Choosing the Best Electric Guitar for Kids is never easy. We can sense some potential family disruption in some quarters. To begin with, we don’t think it is always a good idea to go out and just buy an electric guitar for kids. Maybe they should learn a little on an acoustic guitar first. It could end up saving you a lot of money. It is what we all did.
But if they insist on an electric, then there are some good choices available. But don’t do what this parent did…
We were staggered to hear the other day of a child who wanted to learn to play guitar. Great said his dad. Dad, a musician himself, went and bought him a Gibson Les Paul (new). And a Marshall 100 watt amp and 4 x 12 cabinet (new). Oh, and six effects pedals and a pedalboard.
The boy couldn’t even pick the guitar up, let alone play it; he was ten years old. We were staggered that someone could be so…well, enough said.
There really are some great choices currently available, choices that we never had. A lot of the big names use their budget lines to produce instruments, and the results are, in most cases, exceptional.
With a young starter, it is likely their choice might be influenced by who their ‘guitar hero’ is. Understandable, but that is not always the best choice.
So. let’s have a closer look at the best children’s electric guitars currently available and find the perfect one for your child…
Top 5 Best Electric Guitar For Kids 2020 Reviews
1 Squier by Fender Mini Stratocaster
The iconic shape of the Strat is surely one of the most recognized guitar shapes ever. The shape that launched a thousand careers as someone once said. Just the way this guitar looks makes it a contender for the best looking electric guitar for kids.
It is a three-quarter size body with a scale length of 22.75 inches. Being about three inches shorter means less tension on the strings. That makes it a little easier to hold the strings down for a young player. The body is made from Basswood, which is the same wood as used by a lot of manufacturers these days. It has the traditional bevel on the back and, of course, the deep cutaways.
The neck is also Basswood but has a Laurel fingerboard, which is very similar to Rosewood. It is a ‘C’ shaped neck, which has an easy playing feel and has 20 frets. Being a scaled-down version, the frets are a little closer together. This also makes playing a little easier for a young beginner.
The body is finished in black lacquer. It has three single-coil pickups, of course, with the five-way switching system. As per the real thing, the pickups and the switch give you that ‘Fender-style’ twang, plus a range of other familiar sounds.
As you look at it, you will see a couple of changes to what might be called the standard Strat design. The Floating tremolo bridge is replaced with a Hardtail bridge. For a young player, this might be thought of as another advantage. Stringing becomes an easier operation, and there is a little more sustain in the sound.
Another difference is that there is just one volume and one tone control. The other big difference is the jack socket. This is, of course, a fundamental part of the visual design of the Strat, but on this model, it is placed on the edge of the body.
We don’t happen to think any of these issues are a big deal for the young ‘Strat-fan.’ Despite the cosmetic changes, Squier has done a good job of maintaining the essential style of the guitar. The neck is bolt-on, and up at the headstock are the closed machine heads, which are chrome-plated.
At 3.31 pounds, it is lightweight and easy for a child to pick up and hold. A super little guitar and one that creates the feel of a music legend.
- Super scaled-down version of the Strat made with good materials.
- Good sound and fittings.
- No bag or guitar strap included.
2 Ibanez 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar
If you are looking for a suitable first electric guitar for a young beginner, then this Ibanez is worth a look. The company makes very good guitars and so you would expect that this will also be a quality instrument. It has a Poplar wood body and maple neck. The body is finished in a stunning blue that is certainly going to enthuse the young player.
The RG body style, with its deep cutaways, makes this instrument look the part. It has a slender short-scale neck and medium frets, which make it easy to play. Its shorter scale length of 22.2 inches makes it ideal for the young beginner. It is part of the GIO Ibanez range and therefore has all the same fittings and hardware.
This includes the Hardtail bridge and two fire-breathing humbucking pickups. To make sure a range of tones are available, there is a volume, tone control, and slider pickup selector. The humbuckers give that traditional rock and metal sound.
It has a bolt-on neck, and up top, there are sealed chrome plated machine heads. However, it is a little heavier than some other starter guitars at 5.7 pounds. It is made in the same factory in China as some of the higher-end Ibanez guitars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a gig bag.
We think this is a great guitar for a beginner. One of the big problems with a new player is keeping the interest level high. The early days on any instrument can be hard on the starter. This guitar, just by the way it looks, is going to excite a young player and keep them at it. And being a good instrument, they will learn fast.
It is set at a very affordable price, which makes it a very attractive option.
- Good looking and well-made guitar.
- Traditional humbucking sound on a short scale at an affordable cost.
- A little heavier than some.
3 Mitchell MM100 Mini Double Cutaway Electric Guitar
Mitchell has been building guitars for 30 years, working mainly in the mid to budget range market. They produce a range of electric, some-acoustic, and acoustic guitars.
This guitar is a Mini double-cutaway aimed at the starter player. It is a short-scale solid body made from Basswood. There is a maple neck with an Indian Rosewood fretboard with dot inlays and 24 frets. The body is finished in a walnut stain that really makes this guitar very attractive.
It has deep cutaways that give full access to all 24 frets of the short-scale neck. It has through the body stringing and a Tune-O-Matic fixed bridge.
There is a bolt-on neck and a very gentle ‘C’ shape. This will allow an easy playing style, and it is fitted with a dual-action truss rod. The neck has a gloss finish. The controls are very basic and simple and consist of a volume, tone, and a 3-way slider for pickup selection.
It has two humbucker ceramic pickups. One at the bridge and one at the neck. They are Mitchell’s own brand of pickup but certainly do put out some volume. If the student is into their metal music, then this is going to impress them. They are both passive pickups. All the hardware on the body, pickups, and bridge are finished in matte black.
Up at the top, there are high-ratio closed-back tuners finished in matte black. It is quite heavy at 8.05 pounds, so the student needs to be a certain age to be able to handle the little bit of extra weight.
We like this guitar from one of the more budget line manufacturers. It is well-proportioned and looks great and had good fittings. The picks especially will surprise you with their tome and volume. Set at a good price point, it is a contender for the best value electric guitar for kids.
- Well-built with good materials and a great look.
- Powerful sounds and easy playing style at an affordable cost.
- At 8 pounds it is quite heavy for a young player.
4 Squier by Fender Affinity Series Telecaster Beginner Electric Guitar
Where you will find a Strat, you are never very far away from a Telecaster. And so having reviewed the junior Strat now, we look at the Squier Tele.
This though, is no scaled-down version. It is a full-size Telecaster by Squier and therefore has what you expect a Telecaster to give you. The Telecaster is a legend amongst guitar players and rightly so. You might say that the Tele and its predecessors were Leo Fender’s greatest triumph. It has a traditional and iconic single-cutaway body.
That has been a feature of this guitar since the early 50s. It just has that vintage look.
It has an Alder wood body with a Maple neck and Rosewood fingerboard. The neck is a standard 25.5-inch scale length and has 21 frets. It is a bolt-on neck with simple black dot inlays. Up top is the familiar Telecaster shape headstock. It is fitted with closed-back machine heads. These tuners are of a decent quality, which is nice to see on what is, after all, a budget Telecaster.
With the pickups and body hardware Squier sticks mostly to tradition. Two single-coil pickups, one at the bridge, one at the neck(what else) with tone and volume. There is also the usual three-way pickup selector switch.
One way they do step aside from tradition is the six-saddle bridge they have fitted with top loading for stringing. This in place of the more traditional style of through the body stringing formats. We happen to think this is a good idea. It certainly makes re-strings and set up easier for a starter player.
Whereas the rest of what we have looked at so far is good. The tonal qualities are a little bland. There is a reasonable quality unless you jack up the volume, then the pickups start to struggle a bit. The sound isn’t bad; it just could have been a little better. Maybe it is here that the budget bit comes into play.
The sound is typical Tele twang, but there is also a nice warmth with the neck pickup. The sound is fine up to about three-quarters on. If you want an overdriven sound, rather than use the guitar, use your amp. It will work fine then.
We are not going to be over-critical. This is still an excellent guitar for the money and caries its legacy well. Squier has stuck very close to the Telecaster traditions, and the guitar just works. The price point is set well. This is a great guitar for the price and definitely one to consider as the best electric guitar for children.
As a young player? They should be honored to play a piece of rock n roll history.
- Excellent design and body build with good fittings.
- Has that Telecaster legacy built-in at an affordable price.
- Full-sized guitar may be too big and heavy for younger children.
- Don’t push the pickups too hard.
5 Fender Squier 3/4 Size Kids Mini Strat Electric Guitar Bundle
If you are looking to buy a young player, their first electric guitar, it won’t be all you need to buy. You will need an amplifier, cables, a strap, some picks and maybe even a tuner. It has suddenly started to get more expensive. This Strat bundle from Squier is the answer. You don’t get the amp, but everything else you need is here in one package.
It is a three-quarter size Stratocaster, which means a nice comfortable 22.75-inch scale length. The body is made from Poplar and features a red Polyurethane finish. It has that iconic design, including the bevel top edge on the back.
There is a Maple neck in the easy and comfortable to play ‘C’ shape with a Laurelwood fingerboard. The neck has twenty medium-sized frets with Pearloid dot inlays and a standard truss rod. Up at the top, we have the familiar Strat headstock with a synthetic bone nut and some decent closed-back machine heads.
The hardware consists of a Hardtail bridge with six saddles and no through the body stringing and the standard three magnetic single-coil pickup configuration. There is a five-way slider for pickup selection.
The extras that are provided are excellent and what you would have had to buy anyway. A strap and picks are included as well as a Tuner. But there are also some Fender Lessons you can take online and an Instructional DVD. It is made in Indonesia.
Some consideration should be given to the age of the child for this package. We would recommend they are at least eight years old or the guitar will just be too big and heavy for them.
It all adds up to a great little package for a first electric guitar. And all of this at a price point that is quite exceptional.
- Super package of quality starter guitar and accessories.
- Impressive styling and good build at an affordable price.
- Not really for children under about 8.
- All-inclusive package means you get no choice in the accessories; what you get is what you get.
Best Electric Guitar For Kids Buyers Guide
Taking Those First Electrified Steps
We all assume that everyone knows what to buy a child for their first electric guitar. For those of us who are musicians or work in the industry, we may well have our own ideas. But there are some non-musicians who have a child that is bitten by the bug.
What Do They Do?
It is not just as simple as buying an electric guitar, and there are other things to consider. One major issue that cannot be covered by the guitar manufacturers is that you will need a small amp. That should be borne in mind when you are thinking about how much to spend.
You might find yourself spending almost as much on the amp as you do on the guitar. But we are not here to discuss amplifiers. There are plenty of them around and some good ones at reasonable prices. It is the guitar we are looking at.
However, if you want some excellent amplifier options, then check out our reviews of the Best Mini Amps, the Best Portable Guitar Amplifiers, the Best Modelling Amps, and the Best Guitar Amplifiers under 200 dollars currently available.
You may also be interested in our review of the Pignose Legendary 7 100, the Fender Rumble 40, or the Marshall Code 50W. And if you’re on a really tight amp budget, you could go for the Vox AmPlug 2 Ac30.
What Should You Be Looking For?
A given really, but no instrument is that easy when you first start. You can, though, give the starter some help. It needs a nice neck that is comfortable and nicely balanced body weight. If possible, the strings should be set up fairly low, but you can do that at home with these guitars.
This is important because if it is too heavy for the child, then they won’t be able to hold it, let alone play it. The guitars we looked at were three-quarter size. But that doesn’t make them suitable for all kids. If they want one who is around five years old, they may have to wait a year or so.
The pickups are important, of course, but don’t worry immensely about the sound. It is nice to have a good sounding guitar, but these are all budget level instruments. They are not going to sound like Mark Knopfler, regardless of what you buy them.
As long as the pickups gain their volume and there are some tonal changes, that is all you need at the beginning. It is just as important to check out the tuners. Are they are a decent enough quality to hold the guitar in tune. Also, the bridge, are the adjustors functioning, and is it easy to re-string.
To the young player, this may be the most important element of them all. However, in reality, it is the least important. The guitars we looked at all look great. Some look like iconic guitars that well-known players use. That shouldn’t sway your decision. Always get what is best for the starter.
Most of the guitars we looked at fall into a reasonably affordable price range. Bear in mind, though, as we have mentioned, that there is also an amp to get. And if you don’t buy a package, some other smaller items as well.
The cost all mounts up. You can get a decent well-made starter guitar for a reasonable price. It will perform well, and any young player will be proud to own it. And hopefully, play it.
There are adults that catch a glimpse of Jeff Beck or Richie Blackmore in full flow and think I’d like to do that. Haven’t we all? These guitars are just as good for big kids as well. They play really nicely for an adult to learn on. And being lightweight and small scale, easy to learn on. They would even suffice to be carried around as a traveling practice guitar for experienced players.
Not 100% Sure If An Electric Guitar Is The Best Option?
If your child is undecided about getting an electric guitar, it’s well worth taking a look at our reviews of the Best Acoustic Guitars for Kids.
So, What Is The Best Electric Guitar For Kids?
We have just spent this review inferring that you should pick the best, not necessarily what someone ‘sees’ as the best. We are tempted to do exactly as the child might do. That is to pick a guitar that appeals to us visually. You just can’t help it, can you?
We are Fender people really, so the lure of the Strat and Tele is immense. Just the look. But we also appreciate the other options, and we are going to ‘desert the faith.’ We like this instrument because it is good. Screaming humbuckers to enthuse the starter player and nice easy action. And it does look quite good. This will last a young player quite a while.
Therefore, we have chosen the…
Our choice as the Best Kids Electric Guitar.