1/4 Guitar – The smallest guitar for kids

1/4 guitars are small kid’s guitars. They are also called 30 inch guitar. Thanks to the small size these guitars are also often considered as a perfect travel guitar. You can easily slide them in your backpack and take them on every airplane as hand luggage.

1/4 guitar size

The name of the guitar does not mean that it only measures 1/4 of a full size guitar. Quite the contrary, the size refers to the guitar scale (the scale is the length between the bridge and the nut of the guitar head). The scale of a 1/4 guitar measures around 19 inch, whereas a standard sized guitar measures 25 inch. Based on the overall length a 1/4 guitar is about 20% or 8 inch shorter than a full size guitar.

guitar scale length

Although the 1/4 size guitar is the smallest one, it is not really a guitar for toddler and not at all for babies. We see sometimes toddlers playing with a small size guitar but most kids under 3 years are not really ready for a real instrument. A toy guitar is the better choice in most cases for very young children..

Nylon string, steel string or electric guitar?

When looking for such a 1/4 size guitar we’ll quickly realize that there aren’t too many on the market. The kid’s guitar market is dominated by 1/2 and 3/4 size guitars. In addition to that fact, we’ll also find rather classical nylon string guitars than acoustic steel string or electric ones. This is absolutely reasonable since a 1/4 guitar is often the first guitar for young beginners. A young child won’t have neither the hand strength nor the calluses on the fingertips in order to hold the chords properly. For these little becoming guitarists classical nylon string guitars are the first choice. Nylon strings are just more comfortable and easier to press down than steel strings. So definitely go for a nylon string guitar for young kids which is the case when considering a 1/4 guitar.

Best 1/4 classical guitars

Most of the guitars that you find in this size are classical nylon string guitars. Famous and big guitar brands don’t have any 1/4 guitar models. Even Yamaha, one of my favorite brand for beginner guitars doesn’t have a 1/4 guitar. The reason why is that the market for 1/4 guitars is not that big. Only small and niche manufacturers build those guitars.

Ashthorpe 30 inch guitar
– very affordable
– available in many different colors
– good choice for unsure beginners
pyle guitar size 30 inch
Pyle Guitar
– for beginners who are not sure yet
– quality is alright
– very good value for money
Good Alternative
best choice products 1/4 guitar
Best Choice Products
– affordable guitar for beginners
– available in many different colors
– quality is alright

One company that offers really affordable 1/4 classical nylon string guitars is Ashthorpe. They have guitars available in many different colors, such as in natural*, sunburst*, blue*, pink* and black*. This is pretty nice since many young kids love colorful guitars. Regarding quality and finish you can’t expect a lot for this price. But they are alright for beginners to get started.

Another brand that is alright around for many years is Pyle. It’s a company that offers everyday audio & video electronics as well as accessories. They also have classical guitars. It’s not well-known guitar brand but they are having some affordable classical guitar in every size for beginners. Probably, they don’t build the Pyle Junior guitars themselves but have partner in Asia that produce them. They have 1/4 classical guitars available in natural*, black* and sunburst*.

Another example of a company that doesn’t only sell guitars but actually much more is Best Choice Products. The company is active in many areas of the consumer goods industry, such as Toys & Hobbies, Outdoors, Home & Lifestyle. They have also some pretty affordable guitar, which are probably produced by a partner company in Asia. Regarding quality and finish they range among Pyle and Asthorpe. They also offer their guitars in many different colors like natural*, sunburst*, blue*, pink* and black*.

Best 1/4 acoustic guitars

There are also a few beginner 1/4 acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars come with steel strings and that’s why they have a louder and fuller sound. But they can’t compete with the sound of a full size guitar due to the reduced body size.

For young beginners between 4 and 6 years I would normally go for a classical nylon string guitar because they are easier to play. However, if you and your child wants to try an acoustic guitar, here are some choices:

Enya Nova Go Mini acoustic guitar
Enya Nova Go Mini
– made of carbon fiber
– sounds great for its size
– great quality and workmanship
1-4 pyle acoustic guitar
– good choice for beginners
– equipped with equalizer
– solid quality and workmanship
first act guitar 30 inch
First Act Guitar
– very affordable guitar
– designed especially for kids
– quality and workmanship is alright

First Act is a brand for musical instruments that are especially designed for young kids. They also offer a 1/4 steel string guitar. Regarding the price you can’t expect a lot in terms of quality and workmanship. But as a first guitar for a beginner it will do the job to get started.

Pyle is another brand for beginner guitars at the lower price range. Beside their typical classical guitars, they also have 1/4 size acoustic guitars. It’s also one of the few 1/4 acoustic guitars that are equipped with an equalizer. An equalizer allows you to connect the guitar with an amplifier. This is especially useful if you want to play on stage.

Another very interesting 1/4 guitar comes from the brand Enya. It’s especially designed for people who are looking for a travel guitar but thanks to its size the guitar is also an option for children. It’s made out of carbon, which makes the guitar light and robuste. It also has a good sound for its size.

Best 1/4 electric guitars

There are not many electric guitars in this size on the market. Most of the big guitar manufacturers only start making 3/4 size electric guitars as they are perfect for older kids and travellers. However, there are a few 30 inch electric guitars that are sold in bundles. So if you buy a bundle, you really have everything you need to get started: tuner, amp, cables, etc. You can’t compare these guitars with pricey full size electric guitars but they are good to get started and they get the job done. And same here, the known guitar brands don’t have electric guitars in this size available. We only find quite unknown guitar brands but which have been out there for some time offering smaller electric guitars.

Good Choice
lyxpro 30 inch electric guitar
– also available as left-handed version
– amplifier and accessories incl.
– available in different colors
donner 1-4 electric guitar
– good value for money
– amplifier and accessories incl.
– solid quality and workmanship
ZENY 30 inch electric guitar
– very affordable electric guitar
– amplifier and accessories incl.
– quality and workmanship is ok

If you want to buy a solid electric guitar, I would recommend one from LyxPro or Donner. They come in a bundle with everything you need to get started. The quality and finish is pretty good for the price. Both are also available in different colour options (especially pink might be a good choice for many young girls). One thing I would like to mention is that LyxPro also offers a left-handed version! So if you want to buy a 1/4 electric guitar for a left-handed child, this guitar is probably one of the only options you have, as it’s very rare to find small guitars for left-handers.

If your budget is really tight, it might be worth checking out the electric guitar from Zeny. It also comes with an amplifier and some basic accessories. However, the amplifier is a very small and simple one. You can’t expect much from it as it’s not as powerful as the bigger ones, but it’s fine for starting out. If your child stays with the guitar, you can always get a better amp.

Next smaller guitar: 1/8 Guitar
Next bigger guitar: 1/2 Guitar