A Guide to Choosing the Right Size Toddler Guitar

Are you looking for the perfect gift for your young musician? With so many shapes, sizes and styles of toddler guitars available, it can be hard to decide which one is right for your little one.

Our guide to choosing the right size toddler guitar makes it easy to find the perfect instrument to start your child’s musical journey. You’ll learn how to measure and identify the best size guitar for your child!

It is not easy to shop for a guitar for your young one. There are several factors that need to be considered when selecting the best guitar for your child. You should consider the age and size of the child, musical knowledge, musical experience, and personal preferences.

The size of the guitar plays an important role in determining which instrument is most suitable for your toddler. It is important to select appropriate strings and strings length so your toddler can hold the guitar comfortably and play it easily. Additionally, you need to ensure that your toddler has access to proper teaching materials and guidance so they can learn how to play with ease.

This guide provides an in-depth look at the different types of guitars available for toddlers, why the size matters, what materials are available, string length considerations, what type of teaching aid should be used, main features when purchasing a guitar for a toddler, and more.

Importance of music in child development

The introduction of music into a child’s life has been proven to have multiple benefits and can help with the development of skills such as creativity, concentration, coordination and confidence. Additionally, playing an instrument can instill a sense of responsibility, help give structure to young children’s days, and start them on the path towards understanding the importance of hard work and determination. Playing music also helps strengthen self-esteem and encourages perseverance.

A toddler guitar is the perfect way to get your young ones interested in music in their early years. With its easy size for little hands to hold and bright colours for capturing their curiosity, this engaging form of music can inspire your little one with its gentle sound that appeals to the heart.

Choosing the right size guitar suitable for your child’s age is important so they can enjoy playing while developing their strength and coordination properly at an early age.

Benefits of learning to play guitar

Playing the guitar provides numerous benefits for toddlers. Most importantly, playing an instrument helps foster better development. Musical instruction can help improve a toddler’s creativity and problem-solving abilities while also increasing coordination, self-esteem, and self-expression. Learning to play any musical instrument at a young age also helps cultivate dedication, developing patience, and motivating them to practice regularly in order to hone their skills.

In addition to the cognitive benefits of guitar instruction, there are also several physical benefits as well. Playing guitar helps strengthen hand muscles while providing improved hand-eye coordination. Most toddlers may not understand it yet, but learning how to play guitar can provide substantial rewards as they grow older and begin to realize the full range of their newfound talents.

Importance of choosing the right size guitar

It is important for parents to choose guitars that are appropriately sized for their toddler. Purchasing a guitar that is too large or heavy can make it difficult for the child to play and could potentially cause injury due to difficulty in keeping the guitar steady. A guitar that is too small can also be difficult to play and may produce tones of inferior quality. To ensure a good playing experience, it is essential to choose a guitar size that fits both the physical size and strength of the child.

Guitar size generally refers either to the acoustic body shape or scale length of an acoustic or electric guitar, respectively. Acoustic body shape is determined by its length (usually between 24”-28”) and depth (west depth approximately 4 ½”). Scale length, on the other hand, is measured from one end of the fretboard on a guitar neck to the other end; typically it ranges from 22” -24 ¾” but can be longer on certain types of instruments. The size of an electric guitar largely depends on its pickup configuration; single-coil pickups require smaller bodies than humbuckers.

Playing with a correctly sized instrument produces better sounds and allows for better technique development as toddlers progress in their playing ability. This can help create an enjoyable learning experience, and consequently stimulate more motivation in developing their musical skills. Ultimately, selecting an appropriately sized instrument makes it easier for children to learn and enjoy playing music!

Types of toddler guitars

When selecting a size for a toddler guitar, it is important to know what options are available. Toddler guitars come in various sizes and can be purchased at most retail music stores. The two main types of toddler guitars are mini guitars and full-size guitars.

Mini guitars are ideal for younger toddlers aged 2-3 years old, as they are small enough to fit their hands comfortably while still providing a starting point when learning the basics of playing music. Mini guitars usually measure between 28” – 33” and weigh less than 3 pounds. They feature 6 strings made of nylon or steel depending on the model, as well as either basswood or maple fingerboards and bridges.

Full size toddlers offer slightly larger instrument that can accommodate older children aged 4+. Most full-size toddler musical instruments measure 21” – 25” with 10 strings made up of nylon or steel, along with rosewood fingerboards and mahogany bridges with bronze frets. Most full-size toddler musical instruments also feature adjustable truss rods that allow them to be easily adjusted to the child’s playing ability and learning level. Additionally, some models may include pickups for electric output or other accessories such as headphones, amplifiers or tuners.


When selecting a guitar for your toddler, the most important factor is to choose one that fits them comfortably. An acoustic guitar is an ideal choice for beginners and young children because it is smaller, lighter and simpler than an electric guitar.

An acoustic guitar comes in several different sizes. A ¾ size (or parlor) guitar offers a compact body and its neck is scaled down in size, but still wide enough to be comfortable when playing chords and riffs. Combined with a reduced scale length of 19-21″, this makes an ideal instrument for introducing kids to the joys of playing music.

Osborne guitars are renowned for their quality craftsmanship, producing `3/4 , 1/2 and 1/4 sized instruments all with solid tops (which gives a better tone than cheaper laminated models). Yamaha also manufacture excellent junior guitars in all sizes from 1/4 to ¾ which have some lovely features designed especially for younger students such as low action setups and lighter tension strings.

Aside from choosing the right size for your toddler, you should also consider their age when selecting a guitar – as toddlers under three may struggle with the smaller sizes due to their small hands or lack of comprehension on what is required. It’s also important to ask experienced teachers who witness your toddlers playing or try out some instruments at a store before making your decision.


Electric guitars available for toddlers come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. They can be found in three main categories: toy instruments that make sound but lack strings; full-on electric guitars with strings and pickups; and mini-electric guitars with a few strings and mini pickups. These instruments fill different roles and suit different purposes, so it’s important to know your needs before making a purchase decision.

Toy Electric Guitars: These plastic instruments have amplified soundboard technology built into the body that allows it to create sounds driven by imaginary or real guitar playing. The plastic soundboards produce higher-pitched sounds similar to a ukulele or banjo but are much easier for children to handle than heavier stringed instrument options.

Full-Size Electric Guitars: These models are usually best suited for children at least 4 years of age. These electric guitars come with 6 metal strings tuned EADGBE like their full-scale counterparts, but their fret board is shorter (often around 16 frets), the neck profile has less width, and the body size is smaller (often referred to as “mini” or “travel” elecric guitars). The bridge, pickups, volume knobs, etc all remain as on a true guitar so you can connect them up to high gain amplifiers when needed.

Mini Electric Guitars: Many luthiers now offer mini electric guitars specifically designed for young kids who want to play an “real” instrument while they slowly grow into larger versions of full size hardware down the line. Mini electric guitars may have fewer than six strings often tuned GDAE (like a mandolin) to make it easier for kids fingers stretch over wide intervals but many also come with standard six string configurations too – allowing older kids/teens move towards more adult musical pursuits when they’re ready. They usually have smaller bodies heavily shielded against feedback and typically fitted with minimal electronics like single coils rather than humbuckers or active systems designed help clarity of sound at low volumes.An Illustrated Guide to Child Guitar Sizes – Da Capo Academy of Music


Nylon-string guitars are perfect for little hands, with their shorter scale length and shorter fretboard. The nylon strings create a softer, smoother sound compared to steel-strings, which allows young players to produce the sounds without having to apply any pressure.

The solid body wooden construction of nylon-string guitars provides durability and a solid tone, while the fretboard fret markers will help your child visualize where their index finger should be placed. Nylon-string treble strings can also be tuned up one octave higher than traditional guitar tuning for an extra layer of versatility in sound.

Nylon-string guitars come in either full or ¾ sizes and usually have a 3/4 scale neck. Smaller sizes range from a ½ size all the way down to 12 inches, making them perfect for toddlers just beginning their musical journey.

III. Factors to consider when choosing the right size guitar

It’s important to choose the right size guitar for your toddler’s body and temperament. When selecting the perfect guitar, consider the guitar’s body style, fretboard radius and string width. The overall comfort of the guitar should also be considered.

Body Style – A toddlers’ guitar should have a smaller body for their smaller frame. If it is too large, it may cause discomfort and hinder growing hands from positioning themselves properly on the fret board. Generally speaking, guitars recommended for children are ¾ size guitars with small scale necks that are shorter than typical adult sized guitars.

Fretboard Radius – Many manufacturers produce instruments with curved fingerboards (radius) suited to different kinds of players; these instruments may feel more comfortable to a beginning player learning to position their fingers correctly on the strings in each chord formation. An instrument with a flatter fingerboard can feel more comfortable when playing chords lower on the neck as well as providing good sound when using alternative tunings that require multiple changes in string gauges used between frets (i.e., open G tuning).

String Width – Junior sized guitars usually include strings made specifically for them allowing beginning students to get comfortable learning chords without having wide difficult string spacing relative to their small hands and arms. String widths made especially for toddlers also provide good sound projection even though they provide added simplicity when playing chords cleanly; this is critical at this stage of development where intonation accuracy is key in helping them understand chord construction and chording patterns.

Age and size of the child

Choosing the right size guitar for your toddler can be a challenge, especially if you are unfamiliar with the instrument. When considering which guitar to buy for your child, there are three main points to keep in mind: age, size and abilities.

  1. Age and size of the child: You’ll want to consider the age and size of your child when choosing a guitar. For very young children, look for a smaller-sized guitar such as a travel-size or mini electric guitar. These guitars have scaled down bodies that make them easier to hold and play. As your child grows older, you can graduate them up to full-sized guitars that will allow them to learn more advanced playing techniques without feeling overwhelmed by the larger string action and body of the instrument.
  2. Musical ability level: Consider what level of playing ability your child has before making a purchase. Note that some guitars have technique limitations – such as electric guitars that don’t produce acoustic sound – so choose accordingly based on what style they will primarily be using their guitar for (rock/funk or classical etc.). If you aren’t sure, look for an intermediate size such as parlor or soprano models or starter packs with accessories such as picks, tuners, stands and straps which will provide everything you need for basic practice and playing experience.
  3. Finances: In addition to considering your child’s physical dexterity and musical skill level when purchasing a toddler sized guitar, also take into account what kind of financial investment you’re willing make into getting them started on their journey towards becoming a well rounded musician! Budgeting is always a factor when making any purchase so shop around online or visit local music stores in order to get an idea of cost estimates based on brand name instruments.


It is important to make sure the toddler guitar is a comfortable size for your child. A guitar with a neck that is too wide or one that is heavy may be difficult for them to handle and can inhibit their ability to make music. Look for guitars with adjustable straps that fit snugly and securely. Be sure the strap is made of strong, durable material so your child can enjoy it for years to come.

Additionally, check the frets on the guitar – if they are too close together or too far apart it can be difficult for tiny fingers to press down on the strings and when playing chords it makes them fumble trying to play quickly. When investing in a smaller guitar, look for one with softer strings and small wooden knobs instead of metal ones that are more often found on larger instruments.

How to measure for the right size guitar

In order to ensure you’re getting a guitar that fits your toddler correctly it’s important to measure for the right size. Yes, we know toddlers come in all different shapes and sizes, but there’s a general guideline you can use to help determine the most comfortable size of guitar for your little one.

When measuring for a new guitar, start with the distance between the foot and elbow (the length of the arm). To measure this distance, have your toddler stand with their arms at their side and hold a tape measure on their elbow while extending it out until it reaches the tip of their feet. This will tell you how long of a guitar your toddler needs.

You’ll also want to consider hand size as well when choosing a size. Most standard guitars are designed to fit hands that normally measure 6 inches across in width while small-sized guitars are designed to be played by kids with slightly smaller hands – typically 4-5 inches wide.

Finally, always remember that the goal is comfort when picking out an instrument for your little music maker – if something doesn’t feel right then move on and try something else. Toddler-sized instruments are fun and can get children excited about playing music!

Neck length

A good rule of thumb when selecting a guitar size for toddlers is to choose one with a neck length suitable for their size. The neck length of a guitar determines the fretting capacity, which can vary depending on its specific type and model. Additionally, guitars with shorter necks will generally have smaller bodies, allowing your child to have better control over the instrument and make it easier for them to maneuver.

To find the right neck length for your toddler’s guitar, measure the distance from his or her shoulder to their wrist. This measurement can help you determine the proper size in terms of the number of frets and guitar body size.What Size Guitar Should I Get? – A Guide For The Whole Family – Midlife  Guitar


Making the right decision when it comes to buying a toddler guitar starts with understanding what size is best for your child. In general, most two and three-year olds should start with a half-size guitar that has been specifically designed for their smaller hands. As they grow and become more proficient, they may need an upgrade to a full size guitar or even an adult-sized model.

It’s important to also consider other factors such as the type of music they are playing and the features that come with the instrument, such as extra strings or pick guards. Finally, having somebody nearby to help them read the tablature or chord diagrams is invaluable in helping children reach their musical potential.

With all these considerations in mind, finding just the right guitar should be a breeze!


What size guitar for a toddler? 

A half-size or quarter-size guitar is suitable for a toddler.

What size guitar for a 2 year old? 

A 1/8 size guitar is recommended for a 2 year old.

What size guitar should a child start with? 

A child should start with a 1/4 size guitar.

What size guitar should a 4 year old have? 

A 1/4 size or 1/2 size guitar is suitable for a 4 year old.

What size guitar should a 3 year old have? 

A 1/8 size or 1/4 size guitar is appropriate for a 3 year old.

Can a 2 year old learn guitar? 

It is possible for a 2 year old to start learning guitar, but it is recommended to start with a smaller instrument and under adult supervision.

What age is a 3 4 size guitar for? 

A 3/4 size guitar is generally suitable for children between the ages of 8 and 11.

Should a 9 year old play a 1/2 or 3/4 guitar? 

A 9 year old should play a 3/4 size guitar, but it ultimately depends on the child’s height and arm length.

What size guitar should a 5 year old have? 

A 1/4 or 1/2 size guitar is appropriate for a 5 year old.

Which guitar is best for child beginner? 

A nylon-string acoustic guitar is often recommended as the best type of guitar for a child beginner due to its ease of playability and softer strings.

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