Here is an acceptable guideline on what size guitar should work for your child:
- Ages 4-6: 30″ 1/4-size
- Ages 6-9: 34″ 1/2-size
- Ages 9-12: 36″ 3/4-size
- Ages 12+: 39″ Standard/full-size (24″-25.5″ scale length)
By the way, if you are an adult looking at kids guitars because you have a petite build or have difficulty reaching the cords of a full-size guitar, you might want to check out our line-up of the best electric guitars for small hands which is geared towards adults.
Electronics & Hardware:
Don’t get too concerned at this time about what tonewoods, types of tremolo bridges, or if it has Grover tuners, and Seymour Duncan pickups. While all those features are future upgrades to consider, you’re after a guitar that plays, is the right size, and sounds good.
Sure, there are plenty of junkie “kid’s” guitars out there, and it’s best to avoid them no matter how low the price tag is. You don’t want to skimp too much as it may compromise sound and build quality. On the other hand, you may be anxious about overspending in case your child decides they’re not interested.
Of course, look for reviews that tout about the guitar staying in tune, the neck is easy to play and hold, and it has a lightweight, compact body that a child can hold and play comfortably. Hardware upgrades can be done as time goes on and when they fail. Spending a little more in a reliable and durable guitar can make all the difference in sticking to it, and most importantly, enjoy playing it.
No matter how dedicated your child swears he’ll be to learning the guitar, it’s ultimately on you to keep that child motivated and to provide guidance. The first year is always a tough learning curve to get through, and you may want to consider paying for lessons for your child. If you have guitar skills under your belt, be dedicated to a practice schedule and jam with your kid just for fun, too.
You can also consider online lessons, tutorials, and streaming platforms that show playing techniques, basic chords, and all that good stuff they can explore. Be sure to show support and encourage them in the music genre they’re interested in as it may get difficult to keep them motivated if they’re not connecting with what they’re learning.
Regardless of how you go about lessons, professional guidance is a requirement for children just starting out with learning a new instrument.
Reap the Rewards of a Great Kids Guitar
There will be challenges to overcome as a parent of a learning student. Lessons to pay for, performances to attend, hours of listening to off-key notes and screeching voices as puberty hits – if he sings along too, and the many times you’ll yell towards the bedroom to “keep it down!”
We did mention in the beginning that it’s a special kind of responsibility to support a child in learning an instrument. With the right guitar to get started, your child can turn that spark into a burning passion for playing the electric guitar.
By the way, kudos to you as a parent for taking action in supporting your child’s interest in music. They must start somewhere, and it starts with you. The world may thank you for supporting his passion when he’s killing it as a famous musician. But, it won’t compare to when he excitedly says thank you as he unboxes his first, new electric guitar. Or, the smile you get from the little face grinning back at you, and the day you hear that off-tone vibrato attempt mastered to a pro dive bomb. Those are the moments in which you can reap the rewards!