How to Choose the Right Sized Guitar for Your Child

Learning to play the guitar is an enjoyable skill that kids can benefit from for years. Choosing the correct size acoustic guitar for your child or teen is an important step in their musical journey. Let’s look at how to find the right-sized acoustic guitar for your new guitarist.

Child's Age and Height

First, you’ll want to consider the age of your child, their height, arm length, and even their hand and finger size. Generally speaking, smaller guitars are better suited for younger players and larger guitars are better for older players.

Here is a general guideline:

  • For ages 4 – 6: If height is up to 3'9", get a 30" 1/4 size acoustic guitar
  • For ages 6 – 9: If height is 3'10" - 4'4", get a 34" 1/2 size acoustic guitar
  • For ages 9 – 12: If height is 4'5" - 5'0", get a 36" 3/4 size acoustic guitar
  • For ages 12 and up: If height is 5'1" and up, get a full size acoustic guitar

What happens when they grow? Get the next size up until they're ready for a full size acoustic guitar!

Tone Quality of the Guitar

It’s important to think about tone quality when selecting an acoustic guitar for your child or teen. While all acoustic guitars sound great in their own way, there are some differences in tone between different body styles and sizes of guitars that can affect how they sound.

If possible, take some time to research the various tonal qualities of different-sized acoustic guitars before making your final purchase decision so that you can ensure your child has the best instrument possible for their skill level and musical ambitions.

Poorly constructed instruments can be difficult to play and may lead to discouragement in learning the guitar. A good quality acoustic guitar will have proper intonation (tuning) and will have a clear tone when strummed or plucked. It’s worth investing in a well-made instrument that will inspire your student instead of one that they won’t want to practice on due to poor sound quality or tuning issues.

Go Into a Store

If you have a music store in your area, go in and try out several sizes of guitars. Ask the music store worker for help in determining the best size and style for your particular child's age, height, and hand strength.


Choosing the right size acoustic guitar for your child is an important step in helping them develop as musicians while maintaining comfort during practice and performance sessions. When selecting an instrument, take into account factors such as age, height, hand size, body style preferences, and tonal quality before making a purchase decision. This will help them develop good technique early on as well as avoid any frustration that comes with playing an instrument that doesn’t fit properly. It's the first step to becoming a guitar-player for life!

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