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The right-sized guitar is as important as choosing the right-sized dress. A wrong choice can make your learning difficult. With time, difficulties will lead to demotivation. You may lose interest at times. This is why you must be aware of the size while choosing a guitar for the first time

Guitars come in various sizes. These target different age groups and persons of different heights. Choosing the right-sized guitar is not an easy task. Many guitar enthusiasts make an error here. An oversized guitar can create difficulties. It may obstruct learning scales and chord shapes perfectly. 

Above all, the best  guitar size is the size that feels comfortable when you play. That said, generally, a full body guitar is 38 inches in size and can be used regularly by anyone above 160 cm in height.

How to choose the right size guitar? Well, this article is all about it. Go through the article till the end. I assure you that all your doubts will be resolved here. If you are in a rush, here’s a quick guitar size summary guide for you.

Age Group Height Suitable Size of Guitar
Acoustic Guitar Electric Guitar Classical Guitar
5 – 9 years 100 cm – 120 cm ½ ½ ½ or ¼
9 – 13 years 120 cm – 160 cm ¾ or small-body ¾ ¾
13 years and above 160 cm and above Full-body Full-body Full-body

Does It Matter What Size Your Guitar Is?

The size of your guitar does matter a lot because it  leaves a drastic effect on your playing style, speed, and comfort. The big size guitar may create difficulty for you. It reduces the speed of playing the notes or comfortable shuffling between the chords.

I have seen a lot of guitar players struggling year after year. It is perhaps the size of the guitar they are using. It might be too big or too small for them. 

A guitar bigger than your arm may create some problems. It leaves your fingers inaccessible to the upper portion of the fretboard.

Thus it makes you slow. On the other hand, a guitar smaller than your arms may deprive you of playing some higher octaves. So, I always suggest choosing the right size guitar. It will help you to master your music faster. 

Also Read: Impact Of Finger Size To Guitar Playing: Is Skinny Better?

What Size Guitar Should You Get?

Age Group Height Suitable Size of Guitar
Acoustic Guitar Electric Guitar Classical Guitar
5 – 9 years 100 cm – 120 cm ½ ½ ½ or ¼
9 – 13 years 120 cm – 160 cm ¾ or small-body ¾ ¾
13 years and above 160 cm and above Full-body Full-body Full-body

According to age and height, the size of the guitar is generally categorized into 3 divisions such as ½, ¾, and full body. 

½ sized Guitar

If you are buying a guitar for your children, ages between 5 to 9 years, then a ½ size or small-body guitar is the best. Generally, the height of children at this age lies between 100 cm to 120 cm. Therefore, ½ sized guitar, whose length is 34 inches, would be the best option.

¾ sized Guitar

A ¾ sized guitar is around 36 inches long. This type of guitar is generally suitable for children of 9 to 13 years of age or children with heights between 120 cm to 160 cm

Full Body Guitar

Full body guitar comes with 22 or 24 frets. The average length of a full-body guitar is about 38 inches to 39 inches. It generally suits any adult or children of at least 13 years of age. Generally, any person above 160 cm in height can play a full-body guitar quite comfortably. 

These were the general categorization of guitars according to their sizes. However, exceptions occur in many cases. For example, a child aged 8 years has a height of more than 120 cm. In this scenario, he may feel comfortable with a ¾ sized guitar. 

On the contrary, a short-heightened adult person may feel comfortable with a ¾ sized guitar instead of a full-body guitar. Therefore, I recommend physically checking each size of the guitar. It helps in choosing the best suitable one for you. 

There are a few more aspects that you should keep in your mind. There are various kinds of guitars such as electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and nylon-string classical guitars. 

Not all of them are of equal size. For example, an electric guitar is smaller than an acoustic guitar. So, you must keep in your mind which type of guitar you are going to buy.

From my experiences, I am presenting a chart for you which will help you in choosing the right-sized guitar.

Does Guitar Size Affect Sound?

As a general rule, the size of the guitar does not affect the sound at all. Instead of guitar size, what impacts guitar sound the most are the wood material, strings, pickups and amps. 

There is a myth about a large-sized guitar that’s not true at all which says A big guitar produces warm and louder sounds than a small size guitar. It is not true at all. I have seen dozens of small-size guitars that are louder and brighter than my jumbo guitar.

There are various sizes of guitars available in the market. Most of them sound quite good. The quality of the sound of a guitar depends on various matters. The wood, strings, and finish are the major factors. 

The size of the guitar generally does not matter a lot. I played a small-sized guitar belonging to my student. Surprisingly it sounds quite sharp and bright.

Generally, the sound quality does not affect the sound too much. I use a jumbo guitar, made of maple wood. I think it is quite bright and sharp. Most importantly, its size suits my arm’s length pretty well.

Also Read:

How To Know If Guitar Is Too Big Or Small For You?

To check whether a guitar is too big or small is by trying it out physically. Make sure you feel comfortable to strum, pluck and slide along the frets (From the first fret all the way to the last).

If you feel you need to stretch, then it’s too big. Whereas, if you feel you need to squeeze, then it’s too small.

The suitable size of the guitar varies from person to person. There are no hard and fast rules to determine whether a guitar is too big for you or not.  It depends on your comfort while playing it. For me, trial and error is the best way to know whether the guitar is bigger for you or not.

You may think about how to know if the guitar is large for you, right? Well, you should try playing it. If you feel it is not handy for every portion of the fretboard, it is bigger for you. 

You may play every fret to check if your finger size matches it or not. If you struggle to shuffle between the frets, try a smaller one.

Can You Play a Guitar That Is Too Big?

You definitely can play a guitar that is too big, but you cannot play it well. The size of the guitar must be suitable for you to play music comfortably. 

If you have a short arm and are playing a full-size guitar then it might put you in trouble. You may feel uncomfortable while learning the scales or chord shapes. 

Even so, it will be difficult for you to access the neck area of your guitar. It can also make you slow while shuffling between the chords.

I suggest choosing a perfect size guitar according to your age and arm length. This will help to stay motivated and play amazing music.


What Is the Most Comfortable Guitar Shape?


Many people agree that the Player Stratocaster, with its comfortable body shape, easy-playing neck, and range of tone-shaping settings, is the perfect guitar for anyone looking for a guitar that is both comfortable and easy to play. Stratocasters sound terrific, are lightweight and have attractive curves for comfort and style.

The most comfortable guitar, though, is the one that sounds wonderful to you, feels nice in your hands, rests easily on your lap while you’re sitting, balances well when you’re standing, and looks good to you.

Because everyone will have a distinct preference for aspects like neck size, guitar body shape, playing style, and budget, it can be quite challenging to say which of them is more or less comfortable.

In terms of form, tone, and playability, the Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul, Gibson SG, and Gibson ES 335 unquestionably stand out from the competition.

What Size Guitar Are Most Popular?

The most common guitar size worldwide is the 41′′ Full-Size Dreadnought. The full-size dreadnought offers the best overall comfort, playability, and sound quality because bass, loudness, and power are all included in one package.

It measures 41 inches in height, 20 inches in box length, and 11 inches in the waist. Its largest bout measures 15.5 inches in width, 4.75 inches in depth, and 25.5 inches in scale length.

The dreadnought guitar features a thick, hollow body that is suitable for producing low-pitched, deep tones. It weighs roughly four to five pounds and is a classic among musicians who play folk or bluegrass songs.

It can be utilised in a group or solo, on stage or in a studio. A dreadnought is a necessity for playing lead guitar and should be in your collection. It has established a reputation for being the most popular guitar size in the world right now due to its crispness and adaptability.

Ifandi S.

About Ifandi S.

Ifandi started Strumming Bars to answer all the questions of a guitarist. As a self-learned guitarist, he remembered how frustrating it was to not find answers to his many questions in the journey. With Strumming Bars, that's no longer the case!

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