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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so my oldest son has gotten interested in learning to play the guitar as a result of my having picked it up this past summer and taking lessons. Can anyone recommend a guitar that would be suitable for an 8 or 9 year old? Ideally no more than $100. I've started looking for something used, but haven't really seen anything so far.

It should probably be acoustic, as that is what is required for the initial set of lessons he will likely take (group beginner lessons to learn the basics). Further to that, this particular course just uses tab to teach and not notation - I would rather that he learn notation as well, any thoughts on that?
 

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Hmm, I don't have any specific brand names to recommend, but there are some decent smaller guitars in that range out there. They're harder to keep in tune, but should get him the basics. I know one local music store has beginners' acoustic & electric sets that come with guitar, strap, picks, etc & the electrics with a small amp (They cost a bit more.) I knpw a 7 year old that has a Samick mini Malibu--and it's pretty good for him.

Just make sure it isn't a toy (especially avoid ones woth cranks--okay--that goes without saying, but it's an old joke I find amusing.)

As for learning notation--I think it's a good idea--it opens up the instrument. tab is great for its simplicity, but reading notes helps you learn the neck better--and you can try the songs in different positions and voicings. And actually--when I took classical lessons I preferred notation to tab. SO it also depends what he'll be playing.

I hope you find something that will fit and be enjoyable to play.
 

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I've seen a lot of people recommend Baby Taylors for kids, but even the used ones are probably going to be more than $100.00. It's important that whatever guitar you get is valuable enough to get a proper set-up done on it as, if it's hard for him to play, he's going to get frustrated and lose interest fast. And that isn't really giving him or the art of guitar a fair chance. Have you considered just renting one until you know if he's going to take to it or not? If you were to rent one from, say, Long & McQuade, they would likely ensure that the action is good on it, etc.
 

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my 9 year old step daughter wants to learn to play guitar as well
so i asked her a really simple question "do you want the pink guitar
with the hello kitty on it,or the back guitar with the skull and
cross bones on it??" thinking for myself of course on the black one
she says to me "the black one " ,i was :eek:
:rockon2:

so im getting her this


if she loses interest,ill have myself a cool little guitar
 

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An acoustic that cheap is going to be hard to find. Actually, let me qualify that statement: it will be hard to find an acoustic that cheap that one can actually play. If you look for a used "junior" guitar you will most likely end up with a toy rather than an instrument.

Is your child big enough to play a regular sized guitar? If not, you should also consider a folk guitar rather than a junior guitar (folk guitars are normal scale but have a smaller body). If you could find a used Simon and Patrick acoustic it would be perfect. You may need to spend more than $100 but it will keep its value and you could resell if you child doesn't keep at it. Buying a cheap junior guitar is a sure way to lose money and probably drive your child away from learning.

TG
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've looked around to see what there is available online, and the pickings are quite slim. I haven't had a chance yet to actually visit a store, hopefully this saturday.

Anyways, does anyone have an opinion of the Dean Playmate JT 3/4 size acoustic (about $76 on Axe Music website)?

I tried him with my guitar, and even a folk guitar would be too big for him...
 

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First of all, I can suggest going with him and picking out the guitar. I know that a child's greatest inspiration for playing is what he/she plays and picked out themselves. It think it is an important first step for them to be a part of buying their first guitar, for it will remain a memorable experience for them. Although I am a classical player, am a firm believer for example, if a child wants to and it is his/her dream to play electric guitar, they should also get that electric guitar, for there is always tons of time to change later on down the road. There are many people that say, "a person should start on acustic." No, it is better start on what you want and desire. This will prolong motivation which will improve the overall playing in the long run. If you don't want to spend money on an amp, you can just as easily get an adaptor and plug the guitar into the stereo system.
As far as price is concerned, there are fine guitars made in Korea, by a company named Samick for instance. They have some, although you have to try them first that retail for sometimes $69 US. The same goes for some of the electric guitars. The quality is not all that bad and their is always a guarantee on the ínstrument. Yeah, they are not top-of-the-line for 69, but they are something to start on. Check a local music store. Good luck!
 

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i'd get an A&L AMI. it'll be closer to $200, but if he loses interest, you'll either have a great little travel guitar (i'm pretty sure they now include a great little gigbag, make sure the store includes this!), or a guitar you can easily resell fairly quickly for $130, so you'll be into it for a lot less than $100 in the end....

if he's really interested, this is a small bodied guitar that is not a toy.

gilliangirl's suggestion of renting one from L&M is also excellent, and they're usually good to give you a 50% credit of your rental bill towards the purchase price of any instrument.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, after finding some more reviews on the Dean, it doesn't sound like it's of great quality. I guess I should have seen that from the fact that it came in weird colours like pink and light blue....

Well, we'll see what the music store has...
 

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Man...its too bad that I held a garage sale this summer. I just sold a student model Takamine 320F (for $30) that had a smaller body size, but the guitar was patterned after the Martin D-18. I would have sent it to you for the price of shipping, as I was just trying to get rid of stuff.

It was a nice little guitar that sounded great, had great action and I played for a lot of years...if you can ever find one then I suggest you snap one up.

It had a laminated spruce top which may not be a bad thing for an 8 year old boy. Most people will tell you to get a solid spruce top, and while I do agree that this is good advice in terms of getting a guitar the boy won't grow out of anytime soon, I suggest durability and playability might be higher priorities.

The Takamine sounded really good...a little bright, but overall it was nice. Good luck to you.
 

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As far as price is concerned, there are fine guitars made in Korea, by a company named Samick for instance. They have some, although you have to try them first that retail for sometimes $69 US. The same goes for some of the electric guitars. The quality is not all that bad and their is always a guarantee on the ínstrument. Yeah, they are not top-of-the-line for 69, but they are something to start on. Check a local music store. Good luck!
The Samick Malibu minis are decent guitars--easy to set up and play. And they're light.
I've tried them out, they're fun to play. They're worth checking out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Man...its too bad that I held a garage sale this summer. I just sold a student model Takamine 320F (for $30) that had a smaller body size, but the guitar was patterned after the Martin D-18. I would have sent it to you for the price of shipping, as I was just trying to get rid of stuff.

It was a nice little guitar that sounded great, had great action and I played for a lot of years...if you can ever find one then I suggest you snap one up.

It had a laminated spruce top which may not be a bad thing for an 8 year old boy. Most people will tell you to get a solid spruce top, and while I do agree that this is good advice in terms of getting a guitar the boy won't grow out of anytime soon, I suggest durability and playability might be higher priorities.

The Takamine sounded really good...a little bright, but overall it was nice. Good luck to you.
Ah, that's too bad, that would have been perfect. I have a Takamine for my acoustic, and I don't have anything bad to say about it really...except that at first I found it was a bit big. But I tried another guitar later that was a bit smaller and felt a bit more comfortable, but playability was not as good. Anyways, the Takamine is feeling more comfortable the longer I plan it, so most likely the size was just a beginner issue...


Okay, I digressed, anyways, there are a couple that I will be checking out. I saw L&M's Christmas flyer on their website has a Denver 3/4 for $99. I'm sure I'll find something for him there...
 

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Well I am not going to tell you what brand to buy, but I will make several suggestions for when you do go and buy an acoustic.
First and foremost is making sure you are not buying a guitar that is too big for them,what you want to look at is a folk size guitar,Om,oo, ooo size ( a Dreadnaught is to big for an 8 year old).
Second would be to make sure you buy a guitar with at the very least, a solid top guitar,the sound is almost always generated from the top and a solid top will get better with age and with the more they play.
Thirdly, dont over spend, buy something in the price range that you are going to be comfortable in loosing in case they decide they no longer want to play, there is really no point in you looking at buying a Martin, unless you might take it over if they give up.And remember just because you paid a store price is not what you will get for it if you decide to sell it.Sometimes buyinmg used is the best solution.
Fourth, if you do buy from a store ( music store only ) check to see what warranty there is and if they are willing to do a set up for free ( this can run almost a $100.00 ) and make sure that they use the lightest strings possible.
And last but not the very least make sure they are having fun with an appropriate instructor,make sure they are comfortable with who ever is teaching them and is teaching them in a semi structured way,fun with learning. I hope this has been some use for you,sorry it was so long winded but hey,that music for you,I always hated those 2 minute songs, when rock opera's first came about I was a happy dog.Ship
 

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that just might do the trick ;) Anyway, my little brother (10) prefers the neck on my jackson because its very thin and easy for him to play. Just an idea..
 

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...if you can make it to a pawn shop in newmarket (in a strip mall on the southeast corner at yonge and davis), the australian proprietor (and golf teacher) has two art and lutheries for about $100 each. the black one is particularly nice.

-dh
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay, I made the trek out to Newmarket earlier in the week (I didn't realize how far it was, otherwise I would not have bothered!), but didn't really find what I was looking for. They did have 3 A&L's, but all dreadnought size, not AMI parlor size, and they were priced from 175 to 199. For 100 I might have bought one anyways...

Anyways, on the way back I stopped at this place that I saw on Kijiji that was having a sale (http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-...uitar-Pianos-Amps-Bass-more-W0QQAdIdZ31002120), to see if they might have anything. I ended up getting one of the Guitar for Dummies packs that they have for $79, the guitar looked like it would work for my son, it wasn't too bad and it was on the smaller side (bigger than a 3/4, but much smaller than a dreadnought). We'll see how that works out for him.

While there I also picked up a chinese telecaster for $89. Damn, I didn't mean to buy yet another guitar... It seemed to be quite well made, and quite heavy (although the model is a "T Lite"). They have some more expensive models as well, by "Swing". the one I got was a "Smash" (by Swing). The strats were $79...I'm tempted to go back and get a matching one to the tele... I went back the next day and also picked up a Kona Special medium jumbo acoustic. The price was right (hint: pay cash...), and I liked the feel of it...

Now I'm using all my willpower to not go back and spend more money...
 

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No offence is meant by this but one of the first reasons kids give on guitars is that first they sound crappy and second they are to difficult to play, when you get a guitar for a small one they are going to have enough difficulty playing it for the first while, you see that with adults who have stronger hands and often or I should say 90% of the time a cheaper guitar also will not stay in tune because they are really not set up to be a real player for child or adult, so I do hope that you are going back to upgrade the $79.00 guitar and find something that we keep him encouraged to play, but this is just my opinion on the why kids leave music so quickly.Ship
 

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Okay, I made the trek out to Newmarket earlier in the week (I didn't realize how far it was, otherwise I would not have bothered!), but didn't really find what I was looking for. They did have 3 A&L's, but all dreadnought size, not AMI parlor size, and they were priced from 175 to 199. For 100 I might have bought one anyways...

Anyways, on the way back I stopped at this place that I saw on Kijiji that was having a sale (http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-...uitar-Pianos-Amps-Bass-more-W0QQAdIdZ31002120), to see if they might have anything. I ended up getting one of the Guitar for Dummies packs that they have for $79, the guitar looked like it would work for my son, it wasn't too bad and it was on the smaller side (bigger than a 3/4, but much smaller than a dreadnought). We'll see how that works out for him.

While there I also picked up a chinese telecaster for $89. Damn, I didn't mean to buy yet another guitar... It seemed to be quite well made, and quite heavy (although the model is a "T Lite"). They have some more expensive models as well, by "Swing". the one I got was a "Smash" (by Swing). The strats were $79...I'm tempted to go back and get a matching one to the tele... I went back the next day and also picked up a Kona Special medium jumbo acoustic. The price was right (hint: pay cash...), and I liked the feel of it...

Now I'm using all my willpower to not go back and spend more money...
Smash are the lower-end models made by Swing Guitars. Good guitars for the price. The guys from BTO had a couple of guitars custom made by them.


http://www.swing-guitars.com/
 
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