Electric guitar for kids

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Despres, May 12, 2020.

  1. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    I'm looking for a recommendation for a guitar for an 8-year old to learn on.

    I've showed him a few things on regular scale necks and while he is probably almost big enough for a regular scale, I think it would be easier to learn the fingerings on shorter scale.

    I know Squier has some 3/4 scale instruments - has anyone experienced those or any other 'kid's size' guitars? I don't want to spend a ton but would like it to look/feel like a "real" instrument, whatever that means.
     
  2. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    The Squier mini-strat is great. Definitely a real instrument. Plays well, looks good, sounds good.
     
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  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Squier standard scale. Kids are extremely resilient, unlike us geezers; he will adapt and grow into it. Take a look at all the vids on YooToob that show six-year-old kids playing full size guitars.

    The benefit of starting on a full size guitar is there's no adjustment to make when switching to a longer scale.

    And BRAVOLINGUS to you for sharing the joy of music with a young'un. You are doing yeoman's work!
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The Squier mini Strat is good. Better even yet if you can find one of the MIM versions but they are rare. Starts are a bit complex though with the tremelo, switching etc. . A Duo Sonic , Mustang or any with the short scale neck would be fine also. Key is setting it up so it plays easy. (no matter what it is)
     
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  5. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Squier mini is good but damn near as heavy as a full sized guitar.
     
  6. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    My scale is on the fritz but the weight of mine seems reasonable, probably between 6 and 7 pounds. The grain looks like basswood to me, and it looks like 6-7 pieces. Fretboard looks like rosewood. Very attractive guitar actually. Mine is about 5 years old so it isn't exactly recent. IMG_7486.jpg
     
  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    I don't care from the Squier Mini-Strat at all. Too many QC issues with most of them I've seen. The 22.75" scale makes intonation dicey and more difficult for a kid to grow with. I feel the same about the Ibanez Mikro.

    I like the Squier Bullet Mustang a lot better. 24" scale makes it easier to setup and grow with.
     
  8. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the replies -

    Just looking around online - a Squier Bullet Mustang (HH) has a 24" scale and costs about the same as a Mini Strat (22.75" scale).

    Any thoughts on that as a starting point? I'm not sure how noticeable a change in scale length is. When switching from a les paul to a tele, I rarely notice the scale length (as much as the weight or sound)
     
  9. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    Funny, you posted this as I was typing. Doesn't seem like a bad package for the price.
     
  10. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Well...that's about the weight of a full sized Strat, innit?
     
  11. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    A light weight one I guess.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I bought my granddaughter The Squier Mini a couple of years back. No problems whatsoever. It's a top loading hardtail bridge, the intonation is fine. It's light and it's great fun to play.
     
  13. JoesTele

    JoesTele Tele-Meister

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    You know what you do when you want your eight year old to play basketball? You make them shoot at a standard 10 foot high hoop. That's the way it is done. Get them used to the real thing. No adjustments necessary when they play on a real court.

    Same with guitar. Full size (maybe a thin neck and thinner gauge strings). The Ovation/Applause electric/acoustic line is the perfect instrument for a little kid. Cheap, can be played both acoustically or electric (kids like the electric aspect) and thin easy to play necks with low action. Standard size, of course. That's what you want for a youngster.

    If this guy were brought up shooting at a seven foot high hoop, he wouldn't have become this guy:

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    Not sure I agree here. It can be hard for a youngster to stick with an instrument because initial progress can seem very slow to a beginner. You want to do everything possible to make it stick, including providing a properly-sized, comfortable instrument that is fun to play.

    By way of analogy, classical violins come in sizes down to 1/32 for a reason. As a child I started on 1/4 size, if I recall correctly, and then played 1/2 size before moving up to a full size as a young teen.
     
  15. JoesTele

    JoesTele Tele-Meister

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    That would have nothing to do with the size of the instrument. For God's sake, thousands and thousands of adults give up on the guitar. Is that because the instrument is too big???

    Kids quitting on guitar (or any instrument) is the norm. And that would be for a variety of reasons. The size of the guitar would not be one. If you are saying that size does matter for kids, then how would you explain kids that do stick with the guitar?

    Kids should learn on a full scale guitar. It is not impossible to play a full scale guitar. Your example of violin may be true but it is loony. All kids should learn on a full size instrument. Take piano for instance. The only kid I have ever seen play a teeny tiny kid piano is this kid...and he ain't real. Real kids learn to play on real instruments. You are actually hurting the kid by making it "easier" on them.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Despres

    Despres Tele-Holic

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    A mini-strat's scale is 22.75" - that is 89% the length of a regular fender scale and almost 95% of a mustang scale. That hardly seems like a toy that would be detrimental for them to learn on. (by contrast, a 24.75" les paul scale is 97% of a 25.5" fender scale and I hardly notice the difference when switching).

    I appreciate you offering your opinion, but I am specifically looking for a shorter scale instrument for him to practice on. He has some basic fingering skills from a ukulele I got him years ago and we have played some on my guitars, which are awkward for him, both body size and scale. I do not think I am hurting him by allowing him to practice on an instrument that is designed for someone with shorter fingers, any more than being on an appropriate sized bike has hurt his cycling skills- I would wager that MJ even used a Junior-size basketball when he was a kid, even if the hoop was 10'.
     
  17. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    I played the Mini Strat today and had no trouble making music with it. It definitely sounds like a Strat, and plays just fine. If you get one, you might want to restring with 11s so the short scale doesn't make the strings feel too floppy. Also when I got mine I removed some neck relief and lowered the saddles a little. Played fine after that.

    IMG_7523.jpg

    And I confirmed that it doesn't weigh too much:
    IMG_7521.jpg
     
  18. screefer

    screefer Tele-Meister

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    Another vote for the Mini but with a Maple neck ( Mfriend)
    Wonderful to get this look from my granddaughter!!

    IMG_1867.JPG
     
  19. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Plenty of cluelessness in this thread.

    Kids don't even play 10' basketball hoops in leagues! My kid plays basketball... The elementary kids play an 8' hoop and a smaller ball. If you gave them a 10' hoop and full size ball they'd play a game and the score would be like 4-2 and only one kid on each team would have managed to sink a shot and you'd have half the kids crying. My kid is 98th percentile for height at 7 and he can occasionally sink a shot at 10' but not if another kid is trying to stop him!

    If your hand span is 1/3 that of an adult it is not a problem to use a guitar that is smaller.

    I still think a Ukelele is a better choice a lot of the time though.. those tiny necks are way more kid size, and you can get a playable Uke for a lot less than a guitar.
     
  20. g-Paul

    g-Paul Tele-Holic

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    I bought my daughter a Squier mini-Strat many years ago when she was 8 and it's been a fine little guitar. It took all the abuse kids can hand out and hung in there. It has been loaned out to other kids in the family with no problems whatsoever. I've played it a few times, and as someone else mentioned, it's smaller, but it's not like playing a toy. I would recommend it.
     
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