View Full Version : Help! - 8th grade graduation gift

05-18-2016, 09:54 AM
Looking for ideas/advice for an 8th grade grad gift for my daughter. She has a Kala KA-P Pineapple Soprano, Makala Concert, and a Seagull S6 guitar. She's taught herself to play the ukulele and is asking for guitar lessons. When I bought her the guitar, I confess I may have been thinking of myself, too. :-) It's a little big for her.

Anyway, I'm trying to decide if I should get her a Cordoba Guilele, a tenor or baritone uke, or a smaller sized guitar for a graduation present. The only instrument I play is the piano, so I'd appreciate some input. I'd like to get her something that is a little nicer than she has, but is around $500 or below. Any advice and/or ideas is much appreciated!

Here are a few I'm considering:




05-18-2016, 11:50 AM
I hate to ruin the surprise, but it really would be best to ask her what kind of instrument she'd like. A bari uke might be just the thing... or not. if she's really into learning guitar right now then a uke won't get played much.

A beginner guitarist is probably better off sticking with standard tuning, so that Cordoba isn't an option until the standard string set becomes available. I sure do like that Cordoba, though. You need to ask your daughter if she has a strong opinion about steel vs nylon strings on a guitar. A small nylon-strung guitar would make a nice complement to the S6, but not if your daughter strongly prefers the sound of steel.

FWIW, my favorite small guitar is a mahogany Baby Taylor: http://www.elderly.com/taylor-mahogany-baby-taylor-guitar-gigbag.htm

05-18-2016, 12:58 PM
If she's asking for guitar lessons, but the Seagull S6 is too big for her, I think you should probably go with a smaller guitar (but not a guitalele).

Look at parlor size or O-size guitars...but even a OOO-size ('folk') guitar, with the narrower waist and slightly shallower body, might be easier for her than the S6.

Recording King has some nice solid top guitars in their Dirty Thirties series, well within your price range - but might not appeal to a 14 yo's sensibilities.

Art & Lutherie (sister company of Seagull) makes a nice parlor guitar called the Ami.

But I think the best bang for your buck, at the top of your price range, is probably the Taylor GS Mini. They are outstanding.

I agree with acmespaceship - it might ruin the surprise, but it can be fun in a different way - give her a budget, take her shopping, and let her pick what she really wants. When my 14 yo son wanted a trombone (he already plays trumpet), that's what I did, and he thought it was cool. And good parent-child bonding time!!

05-18-2016, 04:44 PM
I agree with the others who say, get the guitar or let her choose (: Mini Taylor is just the right size I think. We have one.

05-18-2016, 04:53 PM

I played on of these and they pack a punch!

05-19-2016, 01:57 AM
If she's an Ed Sheeran fan; http://www.guitarcenter.com/Martin/X-Series-Ed-Sheeran-X-Signature-Edition-Little-Martin-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-Natural-1423495790520.gc

05-19-2016, 03:05 AM
Ditto the Taylor mini gs. I got the hog and was very happy with it (have also heard good things on spruce and Koa models). I would probably skip the electronic though. I think you can add better later, if wanted.

Croaky Keith
05-19-2016, 03:35 AM
I think teenagers always know what they want, so best if you let her decide. ;)

05-19-2016, 04:04 AM
+1 on the G's-Mini. I really love mine. Spruce top. Definitely a scale that might be good for her. My daughter is very small frame and about 5 feet tall and she handles the GS fine. I have a nice wide leather strap so it is comfortable. I also agree that I would by one without a pickup. If she is going to be playing out eventually, then you have another present ready to go.....a nice acoustic pickup you can get installed.

05-19-2016, 07:18 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions!

Sorry, I should have been more clear. She plays her ukuleles a lot. She loves them, so there's no loss of interest there. She just wants to add the guitar, too. I already know she really likes the look and sound of the guilele and the baritone.

She thinks she will be able to play the Seagull S6, but I think it looks too big for her (that's why I was considering getting her a smaller guitar). She isn't a very big girl. About 5'2" and has pretty small hands. I know it's hard to say without seeing in person, but in general, would a person that size find it easier to play, and especially learn, on a smaller guitar?

I got the S6, because the reviews I read said it was a good guitar for under $500. That's why I was looking at the Seagull Excursion Natural SG Folk Guitar. What's the quality of the Seagull folk vs. the Taylor GS Mini vs. the Little Martin X Series Ed Sheeran that were suggested?

Thanks again for the help!

05-19-2016, 08:15 AM
Seagull makes fine guitars; I think the quality is similar to the Taylor and Martin models that were suggested. Be aware that a lot of Seagull's models have wider string spacing, intended for fingerpicking instead of flatpicking - something to consider.

As far as size goes...part of it is a comfort thing. Emmylou Harris is petite, and plays a Gibson Jumbo. I'm over six foot, but because my back and shoulder are rubbish, I have a hard time with a standard dreadnought. But folk sizes and smaller are fine for me (even though I don't play much guitar anymore!).