What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Joe de V
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Joe de V » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:14 pm

If we are referring to the LaPatrie Motif made in Canada you should not consider that guitar for any young child. To start with is a bit heavier than the standard classical guitar due to the adjusting rod built into the fret-board. In addition is a full size scale guitar and if you want a case for it you need to spend an additional $99.00 for one made-to-fit this one particular instrument. The makers call it a "Parlor" guitar but the only similarity between it and a true parlor guitar is that is made out of wood. I owned and played one and I have it for sale on consignment at my local guitar store.

David Conti
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by David Conti » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:44 pm

I would start a youngster on piano as guitar is very difficult to manipulate for kids. But they can hit the keys fine!
Also theory and scales is much easier understood on piano where it is laid out in front of you.

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:56 pm

For a child 4-5 years old. You'll want an instrument which is approximately 480cm scale length. The only mass-produced instrument with that scale length is the Cordoba C1 1/4 size guitar. The body of the instrument is a tad on the large size, but it's workable (depending on the size of the child).

Two other possibilities are a Guilele which is 435cm scale length or a Ukulele.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

Lawler
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Lawler » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:04 am

I have to laugh because I read the thread title before I put my glasses on and saw, "What size instrument is appropriate for a 45 year old?".

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HNLim
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by HNLim » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:56 pm

Lovemyguitar wrote:
HNLim wrote:These videos will probably give you an idea points to consider...
Or not. Prodigies are in a class of their own, and other children should not be compared to them. Besides, the Korean girl and young Ana were not just learning to play when those videos were made -- they'd obviously been at it awhile.
Has anyone heard of or seen a half-size piano?

Joe de V
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Joe de V » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:30 pm

Note to parents of children under age 6, A brief story told to my by my parents:.
When I was age 5 my parents and grandparents wanted me to learn to play the violin. They enroll me in a violin Academy and I was taken once a week for a lesson. After 2 months the Director advised my parents that I was not ready to concentrate in music lessons at it appears that I was much involved in other children activities with peer groups that were not taking music lessons. Needless to say my parents agreed with the Director and my classes were suspended. I was Happy at the time to stop the lessons. A year later I was now age 6 and my grandmother - who was a pianist - hosted a lady friend violinist to dinner and later played the violin for us. I then did show an interest in playing the instrument and resumed my classes at the Violin Academy. There I learned to sight read and play simple violin pieces suitable for beginners. Sadly the Director died at the end of my first full year of learning music and the school/academy was closed permanently. I never played or continued the violin study but it did gave me a good introduction to the classical music and years after my retirement I choose to return and learn the classical guitar.
What I am trying to convey here is that sometimes parents wishes are not necessarily in tune with a young child who may not be prepared to invest the time and diligence necessary due to other (to the child) more rewarding things at their age. Like spending time playing with friends.
For this reason along with other possibly other situations, I would suggest to any parent not to make a high cost investment in a top quality instrument until the child does show interest in developing his/her musical skills on that instrument.
There are many good non-luthier made classical guitars that are quite suitable as a beginner instrument ( no a toy) for a young child.

Bullcreek
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Bullcreek » Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:00 am

My son started to play when he was 5 on a half size Amigo. My daughter who is small for her age started out on a 1/4 sized Strunal at age 6. The half size was too big. We were not aware of the Cordobas at the time. Both kids moved on to Cordobas when they needed to move up in size. The Cordobas sound better with the solid top.

As far as the value of lessons, my kids were able to progress and enjoy playing. However, we did wait a bit longer to start our second child because younger kids require more parental attention when they practice.

Rachel R
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Rachel R » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:34 pm

You will probably be best off with a 1/4 size guitar at that age, 440mm. It is what I will use when I can finally convince my 5 year old to start playing. Strunal and Kremona both make guitars in this size, through Strunals are getting hard to find new. Shouldn't be impossible to find one used. My 6 year old started with a 1/2 size, but he's tall and has big hands. I wish I could start the little one on it, but it's just too big.

Cordoba's 1/4 scale guitar is readily available, but I'm nearly certain that it is 480mm. YMMV. If your 4-5 year old is on the tall side it may be fine.

Marcus Dominelli
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Marcus Dominelli » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:08 pm

Interesting thread with lots of possibilities.
I started my first son out on a baritone ukulele, on the recommendation from a friend who is a professional music teacher.
My son got used to carrying it around and emulating me and my friends with out guitars. Soon he was playing simple chords and strumming. He then went to the electric and acoustic guitars once he got bigger, and now dabbles with the piano.

Marcus Dominelli
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Marcus Dominelli » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:08 pm

Interesting thread with lots of possibilities.
I started my first son out on a baritone ukulele, on the recommendation from a friend who is a professional music teacher.
My son got used to carrying it around and emulating me and my friends with out guitars. Soon he was playing simple chords and strumming. He then went to the electric and acoustic guitars once he got bigger, and now dabbles with the piano.

Joe de V
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Joe de V » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:50 pm

AdamRoth wrote:
MessyTendon wrote:I think the La Patrie Motif with electronics and a cheap little amp would be a good start.
A motif with electronics and amp is way too much money and way too big. It's has a full-sized scale length.
I am of the same opinion having owned and played the non-electronic Motif which I am selling on consignment at the local guitar store.
In addition the Motif came with an adjusting rod adding a few extra ounces to the total weight. Another cost will be the Motif case which is sold
separate for $99. bringing the total cost just short of $500.
I would suggest to take your child to a local guitar store that sells CG - like Guitar Center - and let the child hold and strum as many guitars that are available -in the less than full overall size guitars - for comfort playability. At that age comfort in handling any instrument is more conducive to retain the child interest in learning to play.

bradfordwerner

Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by bradfordwerner » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:53 pm

The guitalele by Yamaha or cordoba et al is a great alternative. It is uke size but has 6 strings in the regular guitar intervals so you can use a normal guitar method. It's tuned a fourth higher however so if you are a teacher you'll want to bring your capo to play along. Also, make sure you have tiny chair as well. I've taught 4 years to sit exactly as a classical guitarist with it.

Plus, I love mine to go to the beach as it's small and fun and bullet proof.

Bullcreek
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Bullcreek » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:16 pm

bradfordwerner wrote:The guitalele by Yamaha or cordoba et al is a great alternative. It is uke size but has 6 strings in the regular guitar intervals so you can use a normal guitar method. It's tuned a fourth higher however so if you are a teacher you'll want to bring your capo to play along. Also, make sure you have tiny chair as well. I've taught 4 years to sit exactly as a classical guitarist with it.

Plus, I love mine to go to the beach as it's small and fun and bullet proof.

What is the advantage of a guitalele over a 1/4 or 1/2 sized guitar? Is the neck sized appropriately for small hands?

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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:04 pm

Bullcreek wrote:
bradfordwerner wrote:The guitalele by Yamaha or cordoba et al is a great alternative. It is uke size but has 6 strings in the regular guitar intervals so you can use a normal guitar method. It's tuned a fourth higher however so if you are a teacher you'll want to bring your capo to play along. Also, make sure you have tiny chair as well. I've taught 4 years to sit exactly as a classical guitarist with it.

Plus, I love mine to go to the beach as it's small and fun and bullet proof.

What is the advantage of a guitalele over a 1/4 or 1/2 sized guitar? Is the neck sized appropriately for small hands?
When you are dealing with young children, the biggest issue is the size of the guitar body compared to the size of the child's body. Correct sitting and posture positioning is a major battle with an oversized guitar. For some of my students the Cordoba 1/4 sized instrument is too big because the body is oversized for it's scale length.

As an aside, the terms "1/2 size or 1/4 size, etc..." bug me because no two companies have the same sizing. Instead I tell my parents to go by the scale length of the guitar. I've also put together a chart for my studio of appropriate guitar sizes. I measure students from the floor to their belly button, and then parents match that measurement to the appropriate guitar size on the chart.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: What size instrument is appropriate for a 4/5 year old?

Post by AndreiKrylov » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:32 pm

spruceman33 wrote:Hello everyone
I'd like to get my 4.5 year old started trying out classical guitar, just to see what she thinks. What size instrument would you suggest and what would be an instrument that has at least have a decent potential in terms of tone? I would prefer a solid top.
Thanks
There is very simple solution for it:
bring her in music/guitar store and let her try all kind of guitars there, starting from small ones.They usually have separated guitar rooms for guitars.
Spend an hour or two on it and you will see if she has interest or not.
Most likely you will know about her interest in few minutes... :)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen it on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc. Thanks!

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