GUITARS FOR CHILDREN.

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.

CLASSICAL GUITARS

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.

HALF SIZE

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.

Reasonable Quality Encore Half Size ClassicalA good value reasonable quality guitar
Good Quality Guitars
(These are the ones we stock to hire out)
Santos Martinez SM12A very nice smaller guitar that is fitted with higher tension strings appropriate to the size of the instrument that gives a bright tone. Nice to play, laminated finsh nice at first but easily chipped.
Admira Infante An excellent guitar with a warm tone.
No problems with notes buzzing, made in Spain with a thinner neck.
Does not have position dots on the top of the neck to help to play,
if you wish we can add these on.
It may be only available second hand in 2017.
Not for under 7s as the height of the guitar body is slightly taller
Another good make we do not currently stock is the Granados half size.


¾ SIZE

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.

Budget Guitars:Elevation, Herald, Eleca
Argos
¾ classical guitars are avaiable for under £30, if you want to get one for this price we would say to get the one from Argos. They are called "Elevation", "Herald" or "Eleca" and have a fair quality sound.

Unfortunately the other guitars we have tried from Asda, Tescos, Ebay and Amazon for this price have all had buzzing notes on.
Reasonable Quality Guitars: Squier
Encore
Ashton
Jose Ferrer
Angelica
Stagg
These are nice guitars that stay reasonably in tune and have a nice sound.

The Ashton is available as a ready made left handed guitar,
if your child is left handed and wants to play left handed guitar this is an easy one to get or let us do professional conversion to left handed on one of the other ones.
Good Quality Guitars
(These are the ones we stock to hire out)
Santos Martinez SM34Like the SM12, a very nice smaller guitar that is fitted with higher tension strings appropriate to the size of the instrument that giive a bright tone, laminated finsh shiny but easily chipped.
Admira Alba ¾ SIZE An excellent guitar with a nice tone.
Well made with nice warm tone. Slighly thicker body so suits taller children. Good quality construction and durable. They are not fitted with position dots though we can add these.
Fender ¾ SIZE A nice guitar with a clear tone.
A sturdy guitar that seems well made and good value. Nicely angled bridge makes chords easier.
Valencia ¾ SIZE A nice classical guitar with a narrower and more gentle feel, still resounding with a clear and warm tone. Excellent value still in 2017 and recommended for an under £50 guitar.
Yamaha ¾ SIZE An excellent volume and tone from this guitar, sturdily made. It is well made and recommended though is more expensive than those listed above.
Other good makes we do not currently stock are Ortega, the Rodriquez Cadete and Alhambra Cadete.


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.

ELECTRIC GUITARS:

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.


SECOND HAND:

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.