Are you learning how to play guitar? Do you find that despite all your efforts, you cannot master the most basic of tunes? Moving between frets is not smooth? What if we told you that the problem could be in the size of the guitar? There are people with smaller hands or a child for whom playing a full-size guitar is not easy! Or people who like to travel with their guitar!
Smaller guitars are available for such people! These are called mini guitars. Here is some information about the best mini electric guitars for you to make the right decision.
Mini Guitars With Major Impact!
Did you know that guitars come in various sizes? How you play and how well you play depends to quite an extent on the size of the instrument. Matching the right size for each person is essential. As the name suggests, a mini guitar is smaller in size. It is sometimes also known as a travel guitar. You can take it anywhere without any problem because it takes less space.
A mini guitar is also a good option if you are looking for a starter instrument for your young one. Some people have smaller hands and struggle with a normal-sized instrument. A mini guitar is perfect in all these situations because it is portable, compact, and can serve as stand-ins for normal-sized guitars. If you ask experts, they will tell you that a mini guitar sounds like a standard guitar.
How To Measure A Guitar?
You have to understand this to find out accurate measurements of your guitar. (2)
- Total length: it is the length of guitar from end to end
- Scale length: it is measured by calculating the distance from the edge of the nut on the fingerboard to the center of the 12th octave and then doubling it.
Knowing the scale length is more important than knowing the total length! The full length of a full-size guitar could be between 36 to 40 inches and maybe more. You should not compare guitars based on total length. Some guitars have long headstocks while some have shorter. If the scale length is around 25 inches or more, it is a full-sized guitar. On the other hand, if the scale length is less than this range, we can call it a mini guitar.
Why Use A Mini Guitar?
There are some specific reasons why you can consider a mini guitar.
- A child is going to use the guitar
- You plan to travel with your guitar
- You want a lightweight and portable instrument
- You are looking for a less expensive guitar
- You have smaller hands
- You need a practice guitar
One Major Drawback
There are several benefits of a mini guitar, but one primary concern is its quality. When you buy a starter or beginner guitar for your child, you don’t want it to be too expensive. You are aware that the child will soon outgrow the instrument. Similarly, musicians and other people traveling with a mini guitar are using them in place of their regular guitars, which are more expensive.
Finding the Best Mini Electric Guitar
While researching mini guitars, I found that there were several options in the market! It can confuse you if you are not clear about what you want. Here is a list of the top 5 mini electric guitars to help you choose the best one. For more information, watch this video. (1)
#1 Fender 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar
Fender is a reputed brand that is well known for its high-quality guitars. The Squier Affinity Series Telecaster continues with the legacy and delivers a great quality instrument. This guitar has many player-friendly features. It has a slim, C-shaped neck profile. The neck has a satin finish for a smooth and sleek look. This is also very comfortable to hold even for more extended periods.
Its tone is perfect for any aspiring youngster or beginner. Its sealed die-cast tuning machines produce smooth and ideal tuning. Additionally, a 6-saddle bridge is just right for fine adjustments of intonation. The dual Squier single-coil pickups, along with the 3-way switching, make it one of the best guitars in this range. Its body is made of poplar while the fret-board is maple wood. The strings are made of very high-quality steel and produce a sweet sound. This guitar’s dimensions are 44.5 by 4 by 14.5 inches, and it weighs only about 10 pounds.
- Vintage style, C-shaped neck has a comfortable satin finish
- 6 individual saddles produce accurate sounds with 6 strings
- Headstock logo in gold and black adds a touch of class.
- Edges of frets are a bit rough and get uncomfortable
A fantastic guitar from a loved and reputed brand like Fender is always the right choice. With many great features, this guitar is ideal for players of all ages and all stages!
#2 Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro Electric Guitar
Unlike many other mini guitars, Ibanez Mikro ¾ electric guitar is not to be taken lightly! It showcases the same construction and quality that you would expect with a full-size Ibanez. It is perfect for young players who are just beginning their musical journeys or for experienced players who just want to carry out some last-minute rehearsals. Some players prefer a guitar with a smaller body and a slimmer neck. The scale length is 22 inches and is very comfortable for young kids or people with smaller hands.
Beginners can learn this guitar easily because it is easy to handle. This is the first compact guitar from Ibanez, and they have left no stone unearthed to make it as right as their other instruments. The body is mahogany, and there are no visible seams. Fret-board material is rosewood, the neck is maple, and the back of the guitar is basswood. Its dimensions are 37 by 3 by 14 inches, and weight is 8.43 pounds. This is a lightweight and small instrument but packs a punch. Scale length is 22 inches, and the stings are nickel.
- Size and weight are perfect for beginners or young players
- Design and quality are as good as a full-size guitar
- It is possible to get a left-handed model
- Pickups are mounted with only two screws, so they get wobbly.
This one is a mini guitar with all features like a full size one. Ibanez is a trusted name, and even with the instrument, they don’t fail. You get a high-quality guitar.
#3 Squier Affinity Mini Stratocaster V2
This is a great guitar and is a mini version of the Bullet Strat. It has been redesigned, and some new features make it one of the best options for beginners or people with smaller hands or anyone else looking for a smaller guitar. The body of the guitar is much thinner and slimmer. The neck profile is also slim and easy to hold and play. It has 3 single-coil pickups and 5-way switching for classic tones. There is a new and improved tuning machine, smaller strap pins, hardtail-bridge, and a side-mounted output jack.
The volume and tone control controls are similar to what you may find on any standard electric guitar. Its body is made of laminated hardwood, and the neck is maple. The fingerboard is rosewood, while strings are made of steel. You will find 20 medium frets and a hardtail bridge on this instrument. The scale length is 22.75 inches. The polyurethane finish and hardware are of good quality, and the instrument will have a long life if looked after well.
- Affordable cost, lightweight, small size; all you look for in a mini guitar
- Tuning is easy, and it stays in tune for long periods
- From a good brand which shows in high quality of construction
- Experienced players may want to change to heavier gauge strings
One of the best small guitars with the right price and size! There is no compromise on the quality of the instrument. You get a good deal here!
#4 Traveler Guitar EC-1 Limited Edition Travel Electric Guitar
This guitar comes to you from the pioneer’s ESP and Traveler Guitar and is a match made in heaven! They have taken the best features from their array of guitars and put them in this model. What you get is a high-class guitar with a scale of 24 ¾ inches. It is excellent for carrying while traveling or as a beginner guitar. Traveler Guitar is known for its technical innovations, and you see many in this guitar. ESP designed humbucker produces a powerful drive and accurate tone.
The design is very stylish with a carved arch-top body of mahogany and black anodized finish hardware. It has a beveled neck heel and allows easy access to the higher frets. The bridge is adjustable like the tune-o-matic style. One unique thing is that tuning machines are located in the body, so there is no need for a headstock. This results in an instrument which is lighter and smaller, yet produces great sound. Scale length is 24 ¾ inches. Its custom headphone amplifier is built-in. Its dimensions are 30 by 2 ¾ by 1 & 5/8 inches, and weight is about 5.2 pounds. Fingerboard inlays are Pearloid with 22 jumbo frets.
- Technically very sound so musicians prefer this as a traveling guitar
- It can fit easily in the overhead compartment of an airplane.
- Comes with deluxe gig bag, so easy to store and carry
- Lesser size and weight is hard to switch from standard guitar
Two great brands come together to create this small guitar. The result is a technically sound and beautifully designed instrument with a great sound.
#5 Gibson SG Special Electric Guitar
SG model guitars have been around since the 1960s. You could find them everywhere, and people liked them a lot, irrespective of where it was played and by whom! SG stood for ‘Solid Guitar’ when it came out, and though not many people remember it now, SG stands for quality over the years. It has a solid mahogany body with a slim neck and a dual Gibson P-90 single-coil pickups with a 3-way switch that produces impressive sound. It can go from sweet to rocking sound in an instant effortlessly. The scale length is 24.75 inches with 22 fret rosewood finger wood.
The design of the instrument is a traditional double-cutaway shape, but the finish is glossy. After several changes, its neck is now known as the slim-taper design and made of mahogany. It comes with 3 volume controls and has a fixed bridge design. It boasts of a vintage style tuning machine and comes with two humbuckers to produce a mighty sound. This is one guitar that you can buy for yourself or your child! It plays beautifully, and its tuning and tone are near perfect.
- Comes with a lot of history and heritage
- Product includes e-lessons for people wanting to learn guitar
- P-90 pickups are the best for some strong sounding music
- Timeless and vintage feel. Does not look very modern
What is the history behind this guitar! When you pick it up and start to play, you will know the difference between this and other guitars immediately. Its solid body is comfortable.
Learning and playing the guitar can bring you immense joy! However, you can give up very easily if you don’t make progress. Many people with smaller hands find it difficult to navigate the fretboard easily between high and low scales! Children have little hands and fingers, and if they face difficulty initially, they may completely give up. There are some adults and players who are specifically looking for a smaller instrument. They may want it for practice sessions or for taking along while traveling.
Reasons could be any and many, but the solution to these problems is a mini guitar! These are smaller in size and lighter in weight and less expensive as well. They are excellent as a beginner guitar or as a travel companion. However, the market is full of small guitars, and some people even add ukulele in this list! You need to assess your needs first carefully. Who is going to use it is the most critical question.
My intention while listing out the best five small guitars was to help you find the most suitable one. I looked at different factors like quality, price, dimension, weight, and features. In my opinion, it is the Fender 6 String Solid-Body Electric Guitar, which deservedly takes the first place. It has high quality and comes from a reputed brand. At the same time, the price is affordable. Unlike many other small guitars, this model feels and sounds like a standard guitar. If you choose this one, you get a great guitar with a fantastic performance.
Buyers Guide – Mini Electric Guitars:
If you are reading this, it means that you are looking for a mini guitar, then I can be of some help to you in making this difficult decision. It is natural for anyone to get confused with so many options available. At the same time, you need to understand what your requirements are. Without this, it would be challenging to find the option which is best for you. Here is some more information for you to better understand your needs and match them with available guitars.
What is the size of a full guitar?
Generally, a full-size guitar is around 38 inches long and has a scale of approximately 25.5 inches. The total length could be anywhere between 36 to 40 inches and maybe more. The total length varies from brand to brand based on design, and you must check the scale length to find out if it is a full-size guitar or not.
Can adults play a mini guitar?
Usually, small guitars or ¾ sized guitars are meant for 8 to 12-year-old children. However, it does not mean that they are unsuitable for adults. Several people like to use smaller guitars due to the convenience of size and weight. These smaller guitars also produce a more punchy sound, which some people like.
Is it easier to play smaller guitars?
When you say smaller guitars, you should only take into account the scale length. Guitars having smaller scale lengths are easier to play. The frets are closer, and it is easy to go up and down even with smaller hands. Adults may not like it, especially if they have large hands.
What role does hand size have in playing guitar?
Hand size does matter, and you need to consider this factor before selecting any guitar. Having smaller hands makes some movements and grips difficult. On the other hand, if you have very large or thick hands, it would be a problem even to play even the simplest of chords.
Can you play well even with small hands?
If you choose the right instrument with the right design, you can play well. A guitar with a narrow neck is ideal for more natural and easy hand movements. Buying a mini guitar or ¾ size guitar with shorter scale length will always give better results. People with smaller hands should look for a compact instrument.
Things to remember when buying a small guitar electric guitar
When you buy shoes for children you generally buy a size bigger so that it does not become too small quickly, it is the same with a mini guitar. Buy something which your child will not grow out of immediately. If you are buying it as a travel guitar, then again, you need to consider the fact that while traveling there can be scratching, denting, etc. due to bumping or mishandling. So, you need to carefully assess your budget and see how much you can spend.
Proper setup and tuning
Many small guitars have a problem with tuning. Usually, every guitar needs some time and tuning to sound good, but with small guitars, it is more of a problem. One reason is that the strings are not of very high quality in many of the small guitars. It can be frustrating for players to re-tune frequently. You must also learn how to modify the guitar to make it sound good. Care and maintenance of guitar or for that part any musical instrument is critical for it to work and perform well.
Remember that a small guitar also requires just about everything that you need for a standard guitar. Accessories are essential as a necessity as well as a way to personalize the instrument. Here are the main ones
- Bag/case: buy a bag to keep the guitar safe. Look for the right size.
- Straps: playing while standing; you need a strap. Size is of great importance especially in smaller guitars
- Amplifier: you canhook up a mini guitar to any amp. Some have built-in headphone amps. You can buy a smaller amp or a travel amp.
- Strings: for the guitar to sound good, you need the right strings. Many smaller guitars have low-quality strings, and players usually have to change them.
Choosing a guitar can become easy if you do your research and match your needs with the options available. When you select the best instrument, you will enjoy making music much more!