Music Industry How To is supported by readers. When you buy via a link on our site, we’ll possibly earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.
Are you someone without guitar experience looking to buy a guitar for a 10 year old? If so, you’re not alone, as this is usually a time when parents indulge a child’s desire to play guitar.
Despite this, many are often confused by the process because they aren’t sure exactly what to look for. The following guitars, as well as the information that follows, can be used to aid you in your research.
Fender Redondo Mini – Best Overall
As you might have guessed by its name, the Redondo Mini is effectively a miniature guitar. Its body dimensions have been pared down but still offer full-size capabilities.
The body itself features a Mahogany build with a Spruce top. This, combined with the size and the scalloped X-bracing, produce a bright, sweet, and balanced tone.
Nato is used for the neck, which has a C-shape contour and a shortened scale length of 22.75”. The fretboard is made of Walnut, featuring 18 frets with white dot inlays.
Other hardware on the Redondo Mini include:
- NuBone nut
- NuBone saddle
- Vintage-style tuners
This guitar also has a classic aesthetic, featuring the Fender Stratocaster headstock shape. It also comes in the color options of:
It should also be mentioned that a gig bag does come included with the purchase of this guitar.
What’s So Great About The Fender Redondo Mini?
If you were a child forced to play acoustic rather than electric, the Redondo Mini would make that okay. At least, that’s what any experienced guitarist with that past would tell you about this guitar.
Sure, it is an acoustic guitar by all accounts. It’s the headstock that really gives this guitar a killer vibe.
No 10 year old will feel stupid playing a guitar that looks like this. Furthermore, it dons the Fender name, which is probably something your child looks up to.
It’s little details like these that can really catch a child’s interest, and hook them for good. And that’s certainly not to say that this guitar’s value is based solely upon its looks.
This will provide a playing experience very congruent with any Fender guitar they may play at an older age. The biggest difference here is in its size, particularly with the scale length.
With such a seriously short scale length, 10 year olds with small fingers will have no problems. Excessive finger stretching shouldn’t be a thing to be found here.
It’s also nice that Fender has added a couple of options for color finishes. This can help the child’s connection to the guitar through its personalization.
Additionally, the gig bag is an incredibly valuable bonus and will save you money at the same time.
Because of everything, and its reasonable price, it is one of the best guitars for a 10 year old overall.
Epiphone Power Players Les Paul – Best Premium
This is a guitar bundle put together by Epiphone specifically for young players. The Power Players Les Paul is a scaled-down version, featuring a Mahogany body.
Mahogany is also used for the neck, which features the iconic Epiphone/Gibson SlimTaper D-shape contour. The scale length has also been shortened to measure 22.73”.
Indian Laurel is used for the fretboard, which features a 12” radius, and Pearloid trapezoid inlays amongst its 22 frets. Other hardware to be found here include:
- Plastic nut
- Lightning Bar bridge/tailpiece
- Die-cast tuners
As this is an electric guitar, this is equipped with a pair of humbuckers. These include:
- Epiphone 650R (neck position)
- Epiphone 700T (bridge position)
A pair of volume and tone knobs, as well as a 3-way switch, provide excellent tone controls.
Aesthetically, this oozes everything that makes the Les Paul so appealing to the eye. It comes in the color options of:
- Lava red
- Ice blue
Also included are a gig bag, guitar strap, cable, and picks.
What’s So Great About The Epiphone Power Players Les Paul?
Epiphone making budget guitars for younger children is nothing new. What is new is the fact that this is essentially a mini guitar that cuts no corners with any compromises.
This guitar really is built to be the perfect beginner’s guitar. The color choices even resemble the first generation of Pokemon games on the Gameboy Color.
It's sort of an allusion to the fact that many kids began a long journey around the age of 10. Only, instead of playing Pokemon, it's the journey of playing the guitar.
Despite having an affordable price, it still features a Mahogany body with some excellent pickups. All tone controls have been included, which have often been left off of many budget Epiphones in the past.
Again, this has a shortened scale length that will prove to be highly playable for just about anyone. It even has 22 frets like any electric guitar of standard size.
Plus, the fact that it comes with a gig bag and other essentials makes this worth taking a look at. Convenience usually comes at its own cost, but here, everything seems to be as top-notch as possible while remaining affordable.
Ibanez PN1 Mahogany – Best Budget
This guitar is a parlor guitar, which can be noted by taking a look at its body. You’ll notice that it has a sort of elongated body, despite being a smaller guitar overall.
The PN1 features a Nyatoh body construction with a Spruce top and comes in the attractive color options of:
Nyatoh is also used for the neck, which has a scale length of 24.41”. This neck is a sort of thicker C-shape, though it fits comfortably in the hand.
The fretboard is crafted from Nandu, featuring a 9.8” radius and 18 frets. White dot inlays provide a visual fretboard guide in traditional styling.
Other hardware featured on the PN1 include:
- Plastic nut
- Plastic saddle
- Nandu bridge
- Open-gear tuners
Aesthetically, the PN1 has been given appointments that make the guitar seem as if it came from a higher class. And really, that could be the one statement used to describe this entire guitar.
An attractive herringbone binding lines the edges of the guitar’s top, while a beautiful rosette decorates the soundhole.
What’s So Great About The Ibanez PN1 Mahogany?
Compared to other guitars in its price range, the Ibanez PN1 Mahogany really stands on its own. This really is a guitar that will make you do a double-take after hearing how good it sounds.
You might expect a guitar like this to have a boxy tone, but the reality is far from that. The PN1 Mahogany produces a warm and rich tone that is quite surprising for its size.
Plus, it’s incredibly comfortable, thanks to its parlor-sized dimensions. Yet, the standard scale length makes it play like a standard guitar.
If you’re looking for an incredible value, the PN1 Mahogany is very hard to beat. It actually outperforms a few guitars that are priced well beyond what this guitar’s price fetches.
The PN1 is unique because it’s small enough for a 10 year old, but not too small. Any adult will have no issue playing this guitar due to its size.
With that consideration, you essentially have a guitar providing playability and longevity at an affordable price. The exquisite tone and aesthetic features are noteworthy and surprising extra bonuses for a guitar at this price point.
What To Look For When Buying A Guitar For A 10 Year Old
Being armed with knowledge can help you have the greatest outcome in any purchasing decision. After all, making informed decisions beats out decisions that are hastily made and ill-informed any day of the week.
This same philosophy can be applied to the process of finding the right guitar for a 10 year old. The following information can be used to inform every guitar purchase you make, no matter the age of the player.
For younger players, especially those without experience, lower-priced instruments are the most appropriate. Children are often prone to being quite fickle in their interests, and not many actually stick with the guitar.
Going this route saves your wallet, and allows a 10 year old to begin learning the guitar. Don’t be afraid to check the used market as a higher-quality guitar can be found in your ideal price range.
Refrain from splurging on an expensive guitar. These are generally reserved for professionals or those who can authentically justify the expense.
Also, consider whether a guitar features any bundled extras. These can often save some money by providing essential necessities at one combined cost.
What’s unfortunate is that many children lose interest in the guitar because of its physical difficulty. Would you willingly put yourself through something uncomfortable if you had the choice?
Many kids aren’t often given a choice, as guitars of the lower budget ranges generally have lower playability. However, keep a keen eye, and you’ll find guitars that outperform those priced far above them.
Pay attention to how difficult it might be to press the strings into the frets. Also, consider whether elements of the craftsmanship are up to snuff, including the ends of frets and the finish.
Let them hold the guitar in their own hands. This is really the only surefire way to know whether they find the guitar to be comfortable.
If you’re ever in doubt, ask somebody who has some basic skill with the instrument. They can likely give you a valid opinion on a guitar’s playability.
Find a guitar that is proportional to the 10 year old’s stature. Guitar manufacturers produce guitars in both standard sizes and fractional sizes, including:
- 1/4 size
- 1/2 size
- 3/4 size
- 7/8 size
These will often have a shortened scale length, minimizing the finger stretch distances between frets.
Do consider the child’s size in relation to how much growth you could foresee them having. Opt to buy for longevity, while accommodating the present as much as possible.
Children tend to be fairly particular in their preferences, especially when it comes to the guitar. Because of this, you’ll want to combine the aforementioned points with your observations of the 10 year old’s preferences.
Do they wish to play acoustic or electric guitar? What body style attracts their attention the most?
If an answer isn’t exactly forthcoming, pay attention to the guitarists that they seem to admire. Chances are likely that they might also have an admiration for their heroes’ guitars.
Knowing this can help, especially if the 10 year old doesn’t really know what they want.
The key to buying a guitar at this age is to inspire them to play for life. If they don’t connect with their guitar, it won’t be as easy for them to stick with their studies.
Best Brands For Guitars For 10 Year Olds
Like most things, there are certain notable brands that you should keep an eye out for. Their smaller-sized guitars can serve as a worthwhile measuring stick for a proper guitar for 10 year olds.
Ibanez is a Japanese company known for its innovative craftsmanship and exquisite playability at every price. Many virtuosos have openly endorsed Ibanez as their guitars of choice.
Epiphone is a company that produces budget versions of famous Gibson guitar models. Quite often, the builds follow the same specs as Gibson, creating affordable and highly playable guitars.
Top Guitars For 10 Year Olds, Final Thoughts
It’s usually best if you take your time in the process of buying a guitar. This can be quite the difficulty if the 10 year old endlessly goes on and on about wanting a guitar.
That’s not to say that you’re annoyed, but rather, that you’d like to find the best guitar possible. Watching them play as adults will tell you that your patience and openness paid off infinitely.