The term ‘mini guitar’ is used by most people to refer to 3/4 sized guitars and people are drawn to the smaller size because the body is easier to handle and also much easier to transport and store. Though for some people mini guitars are cheaper and easier to learn on and use, for others, they are not easier to use. We will unpack these differences and mini guitar pros and cons through this article.
Table Of Contents
- Answer To Whether Mini Guitars Are Easier
- Mini Guitar – Pros
- Mini Guitar – Cons
- Who are mini guitars best for?
- How big is a mini guitar?
- Are mini guitars good for beginners?
- Can Adults use mini guitars?
- Are mini guitars expensive?
- Who makes mini guitars?
- What is the difference between a mini guitar and a regular guitar?
- Who plays a mini guitar?
- Are Mini Guitars Harder to play?
Answer To Whether Mini Guitars Are Easier
For children and small adults, mini guitars can be easy to use as the smaller size makes them easier to hold and smaller necks can make it easier to reach all the different guitar strings. But the downside to this convenience is a decrease in the quality of tone, and volume of sound the guitar can produce.
Mini Guitar – Pros
Though it seems like I am stating the obvious the core benefit mini guitars have is their smaller size. But there are multiple benefits to this smaller size.
For a child, it makes it is much easier to hold, and also much easier to reach all the different strings and frets. So learning chords will be more straightforward than if they were trying to grapple a full-sized dreadnought guitar which would not only be hard to hold, but also harder to stretch their fingers to all the strings on the bigger neck. These same benefits also apply to smaller adults who may find a full-size guitar a bit hard to handle and are looking for something smaller.
The other benefit of the mini guitar is how easy it is to transport and store. The smaller size makes them much lighter and easier to carry around, and also means that can fit and be stored in smaller spaces.
The smaller size also means there are fewer resources required to make a mini guitar and this translates to a cheaper price.
Mini Guitar – Cons
Though mini guitars are easier to play for kids and small adults, there are some downsides to mini guitars.
Because the body is smaller and thinner there is less room for the sound, and therefore less amplification, so mini guitars are quieter.
Not only are they quiet, but the tone from a mini guitar is not as rich as the tone from a regular size guitar. This is due to the different scales. Scale refers to the distance between the guitar and the guitar bridge. On a mini guitar, this scale is less because the length has been compressed, and even though you can still tune the string to the same note, the string is shorter and as a result, gives off a different type of sound.
The smaller size can also mean a smaller guitar neck which can make it harder to use as an adult. If you have full-size hands and are trying to play a mini guitar neck, you could find that your fingers are all bunched together and it is actually harder, not easier to play the notes you want, in the way you want.
Who are mini guitars best for?
Mini guitars are best for children learning to play, smaller adults who may find the full-size dreadnought shape a bit too bulky, and people who like or need something smaller and mobile for travel and storage purposes.
For children learning guitar for the first time, mini guitars are great. They have a proportionately sized instrument that is easy to hold, so they don’t have to develop poor technique just to pick up and play the instrument. As well as being easy to hold their fingers will be able to reach all the strings on the neck without as much of a stretch. They can also carry them around easier if going to school and/or music lessons etc.
People who are travelling often opt for mini guitars because they are easier to fit car and easy to carry around if they are catching public transport.
Mini guitars are also used frequently by people who want to have the second guitar in another location (work, vacation home) and don’t need a full size for this secondary purpose.
How big is a mini guitar?
When people talk about mini-guitars, they are typically referring to a 3/4 inch sized guitar.
Though there are guitars even smaller than this (1/2 size) those tend to be reserved for children only as they are almost unusable by adults as the neck is too small to get your finger on the strings separately without interfering with the other strings.
3/4 size guitars will vary slightly in their exact measurement but are likely to be around 36 inches long (in total) on average, with a scale length of 23.5 inches, opposed to 25.5 inches you would have on a regular dreadnought guitar.
Are mini guitars good for beginners?
Yes, mini guitars can be great for beginners as their smaller size makes them easier to handle, but if the player has regular size hands then they may find it hard to play the notes they want easily.
Can Adults use mini guitars?
Yes, anyone including adults can use a mini guitar but adults may find the smaller guitar neck makes it tricky to play certain chords where the fingers are close together. On average I would recommend people get a regular size guitar if they are able to.
Are mini guitars expensive?
No, mini guitars tend to be cheaper than their full-size alternatives.
Who makes mini guitars?
Nearly all major guitar brands have a mini guitar in their range, including Martin, Taylor, Zager, Maton etc.
What is the difference between a mini guitar and a regular guitar?
Mini guitars are set up and tuned and played the same way as regular guitars, but of course, they are smaller in size.
This means a smaller body, shorter/thinner neck, and shorter scale (distance between the guitar nut and guitar bridge).
Who plays a mini guitar?
One of the most famous proponents of mini guitars is probably Ed Sheeran. He loves his mini Martin guitars and even has his own model now.
Many other famous folk and alternative artists use mini guitars from time to time, especially in touring settings.
Are Mini Guitars Harder to play?
Though mini guitars are easier to hold and handle than regular guitars, the smaller neck can be harder for some to use when trying to play certain chords, due to how close your fingers are to each other.