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Small Scale Guitar?

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I'm kind of bored and waiting to get to the lumber yard so I figure I'll do a neat little project for someone.. I'm thinking of using some of the spare parts I have and putting together a small scale electric. I have one question though, how small, in your opinion, should a guitar be for a 4-5 year old child? I was thinking like a 17" scale length. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.



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17" is a concert ukulele scale. I built one and it fits the 4 year old who's playing it perfectly. He'll outgrow it in a year or two, but he's big.

My advice, only go with 4 strings. EBGD, but you'll probably tune up a fifth. A five year old has little hands.

Also, use a zero fret, with the strings so short, you get big tuning/intonation issues at the first fret unless the action is super low.

Lastly, I wouldn't bother with a truss rod. Go with carbon fiber or steel truss rod.

I used a blue lace sensor because I didn't have to worry about string spacing, and the taper was pretty extreme with a 17 inch scale and 6 strings.

Good luck!


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Oh, I wasn't suggesting the lace, just saying it was how I got around lining up the pup studs and strings. If I did it again I'd use a cheaper PUP and put a cover over it. I'd also use a cheap fixed bridge, go for 4 strings, not six, and pull off the outside saddles. I was silly and used the Schaller roller bridge so I could narrow the spacing.

4 string chords are much easier for a kid, and they never just play the top 4, they always bang away on every string. Well at least that's what my kids and my friends did.

Edited by ToddW
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