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What Guitar Size Should I Buy?

Published: Thu October 14, 2010  News Feed

 Last Updated: 29/10/14


We are always getting asked LOADS of questions about guitars. What guitar is right? What's the difference between acoustic and electro-acoustic? What size guitar should my child play? What guitar is suitable for my son? Is there a different guitar shape for girls? What accessories do I need to buy if I'm buying a guitar? What's the difference between half size and full size guitar?

We'd like to give a helping hand in deciding which guitar is the right one with Dolphin Music's guitar guide.

Guitar Categories

You'll find several different categories of guitars on our website. But what are the differences?

Classical - Classical guitars are the most popular choice for beginners. With 6-nylon strings and an acoustic box with sound hole to amplify vibrations, these are lightweight and small - perfect for the little ones!

Acoustic - Acoustic guitars are very similar to classical guitars, yet their steel strings make the sound much louder and therefore are a more bulkier build to hold the sound.

Electro-Acoustic - Electro-Acoustic guitars allow you to plug your guitar into an amplifier, effects pedal and other recording equipment. Simply, an electro-acoustic guitar look exactly like an acoustic, and really they are. So what's the added benefit of an electro-acoustic? They're just more versatile - fitted with pickups, a microphone or transducers, it makes them more convenient for live performances, of if you want to play along to a loop FX pedal, like Ed Sheeran and so many other acoustic artists do.

Electric - Like Electro-Acoustics, Electric guitars require amplification, but the difference is that electric guitars do not include a sound hole for acoustic amplification, but produce their sound solely from electricity, converting the string vibrations into electrical audio signals.

For a more detailed overview, check our article How To Choose The Perfect Beginners Guitar, which also shows how to choose a good guitar fro your particular musical tastes.

Different Size

It's important to know what size guitar you're buying, especially when you're shopping online and can't try out the guitar for yourself. Guitars a variety of different sizes - we have a guitar size-guide here, along with some guitars to match - so you can see just what suits you!


Please Note: If you're looking into completing Grade Exams with the guitar, such as ABRSM or Trinity College London, then you should take a look at the guitar grade requirements published by these examining bodies. The requirements state that the instrument used to take guitar grades must be a classical guitar with nylon strings (this is excluding Rock Guitar, or Rock School grades). If you're ever unsure about any guitar features advertised on our site, please don't hesitate to call up our sales team on 0151 448 2080, who will be more than happy to give you help and advice with whatever you need.

Dolphin's Recommendations

So now you know which guitar size is the right one for you, which guitar fits? Our guitar starter packs come with everything you need to start learning to play, complete with a learn-to-play DVD, picks, strap and an extra set of strings. Dolphin's diverse range caters to players of any age or any size, so take a look at some of our best individual beginner guitars and starter packs and see what catches your eye.

3/4 Classical Acoustic Guitar

Eastcoast 3/4 Size Linden Classical Guitar

3/4 Size (8-12 Years) - £39

The Eastcoast Linden Guitar with its nylon strings and matt finish is perfect for young beginners.

  • Top, Back & Sides: basswood
  • Neck: nato
  • Fingerboard & Bridge: solid maple (black painted) - Machine heads: standard, nickel
  • Finish: matt
  • Colour: natural - 3/4 Model - Scale length: 590 mm.

Available in Natural

Strat Style Guitar And Amp Package

Eastcoast Stratocaster Style Electric Guitar & Amp Starter Package

Full Size - £115

As well as a Strat-style guitar, the pack includes a tuition CD-ROM, a strap, tuning pitch pipes, guitar bag, spare set of guitar strings and an amp.

  • 1 x S300 electric guitar: alder body
  • 1 x 10 GA P amplifier
  • Guitar Strap
  • Tuning Pitch Pipes
  • Guitar Bag
  • 1x Vol, 2x Tone
 Eastcoast Electric Guitar Starter Pack

Eastcoast Electric Guitar and AmpPack - Trans Red

Full Size - £99

The Eastcoast Electric Guitar Package is a tremendously popular kit for novices & beginners requiring a low-cost pack that includes great accessories to get you going, not to mention an extremely well built Electric Guitar that looks, plays, & sounds great.

  • Stagg S300 Electric Guitar
  • Guitar Strap
  • Tuning Pitch Pipes
  • Guitar Bag
  • Full set of spare strings
  • e-Media Tuition CD Rom
Image: Yamaha APXT2 3/4 size acoustic-electric travel guitar (Natural)

Yamaha APXT2 3/4 size acoustic-electric travel guitar (Natural)

3/4 size (8-12 Years) - £120

The Yamaha APXT2 Guitar is a compact acoustic guitar which means you can take it along with you and play it anywhere. This is ideal not just for kids, but also casual players or musicians who'd like a cheap travel guitar to take on trips! Another advantage: it's also an electro-acoustic model!

  • Top: Spruce
  • Back: Meranti
  • Side: Meranti
  • Neck: Nato or Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Body Depth: 65-75 mm
  • Nut Width: 43 mm (1 11/16")
  • String Length: 580 mm
  • Tuners: Covered Tuners
  • Preamp: System 68 (Contact Pickup)

Available in Natural ,Tobacco Sunburst, Red Burst and Black

Image: Ibanez Acoustic Jam Pack - Vintage Sunburst Ibanez Acoustic Jam Pack - Vintage Sunburst

Full Size - £79

This is just the thing newbies need to get started learning acoustic guitar -- a dreadnought, gig bag, tuner, strap and picks all in one convenient package.


  • Dreadnought acoustic guitar
  • Clip-on electric tuner
  • Guitar picks
  • Guitar strap
  • Gig bag
  • Accessory pouch

Whatever it is that you're after, from electric to classical, full scale to junior guitars, we have what you need to start playing the guitar, or advance your skills!

You can see the rest of our affordable electric and acoustic guitar starter packs in our Beginner Category.


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