Best 1/2 Sized Guitars – 2020 Reviews

In this article, we will be detailing essential information on the topic of ½ size guitars. In addition to general information, several specific models will be addressed in detail to help you decide which would most suit your needs. 

Comparison Chart of the Best 1/2 Sized Guitars

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Yamaha Half-Size Classical Guitar

  • Best 1/2 size guitar overall.
  • Classic appearance
  • Nylon strings sound great and are easy to play
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Hohner 1/2 Sized Classical Guitar

  • Nylon strings to improve the playability of this model.
  • Bundles with helpful accessories
  • Comes with a songbook
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Music Alley 6 String 30 inch

  • Best 1/2 size guitar for the money.
  • Metal tuning pegs as opposed to plastic
  • Nylon strings are easy on the fingers and the ears
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ADM 34" Classical Guitar

  • Best 1/2 size classical guitar.
  • Classic look or more contemporary colors
  • Combines nylon and steel strings in a unique way
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Smartxchoices 30" Mini Kids Electric Guitar

  • Best 1/2 size electric guitar.
  • One pickup and volume knob are intuitive to operate
  • Can be played acoustically or amplified with included amp
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Strong Wind 30" Acoustic Guitar

  • Best 1/2 size acoustic guitar.
  • Steel strings sound great for folk and country
  • Includes fret markers so you don’t have to count to find the fret you’re looking for
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MB2 Quality Mini Bass Guitar

  • Best 1/2 size bass guitar.
  • Bass guitar with standard 4 strings
  • One pickup and separate knobs for volume and tone are simple and easy to dial in
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What is a ½ Size Guitar?

½ size guitars are, as their name implies, smaller versions of standard guitars. They have smaller bodies and shorter necks compared to ¾ or full-size guitars. ½ size guitars are great for children or people of any age who have small hands. Their compact size also makes it easier to travel with than a larger instrument. 

Hohner 6 String Acoustic Guitar, Right Handed, Natural (HAG250P)

When considering ½ size guitars, you’ll want to look for one that is easy to play, has a nice sound, and stays in tune reasonably well. 

How to Choose a ½ Size Guitar

When buying any guitar (particularly for a beginner), there are really only a few important factors to consider. Primarily, you want a guitar that is going to be inspiring to play. While the particular qualities that make a guitar inspiring to play will vary from person to person, there are a few things 99 out of 100 guitarists will agree on.

Visuals

Often the first things that draw somebody to any instrument are what it sounds like and what it looks like. While visuals may not play a big role in how an instrument sounds, a guitar that looks appealing to its user has a better chance of being played and practiced a lot.

ADM Kids Classical Guitar 1/2 Size 34 Inch Wooden Guitar for Age 6-12 Starter and Beginner, Sunset

Playability

A guitar that is comfortable and easy to play will also inspire more practice time. It can be discouraging to feel like you have to apply a lot of pressure to a string just to get a note to ring out clearly and without buzzing. Especially for beginners, look to start with a guitar that does not force you to fight it. 

Sound and Intonation

A guitar that has a pleasant and beautiful sound will also inspire more playing time. One aspect of this is how well it holds its tuning. It is absolutely normal for a guitar to slip out of tune a bit, and it is fine to tune it up everyday right before a practice session. But a guitar that is constantly going out of tune (often just one particular string is the culprit) can make for frustrating user experience, to say the least.

Review of the Best ½ Size Guitars

In this section, we will do a deep dive into seven specific ½ size guitars. You will get a sense of the pros and cons of each, and gain an understanding of the differences between some of the different types of guitars available in this size (classical, electric, and electric bass).

Yamaha CGS102A Half-Size Classical Guitar - Natural

PROS

  • Pleasant sound
  • Classic and timeless look
  • Stays in tune reasonably well
  • Easy playability makes it great for beginners
  • Nylon strings especially suitable for classical and bossa nova

CONS

  • No option for a strap
  • Does not include a case

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are generally very happy with this guitar. Many bought this for their children who are just starting out on guitar, while others are adults with small hands who bought it for themselves. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This stands out because it does a good job of fulfilling all of the basic requirements of a guitar at a reasonable price. While it’s minimal feature set does not offer anything particularly fancy, this will not be a problem for beginners or many potential users. 

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used mostly by young guitarists who are new to the instrument. After that, this instrument will appeal to adult players of any level who are looking for a small nylon string guitar for travel and/or to accommodate small hands. Finally, professional musicians and guitar teachers may want to have a simple guitar like this around for general use. 

Bottom Line

This is a great beginner guitar that has all of the basics covered. It produces a nice sound, stays in tune, and is easy to play. Yamaha has been manufacturing instruments for a long time and is a trustworthy brand.

Hohner 6 String Acoustic Guitar, Right Handed, Natural (HAG250P)

PROS

  • Pleasant sound
  • Includes a songbook and stickers
  • Easy playability makes it great for beginners
  • Nylon strings especially suitable for classical and bossa nova
  • Can be bundled with a case, tuner, picks, and other accessories

CONS

  • Possible issues staying in tune and/or notes buzzing
  • Looks like an acoustic steel-string guitar, which could be misleading since it’s a classical nylon-string guitar

What Recent Buyers Report

Many recent buyers bought this for very young children, and are happy with this guitar for very young beginners at a low price. Others report some inconsistencies and deficiencies with their particular instrument. Overall, having some general knowledge about guitar maintenance (or knowing a friend with that knowledge) may come in handy in case your guitar needs some help getting up and running.

Why it Stands Out to Us

As an overall product, this guitar stands out in part because it can come packaged with some very helpful accessories. Guitar picks, an electronic tuner, and a songbook are valuable and can be used with any guitar, and who doesn’t love stickers?! Unlike the Yamaha, this guitar is specifically intended for very young beginners aged 7 and under.

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar will be used primarily by students 7 and under. Players who start out on this and gain some proficiency will probably want to upgrade at some point, not necessarily to a bigger guitar, but to a higher quality one of any appropriate size.

Bottom Line

This is a good guitar for a very young child who is either noodling around or just beginning to take lessons. If bought with the package you will also get some handy accessories that you would probably have to buy separately otherwise.

​Best for the Money:
Music Alley 6 String 30 inch

Music Alley 6 String 30 inch Half Size Junior Guitar For Young Kids, Blue (MA-52)

PROS

  • Affordable price
  • Includes a case, strap, and picks
  • Easy playability makes it great for beginners
  • Nylon strings especially suitable for classical and bossa nova
  • Tuning pegs made of metal instead of plastic more typical at this price range

CONS

  • Lacks fret markers, which can be useful
  • Blue and pink color options could reinforce heteronormative gender stereotypes

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are very mixed regarding this guitar. Some feel that it’s fantastic for the price, while others find it to have lots of fundamental problems with the sound, staying in tune, and playability. This variation could speak to differences between buyers, but it’s also very possible that there is a lot of variation and not a lot of consistent quality control with these budget-priced guitars. If you get one of the good ones, consider it a “steal”!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guitar is distinguished in part by its strap option. Nylon string guitars are not always compatible with straps, but it’s a nice plus to be able to play standing up or to prevent the guitar from being dropped by a very young student. The metal tuning pegs are a nice feature as well and may be higher quality than the plastic ones usually found on guitars in this range.

Who Will Use This Most

This will mostly be used by very young student guitarists, who will probably want to upgrade if they find themselves taking guitar seriously. Like the other guitars featured in this article, adult players could find these useful as an extra guitar for casual situations or traveling.

Bottom Line

This guitar could be great for a very young player just beginning to learn to play. However, reports are mixed, and some consumers may prefer making a slightly bigger initial investment to have an instrument that delivers the basics more consistently.

​Best 1/2 Size Classical Guitar:
ADM 34” Classical Guitar

ADM Kids Classical Guitar 1/2 Size 34 Inch Wooden Guitar for Age 6-12 Starter and Beginner, Sunset

PROS

  • Pleasant sound
  • Comes in natural, black, or blue
  • Includes electronic tuner, picks, strap, case
  • Nylon strings especially suitable for classical and bossa nova
  • Steel strings especially suited for folk and acoustic repertoire from other styles

CONS

  • Some report tuning problems and buzzing lacks fret markers
  • Combination of three nylon and three steel strings is unusual

What Recent Buyers Report

Reports are mixed for this guitar. Many are very satisfied with it as a cheap option for young children just starting out. Others may have received “duds”, suggesting that quality control might not be a high priority for this manufacturer. For these customers, the guitar does not meet the basic standards of staying in tune, pleasant-sounding notes without buzzing, and easy playability.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This guitar is unique in its apparent combination of nylon and steel strings. Typically, guitars would use one kind or the other. This combination offers no particular benefit to a young student. Like some of the other guitars featured here, this is bundled with a bunch of helpful accessories that could be used with any guitar.

Who Will Use This Most

This guitar is aimed primarily at young beginners, who will likely upgrade if they decide to take guitar seriously. Like the others featured here, adults with small hands, or adults looking for an extra budget guitar may find what they’re looking for here.

Bottom Line

This guitar could be great for a very young player just beginning to learn to play. However, reports are mixed, and some consumers may prefer making a slightly bigger initial investment to have an instrument that delivers the basics more consistently.

Best 1/2 Size Bass Guitar:
MB2 Quality Mini Bass Guitar

MB2 Quality small mini bass guitar for children, kids ages 5-9 & travel, Sunburst

PROS

  • Classic look
  • Intended for small children
  • Small size makes it well-suited for travel
  • One of the smaller electric bass guitars available
  • One Precision-bass style pickup, with separate volume and tone knobs

CONS

  • Does not come with amp, strap, or case
  • Bass guitars require heavy strings that could be challenging for most young beginners

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very happy with this bass guitar. Small bass guitars are not very common, so having a good quality one for young students is very helpful. Instruments that produce lower sounds typically have to be bigger by necessity, so this alternative option is clearly very appreciated.

Why it Stands Out to Us

As an electric bass guitar, this instrument is the least like the others in this article. It has four strings instead of six, and they are tuned an octave lower than the standard guitars. Bass guitar typically functions in music differently than a standard guitar. It is often the lowest instrument in an ensemble and normally is responsible for the bassline portion of accompaniment. The other guitars here will be frequently used to provide chords and melodies.

Who Will Use This Most

This bass is designed for and will be used primarily by, young beginner bass students. Bassists of all ages who have small hands may want to try it out as well. Finally, its size makes it a great option for traveling or storing in a secondary location.

Bottom Line

This ½ sized bass guitar fills a particular niche, and will likely be a great choice for a young person starting out with bass lessons. Keep in mind that you will probably have to buy some accessories separately, including an amplifier, instrument cable, and electronic tuner.

Smartxchoices 30' Black Kids Electric Guitar with 5W Amp & Much More Guitar Combo Accessory Kit (Black)

PROS

  • Low price for the whole bundle
  • Classic black color “goes with everything”
  • Includes case, cable, amplifier, picks, strap, and other accessories
  • Amplifier has a headphone output option so you can practice silently
  • One pickup and one knob for volume offer a good introduction to guitar electronics for beginners

CONS

  • Amplifier does not come with included power supply, requires 9v battery unless you buy the correct power supply separately
  • Using an amplifier headphone output option means parents can’t monitor their child’s headphone volume, potential risk of damaging hearing

What Recent Buyers Report

This guitar receives the mix of positive and negative reviews typical of instruments in this price range. Many are very pleased with it as a low price option for young children. However, low-quality control allowed some less-than-perfect instruments to be delivered to some customers, who point to poor playability, and difficulty staying in tune as major issues.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Among the group of guitars featured in this article, this guitar stands out for being a solid body electric model. This means that when played acoustically, it will be significantly quieter than the classical guitars featured here, but when used with an amplifier it can be played at any desired volume. Electric guitars are frequently associated with rock music.

Who Will Use This Most

Once again, this is a guitar that anybody could play, but is especially intended for very young beginners for whom a full-sized guitar would be too big to play comfortably. For some adults, it could make a good backup choice to keep at the office.

Bottom Line

This guitar comes with most of the additional equipment a young beginner needs to start out with the electric guitar. Most people who buy this instrument will probably want to supplement it with an electronic tuner or tuner app on their phone.

Strong Wind 30 Inch Half Size Acoustic Guitar Beginner Kit, real guitar for kids with Free Gig Bag

PROS

  • Low price
  • Includes a case
  • Has fret markers
  • Instructional materials available through customer service
  • Steel strings especially suited for folk and acoustic repertoire from other styles

CONS

  • Steel strings may be a little harder for beginners than nylon strings
  • Does not come packaged with picks or fingerpicks, or a strap, which are frequently used with steel-string acoustic guitars

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have mostly negative impressions of this instrument, taking issue with poor assembly and craftsmanship that keep it from meeting the basic minimum requirements of a usable beginner guitar. On the other hand, a few report that they are happy with it for its intended use (young beginners) and the low price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Among this roundup, this is the only true acoustic steel-string guitar. These are associated with country and folk styles. Steel strings may be harder on a beginner’s fingers than nylon strings. While picks are not required to play guitar, they can be used on steel-string acoustics and it could have been a nice option to include some so that players could easily experiment with using a pick versus fingerpicking.

Who Will Use This Most

Very young beginners will likely get the most out of this instrument. Like the others, it is probably best used as a starter instrument to see if a child is interested in the guitar. As an acoustic steel-string, it is also well-suited to campfire and sing-a-long situations, as well.

Bottom Line

Recent reports are mixed, but this guitar is an option if you need a small backup acoustic steel-string at a very low price. If you get one that has been put together correctly it could be a good option for a young beginner.

½ Sized vs. Regular Guitar

In this section, we will go over the key differences and similarities between ½ size and full-size guitars, so that you can make a more informed choice.

Differences: Size

The primary difference between these types of guitars is simply the size. A ½ size guitar will be considerably smaller, and in many instances easier to play for a small person or somebody with small hands

Differences: Volume

½ size guitars will generally be quieter acoustically than their regular-sized counterparts simply because they are smaller. For electric instruments that can be amplified, however, there is ultimately no volume difference between the sizes.

Similarities

Beyond size, these instruments share a lot in common. They produce the same notes, and the technique for playing them is the same. 

Hohner HAG250P 1/2 Sized Classical Guitar

Adults and ½ Size Guitars

Adults with large hands or thick fingers might struggle at first with a ½ size guitar, although there are interesting potential possibilities with this combination since they will be able to stretch across a larger portion of the neck and fretboard than they are used to.

Pros and Cons of ½ Sized Guitars

Below are the main pros and cons of these guitars.

Pros

The small size of these instruments make them particularly well suited to young students, adults with small hands, and for traveling with. Acoustic ½ size models can be effective as campfire guitars, as well.

Cons

There are fewer models available in this size, giving the consumer less flexibility and choice when it comes to picking a guitar. Because they are often intended for children, there may be corners cut during manufacturing, which could lead to a product that seems closer to a “toy” than a musical instrument. ½ size guitars could also be potentially challenging to play for adults used to regular size, especially if they have large hands and fingers.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a first guitar for your young child, definitely consider a ½ or ¾ size model with nylon strings. If it is well made, it will be easier for them to get started on, and all of the basics they learn will be easily transferred to a regular size guitar if they eventually switch to that size. 

People Also Ask

Finally, there are a few frequently asked questions regarding ½ sized guitars, which will be specifically addressed in this section.

How Big is ½ Size Guitar?

½ sized guitars are typically 33-34 inches long

How Many Frets on ½ Size Guitar?

This will vary slightly on all guitars, but typically expect between 18 and 22 frets on any guitar. That said, for many players of all levels, the first twelve frets represent the most typically used, so it is not necessary to be concerned with the subtle difference between a guitar with 18 frets and one with 22. In most cases that difference will be negligible in practice.