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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What guitar to get 5 year old boy?

My 5 year old son is artistically oriented. He makes very elaborate and interesting drawings, for example. Lately he's been watching me playing guitar and I can tell he's very curious about how I'm making those sounds. Yesterday he informed my wife and I to tell Santa he wants a guitar for Xmas.

I'm really in a bind w/ Xmas approaching and having no idea what to get someone that young. Do I get a toy or video game, where they're really not learning and playing? Or a real guitar that he's not ready for? (I don't like junky guitars so if I get a real one, it has to be something decent.) Or how about one of those "mini" Strats Ive seen where the body is small and the scale length is about 2-3" shorter than standard?

Any help much appreciated.

btw, he seems to have a bent for really heavy stuff like Pantera, and solos with a lot of deep bends and weird noises

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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A $99 bullet would be cool, while he's not looking dad can tweek it and cop a feel.
The mini guitar would be cool but I have a feeling he would be walking around with a huge smile having a big boy guitar.
Also for a little money it can be transformed into a real nice guitar.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmm, a good question to be sure. I've never supported video games at that early of an age, but I agree that maybe a guitar is a bit much too...they do make 3/4 scale guitars, that's definitely an option. I personally would get a child that young a drum set, it's much simpler and easier to learn the basics of. Plus, that way you'd never have to look too far for a drummer ;)
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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Get him a keyboard or xylophone first, a toy one will do just as long as it's pitch accurate. He's curious about where the music is from, so let him create music easily. With a piano/xylophone, you just hit the key. Done. On a guitar, you've got to worry about holding the fret in the right place whilst playing the same string. Whilst he's making music on the keyboard/xylophone, take one of your older guitars and show him how to play those same notes on one guitar string.

Take advantage of his curiosity whist it's there. If things get too difficult right now, he may not want to pursue it (not to say he wouldn't, but I've seen it happen). He's got the interest in music, so let it blossom a bit first (even if it's not in guitar) and ease him in.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He took piano lessons before and didn't like it. He said guitar is his favorite instrument
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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Squier Bullet or mini Strat.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A decent kid-sized acoustic that costs under $100. Nylon strings. You currently buy him pants that he won't be able to wear in 6 months. Don't buy a guitar and expect it to last/fit him in a year.

No cords, batteries, amps... Sure, no Pantera, but he can play Dad's guitars, when he needs to rip it up.

Everyone who is saying "Squier Bullet" has no idea how small a five-year-old is. There is zero chance of a five-year-old reaching the first fret, strumming the high-E, and still holding the guitar in any manner that would be conducive to learning/being comfortable.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 10:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by essessH View Post
He took piano lessons before and didn't like it. He said guitar is his favorite instrument
In that case, get him a guitar.

Maybe?
Martin Felix III Acoustic Guitar | eBay
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Old December 5th, 2011, 11:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Like jimmiraz said a $99 bullet is a great choice for a kid.My friend just bought one for his son and with a set-up it is a great first guitar. I wish I had something like that when I started(1960).
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Old December 5th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks folks, lots of great information. Please keep it coming.

One question, does anyone have experience w/ "Guitar Hero"? I understand there's some coordination involved. Would it be too much for a 5 year old?
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Old December 5th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Guitar Hero is NOTHING like playing guitar, besides maybe some hand coordination.
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Old December 5th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I recieved my first guitar at seven years old, it was a 3/4 size Harmony Gene Autry Melody Ranch acoustic. I have played guitar for 50 years and have played professionaly and firmly believe to develop proper hand strength and technique I recommend starting out on an acoustic first... then electric if desired. For a five year old a first guitar is more like a new toy than an instrument so try not to spend to much as his interest in guitar could wane next week.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Squier Mini.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I recieved my first guitar at seven years old, it was a 3/4 size Harmony Gene Autry Melody Ranch acoustic. I have played guitar for 50 years and have played professionaly and firmly believe to develop proper hand strength and technique I recommend starting out on an acoustic first... then electric if desired. For a five year old a first guitar is more like a new toy than an instrument so try not to spend to much as his interest in guitar could wane next week.
In a way I agree with you.
But on the other hand I think today is a different world.
Sure at 5 it's gonna be more a toy, and the cool factor.
They both might take some bumps and bruises.
But in a couple of short years he will grow into the bullet.
Thinking back, the mail order $79 dollar cheepies that we had growing up were crap compared to todays $99 Bullet.
That $79 was a lot of money way back then too.
A real value IMO.
Like already mentioned wish I had one as a kid.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stratomaster96 View Post
Guitar Hero is NOTHING like playing guitar, besides maybe some hand coordination.
Do you think a 5 yr old could use it?
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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First of all, you should never tell your children about Christmas, or any fast food joints for that matter. You will save a lot of money. But since he already knows and expects something, I would just give him your guitar and take it back when he loses interest. If he really pursues it, take the guitar back and buy him or yourself a new one.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'd say some sort of reasonably-priced nylon string guitar, but I also tend to think 5 is a little young for guitar (if he's going to start lessons). If he's just going to pick it up and play once in a while (hopefully often!) a nylon-stringed instrument is perfect. Can make sound without having to take time to plug it in, easier on the fingers, and in my experience, a 5 yr old isn't going to get frustrated trying to play heavy songs on a classical guitar the way we would ("This is just doesn't sound right!!! Why can't I get Dime's tone out of these nylon strings?!!"). They'll just be happy they're getting sound! Teach him some basics (letter names of individual notes, dexterity exercises, basic theory) and if he takes a further interest, buy an electric after a year or so.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Ok, five year olds can not play regular guitars. At least not easily anyway. So giving him your guitar is not an answer. I think you should honestly get him, guitar hero. Even though it's not close to a guitar, it's still the same concept. It'll be easier for him to learn and he'll have more fun too. The whole idea of being a rockstar in the game will totally raise his interest in playing a real guitar. If he sticks with guitar hero and really likes it, then surprise him with a squier mini and tell him, santa was a bit late with that one! Ask him if he's ready for the read deal! At, least that's what I would do anyway.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 12:40 AM   #19 (permalink)
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+1 on the bullet. And if you want to go big... Rocksmith and a good fps for the Xbox you need to buy. That way he can play a real guitar on video or with dad for real.
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Old December 6th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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If it has to be an electric, then these travel guitars may be a good fit. If your looking for an acoustic, I would recommend a Baby Taylor or a GS mini



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