How Long Is a Standard Guitar?


Electric and acoustic guitars are made in several types and sizes. Some designs are ideal for kids and others are specifically for adults. You might also wonder how long is a standard guitar?

There are no standard guitar sizes; instead, they are recognized as “full-sized” guitars. These are 38 inches in length with 25.5 inches in scale length. Every brand has its specific size and not all of them have the same measurement.

Before we discuss the guitar sizes, here are the topics we’re going to tackle that may answer your questions:

  • How Long Is a Standard Guitar? What is the size of a ‘full size’ guitar?
  • What are the different sizes of guitars?
  • How to Measure a Guitar
  • What size guitar does a child need?
  • 10 Guitar Sizes

How Long Is a Standard Guitar?

There are no standard sizes labeled for every guitar. Each guitar brand has its signature size, design, and length. If you’re looking for a guitar that suits your size, it’s better to check it physically in stores.

A standard guitar often complicates the definition of full-size guitars. A full-size guitar, on the other hand, is the most appropriate term for what size is used in various brands. When checking for the size, make sure to ask the sales representative about the full size of the particular brand you’re eyeing for.

Playing Standard Guitar

What is the size of a ‘full size’ guitar?

A full-size guitar has a length of 38 inches (96.5 centimeters) with 25.5 inches (64 cm) scale length. If you already purchased a guitar, you can determine it by measuring the scale length. Most guitar brands use this size range to recognize full-size types.

You can confirm your guitar as full-sized if the scale length reaches 25 (63 cm) inches or more. The length doesn’t influence this specific size. Whether it is longer than 38 inches or shorter, the scale length is the foundation to determine this specific measurement.

Some guitars have less than 25 inches in scale length. These types of guitars are called scaled-down guitars and they also have different classes. They are technically made for traveling purposes since they are more portable than full-sized guitars.

What are the different sizes of guitars?

Aside from the full-size guitars, there are other sizes that you need to take note of. These are the 4/4, 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4 sizes. The determined sizes are not exactly the smaller types of the full-sized ones.

  • 4/4 Guitar – These are full-size guitars. The other sizes are the smaller versions of this guitar type. It is used by the manufacturers as a base for their scaled-down guitars.
  • 3/4 Guitar – Compared to the full-size guitars, 3/4 guitars are somewhat a bit smaller. These types commonly have 36 inches. This is the second largest in the variety of guitar sizes.
  • 1/2 Guitar – 1/2 size guitars commonly have a measurement of around 33 inches. Keep in mind that this is not half of the full-sized guitars. This is kind of larger than 1/4 guitars, but smaller than 3/4 types.
  • 1/4 Guitar – The length of this guitar is around 31 inches and is considered the smallest model size among the others. 1/4 guitars possess a small scale length which is usually 19 inches. Similar to other types of guitars we mentioned, this is not the literal 1/4 size of the full-sized guitars.

The scaled-down types of guitars commonly are good for children. This doesn’t limit the usage as adults can also use it if they are comfortable with it.

How to Measure a Guitar

In measuring a guitar, all you should focus on is the total length and the scale length. These methods apply to acoustic and electric guitars.

Guitar on Chair

Measuring a Guitar’s Total Length

To identify the guitar’s total length, measure it from the top of the headstock down to the end of the guitar body. You can use a tape measure to do this.

The common total length of the full-sized guitar ranges from 36 to 40 inches. The size of the headstocks greatly influences the length of the guitar. Take note that it doesn’t affect the feel when you play it.

Measuring a Guitar’s Scale Length

For a more accurate measurement, the scale length can provide more information on the guitar sizes. The parts that are incorporated are from the bridge down to the guitar nut.

What size guitar does a child need?

Guitar sizes are important for children since they are smaller compared to adults. It is difficult for them to play a full-sized guitar due to the longer scale length. This is why scaled-down models are recommended for them.

Acoustic Guitar

5 to 12100-120 cm3/4 guitars
12 to 15120 – 165 cmSmall Body
15 or older165 cm upFull-sized

Electric Guitar

5 to 880-100 cm1/2 size
8 to 12100-125 cm3/4 size
12 or older125 cm upFull-sized

Classical Guitar

2 to 575 – 100 cm1/4 size
5 to 8100 – 125 cm1/2 size
8 to 12125 – 165 cm3/4 size
12 or older165 cm upFull-Sized

10 Guitar Sizes

Every guitar is available in different types aside from the measurement we tackled. These give off different sounds and feel when you play them.

1. Ukulele

The smallest type of guitar is the Ukulele. It commonly uses four nylon strings. The sound has a vast difference from the full-sized ones. It is lightweight and relatively small but not recommended for people who want to learn complete skills in playing guitar.

2. Guitalele

Guitarlele is small and kind of resembles a ukulele. It has six strings and is considered the second smallest on our list. The key sounds like a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret.

3. Half-Size Guitar

From its name, it is half the size of a full-sized guitar. These are highly recommended to children as they are smaller and easier to handle. It’s ideal for ages 8 years old and below.

4. Three Quarter-Sized Guitar

This type of guitar is suitable for adults and children. The electric model in this size is thinner compared to the acoustic guitar. Both of them bear the same length.

5. Parlor Guitar

For full-sized guitars, this is recognized as the smallest type. It is suitable for guitarists who don’t want to use huge guitars such as Dreadnoughts. Parlor guitar sizes are like the upgraded size of Three Quarter-Sized Guitars.

6. Auditorium Guitar

Auditorium guitars are considered part of large-sized guitars. These are thin and curvy compared to Dreadnoughts.

7. Dreadnoughts

This is a bulky guitar type. It provides a higher volume of sound than the scaled-down models.

8. Jumbo Guitars

Judging from its name, this guitar is the largest of the full-sized guitars. They emanate a warm tone and huge sound.

9. Full-Sized Electric Guitars

These kinds of guitars are thinner than acoustic ones. The length is similar to the full-size acoustic guitars.

10. Bass Guitars

Most bass guitars from different brands are huge and solid. You can also find sizes in full-sized, 3/4, and 1/2.


A guitar is made in numerous sizes and styles. There are no standard models used for universal measurements. Each brand also expresses various tones and signature sounds which may suit your taste regardless of the size.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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