For most seven year olds, a small 3/4 body design like the Martin LX1 will be the most ideal and functional fit. These guitars can also last far beyond a child’s seventh birthday, as the “Little Martin” design is played by adults as well. In this article, we will be reviewing the Best Guitar For 7 Year Old Beginner and the best guitar for beginners.
Speaking broadly, acoustic guitars come in the following body sizes:
- Full Dreadnought
- Full Concert (thinner cut)
- 15/16 Dreadnought
- 3/4 Small or “baby” design
- 1/2 “Mini” design
Based purely on physical size, most kids will be more comfortable with a guitar that employs the 3/4 body design. For example, the Little Martin is 15 inches long and 12 inches high, roughly 75 percent of a full dreadnought body. The entire length of the Little Martin acoustic guitar (going up to the headstock) is about 34 inches.
Regular Martin and Little Martin side by side.
While there will be some variance in the stature of each seven year old, this is roughly the guitar size you’ll want to aim for.
Best Guitar For 7 Year Old Beginner
We’ve already established some measurements based on the Martin LX1, but what about some specific guitars that are best for a seven year old beginner? I’ll dig a little deeper into three that I’ve used and recommend; the Little Martin LX series, Baby Taylor (BT1 and BT2) and Fender MA-1.
Taylor BT1, BT2, Fender MA-1 and the Little Martin
Based primarily on sizing and overall quality, there are two acoustic guitars that I would recommend to seven year olds who are just getting started. Both are 3/4 the size of a full guitar body.
- The Little Martin (Martin LX2 LX1)
- The Taylor BT1 and BT2 (Baby Taylor series)
The Taylor BT2 is marginally larger than the LX1, by less than an inch in both directions. Both acoustics are in a beginner pricing bracket and are designed with a reliable X-bracing interior.
Taylor BT2 Baby Taylor fretboard closeup.
I also recommend these because they have a lot of longevity and can be played well beyond the age of seven. They’re beginner acoustics that you won’t necessarily need or want to replace.
What about some cheaper alternatives?
I don’t like recommending most of the super-cheap guitars, partly because I have very little experience with them. However, I also understand that spending $300-$400 on your seven year old’s instrument might not be the most ideal option.
If you aren’t sure about your young student’s commitment to the guitar, here are a couple cheaper alternatives that I cannot vouch for personally, but I know a lot of people have been completely happy with them:
- Jasmine S34C NEX
- Yamaha JR1
The Jasmine S34C is a little bigger than the typical 3/4 body size, though still scaled down enough that kids can play it comfortably. Again, I haven’t used either of these guitars, but am going off second-hand information. My take on them is that they’re better for a more fickle student, whose interest in the guitar is harder to verify.
They’re good acoustics to start with, but will have to be replaced, if and when the student decides they want to get more serious about their musical pursuits.
What about 1/2 size guitars or smaller?
You can get acoustic guitars that are designed with a body size smaller than 3/4. The “mini” size is usually around 1/2 of a full body, though I tend to avoid these models for a couple reasons.
First, they’re almost always too small, even for a seven year old. A guitar of that size doesn’t really provide an authentic experience with the instrument, which I think is important, especially when someone is first starting out.
Here’s how they look side by side:
Parlor and smaller guitar body designs next to full size dreadnought acoustics.
The second reason is that they just tend to be very poor in terms of quality and design. With the 3/4 models we’ve still got plenty of reliable name-brand options to choose from. But when you drop down to 1/2, there isn’t much to pick from outside of the really cheap brands. It almost feels like you’re buying a toy instead of a guitar.
Guitar Buying Guide: What To Know Before You Buy an Acoustic or Electric Guitar
Understanding how to select the right guitar type that’s best for your learning style and playing needs can help make the guitar buying process much easier. So, before we can officially salute those who are about to rock, we (along with our friends at Beginner Guitar HQ) have a few tips and recommendations to help you get started:
- Know the term “tonewood.”
- Know which guitar style is best for beginners.
- Know the types of electric guitars.
- Know budget-friendly accessories for your guitar.
1. Yes, “Tonewood” Is A Thing!
Wood is favored for guitar crafting. A guitar needs to hold itself together as well as produce a great tone (aka, “tonewood”). Tonewood has the capacity to effectively produce brighter, sharper sounds as well as warmer, deeper overtones.
However, not all types of wood are suitable for crafting guitar parts, which is why choosing the right type of tonewood is important! Below are three common wood types used in crafting:
- Primarily used for the neck and fretboard
- Produces an extremely clear sound
- Maple resonates well and produces defined tones
- Strong, but malleable
- Produces a full, yet twangy sound
- Many favor the red hue of the wood
- Sustains chords and notes
- Strongest and most economical wood type
Each wood is used for its particular characteristics, so research the different woods suitable for the specific style of guitar you are interested in playing.
2. Beginner? Learn On The Acoustic First.
For a beginner guitarist, we recommend test-driving an acoustic. Acoustic guitars are one of the most beginner-friendly musical instruments and can be learned quickly. Starting on the acoustic is more meant for learning chords and finger placement, as well as understanding how to amplify your sounds or quiet your sounds. Plus, many are low in cost, so they won’t break your budget!
Advantages Of An Acoustic
- Doesn’t need electricity to play
- Doesn’t need a lot of equipment other than a guitar pick
- Usually, strings won’t hurt the fingers as much compared to the electric guitar strings
Never underestimate the wisdom of veteran guitarists when it comes to brand and style advice! Although many musicians will have their preferences, we recommend Washburn’s Apprentice Series as being a great starter for beginner musicians:
- Best to use when learning finger placement and sound desired
- Most affordable
- Premium spruce top
- Mahogany back and sides for a full rich tone
Washburn guitars have plenty of series and styles to choose from. Do some research to find the best acoustic for your learning style!
3. Know Your Electric Guitars.
When choosing an electric guitar, decisions will rely more on the components and the quality of the craftsmanship rather than the type of wood used.
An electric guitar relies on the wood simply as a strong base capable of sustaining the tension of the strings, as opposed to an acoustic guitar using the wood to amplify the sound. The three most-common body styles are featured below:
- Most common for rock, pop, and country genres
- Lacks a hollow resonating chamber, which means the sound can be amplified louderCredit: Guitar Center
- Most common for jazz or blues genres, plus rock n’ roll
- Tone is silky smooth and electrified
- Has a large resonating chamberCredit: Guitar Center
- Versatile and can adapt to any genre
- Has a hollow resonating chamber paired with a solid center blockCredit: Guitar Center
A few components often overlooked are the switches, tone knobs and volume knobs just below the strings. Are they easy to reach and control with the hand not picking or strumming?
4. Budget For The Accessories, Too!
Enthusiastic shoppers may forget about the extras needed once the actual guitar is purchased. Our friends at Beginner Guitar HQ list several great products, including amp suggestions and guitar cases, but we’ve chosen a few common accessories below that are budget-friendly for beginners.
They are the tiniest accessory that can often cause the biggest headache for musicians. That’s because you need to find the right material and thickness that can help you strum or pluck without having to use your fingers all the time. If a pick is too flimsy, they can break easily or won’t provide the right sound you are looking for.
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Stands can be made out of different materials, but they should all be durable. The materials can dictate how much they will stand with your instrument and how much they will be able to shield it from danger and the like.
Top Stage Pro
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Storing your instrument in the right temperature is important. If you are not using your instrument, make sure you store it in the right place to avoid such hassle and damage to your instrument in the long run.
When you choose the best guitar strap, the length can vary depending on the desired length or type of guitar that you have, as well as how tall or short you are.
Protec Leather Ends
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You don’t want your guitar to be too far from your body, making it uncomfortable to play. The thickness can also have an impact, as a thickness that is wider can mean more support for your shoulders.
It is always unpleasant to hear an off tune guitar, so you should make it a habit to tune your instrument before every performance or even practice. Tuning your guitar as quickly as possible is important because it will help save up on setup time; too long a setup time will get the audience bored eventually!
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The standard tuning of a guitar is E A D G B E.
Different guitars have different purposes. Consider your choice in strings to meet the criteria that you expect so as not to waste money in the long run. Electric strings run on amplifier power and can produce loud sounds while acoustic strings are more for the quiet practice purposes, small venues and subtle music.
The gauge or thickness can play a role in a string set. Thickness is how much volume or bass you want or how much treble you want for your strings.
D’Addario EXL 110-3D *for electric guitars
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Acoustic guitars normally use nylon or steel strings. Electric guitars use stainless steel or nickel.
Keep in mind that pairing a child with a guitar size is not always a straightforward, uniform task. For example, I have a five year old and a two and a half year old that weigh roughly the same. Not every seven year old kid will be perfectly fitted to the 3/4 body size, which means some parents might have to improvise and pay close attention to product dimensions and specs.
Yet, the 3/4 body design is a good place to start and your best bet for most seven year olds who want to start playing the guitar.
I would strongly advise going to a local guitar shop (a Guitar Center if you live near one) and trying some of these guitars. There’s no substitute for having your child sit down and hold some of these instruments to see how comfortable they’ll feel.