The average height of a child between the ages of 8 and 11 is 4’6″ to 4’11” tall, which is roughly 140 to 150 cm. Standard guitars are too large for these youngsters, who require a 3/4-size guitar. Children aged 11 and older who are at least 5′ foot long (or 152 cm) tall can play on a regular, full-size guitar.
In this article, I’ll take a closer look at 3/4-size guitars, their measurements and how children around this age can play them.
I’ll also provide a list of recommended 3/4-size acoustic guitar options to consider if you’re ready to buy one for your child.
So without further ado, let’s just get straight into it, shall we?
What should I look for when shopping for a beginner-sized guitar?
When choosing a 3/4-size model, first make sure it has 20 frets (some of the cheaper models only have 19 frets).
If your child is an absolute beginner, there’s no need to get a guitar with more than 20 frets since they won’t even know what to do with all of them.
You can find the fret count on the headstock.
Also, make sure it has a low action (distance between strings and fretboard) because this will make it easier for your 3/4-size guitarist to play.
Also, beginner guitars typically aren’t very durable so try to find sturdy ones with a hardwood back and sides (as opposed to plywood).
Make sure the neck is made out of mahogany or maple rather than something like basswood.
The beginner’s guitar should also have a laminated top, which is sturdier than spruce tops.
The finished product can be either an all-wooden model or a wooden body with a plastic pickguard.
While the former provides richer sound and resonance, the latter is less expensive to make and better in terms of durability because it’s more resistant to dings and scratches.
What should I be aware of when it comes to the 3/4-size guitar’s general build?
The biggest difference between a standard, full-size acoustic guitar and a 3/4-size one is that the smaller model lacks an extended top bout where the body meets the neck.
Another key difference between these two types is the neck’s width.
A full-size acoustic guitar has a neck width of 1 11/16″, while the 3/4-size model is around 1 5/8″.
The smaller width makes it easier for child guitarists to play.
Aftermarket tuners are also hard to find on these guitars.
This means that you should pay extra attention to the guitar’s original tuners to make sure they don’t break easily.
What are some recommended 3/4-size guitar models?
Here are 5 of the best beginner guitars in this size category:
- Yamaha FG700S
- Ibanez GRGM21M
- Washburn WI64
- Dean Fretless EDGE Jr. 3/4
- Epiphone DR-100 3/4
The Yamaha FG700S is a great guitar for young musicians.
It features an Agathis back and sides with a spruce top, a mahogany neck, a nato fretboard with 19 frets, die-cast tuners, and chrome hardware.
The Ibanez GRGM21M is another good option.
It has an Agathis back and sides, a nato neck with 19 frets, die-cast tuners, and chrome hardware.
Both of these guitars are recommended for children aged 11 and older, who are at least 150 cm tall.
The Washburn WI64 has an all-wooden body with a mahogany neck and nato fretboard.
It’s recommended for children aged 11 and up, who are 143 to 152 cm tall.
The Dean Fretless EDGE Jr. 3/4 is a nice choice for kids aged 11.
It has basswood back and sides, a nato neck with 19 frets, die-cast tuners, and chrome hardware.
The Epiphone DR-100 3/4 is another good option.
It has an Agathis body with a mahogany neck and a nato fretboard.
It’s recommended for children aged around 11 and up, who are at least 135 cm tall.
Is a 3/4 size guitar too small?
Although a ¾ guitar is considerably larger than a ukulele, it is still tiny enough that children or adults with short fingers can play it without having to stretch their hands.
The neck’s width and the strings can also make it easier for young musicians to play chords and generate clear tones.
This is why a ¾-size guitar is perfect for children who don’t yet have enough arm strength to cope with full-size guitars.
On the other hand, you do have to keep in mind that ¾-size guitars are considerably harder to find.
If your child is really into playing guitar, you might want to get a full-size one even though it will be more expensive and less durable than smaller models.