So, around Xmas I was tasked by the son-in-law with coming up with guitars for the two youngest grandsons, aged 3 and 4.5. I got a pair of 1/2 size kid's guitars, both were black, one was $20 on Ebay, the other was $22. And I picked up a pair of practice amps for about $25@.
One was branded as a "Sky", the other as a "BC". They were basically identical:
The elder of the two is a big fan of the Disney "Cars" movies, so his guitar got the "Lightnin' McQueen" treatment. With a Kustom Amp with matching red piping, no less.
The younger grandson likes the Transformers, so he gets the Bumblebee-themed one, with black hardware, and a Peavey amp.
They're getting these delivered (touch-free) tomorrow in time for Easter Sunday. The noise level is, luckily, their parents' problem. That's the great thing about being a grandparent . . .
W1th the very short scale of these, I tuned every string up one from concert tuning, i.e., A-D-G-B-E-E, with the high strings in unison like a 12-string. Taking the 1st string up further would be a bridge too far with light gauge strings. But I'm looking for alternative tunings for these things
It's that high A on the first string, already busted one trying to get up there. But I may play around a bit more with it later.
At first I was going to use an "open A" tuning, after all, they're still pretty small, they're probably just going to whang away at the things anyway so why not have it be a chord. SO I had them tuned A-E-A-C#-E-A (that was when the string busted).
Of course, these are the cheapest of the cheap, wouldn't surprise me if there was a sharp edge at the bridge that caused it to break. But it just feels like that high A is too much. But tuning the 6th string to the A seems about right, I don't think you could go much lower and still have appropriate string tension.
I forget exactly what the scale length is on these, I think it's like 17.5" or something.
Maybe open G instead, they can make like Keith Richards
Happy Easter, everyone! The touch-free hand-off has been made to their daddy, the axes are on their way to the grandsons, about a 20 minute drive away. We'll get to see their reactions on Facetime, next best thing to being there in these times.
These were butt-simple builds, but I had fun with the decals and refinishing. But I also learned a valuable lesson. In the past, when doing a rattle-can paint job on one of these cheapie plastic-coated things, I had always sanded everything down to bare wood, then primered it, sanded the primer, etc., then several finish coats, then clear. Sanding the bodies I did outdoors, in good weather, due to the mess involved.
This time, since it was winter and I was indoors, I decided to just sand the existing finish down for paint adhesion, without stripping it all the way off. BIG mistake! I had a devilish time with painting, with paint incompatibility and orange peeling. In the end, I basically had to do both over again, and the second time I was basically almost down to bare wood anyway. Not my best refinishing job, OK if the kids don't look too closely at it.
Post by ourclarioncall on Apr 14, 2020 20:46:15 GMT -5
Love the transformer decal , really pops out with the yellow . Great job 👍
I teach a lot of kids and have found two of the best guitars out there are the encore blaster series (this might be a British brand and you might not get them in the us) and then a bit bigger is the Squier mini. I am also keen to try the newish short scale 24” Squier strat they came out with in the last year or two
So if they grandsons take to the guitar , there’s a few good options for modding/painting
I used the kid as justification when I bought my miniStrat, but I don't think I ever really fooled anybody. I've always strung it with 11s and kept it in A standard, but I do have a lot of trouble breaking the high A. It really is just two tight overall, and can be kind of brutal to play. I like to use it for just flopped on the couch noodling because first of all it is a bit more comfortable just ergonomically but also because it is that bit harder to play than my other guitars so it's kind of like jogging with ankle weights.
I later found a decent deal on a 20" Peavey guitar with Wolverine (from the Xmen) on it, so went ahead and bought that actually for the kids. I think I have 11s on that, too, but we keep it tuned to E standard. Yes, it's a little rubbery, but surprisingly not that bad. I don't think it's a bad thing to have a bit less tension on a guitar intended for little people who haven't developed the finger strength and calluses that we kind of take for granted. If it's easier to play and hurts a little less, it's much more likely that they'll actually play the things. We can work our way up to "proper" tension later.