Guitar/Ukulele Instrument Info

For Ukuleles

Students need to have an instrument for class and home practice.Ukuleles range in price, however, for about $40-$60 you can purchase one that will be fine for your student’s needs. We recommend checking out Music and Arts(formally Tigard Music), Guitar Center, and Portland Music Company as they all have a large variety of Ukuleles.

For Guitars

What to look for in a Guitar!

ALERT!  Do Not buy those cute guitars from Target or Walmart. They are really more like toy guitars even though they are many times advertised as real guitars.

NEW vs. USED:  We recommend buying a used guitar for beginners if possible, or you might be able to find some new Yamahas to purchase for under $200. Once your student shows their dedication to practicing and progressing, it is great incentive to buy a new guitar. 

Size Matters: There are 1/2 size, 3/4 size, and full size guitars. Your child should be able to hold the guitar comfortably.  We recommend 3/4 size for most kids. The 1/2 sizes are not so good (thy are more like a toy). If the guitar is too big, it will hinder their desire to practice and play.  If you can, take your child with you to hold the guitar and the store clerk can help you choose the right fit.

Important things to check before buying:

1.) Be sure the tuning keys are solid and do not wiggle around.

2.) The action (how far away the strings are from the fretboard) *The farther away the strings are from the fretboard, the harder the student must press on the strings to get a clear sound.

Nylon strings v.s. Steel Strings:  This really comes down to preference.

Nylon:  Wider fretboard thus student needs to stretch their fingers farther but easier to press down and get a clear sound.

Steel String:  Strings are closer together but student will need to press harder to get a clear sound.


  1. Guitar picks
  2. Electronic tuner – The ones that clip on to the end are the best and easiest.
  3. Capo – Not necessary for beginners but a great tool to have later as student progresses.
  4. Music Stand –  Recommended for home use to support better posture while practicing.


Online Guitars:



The stores vary from day to day with what they carry in stock so we highly encourage calling first.

Trade Up Music ( NE Location) – 1834 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR 97211  –  (503) 236-8800

Store Hrs. – 11:00am-7:00pm every day


Portland Music Co. – 12334 SE Division St., Portland, OR 97236  –  (503) 760-6881

Store Hrs. – Monday – Friday 10:00am-6:30pm/ Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm/ Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm


Hum Strum Drum – 7645 SW Capitol Hwy., Portland, OR 97219  –  (503) 452-8800

Store Hrs. – Monday – Friday 12-7:00pm/ Saturday 11:00am-7:00pm/ Sunday 12-6:00pm


Music and Arts (FormerlyTigard Music) – 11579 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard, OR 97223  –  (503) 620-2844

Store Hrs. – Monday – Saturday 10:00am 6:00pm




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