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View Full Version : Good first guitar for a 7-8 year old?


Wiz-ski
05-29-2008, 07:37 AM
Okay, so I've basically brainwashed my son into the most obsessed 7 year old Beatles fan on the planet. If that didn't make dear old dad proud enough, now he's asking for his guitar so he can learn some tunes. I have a 57 Reissue Strat and a 56 ES225, and we've tried to tinker around with those, and his 7 year old fingers can't handle the full size...and it doesn't seem like his fingers can push the strings down well enough either.

So my question is this...3/4 sized guitar obviously...but what's the best option to get him started. I guess the options are acoustic, nylon stringed acoustic, and a 3/4 sized Fender Electric I've seen at ol' Sam Ash. I'm thinking the nylon might be the most forgiving for his fingers. Anybody have past experience with my situation? Any advice is appreciated.....

Wiz

Dave Johnson
05-29-2008, 07:59 AM
Check out Rondo Musics website. They have 3/4 size Strats that are dirt cheap and well made.SX SST57 Short Scale Vintage White

SX SST57 3/4 VWH RON http://www.rondomusic.net/photos/electric/sst5734vwh1a.jpgA Great Travel Guitar or Guitar for Younger Beginners!

</B>Easy to play, short scale electric guitar, perfect for the beginner or intermediate player
A great backup guitar for the professional
Solid Alder body for that great rock-n-roll sound
Three powerful single coil pickups, one volume and two tone controls, plus a five position pickup selector switch let you create an incredible range of sounds
Beautiful Maple neck with adjustable truss rod and Rosewood reinforcement for added stability
Ultra-fast Maple fretboard with 21 jumbo frets
Vintage fulcrum bridge with six adjustable saddles
Three-ply pickguard (White, Black, White)
D’Addario strings are installed at the factory
Overall length of guitar is 36 3/4”. Width at widest point is 11 ˝”
Width of the neck at the nut: 1 1/2"; at the 21st fret: 2 1/8"
Neck radius: 13.7" (350mm) Scale length is 24”.
Standard size pickups used (2 11/16" x 11/16")

Note, this item is "UPS oversize" and ships as if it weighs 30 lbs. Your final shipping costs will depend on your location and the items you order. To determine your total shipping cost, please click on the “add to shopping cart” button, and enter your address information. You will have the opportunity to cancel your order after you are quoted a shipping price.
http://www.rondomusic.net/photos/electric/sst5734vwh3a.jpg http://www.rondomusic.net/photos/electric/sst5734vwh4a.jpg http://www.rondomusic.net/photos/electric/sst5734vwh5a.jpg Above is VWH Vintage White
$89.95
Quantity
I bought one of the 3/4 size short scale basses and was delighted at the build quality and excellent fit and finish. For $90.00 plus another $20.00 or so for shipping, it just can't be beat. "Try it, you'll like it!"

wire 247
05-29-2008, 08:05 AM
The ones I prefer for my young students is the austin strat junior. They are really nice and they stay in tune well. I just bought one for my son...

shawntp
05-29-2008, 08:24 AM
Buy whatever guitar you want - just to let them watch Across the Universe...

I was about that age when I started playing on a Harmony - I did fine on it - I didnt get another guitar until I was 13-14 and my teached said I should get a better guitar as the harmony was holding me back and it was a MIJ Squire Strat.

I say just get one of the MIM Strats and you dont have to worry about anything for a few years while they grow into it better.

rogue.guineapig
05-29-2008, 10:44 AM
I was gonna say, MIM Strat and a big baby Taylor.
Total budget guitars that are awesome for the money.
my .02 is now yours.
rgp

Jahn
05-29-2008, 12:57 PM
agreed, a 3/4th strat type should be fine. hard to kick a hole in it, will take a bit of abuse, you can set the action to be kind to the fingers, and best of all he can crank it once in a while with a pignose amp or something!

yellowecho
05-29-2008, 01:49 PM
Check out Rondo Musics website. They have 3/4 size Strats that are dirt cheap and well made.SX SST57 Short Scale Vintage White

That'd be my pick! That's an awesome guitar for a 7 y.o.

Nuclearfishin
05-29-2008, 02:30 PM
I would get him a 3/4 classical (nylon string). I started my 7 year old on this guitar in Jan 2007. The nylon strings are VERY easy on the fingers because of the low tension, and fingering notes is very easy (easier than any electric). The slightly wider nut makes it easier to finger chords without accidentally muting the strings around it. Due to the ease of playability, my son has had a blast and practices all the time. Last month he entered a 4-H music show which we thought was just an exhibition but turned out to be a contest for high school kids. He ended up placing 3rd overall against a bunch of older kids. My only point here is that getting a guitar that is easy to play will encourage him to have fun and practice all the time. He's 8.5 now and just moved up to a full size with no problems at all. He now easily plays Beatle tunes on my Gretsch while I play along with him. He still loves his classical stuff but has no problems adapting to other styles and guitars. I think there's a bunch more reasons why a nylon works best, but I don't want to bore you all with the details. Bottom line, get something that fits.

Cheers!

P.S. Wiz, you're not the same Wiz I sold my Sadowsky to are you? There can't be that many Wiz's out there.

OM Flyer
05-29-2008, 03:26 PM
My son has a Squier mini Strat that's great. For classical he has a 3/4 size Strunal, made in Czech Republic that's really nice. It was $150, the electri was $99. Both great starter instruments.

Mikey Likes It
05-29-2008, 04:46 PM
My 9-year-old has been a Beatles fanatic ever since I got him the Yellow Submarine DVD when he was 3. But instead of guitar, he has taken up the steel drum. So the Strat Junior I got him will remain my "road trip" guitar. Not to be mistaken for the Squier mini Strat, this one is the same size but is a Mexican Fender, and the quality is on par with other MIM strats. I put a set of Rio Grande Tallboys in it and it is an excellent guitar. Seems they're not making them anymore, since I can't find one at GC, MF or Zzounds. But you might keep an eye out for a used one.

And I second the vote on "Across the Universe". My kids are spellbound by it, but you may want to watch it yourself first so you can decide whether you care to skip through any drug-related scenes (there are a few, as I recall).

Wiz-ski
05-29-2008, 05:32 PM
Nuclear, I'm not that Wiz....but great post, thanks

stratus
05-29-2008, 07:00 PM
56' Relic stratocaster! This way, you also get a new guitar!

Samsun19
05-30-2008, 03:32 AM
Hey Wiz,

Exciting to have your son take a interest in music!

As a full time guitar teacher for more years than I care to confess.... :)

I have a lot of experience on this subject.

The best guitar type for kids who want to play rock, is without question the 3/4 scale electrics.

The old "start on a classical/nylon" is best, is a good idea for adults with fat fingers, but isn't necessary for kids. Kids tend to have thin fingers, so the wide string spacing of a nylon guitar is a mute point. And the string tension on a 3/4 scale guitar is very light anyway.

What is important and relative here is that the guitar fit the student properly. And that it's comfortable to hold and easy for them to see the fingerboard.

Even 3/4 acoustics have the hard body edge pressing into the chest and strumming arm. The wider acoustic body is farther away from there eyes. We tend to forget after years of playing that in the beginning we all had to watch where to place our fingers...... For a long time.

It is true that a 3/4 nylon will be a little softer on those tender fingers, but it's not enough of a benefit to out weigh the easy to hold and see electric.

That's why I always recommend 3/4 strat style guitars for all kids who want to play rock / rock and roll.

Also, electric guitars look cool, and can sound like the songs they want to play. Kids dig that.

Sometimes parents think if the buy the kid a full size guitar, it's a better investment. It's not. If the guitar is to big or heavy for the child they won't play as much, and will start off with bad habits regarding holding and fingering the guitar.

The truth is, statistically, kids that start on 3/4 electrics have much better odds of sticking with the guitar than the ones that start on 3/4 acoustic or any full size guitars.

I know that we've all seen and heard of kids starting off on full size acoustics who ended up doing great. But try to remember the Jimmy Rosenberg's of the world are the rare exception.

Most kids will not have have that burning drive at the beginning to overcome all obstacles that a large or uncomfortable instrument will present.

But most kids, if given the right instrument and patient guidance, will after a few years, grow to have a real passion for all the guitar gods that we all admire here on TGP. And that's what I'm talking about!

Good luck to you and your son.

Mikey Likes It
05-30-2008, 03:39 AM
Check out Rondo Musics website. They have 3/4 size Strats that are dirt cheap and well made.SX SST57 Short Scale Vintage White

SX SST57 3/4 VWH RON http://www.rondomusic.net/photos/electric/sst5734vwh1a.jpgA Great Travel Guitar or Guitar for Younger Beginners!

</B>Easy to play, short scale electric guitar, perfect for the beginner or intermediate player
A great backup guitar for the professional
Solid Alder body for that great rock-n-roll sound
Three powerful single coil pickups, one volume and two tone controls, plus a five position pickup selector switch let you create an incredible range of sounds
Beautiful Maple neck with adjustable truss rod and Rosewood reinforcement for added stability
Ultra-fast Maple fretboard with 21 jumbo frets
Vintage fulcrum bridge with six adjustable saddles
Three-ply pickguard (White, Black, White)
D’Addario strings are installed at the factory
Overall length of guitar is 36 3/4”. Width at widest point is 11 ˝”
Width of the neck at the nut: 1 1/2"; at the 21st fret: 2 1/8"
Neck radius: 13.7" (350mm) Scale length is 24”.
Standard size pickups used (2 11/16" x 11/16")

Note, this item is "UPS oversize" and ships as if it weighs 30 lbs. Your final shipping costs will depend on your location and the items you order. To determine your total shipping cost, please click on the “add to shopping cart” button, and enter your address information. You will have the opportunity to cancel your order after you are quoted a shipping price.
http://www.rondomusic.net/photos/electric/sst5734vwh3a.jpg http://www.rondomusic.net/photos/electric/sst5734vwh4a.jpg http://www.rondomusic.net/photos/electric/sst5734vwh5a.jpg Above is VWH Vintage White
$89.95
Quantity
I bought one of the 3/4 size short scale basses and was delighted at the build quality and excellent fit and finish. For $90.00 plus another $20.00 or so for shipping, it just can't be beat. "Try it, you'll like it!"

Dave, I've tried the Squier Mini-strat and other 3/4 scale strat copies, such as the Austin. They all have sharp fret edges, etc. and won't stay in tune. That's where the Mexican Strat Junior differs and seems to me to be in a different league, but they were selling for around $350 as I recall. Does this $90 offering (with trem, no less) actually stay in tune and intonate properly???

JamesHealey
05-30-2008, 04:12 AM
my first guitar was a 3/4 scale Encore Strat when I was about that age(8).. Some 15 years ago now but it was a fantastic guitar to learn on.

sheedbg
05-30-2008, 12:51 PM
Also, electric guitars look cool, and can sound like the songs they want to play. Kids dig that.


Samsun19 hit the nail on the head (with the whole post but I'm commenting on this part specifically)...

As stupid it as it sounds, aesthetics & perception go a looong way. a kid will be alot more jazzed to play something he likes the look of - hell even I do !

Wiz-ski
05-30-2008, 05:47 PM
Samsun19 - great post....looks like decision is made.

Thanks for the input guys!