Great Starter Guitars For Kids – Situation Specific Suggestions

Learning guitar can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It can teach discipline, bring about many benefits to mental health, and it’s one of the best possible outlets for creativity. That’s why choosing the right guitar is so critical. For parents, finding the right guitar can be a confusing process. There are tons of options and not so many ways to narrow down the choices.

For that reason, in this KillerGuitarRigs Guide, we’ll be taking a look at the 10 Best Guitars for Kids. We’re bringing you 5 acoustic guitars and 5 electric guitars from budget choices to high-end options.

We kept things consistent during the test by using the same amplifier throughout. In this case, a Boss Katana 50 MKII. We didn’t use any effects so that we could really hear the natural character of the guitars.

In deciding which were the best electric and acoustic options, we focused on features, tone, comfort for younger players, and overall build quality.

Read more about our review process.

How to Choose the Right Guitar for Your Kids

Choosing the best guitar for your kids is more important than you might first think. Buying the wrong guitar means they’ll be less likely to practice. But if you get it right, they’ll spend more time playing and progress much faster. When shopping for kids guitars, there are a number of things you should be on the lookout for to ensure you’re getting the best possible guitar for your kids’ needs. Keep reading to learn more.


When shopping for guitars, you’ll probably see sellers advertising which “tone woods” their guitars are made from. Tone woods are specially selected woods used in guitar building, and they are chosen for their specific sound properties.

Electric Guitars

AlderBalanced tone, light weight
AshHighly resonant, bright tones, heavy
BasswoodLight weight, inexpensive, slight warmth
MahoganyHeavy weight, attractive color, warm and mellow
MapleHeavy weight, bright tone, highly aesthetic
PoplarTone favors upper midrange, light weight

Acoustic Guitars

Sitka SpruceExtremely bright tone, light weight, pale color
SpruceBright tone, light weight, pale color
MahoganyHeavy weight, tone leaning warm, mid brown color
RosewoodHeavy weight, very warm and mellow tone, dark color

Kids Guitar Sizes

As with anything when shopping for kids, size is very important. Be sure to factor that in when making your choices. You’ll see guitars listed as anything from 1/2 size to full size and everything in between, including some seemingly obscure sizes like 7/8 or even 15/16 size. The best size for your children is whatever they’re comfortable playing. A large dreadnought won’t be comfortable for an average 7-year-old. Similarly, a 2/3 size electric guitar isn’t likely to be the best choice for a 17-year-old.

Another important size consideration is the guitar’s scale length. The scale length is the distance from the nut to the bridge, which is effectively the length of the live, vibrating part of the strings. A full-size guitar is considered to be anything with a 24” or greater scale length, and anything less is a reduced-scale instrument.

Reduced-scale guitars are ideal for kids, as they are better suited to smaller hands. They don’t require as much finger stretching to reach for chords or when playing solos and scales, which makes them a good choice for younger players.

Nut Width and Neck Profile

The nut width is an important detail to look at when shopping for kids’ guitars. The nut width is a measure of how wide the neck is at the nut. A wide nut width will be difficult for kids and those with smaller hands to play, while a narrow nut makes life easier. Ideally, a guitar for kids will have a nut less than 1.7” wide.

Similarly, the neck profile has a huge impact on how easy it is for a player to get their fingers around to the fretboard. Big, chunky necks make it tough to reach all the way around. Especially for younger players, they can make certain techniques (like barre chords) almost impossible. Be on the lookout for slim necks when you’re shopping for younger kids.

Electric vs. Acoustic

This is really a matter of taste, but important to consider nevertheless. Acoustic guitars are designed to be played without amplification. Electric guitars will require an amplifier in order to be properly heard. Which you should buy really depends on the person you’re buying it for. If they’re into hard rock, heavy metal, or you’re aware that their favorite musicians play electric guitar, consider buying an electric guitar.

For kids into singer-songwriter-style music, an acoustic is always a good choice. If they like blues or country, then both electric and acoustic guitars work well for those genres. At the end of the day, if they’re able to play their favorite songs on their guitar, they’re more likely to pick it up and practice. That’s usually the end goal when shopping for guitars.

Our Top 3 (Electric)

Our Top Pick in this category was the Epiphone Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior Player Pack. Unlike the other guitars on test, this is a bundle complete with guitar, amp, lead, and more. The guitar itself looks and sounds great, and is a great starter platform for kids to learn on.

The Ibanez Mikro GRGM21 is an excellent choice at the lower end of the price range, and so it took our Best Budget award. It’s a reduced size and scale guitar, but that doesn’t mean it cuts back on features. It’s ideal for smaller players, but even older kids will find it comfortable to play.

When it comes to the ultimate guitar for kids, we think it doesn’t get much better than our Editor’s Choice winner, the Epiphone SG Custom. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and it’s just so cool. Not only is it a solid choice for young players, but it’s a guitar that will see them through to adulthood, which is not something every guitar for kids can do.

Individual Reviews

Our Top Pick
Epiphone Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior Player Pack

Epiphone Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior Player Pack

A turn key package made in collaboration with an iconic guitarist

This bundle gives you one of the hottest guitars on the market right now, together with all the accessories needed to make music out of the box. You’re getting serious quality and style in a turn key package.

The Les Paul Junior model was originally intended to be a more affordable option for students and young players, but the simple tones made it a punk scene favorite. The Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior is the signature model of the Green Day frontman, so you can be sure it’s packed with style, attitude, and almost everything else that makes a kid want to pick up an electric guitar in the first place.

As far as looks go, this is one of our absolute favorite Epiphone models to come out over the last 3 years. It’s finished in a gloss “Classic White” with piano black accents, just like Armstrong’s Gibson Junior. It has a slab design body and it even features the new “Kalamazoo” headstock, which looks a lot closer to the classic Gibson design than did previous Epiphones – something that style-conscious kids are sure to love.

As for construction, this guitar is absolutely solid. Like any true Les Paul, it’s made with a solid Mahogany body, so we got all the sustain we’ve come to expect and we found it was very complementary of dark rock tones, too. Of course, it also featured a mahogany neck, which felt amazing in the slim taper D profile. It did have a bolt-on neck rather than the traditional set neck, but for a beginner, this setup is more than adequate.

Tuning stability was a strong point for this LPJ. We found that it held tune well right out of the box and the tuners themselves turned smoothly. The action was nice and low, too, which definitely helps younger players make a better connection with the fretboard.

This model is equipped with a single P90 pickup, with volume and tone controls. That’s it. It’s simplicity personified, but we were still able to get some pretty complex tones from it. At low volumes, it played cleans very nicely. They were clear and articulate, which isn’t always easy to do with a P90.

With the volume and gain cranked, the single P90 growled just like it’s supposed to. P90s are technically single-coil pickups, but they sound a lot fatter than a true single-coil without sounding as dark as a humbucker. Because of this, they have an almost snarling tone when pushed hard.

Verdict: The Epiphone Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior Player Pack is a really exciting choice for kids. It’s the signature model of one of the all-time greats. It looks amazing and sounds like a guitar that costs twice as much. As an added bonus, it comes with a great 15-watt amp, a gig bag, a tuner, picks, a strap, and a cable. It’s an absolute steal at this price and a great first guitar choice.

Best Budget
Ibanez Mikro GRGM21

Ibanez Mikro GRGM21

The ideal guitar for the youngest shredders

In this Ibanez you’re getting a guitar that absolutely screams metal! It’s well priced, offers excellent tones, and also happens to be very comfortable for younger players.

At first glance, we really thought we were looking at a full-size Ibanez GRG, which isn’t hard to do seeing as it has all the same features. What we actually had was the Ibanez Mikro GRGM21, a short scale, ¾ version of Ibanez’ popular Gio model.

We absolutely loved the looks of this guitar, it was angular and aggressive, a real classic metal design. Our test model was all black with a few white accents, but there are a number of other colors available to suit all tastes, including some pretty vivid options like metallic purple.

The slim, fast-playing maple neck was equipped with a jatoba fretboard, which is a great rosewood alternative commonly used on Ibanez models. The fretboard was even finished with the same awesome “shark tooth” inlay that you’ll find on their high-end models. We loved this design touch. Despite being a compact guitar with a short scale, it still had 24 frets, giving us a full range at the top end for solos.

It had a basswood body, a common tonewood used in electric guitar construction, and was really well contoured, making it an extremely comfortable choice that younger players will have no difficulty holding.

We found tuning stability was pretty solid. We know some people like to tune up short-scale guitars to F# or even A to assist with tone and stability, but even in standard E tuning, this Ibanez performed well. In fact, the lower string tension made it more comfortable in our opinion. It made playing bends much easier – as this is a hard-tail model (no tremolo), being able to play expressively was appreciated.

As for electronics, it was equipped with 2 ceramic humbuckers, both of which sounded good. We got some nice warmth and clean tones from the neck pickup, and when in the bridge position, we got some super clean top end that sounded great with high gain on the amplifier.

Verdict: The Ibanez GRGM21 Mikro is hard to beat at the price. It’s built to a standard and it really does sound great. It’s a versatile guitar that can handle clean tones for practice and does just as well with high gain and distortion when it’s time to let loose. This makes it a great platform for a young guitarist to get started on, and it just so happens that these Ibanez models take mods really well. So it can be easily upgraded in the future.

Editor's Choice
Epiphone SG Custom

Epiphone SG Custom

A ‘working musician’ quality instrument that’s also a perfect guitar for young musicians

This is the flagship SG in the Epiphone range, and about as close to a Gibson as you’ll find. It’s made with premium materials, has high end appointments throughout, and it is hands down, one of the most comfortable guitars ever made.

It’s easy to look at high-end guitars and think they won’t be appropriate for kids, but that’s often an unfair assessment. Take the Epiphone SG Custom, for example. It’s built almost identically to a high-end Gibson model but comes in at around a quarter of the price. And unlike the arch-top Les Paul models, it’s contoured for comfort and its light weight, two attributes that make it ideal for kids and teens.

Unboxing this SG Custom was a real treat. It was immediately apparent that this was much more than the average beginner’s guitar. The test model we received was ebony with gold accents, just as it would be with a Gibson.

It came with full mahogany construction, both neck and body. The neck had a slim taper D profile, which felt fantastic in the hand, providing the comfort that new players are looking for and the speed that experienced players crave. It’s one of the big reasons this is a great guitar to grow with a player throughout their journey.

Being a SG Custom, it featured block pearloid inlay on the premium ebony fretboard, which felt fantastic under the fingers and looked great against the ebony body and neck finish.

We found that the Epiphone deluxe tuners held tune incredibly well and added a lot to the vintage look of the guitar overall.

As for electronics, we were really pleased to see the use of CTS potentiometers in the volume and tone controls. They gave a perfect swell when turning between 0 and 10, with no noticeable dropoff. These are the electronics that people add as upgrades to their guitars, so with this SG, you’re starting out with the best of the best.

It was equipped with a pair of hot Alnico Pro humbucking pickups. They are a classic pairing for the SG. They sounded amazing and handled all genres well, from pop and country to metal. So no matter the musical preference of the recipient, they’ll be able to get the tones they’re looking for with this SG.

Verdict: While the Epiphone SG Custom is better suited for older children and teens, it’s still a great choice for the majority of kids. If you’re looking for something special that looks and sounds amazing, something that will hold value well and last a lifetime, this guitar is a must-buy.

Also Consider
Squier Mini Stratocaster

Squier Mini Stratocaster

A scaled down Strat with all the classic tones you’d expect

This is a ¾ size version of one of the most popular guitars of all time. It offers the features young players need to learn the fundamentals in a quality, compact package.

On pulling this tiny Squier Mini Stratocaster out of its box, we were really amazed to see just how much it looked like a full-size Strat. This is bound to be appealing to young players who want to emulate their Strat-playing idols. The only noticeable difference between the Mini Strat and a full-size model is the absence of the second tone knob.

The neck had a slim C profile that we found to be both comfortable and fast-playing. The neck itself is made of maple, just like you’d find on any other Stratocaster. The fretboard was super comfortable and the 22.75” scale made stretching out a piece of cake.

On the topic of the fretboard, we found that the Indian laurel was a little on the dry side, which led to it looking almost grey in color. As it was a demo, we didn’t get a chance to oil it, but a drop of fretboard conditioner would have quickly brought it back to life.

It was one of the lightest we tested by quite some margin. The poplar body still maintained good resonance, though, which was a pleasant surprise, especially given the diminutive size.

The potentiometers weren’t quite as good as we’d hoped they’d be. There was a bit of a drop-off below 3, so swelling the tone and volume was a little difficult, but again, it’s aimed at kids learning the fundamentals, so this is far from a deal breaking flaw.

The 3 single-coil ceramic pickups were nice and bright, too. They had some great Stratocaster chime and clarity, and sounded great both clean and distorted.

Otherwise, we were really happy with the performance in general. Tuning stability was good, despite a little jerkiness from the tuning pegs and the fit and finish was really excellent.

Verdict: The Squier Mini Stratocaster takes everything that’s great about the full-size versions and squashes it down into an easy-to-handle package for younger kids looking to get started with an iconic guitar. It plays well, it’s comfortable, sounds great, and of course, it really looks the part.

Also Consider
Jackson Dinky Minion JS1X

Jackson Dinky Minion JS1X

A fast playing guitar with looks to kill

If the young guitarist you’re shopping for happens to like heavier style of music, this Jackson is going to be right up their street. It has aggressive looks, big humbucker tones, and an incredibly comfortable short scale.

This Jackson Dinky Minion JS1X was very similar appearance-wise to the Ibanez Mikro (which we all loved), so things were off to a good start after unboxing. It’s a 2/3 size guitar, making it physically one of the smallest on trial. If the child you’re buying for is under 10, this is likely to be a great fit for them.

It was equipped with a reinforced maple neck, which tells us that this thing is built to take some punishment. Always welcome words to a parent buying something for their kids! On the front of the neck, it had a really nice amaranth (purple heart) fretboard, which looked great and felt good under the fingers.

The aggressive looks were topped off with the classic Jackson shark fin fretboard inlays, which were finished in a surprisingly premium pearloid. It had an extremely short 22.5” scale, which when paired with the Jackson speed neck profile, made it an extremely fast-playing guitar. The speed neck is super slim and is ideal for small hands.

The 2/3 size body was made from poplar, and the classic Strat-style shape provided some great ergonomics. It was well-contoured and comfortable playing in both seated and standing positions.

Tuning stability was another impressive area for this Jackson. Despite the lower quality plastic nut, it held tune pretty well, although playing repeated big bends and heavy strumming did tend to pull it slightly out of pitch.

The humbucker pickups did provide some great punch with the right settings. In the neck-only position, we found it to be quite muddy, but with the bridge selected we were able to get nice clean tones and crunchy high gain tones without losing clarity.

Verdict: The Jackson Dinky Minion JSX1 really is tiny, but it offers some surprisingly big tones. If your kids like metal, they’ll almost certainly love playing this guitar. It’s got the right looks, it’s well put together, and it’s extremely comfortable – 3 of the most important factors to look for in an electric guitar for kids.

Our Top 3 (Acoustic)

We decided to name the Martin LX1 Little Martin our Top Pick in this review. It’s a solid guitar that can take some punishment, sounds great, and also happens to be one of the favorites of acoustic legend, Ed Sheeran.

For shoppers looking to get a lot of guitar for not a lot of money, check out our Best Budget option, the Fender Sonoran Mini. It has unique looks and is one of the most comfortable guitars for young players on the market.

If you’re looking for the very best guitar for kids, regardless of cost, we can’t recommend highly enough our Editor’s Choice, the Taylor GS Mini. It sounds beautiful, it’s incredibly comfortable, and it’s truly a guitar that will work for beginners and gigging musicians alike.

Individual Reviews

Top Pick
Martin LX1 Little Martin

Martin LX1 Little Martin

Classic Martin looks, and a miniature Martin sound from this scaled down acoustic.

With this Martin, you’re getting all the classic Martin tone and build quality, but in a convenient size for young players to hold comfortably and play with proper technique.

After opening up the box of this Martin LX1 Little Martin, we were really impressed with the overall package. As with all Martins, it comes with a very nice case, in this instance a high-quality hybrid gig bag, which would be ideal for transporting between home and guitar lessons.

The body shape was a Martin Modified O, which is undoubtedly one of their most comfortable designs, for smaller players especially. It’s not labeled as such, but it’s approximately a ¾-size guitar. It’s made with a solid Sitka spruce top, which gave it a beautifully bright and peppy sound. It isn’t quite as loud as a full-size guitar, but that’s to be expected. It sounded fantastic regardless, and responded well to both heavy strumming and nuanced finger style.

The back and sides were made from HPL (high pressure laminate) mahogany, which gives the aesthetic benefits of real mahogany with the durability of laminate. This is something important to consider when buying any guitar for kids.

It had a 23” scale length and 14 exposed frets. We found this to be comfortable and it gave us all the access we needed to the important areas of the fretboard for the basics of acoustic guitar playing. The nut width was a slim 1.6875”. We found it to be very easy to play, so young guitarists with small hands should have no problems with this model.

The neck was a modified low oval, which just like the body, was a scaled down version of one of Martin’s full-size shapes. It was easy to grip and surprisingly fast. We were extremely impressed with tuning stability, too. It featured the same tuners found on some of Martin’s more expensive Mexican-made models, and we found they held pitch well and turned smoothly, making fine-tuning extremely easy.

Verdict: The Martin LX1 Little Martin is, simply put, a phenomenal starter guitar. It’s got the brand recognition kids want, it’s superbly made, it sounds great, and as a bonus, it comes with a top quality gig bag. Even as kids grow, it will be the type of instrument they’ll want to keep as a travel guitar, making it something that will grow with them, despite the small size.

Best Budget
Fender Sonoran Mini

Fender Sonoran Mini

A feature packed guitar at an almost too good to be true price

For a great price, you’re getting a Fender branded instrument (something you won’t see in their electric line up), and solid materials used throughout, which is extremely rare in the budget segment.

We’ve previously reviewed the spruce version, but this time we were given the chance to try out all mahogany Fender Sonoran Mini. Once again, the unique-looking caramel pickguard really popped and looked especially good against the darker background of the mahogany top.

The Sonoran mini is another ¾-sized guitar, which made it extremely comfortable. It gives young players the chance to play with proper technique, without struggling to just hold onto the instrument. The body was parlor style, making it quite narrow. This is beneficial for young players, as it frees up the strumming arm more than something like a dreadnought shape would.

It had a slim, modern C shape neck, which is becoming one of the most popular shapes for reduced-size guitars. It filled the hand nicely, without ever feeling like it was too thick. Reaching for chords and scales was easily done, and that was partially thanks to the ultra-slim, 1.615” nut.

Tone-wise, the mahogany top, back and sides gave this version of the Sonoran a nice, rich, warm sound. It was really interesting to hear just how different it was from the spruce version. It sounds wonderful with gentle strumming and fingerstyle in particular. This guitar isn’t particularly well suited to heavy, loud strumming, but that’s a common theme with most parlor-shape instruments.

Tuning stability was overall good. As we found with the Squier Stratocaster mini, the tuners themselves weren’t the smoothest, but once we found tune, they did hold up well.

This model does come with a basic gig bag. This isn’t quite as nice as the likes of the Martin and Taylor bags, but it will provide some added protection on the way to and from practice, or even during storage.

Verdict: We found that the Fender Sonoran Mini was a great little guitar and would be ideal as a starter instrument for those looking to stick to a budget. It offered good build quality, and the styling makes it stand out from other similar models in this price range. We loved the warm tones, which at the price, were truly outstanding.

Editor's Choice
Taylor GS Mini

Taylor GS Mini

The features and tones that pros demand in a guitar that’s suitable for kids

If you’re looking for a high end guitar that will perform to the highest standards, for kids, there’s no better choice than a Taylor GS Mini. This is a beautifully made Taylor, built to the same standards as their amazing Grand Symphony size models, except it’s been condensed.

Size-wise, the Taylor GS mini (full review here) was somewhere between a ¾ and a 15/16 size and the GS body shape had brilliant ergonomics. We actually found it was comfortable for both smaller players and adults alike, which is great for parents looking for a guitar for their kids that will last them a lifetime.

The GS Mini came with what we believe to be the best bundled gig bag available. It’s a semi-rigid hybrid bag that offers the protection you’d find in a hard case, with the comfort and convenience of a gig bag. It’s great for travel, storage, and moving around even on public transport.

The model we received for the trial had a beautiful, solid Sitka spruce top, which paired with the X bracing construction, gave us huge punch. It was surprisingly loud and responded incredibly well to changes in attack. We were able to play delicate fingerstyle and heavy rhythm strumming with no loss of tone or clarity.

As with other Taylor GS models, it was equipped with a solid ebony bridge and fretboard, both of which looked fantastic and performed just as well. The back and sides of the GS Mini were made from laminated Indian rosewood. They looked absolutely stunning and, being laminate, are sure to be hard-wearing and resistant to changes in temperature and humidity.

The scale length came in at 23.5”, which made it really comfortable for smaller hands to stretch out for chords. The neck had an ergonomic soft V shape that promoted good form and didn’t make reaching around the fretboard difficult at all. We also found that the Taylor-branded tuners were simply fantastic. They held tune perfectly, turned smoothly, and we really liked the look.

Verdict: The Taylor GS Mini really blew us away in a number of areas. It played as well as a full-size Taylor and offered some incredible tones. It’s the kind of guitar that works as well for an absolute beginner as it does for a working musician. So despite the higher price tag, it will hold its own for years to come. The overall build quality is absolutely incredible and the neck was by far the most comfortable for younger players of any of the guitars we tested.

Also Consider
Taylor TS-BT Taylor Swift

Taylor TS-BT Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s signature model brings Taylor tone and quality to a younger audience

This model isn’t just an excuse to slap an endorsement on a guitar, in fact, the Baby Taylor is actually one of Swift’s preferred songwriting guitars, and hopefully it will inspire your kids to follow in her footsteps. It’s made well, looks good, and sounds great.

The Taylor TS-BT Taylor Swift edition is a ¾-size dreadnought, just like the rest of the Baby Taylor lineup. It plays comfortably, although perhaps a little less so than the Little Martin, which is this guitar’s most direct competition. The dreadnought shape offers an incredible sound profile, but it isn’t the most comfortable shape for the youngest players.

It features a solid Sitka spruce top, which when combined with the dreadnought shape, gave us huge punch, some shimmery top end, and great focus in the mids. As far as sound goes, it was really an impressive guitar. It featured a laminate sapele back and sides, which provided a nice look while still remaining practical. If you’re not familiar with sapele, it’s a wood in the mahogany family, and has similar grain and color.

The styling was one of the areas we felt might be a little polarizing. The large Taylor Swift signature and floral rosette might not be to everyone’s taste, but if it’s a dealbreaker, you could always opt for the standard Baby Taylor, and still get a great guitar.

This Taylor Swift Edition Baby Taylor also happens to come with the fantastic Taylor hybrid gig bag, which is definitely one of our favorites. It’s extremely protective and offers a lot of space for accessories, music books, etc.

As far as the rest of the guitar’s performance went, we were really pleased. Tuning stability was strong right out of the box, the action was nice and low, and intonation was spot on. Just like the more expensive Taylor models, the Taylor Swift version was made with an ebony fretboard and bridge, which both look and feel (in the case of the fretboard) great.

The neck was slim and comfortable, and with a nut width of just 1.6875” barre chords and other more advanced techniques were still easy to play. The 22.75” scale was one of the shortest we tested, and it suited the guitar well.

Verdict: We really enjoyed playing the Taylor TS-BT Taylor Swift. Considering the price, it was packed with high-end features, including Elixir strings and a Tusq nut. We loved both the sound profile and the size. This is a guitar that any Swiftie would love to own, and one that would serve them well from the beginning of their journey to being an advanced guitarist.

Also Consider
Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5

Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5

Solid tonewoods at a lower price than you’d expect

Washburn is regarded for its quality budget and beginner instruments, and the G-5 Mini is no exception. It features solid tone woods on the top, back and sides, and is a great size for older kids at 7/8 scale.

Sometimes it pays to look outside the more mainstream brands when shopping for a guitar for kids. Take for example the Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5. It doesn’t have the brand recognition of Fender, Martin, or Taylor, but that didn’t make it any less impressive. We were pleasantly surprised to find it was made with a select spruce top and genuine mahogany back and sides. The spruce top didn’t have the prettiest grain, but regardless, it provided us with a nice bright tone and a snappy response.

We loved the Grand Auditorium shape, too. It’s one of our favorite acoustic guitar styles and while it doesn’t quite have the presence of a dreadnought at higher volumes, we found that it was very comfortable and would work well for older kids and teens thanks to its 7/8 size.

Unfortunately, despite having a body made from solid woods, Washburn didn’t equip the Apprentice with particularly high-end hardware. It had a plastic nut and a plastic saddle, and while both can be upgraded with relative ease, a young beginner may not have the knowledge to take on this kind of work.

The fretboard was made from “engineered wood”, which we found didn’t feel as nice as the Ebony you get on a Taylor, but it’s still incredibly hard-wearing and much more resistant to moisture and temperature changes. The neck itself was made from mahogany and, while no profile was listed, we eyeballed it as having a slim C shape. It did feel good in the hand and it had a nice satin finish, which played fast and comfortably.

The scale length was 23.25”, making it one of the longest we tested. It didn’t feel noticeably longer than any of the others on test, so despite this being closer to full size than some of the other guitars we looked at, smaller players will still find it comfortable to reach for chords.

It had pretty standard die-cast chrome tuners, which were another area of slight disappointment. They were far from unusable, but with such strong competition from the other models on test, it was hard not to notice the relative lack of tuning stability in this model in comparison to the others.

It did come with a simple gig bag. It was obviously not up to the standard of the Martin and Taylor bags, but it still offers a way to safely transport this Washburn from place to place without having to spend any extra money.

Verdict: We enjoyed getting to try out the Washburn Apprentice G-Mini 5. We found that it wasn’t as mini as the name would have you believe, but it’s still a good choice for kids looking for an acoustic guitar. It offered the comfort and accessibility that kids learning guitar need, but because it’s almost full-size, it won’t be quickly outgrown.

Final Thoughts

At KGR, we know all too well how challenging it can be to shop for a guitar for kids. But to the uninitiated, it can be an incredibly frustrating process. We truly hope that you’ve found this to be a useful guide as you navigate your way through purchasing a guitar for your kids. Remember, comfort is a major factor, but don’t forget that style plays a part, too. If your kid is into heavy metal, they’ll be more inclined to pick up and practice on an electric guitar than they would on an acoustic. And the more time they spend playing, the faster they’ll progress on the instrument.

To summarize, if you’re shopping for electric guitars, our favorite all-rounder and Top Pick winner was the Epiphone Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, we highly recommend the Ibanez Mikro GRGM21. For those looking for the very best, our Editor’s Choice, the Epiphone SG Custom, is truly hard to beat.

On the acoustic side, our Top Pick was the Martin LX1 Little Martin. For those trying to keep costs down, but still needing a quality guitar, the Fender Sonoran Mini is a great choice. Finally, if you’re looking for the very best acoustic guitar for kids that money can buy, we will always point you in the direction of our Editor’s Choice winner, the Taylor GS Mini.

  • Simon Morgan

    Simon is an Orlando based musician, but originally hails from Newcastle, England. He started playing bass and guitar in 1998, and played the local scene throughout his teen years before running away to work on ships. These days his passion is budget guitars, amps and pedals - though he's not afraid of the finer things.