Get the right guitar number 1

What is a good beginner guitar?

Guitar age chart

Acoustic guitar sizes are the number 1 factor in getting the best beginner guitar for your child.

Nothing is more frustrating when learning the guitar than having one that’s too big. The most common thing we hear from parents is ‘I’ll buy an acoustic guitar Jimmy can grow into’ – sorry folks wrong answer! Someone who is learning to play the guitar and has one that is the right size for their body will find it easier to play, as simple as that. Pure logic tells you that if it’s easier to play then you are more likely to play, more likely to improve, and most importantly more likely to keep playing.

The above acoustic guitar sizes and ages are a general guide, if you your child is a small 8 year old you might be better off with a half size, likewise if they are a big 11 year old maybe go for a full size beginner guitar. If you want some more help on what size acoustic guitar you need, or are still undecided shoot us an email or give us a call FREE on 0800 923 447.

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Get the right guitar number 2

Are the best beginner acoustic guitars steel or nylon strings?

We believe nylon strings are the best acoustic guitar for kids to learn to play on. 

For younger beginners we are true believers in nylon string guitars over steel string. Pretty simple reason really, nylon strings are a lot easier on younger beginner’s fingers. It comes back to our philosophy that if its easier they are more likely to play, enjoy, have fun and keep improving. For an adult beginner you have the option to choose a steel or nylon string guitar depending on your taste in music.

A cautionary note: you can't change a guitar from nylon to steel strings or vice-versa, they are just not built that way.

Nylon string beginner acoustic guitar

Nylon strings
  • Easier on fingers
  • Larger range of guitar sizes
  • Larger range of guitar colours

Steel string beginner acoustic guitar

Steel strings
  • Louder
  • Narrower neck
  • More of a ‘rock’ guitar sound
View all beginner guitars

Get the right guitar number 3

The mistakes we all make when buying an acoustic guitar for beginners

Experience has taught us that most people make the same mistakes when it comes to buying a beginner guitar, especially when it’s an acoustic guitar for the kids.

1. “I thought he/she would grow into their guitar”

Yes, they will grow into it but, but, and it’s a big but, will they play it in the mean time. Worse case, you’ll get 1 to 2 years out of a guitar size. Our firm opinion is better to start with the right size than the wrong.

2. “It was the guitar that my neighbour/uncle/cousin/friend learnt on”

We see lots of these in for repair. You do find the odd gem amongst the rubble, but in general buy a guitar that fits, stays in tune, and plays well.

3. “I saw it on Trade Me and thought it was a cheap acoustic guitar”

Mmmmmm as a rule of thumb cheap is cheap for a reason, once again we see lots of cheap acoustic guitars in our repair shop. Our mantra is an oldy but a goody – ‘you cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear’. If we could find a good beginner guitar that is better than the ones we sell, for less money, then we would have them here, simple as that.

4.“I didn’t know you could get left-handed acoustic guitars”

Most of our guitars are available as left handed options. For the nylon strings it’s simple to change the strings over, but for the steel strings the guitar is actually built differently. Check out our left handed acoustic guitars in our online shop.

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