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Old 11-04-2009, 02:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hi there, I wouldn't waste your money on anything from a toy shop. Some manufacturers produce scaled down versions especially for children to learn on. I bought one for our grand daughter a few years back from Dean. It does lose it's tuning slightly by the twelfth fret but I'm guessing if your son is playing around the twelfth fret it would be time to buy him a regular guitar. Apart from that it is certainly playable and I have it tuned to the regular tuning. I think it was called the Dean Playmate. Fender also make mini Telecasters I think. Check at Musician's Friend and type in 'small scale guitars'. That should give you a few choices.

Gordon.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi again, one other thing worth bearing in mind. Steel strings can be very hard on young fingers and I know lots of kids give up just because of this. Bearing this in mind I would be looking for a 3/4 scale classical guitar with nylon strings. Much kinder to the beginner's fingers.

Gordon.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ribbons View Post
My son will be six next month and he's got a baritone uke. The strings are tuned like the four thinnest strings of a guitar. It's a good entry toward learning the guitar, easier on small fingers and less intimidating than learning to play on six strings.
When my child was 6 (he just turned 7, so we have parenthood in common, ribbons!) we got him a First Act 30" guitar from Kmart (for around $30), and I am very pleased with it. I actually ended up playing the small guitar more than my child did, because it is very easy to play (low action and no hand stretching required for chords). The intonation is pretty good (the frets are placed fairly accurately) and the guitar can be tuned just like a regular adult-sized guitar. It also came with little cardboard inserts that you can place under the strings to show you where to put your fingers to create different chords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daktari View Post
Hi again, one other thing worth bearing in mind. Steel strings can be very hard on young fingers and I know lots of kids give up just because of this. Bearing this in mind I would be looking for a 3/4 scale classical guitar with nylon strings. Much kinder to the beginner's fingers.

Gordon.
Hi, Gordon, I agree that it is important that the instrument be comfortable for the child. The little guitar we have does have steel strings, but because the action is so low they don't seem to bother my child...not like with *my* (cheap) acoustic guitar, where the high E feels like a rasor blade slicing into my finger if I play too long! GAA! Torture.

As for actually tuning a guitar for a child, if the child isn't interested yet in learning chords but really just likes to strum and make sounds, then a guitar teacher gave me this tip: tune the child's guitar so that the open string notes are all part of a single chord. Then if you are playing a song with the child, the child can enjoy the feeling of strumming along and making music that is in tune. Since a guitar teacher gave me this recommendation about tuning the guitar to create a single chord when playing the open strings, I thought I'd pass it on...although I have just kept our child's guitar tuned like an adult guitar so that whatever he learns while playing it will be directly applicable to larger guitars he may play in the future.
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