I understand the situation: you have a son or daughter in grade school and are thinking about lessons, but you don’t have a guitar for them. You aren’t sure what to ask for, how much a decent student model guitar should cost, where to look, etc. You’re not even sure about this whole idea and are nagged by the thought what if they lose interest in a month and you’ve just bought a new guitar?

It can be a problem. Since mom and pop music stores are largely a thing of the past, guitar rentals aren’t easily come by anymore, and BTW I don’t recommend Target or Costco as the inexpensive answer.

Even if you find a rental of some sort, there are serious technical considerations involved that can make a guitar difficult for small hands to play and produce frustration instead of being fun. These concerns include high or low action, light string gauges (both are especially important for young fingers) and intonation (the ability of the instrument to tune easily and sound accurate when played). And think about it: why would a music store rent you a top of the line instrument anyway, without a top of the line price tag? They won’t. And how will you know how to deal with these issues?


To remedy this perennial situation and allow parents the option of testing a young students interest without the cash commitment of buying an instrument, I recently bought 6 excellent 3/4 size guitars that I provide to new students at no charge for the first three months of their lessons. If at the end of the three months they are still interested and going strong, I will happily spend an hour or two and go with you (again, at no charge) to a music store such as the Guitar Center to help guide you in the purchase of an adequate instrument. Since I only have 6 guitars to loan out, it’s a first come first served situation. That said, if it happens that all of my loaner guitars are already booked when you contact me, I can put you on my waiting list, after

a) we have a conversation about your “student” and we agree that I seem like a good fit, and

b) we talk over the scheduling (remember I come to the home, and geography is a factor) and find a time that works well for both of us.

The longest you would ever have to wait for your guitar is three months, since that’s the length of the loan agreement!

I do not ask you to sign any type of contract regarding the free 3 month loaner guitar; this is just something I’ve decided to do to help people and that’s all there is to it. In return I only ask that you to please take good care of the instrument, return it in the same condition as it was received and if for some reason it gets seriously and irreversibly damaged to simply do the right thing and reimburse me for the cost (which is under $100). To date I’ve had no one who actually damaged a guitar at all, much less to the point that I had to ask them to do the right thing and pay me for it. Personally, I prefer to trust people and look for the best, and it’s always proven to be a good way to go. So far, people have been quite responsible regarding my “free loaner guitar” offer and these terms you’ve just read.

Problem solved!