Is a 3/4 Or a Full Size Guitar Better for Beginners? (And Better for Smaller Hands?)

If you’re looking for a guitar that is more portable, not as expensive, and easier to play than a regular guitar, then the 3/4 size guitar might be perfect for you. Choosing the right size guitar is a crucial first step, and it can significantly impact your learning experience and progress.

In essence, a ¾ size guitar, with its smaller size and scale length, is often easier for beginners to handle. It’s particularly suitable for younger players or those with smaller hands. On the other hand, a full-size guitar, while potentially more challenging due to its larger size, can offer a richer and fuller sound.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the comparison between ¾ and full-size guitars, exploring which is easier for beginners to play. We’ll examine the role of guitar size in classical guitar training for beginners and discuss the transition from a ¾ guitar to a full-size guitar. So, whether you’re a beginner or a parent looking for a guitar for your child, read on to make an informed decision.

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Is a 3/4 Guitar Good For Beginners?

A 3/4 guitar is great for beginners because the smaller neck makes it a bit easier to play than a regular guitar and I find that the smaller size makes it more comfortable to put my arm around when playing guitar.

These guitars are smaller than full-sized guitars, but they’re still big enough to feel like you’re playing normal guitar and apart from the size, they are exactly the same as a normal guitar.

They are also less expensive than a regular-sized guitar. This is great for beginners because when you’re just starting out, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a guitar to find out later it’s not really your thing.

Check out some good 3/4 Guitars on Amazon!

Now let’s rewind a bit and ask:

What Is a 3/4 Guitar?

A 3/4 size guitar is a smaller version of a regular guitar. As the name suggests, it has a shorter scale length of 23-24 inches instead of 25.5 inches and its total length is around 36 inches instead of 40+ inches.

3/4 guitars have been around for many years, but they’ve only been widely available from big companies in recent times partly because 3/4 guitars gained a lot of popularity because of Ed Sheeran whose main guitars are 3/4.

Does a 3/4 Guitar Sound Different?

If you have an old-school guitar teacher, they’ll probably have told you that 3/4 guitars are the worst and sound completely different than full-sized guitars.

Although there is some truth to that, because of the smaller body the guitar will produce less volume and sound a bit flatter. But only the veteran guitarists will notice this and if you’re just starting out, a 3/4 guitar will do just fine!

Buying a good quality 3/4 guitar will also help a lot in improving the sound, compared to buying a cheaper and poorly produced guitar.

Is a 3/4 Size Guitar Too Small?

This really comes down to personal preference, the only way to figure out if a 3/4 guitar is too small for you is to go to a physical guitar store and try out some different models.

As for me personally, my 3/4 guitar is the guitar I use the most actually. This has partly to do with that its right next to my desk and every time I get bored I will pick it up and play some.

This is another reason why I like 3/4 guitars, you can easily put them next to your desk or in a corner of a room and pick them up whenever you feel like it, they are not as clumsy as a regular-sized guitar can be.

Is a 3/4 Guitar Easier To Play?

A 3/4 guitar will be a bit easier to play than a regular-sized guitar because of its smaller size, it takes less to get used to.

Most people can easily wrap their hand around the neck of a 3/4 guitar. Compared to a full-sized guitar where it always takes some practice before you figure out how to properly put your hand around the neck and play chords without that buzzing sound.

Check out some good 3/4 Guitars on Amazon!

Some Disadvantages of a 3/4 Guitar

  • A 3/4 guitar won’t sound as good as a regular sized guitar, like I said before this is because of the smaller body. Althought you need a good ear to notice it.
  • They go out of tune a bit quicker, because there is more pressure on the snares when playing it compared to a normal guitar.

Some Advantages of a 3/4 Guitar

  • 3/4 Guitars are less expensive! Because of lower production costs.
  • They weigh less and are smaller,which makes them easier to carry around if you need to move them or take it on vacation with you.
  • If you have small hands, a 3/4 size is much more suited for you because of its smaller neck.
  • In general, they are a bit easier to play than a normal guitar

Why Does Ed Sheeran Use a 3/4 Guitar?

Like I mentioned before Ed Sheeran’s main guitar is a 3/4 guitar. He got multiple Martin LX1 Series acoustic guitars which he named “Lloyd, Keith, Felix, Nigel, and Cyril”.

He used 3/4 guitars because before he rose to fame Ed Sheeran used to be homeless, as you can imagine carrying around a 3/4 guitar is a lot easier than carrying around a regular-sized guitar.

From that point on he got used to playing on 3/4 guitars and now likes that better than regular-sized guitars.

How Much Should You Pay For A 3/4 Guitar?

3/4 guitar prices vary greatly depending on the brand, quality of wood used in production, and other factors.

You definitely don’t have to pay 1000 dollars for a good 3/4 guitar, especially not if you’re just starting out. There are some great affordable models which you could get for around 200 dollars! Like the Cort Earth Mini Open Pore 3/4 guitar.

If you want to go for a bit more quality and have some more money to spend you could consider the Martin LX1 Series, like Ed Sheeran. These go for around 500 dollars.

Check out some good 3/4 Guitars on Amazon!

What Is The Difference Between a 1/2 And 3/4 Guitar?

1/2 guitars, as the name implies are a stroke smaller than 3/4 guitars. These guitars are mostly for children, while 3/4 guitars can be used by both, kids and adults.

1/2 Guitars can also be easier for people with small hands to hold and play, as the neck is even smaller than a 3/4. If you’re still a kid and want to learn guitar, I definitely recommend getting a 1/2 size guitar first before moving on to a 3/4 or regular sized guitar.

Comparing ¾ and Full-Size Guitars: Which is Easier to Play for Beginners?

When it comes to choosing a beginner guitar, size is a crucial factor. The ¾ size guitar, with its smaller dimensions and scale length between 20 and 24 inches, is often easier for beginners to handle. The smaller size of the guitar makes it easier to press the frets and form chords, making it a great choice for beginners.

On the other hand, a full-size guitar, with a scale length longer than 24 inches, may provide a richer and fuller sound due to its larger resonating body. However, it might be more challenging for beginners due to its larger size. The type of music you want to play can also influence your choice. Ultimately, the decision between a ¾ and full-size guitar depends on the individual’s comfort and musical preferences.

The Impact of Guitar Size on Sound: Acoustic vs. Electric Guitars

The size of a guitar can significantly impact its sound. A full-size acoustic guitar, due to its larger resonating body, usually produces a louder, fuller sound than a smaller guitar. However, a ¾ size acoustic guitar can still produce a good sound, especially for more intimate and introspective songs.

Electric guitars, on the other hand, rely less on the body size for sound production. Therefore, a ¾ electric guitar can still deliver a robust sound. This makes it a great choice for beginners looking for a guitar that’s easier to handle but still delivers a powerful sound.

Choosing the Right Size Youth Guitar: Full Size vs. ¾ Guitar

  1. Consider the Player’s Size: The size of the player is crucial when choosing a youth guitar. A full-size guitar might be too large for a child, making a ¾ size guitar a better option.
  2. Think About Comfort: The smaller size of a ¾ guitar can be more comfortable for younger players, making it easier for them to learn how to play.
  3. Sound Quality: While a full-size guitar may produce a fuller sound, a ¾ guitar still offers a good sound quality suitable for beginners.

The Role of Guitar Size in Classical Guitar Training for Beginners

Classical guitar training often begins with a smaller size guitar, like a ¾ size classical guitar. The nylon strings of a classical guitar are easier to press down, and the smaller size makes it easier for beginners to learn the basic guitar techniques.

As the player’s guitar playing skills improve, they may transition to a full-size classical guitar for a richer sound and wider range of music. This transition allows the player to explore more complex pieces and improve their technique further.

Transitioning from a ¾ Guitar to a Full-Size Guitar: When and Why?

Transitioning from a ¾ to a full-size guitar is a significant step in a guitarist’s journey. This transition usually occurs when the player has outgrown the smaller guitar, both in terms of size and skill.

A full-size guitar offers a wider range of notes and a fuller sound, which can be beneficial for advancing guitar players. However, the transition should be made when the player feels comfortable and ready, as the larger size and longer scale length can initially be more challenging. This step is a milestone in the guitarist’s journey, marking their progression from beginner to a more advanced level.

Conclusion

Choosing the right guitar size is a crucial step in your musical journey, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player looking for a new instrument. We’ve explored the differences between ¾ and full-size guitars, and how these differences can impact a beginner’s learning experience.

We’ve also delved into the impact of guitar size on the sound of acoustic and electric guitars, and how the right size guitar can make a significant difference in your playing experience. For younger players, a ¾ size guitar can be a more comfortable and manageable choice, while a full-size guitar can offer a richer sound and a wider range of notes for more advanced players.

Classical guitar training often begins with a smaller size guitar, and as the player’s skills improve, they may transition to a full-size classical guitar. This transition is a significant step in a guitarist’s journey, marking their progression from beginner to a more advanced level.

In conclusion, whether you choose a ¾ or a full-size guitar, the most important thing is to choose an instrument that feels comfortable to play and suits your musical style and preferences. Remember, the journey of learning to play the guitar is a personal one, and the right guitar for you is the one that helps you express your musicality and enjoy the process of learning and playing music. Happy strumming!

FAQs

1. Is a 3/4 or a full size guitar better for beginners?

Generally, a ¾ guitar may be a better choice for beginners because it is smaller, making it easier for new players to manage and comfortable to hold. A smaller size guitar can help beginners learn how to play effectively, as they can handle the instrument better, making it easier to press the frets and chords. However, the choice also depends on the size and comfort of the player. A full-size guitar may be a better fit for larger beginners.

2. What guitar is a great start for beginners with smaller hands?

For beginners with smaller hands, a ¾ size guitar is often a great start. The smaller guitar size makes it convenient to grip and less demanding on the fingers to manage the frets. Furthermore, guitars like the Yamaha JR1, a ¾ size acoustic guitar, are popular among beginners with smaller hands due to its compact size and good sound.

3. Which type of guitar is easier to play for a beginner: Acoustic or Electric?

Many beginners find the electric guitar easier to play initially. Electric guitars typically have thinner strings and a slimmer neck, making them easier to press and hold chords. Nonetheless, an acoustic guitar can offer a more authentic experience to beginners. Using a ¾ size acoustic guitar for smaller hands can also make the acoustic option more manageable.

4. Does the scale length of a guitar affect its playability?

Yes, the scale length of a guitar can significantly affect its playability. Shorter scales such as that on a ¾ size guitar typically have less tension, thereby making it easier to press the strings. This could be beneficial for beginners while learning chords and practicing finger strength. A full-size guitar has a longer scale length, which produces more tension, but can provide a wider musical range.

5. What guitar is suitable for both beginners and those with smaller hands?

A size youth guitar or a ¾ size guitar is often suitable for beginners or those with smaller hands. This type of guitar is available from many guitar manufacturers and usually comes with a comfortable size and shorter scale length, making it easier for beginners and individuals with smaller hands to learn guitar playing skills.

6. Will a 3/4 size guitar sound different than a full size guitar?

A ¾ size guitar will indeed sound somewhat different than a full size guitar. Given its smaller size and shorter scale length, the ¾ size guitar could produce a slightly different tone – usually a little less bass