Starter Guitar for 8 year old?

NBlair930

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
724
What are your thoughts regarding a good starter guitar for my 8 year old son.
Acoustic? Electric? full size? mini/short-scale?
 

DKing

Member
Messages
137
Something like a Squire short scale is a great idea for starting. I see people all the time that get their kids such a cheap unplayable guitar and the intonation is so messed up that Eric Johnson would sound crappy on it. lol. Because of this their kids never enjoy at all. I got my daughters a Hello Kitty Squire and they both want to play it all the time. I'll probably have to get another down the road. I find myself playing all the time also because it's always out. It is totally playable and cheap. Hope that helped.

DK
 

Heritage 80

Member
Messages
1,751
Definitely electric, 3/4 scale and strung with eights, at least to get him over the hump wrt fingertip pain. Low action is also key.
 
Messages
2,679
I got my son one of the mini Squiers a year ago when he was 10. They are nice for the money - sound and play great for a $100 guitar. I think having a properly set up and easy playing instrument will help incourage them to play it. Can't get my micro cube back from him either!
 

bynt

Member
Messages
2,122
I agree on the mini squire. The little Samick electric is crap but thier little mini mini jumbo acoustic is really nice for kids. I personally think (like it matters) starting out on acoustic is better but I'm not so sure for someone that young.

How cool!!!! Good luck and I hope that he "gets the bug".
 

GBStratman

Member
Messages
183
I really like Daisy Rock. Great quality and value, and the necks are thin enough for small hands. I got a nice electric used for about $200 for my daughter.
 

strat6866

Member
Messages
1,521
I got my son the Squier 3/4 size mini. It was badly in need of a setup out of the box but after about 15 minutes i had it sounding pretty good.
He was 7 when i got it for him so i expect that it will last him a good 5-6 years as far as "size" goes.
 

RDM

Senior Member
Messages
3,713
Gibson VOS Series Les Paul. Something under 9lbs should be fine and put the little youngster off to a great start!

No...seriously....forget the 3/4 size guitar. Get a Squier Bullet. The reason being is that when I was at GC, the #1 complaint I had from parents who bought a 3/4 size guitar was that 2-3 months after buying it, the kid has already out grown the guitar. just a suggestion and something to keep in mind. It's only $100.....but it's still $100.
 

mmcquain

Member
Messages
1,126
Another vote for the Squier 3/4 size Strat. My son is 8 now and has been playing it since he was 7. They are the perfect size for kids that age...

 

randy alameda

Member
Messages
151
Gave my son a 72 SG, and had it set up with 9's, it was a beater that had already had the finish stripped off, got it for $175! but he liked it enough we had it refinned after a couple of years. He still loves it! He was 10 then, now 21
 
Messages
104
danelectra pro... i just got one for my 8 y/o daughter to play a couple months ago and i've ended up using it more than her! it's got a 25" scale length and the bridge is set far back in the body so it feels like a 12 fret acoustic in the hands... they list for $300 and you can get them discounted, 12 colors too. i've played some 3/4 scales and they just don't seem like 'real' instruments to me...
 

Samba

Member
Messages
483
I'd opt for something that will serve as a useful instrument into the future. A Tocama Papoose is neither a crappy kid's guitar or a compromised travel guitar. It's an all solid wood small bodied guitar tuned to A. Great for travel or for mando-like sounds (without the need to learn new chords) and the quality will encourge the little fella to keep at it. No need for electrics and amps until he earns his stripes...;) if he loses interest in the meantime, you've got another useful instrument in your arsenal.



 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,512
I'd definitely, unequivocally recommend acoustic. It teaches the kids (or adult learners, for that matter) fundamentals, tighter technique, and finger/hand strength ...a much better way to start than an electric, IMHO. Should he show more interest/aptitude, let him "graduate" to an electric later ...he'll appreciate it more if he's worked for it.

The Baby Taylor comes in at just under 3 bills, and is a no-apologies musical instrument. These things are incredible values, and easily a keeper (not to mention will hold its value should you decide to sell it later). Or for less dough, get a Yam or Iban in 3/4 size for maybe half that ...and still decent instruments.

Edward
 

opiate

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
296
When I was that age my dad had me learning on a nylon string classical. The scale length felt easy and the nylon strings were also easier on the hands. Bt I really think that if your son really WANTS to play, he can manage on just about anything (in terms of electric, acoustic, short or full scale).

Now one piece of advice that I ALWAYS give to anyone buying a guitar for a beginner is that they should get the best instrument that they feel they can justify. Too many 'geginner guitars' are just so bad that they are useless for learning. If a guitar has bad intonation, overwhelming fret buzz, bad action and so on, how is the beginner player to know if they're doing things right or if the guitar is just sucking? Of course with you being a TGP member (read as 'gearhead') I'm sure I don't need to convince you of this :)

Best of luck to your son with learning the guitar!
 

ford

Modz
Staff member
Messages
13,879
I know I wouldn't have enjoyed starting guitar as much if I had started on an acoustic. My technique developed fine and once I could play it wasn't hard to transfer over to acoustic at all.

I built my son a parts strat.... with some used parts and a cheap alder body. If I had seen the 3/4 mini squire I might have gone for one of those. My daughter is only 4... she wants to play so badly.. I need to find her a fun toy guitar.... in pink of course.
 

bynt

Member
Messages
2,122
Gave my son a 72 SG, and had it set up with 9's, it was a beater that had already had the finish stripped off, got it for $175! but he liked it enough we had it refinned after a couple of years. He still loves it! He was 10 then, now 21
That's one of the coolest guitar stories I've ever heard. ROCK!!!!!
 

JSeth

Member
Messages
2,407
Taylor Baby or Big Baby - then, if he doesn't take to the instrument, you can resell it easily - or use the Big Baby as a camp/beach/knockaround guitar! (the Big Baby sounds and plays surprisingly well...)
When I was 7, my Dad bought one Sear's Silvertone acoustic for me, my bro and sis - the thing was horrid; I probably couldn't fret it today, the set-up was soooo bad! But, despite all that - I kept playing and now have over 50 years on the instrument - NOT the Silvertone, LOL! Point is, if the kid loves guitar, it won't matter what you start him on... we all know he'll be GAS'ing soon enough!
One other thing - I still remember when steel strings were just too painful to play on my fingertips - maybe consider a nylon string at first?
How cool is that? To be getting a guitar for your child! Enjoy!
 




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