If you are looking for a decent beginner guitar for a child in the 8 to 11 age range who is starting to get interested in learning to play, this is a good nylon stringed instrument for under $100. The Hohner HC03 Student is a 3/4 sized guitar that is good for younger kids because it is smaller than a full sized model, making it easier and more comfortable to play. This model has reasonably good sound quality for a guitar in this price range, and stays in tune well for a beginner instrument. It is made by Hohner, who produce mostly lower end budget guitars. They tend to be better quality than you get with toy store brands for around the same price. If you are buying for a child who is taking lessons and your budget allows, I would probably go a little higher end than this model – something from Yamaha would probably be a better option.
The Hohner HC03 has a scale length of 23.22″ and a nut width of 1.77″ . It has a spruce top, and a nato back, sides and neck. The 18-fret fingerboard and bridge are made of hardwood.
The HC03 is designed for players between ages 8 to 13, so it’s 3/4 size helps it to have great playability for kids. It has a really nice fingerboard and bridge, that is very smooth and easy to play.
For the price you would have a tough time finding an instrument than sounds as nice as the HC03, it produces a kind of a nice rich deep sound. Since it is a 3/4 size, it the sound isn’t as full or loud as a full sized, but for a children’s guitar it is loud enough. It does need to be tuned a lot, but that isn’t necessarily a terrible thing for a beginner.
The workmanship on the HC03 is surprisingly good quality; there are a few cosmetic imperfections but nothing much that affects the playability. Again for the price, this is quite well made instrument.
Things to watch out for
Since this is a classical style with nylon strings, you need to remember that when you first get the guitar you should let the strings stretch out a bit, so the strings are able to stay in tune better. Letting the nylon strings stretch and settle and then retuning a few times in the first few days or so after purchase is standard on classical guitar. After about a week they should settle.
Classical styles also tend not to have marking dots on the fret board which might be an issue for some players, you can add fret board marker or stickers if that is helpful for your child.
Where’s the Best Price?
Specs- Hohner HC03 3/4-Size Classical Acoustic
Body Style- Student size classical
Scale length- 23.22″ (590mm)
Back/Sides- Nato (Eastern mahogany)
Body binding- Black ivoroid
Fingerboard- Select hardwood
Width at nut- 1.77″ (45mm)
Number of frets- 18
Tuners- In-line chrome with pearloid keys
Finish- Natural gloss,
Case- Sold separately