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Electric Guitar for Kids

guitarpedaladdict

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,912
My son is 5 and I'm not trying to turn him into a virtuoso, just trying to set up something fun for him to make noise on while he figures out if he wants to learn more. He's had a ukulele since he was 2 and still goofs around on it from time to time which has been a blast.

I specifically want to buy him a mini electric not an acoustic, and wondered if there was anything i should consider besides the mini squires?

Also... any tips on a reasonably priced mini amp would be cool too. ideally i want the whole deal to be under $200, but would spend a little more if someone pointed out something really cool.

I know there's a few threads around, but none seem to lead anywhere on this topic, thanks!
 

standard24

Senior Member
Messages
9,075
The Peavey T-15 is an American made Strat-style axe, with a 23" scale. Perfect for small hands, and indestructible.

That said.... I would suggest you wait until he is maybe 11 years old to start him on guitar. Kids learn piano at 3-4 years old, but for some reason, guitar is different. You don't want to burn him out.
 

guitarpedaladdict

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,912
The Peavey T-15 is an American made Strat-style axe, with a 23" scale. Perfect for small hands, and indestructible.

That said.... I would suggest you wait until he is maybe 11 years old to start him on guitar. Kids learn piano at 3-4 years old, but for some reason, guitar is different. You don't want to burn him out.
Thank you, i like the idea of piano too. I got my first guitar when I was 6-7 and though Ive remained a perpetual intermediate, it's been something I always loved.

Like a lot of fathers I'm enchanted by the idea of sharing some of my own interests with him. Im definitely not the kind of dad that attaches pressure to these things, it's more about "access and exposure" to me.

Im also an avid waterman, windsurf, surf, kitesurf, bodysurf, retired tow surfer, etc... and approach those things the same way. Specifically, I bring the gear to the beach and if he wants to go, we go. If not, we build sand castles. I'm 100% okay with either outcome. I want to brig this same philisophy to musical instruments.

Maybe a keyboard is a better idea for this xmas! Great idea!
 
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Tweedledee

Member
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1,420
The Mini Squiers tend to be somewhere in the decent to terrible range off the shelf, but if you put some work into them they can be real gems. They're also ubiquitous, so finding a used one in good shape in the $50 to $75 range is pretty easy. I bought one for $50 and did a lot of work to it because, well, I can't keep myself from tinkering. :D At the minimum you'll probably want to do a little work on the nut to improve tuning stability (with such a short scale, if things aren't dialed in properly the tuning issues can drive you crazy), change the terrible stock tuners, polish the frets, and set it up properly. I went with 11s on mine because the strings were too floppy when I tried 10s or smaller.

The things you don't NEED to do but I did because I wanted to see what I could do with the thing: refinish the neck, replace the stock pickups, age the pickguard and pickup covers in the sun because the white was too bright for me.

The Vox Pathfinder is a good choice for a small solid state amp that actually sounds decent. There's also the Fender Frontman 25 which, like the Squier Mini, is easy to find used but in great shape. If you want to go crazy but still cheap, look for a Fender Champion 600. Sometimes you can find them for $100 or $120 and then you'll have a small tube amp that you can enjoy as well as your son. :D If he was 10 or so I would recommend the Mustang I, but a modeling amp for a 5 year old is too complicated.

Here's the Squier Mini I modified. It's now a fun little guitar for me to mess around on. My 5 year old son has shown no interest.



 

OllieDox

Member
Messages
232
I got a half size strat copy from Rondo last year for my then 3 year old. I found the 3/4 scale mini Squiers and Ibanez mikros too big for my kid.

http://www.rondomusic.com/Guitar.Packages.html

They used to have more options (I got a hardtail strat) and they used to be a little bit cheaper. Quality is pretty good - neck has a truss rod and it generally stays in tune. At his age it's nothing more than a noise maker and a way to keep him away from my stuff. If he starts taking to it and needs to move up we'd definitely get one of the 3/4 Jackson Minion Rhoads which we both love the look of!


For an amp I'd recommend either a Micro Cube, Blackstar Fly, or Marshall MG10 - we've had all three here. For us the Marshall works the best since it is the simplest for him to use, cheap, and is pretty sturdy. The Fly is cheap and sounds great but he drops it all the time. I'm surprised it hasn't broken yet. The Cube is comparatively expensive, also sounds great but is more sturdy than the Fly. All three are good enough to use as practice amps for me although the Marshall is my least favorite since it isn't portable and is very hissy (bad for headphones).
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,080
Rondo SX short scale ones are good. I don't know about their bunny and doggie guitars though.

Ibanez Mikro is good.
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,140
My son is only two nut I already bought him a Squier Strat. He can't play it yet but he's getting good at just smashing the strings. Funny thing is, it has better frets than most Gibson LPJ/SGJs I've played.
 

straightblues

Member
Messages
9,685
I ended up with the Squier Mini. They do need a little setup work for sure. But with a little help, they are good players. I have even gigged my son's Mini a couple times for fun.

Another thing I did was tune it to an Open E. That way when he banged on it, it would be in tune. Also it enabled him to make up songs easily.
 
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