Best Kids Guitars
Buyers Guides

Best Acoustic, Electric, and Bass Guitars for Kids (2020) with Buyers Guide

Every musician’s life long journey with their instrument starts with their first. It’s the story they’ll tell over and over – but if the first instrument is the wrong one and they end up wrestling with it, that’s often where the journey, and the story, ends.

Kids have a special set of needs for guitars. Smaller, younger hands with less developed muscles need guitars that are easy to hold and easy to play. Once they’re older they can take a chance with a cheap instrument that will need some work to get going, but for your first guitar, you need something that just works.

That’s why choosing the right instrument for the young musician in your life is crucial – and if you’re not a musician yourself, the choice is even harder.

But fear not! That’s why you’re here – if you don’t have experience in choosing the right beginner instrument for your kid, then you’re in the right place.

We will walk you through the essentials in choosing the right starter instrument as well as our very own picks of the best beginner guitars.

And to top it off, we’re going to give you five songs for the young Jimi Hendrix in your life to start off with.

Let’s get stuck in!

Preview
Stagg C505 1/4-Size Nylon String Classical Guitar with Accessories Package - Natural
Our Choice
Squier by Fender Short Scale Stratocaster - Transparent Blue Bundle with Frontman 10G Amp, Cable, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD
Ibanez GSRM 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Black (GSRM20BK)
Title
Stagg C505 1/4-Size Nylon String Classical Guitar with Accessories Package - Natural
Squier by Fender Short Scale Stratocaster - Transparent Blue Bundle with Frontman 10G Amp, Cable, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD
Ibanez GSRM 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Black (GSRM20BK)
Guitar Type
Acoustic/Nylon
Electric Guitar
Bass Guitar
Price
$106.26
$259.99
$179.99
Customer Rating
-
-
-
Prime
Preview
Stagg C505 1/4-Size Nylon String Classical Guitar with Accessories Package - Natural
Title
Stagg C505 1/4-Size Nylon String Classical Guitar with Accessories Package - Natural
Guitar Type
Acoustic/Nylon
Price
$106.26
Customer Rating
-
Prime
Our Choice
Preview
Squier by Fender Short Scale Stratocaster - Transparent Blue Bundle with Frontman 10G Amp, Cable, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD
Title
Squier by Fender Short Scale Stratocaster - Transparent Blue Bundle with Frontman 10G Amp, Cable, Tuner, Strap, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD
Guitar Type
Electric Guitar
Price
$259.99
Customer Rating
-
Prime
Preview
Ibanez GSRM 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Black (GSRM20BK)
Title
Ibanez GSRM 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Black (GSRM20BK)
Guitar Type
Bass Guitar
Price
$179.99
Customer Rating
-
Prime


How to Choose the Right Beginner Instrument

Choosing the right instrument for your child is very crucial. It’s a decision that can either make or break your child’s potential. The right instrument is one that will keep your kid musically motivated and inspired.

Studies show that the first three months are the most critical, so playability and comfort should be your most important considerations. When your child makes it through the first three months, it’s probably a sign that they’re going to be life-long players.

Children generally have short attention spans. If a child finds learning guitar uninspiring and difficult, they will almost certainly give up pursuing the instrument.

To keep your child motivated and interested, you want to: 

  • Choose the type of guitar that best fits their taste in music
  • Find a size that is comfortable and easy to play
  • If possible, choose a look that they’ll love

Also bear in mind that when you purchase a new instrument, a setup is often required. A setup is basically a series of adjustments made to ensure the best performance and playability of an instrument. Taking your newly purchased instrument to a guitar tech will definitely improve its feel and comfort, allowing your child to practice the instrument with ease.

Without further ado, let’s run through the best beginner acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars for kids.


Our Picks For The Best Beginner Acoustic Guitars

If your kid wants to be a singer-songwriter or fingerstyle guitar player, don’t hold back – get your child an acoustic guitar.

Generally, there are two types of acoustic guitar: nylon stringed guitars and steel stringed guitars. Starting out with a steel stringed acoustic guitar for kids can be hard and frustrating due to the lack of calluses on young fingers. The pain can be discomforting which might cause the child to drop the instrument a little too early. 

Most likely, your child doesn’t have calloused fingers yet, that’s why it’s ideal to start out with a nylon stringed guitar because it is much easier to practice on. For this reason, we have a couple of nylon stringed guitars on our recommended list.

On the other hand, acoustic guitars don’t need an amplifier to be heard because they’re fairly loud instruments. Pickups aren’t necessary for an acoustic guitar but if you’re looking for something that is capable of performing with a band or in larger venues, you’re in luck because some of the guitars on the list have variations that come with built-in pickups. 

Our choice of  guitars are not only small in size but also lightweight, making them easy to carry for children. Your child won’t have trouble bringing one of these instruments anytime and anywhere.

All that said, here are our picks of best small-sized acoustic guitars for kids that would well develop your child’s potential. 


Stagg C505 1/4-Size Nylon String Classical Guitar with Accessories Package - Natural
1/4 size classical guitar; "A" pitch pipe; Gig bag; Extra set of strings
$106.26
Cordoba Mini II MH, Small Body, Nylon String Guitar
Comfortable 1/2 size guitar, with standard tuning; Layered Mahogany top, back and sides; Nub one nut, 1. 875" Width
$246.99
Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5 with Gig Bag, Acoustic Guitar
Select Spruce top provides a great level of resonance for a full rich tone; Mahogany back and sides resonates more with the lower tones of the guitar
$199.00
Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar, Mahogany Top
6-string Acoustic Guitar with Mahogany Top; Layered Sapele Back; Sides - Natural; Neck Width 1-11/16 inch

Stagg C505 1/4 Size Classical Guitar

Body: Basswood Top, Back, and Sides | Neck: Nato| Scale: 18.7” | Fingerboard: Painted Maple | Bridge: Painted Maple | Nut & Saddle: Plastic | Frets: 18 Nickel Frets | Hardware: Nickel| Finish: Gloss| Gig Bag: Yes

  • Best for Ages: 4 – 6 years old
  • Typical Retail Price: $99.00
  • Performance: 4/5
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Sound: 3.5/5

The Stagg C505 is a 1/4 sized classical guitar which makes it the most ideal acoustic guitar for young starters with tiny hands.

Well-crafted, small, lightweight, and easy on the fingers, this classical guitar all has the elements needed for learning and practice. For sure our pick for best acoustic guitar for kids.


Cordoba Mini II MH 1/2 Size Classical Guitar

Body: Layered Mahogany Top, Back, and Sides | Neck: Mahogany | Scale: 22.875” | Fingerboard: Composite| Bridge: Composite | Nut & Saddle: Nubone | Frets: 19 Nickel Frets | Hardware: Satin Nickel | Finish: Satin Polyurethane| Gig Bag: Yes

  • Typical Retail Price: $129.00
  • Best for Ages: 7 – 9 years old
  • Performance: 4.5/5
  • Quality: 4/5
  • Sound: 4/5

If the Stagg C505 is too small for your child, then the Cordoba Mini II MH 1/2 Size Classical Guitar might be the alternative you’re looking for.

Crafted from quality wood and materials, the Cordoba Mini II MH 1/2 Size Classical Guitar is a very resonant and warm-sounding beginner acoustic instrument. Like the Stagg C505, it is well-made, easy on the fingers, and lightweight. 


Yamaha JR2

Body: Sitka Spruce Top, Mahogany Back and Sides | Neck: Nato | Scale: 21.25” | Fingerboard: Rosewood | Bridge: Rosewood | Nut & Saddle: Synthetic Bone | Frets: 20 Nickel Frets | Hardware: Die-Cast Chrome | Finish: Ultra Thin Gloss Finish | Gig Bag: Yes

  • Typical Retail Price: $189.99
  • Best for Ages: 6 – 9 years old
  • Performance: 4/5
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Sound: 4/5

Steel stringed acoustic guitars are more popular than nylon stringed guitars so it wouldn’t be a surprise if your kid asks for one. 

The Yamaha JR2 is a small steel stringed acoustic guitar specifically geared towards beginners. Don’t let the size fool you, this guitar still produces great sounding acoustic tones.

With commendable quality, a compact size, and at a low price, the Yamaha JR2 is a steel string acoustic guitar your kid should try out.


Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5

Body: Select Spruce Top, Mahogany Back and Sides | Neck: Mahogany  | Scale: 23.25” | Fingerboard: Engineered Wood | Bridge: Engineered Wood | Nut & Saddle: Synthetic Bone | Frets: 20 Nickel Frets | Hardware: Die-Cast Chrome | Finish: Satin | Gig Bag: Yes

  • Typical Retail Price: $199.00
  • Best for Ages: 9 years and beyond
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Sound: 4.5/5

The Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5, in my opinion, has the best quality to price ratio among our choices. This guitar is your best choice if you want a rock solid, high quality beginner acoustic for your kid.

This budget-friendly guitar is stripped down to the essence of what a good acoustic instrument should be. The Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5 is so good that it is not only for starting kids but also for seasoned players looking for a trusty travel guitar.


Taylor Baby Taylor (BT2)

Body: Sitka Spruce Top, Walnut Back and Sides | Neck: Tropical American Mahogany  | Scale: 22.75” | Fingerboard: Ebony | Bridge: Ebony | Nut & Saddle: Tusq | Frets: 19 Nickel Frets | Hardware: Die-Cast Chrome | Finish: Varnish | Gig Bag: Yes

  • Typical Retail Price: $369.00
  • Best for Ages: 7 years and beyond
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Sound: 5/5

If you’re looking for a professional sounding acoustic guitar that not only suits beginner kids but also grown-ups with small hands, then the Baby Taylor is your best bet.

The Baby Taylor uses only natural wood which allows it to produce  rich, organic, and natural tones. This guitar also has a fairly tiny dreadnought shape making it a fitting acoustic guitar for kids or adults with short stature. 

The Baby Taylor Series also has a couple of other similar models if you opt to go for different looks and wood choices. Other models also come with a built-in ES-B pickup that is powered by two 3v button cell lithium batteries. The ES-B pickup is a preamp/tuner with volume and tone controls.

A bit pricey compared to the other guitars on the list but with the quality you get with the Baby Taylor, it is worth every dollar you spend on it. 


5 Easy To Learn Acoustic Songs for Beginners!

For someone starting on the acoustic guitar, it’s best to learn songs that have easy chords and simple timing. Because most of our picks are simple, they are also easy to sing with and jam to which make them perfect for group learning.


Our Picks For The Best Beginner Electric Guitars

Rockstar stories usually start out with the first-ever electric guitar – and that first guitar for many can be life-changing. With that in mind, moms and dads should put a lot of effort into choosing the right electric guitar for their kid.

The electric guitar is a much more complicated instrument than the acoustic guitar, that’s why choosing an electric guitar can be quite tricky. They vary in shapes, colors, and styles and it’s so easy to get lost.

Lucky for you, the list of electric guitars we have covers an array of genres which means that there’s going to be at least one guitar suited to your child’s musical preferences. And of course, our list of electric guitars are geared towards comfort and playability which makes them perfect starting instruments for your future rockstar.


Squier by Fender Mini Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar - Indian Laurel Fingerboard - Torino Red
100% designed by Fender; Thin and lightweight body; 22.75" scale length; Three single-coil pickups
$179.99
Jackson JS Series Dinky Minion JS1X Electric Guitar (Black)
Poplar Dinky Body; 22.5" Scale Maple Neck with 12" Radius Amaranth Fingerboard; Jackson High-Output Humbucking Pickups
$149.99
Ibanez GRGM 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, Right, Orange Burst (GRGM21MORB)
22. 2" Scale; 24 Frets; High output Infinity R pickups; Guitar Bridge System: Hardtail Bridge
$149.99

Squier Short-Scale Stratocaster w/ Learn-To-Play Bundle

Body: Poplar| Neck: Maple| Scale: 24” | Fingerboard: Indian Laurel | Nut: Plastic | Frets: 20 Nickel Frets | Bridge: 6-Saddle Hardtail | Pickups:  Three Standard Single-Coil Strat® Pickups | Controls: 5-Way Switch, One Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Standard Die-cast Chrome | Finish: Gloss on body and Satin Urethane on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 9 years and above
  • Typical Retail Price: $259.99
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Sound: 5/5

When it’s from one of the leading brands, what can go wrong?

Squier’s Learn-To-Play Bundle comes with a short-scale Stratocaster and all the essentials needed to start out on an electric guitar. What makes this a great beginner choice is that the 24″ scale length is not far off from a full size guitar. That way, it’s going to be a smooth transition to a full size guitar.

In addition, the affordable Learn-To-Play bundle contains a compact version of the most iconic guitar model of all time, the Fender Stratocaster. It has all the necessary contours and tones that you can find in fully-featured Stratocaster electric guitars.


Squier Mini Strat

Body: Poplar| Neck: Maple| Scale: 22.75” | Fingerboard: Indian Laurel | Nut: Plastic | Frets: 20 Nickel Frets | Bridge: 6-Saddle Hardtail | Pickups:  Three Standard Single-Coil Strat® Pickups | Controls: 5-Way Switch, One Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Standard Die-cast Chrome | Finish: Gloss on body and Satin Urethane on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 6 – 9 years
  • Typical Retail Price: $179.99
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Sound: 5/5

The 24″ scale length might be too big for your kid but don’t worry, Squier’s got you covered. With the same quality, performance, and tone of the Squier Short-Scale Stratocaster, the Squier Mini Strat is still big even in a bite-sized way.

If you’re looking at electric guitars for kids in the 6-9 year age range, the Squier Mini Strat is among the best guitars in this price range, and gives them a ton of tonal possibilities for when their musical tastes branch out.


Squier Bullet Mustang

Body: Basswood | Neck: Maple| Scale: 24” | Fingerboard: Rosewood| Nut: Plastic | Frets: 22 Nickel Frets | Bridge: 6-Saddle Modern Hardtail | Pickups:  Two Standard Humbucking | Controls: 3-Way Switch, One Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Standard Cast | Finish: Gloss on body and Satin on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 9 years and above
  • Typical Retail Price: $179.99
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Sound: 5/5

If you’re kid isn’t really into the sounds that the stratocaster offers, you might want to give the Squier Bullet Mustang a try. Not only does it look cool, it’s one of the best electric guitars for kids under about $200.

With ergonomic body shape and electronics suited for heavier music, this guitar is perfect for headbanging rock riffs. Buy this and your child could be the next generation’s punk-rocker!


Jackson JS 1X Dinky Minion

Body: Poplar| Neck: Maple| Scale: 22.5” | Fingerboard: Amaranth| Nut: Black Plastic | Frets: 24 Nickel Frets | Bridge: 6-Saddle Hardtail with Block Saddles | Pickups:  Two Jackson® High-Output Humbucking Pickups | Controls: 3-Way Switch, One Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Standard Die-cast | Finish: Gloss Polyurethane on body and Satin Urethane on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 6 – 9 years
  • Typical Retail Price: $149.99
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Sound: 4/5

If you feel that 80s rockstar aura radiating from your child, this guitar is your best bet. 

Jackson has a long history of making some of the best guitars for pro musicians, but they also see the next generation coming fast, and designed the Dinky Minion to be a great balance of quality and price.

Built for aspiring rock and metal guitarists, the Jackson JS 1X Dinky Minion is a good foundation to practice all those rockstar moves.


Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro Guitar

Body: Mahogany | Neck: Maple| Scale: 22.2” | Fingerboard: Rosewood | Nut: Plastic | Frets: 24 Nickel Frets | Bridge: 6-Saddle Hardtail | Pickups:  Two Infinity R (H) Humbucking Pickups | Controls: 5-Way Switch, One Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Standard Die-cast | Finish: Gloss on body and Satin on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 6 – 9 years
  • Typical Retail Price: $149.99
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Sound: 4/5

A lot similar to the Jackson JS 1X Dinky Minion, this guitar is geared towards beginners who want to rock and experiment with different kinds of sounds.

The Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro not only offers fast and easy playability but also a wide array of sounds ranging from smooth jazz to heavy metal. The smallest of the bunch, this fits well for kids with tiny hands.


5 Easy To Learn Electric Guitar Riffs for Beginners!

Our choices of electric guitar riffs will teach your child the basic foundations of rock  and roll. Simple, easy, and catchy, these riffs will have your child rocking out in no time.


Our Picks For The Best Beginner Basses

Although often overshadowed by guitarists, bass players are just as important. Groove, timing, and feel are key factors of what makes a great bass player and if you see those characters in your kid, don’t compromise and support your kid in every possible way!

Because it’s very similar to an electric guitar, choosing a bass can also be very tricky. The bass is a fairly big instrument which might be a struggle at first that’s why we recommend basses that are just the right size, putting  in mind comfort and playability head-on to ensure maximum learning experience.

The bass guitars on our list are mostly fitted with steel bass strings, however, they can be installed with nylon bass strings. For this very reason, it is best to send your child’s bass to an instrument tech for it to be replaced with nylon strings. Not only will it be fitted with nylon strings, it will also be fine tuned and adjusted to ensure maximum playability and performance.

After everything said, here are our picks of the best beginner basses for your kid!


Ibanez GSRM 4 String Bass Guitar, Right Handed, Black (GSRM20BK)
Neck:  GSRM 4 neck 28.6" neck; Neck Type:  GSRM4 28.6"; Body:  Mahogany body; Frets:  Medium frets
$179.99
Squier by Fender Bronco Bass, Black with Maple Fingerboard
Slim and comfortable “C”-shaped neck profile; Single-coil Bronco Bass pickup; Short 30“ scale length
$199.99
Ibanez PNB14E - Open Pore Natural
4-string Acoustic-electric Bass with Parl Body Style; Onboard Electronics - Open Pe Natural
$249.99

Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Bass

Body: Poplar| Neck: Maple| Scale: 28.6” | Fingerboard: Jatoba | Nut: Synthetic Bone | Frets: 22 Nickel Frets | Bridge: B10 Bridge | Pickups:  Dynamix P Neck and Dynamix J Bridge Pickups | Controls: Two Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Die-cast Chrome | Finish: Gloss on body and Satin on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 6 – 12 years old
  • Typical Retail Price: $179.99
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Sound: 5/5

Size? Check. Quality? Check. Performance? Check. Price? Check.

With the right amount of playability and tonal versatility, this guitar not only makes practice and learning easier but also develops your child’s creativity with the amount of tone options it offers.

With all that said, you could never go wrong in choosing the Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Bass.


Squier Mini Precision Bass

Body: Poplar| Neck: Maple| Scale: 28.6” | Fingerboard: Indian Laurel | Nut: Synthetic Bone | Frets: 20 Nickel Frets | Bridge: 4-Saddle Vintage-Style Hardtail | Pickups:  Split Single-Coil Precision Bass® | Controls: One Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Die-cast | Finish: Gloss Polyurethane on body and Satin Urethane on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 6 – 12 years old
  • Typical Retail Price: $179.99
  • Performance: 4/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Sound: 4.5/5

This cute bass is based upon one of the most successful bass models of all time. Due to that fact, this bass is a great instrument to learn on because it establishes all the essential foundations needed for a good bassist. Coming from a well known brand whose name loudly resonates in the music industry, this is a bass you should highly consider buying.

In addition to quality, this bass has a much simpler control layout than the Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro making it more geared towards practice and learning rather than tone tweaking.


Squier Affinity Bronco Bass

Body: Poplar| Neck: Maple| Scale: 30” | Fingerboard: Indian Laurel | Nut: Synthetic Bone | Frets: 19 Nickel Frets | Bridge: 2-Saddle Chrome | Pickups:  Special Design Single-Coil | Controls: One Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Die-cast Chrome | Finish: Gloss Polyurethane on body and Satin Urethane on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 9 years and above
  • Typical Retail Price: $199.99
  • Performance: 4.5/5
  • Quality: 4.5/5
  • Sound: 5/5

The Squier Affinity Bronco fits both children and adults making it an ideal bass for fast growing children. This bass comes with a simple layout which makes it very easy to get used to. It could also be a platform for DIY upgrades or mods in the future.

Lightweight, ergonomic, and well-crafted, the Squier Affinity Bronco Bass will get your kid grooving in no time.


Harley Benton PB-Shorty

Body: Poplar| Neck: Maple| Scale: 30” | Fingerboard: Amaranth | Nut: Plastic | Frets: 19 Nickel Frets | Bridge: 2-Saddle Chrome | Pickups:  PB Style Split-Coil | Controls: One Volume and One Tone Knob | Hardware: Die-cast Chrome | Finish: Gloss on body and Satin on the neck

  • Best for Ages: 9 years and above
  • Typical Retail Price: $99.00
  • Performance: 4/5
  • Quality: 4/5
  • Sound: 4/5

Harley Benton PB-Shorty is small but packed with quality and performance. Like the Squier Affinity Bronco, this bass is ideal for kids that grow fast.

With a very affordable price tag, this bass guitar is perfect for parents who don’t want to spend beyond $100 on a beginner instrument.

Check it out on Thomann.de


Ibanez PNB14E Acoustic-Electric Bass

Body: African Mahogany Top, Back, and Sides with Ivory Binding | Neck: Mahogany | Scale: 24.75” | Fingerboard: Laurel | Bridge: Laurel | Nut & Saddle: Plastic | Pickup: Ibanez Under Saddle Pickup | Preamp: Ibanez AEQ-2T w/ onboard tuner | Frets: 18 Nickel Frets | Hardware: Die-cast Chrome | Finish: Satin

  • Best for Ages: 4 years and beyond
  • Typical Retail Price: $220.00
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Sound: 4.5/5

Of course, this bass list wouldn’t be complete without acoustic options. Don’t worry, this bass works in a similar way an electric bass does which means that jumping from one bass to another won’t be a hassle.

The best thing about this bass is that it can sound loud even when unplugged which makes it perfect for on the spot learning and travelling.

This bass is not only for young musicians but also for adults who prefer a smaller, lightweight acoustic instrument.


5 Easy To Learn Bass Lines for Beginners!

For starters and veterans, bass is all about the groove. These bass lines will not only teach your child the right technique but also to help develop the sense of timing and groove.

Not only are these bass lines catchy and easy to learn, they are also more fun to play with a band thus further developing your child’s social skills.