Great Guitar for your Kid to Learn On

Disclaimer: What follows is totally based on my own experience and opinion. I have no connection whatever with Fernandes or any other commercial interest!

Kids don't deal well with frustration! Nothing is more frustrating for small weak fingers than trying to get sound out of a guitar with tough action!

Fernandes (Japan) makes a killer very small funny-shaped electric guitar (the ZO-3) with a 3/4 scale neck, perfect for children. It has a built-in amplifier and speaker powered by a 9v battery. It's not loud enough for a gig, but its plenty for practicing and singing along with. It will distort nicely if turned up all the way, and plays clean with the volume lower. It also has the standard quarter-inch phone jack to plug it into any instrument amp. It has a single humbucker pickup and no tone controls- but it sounds great (especially through an external amp!).

This is no toy! The neck FLIES! I would have no trouble using it seriously in a pro situation- It plays much nicer (IMHO) than my John Lennon 330 three-quarter size Rickenbacker, which costs MUCH more.

I used to be in favor of always starting kids on an acoustic guitar, but this Fernandes has changed my mind. The sound is quite suitable for singing along with as one would with an acoustic, and its so easy to play that kids will practice without frustration. I have seen my 9 and 12 year olds learn new chords on the Fernandes, then pick up one of my acoustics and play the same stuff on them. They would have had a much harder time trying to learn on the stiffer acoustic in the first place.

This Fernandes can be had for about $200-225 with gig bag in many of the usual guitar outlets.
Get your kid one!

2004 Update - it worked! My kids, now 16 and 18, are in 3 bands between them and have their own record label - and over a dozen guitars and basses, as well as several drum sets! Set that spark while they're young! Check out,, and!

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