Best Kids Acoustic Guitars For Children Under $150

acoustic guitar for kidsDoes it really make sense to buy a children’s acoustic guitar or is this just another way advertisers use to get your money? Well, it depends. It could be one or the other. Therefore, in the following article I thought it would make sense if I just share my experience as guitar player and guitar teacher with you. I had the pleasure to work with quite a few children and teaching them how to play the guitar. So, I want to make sure that I equip you with all the knowledge you need in order to figure out what’s best for you – or actually, best for the youngster you want to buy a guitar for.

We will talk about a number of things, including aspects such as the price, size, necessary features, accessories, learning resources and lastly, I will share my Top 5 picks of the best children’s acoustic guitar models with you and where you can buy them for the lowest price. All the models we will be looking at are priced under $150. I will explain a little bit why I use this amount as a threshold.

I realize that I will be sharing a lot of information with you. Therefore, as usual, please use the hyperlinks below if you want to jump to a particular section you’re interested in. However, I do believe it would make sense for you to read the entire article because I will be highlighting a number of relevant and important factors that should help you finding the right model among all the kids acoustic guitars versions available.

1. Introduction
2. Managing Your And Your Child’s Expectations
3. What A Good Acoustic Guitar For Kids Must Have
4. Video Discussion: Best Kids Acoustic Guitars for under $150
5. My Top 5 Acoustic Guitars For Children
6. Additional Resources

1. Introduction

First of all, congrats to you. It seems there is someone special who will soon get his or her first kid acoustic guitar. Anyone who decides to learn an instrument deserves a round of applause at the very least. Because while learning to play the guitar should always be fun, it’s not something that can be done overnight. It requires time commitment and discipline, irrespectively of whether it’s just learning a few guitar basics or if the goal is to become a string wizard.

acoustic guitar for kidsNow, the reality is that most students – the age doesn’t really matter – give up after a few weeks or months. However, some pick up the instrument again at a later point and that’s when they develop a serious interest and stick with it. I’m just sharing this with you because I know that some parents get frustrated when they spend a decent amount of money on a child acoustic guitar, only to realize that the young guitarerro’s interest in actually playing it was rather limited. That’s just one of the reasons why I feel you shouldn’t be spending more than $150 on a good child size acoustic guitar.

You probably picked up on the fact that I would make a lousy sales-person. Instead of guilting you in so that you feel you absolutely have spend a ton of money, otherwise people could think you’re cheap, I’d rather that you what’s actually happening in reality. BUT, to be very clear, I wholeheartedly feel that investing in a child’s musical education is a smart decision. Learning an instrument will foster and support things like the ability to concentrate, focus and getting a sense of accomplishment. And I think we would all agree that these are good qualities to have in any aspect of life.

2. Managing Your And Your Child’s Expectations

Just make this a little bit simpler, I’m just going to assume that the child whom you want to buy a beginners guitar for is ‘yours’. So, I’m going to use the term “your child” or “you kid” from now on – even though I realize you might not be the actual parent, but another family member or friend.

acoustic guitars for kidsWhy Forcing A Child Is Not A Good Idea
So, we already talked about this in the previous chapter. What starts out with a lot enthusiasm can change into disinterest after a little while. Again, this is not unique to children who start learning the instrument, but it’s something that happens across all age groups. I personally don’t think it’s that dramatic. I don’t mean to overstep my boundaries here, the last thing I mean to do is give you ‘parenting’ advice – but I don’t think it makes any sense at all to push a kid who lost interest in learning to play guitar to continue with it. Of course, encouragement and the right amount of scrutiny is certainly appropriate, but anything beyond that doesn’t really lead to anything other than frustration on your and the kid’s part. Honestly, there is no point in forcing someone to keep practicing an instrument. That’s just my personal opinion.

Handling A Guitar From A Child’s Perspective
Especially for children, learning to play guitar is not only an exercise for the mind, but it’s actually also quite physical. Not just because of the fact that both hands are needed, but also just holding the guitar can be quite a challenge. At times, and that’s especially true for guitar beginners, it can actually hurt a little bit. Because beginners tense up, that’s just a normal reaction – all your focus is on making sure that you put the fingers on where they below, therefore, guitar starters like to adjust the angle in which they hold the guitar (which is bad) so they have a better view on the strings. After a while, the joints, arms and back start to hurt. Oh, and yes, there are the fingertips – anyone who starts playing guitar knows that this can get quite painful. But all of that will get better over course of time, it happens ‘organically’ as the guitarist gets more control over the instrument. For children, though, this whole aspect of handling a guitar is much more of a concern because of their size. Speaking of size, we will of course cover the right size of acoustic guitars for kids in more detail in a little while – because depending on the individual situation of the kid, it will be important to find the best guitar to learn on, otherwise the whole project is destined to fail.

child acoustic guitarWhat’s a Good age to start guitar?
This is a difficult question, but I will try to give you my answer, for what it’s worth. However, admittedly, you can ask 10 different teachers and you may get a number of different and possibly contradicting responses. In my personal opinion and my experience, I would not have a child below the age of five starting on the instrument. Now, please take this statement for what it is, namely a rather broad generalization. However, of course, ultimately this is very situational. You may have a year old who is physically and mentally mature enough to get started on guitar – but contrary to that, not all eight-year-old kids are just by default ready for this endeavor. Trust your instincts, use common sense and good judgement, rather than relying on my “rule of thumb”. With that being said, I do believe that just around the age of five, for most children, is a good point of reference in order to make a decision as to whether or not it makes sense to get started on guitar. Let’s watch a quick video on this topic that I put together for you:

Is it hard to learn guitar?
You have no idea how many people ask that question. Again, this is really difficult to answer for a number of reasons. First of all, there is no way to give a general response, because what I might perceive as not hard, you might find terribly difficult and vice versa. Secondly, let’s just hypothetically say for some reason I would feel comfortable enough (which I’m clearly not!) to say: yes, learning to play guitar is very hard. This could have the consequences that you might start questioning if it’s really such good idea to even bother looking into acoustic guitars for children. And what if I was to say, no, learning to play guitar is not that hard at all? Well, then I’d probably give you the wrong impression, because one thing is for sure: even though you will find many vendors trying to lure you in with their shiny objects, meaning things like: “Buy this revolutionary Acoustic Guitar For Kids Learning Program – Learn to play Guitar in 3 Days”, rest assured, it’s just a marketing trick. Nobody can learn guitar in just 3 days or 10 minutes.

So here is my take on it. Learning guitar is probably a little bit harder than most people would assume, but with the right set of expectations, it’s actually fairly easy. Well, here is another video where we discuss this in a little bit more detail.

Tips For Practicing Acoustic Guitar Kids Will Benefit From

It obviously depends on the age of your child, but if your kid is still very young, you may want to join them during their practicing sessions. Ideally, with your own guitar. Because from what I’ve seen, it’s easier for a young child if mom or dad practice guitar with him/her. Of course, that might not always be possible depending on the learning method. But if you have an opportunity to actually learn to play guitar together with your youngster, do it! It’s very effective and hey, you will learn to play guitar, too!acoustic guitar for kids

Best Way To learn Guitar For Children
I don’t want to spend too much time on this. However, in the last chapter I will share a couple of links with you that should help figuring out what’s the best way to learn guitar for your child. Again, it depends on so many factors and as I said, we will get to all that a little bit later.

3. What A Good Acoustic Guitar For Kids Must Have

So, enough prep talk – let’s start talking about guitars for kids. Before we look at my Top 5 candidates for Best Acoustic Guitar For Kids, let me spend a moment on highlighting some of the key criteria you need to look for as you look at all the offers around children’s acoustic guitars.

Strings, Steel or Nylon?
Yet another one of these guitar questions were opinion differ. Well, here is how I look at it. I was always a huge proponent of guitar beginners starting out on nylon strings, in other words, on a classical guitar. Simply because the nylon strings are gentler on the finger tips. However, I’m not oblivious to the fact that some kids already have a guitar that comes with steel strings – maybe it was a hand-me-down or a gift. In those cases, I don’t think it’s necessary to go out and buy a classical guitar for kids. So, my recommendation is really for situations where the kid doesn’t have a guitar yet, and you simply want to make sure you give him the best possible type of instrument. In a moment, we will be discussing the concrete models I think are highly conducive for the purposes of children learning guitar – 3 of the models will be classical guitars (nylon stings) and 2 of them come with steel strings.

No Acoustic Kids Guitar Toys, please!
pink acoustic guitar for childrenThere is a difference between a toy guitar and a real guitar. The toy guitar, well, has the purpose of serving as a toy, not as an instrument. You don’t want to buy a toy guitar that’s not playable, do you? But without some knowledge or experience, it can be difficult at times to distinguish one from the other. Parents and family members have the best of intentions when they spend a good amount on a shiny and cool looking “Batman Guitar” – well, often these ‘guitars’ turn out not be suitable for playing (like in ‘playing guitar’) purposes. In other words, money wasted. The five models below to NOT fall into this category, obviously. You can buy any one of them confidently, knowing that those are real instruments designed for the needs of children!

Size Matters!
We already acknowledged that playing guitar is a physical activity. A child must be able to handle the guitar. I’m not comfortable to use the kid’s age as a means to determine whether or not you should be getting a model that is smaller in size and specifically designed for younger children, or if you are better off with a regular sized guitar. It really depends the physicality of the child. With that being said, if your kid is under 10 years of age, you should definitely look into a 3/4 or 1/2 scale guitar. We will talk a little bit more about that later, though.

Accessories And Knick Knacks
To keep this short, there are necessary, useful and completely useless accessories. Don’t let some of the advertisers tell you that you need a special oil to clean your new children acoustic guitar because otherwise you won’t be able to play it. There is nothing wrong with keeping an instrument clean, but you certainly get that accomplished without spending extra dollars on special guitar cleaning products. On the other hand, not investing into a guitar tuner would not be a smart thing to do for obvious reasons.

Here is a quick overview where I categorized several popular guitar accessories and put them into buckets of criticality.

Necessary Good To Have Not Yet NEVER
Spare Strings Footrest Special Cleaning Stuff “Learn Guitar In You Sleep” DVD set
Guitar Picks Guitar Strap Recording Device “Learn Guitar In 2 Days” online program
Guitar Tuner Sheet Music Stand Amplifier, Capodaster, Metronome “NEW Method – Learn Guitar Super Fast” course

My last point on this is the price. I told you earlier that all of my Top 5 models are priced under $150. Some actually come as a bundle with a bunch of accessories. Why did I choose $150 as a threshold? It is arbitrary, I completely admit. Look, if you want to invest $800 into a kids guitar, you can absolutely do that if money is not an issue. Nothing wrong with that. Personally though, I’d rather start the kid on something that’s more affordable -yet decent – to see if he or she is serious. it’s easy enough to later on spend more money on a more sophisticated instrument after it’s clear that you kid is really into it. Makes sense, doesn’t it? On that note though, I would not go under $50. Why? Because then chances are you may end up with a toy guitar and unless that’s what you want, it’s money out of the window.

4. Video Discussion: Best Kids Acoustic Guitars under $150

Okay, time for another video where I’m just going to summarize some of the key aspects I want you to keep in mind as you start looking at kids acoustic guitar models:

5. My Top 5 Acoustic Guitars For Children

1. Trendy 30 Inch 1/2 Half Size Children Beginner Steel String Acoustic Guitar 

Trendy pink kids acoustic guitarYes, I had to add at least one kids pink acoustic guitar to the list. After all, many girls like pink. And while there are lot of pink toy guitars, there are actually a handful of good, solid and playable instruments that feature this shiny color. The Trendy 1/2 Size is a decent instrument and it comes as a bundle, meaning you get a few accessories that are definitely very helpful, such as a guitar case bag and a tuner. Would it be my top pick? No, probably not. But I do feel it’s a good option if color matters and you just want to be sure that you’re getting your kid a solid guitar.Hohner150

2. Hohner HAG250

This is yet another 1/2 size scale. A great acoustic guitar for children and definitely one I would be considering buying for a kid. It features nylon strings which is definitely a plus.

3. Rogue Starter Acoustic Guitar Blue Bust
Rogue Blue BurstThis is one is definitely a great option considering the price! Smart design and optically very appealing, the Rogue Blue Bust is a model that should be on your list of potential options. It’s a very playable instrument and allows for easy handling. Made of great materials, by the way (maple, mahogany and rosewood).

4. Yamaha CGS103A
Yamaha CGS103AAlright, while the three previous models certainly deserve their space in the Top 5, this one (and the next one) is in a league of its own. I can personally vouch for Yamaha guitars; I own a Yamaha C40. This is the 3/4 scale version and if you want to get your kid something that they can work with and enjoy for many years to come, this is your guitar. Hands down, I don’t see the point in spending more on a kids beginners guitar, if you can have that one at a ridiculously low price. In sum: this one you can buy confidently, knowing you just got your child something really good!

5. Yamaha CGS102A
Yamaha CGS102APretty much the exact same thing as the previous guitar, however, just with a 1/2 scale for small children. A fantastic option and definitely my top pick under the best kids acoustic guitars for under $150. You can’t go wrong; you’re buying good quality at a more than reasonable price.

Alright, below is a comparison table I put together for you where you can look at all five children’s guitars side by side.:

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6. Additional Resources

So, I hope all this was helpful. Hopefully, based on what I shared with you in this article, you are now in a position to make an educated buying decision on what’s the best kids acoustic guitar considering all the aspects we just discussed. However, please feel free to contact me any time if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help.
As promised, I’d like to share a few resources with you that I think might be helpful in the context of our discussion and getting your child started on the instrument.

Beginners Guitar Course:
I created this free online guitar course for beginners. If your child is older, this could be a great way to get him or her to learn guitar. The pace of the course is rather slow and we cover everything in detail. The course used to be a paid-for package, but I decided to make it available for free. So, go ahead and check it out, you have nothing to lose.

Guitar Course For Children at Jamplay:
Unlike my Beginners Guitar Course, Jamplay has a special guitar learning program just for children. It’s awesome. Great online video lessons designed for kids. Very affordable so you should definitely get over there and have a look for yourself. By the way, I do have a bunch of exclusive coupon codes available, so please make sure to use them in order to save even more money! Click here to get the coupon codes automatically emailed to you.

4 thoughts on “Best Kids Acoustic Guitars For Children Under $150”

  1. I was wondering what the size difference is between the Rogue and a 3/4 scale guitar?  Also what is the size difference between the Rogue and a parlor guitar?  Thanks!

  2. Thanks for a very well put together article .
    My daughter is wanting an acoustic for Christmas and after reading and watching your article I decided we would buy a Yamaha 103A .
    The local guitar shops in Glasgow Scotland do not stock that model or any kids orientated Yamaha guitar . They are pushing a Yamaha APXT2 which is a 3/4 sized travel guitar . Ok , it has pick ups and a tuner so it could go through an amp and is double the price of the 103A . Do you consider that this is a credible alternative ?. Any coments or help appreciated , Gordon .

    1. Hey Gordon, thanks for the comment and checking in. In all honesty, I can’t really comment on the Yamaha APXT2 – I never played it nor can I recall seeing anyone playing it. That said, based on what I can see online, it strikes me as a solid beginner instrument. But may I ask how old your daughter is?

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