Learning a musical instrument can be a lot of fun. It’s also a great way for kids to develop skills in everything from self-expression to socializing, to maths! And what could be a cooler instrument to learn than an acoustic guitar?
We’ve found and reviewed seven of the best acoustic guitars for kids out there. We’ll take you through their great, and not-so-great points. And our buying guide will help you choose the one that’s right for your young musician.
So let’s get started!
Quick Glance: The Best Kids Acoustic Guitar on the Market
The Best Acoustic Guitars for Kids 2021
1. ADM Beginner Kids Acoustic Classical Guitar 30-inch
The beginner’s kit from ADM offers everything a new guitarist needs at a very keen price. As well as an acoustic guitar, the ensemble includes a carry case, shoulder strap, picks, electronic tuner, and replacement strings.
The guitar itself comes in a choice of colors. Traditionalists will like natural or sunburst, while budding rock stars will love the cool black finish. And there are sweet blue and pink options too.
The guitar is 30 inches long, and it will suit children under 10 years old who play right-handed. The body is made of laminated basswood, whilst the neck is maple. The back is arched for better resonance and a more sustained sound.
The tuning pegs are made of ABS and are held in place with metal. You’ll find that the guitar will need to be tuned pretty frequently when you first receive it. That’s because the strings are new and taut.
Play it regularly, and the strings will relax and you’ll get away with tuning it less often. And the digital tuner included as part of the package works very well.
This is an inexpensive guitar, and with all the accessories in the bundle, you’ll get great value for money. But you will need to be realistic about the sound quality at this price point.
You won’t get perfect intonation above fret 6 or 7. But you will get a guitar that’s perfectly adequate for beginners, and useful for practice sessions. If your child gets more serious about music, you’ll want to upgrade to an instrument with smoother construction.
One other thing to note is that we’ve heard of some issues with the pin for the shoulder strap. It’s made of plastic and the screw inside sometimes spins as it’s rotated. That means that the screw will fit, but won’t tighten.
These are pretty small niggles, though, for what is an excellent value guitar for a beginner.
- Laminated basswood body and maple neck
- Choice of different colors and finishes
- Comes with a range of accessories, including carry case and digital tuner
- You won’t get perfect intonation throughout the scale
- The screw in the pin for the shoulder strap doesn’t always tighten reliably.
2. Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar for Kids
Fender’s Squier Dreadnought guitar comes in a choice of natural, black or sunburst finishes. It’s the most expensive guitar on our list, but you’ll be paying for Fender’s impressive musical pedigree.
The first thing to note is that it’s a full-sized guitar. If you’re looking for an option for smaller children, this won’t be it. It won’t be comfortable for them to hold or play. But if you’re looking for a good starter instrument for a young person, it’s a great choice.
The mahogany neck is slim, so it’s easy to reach around. The fingerboard is made of maple and it’s stained an attractive deep brown. The top is made of Lindenwood laminate and the back and sides are mahogany. Together they produce the full-bodied tone that’s characteristic of dreadnought guitars.
It comes set up with a complete set of full-sized steel strings.
It also comes with a bundle of accessories. You’ll get a good digital tuner, a spare set of strings, picks, a shoulder strap, and a carry case. All the extras will fit neatly into the front pocket of the case. Just note that the case itself is a bit flimsy. Take care with the zipper, as it’s prone to breaking.
Also included in the bundle is a DVD showing you how to set up your guitar, use accessories and play chords. And you’ll get access to online lessons via a free trial of Fender Play.
One thing to be aware of is that, as with most guitars on this list, there’s only one button for the shoulder strap. The easiest way to deal with this is to tie the other end of the strap around the headstock. Alternatively, take it to your local guitar shop and ask them to install a second button.
To sum up, this is a good quality guitar for a beginner. If you’re looking for an instrument for someone who’s taking lessons, this will do the job well. It’s a bit more expensive than others on this list, but it’s still not a costly guitar. And the price is very fair for the quality of the construction.
- All-laminate construction and full-size steel strings
- Full-bodied dreadnought tone
- Lots of accessories, including a free trial of Fender Play, providing access to online lessons
- There’s only one button for the shoulder strap
- The carry case is a bit flimsy – take care not to break the zipper.
3. J&Z Beginner Guitar Acoustic Classical Guitar for Kids
This attractive acoustic guitar from J&Z is 36 inches long. That’s a standard three-quarter size guitar. It will suit children between about 5 and 12 years old.
It’s strung with nylon strings. They will be easier on tender fingers than steel strings, encouraging your child to play more often and for longer.
You will need to tune them more regularly at first, however. They’ll take at least a few days to adjust to the environment. The more you play your guitar, the quicker you’ll get to the point where they stay in tune.
The top, back and sides of the guitar are made from solid basswood. The neck, head and fretboard are made of maple. The dreadnought body is carefully constructed, and every part of the guitar is made by hand.
The sound is bright and clear. This is another guitar that’s easily good enough for a child who’ll be taking guitar lessons. And the price is very reasonable, particularly as it covers a range of accessories too. These include a carrying bag, a clip-on digital tuner, two picks and a cloth to keep your guitar clean.
The bag doesn’t have any padding, but it is waterproof. It won’t be suitable for travel, but it will keep away dust and moisture. There’s also a smart logo on the front so you won’t get your bag mixed up with anyone else’s. And the digital tuner included in the bundle is exceptionally good.
This is another guitar which has a single button for the shoulder strap on the saddle. Attach the other end by tying the thread around the headstock. If you need any help, there are videos online showing you exactly what to do.
- Bright, clear sound from the basswood and maple construction
- Strung with nylon strings, easier on the fingers of new or younger players
- Comes with a range of accessories, including an excellent digital tuner
- The carry case included in the bundle doesn’t have any padding
- There’s only one button for the shoulder strap.
4. Master Play 30-inch Wood Guitar with Case and Accessories for Kids
This 30-inch acoustic guitar is a great choice for younger players. And it comes in a range of finishes to suit any little boy or girl. There are classic shades like mahogany and natural, funky black, deep blue, and two shades of pink.
It’s very competitively priced, and comes with accessories to get new guitarists playing quickly. It’s made completely of wood, although we haven’t been able to find any information on what kind. It’s well made for a guitar at such a reasonable price point, and produces a good, full sound.
The tuning pegs and body are robust enough to stand up to children who haven’t yet learned to be gentle. The strings it comes with are very basic, but they’re fine for beginners. You may want to upgrade them as and when your child becomes more proficient.
Alongside the guitar you’ll get spare strings, picks, a shoulder strap and a carry case. The carry case that comes with most colorways is black. But if you buy the pink guitar, your carry case will be pink too. Sweet!
Note that the carrying case isn’t padded, though, so it will provide only limited protection while the guitar is on the move. It’s best thought of as a cover to keep it dry and dust-free. And the strap isn’t the easiest to attach or remove.
Bear in mind that you’ll need to tune your guitar fairly frequently to begin with. This will become less of an issue after a few days, when the strings will have stretched. This set doesn’t include a digital tuner, so you might want to invest in one to make life easier.
Overall, this is a decent little guitar for a young beginner. It’s a particularly good choice if you just want to test out whether your child is interested in learning. And if they stick with it, you can always invest in better quality strings to improve the sound quality.
- Decent sound quality for such an inexpensive guitar
- Robust tuning pegs, hardware and body
- Comes with spare strings, picks, a shoulder strap and carrying case
- There’s no padding in the carrying case
- The shoulder strap isn’t easy to attach or remove.
5. Best Choice Products 38-inch Beginner All Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Kit (Our Top Pick)
This acoustic guitar from Best Choice Products comes with one of the most comprehensive starter kits we’ve found. And you get the whole lot for a total price that’s one of the cheapest out there.
The bundle contains basics like a carrying case and shoulder strap. But you’ll also get a set of six picks, an e-tuner, extra strings, a capo and a cleaning cloth. The shoulder strap even contains a convenient pick holder.
The guitar is crafted from hardwood and is strung with nylon strings. That will make it easier for young fingers or those that are new to guitar playing. (There’s nothing like grooves in your little one’s fingertips to put them off practicing!)
It has a total length of 38 inches. It will be a suit most players between 6 and 12 years of age.
It comes in a range of different colors. Choose between sunburst, matte black, SoCal green, blue burst and red burst. An attractive rosette gives it a modern edge.
The accessories here aren’t the finest quality – hardly surprising for the price. The picks are large – good for kids, but they won’t suit adult players. And the case has no padding, so it won’t offer much protection if you’re traveling with your guitar.
But this is nevertheless a great purchase for a youngster just starting to play. You’ll get everything you need for a bargain price. And if your budding musician loves playing, you can always upgrade the accessories in time.
New strings will improve the sound quality no end. And at this price, you could upgrade the whole guitar after a few months and still have got decent value for money.
We would recommend giving the guitar a careful visual inspection when it first arrives. We’ve heard of cases where customers have received refurbished instruments, so don’t be caught out. Give it the once over, and watch out for scratches and dents.
And remember that you’ll need to tune it pretty regularly when you first get it. Use the e-tuner included in the bundle and it’s easy to do. It won’t need to be tuned so often once the strings have stretched.
- Comprehensive bundle of accessories, including an e-tuner and capo
- Choice of five different finishes
- Attractive rosette
- We’ve heard of cases where customers have received refurbished instruments – carry out a visual inspection on delivery
- The sound quality and accessories aren’t the best – but they offer decent value for the price.
6. Music Alley 6 String Size 30-inch Junior Classical Guitar, MA-51
If you’re looking for an acoustic guitar for children just starting to play, this is as inexpensive as they come. You’ll get a guitar, carry case, three oversized picks and a shoulder strap for about the same cost as six cups of posh coffee.
Unsurprisingly, you won’t get the build quality of a Fender for this kind of money. But you will get a small guitar that’s perfectly adequate for new players of ages 3 to about 12. It comes in a choice of glossy pink or blue finishes.
The strings are nylon, so they won’t cut into little fingers in the way steel strings would. You will, though, have to tune them often, particularly when the guitar is new. It’s a good idea to invest in a digital tuner to help you with that task. Over time, you’ll find tuning is needed less frequently.
The gearheads here are metal, so they’re more robust than the plastic versions found on some junior guitars. Note, though, that the action is very high – in other words, the strings are a long way from the fingerboard. That can make playing on the first frets harder.
We’ve also heard some concerns about the neck being bowed in some cases. Check that out by giving your guitar a visual inspection when you receive it.
The carry case isn’t padded, but it will keep the guitar dry and clean. Just don’t expect it to come through airline cargo undamaged!
None of these niggles are unexpected or unreasonable for such an inexpensive guitar. If you’re looking for an instrument for a child you’re not sure will keep playing, it’s a good choice. You can upgrade the strings and accessories – or even the whole guitar! – later if you choose.
- Choice of colors
- Robust metal gearheads
- Nylon strings, so they’re easier on little fingers
- The action is very high – you may want to file down the bridge
- We’ve heard of some cases where the neck has been bowed.
7. Hola! Music 36-inch Acoustic Guitar Bundle Junior/Travel Series (Upgrade Pick)
This mid-priced bundle from Hola! Music has lots to recommend it.
The acoustic guitar comes with a carrying case, shoulder strap with pick holder, and picks. You’ll also get access to two months of live online lessons. Just contact the tuition company after purchase with your order ID to get on board.
The guitar here has a nice quality spruce top, with mahogany back and sides and a walnut fingerboard and bridge. It’s available in natural, sunburst, light blue or pink finishes.
It’s 36-inches long, making it a standard three-quarter size guitar. You won’t get as big a sound as you would with a larger instrument, but it has a lovely, mellow tone. It’s comparable to the sound from a considerably more expensive instrument.
The strings here are good quality too. They’re not nylon, though, so they will be slightly tougher for little fingers to press.
The quality nut and saddle is made by TUSQ. It’s a cut above the plastic nut you’ll find on many cheaper guitars. The geared high-precision tuners are die-cast and covered in chrome.
The accessories here are also a higher standard than you’ll get in cheaper bundles. The shoulder strap is well padded, and the carrying case provides extra protection.
You won’t get as many accessories as with some other bundles, though. If you want a digital tuner and a copa, you’ll need to buy those separately.
- Lovely mellow sound, much better than you’d expect for a guitar at this price
- Good quality TUSQ nut and saddle
- Padded shoulder strap and carrying case
- The coated phosphor bronze strings have a lovely tone, but won’t be as easy on little fingers as nylon versions
- The accessory pack doesn’t include a tuner.
If you’re still not sure which is the right acoustic guitar for your child, don’t worry! Here are some questions to help you narrow down your selection.
Like any musical instrument, getting the right size for your child can make all the difference.
If the guitar is too big, it won’t be comfortable to hold or play. Small fingers won’t be able to reach around the fingerboard and won’t be able to play in tune. And that will detract from the whole experience of making music.
If the guitar is too small, on the other hand, the opposite applies. The guitarist may find it difficult to squeeze their hands into the right places on the fingerboard.
There are lots of different sizes to choose from. The measurement you’ll see in the description of most guitars relates to its overall length. You may also see the measurement expressed as a fraction – for example, three-quarters.
There are plenty of online guides to choosing the right size guitar for your child. Just make sure that you’re looking at guides for acoustic guitars – the measurements vary for electric. And if you can, use a guide that relates to your child’s height, rather than their age. There’ll be less room for error.
What kind of strings?
Strings can, of course, always be changed, so this isn’t a deal breaker. But a full set of good quality strings can be a significant investment, so it’s worth thinking about what you want at the outset.
Some guitars come strung with nylon strings. Others have steel or bronze strings.
Nylon strings are generally less expensive, and they won’t cut into sensitive fingers in the way metal strings will. But they will require more frequent tuning when they’re new. And you may find the tone isn’t as pure as with bronze strings.
For a young player just starting out, this is all you really need to know. There’s lots more to think about when it comes to strings, though. If you want to find out more, there are some great articles online that go into more detail.
What about accessories?
All the guitars on our list also come with accessories – but not all accessory packs are created equal!
To begin with, make sure you know exactly what’s included. Check the description, not just photographs. We’ve come across a number of instances where product images include items that aren’t actually in the bundle.
It’s also worth checking the quality of the accessories. For a young player who’s new to acoustic guitar, you won’t need anything too high-end. But if they’re going to be transporting their guitar to lessons, look for a carry case with some form of padding.
And if you’re getting a guitar with nylon strings, a reliable digital tuner will make easier work of the frequent tuning required.
Ready to Choose?
We hope our guide to some of the best acoustic guitars for kids has helped you in your search! Check out our reviews, then think through the questions in the buying guide, and you’re sure to make the right choice.
Our top pick is the acoustic guitar bundle from Best Choice Products. It offers a comprehensive range of accessories at an unbeatable price. And it’s the only package that includes a copa as part of the deal.
But if you’re looking for a higher end sound, we love the 36-inch acoustic from Hola! Music. It offers exceptional tone for a guitar at this price point.
Whichever guitar you choose, we hope your child loves learning to play it!