If you are buying that first guitar for your child there are pretty much three choices. You can choose between a classical guitar, an acoustical one, or an electric guitar for kids. The question is, “How do you choose?”
There is a variety of opinions on this matter, as much has been written on this subject. If you happen to ask your child what their opinion is, though they don’t know much regarding the three types of instruments, they most likely would give you an idea of what they would like. Particularly the electric guitar, but also the other kinds, are considered the most “cool” instrument one could have. For example, kids would want to be able to play the real thing, or watch somebody play it, with “Guitar Hero.”
Although, “Guitar Hero” is certainly nothing like actually playing the “axe”, but your child’s choice will be influenced by games like this.
As far as beginners are concerned, there are pros and cons involving the three different types of guitars. Here are some generalities discussed by Helene Goldnadel:
With electric guitars for kids, it is quite simple to play clear notes for beginners, also, the electric variety has a slightly narrower neck than acoustic, but the down side to electric guitars for kids is that beginners usually do not maintain the ease of playing very long, for the neck of the instrument tends to warp after a while. It will soon go out of tune, and will need tuning, if the neck warps. Also, for the electric ones, you will have to buy a cord, and a small practice amplifier. So, to avoid not spending way too much money, you will have to keep an eye out for specials; however, you will quickly discover whether your child will maintain interest in this instrument group. If they do, you can then upgrade to something better.
Even though some are set up for that, an acoustic guitar does not actually need a cord or amplifier. The strings do have to be pressed down slightly harder to get clearer notes because the ‘action’ is higher, and the neck is also somewhat wider than the electric type. For the same price as the electric with the addition of an amp and cord, though, you can buy a better quality acoustic guitar. In general, a good thing about acoustic ones is that if your child can hold down the strings on it, they can hold them down on any kind! For a first choice, an acoustic is a great!
For now, though, ‘cool’ is a big deal for your child, and even though it won’t be in the future, your child will most likely want that amazing, ‘cool’ and ‘hip’ electric as their first guitar.
Now, classical ones. Classical guitars have super wide necks, wider than acoustic, and have nylon strings. As far as clear notes go, this one would be the easiest to play because of its nylon strings, on the bright side. Almost always played with your fingers instead of a pick, the classical guitar a mainly designed for only classical music. Also, it has a large neck. Alike the electric variety, the spacing between the strings of the classical guitar is similar, yet a little farther apart. Because of this, if your child has small hands, they may experience difficulties playing some of the chords. Sadly, this is a specific discipline even though it is a beautiful instrument. On the other hand, if a relative hands you their classical guitar down for free, take it, but it’s recommended you don’t actually go out an buy one unless you’re into classical music.
Of course, if you are just beginning, all three types would work just fine. A guitar is a guitar, in your child’s mind, so don’t worry too much for the first few months of their “musical career.”