Giving an instrument from a relative or friend a second life might save you some money, when it does not have the appropriate size it will lead to many frustrations along the learning path or worse: an abrupt stop to guitar lessons.

Having the correct guitar size is crucial in developing a proper posture and playing technique in order to avoid injuries. Most nylon string guitar brands (Yamaha, Cordoba, Alhambra, …) offer several different guitar size models.

A meet up at a local music store to have the student ‘feel’ the comfort and difference of a ‘right-sized guitar’ is usually convincing enough.

As a guitar teacher, I personally have all guitar sizes at my home studio to experiment with when I feel a student is ready for an upgrade in guitar size.

TIP: Students often pass on instruments, so perhaps ask your local guitar teacher if any student has (a smaller) one for sale.

Transition between two sizes

A guitar instructor might use a ‘capo‘ to shorten the neck of the guitar. Although this might be easier on the left hand, the body size remains the same.

Because of this, very often younger players (-12 years old) will suffer from an incorrect right hand position. As a consequence, this frequently results in an overal  bad posture, that can lead to many problems: lower back problems, neck pain, tension while playing, bad technique, …

However, the capo-solution could be used temporarily for kids that recently switched to a full guitar size to make the transition smoother, but caution is advised.