How to choose a guitar for your child

It can seem quite scary when your child first shows an interest in playing guitar, especially if you don’t play yourself.  Here’s a handy guide to making sure you choose the perfect guitar for your child:

How much is it going to cost me?
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good beginner guitar. We offer beginner guitar packages starting from £39.95.

Remember smaller guitars will need up-sizing in 1-2 years anyway. By then you’ll know whether they’re serious about it and you can think about spending a bit more. Also, so many kids start and then give up, you’ll always make something back if you need to sell it on – just ask around at school. There’s bound to be someone else who would like to start.

What size should I buy?
Our rough guide to sizing is…

  • Age 4-6/7 = Half Size Guitar
  • Age 7-9 = 3/4 Size Guitar
  • Age 10+ = Full Size Guitar

However, it really depends on the size of your child! We also take into account other things like the size of their hands and the length of their arms.

You are welcome to bring your child in to enjoymuzic so we can tell you what size guitar will be right even if you’re not ready to buy yet. We’re open every day at Royal Quays, North Shields.

Steel or Nylon Strings?
Nylon string guitars (also called Spanish or Classical Guitars):

  • Originally meant for playing Classical and Folk music.
  • Used by most beginners up to age 10-12 because the strings don’t hurt the fingers too much.
  • Generally much cheaper to purchase.

 Steel String Guitars:

  • Sound better, particularly when playing modern/pop music.
  • Can hurt the fingers to start with but, on the plus side, the pads harden up much faster!
  • Ideal for teenage and adult beginners who want to play the music they listen to.

Even if your child is using an electric guitar in their lessons, most teachers will be happy for them to play an acoustic at home – the technique is very similar.

Or Electric?
Most parents have two concerns about electric guitars…

Isn’t it expensive?
Since you need an amplifier and other accessories, it does cost more than an acoustic, but many people are amazed to find we offer an Encore starter pack including everything you need for £139!

What about the noise?
There’s no need to worry about what the neighbours think! Most amps have the option of plugging in headphones like the Kinsman Classic Headphone set.

What about Lessons?
Many children first show an interest because the opportunity arises at school and this can be the easiest way to get access to lessons. However, there are other options. We can give you information about a range of local guitar teachers or if you are looking for a lower cost option, we recommend trying group guitar lessons at the Yamaha Music Point in North Shields.

It’s very hard to get an idea of whether a child is going to do well playing the guitar if they’re just trying at home. Another option is to start by asking a friend or relative to give them a few lessons and make sure the interest persists before you commit to paying for tuition.

Just ask…
If you’re not sure about the right size or style of guitar, the best thing to do before purchasing is to ask advice, either from the guitar teacher if you have one already, or come and talk to us – we’re always happy to help.

Of course, if you’re an adult beginner, most of this information is just the same for you – and it’s never too late to start!

Ukuleles are HOT!

So, ukuleles are just little guitars with 4 strings for babies, right? Wrong! Ukes are fab little instruments that are easy to play, sound great, incredibly cheap and SO funky! And best of all? They are trashing the recorder!! Schools are wising up to the fact that kids are loving the uke (and so are their grannies). Anyone can do it – why don’t you?

Here’s a couple of links to some of the cutest uke designs we’re offering and the coolest accessories for your ukulele;

The UK has been a hotspot of national pride since the Olympics and the Jubilee, so how about a Union Jack uke?

It’ll sound great if it’s bang in tune – the Snark Clip-On Ukulele Tuner is a great little gadget to make tuning easy.

Anything from Adele to ZZ Top, with Black Sabbath in between. Bring your favourite tracks bang up to date with sheet music for your ukulele.

If you would like a taster of just how cool the ukulele can be, check out this video of the Ukulele Orchestra playing Nirvana!