The Best 3/4 Guitar in 2023: Our Comprehensive Guide

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In the music world, size doesn’t always matter. That’s certainly the case with 3/4 guitars. Compact yet powerful, these mini-me versions of regular guitars are carving a mini niche for themselves. Welcome to our guide of the best 3/4 guitar in 2023.

These little beauties are not only perfect for beginners and children but also for seasoned musicians who fancy a lightweight, portable option for their travelling sprees. Compact in size, they pack a punch in sound, offering a tonality that resonates just as well as their full-sized counterparts, sometimes even better.

Dive in as we explore and review the best of these versatile instruments that are redefining how we perceive size in the melodic world. Look beyond size and open up a new realm of musical possibilities with 3/4 guitars.

The Martin LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Guitar on a white background

Martin LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Guitar


The Martin LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Guitar is a compact, three-quarter size guitar that boasts a solid Sitka spruce top, high-pressure laminate back and sides, and a 23″ scale length. Belonging to the Little Martin Travel series, it is designed to be portable, which makes it an excellent choice for travel or for children. Its small size belies its robust sound, thanks to a Fishman Sonitone pickup that provides a great amplified sound.

Known for its durability, it also features a strata bond neck and a rich light fingerboard. It also comes with a padded gig bag for easy transportation. Its use by Ed Sheeran early in his career has significantly boosted its popularity.

Key Benefits

  • Compact and easy to play, making it suitable for travel or children
  • Solid spruce top and high-pressure laminate back and sides ensure durability
  • Fishman Sonitone pickup provides excellent amplified sound
  • Comfortable 23″ scale length, shorter than most guitars, allows for easier chord stretches
  • Comes with a padded gig bag for easy transportation
  • Proven to hold its tune well even in fluctuating temperatures and humidity conditions


We recommend checking official retailers for the most up-to-date pricing.

Pros & Cons

Having owned one of these early in my guitar journey, I can attest that the Martin LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Guitar has a lot to offer. Its shorter scale length is a game-changer. It allows for easier chord stretches and playing chords that can be tough on a regular guitar. Plus, its size makes it comfortable for beginners or those with smaller hands.

The guitar’s durability is a standout feature. Coupled with the included gig bag, it’s easy to transport and holds up well in different conditions. It’s been my go-to for camping trips thanks to its robust build and synthetic wood used for the back and sides.

The sound of the LX1E is quite impressive for its size. It has a clear and defined tone with a strong frequency response, balancing well between the bass, middle, and treble frequencies. When plugged in, the performance rivals larger and more expensive guitars, and the sound-hole-mounted volume and tone controls are easily accessible and discreet.

The only downside to the LX1E, if I had to name one, would be its volume. It doesn’t project as much as a full-size acoustic, but considering its size, it’s still fairly loud. This minor issue aside, the Martin LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Guitar comes highly recommended for its portability, comfort, tone, and durability.

The Taylor BT1 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar

Taylor BT1 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar


The Taylor BT1 Baby Taylor is a compact acoustic guitar, known for providing the quality of a Taylor brand guitar in a reduced size. Perfect for younger players or those looking for a smaller strummer, this guitar features a solid spruce top and layered walnut back and sides for a pleasing aesthetic and durability.

Its neck is made of maple with a slim profile, further enhancing its playability. Complete with Taylor-branded tuners, a Graphtech nut, and Elixir strings, the BT1 offers a great entry-level model that doesn’t compromise on tone or build quality.

Key Benefits

  • Compact size suitable for young players or as a travel guitar
  • Solid spruce top and layered walnut back and sides ensure durability
  • Maple neck with a slim profile for added comfort during play
  • Comes with quality components such as Taylor branded tuners, Graphtech nut and Elixir strings
  • Despite its smaller size, it delivers a big sound with a dreadnought-style voice and depth to its tone
  • Highly recommended entry-level model offering superb tones and excellent build quality
  • Comes with a high-quality Taylor gig bag, making it convenient for travel


The Taylor BT1 Baby Taylor is priced in the range of $200-300, making it affordable for newer players while still offering the build quality and tones more experienced guitarists look for.

Pros & Cons

As a player, the Taylor BT1 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar has a lot to offer. Its shorter scale length of 22 and 3/4 inches makes it ideal for travel and suitable for those with smaller hands. You won’t be sacrificing sound quality with this smaller instrument as it still delivers a bright and punchy sound thanks to its scaled-down dreadnought body shape and solid spruce top. The back and sides are made of layered walnut, adding to the guitar’s aesthetic appeal.

This guitar is known for its great action and intonation, comparable to that of an electric guitar with low action. The intonation is good for an instrument with a smaller scale length, thanks to the compensated bridge. The slim and comfortable neck profile also makes it suitable for players with smaller hands. Despite its size, it stays in tune well.

However, it’s important to mention that while its simple and understated design might appeal to some, it might lack the visual pizzazz that some guitarists prefer. But overall, the Taylor BT1 Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar is highly recommended as a travel guitar due to its smaller size, solid construction, and quality sound.

The Fender FA-15 Acoustic Guitar

Fender FA-15 Acoustic Guitar


The Fender FA-15 is a 3/4 scale acoustic guitar that is built with the beginner in mind, particularly suitable for children aged 5 to 9, depending on their size and ability to play chords. It’s also a great choice for adults with smaller hands. Featuring a laminate agathis top, sapele back and sides, and a C-shaped Nato neck with a rosewood fingerboard, the guitar is well-constructed and delivers a balanced tone.

Despite its budget-friendly nature, the FA-15 doesn’t skimp on quality, surprising many with its high-grade craftsmanship and a glossy polyester finish that enhances the overall aesthetics.

Key Benefits

  • Perfect for beginners, kids, and adults with smaller hands due to its 3/4 scale size.
  • Delivers a balanced tone and smooth playability for various genres like folk, country, blues, pop, and rock.
  • Comes with a gig bag, a bonus as most guitars are sold without one.
  • Features a comfortable shape, easy-to-use bridge, wide nut, short scale length, comfortable neck, and comfortable fretboard.
  • Made by Fender, a reputable brand known for producing high-quality guitars at affordable prices.


The Fender FA-15 sets itself apart as a budget-friendly option among 3/4-sized guitars. Priced at a reasonable $185, it offers good playability and sound for its price range, making it a popular choice among beginners and those looking for a quality acoustic guitar without breaking the bank.

Pros & Cons

When playing the FA-15, I appreciated its compact size, easy playability and versatility. It’s not just a great beginner’s guitar, but also a reliable travelling companion due to its portability. It also has a unique resonance that gives it a cool character, and it’s surprisingly good for strumming with a pick despite its small size.

For private practice, another advantage is its quiet nature. It’s not a loud guitar, making it perfect for practising at home or on the move without disturbing others. And it comes with a travel bag – a nice touch!

However, there were a few areas I found wanting. The FA-15 has a high action, which may require adjustment, especially for beginners who might find it challenging to press down the strings. But, overall, the FA-15 offers good value for its price and is a solid choice for anyone looking for a compact, budget-friendly acoustic guitar.

The Yamaha JR1 FG 3:4 Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha JR1 FG 3/4 Acoustic Guitar


Aspiring guitarists or parents of young learners will appreciate the appeal of the Yamaha JR1 FG 3/4 Acoustic Guitar. It’s part of Yamaha’s reputable FG series, which provides excellent-quality instruments. The JR1 FG, in particular, is scaled to 3/4 the size of its counterparts, making it the perfect solution for young players or those with smaller hands.

With a solid build featuring a dreadnought body and a laminated Sitka spruce top, the JR1 FG doesn’t compromise on quality. The back and sides of the guitar are designed with Filipino mahogany, which adds to the richness of the sound. It’s a great beginner’s guitar that isn’t disposable and makes learning a joy.

Key Benefits

  • Perfect size for young players and those with smaller hands
  • Solid build quality, featuring a dreadnought body and a laminated Sitka spruce top
  • The back and sides are Filipino mahogany, enhancing the richness of sound
  • It’s a cost-effective, high-quality instrument ideal for beginners
  • Comes with a travel bag, making it easy to carry around


The Yamaha JR1 FG 3/4 Acoustic Guitar stands out because it offers great value. This high-quality musical instrument is noted as being affordable and easy to play, making it an excellent choice for beginners and young learners. It’s one of the best beginner guitars available within its price range.

Pros & Cons

Speaking from my own experience, the Yamaha JR1 FG 3/4 Acoustic Guitar is a convincing choice. Its smaller size is a major plus point, especially for children aged 5 to 10, as it fits their body size. However, for slightly older students who are around 11 to 13, a full-scale guitar might be more suitable.

The sound quality of this guitar is impressive for its size and price. It produces pretty tones with a decent punch, and it’s louder and clearer compared to other small guitars. It’s pleasing to note that once the strings stretch out, it holds its tune well, though it might require some initial tuning adjustments.

In terms of playability, the JR1 FG is comfortable, thanks to its slim neck and spruce top, contributing to an authentic acoustic tone. While it may not match the warm tone of a full-sized guitar, it still offers a bright and full sound, which is pleasantly surprising for a guitar of its size.

The JR1 FG comes with a gig bag, which is a nice bonus, but it may not be the best travel guitar out there. Despite this minor drawback, it stands out as one of the top guitars for kids in its price range. It’s an affordable, high-quality instrument that’s easy to play, sounds great, and is sturdy enough to withstand the learning process, making it highly recommended for beginners.

The Yamaha APXT2 3:4 Acoustic Guitar

Yamaha APXT2 3/4 Acoustic Guitar


The Yamaha APXT2 is a 3/4 size acoustic-electric guitar, which is a smaller version of the popular Yamaha APX500. Developed by the renowned Japanese company, Yamaha, this guitar is particularly designed to suit the body size of children between ages 5 to 10. The guitar boasts a laminated meranti body with a spruce top, layered sapele back and sides, and a slim, comfortable neck.

The top is made of tropical American mahogany, often recognized for its unique wood grain patterns. It is built with a short 22.75” scale length and a rosette with a subtle black circle design. There are high-end appointments like a rich ebony fretboard and bridge, Taylor’s sealed gear chrome plated tuners, and a compensated saddle ensuring great intonation.

An interesting feature of the BT2e is its screwed-on neck, a rarity in acoustic guitars, but this enhances its portability without compromising performance.

Key Benefits

  • Compact and portable, perfect for travelling musicians and students
  • Solid mahogany top and layered sapele back and sides for rich tone
  • Short 22.75” scale length makes it easier to play for beginners and people with smaller hands
  • High-end appointments (rich ebony fretboard and bridge, sealed gear chrome plated tuners, compensated saddle) for excellent performance
  • Screwed on neck for added portability
  • Comes with a high-quality gig bag for protection


There are alternative guitars in the same price range that may offer different tonal quality and durability. These alternatives include the Martin LX1 Little Martin and the Journey Instruments OF660M Overhead Carbon Fiber.

Pros & Cons

The Baby Taylor BT2e is a top choice for adults seeking a travel guitar and children learning to play. This compact guitar, while affordable, doesn’t compromise on quality, truly epitomises the Taylor brand’s reputation.

Comparatively, the Big Baby Taylor offers a more resonant sound, but it is noticeably larger than the BT2e and the GS Mini, which might not be ideal for all players.

The sound produced by the GS Mini is impressive for its size. However, it comes with medium gauge strings which may not suit everyone’s playing style.

There are, however, few aspects of the BT2e which might not be as appealing. For instance, the laminate back and sides don’t quite deliver optimal tonality, and this might make the guitar feel less valuable. I also noticed that while the BT2e is often hyped to produce large and bold tones, some may find the projection for singular notes, arpeggios, and chords to be a bit muddy if played too hard. Lastly, regular maintenance, including using a humidifier and loosening the strings after play, is a must to keep it in good condition.

Despite these points, the Baby Taylor BT2e offers great value for its price. It’s well-made, comfortable to play, and delivers a good quality sound, all of which make it a practical and versatile choice for both travel and learning.

The Cort Earth Mini OP Acoustic Guitar

Cort Earth Mini OP Acoustic Guitar


The Cort Earth Mini OP is a compact, travel-sized acoustic guitar known for its solid build. Part of Cort’s Earth Series, this guitar aims to replicate the vintage acoustic guitars’ look and sound. It features a dovetail neck and body joint for stability, a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard.

Its three-quarter dreadnought body delivers a focused, balanced sound. The Earth Mini OP is unpretentious in its appearance with an open-pore finish and no binding, yet stylish with its soundhole rosette. Coming fitted with D’Addario EXP16 Light strings, it also includes a well-padded gig bag.

Key Benefits

  • Compact size making it an excellent option for traveling musicians or young students.
  • The balanced and focused sound despite its small size.
  • High playability with a comfortable neck shape and a compact body.
  • Included well-padded gig bag.
  • Enhanced resonance with open-pored mahogany back and sides.


The Cort Earth Mini OP Acoustic Guitar is reasonably priced. We recommend checking official retailers for up-to-date pricing

Pros & Cons

The Cort Earth Mini OP Acoustic Guitar has several pros that make it a worthy investment. One unique feature is the strip of machined timber inside the body for added support, something uncommon in most travel guitars. It is highly playable, thanks to the comfortable neck shape and compact body that fits well under the arm. Despite its smaller size, the guitar has plenty of volume, a natural sustain, and a surprisingly good tone. The die-cast nickel tuners work well, and the action and intonation are good.

However, although the guitar’s tone and volume are impressive for its size, it is not as dreamy as more expensive guitars. The craftsmanship of other brands like Taylor and Martin might be slightly more refined, but given its affordable price tag, the Cort Earth Mini OP holds up well. All in all, the guitar is well-suited for beginners, those on a budget, and particularly young students starting to learn to play the instrument.

The Fender Sonoran Mini 3/4 Acoustic Guitar

Fender Sonoran Mini 3/4 Acoustic Guitar


The Fender Sonoran Mini is a compact and portable acoustic guitar, part of the brand’s 2021 range. It is a smaller version of the standard Sonoran, designed with a 3/4 size body and a 24.1-inch scale length, mirroring the sizing of Fender’s Mustang and Duo-Sonic electric guitars.

The guitar is made in Indonesia, featuring a laminate spruce top and laminate mahogany back and sides. The Sonoran Mini continues Fender’s classic design with a 6-in-line headstock and a walnut bridge and fingerboard. The nut is made from Graft Tech, a synthetic bone substitute known for its durability and contribution to sustain.

Key Benefits

  • Compact and lightweight, making it perfect for musicians on the move.
  • Easy playability with a nato neck and rosewood fingerboard.
  • Variety of finish options for a personalized touch.
  • Quality sound output enhanced by Yamaha’s ART pickup system and System 68 preamp.
  • Suitable for both beginners and experienced players.


The Fender Sonoran Mini is valued for its affordability. With a retail price of £180, both the Sonoran Mini and comparable guitars like the Gretsch Jim Dandy are cited as offering good value for the money.

Pros & Cons

From personal experience, the Sonoran Mini is comfortable to play and versatile in its capability for both strumming and fingerpicking. One of its standout qualities is its mahogany construction, which gives it a notably different sound compared to other guitars like the Gretsch Jim Dandy. This mahogany body contributes to a warm and mellow tone, which can be brightened up by opting for a spruce top.

Despite the unique sound offered by the mahogany body, I do think the Gretsch Jim Dandy has a fuller and better sound overall. But, the Sonoran Mini does not fall far behind, with its scotch bracing allowing for better projection and tone.

The Sonoran Mini certainly shows Fender’s improvement in terms of quality and sound. There has been criticism of Fender acoustics in the past, but this model subverts those with its quality build and tonality. However, do keep in mind that sound is subjective and it’s always best to try out a guitar personally before purchasing.

What Is A 3/4 Acoustic Guitar?

A 3/4 acoustic guitar, contrary to what the term might imply, does not denote the actual physical size of the instrument but rather refers to the scale length of the guitar, which is the distance between the nut and the bridge. These shorter-scale guitars provide a smaller space between the frets, making them more accessible and easier to play, particularly for beginners or those with smaller hands.

The magic of a 3/4 acoustic guitar lies in the carefully chosen combination of woods used to construct it. The back and sides of the guitar are typically made of warmer-sounding woods like Mahogany, Sapele, or Basswood, while the top wood is where the sound really comes to life. This is often made from Sitka Spruce, a popular choice due to its balanced tonal output which enhances the guitar’s natural projection.

Other options for top wood include Mahogany, Koa, Cedar, or other exotic choices but Spruce is the most common choice due to its tonal balance for various playing styles. 3/4 acoustic guitars are greatly favored amongst beginners, young students, and those with smaller hands as they offer a more comfortable playing experience and are easier to travel with.

They’re also an excellent choice for those recovering from hand injuries as they offer less string tension and easier fret stretches. Furthermore, despite their compact size, these guitars still offer a rich, natural sound, making them a popular choice amongst both beginner and experienced guitarists.

Renowned musicians such as Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift are known to use 3/4 acoustic guitars during their live performances, demonstrating their versatility and wide appeal. Whether you’re a beginner just starting your musical journey, an experienced player looking for a comfortable, travel-friendly option, or someone recovering from a hand injury, a 3/4 acoustic guitar offers a fantastic balance of playability, sound quality, and portability.

What Are The Benefits Of A Smaller Acoustic Guitar?

A smaller acoustic guitar, often referred to as a 3/4 acoustic guitar, can offer many benefits to a wide variety of players. The term 3/4 acoustic guitar refers more to the scale length, which is the distance between the nut and the bridge, rather than the physical size of the instrument. The smaller scale length results in less space between the frets, making it easier for beginners or those with smaller hands to play.

One of the greatest benefits of a smaller acoustic guitar is its portability. Due to its compact size, it’s easier to travel with and more convenient for musicians who are constantly on the move. Renowned musicians like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift have been known to use 3/4 acoustic guitars during their live performances, showcasing their versatility and convenience.

Despite their smaller size, 3/4 acoustic guitars don’t compromise on sound. Many brands use a combination of wood types to ensure that the sound quality isn’t diminished by the smaller size. The back and sides of the instrument are typically made from warmer-sounding woods like Mahogany, Sapele, or Basswood, while the top wood is generally made from Sitka Spruce. This combination of woods enhances the natural projection of the guitar and provides a balanced tonal output suitable for various playing styles.

In addition to sound and portability, smaller acoustic guitars are also more accessible and comfortable to play, making them a popular choice amongst beginners, young students, and those recovering from hand injuries. The shorter scale length offers less string tension and easier fret stretches, making it a great starting point for those embarking on their guitar-playing journey.

Furthermore, many leading guitar manufacturers produce high-quality 3/4 acoustic guitars that come with impressive features such as solid wood tops, professional pickup systems, and high-quality tuners. This means that even though you’re opting for a smaller guitar, you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of the instrument.

However, it’s important to note that like all guitars, smaller acoustic guitars also require regular maintenance such as tuning, string changes, and proper storage to ensure the instrument stays in its best condition.

A smaller acoustic guitar offers a great balance of comfort, sound quality, and portability, making it a versatile instrument suitable for a wide range of players. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out, a travelling musician, or simply someone who prefers a smaller instrument, a 3/4 acoustic guitar could be a fantastic choice for you.


To wrap up our melodic journey through the world of 3/4 guitars, we can all agree that these compact instruments have a lot to offer. They’re portable, and versatile, and make an ideal choice for beginners, kids, and adults with smaller hands.

From the durability of the Martin LX1E Little Martin Acoustic Guitar to the pleasing aesthetic of the Taylor BT1 Baby Taylor, these instruments pack great value in a smaller package. Whether your focus is portability, as highlighted by the Fender FA-15 or the quality sound offered by the Yamaha JR1 FG, there’s a 3/4 guitar tailored to meet your specific needs and preferences.

In addition, these guitars are more than just convenient travel companions or beginner instruments. They serve as great practice tools for seasoned guitarists due to their unique challenges. Remember, playing on smaller fretboard forces you to adapt and enhance your technique, which subsequently improves your overall playing skills.

While they may not replace a full-sized guitar in terms of sound projection, the variety and quality of music that these guitars produce is impressive nonetheless. They certainly hold their own ground and have proven to be more than just a novelty option.

So, whether you’re a travel-happy musician, a parent looking for your child’s first guitar, or a guitarist wanting to mix up your practice routine, a 3/4 guitar could be just the pick for you. And who knows – you might even find that downsizing is an upgrade in itself.


Andrew Scrivens

Andrew Scrivens

I am a live musician and guitar teacher from Brisbane, Australia, with extensive experience playing live, in the studio and for TV shows. I play in many venues, studios, music shops and with my students and as such am exposed to a lot of different gear. I form my opinions based on my experiences playing instruments in these locations.

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