Which Guitar Do I Need

We are constantly asked the same question.

Which guitar should my child learn on?

There is no easy answer but we must stress that the old idea that they must learn classical guitar first is erroneous although for pre-teen children it is still the best option. Let's go through them one by one.

Acoustic Guitar

The Acoustic Guitar has steel strings and is played with a pick or with the fingers. Although a very versatile instrument, it suffers from being the hardest to actually finger as it has thicker strings which need more pressure. The Acoustic Guitar is primarily used for playing chords in the early days.

Classical Guitar

The Classical Guitar has a wider fingerboard and nylon strings, although 3 of these are coated with steel. It is primarily used to play classical music and is always played with the fingers. With special strings they are used to play flamenco music.

Electric Guitar

The Electric Guitar is probably the easiest to get instant gratification on. It has a slimmer, narrower neck than the other two and is primarily played with a pick. It does need some form of amplification though.

Younger Children

We recommend the Classical Guitar for pre-teen children as it can be smaller and lighter to play. Classical Guitars come in 4 sizes so finding one to suit is relatively easy. Unlike small electric guitars they stay in tune. There is plenty of non-classical music available for younger children and the grounding it gives can help with playing all types of music later on. They will have to learn to read music but that is always a benefit.

Older Children

Unless they really want to play the Classical Guitar it is best for them to start straight away on an electric guitar. They are far easier to play, the music is written in TAB which is like playing by numbers and there are vast resources on the internet to keep them interested. If they prefer to learn Acoustic Guitar again, once mastered, there are huge numbers of songs in hundreds of different styles. Grades are easier as well.

They Should Start With A Classical Guitar

I've heard they should always play Classical Guitar for a couple of years first before trying an Electric.


This is the big no no. The techniques for playing Classical Guitar and Electric Guitar are totally different. Hand position, width of neck, fingers instead of pick, it's almost like chalk and cheese. So, once again, unless your child wants to play the Classical Guitar or is very young, you will be wasting money and possibly putting your child off the idea altogether.

There are smaller Electric Guitars made but as yet we've yet to find a decent one. The main issue is that the string tension is wrong as the necks are shorter which leads to the guitar being almost permanently out of tune.