The Top 3 Sizes
Many students just starting Guitar are not sure what size guitar to start on.
The 3 main sizes that guitars come in are:
½ Size, ¾ Size, Full Size
There are no hard and fast rules regarding which size is right since we all develop at different rates and 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.
Below is a handy chart to help you decide which size would be a good fit for pre-teen ages.
Guitar Size Players Height Players Age
½ Size 3ft 10in – 4 ½ ft Approx 5-8 years old
¾ Size 4 1/2 ft to 5 ft Approx 8-12 years old
4/4 [Full Size] 5ft and above Approx 13 years and over
Steel String or Nylon?
Different guitar teachers have different opinions on the Steel vs Nylon [sometimes known as Acoustic vs Classical] debate.
Here are the biggest pluses and minus of both:
Plus: Nylon Strings are softer on beginners fingers.
Minus: The necks are usually larger/wider and therefore harder for a beginner to form chords.
Plus: Smaller neck makes it more comfortable to fret and learn chords.
Minus: Steel strings are harder on the fingers when first starting.
Plus: Electric guitars have an even smaller neck and are the most comfortable to learn on.
Minus: Steel strings are harder on the fingers when first starting/You have to figure out how to work an amp as well as learning guitar.
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 learn 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.