Below is a list of guitars with information about the ones we recommend,
(last updated Jan 2017). We are not affiliated with any of these,
We do hire out classical guitars, (click here), We only hire out the ones in the "good quaity" sections below.
Half size is usaullly fo children aged under 7, ¾ size for children aged 7-11
They have nylon strings that are easy on the fingers.
There are many available though we only recommend 3 makes as in this size they seem prone to go out of tune very easily, especially with the cheaper ones.
There are many available and they may look very similar someone who does not play yet. The ones we recommend are ones we think will sound nice as well as looking good, as we have found that some makes do buzz and have some notes that do not ring out properly.
STEEL STRING ACOUSTICS:
The strings on these acoustics are solid metal giving a louder sound.
Please note that for steel string acoustics you have to press harder so they are often more difficult for younger children especially in full size.
Encore is a popular cheap ¾ size one, they are of reasonable quality and do have a narrow neck,
though we often change the strings for extra light steel strings for children.
We don't want to make it difficult for our students to play guitar.
Electro acoustics can be used with Rock Grades but not Classical Grades.
The notes are the same as on a classical guitar.
Recommended makes are Fender, Fender Squier (value), Yamaha.
These use the same notes and are actually easy to play so we teach teach this as well for children.
You also need to buy an amplifier with these so to get a nice one it is more expensive.
We recommend the Epiphone half size and Tanglewood half size,
and Marshall amplifiers.
The Squier mini is and accepatable quality three-quarter size electric, though is priced at more than he full size guitars below.
'Epiphone Junior' electric guitars were good quality full size cheap guitars, they are now sold with the Rocksmith game,
and recently Epiphone 'SG special' guitars are their best value budget guitar.
Washburn also sell a budget electric guitar 'WI-15'
Cheaper electric guitars do go wrong more often as there are electric parts.
Usually as the strings are lighter then a full size should be OK from 10 years old upwards.
Good makes are Epiphone, Ibanez, Fender, Gibson and Jackson.
Reasonable quality cheaper electric guitars include Aria, Squier, Encore, Washburn and Yamaha.
Traditional amps such as from Marshall are made to make a pleasant distortion that varies as you play harder.
With musical instruments you often do get what you pay for,
and even for beginners it can be different playing a well made guitar that does not buzz,
has a variation in volume, stays in tune and also is not too hard to play.
A good option can be to get a well made second hand guitar that is in good condition,
a few scratches do not affect the sound. Wood actually matures well sonically if the guitar is well looked after.
If you are not sure then stick to the good makes and make sure the gap between the strings and the fretboard is not more than 7mm at any point, if the strings are too far away from the fretboard it may be hard to press them down. This measurement is called the 'action'.
Guitars with high action sometimes have a warped neck so try to check that it it is straight.
If the strings are very close to the fretboard then just make sure you can play it loud without it a buzz sound from the resounding string touching the frets.