This is a good full sized beginner guitar for kids ages 11+. The Les Paul Junior was created by Epiphone (that is owned by Gibson) as a way for players to get an instrument that looks, sounds, and feels like a Gibson Les Paul but at an affordable price. Since Gibson Les Pauls’ (if you buy new) can range in price from $600 to $5000+, the Epiphone Les Paul Junior is a great option for beginners who want a quality guitar but aren’t quite ready to spend a lot of money. Some famous players of Les Paul Juniors include John Lennon (post Beatles), Keith Richards, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, and Paul Westerberg of the Replacements. If your kids are into Rocksmith this is often recommend as one of the best to use and is sold by Rocksmith as a bundle with the game.
Read More: Kids and Rocksmith
The body on the Les Paul Junior is the standard Les Paul styling so it is a flat-top mahogany body. Don’t be misled by the ‘Junior’ in the name, it is a full sized guitar that is a bit more lightweight than other Les Paul type models, so you really don’t want to buy this for anyone younger than 11 or 12 years old because it will be too big and uncomfortable to play. It has only one pickup, and two controls: volume and tone, so not a lot of features here. You can get the Les Paul Junior in a number of cool colors (check the specs at the end of the post).
Since there aren’t really many features on the guitar it actually makes it perfect for a beginner because it is simple and fun to play. I also like this model for a young teen because it is light compared to some of the other Les Paul styles, the light weight adds to its playability for kids and teens.
The Junior is known for its good tone and intonation, so that just means that it says in tune well and sounds really good. There is only one pickup on this guitar, so if you are into guitars you might argue that you won’t get a good range of tone, but for a beginner this really isn’t something to worry about.
As I mentioned above there is only one pickup, but the pickup it has sounds great and is decent quality. The rest of the electronics are very solid for a guitar in this price range.
Frets on the Junior are generally well dressed, which is sometimes a problem with budget guitars. The neck is smooth and easy to play.
Things to look out for with The Les Paul Junior
As a beginner guitar there isn’t really much to complain about with the Epiphone Les Paul Jr. Some people might have minor qualms with the quality of the tuners but the standard criticisms (cheap tuners, don`t like the strings, poor pickup, etc. ) are pretty superficial and can fixed or upgraded very easily
This is a perfect full size starter guitar. Kids and teens who are just starting out can really do well with the model. Its light weight, so it’s comfortable to play, and beginners can learn how to do basic repairs, cleaning and string replacement without worrying that they are going to damage a $400 or $500 guitar. It has the classic Les Paul styling, so it looks great. The set-up, workmanship, finish and the hardware are all really impressive for this price range. This is a very good first guitar for the money and perfect for kids who want a nice electric, yet it is still affordable enough for parents who don’t want to spend too much in case their child loses interest in playing.