Just For Beginners - Guitar Sizes and Styles
Many beginning guitarists are not quite sure on what size and style guitar to start on. Here’s a quick guide on choosing the right instrument for you as you begin your musical journey.Guitars Come In (3) Main Sizes:
- ½ Size (Half Size)
- ¾ Size (Three Quarter Size
- Full Size
There are no hard and fast rules regarding which size is right since we all develop at different rates and we all come in different shapes and sizes. A basic rule of thumb is that once the student is in the teen years and above it is time for a full size guitar.
Typically, ‘acoustic’ guitars (guitars with sound holes) are offered in these (3) sizes for a student. ‘Electric’ guitars (that require an amplifier) are offered in ¾ and full size designs.
Here’s a handy chart to help you decide which size guitar would fit pre-teen players:
- ½ Size (Half Size) guitars are great for students aged 5-8 years old.
- ¾ Size (Three Quarter Size) guitars are great for students 8-12 years old.
- Full size guitars are geared to ages 13 and over.
Nylon or Steel String?
For the beginner starting on an acoustic style guitar, there is a debate regarding the style strings the instrument is made with. This is sometimes referred to the ‘Acoustic v.s. Classical’ debate. Acoustic guitars are designed with ‘steel’ strings and a classical guitar outfitted with ‘nylon’ strings. Here are the biggest pluses and minus of both:
Acoustic Steel String
Plus: Smaller neck makes it more comfortable to fret and learn chords.
Minus: Steel strings are harder on the fingers when first starting.
Plus: Nylon strings are softer on the fingers for the beginner
Minus: The necks are usually larger/wider and therefore harder for a beginner to form chords.
Electric Guitar with Steel Strings
Plus: Electric guitars have an even smaller neck size and radius than either acoustic guitar style and are very comfortable to learn on.
Minus: Steel strings are harder on the fingers when first starting. Also, you will need a small practice amplifier to start.
And Style Matters!
The style of music the student wants to play should also help decide which guitar to start on. Someone interested in Rock and Roll won’t have as much fun learning with a Classical guitar as they will learning on an electric.
The good news is that all the notes, chords and scales are exactly the same no matter which style guitar you start on. You can always move on to electric guitar after learning the basics on an acoustic.
If you need any additional help in deciding which guitar is the best fit you always call the George’s Music Team at 800-544-7625 and we will be happy to help you!