5 Best 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitars 2023
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Whether you’re shopping for a child, or just prefer smaller guitars, 3/4 size guitars can be a great fit. These guitars have a shortened neck scale that allows for large finger distances to be fretted easier.
If you’re looking for a 3/4 size acoustic guitar for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. The following is a list of some of the best 3/4 size acoustic guitars you can currently find.
Ibanez PF2MHOPN – Best Overall
Looking for a beautiful guitar that sounds great and is easy on the pockets? The Ibanez PF2MHOPN (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) might be a great fit for you.
This guitar has a non-cutaway miniature dreadnought body design. As such, it produces some excellently large and warm tones, thanks to its design and the materials used.
The body of the PF2MHOPN is made completely of Sapele. X-Bracing architecture is used in the construction of the body itself, acting as a conduit for moving air.
This Ibanez model features an open pore natural finish. It is suggested that this enhances the tone to have a more natural and organic acoustic sound.
Nyatoh is used in the PF2MHOPN’s neck construction, which has a shortened scale length of 22.83”. Nandu is featured for the fretboard, which has a radius of 9.84” and 20 frets outlined with dot inlays.
If you’re wondering what Nyatoh is, it is a wood that is similar to Mahogany. It’s fairly soft in pliability and has a rich red-colored grain.
Nandu is fairly similar to Rosewood. It provides a soft and punchy platform that is ideal for fretboards.
To match the fretboard, the bridge is also made from Nandu.
Elsewhere on this guitar are chrome-covered tuning machines and a nut and saddle made of ivory plastic.
Aesthetically, this guitar has an attractive milk chocolate color, which is largely thanks to the open pore finish.
These natural colors are accentuated with an Abalone rosette and a black pickguard around the soundhole.
A thin 2-line white binding outlines the edges of the guitar’s top. This really gives the guitar a sharp and put-together look.
There are no electronics built into this guitar, rather, it comes as is. However, a pickup can easily be inserted into the soundhole with an external pickup.
What’s So Great About The Ibanez PF2MHOPN?
You might be wondering why the Ibanez PF2MHOPN ranks at the top of the best 3/4 size acoustics. There are multiple reasons why this guitar is an excellent guitar for consideration.
The first reason for this ranking is that it’s an excellent candidate for an everyday player. Whether you are an astute student, or just enjoy playing around a campfire, your needs will be met.
Players of all ages will have no issues with the neck on this guitar. Its shortened scale allows for even the smallest of hands to fret complex fingerings with ease.
Even though there are no pickup electronics equipped with this guitar, it’s still worth looking into. Those with aspirations to play live can always find alternative ways to amplify the guitar.
Another reason for this ranking is the fact that it is fairly inexpensive and suitable for even the smallest budgets. This essentially packs in quite a lot of value for its low cost.
In fact, many owners of this guitar have also said the same thing about its provided value. They love the playability and the tone that this guitar produces.
Its low cost also makes it a worthy contender for a traveling guitar. You won’t need to worry about the rigors of the road taking its toll too much here.
For the most part, the PF2MHOPN is a pretty standard traditional acoustic guitar. It will perform exactly the way it has been designed to.
On the whole, you’ll get a playable and dependable guitar suitable for nearly any application at a low cost. You really can’t beat that combination when looking for a guitar.
This guitar makes a great mainstay acoustic to have around the house.
Item Weight: 4.45 pounds
Package Dimensions: 38 x 17 x 5.5 inches
Yamaha APXT2 – Best Premium
If you’re looking for a 3/4 size acoustic built for performances, be sure to check out the Yamaha APXT2 (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater). This guitar is primed and ready to go for the stage.
This Yamaha APXT2 is essentially a scaled-down version of Yamaha’s APX500 guitar. The APX500 is one of Yamaha’s best-selling guitars, and this scaled-down version makes a great entry for any guitarist.
You’ll find that the APXT2’s body consists of a Spruce top, with Meranti used for the back and sides. Tonally, this produces a pretty balanced EQ range of acoustic tones that should fit any style of music.
This body has a fairly unique design compared to other acoustic guitars. It has a thin width from front to back.
However, the bottom of the guitar’s top is fairly wide, while remaining slim at the shoulders. The result is a guitar that is extremely comfortable to play in any position.
Meranti is also used in the construction of the APXT2’s neck. This neck has a scale length of 22.81”.
For the fretboard, this guitar uses Rosewood, and has a radius of 15.75”. There are 21 frets outlined by dot inlays to be found on this fretboard.
You’ll find that every fret on this guitar is easily accessible thanks to the body’s cutaway design.
Rosewood is also used for the guitar’s bridge, to which a plastic saddle is affixed. Plastic is also used for the nut.
Performers will rejoice with the ART pickup and System 68 preamp system built into the guitar. You’ll be able to control your volume and tone and even tune your guitar directly from the preamp.
The Yamaha APXT2 also comes included with a gig bag. This makes the guitar ready for travel and stage performances right out of the box.
What’s So Great About The Yamaha APXT2?
The APXT2 is an excellent guitar that shouldn’t be passed up by anyone shopping for a 3/4 size guitar. To be frank, there is more here than you’ll likely find on any guitar priced within the same price range.
This guitar’s neck is fairly small and suitable for pre-teens and adults alike. There are not too many people who will have a difficult time playing this guitar.
Which brings us to the next point: comfort. The APXT2 is such a unique guitar in the shape that it has.
However, this unique design really lends itself to an ergonomic playing experience. You won’t have any sort of body fatigue associated with having this guitar up against you.
At the end of the day, every guitarist desires a companion they can play with for hours on end. This guitar meets that criteria and will be extremely reliable.
Of course, this guitar is versatile in other areas as well. Its small size allows it to be easily traveled with.
You’ll easily be able to play gigs with the APXT2 if you wanted to. Its pickup and preamp produce a precise representation of the guitar’s natural acoustics.
Any regular performer knows that real estate during transportation is a valuable thing. The APXT2 can definitely save you some space in your vehicle when transporting other gear for a gig.
Plus, you’ll get a nice gig bag with the APXT2, which isn’t something you’ll find with many other guitars. This saves you from having to make another purchase for something you’ll need.
Overall, the APXT2 provides an extreme amount of value at a low cost. There are not many guitars in this range offering what this guitar has.
Item Weight: 5.29 pounds
Package Dimensions: 36.22 x 16.46 x 4.53 inches
Yamaha CGS103A – Best Budget
On a tight budget, but still looking for a viable student classical guitar? The Yamaha CGS103A (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) is the answer to all of your desiring needs.
This 3/4 size classical guitar is a true classical guitar on every level. However, it’s been scaled down to be suitable for the young child who isn’t quite ready for a full-size instrument.
The CGS103A’s body has a Spruce top, with the back and sides all made of Nato. This gives the CCGS103A an excellent resonant profile that any classical guitarist can appreciate.
A child will find this guitar to be perfect for the size of their body. For instance, the guitar’s body depth measures a mere 4”.
This guitar also features a Nato neck, which has a shortened scale length of 23”. Rosewood is used for this guitar’s fretboard, which has 18 frets and is suitable for any learning guitarist.
You might be wondering what the spacing is between the strings on this guitar. The nut width measures 1.889”, which should provide ample spacing for even the most complex techniques.
To match the Rosewood fretboard, the bridge also is made out of Rosewood. You will find a plastic saddle affixed to this bridge.
As this guitar is a classical guitar, the strings are made of nylon. When coming from the factory, this guitar comes equipped with Savarez D’angelico Light Tension strings.
Aesthetically, the CGS103A has a nice rustic natural color. A decorative rosette is featured around the soundhole, which really ties the guitar’s look together.
What's So Great About The Yamaha CGS103A?
For a student, this guitar makes the perfect solution for a budget-priced learning instrument. There are not too many extra frills to be found on this guitar.
Rather, Yamaha has spent their focused detail on providing the most value for a budget guitar. And really, that is exactly what you will find with the CGS103A.
There are no pickups to be found on this guitar. However, if the student has aspirations for performance, a pickup can be easily installed.
The guitar’s shortened scale makes this a viable instrument for someone who isn’t quite ready for a full-size guitar.
Owners of this guitar have found it to provide more than they had initially expected. The tone and playability are markedly the best aspects of the guitar itself.
Plus, this guitar is extremely affordable for nearly any budget, which makes this a worthy contender.
If you’re a student (or shopping for one), be sure to add this guitar to your list. You’ll find that it likely meets all of your needs for a transitionary guitar.
Even after the student has progressed to a full-size guitar, this will still be a viable companion for the home. It’s always a plus to be able to have a guitar waiting for your next flash of inspiration.
Item Weight: 4.5 pounds
Package Dimensions: 36.93 x 16.57 x 4.6 inches
Cordoba Protege C1M
Excellent classical guitars are often some of the most difficult instruments to find. This is especially true when shopping around in the lower budget range.
However, the Cordoba Protege C1M (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) makes a very worthwhile investment for the learning student. This guitar certainly won’t feel, play, or sound like a cheap guitar by any means.
The C1M features a very traditional classical guitar body style. Its body features a Spruce top, with Mahogany used to construct the back and sides.
Traditional fan bracing architecture is used in the C1M’s body construction. This bracing can be found in even high-quality guitars and allows the guitar’s sound to project.
The result of this construction is a tone that is very full-sounding with rich overtones. Classical pieces will really sing when being played on this instrument.
Mahogany is also used in the construction of this guitar’s neck. It has a shortened scale length of 24.2” and a comfortable C-shaped contour.
Rosewood is used for the C1M’s fretboard, which has 19 frets.
Classical guitars tend to have a wider spacing between the strings to accommodate for advanced techniques. This guitar has a nut width of 1.875”, which should be very suitable for any piece being learned.
To match the fretboard, this guitar’s bridge is also made of Rosewood. The nut and saddle are both made of a composite synthetic material.
As you would expect with a classical guitar, the C1M has nylon strings. When coming from the factory, it is fitted with Savarez Cristal Corum High Tension strings.
Aesthetically, this guitar allows the bright, natural blonde Spruce color to take center stage. This is accentuated by the darker color of the Mahogany sides.
Other aesthetic details have been given to this guitar, including a thin black ABS binding and a decorative rosette.
What’s So Great About The Cordoba Protege C1M?
The C1M is a true classical guitar in every respect. Cordoba is a well-known classical guitar maker and their reputation holds up with this model.
Any student is likely going to have a very easy time with this guitar. Its body is not too large, allowing even young children to feel comfortable playing with it.
The body has a depth of 3.35”, a width of 13.37” at its widest, and a length of 18”. Overall, the entire guitar’s length from top to bottom measures 37.5”.
One thing about this guitar that stands out is that it does have a shortened scale length neck. However, this neck is slightly longer than many of the others found on this list.
This slight difference will make it far easier for a child to transition to a full-size guitar. Those guitars generally have a scale length of about 24.8 to 25.5”.
Even if you’re not a young child, you will likely enjoy playing the C1M. It makes the perfect guitar for relaxing sessions on the couch.
Owners of the C1M absolutely love this guitar and how well it plays and sounds. Everybody seems to appreciate the amount of value per cost that this guitar has to offer.
Like the aforementioned Yamaha CGS103A, this is worthy of checking out if you’re looking for a classical guitar. It is slightly more money, but it is still well within the extremely affordable budget range.
Item Weight: 3 pounds
Package Dimensions: 37.5 x 13.38 x 3.25 inches
Coming in at the end of our list is the Yamaha JR1 (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater). This is a 3/4 size dreadnought that does not sacrifice on sound by any means.
The JR1 is a true dreadnought that does not have a cutaway body design. Its body features a Spruce top with the sides and back made of Meranti.
Tonally, the JR1 is actually able to produce a very full-bodied sound that projects quite well. The EQ ranges are fairly balanced for the most part.
Dreadnoughts are notorious for having a large-sized body. If you’re concerned about the size of this guitar, fear not!
The depth of the JR1’s body measures about 3.3”, which is small enough for even the smallest bodied players.
This guitar features a Nato neck, which has a shortened scale length of 21.25”. Its fretboard is made of Rosewood and features 20 frets with dot inlays.
Out of all of the guitars on this list, the JR1 has the shortest neck scale. So, definitely take a look at this guitar if this is a top priority.
To match the fretboard, the JR1’s bridge is also crafted from Rosewood. Affixed to this is a plastic saddle.
Elsewhere on the guitar can be found a plastic nut as well as open chrome tuning machines.
Aesthetically, this guitar looks as if it has always been your long-lost friend through good times and bad. It has a natural aged color which is accented with a gloss finish.
Black binding wraps around the top’s edges, which really helps to define the guitar’s overall shape. Around the soundhole can be found a thin 2-line rosette and a red tortoiseshell pickguard.
The JR1 even comes with a gig bag, so you won’t need to make a separate purchase.
What Makes The Yamaha JR1 So Great?
The Yamaha JR1 is the ideal acoustic guitar for the beginner. You can be sure that this guitar will last well into a child’s adulthood.
In fact, the JR1 is one of those guitars that is likely to earn the nickname of “old reliable”. It will serve as a learning instrument but likely played well after just because of familiarity.
Another aspect of why the JR1 is so excellent is the overall cost of the guitar itself. Yamaha really has provided a great amount of value here without sacrificing too much on playability.
While there are no pickups to be found here, an external pickup can be easily installed in the soundhole. The guitar would likely make for an excellent solution for a beginner’s transition to the stage.
The JR1 has a very classic look that any guitarist is sure to appreciate. You can bet that the natural colors of this guitar will only get better as the guitar ages.
Because this guitar is so inexpensive, it makes for a viable all-purpose guitar. Whether you’re traveling or out by the campfire, the JR1 will feel right at home.
Plus, the added gig bag really does sweeten the overall deal. All too often, guitarists have to buy a gig bag just to be able to take it on the road.
Owners of the JR1 have found the guitar to be an excellent fit for their needs. Those with small hands have especially rejoiced at the guitar’s playability, thanks to the shortened scale.
Overall, the Yamaha JR1 is a no-frills mini dreadnought that promises to get the job done. Sometimes, that’s really all you need.
Item Weight: 4.75 pounds
Package Dimensions: 35.5 x 16.25 x 4.75 inches
What To Look For When Buying A 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar?
The purchase of a guitar is always a very special occasion. It often marks a significant milestone in a guitarist’s journey.
However, one needs to be careful and meticulous in their research before laying down the cash for an instrument. Quite often, a purchase that wasn’t well-researched leaves too much room for disappointment after the fact.
To avoid buyer’s remorse, you should keep the following points in mind. These will help you to make an informed purchasing decision when the day finally comes to buy a new guitar.
Neck Scale Length
3/4 size guitars are usually always going to have a shortened neck scale length. These shortened lengths decrease the amount of space in between each fret.
The result of this is that it makes it much easier for those with smaller hands to play. After all, the guitar is full of awkward and lengthy finger stretches.
For the most part, these scale lengths will range between 20” to 24”. The shorter the scale, the shorter the space in between each fret.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the size of the guitar’s body. People generally tend to buy 3/4 size guitars for young children.
The reason for this (aside from the shortened neck scale) is that the body tends to be much smaller. This, in turn, allows for a smaller-bodied person to feel more comfortable with the guitar.
Depending on the guitarist’s size, you’ll especially want to pay attention to the guitar body’s depth. Longer arms can accommodate a thicker guitar, but generally, thin sizes will be best for kids.
Similarly, you’ll want to pay attention to the overall length of the guitar itself. These guitars generally run around 39” from top to bottom, and will sometimes be advertised as such.
Another important distinction to be made is in the actual style of the guitar’s body. Is the guitar being purchased for a classical player or an aspiring songwriter?
You will want to buy the guitar that allows the guitarist to be the kind of musician that they desire. Anything less will likely end up in resentment for the instrument itself.
Also, you’ll need to decide whether a cutaway or non-cutaway body style is preferred. Cutaways can provide easy access to the higher frets of the guitar.
However, some people prefer the look of a traditional non-cutaway guitar. These also tend to have a slightly larger sound overall.
Acoustic guitars come in many different forms. You’ll need to decide between dreadnoughts, classical guitars, and everything in between.
If you’re an aspiring performer, you’ll likely want to find a guitar equipped with a pickup. This will make it a simple process once you do get on stage.
Quite often, built-in preamps will have a tuner in addition to tonal controls. Simply plug in and you’re pretty much ready to play live.
Even if the guitar is not equipped, you can find an external pickup for this purpose. However, this will require an extra purchase than if you bought a guitar with one already equipped.
Many external pickup systems do not allow for the tonal control that the built-in preamp system provides. This is a small discrepancy but is definitely something to keep in mind.
It goes without saying that your budget is one of the biggest deciding factors in the purchase of a guitar. The amount you’re willing to spend determines which guitars you are able to have access to.
However, you should take great care in aligning your budget with your skill level. If you’re a beginner, there is no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on an acoustic guitar.
Generally, more expensive guitars tend to be more fitting for professional players or long-time, dedicated hobbyists.
Always respect your budget. With the proper research, you will always be able to find standout guitars in any price range.
Best Brands For 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitars
If you’re having issues deciding which 3/4 size acoustic is right for you, take time to research these brands. It might not always be a good thing to buy the brand name.
However, these names are built upon a time-tested reputation. You can be sure that a guitar from these companies will be worth your time and money.
Yamaha is a Japanese company that is well-known for its musical instruments. They primarily got their start making organs in the 19th century. Today, Yamaha aims to provide a large value for every budget and type of musician.
Ibanez is a Japanese company that originally started out as an importer of classical guitars. Eventually, the company expanded into creating its own instruments, with the company gaining a massive reputation. Many guitar virtuosos seek out Ibanez guitars for their precise detail and playability.
Top 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitars, Final Thoughts
3/4 size guitars can be the perfect match for nearly any guitarist. The shortened scale length is a feature that lends itself to easier playability. They also make excellent traveling companions for long trips by road, sea, or air.
If you’re in the market for one of these guitars, take some time to try them out for yourself. By playing them, you’ll feel and hear which one calls out to you.
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