As a parent this can be a difficult question to answer particularly if you don’t play the guitar yourself. Do not fear over the next paragraph or two I will help guide you.
You are probably thinking.... will my son or daughter keep at it and should I go for a new or secondhand guitar?
Firstly this depends on budget. There is a lot of good quality budget new guitars on the market nowadays but equally you could pick up a great second hand guitar that has hardly been played.
I would also suggest you know your child best and how determined they are going to be when it comes to trying a new activity. This will also have an impact on your decision.
Okay, so assuming your child is around 7 or 8 years of age (that’s not to say they can’t start earlier) you are going to need a 1/2 size guitar, travel size or classical guitar if going for an acoustic.
Acoustic guitars with steel strings will be sore on your child’s finger tips but they will toughen up over time. Alternatively classic guitars have nylon strings which are easier on little fingers.
For electric guitar there is a lot of options with starter packs etc. If buying an electric guitar on its own keep in mind you will need a cable to connect the guitar to an amplifier.
Sometimes it can be easier to buy from a reputable music shop where your child can try some cool guitars out and you can get some good advice.
When purchasing a secondhand guitar look out for these things.
Can your child comfortably put their hand round the neck of the guitar.
How far are the strings away from the fretboard. If the strings are closer this will make it easier to play.
Also make sure there is no damage to the fretboard or guitar neck as this will have an impact on playing.
Do the tuning pegs turn freely to allow you to tune the guitar.
Finally it’s always a good idea to get a secondhand instrument set up by a professional luthier so that it’s easily playable.
Hope this has been helpful and I wish you the best in your search for the right guitar.