Choosing the Right Guitar Size : 3/4 Guitar vs. Full Size

When buying a guitar, there are quite a few factors to take into consideration. During your shopping expedition, you will realize that size is one of the main decisions you will have to make. More precisely, it will come down to ¾ guitar vs. full size for this particular conclusion. So, which one will you choose?

Now, as you can imagine, the answer isn’t quite as simple as that. There are a lot of different points to consider before you can determine the right size for you. To make this assessment a little simpler, here is what you need to know:

Understanding Guitar Sizes

As you are probably aware, there are actually four different guitar sizes to choose from. Of course, this article is focused on two of the more common options, at least for adults. However, before you are able to make a decision regarding the sizes, you need to understand where the discrepancies lie in the dimensions.

First, let’s take a look at the overall dimensions of these guitars:

  • ¾ guitar = 92 x 34cm
  • Full size = 100 x 38cm

While this does give you some idea regarding length and size, it doesn’t actually paint the whole picture. This is because, when selecting a guitar, these aren’t the only dimensions to consider. You also need to think about the scale length, nut width, and box depth.

In most instances, though, you will find that these measurements correspond with the overall size of the guitar. So, if you opt for a ¾ guitar, then you can be certain that the scale length, box depth, and nut width will be smaller than those on a full-sized instrument.

Is Guitar Size Important?

Of course, one of the top questions people tend to ask when confronted with these two sizes is – does size even matter? After all, with practice, shouldn’t you get used to whatever instrument you have been playing the most? Now, this is a fair point as you should be able to get used to most guitar sizes after a while.

However, there is no need to force yourself to play an instrument that isn’t comfortable for you. If you do so, you will end up taking longer to master the most basic techniques or become an accomplished guitarist. It is a much better plan to simply stick with the size that works best for you.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Guitar Size

With this in mind, let’s move onto how you can select between the ¾ guitar and the full-sized one, depending on your personal requirements.

Your Age

A shortcut to determining what guitar size works best for a player is to take their age into consideration. As a rule of thumb, individuals between the ages of 8 and 12 are encouraged to opt for the ¾ guitar. Those that are older – adults specifically – are usually ushered towards full-sized guitars.

Size

Of course, the age formula can be rather limiting which is why it isn’t the only measuring stick to go by. An additional popular method is to factor in the size of the player. Such a concept follows this schedule:

  • The ¾ guitar is suitable for those between 4’6” and 4’11”
  • The full-sized guitar works for those taller than 5’

Again, though, this suggestion should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, if you are a bit shorter but have long arms, then you may find that a full-sized guitar is easier to play. On the other hand, if you are tall with short limbs, then a ¾ guitar may be more comfortable.

Male vs. Female Guitarists

Now, you may be wondering whether your gender should dictate whether you select a ¾ or full-sized guitar. The answer to this question would be ‘no’. This is because gender doesn’t actually have any impact on which of these instruments is right for you.

Rather, you need to pay attention to your height, the length of your arms and hands, and what weight you prefer. Then, depending on these results, you should select the guitar that lines up most with what you need.

For Beginners

You may have come across a lot of people recommending ¾ guitars to beginner players. So, does this mean that these guitars are easier to play? Well, this isn’t exactly true. See, in most circumstances, beginner players tend to be rather young – teenagers and younger. As such, it makes sense for them to start playing on a smaller instrument that is easier to handle.

In the end, though, the factors mentioned above take precedence. If the guitar appears to be a good fit for you and if you feel comfortable playing it, then it is probably the right size for you. If this happens to be a full-sized guitar, that is what you should opt for.

When Traveling

You don’t need to be told that taking your guitar on the road can be quite a hassle. This is largely due to the fact that most standard or full-sized guitars can be a tad bit bulky. You will notice the size in particular when you need to board a flight and are faced with the prospect of trying to store your instrument.

This is precisely why a number of touring and traveling musicians actually prefer the 3/4th size when they are on the road. It takes up a lot less space, making it easy to stow away when it is not needed. Not to mention, these instruments are often a smidge bit lighter as well. So, when walking around or even performing, these guitars are easier to handle.

As you can see, there isn’t a straightforward answer to which size guitar is better. Rather, it is about discovering which instrument is best for you. So, when choosing your design, think about your own body shape and size, how you like to play, and similar elements. This will help you get a lot closer to deciding between a ¾ or full-sized guitar and making the right choice.

Natalie
 

Hey there, my name is Natalie Landecker and I am the creator and main contributor to this site. My love for guitar and music has existed for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musically inclined household and my love for music bloomed very early on. This site is a way for me to share what I am most passionate about – everything to do with guitars.