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Buying a guitar for a 7 year old can be a little tricky, especially if you don’t play guitar yourself. It makes it hard to know exactly what to be looking for when buying a guitar for this reason.
What guitars are a worthwhile purchase for a 7 year old without breaking the bank? The following guitars serve as excellent examples of guitars that would be appropriate for any 7 year old.
Cordoba Protege C1M 1/2 Size – Best Overall
This guitar is modeled after traditional Spanish classical design. Even though it’s small, nothing has been left out and little has been compensated for in its build.
The Protege C1M 1/2 Size features a Mahogany body with a Spruce top. Traditional fan bracing has been used in its body’s architecture to help provide the warm tones associated with this style.
A 22.8” scale length Mahogany neck is featured, which is definitely one of the biggest stars of the show here. It has a standard C-shape contour which will provide a comfortable and familiar playing experience.
The fretboard is crafted from Pau Ferro (which is similar to Rosewood) and has 19 frets. It does have a nut width of 1.88”, which is fairly standard for Spanish classical guitars.
Other hardware includes:
- Composite nut
- Composite saddle
- Gold tuners with Pearl buttons
If you’re wondering about the overall size of the guitar, it should be appropriate for any young child. The entire length measures 35.25” from the top of the headstock to the bottom of the body.
Short arms will also be accommodated here, as the body’s depth measures a slim 3.5”.
One thing to note is that the Protege C1M 1/2 Size is equipped with nylon strings, rather than steel.
Aesthetically, this guitar retains the look of what you would expect a Spanish classical guitar to look like. The headstock utilizes the traditional slotted design.
The Spruce top has a bright color that is tastefully contrasted with the guitar’s side and neck colors. A decorative rosette seems to add the classic character to which this guitar projects.
What’s So Great About The Cordoba Protege C1M 1/2 size?
You shouldn’t automatically write this guitar off based solely on the fact that it’s modeled after a Spanish classical design. A child at the age of 7 could really benefit from the guitar being equipped with nylon strings.
Nylon, in general, is much more pliable than steel. Because of this, less pressure is required to push the strings into the frets.
Pressure requirements are often one of the biggest drawbacks to steel-stringed acoustic guitars. Budget instruments don’t often have the greatest quality, to begin with, and this is amplified exponentially with steel strings.
However, quality is something you’re not going to have to worry about here. Cordoba seems to have put together the most reasonable guitar possible that would be appropriate for children.
The best thing about the Protege C1M 1/2 Size is the fact that it has a shorter scale length. This will dramatically decrease the space between the frets, which is excellent for short fingers and smaller hands.
It does have a nut width that could be considered to be somewhat wide by most standards. This could mean that the width of the neck (from edge to edge across the fretboard) may be too large.
Those hands and fingers will inevitably get larger, and this could accommodate the child as they grow up. This aspect helps to stave off having to buy a new guitar so soon.
After all, this is half of the size of a regular guitar. Despite its usability in the younger years, it will become impractical in a few years.
Perhaps the only drawback to be found with this Cordoba guitar is that it doesn’t have any fretboard inlays. Guitars can be confusing to look at for anyone and fret inlays help immensely with fret identification.
Yamaha APXT2 – Best Premium
The APXT2 is a 3/4 size acoustic guitar featuring a body crafted from various tonewoods that are available. While this does cause a variance between guitars, it does help to keep the cost down.
Regardless of its body material, one thing that is consistent is the body’s Spruce top. This gives the APXT2 a fairly bright, but balanced, tone.
Like the majority of the guitar’s body, the APXT2’s neck is also crafted from locally sourced tonewoods. It has a scale length of 22.81 with a standard C-shape contour.
Rosewood is used for the fretboard, which has 21 frets. This is essentially the same number of frets found on many electric guitars.
Other hardware to be found on the APXT2 includes:
- Urea nut
- Urea saddle
- Covered tuners
Perhaps the best thing about this guitar is the fact that it’s equipped with a pickup for acoustic-electric performances. The onboard preamp features a built-in tuner, as well as controls for volume and tone.
Another massive plus with this guitar is that it comes included with a gig bag.
Aesthetically, the APXT2 is quite exquisite for its price point. You can choose to get the guitar in the colors of:
- Dark red burst
While this might be larger than a 1/2 size guitar, it’s still quite suitable for a 7 year old. Its overall length measures 34.125”, with a body depth of 3”.
The nut width measures 1.6875, which is pretty a standard measurement across the board. Despite this, it might still be a little large for those with extremely short fingers.
What’s So Great About The Yamaha APXT2?
The Yamaha APXT2 is one of the best values out of nearly any guitar to be found on the market. This is one of the most recommended guitars for just about anyone, including budget-savvy professionals.
Sure, you might think that the fact that the guitar is built from mystery materials is a bad thing. For some, that definitely could be a viable drawback, especially if looking for a guitar built with certain woods.
However, the fact that Yamaha uses whatever is locally available at the time shows excellent company values. The company saves money with this method, which significantly lowers the cost of this guitar.
Plus, the environmental factors that tend to be associated with building a guitar are at least somewhat mitigated here. No trees are being cut down overseas and going through a long shipping journey to be made into this guitar.
The APXT2’s value extends far beyond this, however. The inclusion of a pickup and preamp system makes this a serious value for its price.
Any aspirations for performing on stage could be handled with this guitar purely because of this inclusion. This essentially means that, if your child sticks with the guitar, they could easily use this into adulthood.
Furthermore, the APXT2 does have a built-in tuner, so there is no need to have to make a separate purchase. Money is also saved by the fact that a gig bag comes included with the guitar.
This guitar also has a cutaway design, providing access to higher frets. You won’t find many guitars in this price range with this feature.
Typically, a gig bag at this price is a rare sight. Even some higher-end guitars do not come included with a gig bag or case.
Ibanez PF2MH – Best Budget
The traditional body style of a dreadnought acoustic is a favorite among many guitarists. Unfortunately, this guitar’s typical body size isn’t always the most appropriate for a child.
The PF2MH features a body crafted completely of Sapele, which gives the guitar a balanced and pleasant mid-range response. Its dreadnought design, along with its X-bracing, provides plenty of resonant projection.
This guitar features a 22.83” scale length neck crafted from Nyatoh. A standard C-shape contour with slight tapering is given to this guitar to provide comfort up and down the neck.
The fretboard is crafted from Nandu to have a 9.84” radius, supporting 20 frets outlined by white dot inlays.
Nandu is also used for the PF2MH’s bridge, to which an Ivory Plastic saddle is attached. The headstock features an Ivory Plastic nut with Chrome tuners.
It should be noted that this guitar is quite pleasing to the eye. The darker natural tone of the guitar’s color is amplified by Ibanez’s open pore finish.
This gives the guitar a classic, vintage look, that feels like a friend you’ve known for a long time. Black binding, a traditional rosette, and a winged black pickguard also help complete the guitar’s dreadnought style.
What’s So Great About The Ibanez PF2MH?
On the surface, it could seem like the PF2MH is a little basic compared to other guitars. However, the Ibanez PF2MH is exactly the kind of guitar you’re looking for if you want to save some money.
If you aren’t sure how invested your 7 year old is with playing the guitar, something like this makes sense. It’s extremely affordable for any budget but provides the bare essentials of a decent guitar.
At this price range, the market is flooded with options, and many of them are of poor quality. The PF2MH could be considered as a standard benchmark of worthwhile quality at a lower budget.
Again, it might seem fairly simple in build, but you aren’t making this purchase for special features. Rather, you need something to foster your 7 year old’s interest in playing the guitar.
Something like this will provide what they need to get started learning the guitar. Plus, it comes at a size much smaller than you would find with a traditional dreadnought.
However, the benefits of both worlds are shared here, as this can get those classic, booming dreadnought tones.
The PF2MH certainly isn’t an uninspiring guitar to look at, either. This aspect means that your 7 year old might become more connected to the guitar on an emotional level.
Though it’s on the lower spectrum of the budget range, this is a pretty solid guitar for the price.
What To Look For When Buying A Guitar For A 7 Year Old
You can be limited in knowing what to look for in a child’s guitar if you’ve never played guitar yourself. There isn’t any need to worry about whether you’ll be able to tell a good guitar from a bad one.
Like any serious purchase, research is needed on your part to find the best guitar for your 7 year old. Knowing the proper information ahead of time can help steer you in your purchasing decision.
Keep the following points in mind, and your research will be much less time-consuming. You’ll be able to adapt this information for other guitar purchases, no matter the age of the player.
If you’re buying specifically for a 7 year old, you’ll want to pay attention to the guitar’s size. Many manufacturers produce guitars in fractional sizes, including:
- 1/4 size
- 1/2 size
- 3/4 size
Most of these guitars will feature the same playability found with guitars of standard length. The biggest difference tends to be in the measurement of the scale length.
This relates to the vibrating string distance between the guitar’s bridge and nut. Standard sizes are generally around 25”, with smaller measurements reducing the spaces between frets.
A 7 year old with smaller hands will have an easier time playing something with a shorter scale.
Along with this, the guitar’s body will also be noticeably smaller than standard-sized guitars. You’ll want to pay attention to the following measurements of the guitar:
- Overall length
- Body width
- Body depth
Again, as you might expect, smaller bodies are much more comfortable for a 7 year old with a smaller physique. Larger guitars can be awkward for a child, particularly because of having to use the arms in an unnatural way.
While it’s tempting to spoil a 7 year old with the guitar of their dreams, you should respect your budget. If you have no budget, you will want to act as if you’re on a low budget with this purchase.
Many children become interested in the guitar at a young age, but few stick with it. You do not want to make an expensive mistake in purchasing something that doesn’t get played with.
Sure, you could always sell the guitar in that case, but you likely won’t make back what you spent. Used guitar prices (even if barely used) often cost a fair deal less than new guitars.
However, you could use that to your advantage if you’re in the buyer’s shoes. Something that might have seemed outside the budget could, suddenly, become a logical and justifiable purchase.
As a guideline, you’ll want to be shopping in the lower price ranges, with $200 being the most. There are many quality guitars in this range (as you’ve seen), so do be patient when doing your research.
The only exception to this is if the child has played for a few years and expresses signs of dedication.
Also, consider whether or not the guitar comes bundled with any extra features. These items can save you some serious cash from not having to make a separate purchase for a simple necessity.
Some of the notable features to look out for include:
- Gig bag
- Built-in tuner
Guitars of lower cost tend to be a bit more difficult to play than guitars of better quality. The reason is that higher detail of craftsmanship requires more time and energy, which, in turn, costs money.
Generally, the best way to find out whether a guitar has high playability is to ask somebody knowledgeable. If a person can play even decently, they could tell you if something is easy to play, or not.
It’s most ideal to take the 7 year old to the guitar shop to try the guitars out for themselves. They can then choose the one that feels and sounds the best to them.
However, if neither you nor they have guitar skills, you might not make the best purchase decision possible.
The primary thing to watch for is the distance between the resting strings and the tops of the frets. Longer distances will mean that more force exertion is required to push the strings into the frets.
This is known as playing action, and it is one of the biggest causes of people quitting the guitar. More often than not, a luthier or guitar tech can easily adjust the guitar to an optimum setup.
Along with this, relate back to the scale length measurement and take note of the finger spacing between frets. Long stretches for basic chords will make for a seriously uninspiring time.
While you might initially be considering a steel string guitar, do not rule out models with nylon strings. These strings allow for a much easier playing experience, plus they are generally not as loud.
Nylon is a bit more durable than steel, as it doesn’t rust. This could help cut down on the recurring costs of having to frequently change strings.
Other Things To Consider
When buying a guitar, you need to realistically assess where the 7 year old is on their journey. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Has the child ever played the guitar before?
- Do they have an immature attitude about the idea of playing guitar, or is it something they are serious about?
- What are the guitar-based aspirations that the 7 year old has expressed?
Answering these questions will give you the best guideline for finding and buying the right guitar.
Best Brands For Guitars For 7 Year Olds
It’s always wise to check out products from some of the best brands in a particular niche. The following companies have an excellent reputation for building guitars appropriate for 7 year olds.
Cordoba has been a well-established manufacturer of Spanish classical guitars. They have special models of various sizes specifically made for children and students of any age.
Yamaha is one of the largest and most respected names in the music instrument industry. This company is known for its penchant for packing value into guitars of every budget range.
Top Guitars For 7 Year Olds, Final Thoughts
There’s nothing better than playing a role in the reason a child finds a lifelong passion. With the right guitar, a child’s interest could quickly become their biggest interest in life.
Don’t be discouraged by the seemingly limitless amounts of guitars available on the market. The guitars in this article can make for the perfect guitar for a 7 year old.