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Squier Mini Strat for first guitar..?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Pickcity, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. Pickcity

    Pickcity Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    44
    251
    Oct 12, 2017
    Atlanta, Ga.
    My son will be 5 in January. He is tall for his age, at 4 feet, and has large hands as well. The Squier Mini will still be a little large for him, I believe, but he will handle it better than a full size Squier. He has his hands on one of my guitars all the time, so I want to get him a decent instrument that he can really learn on for now.

    I have looked at the 1/2 size guitars but there are very few to choose from, all of them are online so I can't hold them and feel them, and all are brands I've never heard of. Are there any decent 1/2 size electrics?

    I am definitely going to go electric because he seems to be more interested in electric, and because the lower action will probably be easier for him.

    I have also considered a Ukelele. I believe that would be a good way to get him playing songs, not to mention it is very much like a guitar in its 1-4 strings being the same as a guitar's 1-4 strings, capo'd at the 5th fret.

    Does anyone have a Squier Mini, and have you gifted one to a child?

    I am looking for input and/or suggestions. I have seen the Jackson and a couple other brands that look pretty nice, in the 3/4 size options. Are any of the others better? I am a big believer in Squier instruments and have played them myself on stage. I'm not really worried about their overall quality, plus I can check them out locally at our music stores.

    This will be part of his Christmas, and he will love whatever he gets, but I want it to be something he can handle and gain some confidence. If he can learn a few simple songs it may inspire him.

    Thanks for any suggestions. Sorry for the book.
     
    Danjabellza likes this.
  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Bought one for my grandson when he was about five. Unless you plan to use it as a wall hanging my advice is don't waste your money. He can't learn on a guitar that can't even be setup well or stay in tune. IMHO they're a toy not an instrument. Eventually I gave him a full size Squier Strat. The mini is on the wall in his room.

    I can't vouch for other brands but you'll certainly want to check them out very thoroughly since I suspect they all tend to be pretty useless for much but banging on. The Uke sounds to me like a far better way to get his interest up and get him started actually picking out a song. I would not trust a Mini Strat to do that.
     
    dan1952 likes this.
  3. FenderGyrl

    FenderGyrl Friend of Leo's

    Jul 22, 2012
    Wisconsin
    Ibanez Mikro
    I got one a year ago...fun little guitar
     
  4. FenderGyrl

    FenderGyrl Friend of Leo's

    Jul 22, 2012
    Wisconsin
    Chappers and The Captain do a nice review of the Ibanez Mikro
     
  5. fraser

    fraser Tele-Holic

    884
    Sep 8, 2007
    Hamilton, Canada
    I don’t know about the mini, but since you mentioned ukulele, I bought one of the Yamaha guitalele’s and like it a lot.
    It’s a bit smaller than a baritone uke, 6 strings, and tuned like a guitar, only higher at A-A.
    Chord shapes, scales etc are exactly like on guitar.

    Neck width might be an issue, I’m not sure.
    Mine was like 100$ canadian.
    I have a 5 and 3 yr old and that messes with my playing time,
    I use it to exercise my hands when It isn’t easy or convenient to grab a normal guitar.
    Good also when stranded at the park all afternoon with no way to amuse oneself.
    So in any case, nice to have around.
    And if one of the kids develops the patience to try, there’s that.
    My kids are generally just into breaking stuff at this point....
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
  6. BryanLB

    BryanLB Tele-Meister

    Age:
    41
    122
    Feb 3, 2018
    Ontario
  7. Pickcity

    Pickcity Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    44
    251
    Oct 12, 2017
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I went out this afternoon and checked out the mini Squier. It is not a top notch instrument, for sure, but I found it to be much more than a toy. It is a real guitar, and plays very decent. I don't expect too much from a $120 guitar, but I don't expect too much from a 4 year old player either.

    I also looked at a couple of these. Very cool 3/4 size guitars! The fit and finish was well done, and I believe my son would really like the looks, to go along with ease of playability.
     
  8. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    This! 100% The mini strat won't stay in tune, and can't be set up. I've been repairing guitars for 40 years. Buy the uke, it's a much better idea!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
    soulman969 likes this.
  9. rad1

    rad1 Tele-Holic

    866
    Aug 5, 2015
    Santa Cruz CA
    10855A6B-A057-4902-BB03-42DBDB9FCAEE.jpeg
    I think they are great little guitars. I set it up, adjusted the action and put new strings on it, a brand new guitar, before I gave it to my 5yr old granddaughter for Christmas. It is a great little guitar that plays just fine and stays in tune ok. I even play it at times.
     
    beagle and Pickcity like this.
  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    Find someone who has had this experience...

    "The mini start won't stay in tune, and can't be set up."

    ...buy it off them for $20, set it up properly (will probably need nut work and fret level and edge) and enjoy.



     
    Pickcity likes this.
  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Well then all I can tell you is your experience is very different than mine. My experience was that it was impossible to even come close to intonating and it would not stay in tune.

    I can setup a $100 guitar and make it playable but not that one. IMHO it's purely a novelty item. My grandson never played it but perhaps you'll have more luck with your 4 year old son.

    You asked for an opinion of someone who had experience with a Squier Mini and I gave you mine. It's your money so spend it however you like.
     
    dan1952 likes this.
  12. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    Bingo! The scale is just too short to tune like a guitar.
     
  13. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    Like a lot of inexpensive guitars, they will tend to have an incorrectly cut nut. If the nut is off, intonation will be off and the tuning may have trouble due to binding at the nut. The nut may be too high, causing intonation problems near the nut or too low, causing buzz.

    The stock strings are 9's (they used to be 8's, which were worse) and there won't be sufficient tension to get the tuning right, especially on the G and D. To deal with this, tune up to F or higher (I've heard of people taking it up to as high as A) or else use a heavier string gauge (11's or higher).

    They setup a lot like the older 22.7" MIM and 22.5" (original) Duosonics. You go with a heavier string to tune to successfully to standard tuning.
     
    Pickcity and soulman969 like this.
  14. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    I would buy him a mini acoustic rather than an electric guitar.
    If he doesn't take to it then you can play it so get something half decent imo.
     
  15. fraser

    fraser Tele-Holic

    884
    Sep 8, 2007
    Hamilton, Canada
    Sorry, but what?
    It’s a 22.75” scale.
    I have a supro super with a shorter scale than that, 22” if I recall.
    It intonates and tunes like a guitar just fine, and I’ll add that it’s wooden floating bridge is a more primitive and inaccurate one compared to strat saddles.

    I’ve never bought a mini strat and handed it to a kid to learn on, but I’ve set up a few of them.
    Had no problems intonating those.

    String gauge is a consideration with a short scale like that.

    If one of my kids developed an interest and attention span to require a guitar, I’d think it a choice worth considering, I just haven’t been posed with that problem yet.
     
    Pickcity and bgmacaw like this.
  16. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    All of which I understand having done my own work for over 30 years but I also have to ask myself why I want to spend my time re-cutting or possibly replacing a nut on a $100 guitar that should sell for about $40 tops when I can find other $100 guitars that don't require it or massive a effort just to make them playable.

    And increasing the string gauge only makes it more difficult for a 4-5 year old to play. I actually used .010s on my grandsons and while I could play it, it still was a hot mess that wouldn't stay in tune for long. Joe never did more than use it as a toy and I finally gave him an Affinity Strat at age 10 that he has at least played.

    IME it's a bad design and a bad idea right out of the box and little more than an effort by a marketing dept. to come up with a mini guitar to indoctrinate young 'uns and their parents into the Fender brand. I've spent countless hours building or assembling things for my daughters that actually worked.

    Spending hours trying to make a bad product good that I believe will never work well enough for a young child to learn to play music on seems like a huge waste of time to me. A uke or a smaller nylon string guitar could be a teaching tool but IMHO that Mini Strat will never be one.

    This has been my own experience and my opinions are based on that experience. Others are certainly entitled to their own opinions as well.
     
  17. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    The heavy string change is something most short scale guits benefit from.
    My Taylor mini has 13's on it plays like a full scale dred with 11's.
     
    bgmacaw likes this.
  18. fraser

    fraser Tele-Holic

    884
    Sep 8, 2007
    Hamilton, Canada
    Ok so, the op shouldn’t buy one and spend a half hour tweaking the nut and restringing and setting one of these up.
    Instead he should spend a lot more money on something that may or may not work, or spend a load of money and buy the tools and materials to make his own, better version.
    Of a guitar for a 5 yr old.

    Ok then.
     
    Pickcity likes this.
  19. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    511
    Mar 12, 2016
    San Antonio
    I gave my son a squire mini I bought from goodwill for $50. It has 10s on it with standard tuning. I put bright flats on it so they might have a little more tension.

    For me, it intimated well enough and keeps turning well as long as he doesn’t experiment with the tuning keys.

    The biggest issue is that I think I’ve played it more than he has.

    It’s a fun little guitar. I would not have wanted to buy it at the new price.
     
  20. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    I liked the mini my stepdaughter has. She tried to “tune” it one day and lost a saddle off the bridge... no idea how/why. But it was actually quite a fun little guitar to play. Didn’t have any real issues setup wise until she lost the saddle trying to “tune” it. That said, there’s probably better options, however for a 5 year old, idk. I’ve been interested in the loog guitars for my little guy to start on.
     
    ianstrike and Pickcity like this.
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