Strings – Softer strings that are easier for a young child to press down on are recommended for beginners. This is a good choice for a young child who may not have a lot of hand strength or tolerance for finger pain. Light gauge strings or nylon strings are easier on the fingertips. Calluses will eventually develop through practice, which will help you to produce clearer sounds with less effort on the strings.
Body – The size and fit of the guitar plays an important part in the child’s comfort while playing. Suggestions for height-guitar size ratios are:
- 30” size guitar for children up to 3’9” tall;
- 34” size guitar for children 3’10” to 4’5”tall;
- 36” guitar for children 4’6”-4’11” tall;
- 7/8 to a full-sized guitar for children 5′ or taller.
Your best option is to take your child to a music store and allow her/him to play various guitars to see what type of guitar will be the best fit.
Accessories to keep in mind when purchasing your guitar include:
- guitar picks
- guitar tuner – clip on type is preferred
- extra strings to replace snapped strings
- music stand for home – easier reading and good posture
- case for transportation (preferably well padded)
- Capo – changes pitch to make sing along easy
- supplementary music books with favorite styles of songs
Lesson books are dependent on a student’s age and rate of progress. Here is a list of a few of the method books that I’ve found to be successful learning books.
Alfred Kid’s Guitar Course Book 1 Great for young students
Alfred 21st Century Guitar Method 1 Book Good for older students.