I am in the hunt for a guitar. This is not for me. It is for my 9 y/o son.
I would like to get him a guitar that can really grow with him...and until this search began, I knew almost nothing about guitars.

Now I have seen the threads that point out young kids get and lose interest in things quickly. And I do know this is the rule.

I think this may be an exception to that however. My talks with my son actually blew me away.
The background is that he has been taking piano lessons for the last 2 years. My wife is a classical pianist and really wants him to have some musical background.
He never really took to the piano however and we had to force him to play it..when he did.
When he came to us and expressed an interest in the guitar, I was also thinking..this is just passing..or he is just trying to get out of piano.

He told me however that he has been thinking about this for a while. He said he wanted to learn the guitar even if he had to keep taking piano lessons. He expressed that he understands this is something that he will have to work on and learn before he can play all the "Fun" songs. I told him I did not know much about guitars and I was stunned when he was rattling off brands and types. He knew models, etc. He has CLEARLY done some research.
At the end of the day, I have now seen enough from him that I am convinced this may be serious for him.

So now I have the job in front of me to make sure he gets the guitar that gives him he best chance of success...at a reasonable price.

I have done the searches. I have actually been reading till my eyes are about to bleed.
As general choices, I keep coming back to the Seagull S6 and the Yamaha FG730S.
(I do not care for the Baby Taylor...but it is just a feeling..I can not give hard reasons why)

Now I am not going to ask which you would prefer. I have seen those threads already. I understand that the Seagull is warmer in sound and the Yamaha is brighter.
I have also seen those threads turn into a Ford/Chevy preference argument.

My focus is a little different. I am trying to find the guitar that will work for a beginner ...but will also not be easily outgrown.
I am looking for something that is nice enough to do what it needs to do but something that is not the same price as a Buick.
And I want something that is not too big for him now...but will not be too small for him when he turns 14+.
I understand that some people have a guitar for every day of the week. I am not wanting that to be the case for him at the moment.

In my searches, I have seen a ton of threads where anybody from High School to retirement talks about these factors...but I can not find a single thread where it discusses a child of this age who is already growing fast.

So..after all of that...my question is not...which is better? My question is ..Are either/neither/both..just too large or somehow cumbersome for a 9 y/o?
I can not tell from looking at him holding a guitar if it is right or not. And frankly, I read some less than stellar comments about the GC sales person knowledge base so I am not sure I can totally trust them.

(And if he does turn out to hate this thing, I have read enough that I might pick it up and learn it myself. )
unless your son is unusually tall for his age, a full sized dread - whether the seagull s6 or the yamaha fg730s - is going to be too large. face it, chances are he's going to be a lot taller at 14 than he is now. is he interested in playing steel or nylon string? i'm going to assume steel since you brought up two dreads.

i have suggestions.

one, if he'll be learning from a teacher, find a good teacher in a small or mom and pop store and have them help you choose a guitar for your son. there's a store not far from me - grayson's tune town - and the store owner measures the kids' arms, hands and height to make recommendations. not all are as good as he is, but there are some good ones out there.

two, get a smallish but not totally small guitar. i'm thinking parlor or folk size. chances are good you can find one to fit him. i don't know your budget, but the art & lutherie ami might be a way to go. not the best sound, but honestly not bad. short scale and small body would make it easy to play, but lots of adults play the ami. there are others in this size range. in fact, there are many. if you're interested, give me a price range and i'll hit you with some.

i also don't like the sound of the taylor baby. you might try the little martin, which has more bass and a more focused sound, and i know adults who use it as a stand guitar. also you might want to check out the taylor GS mini. very nice sound for a small guitar, nothing like the baby taylor. lots of adults i know use this one as a stand guitar. if the neck were a little wider, i'd have bought one for sure.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Thanks Patticake,
I will look for a Mom/Pop shop.

Budget wise...I would like to stay $400 or less. Of course I do not want to spend $400 if I can get the same thing for $200.....but I do not want to cheap out at $200..if I need to go higher. And if I am not too far off from the right guitar, I guess I can suck it up and go a little higher than $400.
Last edited by lottathought at Aug 24, 2011,
i suspect your son is too small to comfortably play a 000 or i'd have lots of suggestions. as it is, check the taylor gs mini and the little martin, and if you can, a seagull or art & lutherie folk and parlor and see what you think. let him hold them to see if he can easily reach everything and hold the guitars comfortably.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Once again Patticake...many thanks. Yaknow...all this talk about guitars has kind of revived a curiosity in them. Who knows..before this is over, I might get one myself and do some father/son bonding and take some classes with him.
that sounds like a wonderful idea if your son is cool with it

Quote by lottathought
Who knows..before this is over, I might get one myself and do some father/son bonding and take some classes with him.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Sorry to reiterate lots of what has already been said, but hand size is important. His hands are probably similar to my girlfriends hand size, and some necks are just plain too big. That being said, I'd bet that in two to three years his hands will be plenty big enough for a full sized neck. Just about the time he would be getting pretty good.

I second the folk or parlor sized guitar because I often times find it very useful to have a smaller guitar just for playing around with. It is very easy to play on being smaller. Also, I have never heard anything terribly bad about art & lutherie guitars. Almost picked one up for myself but went with Breedlove instead.

I'd also put in a vote for the S6 because they are usually great guitars for any skill level or age. Lastly, I suggest you check out breedlove guitars. most of their models come in smaller sizes also. Mine plays like a dream. Goodluck!
I want to thank everyone for their help.
I took the plunge yesterday and my son now has a Little Martin LXM.
I also upgraded the bag.

Now we are on the hunt for a local instructor.

Thanks again
Have him think up some songs he wants to play. It's good to have a goal.
Guitars: Carvin TL-60T, Carvin C750 Acoustic, Squier Strat w/Carvin C22B & AP11's, Alvarez-Yairi DY76 12-string, Eastman MD-605 Mandolin, Fender Mandocaster, Ibanez UKS-10 Ukulele
Yamaha makes some real quality instruments. I've also heard a few "baby taylors" that sound really good. I bought a yamaha FG online(Ebay) a couple years back and it sounds incredible. The only problem with online purchases is you can't hear it before you play it..
Fender CD 60

my little sister got one for x-mass like year ago and they sounds good and are a bit smaller...
I haz gotten gud