Do you travel a lot? Are you looking for an electric guitar for your child? Do you have exceptionally small hands that make full size guitars hard to play? Getting your hands on the best mini electric guitar you can might just be a perfect option for you!
While not perfect for everyone, 3/4 guitars are a great option and have a lot of benefits for different scenarios, all of which we’ll cover here!
Our top pick for the best mini electric guitar is the Fender Squier Stratocaster Short Scale, which is a great option regardless of the reason behind you wanting a smaller scale guitar!
What is a Mini Electric Guitar?
A mini electric guitar, also referred to as a 3/4 guitar, a kids guitar, or a travel guitar, is a guitar that is smaller in size than a normal model. They are used to build up skill and stamina before upgrading to a full size guitar. These guitars normally measure 30”, compared to 39” which is more standard on full size models. You can occasionally also find mini guitars as small as 24 inches and as large as 36 inches.
For kids, the size makes them easier to handle in general and the width of the fretboard is nice. They are also very portable and for anyone on the road a lot or with limited space.
Best Mini Electric Guitar
Ibanez GRGM21BKN 3/4 Size Mikro Electric Guitar
We start our list with a name brand that needs no introduction, but one that just recently has entered the arena for 3/4 scale guitars!
This guitar is very high quality, with the same materials and setup as the full size GRX and GRG models. This means you get a maple neck, mahogany body and a basswood top and bottom.
For a guitar in this price range, the pickups are suprisingly nice and will last quite a while before needing upgraded.
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As with many guitars in this price range, you’ll want to upgrade your string and adjust truss rods and bridge height when you get it. We also replaced the neck nuts to help keep the guitar in tune!
- Same build as GRX and GRG Models
- Ibanez look and feel
- Hardtail Bridge
- Left Handed Model Available
- Great Value
- Needs different strings out of box
- Gets out of Tune faster than Full Size version
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Fender Squier Short Scale Stratocaster with Accessories
Our top pick, The Fender Squier Short Scale Stratocaster is exactly what you’d expect from Fender, even from their ‘budget’ line Squier.
As you’d expect on a Strat, this guitar comes with three single coil pickups and a super lightweight body. The 24” scale is perfect for beginners and kids alike.
The kit that comes with it also supplies everything you need to get started including a 10” fender amplifier.
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While nothing in this package screams professional level quality, everything is more than enough for a beginner to pick up a guitar and start learning. This is the best value you are going to find and would be our top recommendation for anyone’s first mini electric guitar!
- Fender Name and Quality
- Beginner Kit has EVERYTHING you need
- Maple neck with Poplar Body
- Stratocaster single coil pickups
- Phenomenal Value
- Everything will eventually need upgraded
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LyxPro 30 Inch Electric Guitar and Starter Kit
Our pick for best budget mini electric guitar, the LyxPro electric guitar kit has everything you need to learn the electric guitar.
With this instrument you get a maple neck just like our other picks, but the body is made of “phoenix wood”, which is a mass produced product that makes this instrument durable, but lacking a little for resonance.
The tremolo bridge works well with the stock pickup to product a better than expected tone and sound.
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At this price, you kinda have to expect a lower quality instrument. For the money though, we have seen MUCH worse instruments and especially for a child this is a great way to introduce them to the electric guitar!
- Great Budget Option
- Maple Neck
- Full Beginners Kit
- S-S-S Pickup Configuration
- Overall Cheap Materials and Construction
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Yamaha APXT2 3/4-Size Acoustic-Electric Guitar – Black
Not fully sold on the idea of an electric guitar? We get it. Fingerpicking acoustically is still one of our favorite ways to play. If that’s your jam too, look no further than the Yamaha APXT2.
The Spruce top sounds amazing, and sits on top of a Meranti wood body with a mahogany neck. When played acoustically the spruce top has a very bright, lively tone to it!
This was the first time we’ve played the System 68 pick-ups when plugged in, and they were surprisingly sharp! Even plugged in, you will get a very acoustic tone, so if you are looking for that sharp electric sound stick with one of our other options!
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The Yamaha APXT2 is the 3/4 version of the world’s best selling acoustic electric guitar, the APX500III. If you’re not sold on going fully electric or full size, this is the instrument you want in your hands!
- 3/4’s version of Best Selling APX500III
- Spruce Top simply Sings
- ART based Pickup System
- Yamaha’s proprietary tuner
- Yamaha construction and quality
- Not Fully Electric
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Mini Electric Guitar Buying Guide
When purchasing your 3/4 guitar, you should keep in mind a few factors for making your purchase. Obviously, you will want to be sure that a mini guitar is really what you’re looking for. The travel sized guitar are smaller and will have a different sound than their full sized counterparts. If you are used to a full size, you should be sure that you are able to maneuver the fingering on a smaller fingerboard.
You should also be looking for the best quality travel sized guitar that you can get for the best price. Just like buying a full sized guitar, we recommend you to stick with brand names like Yamaha.
Don’t buy the first guitar you see! You should ship around in order to compare guitars.
You will want to make sure that the guitar you purchase is off considerable quality. This can be done by reading up on the type of guitar at home after you visit the shop. You may also ask the salesperson questions about the guitar in order to get a good idea of the product.
You may choose to purchase your guitar online. If so, you should still make a visit to a brick and mortar shop ahead of time in order to become well-versed in the features and attributes of whichever mini guitar you are considering purchasing.
The many electric guitar is generally made of a combination of wood, plastic and metal. The body of the guitar is made of wood, as well as plastic. The pieces that hold together the strings are made of metal. The backing to the guitar is often made of plastic or metal.
The materials that make up the guitar are always fairly sturdy in order to endure wear and tear. The guitar that is well decorated may contain embellishments that are made of water metal. There will usually be one primary material of which most of the guitar is made.
The pickups on your guitar are what transfer the vibration of your strings into audible electric resonant sound. The vibrations travel from the amp and then it is from there that the sounds are produced. It is possible to outfit your mini electric guitar with extra pickups in order to change the quality of the sound.
You will find that these devices use magnetism in order to operate. Different pickups will offer different qualities of sound. You may choose from a variety of different pickups in order to emulate certain frequencies.
The first accessory you’ll need for a mini electric guitar is a guitar amp. You can use the same amp as you would for a full size instrument along with any stock cables you have laying around!
The other accessory that you can purchase for your mini electric guitar is a strap to hold it with. You can buy this accessory online or at any guitar shop. It will make your electric guitar easier to hold.
Benefits of a 3/4 Guitar
The best mini electric guitars have many benefits, including being portable. For many, the 3/4’s option is the ideal way for you to learn how to play an electric guitar. Practicing your electric guitar playing on the mini guitar will help you in order to master your fingering and handling of the guitar.
Another benefit of using the mini guitar is that it is small so it can easily be held while playing standing up, they are extremely light! You can use the mini guitar in order to learn how to play songs while standing up and then once you have mastered this, you may choose to use a full size electric guitar.
Mini guitars also have the added benefit of being portable. Because they are so small you can carry them with you wherever you need to go in order to play your songs. You will enjoy the overall portability of this product.
Lastly, for children, or those of us with smaller hands, the neck of a full size guitar can be hard to fret. Barre Chords in particular can be challenging for short fingers. Maybe the biggest benefit of the 3/4 guitar size is that it solves this problem instantly!
Drawbacks of a Travel Guitar
Travel guitars do of course have a few drawbacks as well.
First of all, the sound projection is much less than that of a full size electric guitar or full size acoustic guitar. The sound of the music produced with this type of instrument resonates a little less than with a full size guitar. This is because there is less space within the instrument for the sound to resonate. Additionally, there is less electrical power to generate the resonance of sound.
Another drawback of the mini electric guitar is that the sounds are less distinct than on a full size guitar. The fingerboard faucets are closer together and each sound is less distinct from one another than it would be on a full size guitar. The overall quality of sound of travel guitars is simply a little different than full sized version.
Tuning and Setting up a ¾ Guitar
Just like any other guitar or stringed instrument, you will want to tune your mini guitar prior to usage. We have a full rundown on tuning a guitar that you can use to guide you in the process!
Is a Mini Electric Guitar Good for Small Hands?
Yes! The mini electric guitar is perfect for someone who has small hands. This could be an ideal application for an adult who has particularly small hands or for a child who is learning how to play guitar. The fingerboards on 3/4 sized guitars are shorter and the frets closer together, which makes it easier to finger barre chords and other challenging chord shapes
The Final Note
If you missed it, our top pick for the best mini electric guitar is the Fender Squier Stratocaster Short Scale. This is a mini guitar that both kids, beginners, and intermediate players looking to transition from acoustic to electric will be happy with.
If the Squier isn’t your style, we’ve left you with a few other recommendations and a complete mini guitar buying guide, so you should be able to shop around and make an educated choice!
A ukulele player pretty much from birth, Edward has gone on to play banjo, lead guitar, and bass for a number of bands and solo projects! Edward loves talking, teaching and writing about music!