When the decision to learn the guitar is made, a thrilling musical adventure awaits. Regardless of whether you’re an adult exploring a new pastime, or a parent encouraging your child’s passion for music, the path ahead is full of fascinating twists and turns. However, a significant hurdle is choosing the right size guitar to kick-start this journey. Do not fret if you find the array of available guitar sizes overwhelming; we’ve been there too. In this guide, we will demystify guitar sizes, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of guitar sizing to ensure that your new guitar is the perfect fit.
Guitars come in various sizes and shapes, each serving different types of players and musical styles. Choosing the right guitar size for your physical comfort and the genre of music you wish to play is essential.
When it comes to guitars, the brand can play a significant role in the quality and sound of the instrument. Here are some reputable brands for each guitar size:
Remember that the brand is just one factor to consider when choosing a guitar. Your personal comfort with the instrument and the style of music you want to play should also heavily influence your decision.
Understanding the relationship between the size of a guitar and its sound can help you find the perfect guitar for your specific needs and musical tastes.
Different guitars cater to various playing styles, from fingerpicking to strumming to lead guitar playing. Here are some recommendations based on popular playing styles:
Remember, these are general recommendations, and the best guitar for you is the one that feels and sounds right to you. When choosing a guitar, consider your physical comfort, musical preference, and budget.
If you’re a novice looking to delve into the enthralling world of music by learning guitar, your enthusiasm is commendable. Whether you’re an adult venturing into a new hobby or a parent trying to introduce your child to the wonder of music, your journey promises to be rewarding. However, before you start strumming your first tunes, you’ll need to navigate the initial hurdle of choosing a suitable guitar size. It can be daunting, considering the multitude of guitar sizes available. Don’t fret, we were once in your shoes, and now we’re here to help you navigate this crucial decision. We’re going to clarify the complexities of guitar sizes so that your chosen instrument will fit you like a glove. Let’s dive in.
Acquiring any musical instrument requires an understanding of size, particularly when it comes to guitars. Both children and adults can choose from numerous sizes, causing confusion for many first-time buyers. A general rule of thumb is that adults should opt for full-sized guitars, typically referred to as 4/4 instruments.
If you were to buy two 4/4 cellos from different brands, you’d probably not notice a significant difference in their sizes. Guitars, however, present a unique challenge. They come in a broad spectrum of dimensions and weights, varying according to type, brand, and construction.
You could choose two full-sized guitars, and you may find that one is heavier or larger than the other. Some might be light yet sizable, while others could be small yet weighty. This discrepancy primarily stems from the diverse design approaches of guitar manufacturers aiming to differentiate their products.
That said, the length of a full-sized guitar tends to remain relatively consistent, averaging around 40 inches. This size is typically best suited to individuals taller than five feet and three inches. For adults shorter than this height, a slightly smaller ⅞ size may be a more comfortable choice.
To understand guitar sizes fully, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the parts that constitute a guitar. Unlike most other instruments, guitars boast several distinct sections, each playing a role in determining the instrument’s overall dimensions.
A standard guitar comprises three main parts: the machine head or headstock, the neck, and the body. The machine head, positioned at the neck’s tip, primarily comes into play when tuning your guitar and isn’t usually a significant concern regarding the size. However, you should pay close attention to the neck and body measurements.
The neck’s size often reflects the overall size of the guitar. Smaller guitars will have shorter necks, while full-sized guitars typically have fairly uniform neck lengths. These lengths are measured from the bridge (near where you strum the strings) to the top of the neck, referred to as the scale. The most common scale length for full-sized guitars is 25.5 inches (with an overall length of 40 inches), prevalent in popular guitar types such as Stratocasters and Telecasters.
Guitar bodies, on the other hand, can be a bit more complicated. You must consider three dimensions: the length from the bottom of the body to the bridge, the width, and the depth. In our experience, depth is often the most crucial measurement. A guitar with an appropriate neck length and body size may still be uncomfortable to play if the body is too deep, making reaching the bridge area with your strumming hand difficult.
Knowing that a full-sized guitar corresponds to a 4/4 size is a good start, but you might still be wondering about the best options in this category. Here are some of our favorite picks that have proven to be great for beginners:
Remember that the above options are full-sized guitars suitable for adults or teenagers of average height. We recommend a smaller guitar for children or adults shorter than five feet and three inches.
When it comes to choosing the right guitar size for children, we usually recommend measuring the child’s height and arm length for the best fit. Here’s a general guideline:
While these sizes are a good rule of thumb, they are not universally accurate. Some children may require a larger or smaller guitar based on their individual body proportions. It’s always best to have your child try out a few different sizes to determine which one feels the most comfortable.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to guitars. The right size depends on various factors, including height, hand size, and playing style. And although we have provided some of our top picks for full-sized guitars, the best way to find your perfect fit is to try several different guitars at a music store. This way, you’ll get a hands-on feel of the instrument and can better decide which one feels right for you. Good luck with your musical journey!