10 Best Kids Guitars Reviewed & Rated in 2020
Music is one of the strongest influences in anyone’s life. Whether your child is listening along with it or wanting to learn how to play it – having your child learn the inner works of an instrument can instill confidence in them while they’re learning a new skill. Not only is music a beautiful way for your child to express themselves and their creativity but parents will be surprised that a child is never too young to learn the power that music can have.
Learning an instrument can be extremely beneficial to your child because it can enhance their cognitive-developmental skills. With these kids guitars, your child will learn rhythm, enhance their fine motor skills, creativity, and even language as they sing along and learn the words to their favorite tunes. You’ll have a little rock star in no time!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Beautiful rosewood fingerboard
Lightweight but durable
3/4th size makes it easy for kids to handle
High-quality Yamaha junior model
Includes carrying bag
10 Best Guitars for Kids Reviewed
1. Yamaha FG JR1 3/4
Beautiful rosewood fingerboard
Lightweight but durable
3/4th size makes it easy for kids to handle
High-quality Yamaha junior model
Includes carrying bag
Many users received the ½ size instead of ¾ size
The Yamaha FG JR1 is a 3/4th size guitar that’s great for children genuinely and seriously interested in learning the instrument. It produces a warm sound and comes with the usual playability and high-quality materials associated with the Yamaha name. This guitar is lightweight, easy to transport, and comes with a gig bag so you can easily transport it between destinations.Read more
Being not quite full-sized, this is an ideal guitar for young learners. It’s light enough that they can hold and handle it on their own but it still produces a professional-quality sound. Kids that are serious about their instrumental lessons will truly appreciate this Junior guitar.
Learning an instrument activates different parts of the player’s brain. Kids will build dexterity, flexibility, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, reasoning, and more. Listening to and playing music improves overall mood and helps memory retention according to multiple studies.
Made with a spruce top and nato neck, this beautiful acoustic guitar delivers a full, rich sound. Finished with a rosewood fingerboard and chrome hardware, it’s lightweight but built to be durable. It’s the perfect guitar for gigging and lessons as it comes with its own bag and is easy to travel with.
2. Yamaha FG800 Solid Top
Perfect for beginners
Designed for a louder sound
Comes with an adjustable truss rod
Guitar strings need to be re-tuned for some customers
This company has been around since 1966. It’s great for anyone who wants to use an acoustic guitar. It’s a great way to get your child interested in music and learning the ability to read music as well. Not only this guitar for kids is made of great quality, but it could lead to your little one's future endeavors.Read more
This guitar is specifically designed for older children as it may require some tuning assistance. It’s a great way for your child to learn the difference between acoustic guitars and non-acoustic guitars. It’s the perfect gift for any music lover in your household.
Sound is a great way to help enhance your child's creativity skills. Music is a way for your little one to get engaged and feel the rhythm around them. Music is also a great way to help your little one enhance their fine motor skills as they’ll have to string along to their favorite tunes. It’s also a wonderful way for your little one to embrace their imagination by even coming up with some of their own favorite melodies.
Completely made of wood this guitar is designed to have a louder and a little bit stronger sound than most. It’s made of course of wood and the best design for you to enjoy your favorite melodies. It’s a great way for beginners to learn on as well.
3. Elena Of Avalor Disney Storytime
Boosts imaginative play
Features three songs
Comes with guitar pick
Recommended for ages 3 and up
Guitar is a little bit smaller then some customers anticipated but loved it regardless of size.
Just like the character from the hit tv show this guitar has a way to make your little one feel just like Elena. Elena will help your little one be tough, strong, and feel like they’re princess of Avalor.Read more
The Elena of Avalon guitar is recommended for children ages 3 and up. It has some weight to it and makes actual music, making it a perfect beginner’s guitar for very young children.
Your child will be able to sing along with the three-hit songs that this guitar features and play along when Elena does in the show! It’s the perfect way to get your little one involved with rhythm, music and interaction. We love this musical instrument because it gets your child moving and grooving. While the songs on the guitar can be a bit karaoke like as your child will be able to sing along to any of their favorites from the hit show your child will love dancing, singing, and just having this guitar with them anywhere they go! Perfect gift for any occasion.
This guitar comes with its own guitar pick, features three songs from the hit tv show, and is ideally for a child around the age of three and older. Your little one will enhance their creativity, fine motor, and social skills when using this musical device. It will also help them understand the basics of rhythm and using their imagination as they pretend to be their own version of this sassy, strong character.
4. Hape Kid's Wooden
Can stimulate even very young children with tone differentials
Aids in imaginative play creating rock band scenarios
Kids can remain engaged by the bright colors and naturalistic designs on the soundboard
Sparks an interest in music
Constructed of responsibly sourced wood
Has removable screws that make it a choking hazard for young children
Can be very fragile and difficult to stay in tune
If you think you like the First Act Ukulele, maybe you would also love the Early Melodies Ukulele Wooden Instrument for Kids. This green and yellow ukulele toddler guitar have almost the same features as the First Act DY285 Ukulele. Perhaps the only difference is that the design of this Hape product is more subtle and more appropriate for the fun activity of playing and strumming the ukulele.Read more
The Hape Wooden Guitar for Kids is intended for children at least three years of age. It’s a smaller guitar by design so young children will be able to hold and play it with better efficiency than a full-sized instrument.
Learning to pluck and strum can also help augment young children’s need for mastery of hand-eye coordination. This mini version of a ukulele is great for kids who may not have a full understanding of notes yet and just enjoy the sound of an instrument. Strumming is the name of the game with this one, and it will challenge your kids to find the perfect pitch and rhythm while strengthening their fingers in preparation for a full-sized guitar. The simple design of the Early Melodies is one of the greatest assets of this particular ukulele guitar for children. It’s perfectly sized for the beginning musical genius.
The body is quite small which allows it to be easily hugged by your little kid so he or she will have a great time strumming his or her way to the acoustic version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The neck is quite wide yet thin enough to allow children to wrap their hands around the structure and press on the nylon strings that make up this instrument. The tuning gears are also made smoother for easier handling. The Early Melodies is just the correct size for encouraging your child to explore his or her musicality.
5. Everjoys Soprano Beginner
Comes in six different colors
Made of high-quality wood
The tuners are modeled after real guitar key tuners
The strings are made of nylon
Comes with a beginner kit that includes a songbook
It may fall out of tune quickly and needs constant tuning
If experience is what your child has and they’re ready for their very own first guitar, the Soprano ukulele by Everjoys is bound to be a perfect fit for what they need. This is a great in-between miniature guitar for kids who are too young and experienced for a pretend guitar, but not yet experienced or big enough to handle a full-sized guitar.Read more
The Everjoys Soprano Beginner’s Guitar is best suited to children between 3 and 8 years of age. It comes with everything a beginning guitarist will need to start learning and it’s perfectly sized for small hands still learning chords and frets.
This ukulele is a step up from most beginner guitars in the sense that’s built to feel real and to last. It produces a sound akin to what you would hear on any tropical island while giving kids the feel of a real string instrument in their hands as well as a real fretboard. This beginner ukulele is targeted towards kids who have gotten a feel for instruments and want to begin learning notes and chords. The songbook is a great addition to this beginner kit because it’ll teach kids the very basics of how to play music without requiring a full-sized guitar.
The traditional nylon strings on this ukulele will emanate the sound of the islands as your child perfects their strumming rhythm and learns how to perfect each sound. It comes in six different colors which make it a great option for either a boy or a girl and also comes with a few surprises for beginners as well. Everjoys has included with this beginner ukulele a beginner’s ukulele songbook, a guitar strap, a pic, a microfiber cloth, and an electronic tuner. It truly makes for the perfect first instrument, and your child will have no issue learning how to tune, clean, and take care of his or her ukulele.
This beginner kit makes it super easy to learn songs and practice their rhythm-keeping. The guitar itself is high-quality and made out of Blackwood, complete with real silver frets on the fingerboard and tuning keys that resemble that of a guitar. At the base of the strings, you’ll find a maple board that holds them in place which helps to create a ukulele that’s stunning in look as well as in sound. The frets on this ukulele make it more realistic than others, creating the look and feel of a real guitar and encouraging kids to get used to finger placement as well as string memorization.
6. Little Tikes PopTunes
Perfect size for toddler
Versatile has two different settings to choose from
Each button plays a different rock sound
The guitar is very very small and not recommended for children above the age of four
If you have a toddler who loves music, specifically, rock n roll, then this one is for them. This basic light up rock n roll guitar is perfect for your tiny tot. This guitar will make your little one feel like they’re ready to rock and put on a show for everyone to see.Read more
If you have a tot who’s itching to get their hands on an instrument but not quite ready for something authentic, this sweet little plastic guitar makes noise and is good practice for kids between 18 months and 4 years of age.
We love this Rock N Roll guitar because it is the perfect educational toy that parents can offer their tiny musicians. This instrument will make your little toddler feel like the Rockstar that they are! They will enhance their fine motor skills pressing along with the keys, strengthen their language skills while singing along to some tunes, and they’ll even broaden their creative skills through pretend imaginative play. This guitar is perfect for your little one who’s ready to boogie!
While it’s a bit on the smaller size as far as guitars come your child will be able to play along while also striking their favorite rock star pose. This guitar comes with two different styles of songs that your child can choose from some pre-set songs or they can easily create their own. Your busy toddler will be ready to rock in no time with just the hit of one of these buttons! We love this light-up guitar because it has everything your tiny toddler will need to be entertained. They’ll want to hit every button on this instrument and learn all the different sounds that this special guitar has to offer. Not only is it the perfect size for them, but they can even pretend to play or create their own version. They’ll be entertained for hours!
7. Rogue Starter Acoustic
Holds a tuning well
Lots of colors to choose from
Easy for lots of body shapes and sizes to hold
Strings it comes with feel hard/stiff
If you have an older child looking for something with serious style that plays much like a full guitar, the Rogue Starter Acoustic is a ⅞ size instrument that comes in several different finishes. It’s durable and can withstand excitable little hands, plus it’s light enough that they can handle it themselves. It comes with strings but no carrying case. If you want something that makes a statement, try the blue or pink finish.Read more
The Rogue is great for children interested in pursuing lessons on a more professionally-geared instrument. It isn’t super heavy but it is larger than a ½ size guitar, so it might be better for kids who can stretch their fingers or are ready to work the exercises necessary to build their dexterity and coordination.
Learning to play and/or read music involves lots of different skill sets. Kids will gain increased dexterity, the ability to focus on multiple tasks at once, and confidence. They’ll also get to explore their own sense of creativity and musical taste.
This value guitar is made with a maple neck and a rosewood fretboard. It’s somewhere between ¾ and ⅞ in size. You can get it in blue, black, pink, natural, brown, or a mix of brown and black.
8. B. Woofer Hound Dog
Comes with a microphone and guitar strap
Encourages active play
Compatible with other toy instruments in the same line
Has over 20 different songs to sing along to
Encourages kids to find their rhythm
Music booklet may be too mature for toddlers to follow along with
For all the little rock stars who love to rock but are definitely not yet old enough for anything with serious strings or tuners, the B. Woofer Hound Dog Guitar is the perfect solution. Regardless of how it looks, it’s relatively mature as far as playing music goes! There are several different options for playing music on this doggie guitar with the simple press of a button or two.Read more
The B. Woofer Hound Dog guitar is an adorable little accessory for children between 2 and 5 years of age that want to start strumming. This doggie guitar is perfect for giving your kids that real-feel of being in a band, and they’ll absolutely love the adorable little touches that still make them feel like real musicians. There are several other instruments that you can also purchase to complete the set and make for great toys if your child loves to pretend they’re in a rock band with their friends.
It’s all for fun with this doggie guitar -- Or is it? Although it looks somewhat funny and cute, this guitar will get them up and active in no time with the addition of a microphone and a guitar strap that’s designed for toddlers. It’s good to get them moving and encourage active play as well as imaginative. Toddlers love to jump around and make noise and now they can do it with a purpose! Possibly the greatest thing about this doggy guitar is the fact that it comes with a volume button, which can either be really good for them or really bad for parents of children who love loud noise.
It comes with three modes: an acoustic, and electric, and even a fun “hound dog” mode. Your toddler can choose one of these or simply just press the doggy button and listen to fun dog songs rather than play them. The guitar has an inventory of 20 favorites that your child will love singing along to as well as eight songs that are upbeat and will get them playing along and singing in no time! Some other cool features of this magical singing pup include a retractable microphone and a comfortable guitar strap that allows your child to move and jump around like they’re really on stage.
9. Hohner HAG250P 1/2 Sized Classical
Designed to teach the fundamentals of musicianship
Specially treated Agathis wood that provides a richer tone
Excellent pricing point for a high-quality instrument
Strings remain in tune once the right pitch is achieved
Neck and joints hold well to the body of the instrument
The manufacturing process can leave excess glue in places
The fretboard warps quickly
Need a really neat acoustic guitar for kids complete with the iconic pickguard of classic chordophones? Then, we strongly suggest getting the HAG250P 1/2 Sized Classical Guitar. This Hohner designed musical instrument has all the features of a classic including a beautifully styled body, a glossy finished wooden soundboard, a neck and truss that’s completed with the classic frets, and a neck stock that is highly characteristic of the kind of guitar that we adults are used to playing.Read more
The Hohner HAG250P is a half-sized guitar just right for peewee players. It’s intended for children between 5 and 9 years of age.
The only difference is that, as the name implies, it is only half the size of the standard adult guitar. This is a great instrument to initiate children to the basics of guitar tuning, mastering the fundamental chords, playing basic rhythms, and performing strumming techniques. It won’t take long before your child will be creating his or her very own music. The strings are made of nylon so it should be soft and gentle on your child’s fingers, making strumming and plucking a lot easier. By the time your child reaches a certain age, he or she can always change the strings to steel to produce a different tune.
For kids who are a bit more advanced in the way of playing music, this guitar provides relief for sore fingers with nylon strings as well as a smaller size, so it easily rests on a child’s leg. The body of the guitar is modeled after an average acoustic, so they’re not missing out on anything by going for a size that’s a better fit for small hands. The HAG250P has the design and styling of a classical guitar but at half the size. This makes the HAG250P ideal for kids to learn how to properly hold such device and how to play it with style.
10. VTech Strum & Jam
Sound effects include 12 different popular kids songs
Shows versatility by transforming into three instruments when wanted
Has volume control and automatic shut-off for quiet time
Can spark an early interest in music
Freestyle mode allows kids to get creative in playing their own tunes
The battery cover is flimsy, battery falls out of compartment easily
Songs are mediocre and not very educational
If it’s a toddler guitar that you’re after and one that already integrates two other musical instruments, then we’re pretty confident your child will love the Strum and Jam Kidi Musical Guitar Band from well-renowned toymaker VTech. The design of the Strum and Jam is that of a kids electric guitar complete with a neck that is adorned with colorful designs. Fold the neck and the neck stock and your child can have the best music band in his or her life.Read more
The Strum and Jam provide for an excellent make-believe play wherein your little tot can pretend to be performing rock music, hip-hop tunes, or even classical and soulful jazz. And if ever he or she grows tired of these built-in tunes and melodies, he or she can always go freestyle to get your child’s musical creativity soaring. Other buttons on the stylish body of the Strum and Jam provides different sonic experiences that kids between 3 and 6 years of age will definitely fall in love with.
It may have the word “Kidi” guitar in the title, but we can assure you that this guitar is a great segway to the real thing for any kids who already have a passion for making music. With 12 different melodies, they’ll get the feel for a real guitar and get a headstart in recognizing rhythm and pitch. It is clear that this is not a real guitar for children. However, it does make for an excellent impression of a future rock star in your kid. The 3-in-1 functionality makes it an excellent tool for familiarizing your child with the different sounds of various instruments.
Attached to the neck stock is a cymbal and a bongo drum is beautifully incorporated into the soundboard. Just below the make-believe strings are piano keys that are guaranteed to help raise the level of imagination in your child. Now, your child can play the guitar, hit some piano keys, and provide the rhythm for his or her masterpiece with the drum and cymbal.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
In choosing the best guitar for children, we had to take note of the age of the child who is going to use it. This is very important since young children typically will not be able to handle yet any full-sized string musical instruments that well. As such, the developmental appropriateness of the musical instrument was a primary consideration in our selection process. This included an analysis of whether the child of a given age will be able to effectively play the instrument or even, at least, pretend to play with it. If he or she will be having a difficult time playing with it, then he or she will simply lose interest and ditch the product for something more useful.
We already know that there are many benefits of music to children, especially the younger ones. Whether it is listening to music or actively engaging in the creation of tunes and melodies, it can greatly impact the development of children.
Playing guitars, in particular, can provide a host of truly superb developmental benefits. Chief among these is the enhancement of sensory development. As kids strum the strings to produce a tune, they naturally feel the vibrations created by the strings. Likewise, they also hear the melodies created by these vibrations.
And in the case of a toy guitar that comes with built-in light shows, the interactive effects can also help provide visual stimulation. It is this combination of visual, tactile, and auditory sensory information that will allow the young brain to process and integrate different senses into one meaningful experience.
Secondly, the construction of the stringed musical instrument was taken into consideration. Unfortunately, we could not really physically examine all of these products given the short time we have. As such, we had to rely on the guitar maker’s reputation, its trustworthiness, the current consumer review ranking of the product, and, of course, the feedback and comments from customers.
As much as possible we included only chordophones that have very durable construction, especially the body, the soundboard, and the neck and truss rod. The body of the guitar was also evaluated to make sure that it is sturdy. We’re talking about kids here who may not be able to safely handle such delicate musical instruments.
We can all remember when the trend was particularly strong–when good parents from the 1970s down through the mid-1990s wanted their children to become geniuses, so they played them the music of Mozart as soon as possible! Sometimes, mothers would go as far as buying devices so the fetus could absorb the sound in-utero! We may laugh at that now, but they weren’t too far off in that assessment! Since the beginning of time, everyone has understood both the calming effect that music can produce in people. From the serenity of a church playing Mozart or Bach to the primal drumbeat of an audience pit at a Heavy Metal concert to the easy-breezy strumming of a Hawaiian Slack-Key guitar.
All of the research shows music builds neural pathways that create our deeper realities. While we may no longer be as ambitious as to make all of our children the next Mozart or Jimi Hendrix, the understanding is that this brings about an easier transition into socialization. Everyone wants a calmer, happier, child that never loses his or her inquisitiveness, too! Not only does the engagement in music play on this calming effect, the discipline and ability gained from learning and mastering a musical instrument–or even being introduced to one–will bring a lifetime of positive and rewarding effects into adulthood!
Other Factors to Consider
Playing guitars and musical toys also can help children master the art of finger dexterity and coordination. Pressing the correct string to elicit the right tune requires spatial reasoning as well as superb control of fine-motor movements. All of these resonate through the psychomotor development of young children as they attempt to coordinate the movement of their fingers with the chords that their eyes are reading from a songbook. The auditory input will also be integrated into the finger movements. If the tune doesn’t sound right, then the placement of the fingers are readjusted.
Of course, being able to complete one song can be a great achievement for young kids. This can substantially improve their sense of confidence. In cases where the kid performs in front of an audience, be it the family or in school, this can have an impact in his or her social and emotional well-being.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can some of these products be seen as cheap imitations or “crutches” to developing real musical ability?
They can be seen that way! We’re in the business of offering entertainment products and toys. Ultimately, it is at the discretion of each parent what to introduce to the child and what kind of developments they want to see. That being said, we do offer a number of products that are genuine musical instruments that can bring out the latent talent of each child. We give the acoustic starter set for a folksy feel. The classical guitar for something like Bach. And, the electric set for kids who may admire Eddie Van Halen’s playing!
q: According to the reviews, a lot these instruments lose their tune, what can I do to prevent that?
There’s not too much you can do! It is the nature of stringed acoustic instruments to go out of tune sometimes fairly quickly. The weather and barometric pressure are a factor in this! We suggest patience with some products! One of our offerings comes with a pitch pipe to help in tuning, and there are also many downloadable apps that can help with this. Besides, what also comes along with ownership of an instrument is maintenance and responsibility–it can be a valuable lesson in discipline for your child to learn and get into the habit of tuning his or her instrument when needed.
q: It says that some of these toys are suitable for 2-year-olds; is there the possibility of any of them being choking hazards?
With the ones designated as such, we don’t believe so! But, anything is possible, which is why adult supervision is highly recommended! A choking hazard can range to anything from a small loose screw off the battery pack, a loose wire, or a tiny battery. And, in this instance, maybe a guitar pick, a broken-off piece of string, or even a tuning peg! We recommend that you look carefully to all reviews since some might act as a warning for this in a certain product.
q: I noticed that most of these products don’t offer a warranty; what is the lifetime of some of these items?
I would estimate that the lifetime of the battery-operated products could be from two to five years at the maximum. It pretty much covers the stage of your child’s early development. If you have more than one child, of course, it can be passed down–but, for how long is anybody’s guess! As for the actual acoustic instruments, they can be regarded as legacy pieces. With proper supervision and maintenance, both your grandchildren and great-grandchildren could be playing them in 100 years!
q: What is the difference between plastic and nylon strings for the guitar?
Some of the product descriptions say that the guitar has plastic strings while others have nylon. Well, the description of plastic strings is typically used for guitars that are more on the level of toys rather than genuine musical instruments. While plastic strings do resonate enough to give a decent tone, they can’t produce a clean harmony the way that nylon or steel strings do.
q: As my child gets more proficient with the electric guitar, do you think I could upgrade the amplifier?
I don’t see why not! Of course, since it is a children’s guitar, I’m not sure what the highest wattage that it could be plugged into without getting any feedback or a sound at all. As your child gets with an instructor and takes lessons, it would be best to consult with his or her teacher over this. Also, do your own research! Look online, go to guitar center stores and ask around. It may require another kids guitar, which could be years away when considering this.
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