11 answers

Buying 8 Year Old Boy a Guitar... Need Some Advise.

We are buying a guitar for an 8 year old. I have found a great teacher, but have yet to buy an instrument. I know that a good quality guitar will make the learning experience a lot easier for him, but finances are tight and I'm wondering if anyone has some suggestions. I was hoping to pay $250 for the package. We are going to get him an electric guitar. I don't think he would relate to an acoustic at this age with his experience and I want to keep him as motivated as possible. We live near Walnut Creek CA. Thanks to everyone for your help and time. C.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone who responded! We ended up getting him a baby Fender called a "Squire". It was really fun watching him open the box. He loves it. We found a great guitar teacher who recommended the sales person at the shop we went to. What I was surprised most by was his ability to put lyrics together...call me bias, but I was quite impressed. He'll be starting lessons soon. Thanks again to everyone!

Featured Answers

Did you specifically ask the teacher for advice? At least with classical guitar, the sizing is very specific, and they had a prefered vendor, and helped us find a high quality used guitar (from another student).

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Until you know your son is serious about learning I would first check with is school to see if they have some they could loan. If this is not doable the I would look into renting the guitar. Below you'll find places in the bay area that rent musical instruments.

You should also discuss the commitment he is making to this instrument. When first approached by one of my kids to play we put together a contract. Long story short; they had to play for two years before they were allowed to quit or move on to another instrument. After a couple of years two of the four kids quit while the other two continued to play and have moved onto to other instruments; one has begun writing her own music.

So before you make the investment...make sure both of you can live with the decisions; before and after.

Good Luck!!!

The Magic Flute: http://themagicflute.com

The Guitar Showcase: http://www.guitarshowcase.com/

Music Village: http://www.musvil.com/Rentals.html

BTW - If you still want to make the purchase try eBay. I've found some really good deals on instruments there. Some you can auction for others you can select the BUT IT NOW option and still have it here in time for Christmas...depending on the seller. I bought an brand new electric violin on 12/8 and received it in little more than one weeks time.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.
I would ask the guitar teacher if he/she knows of a place to get a good deal. OFTEN music teachers are in contact with other teachers who need to sell an instrument. Additionally, I wouldn't invest in an electric guitar until you know for sure your son will stick with the lessons, in fact, the teacher may even have a guitar they can lend your son.
I signed my son up for lessons (he is 7) and this was my son's idea, turned out, he really wasn't into it. Thank goodness, we didn't buy a guitar, the teacher had an extra and understood when we said out son wasn't into it. Now, I didn't push him to learn because I want music to be for fun, We will try it again down the road when he is older.
good luck!!

potterybarn kids has a red electric guitar priced at $149.$169. I've seen it and played it, looked good.

Try guitar center, el cerrito. They have great packages for beginning musicians (kids and adults).


My son is 9 and has been taking guitar for 3 years now. I checked around in the beginning with several music instructors and was told they should really start with acoustic first (my son also wanted to play electric). We did start with acoustic- still going, and are using a 'baby taylor' which is a very nice guitar. They sell them at Griffin's music in palo alto. let me know if you want more info.

When my son started guitar, his teacher wanted him to start on acoustic, then if he was serious about practicing and learning the skills & chords, to then buy him the electric. All boys think it would be really cool to play electric guitar (esp. since guitar hero became so popular). He's a great guitar player now, and after a year of lessons he bought his own electric guitar.

$200-$250 is about what it will cost. When I got my son his electric guitar, $200 seemed to be about the going rate for an electric guitar and an amplifier. Check out your local music store, it would be nice to support them, they can probably hook you up with a set that would be fine for an 8 year old. Costco usually has guitar and amp sets this time of year.

Did you specifically ask the teacher for advice? At least with classical guitar, the sizing is very specific, and they had a prefered vendor, and helped us find a high quality used guitar (from another student).

have you tried either calling or going to a local music store? my son wanted an acoustic guitar, so off to encore music we went. they had a really nice electric guitar for 100 dollars that the guy said was as good quality wise as the higher priced one, that it was a real steal. my sons school band does not allow electric so we ended up with a really nice acoustic for 100. unless you are really familiar with guitars i wouldnt get one off ebay. give your local music store a try, just look in the yellow pages if you dont know where one is. good luck

This may be too late, considering you wrote the email a few days ago....

Our son has had a Johnson 1/2 size electric guitar since he was 4. He's 8 now and it's still in excellent condition and fits him nicely. This is a very good quality, durable guitar! Electric guitar is a good way to start, because the strings are easier to press down than an acoustic. Hertlein Guitars (I think that's the spelling) in Dublin sells a 3/4 size Johnson for $99. They may have 1/2 sizes, also, but 3/4 would probably work for you.

You will not regret it if you buy this!

good luck!

My partner got a decent fender (starcaster) at costco with an amp for less than $200 a couple of years ago. But you should also consider buying a second hand insrument. Small music stores and pawn shops have great deals. There's also an antiques store in Berkely on San Pablo Ave that has a lot of insruments. Shop around, there are some great deals to be had.

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