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Old 11-03-2009, 07:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How To Tune A Tiny Guitar?

There's a good looking and well made wooden guitar in a toy shop I'd like to get for my 6 year old. He'd like something and of course he can't get his hands around a full size or anything like it.

So this would be good. But it is only about 0.5metre, from head to bottom.

The strings wouldn't be much longer than ukelele strings.

So I suddenly thought how would I tune it? What would I tune it to? If it is only going to tune as high as a ukelele or thereabouts it'd be pointless having a guitar looking thing that sounds like a uke. Might as well get a uke.

Or do such things tune quite successfully and have a decent sound?

Or are they just a silly trap?

I'm not even sure if it is nylon strung or steel. It was wrapped in plastic which I couldn't open and would you believe I peered and fingered but I still couldn't make it out. Very cheap product. Chinese. No literature with it at all. But well made out of fine looking wood. Be a nice thing to have if it did have at least some merit as an instrument, not a joke.

Anyone had experience with such things? or got a scientific enough background or general music instrument knowledge or something enough to advise me on this?

regards,

ab
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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EADGBE
because the tuning of a small guitar is the same as a real guitar it's simply in a much higher octave, a chromatic tuner would work fine
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd avoid this. There are plenty of cheap alternatives than buying a guitar you are unsure about.

Check this one out

It says it's supposed to be for girls but it comes in "boys" colors as well, a good little beginner guitar. It's just one example, try checking out your local music store and ask if they have any beginner-sized guitars. Anyhow I think you can do a lot better than a cheap-looking plastic-wrapped guitar that you are unsure about.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would probably wear my tiny hand thimble to tune it
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abrogard View Post
Anyone had experience with such things?
you answered yourself with this...

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Originally Posted by abrogard View Post
There's a good looking and well made wooden guitar in a toy shop I'd like to get for my 6 year old.
if you want something with 'merit', then at least shop in a music store or at the very least some consultation from one of the clerks. you might end up surprised at what they carry and have available for young children.


@Conan - funny fact about Daisy Rock guitars. Paul Leary is one of their sponsored artists. that's right - a website about girl guitars features a Butthole Surfer hahaha
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It all depends what gauge strings you put on it. Theoretically you could tune it pretty much any way you like, (although I imagine it would get to the point it was unplayable with strings much heavier than a typical guitar, especially for a six year old, pretty quickly).

I'd try tuning it an octave higher than a guitar, using an average kind of gauge string, then adjust accordingly.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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In my experience, such toy guitars are not good as real instruments. Making a real instrument takes a lot of precision, for example you have to make sure the notes sound right when they're played up the neck and the instrument is in tune. Good intonation depends on many things like the placement of the frets and the placement and height of the saddle.

Intonation on toys is unprecise and crappy. You can tune it but it'll still won't sound good when you play chords, especially up the neck. In other words, it's a toy and not a proper instrument. That's why they're so cheap.

edit :

That doesn't mean you can't play these, though. I bought one myself once and I could play on it .. It just sounded ****ty For the money you pay, maybe that's a good deal.
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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@Conan - funny fact about Daisy Rock guitars. Paul Leary is one of their sponsored artists. that's right - a website about girl guitars features a Butthole Surfer hahaha
Oh man that is hillarious!
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a Yamaha guitalele, a guitar vesion of the uke. 0.7 metres long, nice sound, good resonance, sounds louder than you'd think. The intonation isn't perfect and moving cohrds upneck can sometimes be painful, but when I'm just doodling I usually don't notice. It's standard gauge nylon strings are the standard EADGBE tuned up to A.

I think It's fun to play it and I can easily kill an hour with it, and if you just want to start learning chords or 'get to know' a guitar-like instrument it could be an option. It cost me about 700 SEK, approx. 65 USD.
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