The Best 1/2 Size Guitar for Your Musical Kiddo in 2022

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Editor's Choice
Cordoba Requinto
Cordoba Requinto
  • Solid cedar top produces a wonderfully warm sound and balanced tone that will get better with age
  • The guitar doesn't get loud, so your kid can develop their skills without annoying everyone in the house
  • This guitar plays easily and won't hurt the fingers as much as steel-string guitars
  • A great beginner and intermediate guitar for kids
Best Steel String
Fender Redondo Mini
Fender Redondo Mini
  • The slim neck is easy for kids with small hands to play
  • It comes with a gig bag for easy storage
  • Laminated wood is durable and less prone to cracking, warping, and dinging from weather changes and being mishandled
  • Your child will be proud to show off their new instrument to friends and family
Best Electric
Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH
Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH
  • It has a comfortable c-shaped neck that is perfect for smaller hands
  • Offset body shape is comfortable and stylish
  • It has a "jangly" tone that is perfect for modern pop and indie songs
  • Your kid will feel like a rockstar when they play this guitar

Why you should consider a 1/2 size guitar for your child

Are you a parent with a budding musician-in-the-making? If so, you’re probably on the hunt for the perfect musical instrument for your child.

While there are many different options to choose from, if your child is between 7-10, you should be looking at a 1/2 size guitar.

Half-size guitars are perfect for kids who are just starting out, as they provide a smaller, more comfortable size that’s easier to play. Plus, they’re less expensive than full-sized guitars, making them an excellent option for parents on a budget.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the best 1/2 size guitars available today and explain why you should consider each one for your kid.

TL;DR: If you are short on time and want to know which half-size guitar to choose, the Cordoba Requinto Classical Guitar will be your best option. This guitar will be the easiest to play, has excellent build quality, and won’t be a loud instrument. It is an acoustic guitar, so if your kiddo is looking for an electric, then I’d recommend the Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH instead.

So read on to learn more!

The best 1/2 size guitar in 2022 at a glance

Editors Choice: Cordoba Requinto

Editor's Choice
Cordoba Requinto

Looking for an excellent children's guitar? Look no further than the Cordoba Requinto! 

This nylon-stringed guitar is handcrafted with a solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides, which produce a warm, balanced tone. It is also easy to play, especially for beginners, and features nylon strings and a short scale length. 

Don't sleep on this incredible guitar - order yours today!

The Cordoba Requinto 1/2 size guitar is my top pick because it’s easy to play, handcrafted, and has a solid wood top. It is an excellent choice for beginners and advanced guitar players.

Cordoba is a nylon string acoustic guitar manufacturer based in Santa Monica, CA. They’ve been played by artists such as OneRepublic and Jose Gonzales and are well-built and great-sounding affordable guitars.

The Cordoba Requinto features a solid cedar top and mahogany back and sides. This combination of woods produces a wonderfully warm sound and balanced tone. Cedar is often used on a classical guitar with nylon strings because of its quick response to a light touch.

In simple terms, it doesn’t need the player to strum hard to get the most from this guitar. It’s great for beginners and younger children because they won’t struggle with getting the guitar to sound its best as they develop the muscles in their hands.

Cedar is also an excellent wood for flamenco and fingerstyle playing. It sounds best when played delicately and doesn’t get extremely loud. For this reason, it’s a perfect option for the people that have to live with the practicing player.

This guitar is effortless to play, especially for a beginner guitarist. Because the Cordoba Requinto features nylon strings and a short scale length, the guitar strings have a more slinky and slacked feel.

The string tension on a half-size guitar will be less than a full-sized guitar. When you add the nylon strings to the mix, you have an acoustic guitar that is easy on the fingers.

The benefit of a classical guitar like the Requinto is that there isn’t much outward projection of sound and dynamic range. This is a good thing because:

  1. A guitar with less dynamic range (low volume to high volume) makes the player sound more consistent. This works as a helpful crutch for those who haven’t mastered the consistency in their strumming hand.
  2. Family members and neighbors will not be subjected to the hours of practice like they would with a steel-string acoustic guitar, or worse, electric guitar.

While I recommend the Cordoba Requinto as one of the best guitars for kids, it also works well as a travel guitar for adults. Suppose you’re looking for something that could easily fit into an overhead bin on a plane or fit into the back seat of your car. In that case, this is an excellent guitar option for that as well.

While this half-size guitar has lots of strengths, a few weaknesses are worth discussing as well.

First, this guitar doesn’t come with any electronics. This means that you can’t play the guitar plugged into an amp or PA system. While this shouldn’t concern a kid’s first guitar, it can be an issue as your kid progresses and wants to play shows with the Cordoba Requinto.

Also, the price of this guitar may be a little expensive for most people’s first guitar. There are many half-size guitars with nylon strings that you could purchase for cheaper. However, the quality of the Cordoba, from the solid wood top, rosewood fingerboard, and lightweight design, make this acoustic guitar a great choice.

All in all, in your search for the best half-size guitars for your musical kiddo, the Cordoba Requinto should be a strong contender. It is a great choice for students taking a more classical training approach to music, and this guitar will grow with the student as they progress.

Pros
  • Your child will play chords and melodies with ease on this comfortable acoustic guitar
  • The sound is bright, warm, and resonant
  • Your children will love learning how to play the guitar on this instrument
  • You'll be proud of your purchase when you see the smile on your child's face when they play their first song
Cons
  • Classical guitars are great, but the neck can sometimes be too chunky for smaller players
  • Solid top wood guitars are easier to damage than laminated wood acoustics

Best 1/2 Size Steel String Acoustic Guitar: Fender Redondo Mini

Best Steel-String Acoustic
Fender Redondo Mini

If you're looking for an excellent steel string guitar for kids, the Fender Redondo Mini is a great option. 

It has a vintage sunburst finish that looks fantastic in pictures, and it's also effortless to play, thanks to the short-scale length. This makes it an excellent choice for kids or beginners just starting out. 

Also, Fender is the largest guitar manufacturer globally, and they have great resell value just in case your kid doesn't take to playing.

If your child is looking for a modern acoustic half-size guitar, then a guitar with steel strings will give you the folk, pop, and rock sound you’re kid is looking for.

The Fender Redondo Mini is fantastic steel string guitar for kids, and it looks awesome. The vintage sunburst finish with Fender’s classic headstock makes this a guitar that looks excellent in social media pictures. It also won’t bother you as much if the guitar is left lying out in the living room.

This Redondo Mini is a durable guitar because of its laminated wood construction. While laminated guitars don’t sound as good as a solid wood guitar, they will be less prone to warping, cracking, and denting from weather changes and accidents.

Fender is the world’s largest guitar manufacturer, and you can expect consistently high-quality constructed guitars.

You’ll hear a nice balance of the strings and the classic “guitar by the campfire” sound upon listening to the Fender Redondo Mini. However, because it’s a 1/2 size guitar with a laminated construction, the sound is thinner than you would find on a full-size guitar.

However, the short-scale length of this size guitar makes playing guitar easier for kids and beginners. As we mentioned earlier, a short-scale guitar has less string tension, making plucking and fretting strings easier for uncalloused hands.

One of the challenges of learning guitar on an acoustic with steel strings is that it is painful. This “slinkier” string tension helps make learning to play guitar easier on the fingers.

The nato neck is comfortable in your grip and doesn’t feel bulky. However, with acoustic guitars in this price range, you might want to get a standard guitar setup from your local guitar shop. This will ensure your kid gets the best playability out of the guitar.

Often strings can sit up too high off the fretboard, causing the player to push harder on the strings. This is a common issue with guitars shipped straight from the manufacturer. You should factor a professional setup into the price of purchasing the guitar.

The quality and reputation of Fender, these guitars generally have a great resell value just in case your little one moves on to a new hobby.

However, if your kid falls in love with playing, then the Fender Redondo Mini is a great guitar that will grow with your child and not hold them back from progressing.

The Fender Redondo Mini comes with a gig bag for easy storage, but it doesn’t have any built-in electronics for plugging into a PA or amp.

If you’re looking for one of the best steel string guitars for kids that is well made, sounds great, and looks awesome, then the Fender Redondo Mini is a great buy.

Pros
  • The guitar is durable and less prone to warping, cracking, and denting due to laminate wood construction
  • It has less string tension than a full-size acoustic, so it's easier on the fingers
  • The Fender Redondo Mini is the perfect size for children, so your little one won't outgrow it anytime soon
  • It will look great in your Instagram photos
Cons
  • The factory setup sometimes has the strings sitting too high off the neck of the guitar, so a professional guitar setup might be needed
  • It doesn't come with any built-in electronics for amplification
Skip to 2:11 to see the Redondo Mini in action

Fender guitar has stepped up their acoustic guitar game in the past few years. They have a lot of great options available that are worth checking out. If you are curious, please read my article “The Ultimate Guide to the Best Fender Acoustic Guitars” today!

Best 1/2 Size Electric Guitar: Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH

Best Electric
Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH

Looking for a great electric guitar for your youngster? Check out the Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH. 

This guitar features a c-shaped maple neck, humbucking pickups, and an offset body shape and is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to play. 

With its smaller size and comfortable design, the Mini Jazzmaster HH is an excellent choice for anyone just starting out. So don't wait any longer - order your new Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH today!

I’m willing to wager that if your kid asks you for a guitar, they probably want it to be an electric guitar. In many ways, it’s easier for beginners to learn on electric than learning on acoustic guitars, especially acoustics that have steel strings.

The challenge with finding the right guitar for your musical kiddo is that it’s challenging to find a half-size electric guitar that is high-quality and affordable.

While the Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH isn’t technically a half-size guitar (it’s 3/4’s), I am including it on this list.

However, in fairness, the scale length of the Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH is the same as other guitars on this list, so let’s just pretend it belongs in the half-sized guitars category 🙂

The Jazzmaster’s are some of the best electric guitars in Squier by Fender’s lineup. They have a terrific offset body shape and tons of vintage vibe.

If your kid dreams of being a rockstar, this guitar will definitely make them feel like one.

When it comes to playability, The c-shaped maple neck doesn’t feel bulky and will be comfortable and easy to play for kids with smaller hands. In particular, this is an excellent option if you are shopping for a daughter and want a guitar that won’t quickly outgrow them as they age.

The Mini Jazzmaster HH comes with humbucking pickups, which help eliminate extra noise when plugged into a guitar amp. The tone of Squier by Fender’s can be described as “jangly” and a great option for children who want a good guitar for pop, indie, and singer/songwriter music.

One issue you can experience with a starter instrument is low-quality hardware. This can make the guitar go out of tune quickly and not feel great to play. Fender has been making musical instruments for over 70 years. The construction and quality of these electric guitars are some of the best in this price range.

While this mini electric guitar isn’t the most budget-friendly guitar on the market. However, you will save yourself tons of headaches that come with repairs and your kid practicing on an out-of-tune guitar all the time. This isn’t to say that the guitar isn’t without its flaws. Some report that they received guitars with frets that poked out from the neck, and some claimed a misaligned bridge. These issues can be resolved with a professional setup.

The downside of purchasing this guitar is that it won’t come with a guitar amp, guitar cable, or gig bag. These are necessary to get the most out of the guitar, and you will have to factor this into your purchasing decision.

All in all, suppose you’re in search of the best electric guitar that will inspire your little one towards their dreams. In that case, the Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH is a wonderful option.

Pros
  • "Slinky" strings make learning on this guitar easy on the fingers
  • The c-shaped maple neck is comfortable and easy to play for kids with smaller hands
  • An excellent guitar for beginners who want the guitar to grow with their skills
  • Your kid will feel like a rockstar when they play this guitar
Cons
  • You will need to purchase a guitar amp and other accessories
  • Some have reported the fret edges are sharp

Best 1/2 Size Guitar for a Budget: Yamaha CGS102AII

Best for Budget
Yamaha CGS102AII

Looking for a great 1/2 size guitar for a beginner on a budget? Yamaha has you covered with the CGS102AII. 

This guitar is perfect for kids, with nylon strings that are gentle on the hands and easier to learn on. The all-laminated wood construction also makes this acoustic guitar more durable.

You won't have to sacrifice sound quality or construction quality - Yamaha is known for making some of the best beginner guitars around.

If you’re looking for the best guitar for your child, but are on a budget, then the Yamaha CGS102All is an excellent choice.

The Yamaha guitar brand makes great musical instruments and are often the most recommended choice for beginners. The CGS102All features nylon strings and is a beautiful alternative to the Cordoba Requinto.

The main difference between this and the Cordoba is that this guitar features all laminated wood instead of a solid wood top. While the depth of sound will be lacking compared to the Cordoba, this guitar will be more durable.

Due to weather changes and accidents, the laminated woods will be less prone to warping, cracking, and denting.

Compared to acoustic guitars with steel strings, the nylon strings will be more gentle on the hands and easier to learn on. This will help your kid stay motivated while learning and not let the pain of building callouses hold them back.

However, the width of the neck will be wider on a classical guitar like the Yamaha CGS102All compared to a guitar with steel strings like the Fender Redondo Mini. This will make the neck feel slightly bulkier in hand and could be more challenging to play chords for your child’s tiny hands.

The CGS102All doesn’t come equipped with any electronics or come with a gig bag. So if you’re child needs to plug into a PA or amplifier or is traveling back and forth to lessons, you will need to consider this in your purchase price.

With the Yamaha CGS102All, you won’t be sacrificing sound quality or construction quality. You will get your money’s worth as your child continues with their lessons and beyond.

Pros
  • The nylon strings are gentle on beginner's fingers, so they won't get discouraged early on in their playing
  • A low-maintenance guitar that doesn't require a lot of upkeep
  • This affordable guitar will help your child learn one of the most popular instruments in the world
  • Great value for money
Cons
  • Doesn't come with a gig bag
  • The neck of the guitar is missing fret markers

Yamaha has some of the best high-quality acoustic guitars for really affordable prices. To see the best they have to offer, please refer to my article “The Best Yamaha Acoustic Guitar for All Skill Levels and Playing Styles” today!

Buyer’s Guide

Researching and purchasing a mini guitar for your kid comes with its challenges. First, lots of guitars on the market are lower in quality. While you don’t want to buy the top-of-the-line guitar for your child, you also want to make a wise investment in your musical instrument.

Playing an instrument is all about feeling. If the guitar is uncomfortable to play, your kid is more likely to drop it as a hobby.

The following buyer’s guide will help you with things to consider when you’re doing your research.

Steel Strings vs. Nylon Strings

If you’re looking for a guitar that doesn’t need amplification and will be quieter in the house, then an acoustic guitar is what you need to be shopping for.

However, acoustic guitars come with either nylon strings or steel strings. The difference is significant and should consider when purchasing a starter guitar for your kid.

Nylon string guitars, or classical guitar, will be much easier for kids to learn with as they start playing guitar. Nylon strings are much easier to press down and don’t hurt as much. However, a classical guitar generally has a wider neck. This can make playing barre chords harder if your kid has smaller hands.

Steel-string acoustic guitars can be more painful for beginners to learn with. However, steel strings generally have more modern designs and features, making the overall guitar feel more comfortable. Also, steel-string acoustics have more versatility in different genres, and you’ll produce a sound that you often associate with an acoustic guitar.

Acoustic Guitars vs. Electric Guitars

You’ll have to consider whether you should opt-in for an acoustic or electric guitar. Electric guitars are the easiest of the three guitar styles mentioned in this article to learn on. Strings tend to be thinner and more flexible, making playing a breeze.

However, electric guitars need amplification and will be much louder in your home. However, electric guitars can really open up your child’s creativity as the sonic possibilities with them are endless.

Wood Choice (Tonewood)

Tonewood is what the guitar is made out of. Each tonewood adds certain sounds and characteristics to a guitar.

The topic of tonewoods is vast and becomes more critical as you purchase more advanced guitars.

For the sake of finding the best 1/2 sized guitar for your kid, I’ll focus on the one key factor you should consider.

Solid Wood vs. Laminated Wood for Acoustic

When searching for an acoustic guitar, it’s essential to know what material was used to construct it. If a guitar is made with a solid tonewood, like a solid spruce top, the guitar will have more resonance and sound better with time.

However, the drawback to solid wood guitars is they are more fragile and expensive.

Suppose you want the guitar to be able to survive some destruction from your child. In that case, going with a laminated wood guitar will be a better investment. However, sometimes on manufacturers’ spec sheets, it’s tough to know whether it’s solid or laminate constructed guitar.

If it doesn’t specify “solid” in front of the wood, it’s laminate.

Also, for more affordable guitars, it will only be the top of the guitar that will be made of a solid piece of wood. The body and sides will almost always be laminate.

FAQ

Some of the most frequently asked questions for the best 1/2 size guitars.

What age should my child be for a half-size guitar?

The age your child should be for a half-size guitar is around 7-10 years old. However, half-size guitars are also perfect for traveling musicians and players with small hands.

So the guitar can age with your child beyond these specified years.

Can adults play 1/2 size guitars?

Adult playing a small guitar

Yes, adults can play 1/2 size guitars. Lots of guitar manufacturers will market smaller guitars as their travel guitars.

Also, adults who have small hands can find playing 1/2 size guitars easier than a regular-sized guitar.

What size is a 1/2 size guitar?

A 1/2 size guitar has a scale length of hovers around 22″. For reference, a full-sized, full-scale guitar is 25.5″.

To Recap

So, if you’re looking for the perfect 1/2 size guitar for your little rockstar, be sure to keep in mind the goals and desires of what your kid wants to accomplish with guitar.

While each half-size guitar recommendation on this list will be a great option depending on your kids’ specific needs, the Editor’s Choice, Cordoba Requinto, is the best all-around guitar. It won’t be too loud, won’t hurt your kid’s fingers, and you won’t need to purchase additional gear like an amp.

Go purchase one today by clicking here.

Editor's Choice
Cordoba Requinto
Cordoba Requinto
  • Solid cedar top produces a wonderfully warm sound and balanced tone that will get better with age
  • The guitar doesn't get loud, so your kid can develop their skills without annoying everyone in the house
  • This guitar plays easily and won't hurt the fingers as much as steel-string guitars
  • A great beginner and intermediate guitar for kids
Best Steel String
Fender Redondo Mini
Fender Redondo Mini
  • The slim neck is easy for kids with small hands to play
  • It comes with a gig bag for easy storage
  • Laminated wood is durable and less prone to cracking, warping, and dinging from weather changes and being mishandled
  • Your child will be proud to show off their new instrument to friends and family
Best Electric
Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH
Squier by Fender Mini Jazzmaster HH
  • It has a comfortable c-shaped neck that is perfect for smaller hands
  • Offset body shape is comfortable and stylish
  • It has a "jangly" tone that is perfect for modern pop and indie songs
  • Your kid will feel like a rockstar when they play this guitar

There are also 3/4-sized acoustic guitars that can be a great option for kids who are a little older. I’ve created another resource for you to check out here.

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AUTHOR
Brad Johnson
Brad is the creator of Song Production Pros. He writes songs and surfs on the weekends when he's not too busy with family or this website. He writes music under the moniker FJ Isles, and can be heard on all streaming services.

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