Music is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child and most children would choose a guitar as the instrument they would love to learn to play. If you and your child decide to choose the guitar from the many musical instruments available there are several considerations which are important to be aware of. A child should be eight or older before attempting to learn to play a kids guitar. The guitar requires that the hands and wrists have a degree of strength to push the strings against the fretboard and too small hands will prevent the child from fretting chords correctly. This will take all the fun out of playing and the child will rapidly become frustrated.
Acoustic and electric Guitars for kids have steel strings. The classical guitar has nylon strings. Electric guitars have a narrow neck, the acoustic guitar is slightly wider and the classical guitar is even wider. The ideal setup for the small hands of a child is a narrow neck and nylon strings but this is not really an option. Electric and acoustic guitars with steel strings can suit a child but they seldom work well right off the shelf. The action of a guitar can be adjusted to lower the strings to the fretboard and will reduce the force required to fret the strings cleanly. So count on a trip to the shop for adjustments after your purchase.
Guitars come in full size, and smaller. Smaller guitars may have a narrow neck, less frets, and a lower action and all these characteristics are important when you choose a guitar for your child. Before buying online, visit a guitar store and have your child try a few guitars to determine the type he or she can play comfortably. Check out the different types and sizes. Today most children want to be rock stars so a 1/2 to 3/4 size electric guitar will probably be a good set of choices. A small 10-15 watt practice amp will be a great partner to your childs first electric guitar and will not be too expensive. A good acoustic will also be fine if it has a low action and right size.
Do a little work prior to buying and you will really give your child an edge even before your child starts to learn to play. And make sure that you pay the extra to have a music shop set it up correctly. The guitar requires physical effort even when set up correctly and will be a nightmare for your child if wrong. Setting up a guitar is relatively easy so if you are handy take the trouble to learn how it is adjusted. The setup changes with the seasons so it will be well worth your while to learn how.