7/8 guitar – Review of Best Small Sized Guitars for Kids

For smaller players who play scaled-down acoustic guitars, it can be difficult to achieve the same rich, full sound of a full size guitar. For these players, a 7/8 guitar may be an option. These guitars are between the size of a 3/4 and a full size guitar, and they offer a shorter scale length without losing too much in the way of tone.

The 7 8 guitar is somewhat uncommon, so it may be hard to find one that's right for you. However, with some searching, you can find these short-scale guitars in both steel string and nylon string varieties. In order to help you find the right one for you, we've gathered some of the best guitars at this scale length we could find.

Our Top 7 Picks for Best 7/8-Scale Guitar

In this section, we'll take you through our picks for the best 7/8-scale guitar. We've included both steel-string and nylon-string guitars, and we've included instruments for just about every price range.

Make

Model

Rating

Price

Full Review

Cordoba

C9

Washburn

Apprentice G-Mini 5

Cell

Rogue

Rocketeer RR50

Cell

Ortega

R221BK

Cell

Cordoba

Dolce

Cell

Taylor

GS Mini-E Mahogany

Cell

Taylor

GS Mini-E Koa

Cell

Review of our Top Picks

Cordoba C9 -- Best Higher-End Classical Guitar

Important Features

  • Classic fan bracing gives this guitar incredible, authentic sound
  • All-solid construction gives warm, full tone
  • Spanish-heel construction lets the entire guitar vibrate as one unit
  • Unique aesthetics make it a visual standout

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • All-solid wood construction makes it sound better than guitars made with laminated wood
  • Given its build quality and price, it's a great value
  • Mahogany and cedar give it a slightly dark, nuanced tone perfect for classical music

Cons

  • The price of this guitar may put it out of reach for some
  • Some players might prefer the brighter sound of a spruce top

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Cordoba Guitars is known for making quality guitars of all sizes, even as small as 1/4 scale. This guitar is more expansive than many options on the list, but it's also made entirely of solid wood--it has a solid Canadian cedar top, and the back and sides are solid mahogany. The fretboard and bridge are solid rosewood, and the stunning hand-inlaid mother-of-pearl rosette gives it a high-end look. This guitar isn't extremely expensive, but given its all-solid construction, it's one of the list's pricier options.

Our Star Rating

Since it's made with all solid wood, we think this is the best higher-end classical acoustic guitar on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Washurn Apprentice G-Mini 5 -- Best for Travel

Important Features

  • Spruce top with mahogany back and sides provides balanced, nuanced tone
  • Grand auditorium body helps the tone project well
  • Contoured body is extremely comfortable to play
  • Classic natural finish gives it a timeless look

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's one of the more affordable guitars on the list
  • Because of its small and contoured shape, it's comfortable for almost anyone to play
  • Laminate build resists both damage and tonal changes due to humidity

Cons

  • Laminated body doesn't sound as good as solid-top acoustic guitars
  • Plastic nut and saddle don't do much for tone

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This little guitar is ideal for players looking for an acoustic guitar to take camping or on the road. It's a grand auditorium-style body, meaning that it has excellent projection for its size. While its all-laminate body doesn't have the same sound of a solid-top guitar, laminate is also more resistant to changes caused by fluctuating humidity. If you're looking for an affordable yet decent-sounding smaller guitar, this may be a good choice.

Our Star Rating

We think this durable guitar is a great choice for travel. We give it four out of five stars.

Rogue Rocketeer RR50 -- Best Electric Option

Important Features

  • Single pickup with volume control is easy for new players to figure out
  • Shorter scale and lightweight body make it easy for even very small players to handle
  • It comes with a gig bag, picks, strap, and cable
  • String-through design increases sustain

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's an affordable option for those who want to try out electric guitar
  • It's one of the relatively few electric guitars designed for people with small hands
  • Humbucking pickup works well with effects
  • Slim neck and double cutaway design make it extremely playable

Cons

  • Single pickup with only a volume control limits tonal possibilities
  • Basswood isn't a particularly good tonewood

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Thus far, we've only discussed acoustic guitars. But if you want a small size guitar that is also electric, this one is worth a look. Rogue is a company known for its versatile electrics, and the Rocketeer is a minimalist guitar perfect for beginners or as a travel option. It has a single humbucker and a slim, fast neck. The body is made of lightweight basswood.

Our Star Rating

We think the Rocketeer is a great option for people with small hands who want a portable electric guitar. We give it four out of five stars.

Ortega Guitars R221BK -- Best Alternative Finish

Important Features

  • Spruce and mahogany build gives it classic, balanced sound
  • Sonokeling fretboard and bridge aren't as common as rosewood, but they give the guitar a unique look and keep costs lower
  • Gloss black finish sets it apart from other classical guitars
  • Two-way adjustable truss rod lets you adjust action or correct neck issues easily

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It has a one-of-a-kind look that many players will like
  • Classic Spanish guitar design makes it a good choice for classical guitar players
  • Many buyers have reported that it has excellent sustain for a guitar with shorter scale length

Cons

  • Given the fact that it's made of all laminated wood, it's somewhat expensive
  • Some buyers have reported quality control issues like rough, unfinished neck wood

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Ortega guitars makes a range of classical guitar options for players of all abilities. This one has a unique gloss black finish on an otherwise very classic-looking classical model. It has a spruce top and mahogany back and sides for balanced tone that leans toward the brighter side. However, given the fact that it's made of all laminated wood, the price is a bit high.

Our Star Rating

This guitar has a unique look, but it doesn't offer the same value as other electric and acoustic guitars on the list. We give it three and a half out of five stars.

Cordoba Dolce -- Best Mid-Range Classical

Important Features

  • Solid top with fan bracing offers great sound, especially given the short scale length
  • Cedar and mahogany make an ideal tonewood combination, especially for players who like sound with a little less brightness
  • Given its solid soundboard and fairly affordable price, this smaller sized acoustic is a great value
  • Fully adjustable truss rod lets players adjust action as needed

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Authentic classical build makes classical guitar easier to master for people with small hands
  • Solid top is more responsive than that of laminate acoustic guitars
  • It's one of the best values of any 7/8 size guitar options on the list

Cons

  • Laminated back and sides don't have the same full sound as a guitar made with all solid wood
  • Some buyers have reported that this guitar arrived needing extensive adjustment of the action

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This guitar is a lot like the Cordoba C9, but it has laminated mahogany back and sides instead of solid wood. The top is still solid Canadian cedar, which has an expressive warmth perfect for classical guitar players. Like the C9 and many other Cordoba full size and smaller guitars, it has classic Spanish fan bracing.

Our Star Rating

This 7/8 size classical guitar is fairly affordable and very well built. We think it's the best mid-range classical guitar on the list, and we give it four out of five stars.

Taylor GS Mini-E Mahogany -- Best for Performance

Important Features

  • Grand auditorium body gives it excellent projection for the size
  • Natural-sounding ES2 electronics make it great for those who want to use it to play live
  • Matte finish makes its slim neck especially playable
  • Custom-designed bracing makes it sound much like a full size guitar

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Inclusion of great electronics makes it a good option for gigging players
  • Solid Sitka spruce soundboard delivers bright, responsive tone
  • Grand auditorium body is comfortable to play

Cons

  • It's more expensive than some options on the list, putting it out of reach for some players
  • Some players may prefer a small size acoustic with solid back and sides as well

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

Taylor is famous for its smaller size acoustic guitars, and the GS Mini-E is a well-crafted, grand-auditorium-style acoustic that delivers big sound for the size. It has a solid Sitka spruce top with layered walnut back and sides. It's also fitted with Taylor's world-class Expression System 2 electronics, which give it unparalleled amplified sound. The African ebony fretboard is comfortably playable and adds to this guitar's beautiful aesthetics.

Our Star Rating

The inclusion of a very high quality pickup makes this 7 8 guitar the most versatile on the list. We give it five out of five stars.

Taylor GS Mini-E Koa -- Best Exotic Wood Guitar

Important Features

  • Solid koa top gives it distinctive sound and a beautiful look
  • Excellent electronics make it great for playing live
  • Slim, fast-playing neck is comfortable to play, even for those with small hands
  • Grand auditorium body is comfortable to play sitting or standing

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Solid top and koa construction makes this a great-sounding 7 8 size guitar
  • Electronics let you play plugged or unplugged
  • Specialized bracing gives you sound close to that of a full size guitar

Cons

  • It's one of the more expensive guitars on the list
  • Some players might not prefer the distinctive sound of koa

Brief Review & Star Rating

Review

This guitar is essentially a koa version of the original GS Mini-E. The top is solid koa, which has a beautiful grain and a distinctly bright sound. The back and sides are layered koa, which does contribute significantly to sound, but not to the extent that solid wood does. It has Taylor ES-B electronics, which are essentially ES2 electronics with an onboard preamp and built-in tuner.

Our Star Rating

We think this beautiful guitar is the best exotic wood option on the list. We give it five out of five stars

What Should You Think About Before Buying a 7/8 Size Guitar

While many adults can play a full size guitar, players with small hands or shorter arms may find a guitar with a shorter scale length to be easier to handle. Before you buy, it's a good idea to think about the following:

Is This the Right Size?

Older children, especially once they're around age 11, can usually play a 3/4 scale guitar. While kids can play a 7/8 guitar, this size is right in between the 3/4 scale and a full sized guitar. For players who want to eventually get an instrument with a standard scale length, a 7/8 guitar may not be ideal. But for those who aren't planning to eventually move on to a larger guitar, a 7/8 size comes close to the sound of a full size guitar while staying a little easier to play.

Do You Need Electronics?

As a general rule, you don't need electronics on an acoustic guitar unless you intend to play live. In fact, some artists, including Ed Sheeran, perform with shorter-scale guitars. (Sheeran plays a Little Martin.) Electronics will often add to the cost of a guitar, and if you don't anticipate needing to use them, you may be better off putting that money toward a well-made, all-acoustic option.

That said, if you do pick a guitar with electronics, it's important to purchase an instrument that has good-quality electronics. The idea behind electronics in an acoustic guitar is to faithfully amplify the unplugged sound. A poorly-made pickup won't do the guitar's sound justice. You can also purchase an all-acoustic model and install a pickup later on if you do decide you want to play live.

Steel String or Nylon String?

If you are already a guitarist, you probably already have an idea of whether you want to play a classical or steel string guitar. However, if you're new, you may not be sure which to choose.

Nylon strings tend to be a little easier on the fingers, so they are sometimes used by beginners. While nylon string guitars are more commonly used by players of flamenco and classical music, you can use them for just about any genre. Steel string guitars are more commonly used in contemporary music. While steel strings can be an adjustment, most players develop calluses quickly. After this point, steel strings aren't likely to cause irritation on your fingertips.

In terms of tone, nylon string guitars tend to have a warmer, mellower sound, which is more suitable for some genres. Steel string guitars tend to have a much brighter sound with more articulation. Of course, the tonewoods used, the body style, bracing, and other factors influence tone as well. Ideally, listen to sound demos of any guitar you're considering before making a purchase--this will help you make sure the guitar has a tone that works for the music you play.

Making the Decision

While a 7 8 size guitar can be difficult to find, we think this list has some great options. We especially like the Taylor GS Mini-E. It's a great all-around guitar with a solid top and electronics, making it ideal for players who sometimes want to plug in and play. For players who prefer exotic wood guitars, we think the koa GS Mini-E is an ideal option. And if you'd rather play classical, the Cordoba C9 is a great value and a solid wood option. Regardless of which one you choose, make sure to take your time, do your research, and choose the right guitar for you.

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