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Need info on a junior guitar for a kid, but not a toy guitar


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I am trying to look for a guitar for a 9-year old because he cannot reach the entire neck of a full size guitar without over-extending. I need something at a smaller scale. The Epiphone Les Paul Juniors seem to be stripped down versions of the Les Paul, and the neck and body dimensions are close to a regular Les Paul (ie. both have 24-3/4 scale, the Jr probably has a thinner body so it is probably lighter), since they are about the same size, and he has a full-size guitar already. this would not be good to get another guitar that is too large for him.


I was considering the PeeWee sizes, Les Paul PeeWee and Flying-V Peewee, but I have been warned that these guitars have a screwed up scale that does not let you get the right intonation (???), making the guitar a toy and not a real instrument. I still want the guitar we get to be able to be played when other guitars are not available, like on road trips, so I have stopped considering these Peewee models.


The only thing promising guitar I found so far has been a mini-Stratocaster. This little guitar still has a 24" scale, even though the body is visibly smaller. I am leaning toward getting this guitar as it appears to be smaller, yet as close to a full-size guitar as I have been able to find. I could use some advice on these models of guitars, if you can as I do not know much about them. If you think they are total crap, let me know.


Anyhow, I have not done too much research on small scale guitars, so the info I have above may all be crap. There does not appear to be a lot of choice out there either, so small scale stuff is hard to find. I am looking for advice on what guitar to get this kid so that is is smaller, yet have the tuning/intonation and sound of a full-size guitar as much as possible. I am open to any suggestions. Thanks.

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I wasn't impressed with the Flying VeeWee I played, not because of scale, but because it felt terrible.


The Squiers you were talking about are quite nice, I think, and probably the best you're going to get in a small-size guitar without spending several hundred dollars.

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Guest icantbuyafender

3/4's scale strat by squier is a good choice.


hell, even the 99 dollar squier bullet w/ tremolo would be all the guitar they needed for a good while

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I bought a 3/4 squire strat to teach my 7yr. old grandson on. It is O.K. but nothing more. For $100 new or $50-$75

used it's hard to complain. Intonation is not great, but close enough for his ears. Cheep tuners but, surprisingly,

they hold tune O.K.

Considering his age, if he learns his notes and his basic chords we will both be happy. He is thrilled just for the fact

we can play Red River Valley together after only a few weeks of lessons.

(As I get better, he promises to teach me something harder.)


As Slag suggests, you might also look at the Ibenez Mikros.

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I believe the PeeWee's are intended to be tuned up 2 1/2 steps from standard guitar tuning; eg, string 6 is G, 5 is C, 4 is F, etc. I haven't heard anything regarding poor intonation as long as they are properly tuned. They aren't really toys per se, but they might not make a good student instrument because you would have to either transpose every song into a different key or come up with different chord voicings, and the instructor would pretty much have to put a capo at fret 3.


ESP makes junior sizes in their LTD line. The Kirk Hammett signature model is $350+, so this might be out of your price range for a student guitar. I think Jackson also makes some junior size instruments.


I am teaching my friend's son, who has a "Jay Jr." acoustic guitar. I don't know if they make electrics, and I don't know a lot about the company, but it is a good value for the price (around $60). Intonation isn't perfect, but it's better than a lot of low-end acoustic guitars. It's stood up reasonably well to the abuse of two young children who probably weren't entirely sure just what the hell a guitar IS for the first few years.


First Act makes a lot of low-dollar instruments geared towards beginners. I'm not so sure about the quality, but they might be a good choice if we're not sure the kid is going to stick with it (the money saved could go to something better when he's grown some). I could swear I've seen a junior size strat clone of theirs somewhere, but it's not on their website:




Rondo Music has some quarter-scale instruments at low prices. I have no personal experience with the instruments this company sells, but I have heard they are of surprisingly good quality considering the price. They are of course all Chinese imports. Here's a strat clone for example:




So there's a lot of options out there. The only hard part is separating the inexpensive from the cheap.


Good luck.



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Do Not Buy Smaller Guitars!

Do not buy him a Pee Wee guitar, a smaller scale guitar, a short scale guitar, a little guitar... Just buy him a guitar!


Look every single basketball coach/player knows never let a kid shoot at a hoop that is not ten feet high. You should NEVER lower the hoop for a kid. A kid should learn/struggle on a regulation sized basketball hoop. The struggling is part of the improving process. There are no shortcuts to becoming a better ball player. Same with guitar. Learn on the correct size.


You say he has a normal sized guitar already. There is no way he should now be handed a midget guitar.

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I bought the Les Paul Standard in my avatar just for him. I figured it would be a good guitar to motivate him to play, just by its looks alone. He just strums some messy nonsense chords on it a few times a week. I tried to teach him to play a few chords of one of his favourite songs, and he tends to give up too easily as he tries to reach the fretboard, especially on the lower, farther away frets. This could be a sign that he is not interested in playing guitar yet, so I did not want to go out and spend any more than $100 for a smaller guitar as the money could be a waste.


Our other guitars are full-sized Strats and they are a bit larger than the Les Paul, so the Les Paul is the best guitar we have for him. BeatleNut, you are likely right, it is best to keep it simple and play a regular sized guitar from the very beginning. So, I am going to keep trying with the Les Paul until he figures out how to get his fingers around on the fretboard. I will try for a few months and see what happens. If I remember correctly, even I had trouble getting my fingers to cover a chord that span more than 2 frets the first day I started playing, and my hand were larger than his. I am going to start him on some easy tabs so that he can hit some correct notes and get his confidence up (on something like Jingle-Bells), then move on to simple chords as he progresses. Maybe I pushed him too hard by starting him on chords, ooops! I think that I am going to try to re-write some tabs just for him where the notes are originally too far at the lower frets by transposing them one-octave higher so that he can play the song closer to the body of the guitar. This way he will be playing at the smaller frets that are proportional in size to his hands and they are also closer to him so he does not need to reach as far on the neck. Hopefully this will work.

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I bought my nephew one of those 3/4 strats for Christmas some years back. He was nine at the time and he loves it. He still uses it and Like to toy with it when I visit. It is inexpensive and perfect for a beginner!!


My vote goes for the 3/4 strat. It should be a perfect size. I have an 8 year old who is also on the "smallish" side. He has one and is quickly "growing into it". He can't play it to well yet, but he's trying. He's got "smoke on the water" down pat! (Not the chords, yet)


Svet, looking at your new picture, it makes me realize I need more guitar stands!

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flying veewee with new tuners, tailpiece, pickup, and low gauge strings, new pots/wiring?




bad idea, but it'd make for a nice expensive joke... (maybe i'll try that in college... i may not get drunk, but i can make drunk people laugh!)




plug it into a nice valve jr. combo and crank up the volume... XD


i guess you should go for the strat or a small scale acoustic... but i didn't start on acoustic, so why force anyone else to :)

get the strat...

and upgrade the pickups to lace sensor hot gold, the tuners to steinberger, and the nut to graphtec, wilkinson saddles... new pots and wiring, new switch... custom paint job...




but seriously, get the strat.

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