We’re here today with a list of the best guitars for kids in 2020. Starting with an instrument from the earliest stage of life is something that many professional guitarists regret not doing.
If you don’t have a guitar at home and feel like your little one has shown interest in all things musical, we suggest that you stick around as we review some of the finest acoustic and electric guitars for children. Without any further ado, let’s get straight to the reviews.
Here are the best guitars for kids 2020:
- Fender CC-60S Concert Pack
- Epiphone PR-4E Player Pack
- Yamaha GigMaker Deluxe Pack
- Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH
- Squier Mini Stratocaster
- Epiphone Les Paul SL
- Jackson Dinky Minion JS1X
- Ibanez Gio GRGM21M
- Yamaha APXT2
- Ibanez PF2MH
1. Fender CC-60S Concert Pack
The best value guitar pack for kids
We’re opening up with one of the top-rated acoustic guitars for kids, and to top it all, it’s packed with a variety of high-quality accessories that your youngster will certainly find as handy.
The Fender CC-60S Concert Pack is a simple, straightforward bundle that features a durable padded gig-bag, three Fender’s custom picks, a neat little shoulder strap, and of course, the CC-60S acoustic guitar.
Let’s have a quick rundown of the most notable features of the CC-60S; essentially, this is a six-string guitar that rocks the concert body shape. Aside from the fact that it’s perfect for music school performances and classes, this type of design is actually perfect for kids as it is easily supported by hips and legs while also being small enough for 7-year-old and 8-year old kids.
Additionally, there’s another factor that greatly influences the playability of this guitar, which is the exquisite ‘Easy-to-play’ neck shape with rolled edges. The CC-60S also features 20 standard-sized frets, so that children can immediately start getting accustomed to traditional acoustic guitars, and its scale length is just a tad shorter, which is also a big plus.
In terms of construction, the CC-60S acoustic guitar features a top made of solid spruce, back and sides made of laminated mahogany, a fretboard made of walnut, and a nato (eastern mahogany) neck. Tone-wise, this guitar is stretched far and thin across the sonic spectrum, although what’s most important about this particular selection of tonewoods is that they make it extremely durable.
In fact, chances are that your kid won’t even ‘outgrow’ the CC-60S, rather he (or she) will be able to grow with it, and eventually even play actual gigs and form bands. The factory strings that this guitar is pre-strung with are the Dura-Tone 880L light-gauge .012 strings, which do the job, but they don’t sound extraordinarily great, so you might want to consider changing them at some point.
|Image credit: Sweetwater / Fender Check Sweetwater||
The main reason why we think the CC-60S is one of the best guitars for kids is that it’s both durable and playable. It will allow your little one to experience playing an instrument for the first time, but it will also survive months and years of trial and error, and potentially become the go-to guitar of your little guitar aspirant. This acoustic guitar is perfect for 7 to 10-year-old kids, as well as the best guitar for children in general.
2. Epiphone PR-4E Player Pack
A more advanced pack for older kids
The second acoustic guitar pack in our review is the PR-4E Player Pack from Epiphone. Although Fender’s bundle fits the description of ‘classic’ a bit more, Epiphone’s Player Pack might be a bit more suited for progressive young virtuosos.
There’s an abundance of differences between the Player Pack and Fender’s Concert Pack, but the most notable ones are that this is a slightly bigger, more versatile bundle that comes at a slightly higher price. If you don’t feel dissuaded by it, we have no doubt that your kid is going to love the acoustic-electric PR-4E and all of the accessories contained in the package.
First of all, this bundle is comprised of the Epiphone Studio Acoustic-15C amp, a lightweight gig bag, three strings, a guitar cable, a clip-on tuner, a guitar strap, and the PR-4E guitar. All of these accessories should help your child grasp the basics of guitar playing in no time, and you’ll even be able to make use of the free downloadable lessons that will become available with your purchase.
Let’s switch over to the guitar itself; this is a acoustic-electric single-cutaway guitar with a jumbo body; although it’s slightly bigger and heavier than, for example, a concert body guitar, it’s a bit easier to balance, and definitely simpler to play while in a seated position.
It features a spruce top, a fingerboard made of rosewood while the rest of the construction features mahogany tonewoods. Tonally this guitar leans towards the warmer end of the tonal spectrum, and it generally sounds much better and clearer than you’d bargain for the money.
Furthermore, the PR-4E sports a C-shaped neck and 20 frets scattered across the durable, robust fingerboard. As far as hardware goes, this guitar offers chrome machine heads and a plastic nut, which we thing leaves some room for improvement. Additionally, the PR-4E comes equipped with Epiphone’s proprietary electronics with a 3-band EQ and volume controls.
|Image credit: Sweetwater / Epiphone Check Sweetwater||
It’s a given that the Epiphone PR-4E Player Pack is a bit pricey for everyone’s wallet, but this is the ultimate bundle for a 10-year-old child. It might not be perfect for younger kids as its scale length is pretty close to average, although its playability is impeccable, to say the very least.
3. Yamaha GigMaker Deluxe Pack
The best guitar for music school lessons
Children will find your old beat-up garage-band-days guitar as interesting as anything, but if your little boy (or girl) wants to have some proper musical education you might want to consider investing in a new, slightly better sounding and looking guitar. If that’s what you’re here for, we present to you the GigMaker Deluxe from Yamaha.
Essentially, the GigMaker is one of the most heavily acclaimed guitar packages on the entire market; it could easily fit the bill of being one of the most valuable, most affordable, best performing, and most versatile guitar bundles, all of which are the reasons why it’s perfect for musical school lessons.
In terms of the accompanying accessories, they’re relatively basic; the package is comprised of Yamaha’s light-gauge brass (replacement) strings, a clip-on chromatic tuner, a guitar strap, Yamaha’s gig bag, and three Yamaha picks.
Now, the FD01S guitar is what makes this package so interesting. This is a beautiful, great-sounding six-string acoustic guitar that features a dreadnought shape and a natural, glossy finish that exudes a sense of elegancy.
As far as tonewoods are of concern, the FD01S features a top made of solid spruce, nato back and sides, nato neck, and rosewood bridge. Although this is a relatively common combination of tonewoods, it’s proven time and time again that it works flawlessly; the tone of this guitar is present across all ranges of the tonal spectrum, leaning just a bit more towards the warmer end.
Durability-wise, spruce and nato are incredibly sturdy for budget tonewoods, and rosewood will be able to hold for years, even if the guitar is abused past its limits. This acoustic guitar features 20 medium-sized frets with dotted fingerboard inlays, excellent plastic, and die-cast metal hardware, and decent-quality strings.
|Image credit: Sweetwater / Yamaha Check Sweetwater||
One of the best things about the GigMaker Deluxe bundle is that it’s great for both young kids and teens that plan on making bands. Apart from the fact that it comes outfitted with high-quality guitar accessories, the guitar itself is of exceptional quality – it sounds great, feels nice, and it will be able to survive years and years of use.
4. Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH
Most versatile short-scale solid-body electric guitar
We’re slowly moving on to electric guitars with the iconic Squier Jazzmaster. However, this is a Mini version that features a shortened scale length; if you aren’t too familiar with the term, the shorter the scale length is the easier the fretboard becomes to navigate, and this means that Jazzmaster Mini is tailor-made for 5-year-old youngsters and high-school graduates alike.
One of the things that make this guitar’s playability so high is the incredibly soft neck; it’s made of premium-quality maple, and it basically feels as if it can contour to the player’s hands. While this is the reason why five and six-year-olds can actually use it, it’s also something a bit older kids and teens can appreciate.
The Mini Jazzmaster features a 3/4 scale length, which means that it’s slightly smaller than the original Squier Jazzmaster. Since it is tinier, it is also slightly lighter, easier to carry around, and simpler to use in general. The down-scaled fingerboard allows the youngest players to learn chords in a much easier way while also making playing higher notes possible due to the single-cutaway design.
Let’s have a quick rundown of the Mini Jazzmaster’s specs; this guitar features a C-shaped maple neck, a body made of poplar, and a fingerboard made of maple. Tone-wise, it’s much brighter than most guitars we’ve reviewed so far, but it still has just about enough warmth for young players that have learned how to control the overtones.
Another great thing about the Mini Jazzmaster is the fact that it has narrower and taller than average frets. While it does make chord progressions and scales slightly more difficult to pull off, it makes learning chords and different figures substantially easier.
|Image credit: Squier Check Sweetwater||
The Mini Jazzmaster is one of the best kids’ guitar models due to a plethora of reasons: it looks amazing, the tonewoods it features are of tremendous quality, and its robust hardware will undoubtedly cut down the costs you’d otherwise have to factor in for repairs and maintenance. Its shortened scale length also greatly helps for kids and beginners, although not everyone will love how its frets look and feel.
5. Squier Mini Stratocaster
The best short-scale solid-body guitar
The Mini Strat is not Mini Jazzmaster’s runner-up per se. This electric guitar stands on equal footing as the one we’ve just reviewed, and the only reason why it’s just a tad inferior to the down-scaled Jazzmaster is that it has a slightly different configuration of tonewoods.
The Mini Stratocaster is an excellent choice for children between 6 and 8 years as it packs a slim C-shaped neck made of maple that offers impeccable playability and ease of access; in fact, it is designed to feel almost exactly the same as the Mini Jazzmaster, although there’s an obvious aesthetic difference in terms of the fingerboard.
Speaking of which, the fretboard of this guitar is made of Indian laurel material. Its durability is on par with most mid-range electric guitars, and it’s almost incomparably sturdier than the vast majority of entry-level and beginner guitar models.
The body of the Mini Strat is made of poplar; this particular tonewood is amazingly robust, but it doesn’t necessarily bring much to the table in terms of actual sonic performance. This guitar features 20 medium-sized frets (as opposed to Mini Jazzmaster’s narrow and wide frets), which are easier to use while forming power chords. However, their width might not be suitable for children with exceptionally small fingers.
Just like our previous pick, this is a short-scale-length guitar (22.75 inches), which aims to help youngsters and first-timers learn the ropes of guitar playing techniques.
In terms of hardware, the Mini Strat features a six-saddle vintage hardtail bridge, a set of die-cast tuners, and two single-coil Stratocaster pickups – one on the neck and one on the bridge. Furthermore, there’s a master volume and master tone control knob, as well as a five-way pickup switch.
|Image credit: Squier Check Sweetwater||
The Mini Strat is a smaller version of the iconic Stratocaster, so in a nutshell, it’s among the best-sounding, most versatile guitars a kid could hope for. Even though its tonewoods are so well-rounded, it still offers an incredible level of durability and reliability, so the chances are that your kid will stick with it for years to come.
6. Epiphone Les Paul SL
The best full-scale electric guitar for kids
Although short-scale guitars offer easier access and are de facto simpler to play, many beginners and kids tend to have a rough time transitioning to a ‘full-scale’ guitar. Starting off with a full-scale axe will undoubtedly be challenging at first, but the rewards are there for bold little talents and virtuosos; knowing this, we’ve picked a special guitar that will compensate for the slightly reduced playability with exceptional, iconic sound and tone.
The term ‘Les Paul’ refers to both the brand that invented these guitars and to the actual body shape; in the case of Epiphone’s Les Paul SL version, we’re talking about the latter.
If your child is between 8 and 10 years old, we strongly recommend going with this particular model because its sound and durability are unequaled, especially considering that it’s a steal money-wise.
The Les Paul SL features a poplar body, which is quite unusual for an LP guitar, but it’s fairly common for a budget Epiphone axe. It’s durable, just a bit heavier than average, but it’s also designed in such a way so as to feel comfortable to play in both seated and standing positions. The ebony color brings out its elegance and exquisiteness in full.
Furthermore, the Les Paul SL features a D-profile Slim Taper neck; although it is just a tad less accessible than the C-shaped necks of Squier guitars, it offers a more comfortable, more natural hand positioning. The neck of this guitar is made of mahogany while its fingerboard is made of top-quality rosewood. Additionally, the Les Paul SL features 22 medium-jumbo frets and a scale length of 24.75 inches.
|Image credit: Epiphone Check Sweetwater||
Adult guitarists hold Les Paul guitars in high regard, and there aren’t many reasons why your child shouldn’t get accustomed to quality from the earliest stages of his or her musical life. The Epiphone Les Paul SL is a beautiful, great-sounding guitar that is available at a bargain price, and the only thing that could’ve been improved on it is the poplar body that doesn’t particularly add much in terms of sonic performance.
7. Jackson Dinky Minion JS1X
An exquisite-sounding guitar for your child
Kids that are growing up in a house where rock music is a part of daily life tend to develop a certain musical taste that other children catch onto a bit later in life. These kids are already building up their creative muscles, and they oftentimes express their uniqueness and style in everything they do.
Squiers, Fenders, and Les Pauls are ‘classic’ instruments with recognizable sounds and tones, so if your child wants an exquisite-sounding guitar that will help him (or her) stand out from the rest, we recommend the Dinky Minion JS1X from Jackson.
In a nutshell, this is a short-scale guitar with an enhanced number (and size) of frets; it’s made of exotic materials, and it comes supplied with super-hot pickups.
The first and most notable feature of the JS1X is its Dinky Minion body shape, hence the name. Jackson guitars are generally easier to carry and absolutely perfect for practicing while seated. It has a poplar body, colored in gloss neon green, although it’s also available in several different color styles.
It features a maple neck and amaranth fingerboard with Sharkfin inlays; additionally, it sports 24 jumbo frets and a scale length of 22.5 inches. The hardware components of the JS1X include two Jackson high output humbucking pickups (neck and bridge), Jackson’s proprietary sealed tuners, and a six-piece saddle string through hardtail.
The sounds that your child will be able to achieve with this guitar are as unique as the axe itself; it’s suitable for basically all music styles and genres, although it’s quite obvious that it would best sit in the hands of a little rockstar or a metalhead due to its super-strong and highly responsive pickups.
Playability-wise, the shorter scale length complements the extra number of frets, so youngsters of all ages should be able to find their way around the fingerboard pretty easily.
|Image credit: Jackson Check Sweetwater||
The Dinky Minion JS1X is, without any shadow of a doubt, one of the best-sounding electric guitars that will instantly make your child the coolest kid on the block. Apart from looking unique and sounding exquisitely great, it’s also very affordable and highly playable.
8. Ibanez Gio GRGM21M
Most playable electric guitar for children
Ibanez’s Gio series houses basses and guitars that are tailor-made for beginners, which only means that these models are perfect for children and youngsters between 5 and 10 years old. Of course, even teens and young adults turn up to Gio instruments when they’re picking their first one; it’s pretty fair to say that the GRGM21M is an excellent example of how seamlessly Ibanez engineers are able to combine terrific price with playability, great looks, and an excellent sound.
First things first, the GRGM21M is aesthetically superior to most budget electric guitars, and your kid is sure to catch some eyes if he or she is playing in school musicals or such. This guitar rocks pointy edges, an ergonomic ‘miKro’ body shape, and it sports a beautiful Candy Apple style with a gloss, polyester body finish.
This is a six-stringed electric guitar with a GRGM neck made of high-quality maple, a dotted fingerboard made of maple, 24 medium-sized frets, and a scale length of 22.2 inches. The dominant maple tonewood provides this guitar with distinct, highly recognizable tonal characteristics, although it also slightly lowers its sonic versatility.
One of the most notable benefits of the GRGM21M is the quality of its hardware components. It features an F106 Hardtail tailpiece, a robust nut made of plastic, Ibanez’s proprietary machine heads, and two Infinity R humbucking pickups, one on the neck and one on the bridge.
Furthermore, it also sports a five-way blade pickup switch, volume control knob, and a tone control knob. It’s pre-strung with super-light-gauge .010 strings that will invariably pop at a certain point, so it wouldn’t hurt to buy some replacements in advance. Be it as it may, the GRGM21M is still one of the finest children’s electric guitar models out there.
|Image credit: Ibanez Check Sweetwater||
If you are looking for a quality guitar for your child, look no further than Gio GRGM21M. This is easily one of the best electric guitars for kids as it offers the benefits of playability and excellent sound while still being exceptionally affordable and approachable.
9. Yamaha APXT2
The best short-scale acoustic-electric guitar for kids
Many young acoustic guitar players have wondered ‘can this be played any louder?’; acoustic-electric guitars are the perfect answer to that question, as they are basically acoustic guitars equipped with built-in electronics that allow them to be wired to a guitar amp for an extra volume boost and EQ tweaking.
One of the most valuable and best-sounding acoustic-electric guitars that you can buy for a child between 6 and 11 years is the Yamaha APXT2. It’s substantially smaller and easier to play than most standard acoustic guitars; it packs excellent quality tonewoods, and its hardware is absolutely impeccable.
The top of the APXT2 is made of high-quality spruce; its back and sides are made of durable meranti tonewood that also provides a magnificent boost to sustain; its neck is made of durable hardwood, and its fingerboard is made of rosewood.
This particular combination of tonewoods (with the exception of hardwood, which contributes the least) is phenomenal considering that this is an entry-level guitar made for beginners. Tonally the Yamaha APXT2 is scattered everywhere across the sound spectrum, but it has a strong, firm foundation that will also keep the tone consistent, regardless of where your child wants to take it.
The APXT2 features 21 frets with dotted inlays and a scale length of 22.835 inches; its playability is phenomenal, and it holds the tune for weeks at a time. In terms of hardware, this guitar features a plastic nut, covered machine heads, ART based preamp, and System 68 pickup, and it comes pre-strung with Yamaha .012 strings.
|Image credit: Yamaha Check Sweetwater||
Acoustic-electric guitars are ideal for children that are drawn to the soaring sounds of acoustics but need them to sound just slightly louder. The Yamaha APXT2 is one of the finest short-scale guitars that packs premium-quality electronics and hardware atop of the fact that its tonewood selection is almost incomparable in this price range.
10. Ibanez PF2MH
An affordable acoustic guitar that sounds great
Let’s wrap it up with the Ibanez PF2MH as our best affordable guitar of the day. We recommend this acoustic axe to people whose children have shown signs of musicality, but who don’t want to spend a fortune fearing that their kid will eventually give up on the instrument.
Essentially, this is a short-scale dreadnought guitar that boasts rather exotic tonewoods while sporting a classic, recognizable outlook. Its playability offers many rewards to children between 6 and 10 years old, and we’re pretty sure that they’ll also like the sound.
As far as its tonewoods go, the PF2MH features a sapele top, back, and sides, a neck made of mahogany, and a fingerboard made of the exquisite nandu tonewood. It also sports 20 narrow and wide frets and a scale length of 22.83 inches.
The PF2MH also boasts high-quality hardware components; it features covered tuners made of top-quality chrome, a nandu-made bridge, a decently durable nut, and light-gauge .012 factory strings.
One of the best things about this guitar is that it’s very accessible to children with smaller hands and fingers, which is why we recommend it to not only youngsters but teens as well who are facing this kind of issue.
Additionally, its intonation casts a long shadow over similarly priced budget guitars, even though the initial action might not be as comfortable as some kids would want it to be.
What your kid probably won’t like about the PF2MH is the ‘no cutaway’ body style; basically, this type of design makes the highest notes quite difficult to access. Even though most acoustic players seldom go beyond the twelfth fret, kids like to experiment and explore, and this body style makes the adventure slightly trickier.
|Image credit: Ibanez Check Sweetwater||
Overall, the Ibanez PF2MH is one of the best-sounding children’s acoustic guitar models; it comes equipped with top-shelf tonewoods, a beautiful, lightweight body, and a highly approachable price tag. It’s an excellent choice for children of all ages, especially youngsters between 5 and 7 years old.
How to choose your child’s first guitar
Choosing a guitar for your child is not much different from picking a guitar for a beginner teen or an adult, actually. There are numerous factors that you should keep in mind if you want to get the best model for your money, but most of them are rather obvious and self-explanatory. Let’s start at the very top:
Basically, the attention span of a child is proportionate to the amount of fun they can squeeze out of something; if playing around with something becomes a chore, they will simply turn up to something else. That’s why the guitar’s weight is one of the most important factors that you need to look out for.
Heavy guitars will drain your kid’s energy faster than a lightweight one; on top of that, the youngest of children will not even be able to stand and play heavy guitars. The factor that largely determines the weight of a guitar is the selection of tonewoods that the guitar features.
This basically means that you’ll have to think about whether your kid will be able to find the compromise between tone and weight as satisfactory; luckily for you, most kids aren’t able to discern the quality of tone and sound between different models.
Again, this does not mean that you should buy a bad-sounding guitar simply because it feels a bit lighter. However, if you have to choose between the two, we suggest going with a lighter guitar rather than with a great-sounding, but a heavy one.
Guitar’s scale length
The scale length of a guitar refers to the maximal length of the guitar’s strings that can produce audible sounds. Some people get a bit confused over this and think that scale length is essentially the scale of the fretboard, which is somewhat related but still wrong.
In a nutshell, guitars with a shorter scale length typically have shorter fretboards too, and that’s something you should keep in mind when choosing a guitar for your child. Kids who are starting out with an instrument will find such guitars much easier to handle and use, not to mention that such models are typically far less expensive.
Aesthetics and outlook
While the looks of a guitar are important for professional players, they’re still a pretty big deal for children too. Even though most kids will try to check out every unusual item you have hanging around at home, they will feel more inclined to play with something that looks appealing and unique.
Guitars with natural body finishes and typical designs are at a disadvantage in comparison to models that feature odd shapes and vibrant colors. However, aesthetics are ultimately not as important as the guitar’s size, weight, and sound.
Just like we’ve mentioned a while ago, kids and young children are not able to make a clear distinction between good and bad-sounding guitars (most of the time). Unless your child is raised in an environment where music is omnipresent, there’s a huge chance that your little one won’t be dissuaded to stick with a guitar that doesn’t sound anything special.
However, even children are able to develop certain tastes and preferences, and after a while of practicing, they will start to notice that a poor-quality guitar can’t get them to places where they want to go musically.
In that regard, if you want to save yourself some cash by a long-shot, it’s smarter to go with a better-sounding guitar, even though it might cost a couple of bucks more. It sure beats spending a couple of hundreds of dollars on an upgrade later on.
Guitar package or standalone guitar
Guitar bundles and packages typically offer a bit more value than standalone guitars as they come supplied with the bare necessities, such as tuners, gig bags, replacement strings, picks, and so on. However, bundles are usually a bit more expensive.
If you are not too sure whether your child will pick up on the instrument or not, going with a standalone guitar option might be a bit smarter. If, on another hand, your kid has shown some interest in the musical world, buying a package will save you the money you’d otherwise have to spend on the accessories that are normally contained in a guitar bundle.
We should also note that the complementary accessories are usually much cheaper than standalone guitar accessories available at shops; they are included in the price and often serve as ‘marketing material’, which is the reason why they’re slightly cheaper.
Acoustic or electric guitar
Most kids are a bit more drawn to electric guitars simply because this type of instrument is slightly more advertised in movies and TV shows. Additionally, electric guitars are also a bit easier to play than acoustic guitars because the frets are slightly easier to press on and form chords.
However, electric guitars are also a bit louder when plugged into an amp, so if you’re living in an apartment and have grumpy neighbors, an acoustic guitar might be a perfect solution to your problems. If your kid is attending music school, then you should consult with the professors and teachers as to which type of guitar you should buy.
We hope that you’ve liked our selection of the top 10 best guitars for kids in 2020 and wish you all the luck in finding what you were after. We also recommend checking out our buying guide before making the final decision, as it contains helpful and valuable information regarding the criteria we used for the evaluation of each individual model in the review.
We hope this article was useful to you, that you’ve learned something new, and that you feel more confident about making the big purchase. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!