Picking up a guitar as a young kid can be intimidating and frustrating: pressing down on the strings feels painful, the bulky body is unwieldy, and the whole instrument keeps slipping off your lap! But all shredders have to start somewhere. That’s why some guitars are made smaller and easier to handle than others. Thinner strings, shorter necks, and skinner bodies make the best guitars for kids more accessible to those still-growing hands and fingers. The beautiful thing is that these kid-friendly guitars aren’t exclusively for kids. Lots of adult guitarists prefer a shorter scale axe, so smaller guitars aren’t doomed to be outgrown. Here’s a list of our favorite starter guitars to get your little one plucking and strumming chords in no time.

Nylon strings: Yamaha Student Series Classical Guitar


For kids interested in Bach. Amazon

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While this is technically a guitar built for classical playing, guitarists of all kinds get their start on classical guitars because they have nylon strings. Nylons are way gentler on the fingers than steel strings, so you don’t have to develop callouses to successfully play chords. Classical guitars also have wider necks, which can help a player’s accuracy. This guitar’s rich tone is well-suited to many genres including classical, bossa nova, folk, flamenco, and softer rock n’ roll. It is made fully of wood with a spruce top, meranti body, and rosewood neck.

For kids and adults alike: Martin LX1E Little Martin Acoustic/Electric


The professional small-scale. Amazon

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This is a classic and professional level guitar that can last a player the length of their career. Martin is one of the most well-trusted acoustic guitar brands in the world, and they spare no expense on this mini model. While it is small enough for a child to hold and handle, it comes with bronze strings that may present a challenge at first but will eventually breed a strong guitarist. It is made entirely of high-quality wood: spruce, mahogany, and rosewood. This model also comes with a gig bag for the traveling musician.


A less expensive performance-ready option. Amazon

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This steel-string guitar has a stylish cutaway and extra-wide soundhole, giving it a modern look. It is three-fourths the size of a regular acoustic, making it great for beginners, but it can also be plugged in and amplified for live performance. When amplified, the player can control tone and volume with dials on the top of the guitar. The APXT2EW also has a built-in tuner for added convenience. This model has a spruce top, rosewood neck, and meranti back and sides. A gig bag comes included.

Three strings: Loog Pro Electric Guitar


For the smallest rocker. Amazon

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While this guitar may only have three strings, it can help your child develop the skills they need to transition easily into a six-string once ready. And it’s stylish, fun, and sounds great! Since it’s electric, you can plug it in and explore playing simple leads and rock out a little harder than you can on an acoustic. This instrument also comes with flashcards and an interactive app to help show your kid the ropes. It has a maple neck and a wood body that comes in several flashy colors.