If your child is to start learning guitar, one of the first things to consider is choosing an instrument so that your child can keep up with their home practice. Here are some questions to consider as you decide the best option.
Choosing the right size
Children can start on a quarter-size guitar if they start as a very young, pre-school aged child. The half-sized guitars are often suited children in the first few years of school, after which students move to a three-quarter sized guitar before finally taking on a full size guitar. The correct sizing for guitars depending on the child's hand span, to reach the strings and lap size to balance the guitar. A specialist at a music store can help you to choose the correct size for your child.
Lefty or righty?
Left handers have a couple of choices when it comes to guitars. Some learn on a left handed guitar (one that is strung back to front to ensure the heaviest bass strings are at the bottom when held to left), while others learn a right handed guitar. The act of music playing uses different parts of the brain to other skills, and as such it can sometimes be possible for people to learn an instrument with their non-dominant hand as it does playing music does not seem to rely on the parts of the brain strongly responsible for hand dominance.
To buy or hire?
The price of hiring tends to reach the purchase price of a simple student guitar within 6 months or so. As children grow out of guitars every 2-3 years, if your child is on the cusp of moving up to a larger size soon it may be prudent to initially rent your instrument. Equally if they seem like they may not continue with the instrument you may also want to invest in purchasing the instrument in the first place.
Purchasing an instrument can be cost effective option if your child intends to keep playing, and can potentially be handed down to younger siblings or sold when the child grows out of the instrument. Your child may also feel more ownership, and take more care of an instrument that belongs to them rather than a rented instrument.
If you are looking to choose a guitar for your child to start choosing music lessons it can make sense to head into a local specialist music store with your child. You can find a suitable instrument and work out the best financial arrangement for your circumstances.