Lot’s of people ask me ‘What’s the best guitar to learn on?’
My answer is, any guitar is ideal but if you really want to put some practice in you might want to lay out a little investment at first.
Lots of people can get put off with play a budget instrument, lets face it, they’re budget for a reason. They have cheap parts, poor craftsmanship and you have a something that resembles a guitar but isn’t that great and doesn’t sound quite right either.
For children, I would suggest learning on an electric guitar first is easier. The neck is slimmer and the strings are spaced closer together. Those with smaller hands find it easier to play chords and fingers are less likely to hurt as much on electric guitar strings. There is nothing wrong with small acoustics, but electric guitars are easier to play.
I have recently purchased a Squier mini for my daughter. It is a 3/4 electric guitar, it has a small scale neck and a smaller body which fits much more comfortably with little kids.
If you have a guitar that hurts your hand and your fingers it might mean that the action on the guitar is too high. This is where the bridge is raised so that the distance between the strings and the neck is too high. Pushing or fingers down on this all the time would be too painful.
A guitar luthier can help by maybe adjusting the truss rod, and making sure the nut of the guitar is set up properly. Just some small tweaks can really help. I wish I had known about one when I started learning on my first guitar. My hands were so sore, but I just kept on going!
I can recommend the Leicestershire Luthiers, they have recently done a really good job on my Japanese Squier.
Second hand guitars are always a good place to start, you can get some real bargains if you know what to look for. I would always recommend trying before you buy. If the guitar doesn’t feel right, you’ll never enjoy playing it.