Due to being a fraction of the size of a regular guitar, reduced-sized guitars allow individuals with small hands to have a more comfortable playing experience. This is because these guitars have smaller bodies and shorter necks, which offers increased playability for people who struggle performing on full-sized guitars.
Very young beginners typically benefit from these guitars the most, but many adults with small hands and those with certain physical disabilities can enjoy them too. So whether you’re looking for a steel string, nylon string, or an electric one, you’ll find some affordable guitars that you or your loved one are sure to love playing on.
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Oscar Schmidt is a brand that might not be as well-known as some of the other guitars out there, including the ones in this guide, but they definitely make some great value-entry-level guitars.
If you don’t know already, dreadnought acoustic guitars are larger and heavier instruments that sound fantastic but might not be as accessible to people with smaller limbs.
However, the Oscar Schmidt OGHS is a half-sized dreadnought guitar to help retain the rich and powerful sound of a full-sized dreadnought while allowing it to be enjoyed by kids and adults who need a smaller guitar.
Like most acoustic guitars, this guitar has a spruce top, but the back and sides are made from catalpa, which is a bit different but not unusual to find on budget guitars.
It also comes in a handful of colors for your choosing, and if you’re looking for a small acoustic guitar for under $200, this should be on your radar!
Unlike dreadnought acoustic guitars, most classical guitars use the concert body style that is smaller and a bit quieter. These qualities lend themselves better for the solo performances that most classical guitar pieces are written.
Despite the reduced size overall, classical guitars can still be a bit too large for people, especially when it comes to holding their wide necks.
Luckily, a half-sized nylon string guitar can help resolve this and make it possible for kids to start learning classical guitar at an early age.
The Cordoba Protege C1M is a reliable half-sized classical guitar that’s perfect for beginners and is made with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides, which is pretty standard for acoustic guitars.
Despite being downsized, this classical guitar offers a traditional experience for people who are interested in learning this style of guitar playing.
Yamaha is an amazing brand that is especially well-known for offering great beginner-level guitars, and if you’re looking for an acoustic that’s not as tiny as a half-sized but still smaller than a full-sized one, the JR1 FG Junior is great for people with smaller hands.
The Yamaha JR1 FG is a ¾-sized dreadnought guitar based on the famous Yamaha FG models out there. It has the same build quality and similar materials (i.e., spruce body and rosewood fretboard), just at a reduced size and cost.
Not only is it great for beginners, but being compact and lightweight makes it an awesome acoustic guitar to carry around and play outdoors or wherever you enjoy performing.
Then again, the same can be said for essentially any of these mini guitars in this guide!
Another small-scale classical guitar that I’d love to share with you is the Fender FA-15N, which is primarily made from Sapele, which is a cheaper tonewood, but still looks absolutely gorgeous and retains a natural look.
I’ve actually recommended this exact guitar in my guide to the best classical guitar starter packs you can get for under $200 – head over there if this guitar seems right up your alley and you want to learn more about some other goodies you can get!
That being said, although it’s slightly bigger than the Cordoba, this one is still perfect for kids and adults with small hands who want to start playing the classical guitar. It will be much easier to transition from this guitar to a full-sized one as an individual continues to improve at the instrument.
Overall, it’s a great initial investment and introduction to the instrument, and you can decide later if you want to upgrade.
It’s also worth pointing out that similar to the Yamaha we just went over, Fender’s FA-15 Series offers a ¾-steel string acoustic as well and has mostly the same specs as the nylon one, aside from the body and neck shape and types of strings used.
Usually, electric guitars are pretty suitable for beginners and people with smaller hands because their necks are slimmer than acoustic guitars and their bodies are smaller and lightweight; however, many people may still benefit from a reduced-sized electric guitar.
The Fender Squier Mini Strat is a compact version of one of the most iconic guitar designs of all time, the Fender Stratocaster.
Aside from having Fender’s signature “C-neck profile,” which I find incredibly comfortable, this guitar has narrower frets than the medium-jumbo ones found on regular-sized Stratocasters, a feature people who have smaller hands may appreciate.
You can typically grab one of these guitars for around $200, which is a fair price and pretty standard for beginner guitars for kids. It’s also not that easy to find electric guitars with these kinds of accommodations from reputable brands like Fender, so it’s worthwhile for sure.
Speaking of great electric guitar brands, Ibanez is another extremely popular one that makes reliable instruments for people of all skill levels. In addition to providing affordable instruments, they are also known for creating some of the most comfortable ones.
This is because Ibanez guitars, especially the RG models, which include the Mikro GRGM21, have some of the thinnest guitar necks that are aimed at shredders; however, you don’t have to be interested in fast guitar playing to enjoy this guitar – it’s simply a cool looking one that feels great.
On the other hand, if you or the person you’re buying a guitar for happens to be into rock or heavy metal music, this guitar definitely suits those styles well.
In contrast to the single coils that the Fender has, this has a couple of humbuckers that will give you a nice crunch when paired with distortion, which you can get from a good practice amp.
No matter if you’re looking for an acoustic or electric guitar, there are ones that can accommodate small hands, which, more often than not, is an obstacle that many young kids have when starting to learn the guitar.
Hopefully, this guide has given you some excellent choices for you to look into, especially if this is going to be your child’s first guitar. However, as mentioned before, adults can also benefit from half-sized and ¾-sized guitars, too, if they need something that’s downsized.
Regardless of who this guitar is for, reduced-sized guitars can make playing comfortable, which usually translates into more enjoyable practice time and faster improvement!