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Appropriate for small girl?

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Joined: 05 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:59 pm    Post subject: Appropriate for small girl? Reply with quote

My small (4'3") 10 year old is starting to play acoustic (Taylor Swift, natch). I want to get her an electric to help her explore, musically. My first thought was a Squier Mini. But then I realized I could get her a Duo-Sonic or Mustang, tune it down a half step and pop a capo on the 1st fret to duplicate the reach and string tension of the Mini pretty much exactly, and it'd be an instrument she can grow into as well. And I can get the Mustang in Shell Pink, which is key. But then on the other hand, I'm somewhat concerned that the body of the Mustang is bigger/heavier than would be ideal for my daughter. Any experience or guidance to share?

To give you an idea of size, she's okay with a Little Martin right now, but a Taylor GS Mini is too big at the moment. Lower bout is big on the GS Mini.
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Joined: 10 Nov 2009
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Location: Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You’ll likely be fine getting her the Mustang/Duo and just letting her play as-is.
I got my daughter, also quite small, 15 and now ~5’, a Squier Mini, it fit her fine enough, but now she’s playing my Squier SS Jaguar Bass, and it fits her just fine... and is substantially larger than a Mustang or Duo. She’s even experimenting with full Jazz Basses now.
I,vex seen footage of rather young kids playing full size instruments... if they have desire, they’ll make it work.
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That's American cinema, that is. Fucking sparkles.

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Joined: 18 Dec 2011
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Location: Miami

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My niece - nicknamed Tiny - is learning to play on an Ibanez Mikro, and it's comfortable for her. She's 10.

When she's a little bigger, I'm probably going to get her a VM Mustang or a Duo Sonic.
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Joined: 01 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't look like the Squier Mini is much smaller or even lighter than a Mustang. My brother was 11 when he got his first real instrument, a full sized 34" Jazz Bass, and he sounded fine on it. You don't need a capo to lessen the tension, you can use 9s. You'll struggle with full barre chords, obviously, but like people have said, where you have desire, you'll make it work. I played full sized piano all my life, and I couldn't reach an octave for like the first 7-8 years of my piano life. You learn to deal. I think it's more important to have a professional quality instrument that looks and feels like a real instrument, than to have a smaller instrument just for the sake of size, because you feel more secure on a better instrument and you'll grow with it.

Also, GS Mini is small to a guitarist who is already used to the size of guitars, but to someone who is not, GS Mini is way bigger than a Mustang, despite the shorter scale, because an electric sits way more comfortably and you can easily see over the guitar to see the strings, whereas on an acoustic, you have a big body that blocks the view of strings, no matter how short the scale is. I can say this because my ex was kind of into the idea of learning guitar and she tried my MIJ Mustang and GS Mini in succession and said that the GS Mini is way too hard to play, but the Mustang was comfortable for her.

You might want to do the extra bit of search to find a Mustang that's lighter than 7 pounds. The contoured ones are usually even lighter because less wood, and most of the Japanese versions are made of basswood, which again is even lighter, but light examples of the MIM can be found, too, you just have to look a bit harder because they're usually in the low 7s.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was 10 when I started playing on my dad's Strat copy (probably an 80s cort or something at the time). The want to play will always be the prime motivator for a young guitarist. I would probably make a short list of suitable guitars and let her pick one from it. Daisy rock has a bunch of guitars aimed towards young girls, some of them are pretty stylish too, such as the retro-h.

For what it's worth, I tried to teach my niece on a squier mini when she was about 10, which didn't work so well, despite having better luck teaching my nephew on a cheap washburn at the same age...I think the mini came from the factory with 9s or maybe 10s back then, but on that scale it felt like it should be tuned to G standard before having any sort of tension. You kind of need to ask the question if it's better to play light strings at a good tension on a 24.75 scale or heavy strings at good tension on a 22" scale. To adult hands, 11's on a mustang might feel a bit like 9's on a strat, but the strings are still heavier, and might put off someone trying to learn. 10's on a 24" scale might be a good compromise.

Also just re-read everything honeyiscool said and agree 100%
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