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Does the 9 year old in your life show an inclination for wanting to play the guitar? Few things could cause a bigger smile than giving them a guitar to play.
Not sure what you should be looking for when it comes to buying a guitar for a 9 year old? You’ve come to the right place, as the following guitars make for great options.
These guitars will be followed by the information you can use to help your research process.
Squier Bullet Mustang HH – Best Overall
Many children are drawn to the electric guitar, primarily because of its widespread use in popular music. One of the best for 9 year old is the Squier Bullet Mustang HH (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).
This guitar has an iconic offset body style that has been featured prominently throughout alternative music genres. Its body is crafted from Poplar and comes in a variety of color options, including:
- Sonic grey
- Imperial blue
The Bullet Mustang HH’s Maple neck has a C-shape contour, and a scale length of 24”. Indian Laurel is used for the fretboard, which features a 12” radius and 22 frets outlined by white dot inlays.
Other hardware to be found on the Bullet Mustang HH include:
- PPS nut
- Hardtail bridge with individual string saddles
- Die-cast tuners
For pickups, the Bullet Mustang HH is stocked with a pair of Standard Humbuckers designed by Squier. A 3-way pickup position switch and a knob for tone and volume adjustments are provided on the guitar.
Tonally, this guitar will produce a bit warmer of a tone, providing ample crunch when needed. It should be suitable for almost any style of music the 9 year old may have an interest in.
What’s So Great About Squier Bullet Mustang HH?
The Mustang is one of the most iconic offset guitar styles in the Fender model lineup. Since the 1960s, the Mustang has been providing its unique tone (and looks) to the world of music.
Chances are, if your 9 year old has shown an interest in Nirvana, they likely know about the Mustang. This guitar would allow them to be one step closer to being like their hero, Kurt Cobain.
The Bullet Mustang HH is quite a bit smaller in size compared to its vintage brethren. This smaller sizing should feel more proportionate to any stature a 9 year old may possess.
Even the scale length is pared down a bit to 24”. However, this certainly isn’t as small as some other guitars on the market.
What that means is that those with smaller hands would have to grow into using the guitar. For others, it might be more than suitable.
Whatever the size of the 9 year old’s hand, the Bullet Mustang HH should provide quite a bit of longevity. The guitar could easily be used for the rest of their life, though upgrades would be required for a professional.
They are compact, but not so small that only children are able to play the instrument. Many adults have been known to find having this guitar hanging around to be quite a lot of fun.
When taking the price of this guitar into account, this does present itself as quite a great value. It easily plays almost just as well as a guitar priced nearly twice as much.
You may need to take it to the shop to get it set up to optimum conditions. However, for the value, this is one of the best electric guitars for a 9 year old.
Fender CD-60S – Best Premium
The CD-60S features that iconic dreadnought shape, featuring a Mahogany body with a Solid Spruce top. You’ll find the tone from this acoustic to be quite large, yet pleasantly balanced.
Because dreadnoughts have a wide lower bout, those with smaller arms might find this guitar awkward. Nevertheless, the CD-60S provides a quality playing experience at an affordable price.
The neck is made of Mahogany to have a 25.3” scale length and Fender’s modified C-shape contour. This contour design has been adjusted to provide more comfort and easier access in all areas of the neck.
The CD-60S’s Walnut fretboard has a 12” radius, featuring 20 frets outlined by traditional dot inlays.
Other hardware on the CD-60S include:
- Walnut bridge
- Plastic nut
- Plastic saddle
Aesthetically, the CD-60S has all of the visual magic usually present with the traditional dreadnought design. It comes in natural and black color options, each of which is complemented with binding, a rosette, and a pickguard.
What’s So Great About The Fender CD-60S?
When compared to the rest of the market, the CD-60S has components that can be found on higher-priced guitars. In a sense, it’s what makes this guitar perform just as well as many guitars in the lower-intermediate budget range.
Despite the CD-60S’ higher price within the proper budget range for a 9 year old, it’s still quite affordable. Because of this, the playability and overall quality of the CD-60S is an incredible value for the price.
Small details have been given to this guitar, particularly with the fact the fret edges have been rolled. This removes the likelihood of sharp edges and allows the fretting hand to glide much easier.
It would have been nice to see the inclusion of a gig bag with the CD-60S. However, that’s about the only drawback to be found with this guitar.
This is essentially a regular guitar of standard size. You’ll want to make sure it isn’t too awkward for your 9 year old to play.
Overall, the CD-60S is a prime candidate for a guitar that could easily become a lifelong companion. Plus, it bears the Fender name, which your 9 year old would likely be quite excited about.
Epiphone DR-100 – Best Budget
This guitar is packed with a large, classic tone, complete with distinctive aesthetic highlights. Its body features the sides and back made of Mahogany with a Spruce top.
Mahogany is also used for crafting the DR-100’s neck, which has a 25.5” scale length. Epiphone’s iconic SlimTaper neck contour is featured here, which provides both comfort and speed to the playing experience.
The fretboard is made of Rosewood and has 20 frets outlined by Pearloid dot inlays. Other features to be found on the DR-100 include:
- Rosewood bridge
- Plastic nut
- Plastic saddle
- Die-cast tuners
Aside from its tone and comfortable playing experience, the DR-100 is truly a sight to behold. The guitar’s top comes in a number of attractive color options, including:
- Vintage sunburst
Each color is amplified by decorative elements such as binding, a 3-ring rosette, and a large pickguard with Epiphone insignia.
What’s So Great About The Epiphone DR-100?
For a budget instrument, the DR-100 provides great value at an affordable price. This is a straightforward dreadnought acoustic that will eventually become a trusted and loyal companion.
Decades of guitarists have had the DR-100 as their very first guitar. It wouldn’t be that uncommon to find them still playing the guitar years after they initially received it.
Part of the reason for this lies in the fact that the DR-100 is essentially a guitar of standard size. No design dimensions have been modified to accompany the smaller stature a child typically has.
Because of that, you will need to see whether or not the guitar is proportionate to your child’s body size. Likewise, make sure that their fingers aren’t having to stretch too much to play basic chords.
However, a little growing room isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the guitar is suitable well into adulthood. If your 9 year old plays this into adulthood, you would have truly gotten the most bang for your buck.
Again, it must be stated that the options for personalization make the DR-100 a more attractive offering. Each color oozes classic vintage elements while remaining incredibly easy on the eyes.
What To Look For When Buying A Guitar For A 9 Year Old
Buying a guitar for a 9 year old can be a little tricky if you aren’t knowledgable about the instrument. How does one know whether a certain guitar is worth the money?
Keep the following points in mind, and you’ll find the best guitar for the 9 year old in your life. Once you know these basics, you can modify and adapt it for other guitar purchases down the road.
Before you buy a guitar, you should know whether your 9 year old wishes for an acoustic or an electric. If you get this wrong, chances are likely that they might not stick with the instrument over the long term.
Connecting with the instrument is crucial to whether or not their interests remain fostered. Take note of their musical inspirations and use it to guide you to different guitar models.
Many children like to emulate their heroes, often wishing for a guitar like the ones they use. Guitars generally share similar shapes, so a similar guitar could easily be found for your 9 year old.
It’s important to note that learning on an acoustic isn’t a necessity before playing the electric guitar. Instead, focus on catering to your child’s tastes so you can keep them inspired and motivated to learn the guitar.
Depending on the size of the 9 year old, it might be appropriate to buy a smaller guitar. Manufacturers produce guitars in a variety of sizes, including:
- 1/4 size
- 1/2 size
- 3/4 size
- 7/8 size
These will typically feature smaller body sizes, with a smaller overall length. More often than not, fractionally-sized guitars will have a shortened scale length measurement, as well.
Scale length refers to the distance of string between the nut and bridge. Shorter lengths (below an average of 25”) decrease the distance between the frets.
Smaller hands find it easier to play with guitars that have shorter scale lengths as excessive finger stretches are minimized.
When buying for a 9 year old, you should resist the urge to splurge. Instead, aim toward the guitars priced in the lower price ranges, especially for a first guitar.
This allows the child to learn the guitar and satisfy their desire, while also saving you some cash. If they decide not to stick with the instrument, you haven't lost a massive sunk investment.
Be sure to look around on the used market as guitars are priced lower than they cost in new condition. This allows you to save money, but also provides an opportunity to find a quality guitar at a lower price.
How easily a guitar can be played can simplify the process of learning the guitar. Of course, the opposite is true, as a guitar with terrible playability poses itself as a challenge on its own.
Take great care to allow your 9 year old to try out a guitar for themselves. Make note of which seems to feel the most comfortable in their hands.
Also, pay attention to the force necessary to push the strings into the frets. Higher playing action is usually more difficult to play with.
Best Brands For Guitars For 9 Year Olds
When it comes to buying a guitar for 9 year olds, the following brands have been trusted for decades. It can help to look at their model line when you need some ideas for your research.
Squier is a company owned by Fender that produces Fender designs at a much lower cost. Beginners and professionals alike have found great success with Squier guitars.
Epiphone is one of the oldest brands around and is currently owned by Gibson. The company typically produces Gibson designs at a more affordable cost.
Top Guitars For 9 Year Olds, Final Thoughts
A guitar could be a gift that any 9 year old will remember for the rest of their life. Finding the right guitar is the quickest way to facilitate the farthest reaches of their musical imagination.
If you should ever find yourself in doubt, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Those with experience can likely tell you whether or not a certain guitar is easy to play.