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Advice, 6 year olds first guitar


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I am new to this, I was never much into music so bear with me :) My six year old wants Santa to being him a guitar and I went to guitar world and was overwhelmed with all the options. They suggested a Yamaha 3/4... I dont want to spend to much because I want to make sure its something he will stick with, but I wont want anything to cheap because he will need to use it for a couple years at least until I will get him a great one... Suggestions would be a HUGE help :) I dont know how to feel about the guitar salesman... Are they telling me to buy what they want to sell, or whats really best for a kid... Thanks in advanced! :)
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I don't think a 3/4-size Yamaha is a terrible decision. You could do far worse buying a "kiddie" guitar (i.e. toy) at a megastore. Is it worth it to get something like a Baby Taylor, though, if there's a chance something bad may happen to it? (Left out in the rain, accidentily stepped on, used for batting practice, etc.)


I started playing guitar at age 9 on a full-size. I don't have any direct experience with 6-year-olds playing guitar. I suggest finding an instructor first -- one who has experience with young kids -- and ask him/her about what he/she thinks is a good guitar to buy for junior.

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WELL... I am making him take care of it... I am going to pretend it cost a pretty penny so he is sure to take care of it... I want him to have plenty of practice taking good care of one in case a better one is in his future... We will see how it goes... Thanks for the info do far :)


I will look into a Squire

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You don't even know if he'll really take to it or not. So don't spend a lot of cash. Having experienced trying to get my daughter interested in playing, I found out the ordeal of building callouses on steel strings was something she wasn't interested in. So I'd look into one with nylon strings. There are several small sized guitars out there for little tykes on the market.


Also consider that at six years old, his interest in playing guitar might be long gone by Christmas. They DO switch gears rather quickly at that age.


I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I'll go the other way. Buy him a new Paul Reed Smith Hollowbody and when he decides not to play guitar anymore I'll give you $50 for it :)


On a serious note, I'd definately talk to some teachers who have worked with kids his age (and size) to see what they think works best as far as going 3/4 or full size. At six a 3/4 maybe the right size but at eight will it be too small? Don't kids tend to grow like weeds? I hope he falls in love with the instrument and music like I did when my parents started me playing the guitar. Music and the guitar were the best thing my parents ever gave me which turned into a lifetime love. I was in the 5th grade (whatever age that is) and I took lessons on a Peavey T-60 which is full sized and never had any problems. I have small, girly hands now so I probably had even smaller, girly hands back then.

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I have 3 boys and have been playing 40 years.... Buy a 3/4 acoustic - Yamaha, Squire, Dean, I bought a Tacoma brand - Guitar Center has them for less than $100. If you go too cheap they are unplayable and he will lose interest. These will stay in tune and fit his hands. He is young - aged 12 is usually more the norm.
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1. What does he want? Electric or acoustic?


If he wants an electric do not get him an acoustic and vice versa - he will likely be rather disappointed and not be motivated. Especially if he wants to play rock. Electrics are easier to play as well.


My first guitar was a horrible, very hard to play acoustic but I wanted an electric so I lost interest real quick! When I finally got an electric a couple of years later that's where it all started coming together - been playing for over 40 years now!


2. Electric starter kits containing guitar, amp, gig bag, tuner etc., are everywhere these days for less than 200.


Decent acoustics are harder to find especially smaller ones


3. If you get a starter kit go for a well known brand like Fender, Ibanez, Epiphone etc.

Ex. This starter kit : The Ibanez GRG Mikro guitars, they are good little guitars, kid sized small and play and sound good.




Or, this Zakk Pakk from Epiphone with a mini Les Paul or V style and everything included : Mini Zakk Wylde Les Paul




4. If you can, bring him with you to a couple of stores to see the different models and choose something he likes but with good quality. Kids lose interest quickly when they have a piece of junk that's hard to play, impossible to stay in tune and keeps falling apart.


5. Make sure you check it yourself before buying as guitars in the low price range can vary a lot in quality from one to another.

You want to check for straight neck with low action, solidly attached parts - tuners, knobs, bridge, input jack, it's in tune etc.


I wouldn't spend a lot of cash on it for that age. Get him a well known brand name mini kit then if you see he's motivated to learn upgrade to something better.


Good luck and get back to tell us what you finally choose.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

- Hunter S. Thompson

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Does the Zakk Pack come with a 6 pack of root beer to pound?


In all seriousness, though, with a 6 year old I'd say it's very important to get him something small enough for his hands. I would recommend against a full size guitar until he's bigger.


Also, find out what kind of music is making him want to play the guitar. That will help steer you toward acoustic or electric. If it's the sound of an acoustic that he loves, go that way. If it's loud, distorted rock... go for the Ibanez (plus a tiny amp) or the Zakk Pack.

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I got my daughter a mini-strat and a battery powered Roland Micro Cube amp for her 5th birthday. She's still really interested in it (9 months later), but doesn't have much attention span to learn the fretboard. Maybe it's because daddy's the one trying to teach her. She really wants lessons, so I think I'll give a professional teacher a try. Even with the smaller scale, it's really hard for her to get her hand around the neck and into a proper position.



Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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A smaller, nylon string guitar may work best. They are easier to push and don't cut the fingers as much. Just be sure to find one with a small body. Classical guitars have very large bodies that are difficult to reach around.


If you want to send him for lessons, your best bet is to find a music center that also rents guitars. That way, should he change his mind, you aren't out a few hundred dollars.


I taught at a music school for many years. During that time, I saw tons of young kids, from 4 years old to 10 years old, come through. Not one of them made it past two months whether it was me teaching or someone else.


Truth is, kids have trouble pushing the strings on the fret board. They have trouble holding down chords. But more then anything, they hate practicing and, after a few weeks of messing around with it, would rather go outside and play.


Now, my advice would be, if you are just humoring him, rent a guitar and let him go until he gets bored with it. If you want to get him started with music, a piano is, IMO, your very best option.


With a piano, the notes are laid out in order and therefor are easier to comprehend. They keys are easy to push and don't hurt your fingers the way guitar strings do. It's much less frustrating and kids are often more inclined to stick with it. Once they learn to read music and play on the piano, a lot of that knowledge can then be transferred over to the guitar when they are older.


Of course, your kid could also be a guitar protegee and will take to the guitar right away. Either way, let us know how you make out.



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I have access to Best Buy's private auction (where they unload excess/damaged/returned merchandise). Most of the stuff they have is junk.


But they posted a Daisy Rock Starburst Elite guitar (listed as "damaged" due to broken high E string!)week and I lowballed it thinking I wouldn't win. I DID win and got a $350 guitar for $80. It showed up Friday and it's pretty nice. Definitely on different level than those First Act junkers.


Purpleburst with two EMG HZ pickups and grover tuners. It's all mahogony with a set neck and 24" scale. Came with a gig bag, strap, cord and instructional DVD.


I got it for my daughter who's about to turn 6. While it's made for girls, it's still way to big for her and I don't know that she has the attention span yet. I'm going to hide it away for another year and see if she's ready then.



"You never can vouch for your own consciousness." - Norman Mailer
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