Children's Guitars by Esteve (made in Spain) $795 with deluxe hardshell case.
Children's guitars are designed differently from other small guitars such as requintos. Whereas a requinto is a small guitar designed for an adult, a children's guitar is designed for the small hands and body of a child. Therefore, instead of a nut width of 52mm, as on a requinto, our children's guitars have a 48mm width--this means it is easier for the child to reach the notes on the fingerboard. Instead of a body depth of 100mm, our children's guitars have a body depth of 90 to 93mm--this means it is easier for the child to hold the guitar. Also, the overall guitar body sizes are smaller in proportion to each scale length--facts which allow the child to reach up the scale.
Fernandez Music imports and stocks 4 sizes of Esteve Children's Guitars: a 580mm scale (10 to 12 years old), a 530mm scale (7 to 9 years old); a 480mm scale model (4 to 7 years old), and a 400mm scale for (under 4 years of age).
Photo of Front of Esteve Guitars models 3ST58, 3ST53, 3ST48. Esteve 3ST40 (40cm scale)
Back view of Esteve children's guitar 3ST48, 3ST53, 3ST58. Esteve 3ST40 back
Side view of 3 children's guitars showing their relative overall length.
These Esteve guitars are excellent playing and sounding instruments. They are small classical guitars built in workshop in Spain. These guitars have nylon strings instead of steel strings. They each feature a solid (not plywood) western cedar face, rosewood fingerboard, laminated African Sapele (mahogany) back and sides. Each guitar is personally set-up by Ron Fernández who inspects, refiles,recrowns (if necessary) and polishes the frets for ease of playing; he installs a real bone saddle, adjusts the saddle height, and smooths the slots in the nut. See our photo essay on set-up and fret dressing on the first page of the Fernandez Music website or on YouTube under Fret Dressing.
The retail for each model is $795 including the custom sized hardshell cases (which retail for $195). We realize that most parents would like to find their child a "good enough" guitar costing about $60 to $150 guitar. I have looked to Mexico, China, Portugal, and Eastern Europe for such a guitar. I have found some that look good. But I have not found one which plays properly. Usually the fingerboards are not correctly made. More specifically, most do not have any "neck relief" which means that the guitars will always produce a slight buzz when the strings are plucked. And, none of them sound as good as the Esteve guitars.
Photos of the front and back of the Esteve 3ST53 classical guitar for children.
These quality machine tuning heads are used on all of our children's guitar.
The biggest discouragement for a child, after they have learned to play a little, is a guitar which is an obstacle to them. The typical situation is that neither the child nor the parent knows anything about guitars when they buy the first one. After the child has spent many hours on the guitar they begin to sense that it doesn't sound or play right. The problem is that the parent has not spent the time practicing on the guitar and they do not recognize the problem with the instrument. One nationally recognized teacher of children told me that the typical child guitar student goes through 3 instruments in their first year and a half. Typically, parents start with a real cheapo all-plywood guitar ($50) because they are not sure their child will continue. Then, after a few months they buy a moderately priced one ($150) and they think that that one will do, but soon they realize that the moderately priced one is little better that the cheapo--it really doesn't sound good and it buzzes too much. Finally, they realize that they should buy a "good" guitar which will encourage their child. Teachers tell me that those children with good guitars take pride in their guitar study and seem to progress better than those playing cheapo guitars. It is important to realize that one real problem with a cheap guitar is that they have no resale value. In contrast, a good guitar will hold its value and allow the parent to sell it when the child graduates to a full size guitar.
Please inquire by email about particulars: firstname.lastname@example.org
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This page and photos © Ronald Louis Fernandez 2010
Fernandez Music, P.O. Box 5153, Irvine, California 92616. Phone 949-856-1537