6. The Acoustic Guitar

The acoustic guitar is by far the most popular starter’s instrument. It’s affordable, easy to transport, quiet enough not to disturb others during practise, relatively easy to make a nice sound, and doesn’t need any additional equipment like amplification. It can also been seen as a more ‘serious’ instrument to learn on first if a child ultimately wants to play electric guitar, as the skills and techniques can be transferred. There are two types of acoustic guitar; classical (or ‘nylon strung’) and ‘steel strung’ which is what is most often meant when someone refers to an acoustic guitar. The classical guitar is considered to be best for beginners as it uses nylon strings, which are much easier to play than steel - the lighter string tension makes it much easier to press the string down onto the fretboard to sound a note.

As with the violin, there are different sizes to suit different ages:

Guitar size Application Age group
1/8 guitar Beginner’s guitar 4-6 years
1/4 guitar Beginner’s guitar 5-8 years
1/2 guitar Concert guitar for children 7-9 years
3/4 guitar Student guitar 10-13 years
7/8 guitar Youth/student guitar 11-14 years
4/4 guitar The standard full-size guitar 12 years onwards

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