You might not see many pros use a 3/4-sized guitar on stage, but let me tell you that it’s more than just a kids’ instrument.
Even if you’re an adult or a student, you can still enjoy these scaled-down versions of your favorite electrics. Not only that, 3/4 guitars are an excellent choice for travelers or buskers who need the most portability.
So, if you’re looking for our top 3/4 guitar picks along with their advantages and disadvantages, keep reading!
If you’re looking for full-sized recommendations, you can check out our post on the best overall electric guitars. But for now, here are the best 3/4 electric guitars for beginners.
5 Best 3/4 Electric Guitars for Beginners
Best Overall – Squier Mini Strat
Huge variety of tones at a very cheap price!
You’d ask me if a mini-me Strat can provide you with everything that a full-on Stratocaster can. Well, even with the small size, all the components you want in a Strat are present here!
3 single-coil pickup configurations and a fine selection of tonewood get you surprisingly close to that signature Fender sound.
The compact size of this instrument makes it a dream for people with smaller hands. It’s also great for any budding traveling musician due to its high portability.
You may be wondering what styles can you play with this axe?
Here’s the deal. I won’t lie to you and say that this is THE guitar to rule them all. But, in its “off the shelf” form it is highly versatile due to its 5-way pickup switch. If you still want more, you can easily modify this guitar to your needs.
Want some tremolo action? The Strat is one of the easiest guitars to mod and you can easily get yourself a floating bridge.
Want to get rid of the hum when playing on the high gain? Install a humbucker in the bridge. With a small investment of getting a strap lock and locking tuners, you are set to have a lifelong companion!
Last but not least, the hardtail bridge design makes your guitar reliable in terms of intonation.
The only part that’s not as good is the tuners. Since the machine heads themselves are not that great, that can be one of the areas you might want to invest in. Trust me, you don’t want to tune yourself every couple of minutes. That can be a huge turn-off for anybody, especially a budding guitar player.
All in all, even with the smaller size and cheap pricing this guitar is very faithful to the Strat archetype. The bell-like sound of the neck pickup, the spanky bridge sounds, as well as all the SRV in-between positions, it’s all here.
- Great sonic versatility
- A great pick for a young player, a traveling musician, or anybody with small hands
- Easy to customize
- Slight hum in high gain situations
- Inconsistent build quality
Budget Pick – LyxPro 36’’ Guitar Kit
‘’Beginner guitarist starter pack’’ meme-worthy!
With a mere look at this selection of guitar gear, you’ll notice that it features everything you need.
Well, I have to agree with that. However, this much stuff at that low of a price seems a bit too good to be true, right? Well, let’s get into the nitty-gritty, so you can judge for yourself.
Let’s start with the guitar itself. This one has a dual-humbucking pickup configuration with one volume and one tone knob. The best part is that there are no annoying hum issues present here.
It’s unlikely to get you all the sonic bonanzas you would expect, but you can be rest assured to have a hassle-free guitar performance.
Whether you are a beginner guitar player or a traveling musician, you are going to find plenty of useful items within this guitar kit.
The 20W amp features two different channels – clean and drive. Besides being highly portable, it features a standard size headphones input. That way you can jam wherever you want to, without waking up your neighbors. And if you want to practice with some backing tracks, you’ve got your AUX input as well.
Although you are sure to have high tuning stability due to the guitar’s hardtail bridge, there are some downsides. Some of the buyers were disappointed to find that their truss rod adjustment was jammed.
Although not really the real superstars here in terms of quality, a fine collection of guitar picks, a guitar cable, and a carrying bag are all essential parts of a guitar player’s arsenal that you’re getting within this starter pack.
My favorite freebie is the digital clip-on tuner that you are getting within this package. Just a heads up, you should know that some of the buyers reported that their kits were shipped without the tuner.
- Dual humbucking pick-ups will provide you with a tidy guitar sound
- Huge array of useful gadgets within the kit
- Great value-for-money guitar bundle for beginners
- Not very versatile sound-wise
- Some of the gadgets are decent for starters but require an upgrade very quickly
Best for Shredding – Ibanez GRGM21 miKro
Easily the most playable guitar on this list.
The Ibanez GRGM21 miKro is your gateway to metal and hard rock. Its dual-humbucking pickup combo can serve you well in almost any situation. Having said that, its specialty definitely lies in the heavier genres of rock. The clean tones can be a little too bright and soft for some.
But it’s the neck profile and the body shape is where this Ibanez shines at!
It has a narrow C-profile neck for effortless string bending. Also, the shorter scale makes long stretches much easier.
Its 22.2” scale length makes it really accessible for all the young kids that aspire to become guitar players. The same goes for you small hands types of folks. Plus, having 24 frets on the fretboard is sure to give you ample fretting and bending freedom (but be careful as going crazy with the bending can render the guitar out of tune).
Wanna get real comfortable with your newly acquired instrument? Well, this guitar is sure to stand out of your way in those terms. The finely contoured body and a slim profiled neck are sure to make you really comfy very quickly.
Although not a boutique-level build, this guitar exceeds the expected build quality within this price range.
If you want to invest some money in a piece of gear that is going to serve you for years to come, this could just be the answer to your needs.
I highly recommend swapping out the nut if you’re getting the Ibanez miKro. The factory-installed nut is lackluster, to be honest. Also, the fret ends can be rough around the edges. Smoothening the frets could really improve the playability with this baby.
Finally, the looks of this guitar are sure to be what every aspiring punk rocker, hard rocker, or metaller wants and needs. Not for the faint-hearted, in other words.
- Great build quality
- Incredible playability
- 5-way pickup selector switch
- Can handle some distortion
- Extreme bends can result in tuning problems
- Clean tones are not that spectacular
Most Comfortable – Squier Mini Jazzmaster HH
Now this one is the definition of cool!
Just by looking at this guitar, you remember all those alternative and indie stars that played the Jazzmaster model in the years passed. It’s one of the best 3/4 electric guitars for beginners in terms of comfort.
The loose string tension and narrow frets make this one really playable. Besides that, it’s also very lightweight. That makes it a great option for young kids that want to enter the magical world of guitar playing.
The neck of this guitar is yet another feat that makes this guitar highly playable. Its slim C shape profile is sure to make your fingers run across the fretboard with ease. However, several users reported that the fret edges are somewhat rough out of the box. I highly recommend sanding them out when you receive your instrument.
Tuning stability should be no problem here. The chrome hardtail bridge will do its magic to keep you in tune as long as your guitar is set up properly!
Let’s talk sound now!
The dual humbucking pickups come with a 3-way selector switch. That is sure to give you a wide array of different tonal possibilities. Both clean and distorted sounds are solid for the price. Although it does fall apart pretty quickly when pushed hard.
The regular-sized Jazzmaster is thought of as a guitar with infamously complicated electronics. This beginner guitar resolves that problem with streamlined electronic controls.
No tone-dialing nightmares here – One volume knob, one tone knob, and voila!
The tonewood combination of poplar body and maple neck is sure to give you everything you need sonically if you are into alternative/indie sounds. However, the synthetic bone nut is a feature you should be looking to replace at a certain point to get the most out of your guitar’s tone.
Having just 20 frets on the fretboard may be a turn-off for some of the shredder-type guitar players. But, this guitar is clearly not meant for that purpose. For all of you indie/alternative aficionados this should not be a problem at all.
- Super cool looks
- Incredibly lightweight
- Dual humbuckers reduce noise and feedback
- Streamlined electronic controls
- 20 frets might be inadequate for some
- Synthetic nut bone
Best for Metal and Hard Rock – Jackson JS1X Dinky Minion
Don’t let the cute size fool you, this is a brutal minion (as opposed to the gentle giant… Get it?) capable of the harshest hard rocking sounds known to man.
The Jackson JS1X Dinky Minion has a 22.5’’ long scale and houses 24 frets so your little shredder can play whatever the said person feels. Although, playing higher up the neck can be challenging as the frets are too narrow beyond the 20th fret.
But even if you’re very young or have very small hands, you can play this guitar very comfortably thanks to the slim profile neck.
As far as electronics go, simplicity is the name of the game here. Two humbucking pickups of the highest output allow you to play some of the more modern metal styles. Although you can dial in some decent clean sounds, this guitar is mainly manufactured for more extreme rock and metal sounds.
One caveat is that if you plan to down tune, then the short scale length on this one might not help with that. You can try heavier gauge strings if you want to do that though.
The 3-way pickup switch allows for some sonic versatility. 1 volume knob and 1 tone knob are here to give you some different options without making things overly complicated.
The fixed bridge and chrome tuners are reasonably well made and are here to keep the price affordable. Since the bridge is fixed, you can expect some dependable tuning stability.
The Jackson JS1X Dinky Minion is available in many different color schemes. You’re certainly getting an axe that you’ll love playing and flaunting in front of your friends.
- Good for extreme rock and metal styles
- Well built concerning the affordable price
- 24 frets
- Lackluster clean tones
Final Verdict on Best 3/4 Electric Guitar for Beginners
Let me tell you, we are living in the golden age of guitar manufacturing. However, the choices for a good 3/4 electric guitar are still pretty scarce.
But we’ve done all the grunt work of finding the best ones for specific needs. Make sure to read carefully and find the best pick for you.
The Squier Mini Strat allows you to get a legendary guitar model at a really low price. That is the main reason why I have selected it as our premium pick.
The LyxPro guitar kit is best suited for anyone out there that’s into buying all of the necessities at the lowest possible price.
The rest of my picks are a bit more genre-specific. The idea was to give you guys a vast plethora of great options.
The 3/4-sized guitars market is alive and thriving and it was my pleasure to lead you through the magical world of guitar buying.
Are 3/4 Guitars Easier Than Full-sized Guitars?
Yes. The weight of the 3/4 guitars is usually much lesser than their full-sized counterparts. Not only that, the overall footprint is smaller so they can be much more manageable for smaller players.
Do 3/4 Guitars Need Different Strings?
No, you can use the standard strings. However, if you really want to get the most out of it, you can try some of the specially-made 3/4 strings.
Are 3/4 Size Guitars Good for Adults?
Yeah, why not! Especially if you have small hands. But in most cases, you might find a full-sized electric guitar to be comfortable enough that you don’t need a compact guitar. Note that 3/4 guitars generally won’t sound as good as a decent full-sized guitar.
Who Should Buy a 3/4 Electric Guitar?
If you have small hands, if you are buying it for your little one, or if you are a traveling guitar player that appreciates portability, then a 3/4 electric guitar can be worth considering.