I updated the children’s guitar page to reflect two new recommended guitars:
- The 48-cm Hopf-Hellweg Bronco from Thomann.de, which I bought this March.
- The 52-cm Aranjuez from leihinstrumente.de, which a commenter bought recently and recommends.
Also, I found that an SKB Baby Taylor hard case ($70 from Amazon), with some fairly simple modifications, worked well for my 48 cm-guitar and would likely work (again, with modifications) for any guitar from 44 cm up to about 57.8 cm (the scale length of an actual Baby Taylor).
6 thoughts on “New info about guitars from German stores and about a hard case”
I rally love your web site–and I am going to put a link up to my web page. I work with my daughter on piano–but she would also love to learn the guitar. I do not know how to play a guitar, so I really enjoy reading your experiences! Thanks for documenting this!
Thanks, Kaylynn. I’m a little embarrassed about how long it’s been since I posted, but your comment increases my guilt and thus the likeliness that I’ll start up again. It’s lonely being a Suzuki parent.
I bought a SKB baby Taylor case for my daughter’s 1/4 size guitar. Could you tell me how did you modified the case. Thanks.
Sure. I did two things: (1) cut down the styrofoam in the top part of the case, where the neck goes, so the headstock would fit, and (2) made an insert for the part where the body goes so that it was held snugly.
I’ll post some pictures this weekend since you’re interested. But here’s what I think you need to know for each task:
The case is lined with styrofoam. You will need to carve away some of the styrofoam in the neck/headstock area. Figure out where your headstock will land when you’re done, assuming that the body/neck joint lands the same place that a Baby Taylor would. Then cut the cloth lining with a razor knife. I found that this required cutting into the parts cavity (the lidded space under the neck), and I ended up making that cavity smaller (I cut down the lid to fit the new cavity).
When you’ve cut the cloth liner, you can then cut through the styrofoam. Any serrated knife will work. Cut straight down and try not to wreck the foam — you will put it back after you shave it down. I ended up taking out the entire chunk of foam from the case, shaving it down (again, using a serrated kinfe), and testing periodically until I had the right shape to fit the headstock.
When you put the foam back, you can glue new upholstery to it with hot-melt glue. I bought some furry black cloth at a fabric store. It isn’t exactly the same as the stock fabric, but you can’t tell the difference unless you look closely.
As for the cavity area, this is less messy and a little more painstaking. I started with 1/4″ foam core. Cut a piece that fits in the area for the body; that’s your base. Trace an outline of your guitar body onto that base. Then cut some pieces of foam core that are the height of the guitar, less 1/4″ (for the base). Score them (i.e., cut partway through) with a razor knife so you can bend them. Hot glue them to the base, following the outline of your guitar, and leaving enough room for some soft cloth to be glued on. You want the guitar to fit inside snugly, but it shouldn’t be too tight, and it’s not really a problem if it’s a little loose, as the case provides a lot of protection already. Add another curved piece to the base running on the outside (i.e., next to the inside of the Baby Taylor case), the add a top, so that your insert has no open areas. Cover it with some nice soft fur from the fabric store; hot-melt glue works well to attach the fabric.
Note: The order of these steps is approximate. If you figure out a better order to do things in, go for it. Just keep the basic idea in mind: You’re building a soft snug insert for the body, and you’re creating space as needed for the neck.
Good luck! As I said, I’ll post some photos by this weekend.
One more thing: I actually didn’t use the whole base underneath the guitar. I ended up cutting out the central portion of the insert and using just the portion of the base that supports the sides and runs between the side of the guitar and the side of the case. If that’s not clear, you’ll see what I mean when I post a picture
I posted instructions about how I modified the SKB Baby Taylor case here: a hard case for small guitars