Picking a guitar is like picking a pair of shoes – Not “One Size Fits All”. But there are some general guidelines that can help you get started in your search for a guitar that will fit your body well. The first step is to determine the basic guitar size you will need. The size chart below will give you a general idea of that:
* Please note that each instructor has their own preferences and suggestions. This page should be used as a guideline. Ideally, a student should meet with his/her instructor for advice before purchasing a guitar.
Guitar Size Chart
Age Height of Player Size of Guitar 4-6 yrs 3’3” to 3’9” ¼-Size 5-8 yrs 310” to 4’5” ½-Size 8-11 yrs 4’6” to 4’11” ¾-size 11-Adult 5’ or Taller 4/4-Size
Buy an instrument that is suitable to fit your physical needs in terms of handling the fretboard. The size of the scale-length (string distance from the Nut/Neck to the Saddle-white piece inserted in to the bridge of the instrument) is a most critical issue when picking a guitar for a new player. People with small hands and/or short fingers – regardless of age – could benefit from selecting a guitar with a shorter scale than the standard 25.6” (650mm) used in 90% of all guitars.
It is important to check this issue when buying a guitar for two main reasons:
1: A shorter scale length also brings the frets closer to each other and will be much easier for players with short fingers to reach the notes – particularly in classical guitar music that requires a lot of arpeggio playing.
2: The standard width of the CG Neck is approximately 2.1” (50mm). Some players will have difficulty reaching across to the 6th string unless they choose a guitar with a slightly narrower width at the neck.
It is also important to consider the brand of the guitar you are purchasing. You are likely to be more successful, and to experience a more pleasant sound, if you purchase one of the better brands. The following is a list of what I consider to be the best acoustic guitars for beginners:
Ibanez Seagull S6 Yamaha F310 Yamaha C40 Fender DG-7 Epiphone DR-100 Takamine G-240 (this is a decent brand for those wanting steel strings. Many teenagers like the sound of the steel strings and the fret board is narrower. It will hurt more in the beginning, but calluses will form quickly.)