#1
Buying two guitars. One is for 11 year old. Got her a Yamaha. It was not so difficult to figure out what to get her. Now I am looking for my 6 year old daughter. I don't want to spend a lot for this one but I do want it to be able to remain tuned for a reasonable time without needing to retune it. I find a lot of concerns about low end guitars being able to stay tuned.

So, for under $100, a guitar that is probably a 1/2 or 3/4, that is not difficult to tune and that will hold its tuning for a while. The tuning is important in this case because this little girl can be taught to hear the sound.

Also from what I read nylon strings are best for a child this age but I see that they come unturned easier than steel. So not sure which way to go on this one.

If you can help me find a guitar, I would appreciate it. Thank You.
#2
I can't help too much with actual recommendations, but I can say that you'll have to continually tune both guitars anyway. Once a nylon string guitar's string have been properly stretched, it holds its tune just as well as a steel string.
Quote by EndTheRapture51
Anyway I have technically statutory raped #nice

Quote by EndThecRinge51
once a girl and i promised to never leave each other

since that promise was broken

i dont make promises any more
#3
Quote by GuitarGirls
I find a lot of concerns about low end guitars being able to stay tuned.

So, for under $100, a guitar that is probably a 1/2 or 3/4, that is not difficult to tune and that will hold its tuning for a while. The tuning is important in this case because this little girl can be taught to hear the sound.
Not being a parent, or ever having tried to teach a six year old old how to play the guitar, I feel uniquely unqualified t answer this question. But, as I'm sure you've already suspected, I'm going to forge ahead anyway.

Modern headstock tuners are very accurate, easy to read, and easy to use. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be prudent to expose the child to these right up front, as part of the overall process.

Quote by GuitarGirls
Also from what I read nylon strings are best for a child this age but I see that they come unturned easier than steel. So not sure which way to go on this one....[ ]....
Steel strings would be too painful and frustrating for a young child. Their hands are much too soft, and the "no pain no gain" propaganda concept wouldn't be anywhere near enough to motivate them to work through it.

I''m not even sure a 6 year old is biologically capable of hardening his or her hands off enough to play steel string effectively.

When you hear of prodigies at that age, it's usually on the piano. Much easier on the fingers, pianos are.

I don't think there's too much market emphasis on 1/2 scale instruments. I imagine people grow out of them too fast. I'd just stick with a reputable brand, and wait for the inevitable need to buy a bigger one.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 4, 2013,
#4
Are you saying to teach her to tune it herself. You are talking to a novice here. Thank you sir.
#5
Quote by GuitarGirls
Are you saying to teach her to tune it herself. You are talking to a novice here. Thank you sir.
Well, I'm saying you should at least take a shot at it.

Your best interests will be served buying electronic tuners along with the guitars.

When I learned to play, the electronic tuner hadn't been invented yet. Tuning was an arduous, time consuming, nuisance and distraction. Your best shot at getting your guitar in tune, was to find a song that had the three bass string notes in (E-6, A-5, & D-4) it, then tune the guitar to those. Or, there were the pitch pipes or tuning forks, more aggravation.

As I said, I'm just speculating that if you get the child involved in the process, a perfectly tuned guitar will stimulate her to want to play and to emulate you, and be able to tune it herself.

I could be wrong, but you still really need to buy a couple of headstock tuners anyway, so you can tune the guitars if you have to:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SnarkClip2/


"Snark" is a very popular model. There are many other brands worth considering.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 5, 2013,
#6
Quote by GuitarGirls
Are you saying to teach her to tune it herself. You are talking to a novice here. Thank you sir.


Like mentioned before, there are electric tuners now that even turn green when a guitar is in tune. It's that fool proof. And considering your child is 6 years old, I'd wager that's an even bigger reason that she should be taught and encouraged to tune. Her plasticity is in an sweet zone and she could easily be taught the name of the six strings along with matching each frequency along to the tuner's 'green' marker.

For example, this is one of the one's I'm talking about

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSpjCmU6HWg
Quote by EndTheRapture51
Anyway I have technically statutory raped #nice

Quote by EndThecRinge51
once a girl and i promised to never leave each other

since that promise was broken

i dont make promises any more
Last edited by megano28 at Jun 5, 2013,
#8
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-JR1-Junior-3-4-Size-Acoustic-GUITAR-ESSENTIALS-BUNDLE-/350802071400?pt=Guitar&hash=item51ad6ecf68
or similar. i've seen these without the bundle for $99. i use the black snark tuner. my girlfriend's younger sister (7) loves to help me tune my guitars when she's here. it's simple to use and she thinks it's a great game..... she gets it right too.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#9
The Oscar Schmidt OGSH may be a good choice.

http://www.oscarschmidt.com/products/acoustics/oghs.asp


I believe the sale price is under $100.00 I have seen a few of these at a local music store, they are pretty good quality for a small kids guitar. It's steel string but it may be easy enough to play if you put a set of extra lights on it.

Or you could try a set of silk and steel stings, they will work on a steel string and they are a bit more forgiving for a beginner.
Last edited by manderson at Jun 6, 2013,
#10
I had purchased a Yamaha FG700S for my 11 year old. I decided to go NEW on these guitars because I don't know enough about them and saving $50 on a used one just seemed foolish considering the risk. So this 700 seemed to get good reviews and the price was good at $190. I figure if she doesn't do anything with it, I can sell it at a reasonable price.

For the 6 year old I ultimately purchased another Yamaha....CGS103A. It is a 3/4 and gets reviews as a nice step up from a toy guitar and holds a tune. The seller was asking $130 for it on Ebay with a OR BEST OFFER and I offered $110 and got it. I thought that was good.

So $300 for two new Yamaha guitars. I was happy. I had some difficulty determining between a Yamaha JR1 and the CGS103A. It came down to the strings. The JR1 has steel strings...light. The CGS103A has nylon. At least that is what the internet says. But it doesn't seem to be a sure thing. Seemed like the CGS has a better sound than the JR1 but really it was a toss up.

I did order a blue SNARK.

I hate it when the OP requesting help never follows up to tell what the outcome is. You deserve that...an outcome. Thanks.
#11
thank you for the update. i hope they enjoy and stick with it.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#12
Quote by GuitarGirls
I hate it when the OP requesting help never follows up to tell what the outcome is. You deserve that...an outcome. Thanks.


Congrats!

Being an acoustic(mainly nylon) player, I'm glad you went with the nylon string. There's something special about their sound and they're incredibly easy on the fingers and don't need too much maintenance with adjusting the neck like steel strings do. If you need help with learning how to tune, don't hesitate to ask here or make another thread. There's also tons of videos on youtube that can do just as good of a job.

Best of luck
Quote by EndTheRapture51
Anyway I have technically statutory raped #nice

Quote by EndThecRinge51
once a girl and i promised to never leave each other

since that promise was broken

i dont make promises any more
#13
Id always go with the BM make of classical guitars. They are always on ebay and can be picked up very cheaply. Even if they dont look that good they will consistently produce a lovely sound.

Take a look at www.allguitarlessons.com for more beginners tips.
Last edited by cahillee at Aug 14, 2013,
#14
Wow, received the Yamaha FG700 today. Nothing like the guitar I had 20 years ago and at half the cost. I guess that is why those older guitars hold their value. It is okay but it feels cheap. I think I will keep my eye out for an older guitar. I just remember the sound being more solid but maybe it is just age. Plus I don't have my tuner yet, so perhaps it is far out of tune.
#15
Quote by GuitarGirls
Wow, received the Yamaha FG700 today. Nothing like the guitar I had 20 years ago and at half the cost. I guess that is why those older guitars hold their value. It is okay but it feels cheap. I think I will keep my eye out for an older guitar. I just remember the sound being more solid but maybe it is just age. Plus I don't have my tuner yet, so perhaps it is far out of tune.


If you trust your ear a bit, you can search the aural tuning methods on youtube to get a better tuning of the guitar. The strings are meant to be tuned to E-A-D-G-B-e with the thickest string being 'E' and labelled the 6th string. The next string down is the second thickest and is the 'A' and so on.

Once you feel more confident with dealing with guitars you realize used isn't even an issue if you know what to look out for. But Yamaha are a good brand for beginning guitars, have faith that once you're in tune, it'll sound much better.
Quote by EndTheRapture51
Anyway I have technically statutory raped #nice

Quote by EndThecRinge51
once a girl and i promised to never leave each other

since that promise was broken

i dont make promises any more
#16
guitars are shipped de-tuned to prevent damage. that fg700 is a great starter guitar. i would have it 'set up" and a local music shop. the action(string height) from the factory is set a little high and lowering it a bit will make it much easier(enjoyable) for your daughter to play. and extra set of strings hanging around will also help. you can get single strings( the high E tends to break a lot with beginners).
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#17
Baby Taylor is a decent mini (3/4) guitar, stays in tune very well I think, but goes for around 329euros (about 360 dollars I guess).
#18
Has your daughter got to play around with the guitar yet? I have 6 and 8 yr old daughters and both have shown interest in guitar playing. I tried to teach some basic chords on an electric but hard on their fingers and just the size of the guitar was an issue. I was looking at the 3/4 sized electrics from squire I think at Guitar Center. I may try the baby Taylor someone else mentioned that way if the interest is lost I could still get some use out of it as a travel guitar. They are past the "toy" stage and I think a real instrument meant for them would keep them interested.
Guitars and Motorcycles
#19
Like I said, I am a novice. I seem to remember my guitar years ago was heavier and had a more solid sound for each note. This guitar is a full size guitar. Daughter is 11. I see small Korean children playing guitar on Youtube so surely she can manage with this until she grows better into it. I'm sure it is fine. I will tune it soon.

I am now more concerned about the 3/4 coming for my 6 year old and realize that is probably to big for her...seeing how she looks with the full size. I was thinking to look for a 1/2 for her and give the 3/4 to her sister. Then I would use the full size to help them learn a little.

I don't plan to get them many lessons. Can't afford it.

I think for your girls you should take them into a guitar shop. Have them try a 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4. I should have done that.

I was trying to straddle the frets with 4 fingers on this full size and it was impossible for me. So I know my daughter can't do it. I don't know how important that is. Some Youtube videos seem to indicate that it is necessary and you can do it with work. So the neck size, child being able to get her hand on all the strings...comfort is better.
#20
i started playing a full sized classical when i was 11. retrospectively i wish my parents had gotten a guitar with a slightly smaller nut - say 1.8" - instead of the over 2" girth i struggled with. i would think the 3/4 guitar would be perfect for your 11 year old, and perhaps a yamaha guitalele would be good for your 6 year old.

the most expensive guitars i've played - $5500 and up - tend to be lighter. heavier guitars or more solid feeling guitars use heavier bracing some sometimes thicker tops, which aren't great for tone although it is less fragile.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#21
Funny how you can fall in love with a guitar.

This little 3/4 guitar is nylon string and sounds fantastic. I tuned it up fast with the great snark. It sounds rich and deep...deep meaning clear and crisp....exact. Wow, what a guitar.

Now back to the steel string Yamaha. Is it the steel strings that I don't like. Just doesn't sound that good.

If I replace the steel strings with nylon....will that make the difference???

And I broke two #1 strings on it trying to tune it. I can't seem to get it to hit E and then turn just a little to much and pop. Maybe I didn't put the replacement on correctly when I popped the first one. I gotta figure that one out.

Anyway, I just thought how interesting that my little girl is so crazy about her guitar. Now I find myself looking at banjos, ukeles, violins, anything with strings. I relearned my first song....twinkle twinkle little star to teach my girls.
#22
you can't easily replace steel strings with nylon, and it won't make the difference you're hoping for. steel string guitars are braced differently than nylon, so the tone just won't be there, and you'll need to alter the nut, saddle and very possibly the tuners.

you CAN replace the strings with better strings - yamaha ships with yamaha strings that don't sound all that good. i suggest if you're looking for a warmer tone and strings that are kind to tender fingertips that you try a set of martin silk & steels. also keep in mind that not all guitars are SUPPOSED to sound the same. there are bright guitars, bassier guitars and balanced guitars - guitars with sparkle, with strong fundamentals and those with overtones.

where did the strings break - at the tuners, the nut or the saddle? it's possible there's a tiny sharp area that can easily be filed smooth. btw, are you sure you weren't trying to tune the strings a full octave too high? i know a few people who did that, and the strings always break.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Jun 11, 2013,
#23
btw, are you sure you weren't trying to tune the strings a full octave too high? i know a few people who did that, and the strings always break.


i've done that a few times on my Yammie electric....inverted cranial rectosis is usually the cause for me. tuning it without plugging it in.
i changed to silk n steels on a coupla the fg700's that i caretake. made a huge difference !
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#24
Quote by stepchildusmc
....[ ]....i've done that a few times on my Yammie electric....inverted cranial rectosis is usually the cause for me. tuning it without plugging it in.....[ ].....
I know a few people who have attained almost full remission from their symptoms, after being treated with Ritalin and Mescaline.
#25
Quote by GuitarGirls
....[ ]...Now back to the steel string Yamaha. Is it the steel strings that I don't like. Just doesn't sound that good.

If I replace the steel strings with nylon....will that make the difference???
Steel string tuning pegs really aren't able to accommodate enough wraps of the thicker nylon strings. So, it really wouldn't be a good idea to try.

Quote by GuitarGirls
And I broke two #1 strings on it trying to tune it. I can't seem to get it to hit E and then turn just a little to much and pop. Maybe I didn't put the replacement on correctly when I popped the first one. I gotta figure that one out.
The "great snark tuner", will tell you when you're playing an E. Unfortunately, it won't tell you which E that is. So, you could be an octave too high, or the tuning peg could have a sharp edge. The octave issue is an interesting one, because you didn't break any of the nylon strings. It leads one to suspect you found the right octave there.

In any case, the thin top E string of the guitar is tuned to "E4". That's E above middle C. If you have access to a piano or keyboard, you could quickly rule an octave tuning error in or out, by tuning the top string to unison with that E.

I expect if you love the sound of the nylon strung guitar, that a steel string, particularly in the hands of one who's just learning, could be a bit abrasive.

The metallic "twang" should leave the strings after a couple hours playing. You could take Stepchild's suggestion and opt to string it with silk & steel strings.

The steel string guitar is going to be a lot harder on young fingers than nylon. Most makers ship with "acoustic light" string sets, which are quite a handful even to adults.

You've sort of committed to a steel string guitar, so I suggest looking into having it "set up" correctly, and dropping the string gauge to "acoustic ultra light". (.010 to .047) Your local music shop will understand those terms and gauge sizes.

With acoustic strings, "phosphor bronze" are the warmest all metal strings, and silk & steel are softer still.


Quote by GuitarGirls
Anyway, I just thought how interesting that my little girl is so crazy about her guitar. Now I find myself looking at banjos, ukeles, violins, anything with strings. I relearned my first song....twinkle twinkle little star to teach my girls.
All that's left to do now is one person plays the rhythm, one person plays the melody, and the 3rd person plays the melody an octave up. Bingo, you've got yourself a band...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 12, 2013,