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MF MD HG01 Acoustic Guitar Month 07-17-18

Dean Playmate JTJ 1/2 Size Steel String Acoustic Guitar

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Product 519898
Product Price $0.00
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The Dean JTJ Steel String Acoustic Guitar is well made, easy to tune, and very playable. The perfect starter guitar for youngsters with its 1/2 size,...Click To Read More About This Product

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Don't Forget

Perfect for young guitarists.

The Dean JTJ Steel String Acoustic Guitar is well made, easy to tune, and very playable. The perfect starter guitar for youngsters with its 1/2 size, it gives them the feel of a real 6-string.

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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 81 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Dean JTJ

Other reviewers have hit the important points.... Good intonation on this guitar will require a combination of higher tuning OR heavy strings, AND a light touch, which very young players usually have...Read complete review

Other reviewers have hit the important points.... Good intonation on this guitar will require a combination of higher tuning OR heavy strings, AND a light touch, which very young players usually have anyway. The negative reviewers probably haven't compared this guitar with 1/2-size instruments from First Act, Santa Rosa, and other brands that produce guitars in this size and price range. I feel the Dean JTJ is superior to these, particularly in the bridge design, action, and general playability. The tuners are cheap, and the knobs rattle (even when screwed down all the way), but they do hold their tuning well for cheap tuners. The zero-fret avoids the problem of high-action-at-nut, which is the bane of so many cheap guitars--and their owners.I think this instrument represents a good value in its price range. If you want to purchase a better quality child's instrument, check out Yamaha's 1/2- and 1/4-size nylon string guitars, and Samick's 36" steel-string student/travel guitars. These are kid-size instruments built to better-than-entry-level quality standards: not surprisingly, they cost three-to-five times as much as the Dean. If you're not sure if the child will stay with the guitar or beat up on it, you can start on a Dean and subsequently upgrade to one of the aforementioned better models. Then Junior has the Dean for a "beach" guitar he/she can take camping, leave in the car, etc. Not a bad arrangement.It may not be a Samick or a Yamaha, but I still give the JTJ a thumbs-up in its size and price range.


Most Liked Negative Review


Serious Value, Small Investment

This baby Dean is priced so low it's silly. I ordered mine on Dec. 21 and it arrived promptly on the 23rd. This guitar is not a pro or even semi-pro sounding guitar....Read complete review

This baby Dean is priced so low it's silly. I ordered mine on Dec. 21 and it arrived promptly on the 23rd. This guitar is not a pro or even semi-pro sounding guitar. However, it is constructed much like a full-size acoustic with bracing and decent woodwork. The tone is limited due to it's size but there are no buzzes or rattles or other incredibly annoying sour tones that would be the death blow of most guitars this cheap. It also looks fairly sharp. I tuned it to standard with the supplied strings and played for about a half-hour. After, the g and high e strings were a little flat but I get that on my $*** acoustic after a half-hour too. The tuners, finish and clearcoat is as basic as you get but it works great and looks good. If you want a guitar that sounds remarkably good, stays in tune for a reasonable amount of time, can get lost or stolen or broken then replaced for the cost of a tank of gas, then order it. If you are a discriminating player looking for big tone or superb craftsmanship in a mini-guitar this Dean is not you're guitar. But, if you want to have fun, play guitar anywhere, anytime for $** bucks and sound good this is the guitar for you.

Reviewed by 81 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)



By Dean No More

from West Lafayette, IN

Bought this for my 7 yr old. Tuners were junk and fret board a joke and plastic. But, what should I have expected for the price? Dean should not be putting its name on this product. I wouldn't waste the $ on it again


It's a toy

By Joe-9OOUq

from Boston, MA

This is a toy - don't be fooled by the Dean name. From the description, you'd think it was a real instrument for a young beginner - it's unplayable. I bought two to give as gifts and I had to return them both - they can't be tuned. It is a toy - not a guitar

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Not playable, Not tunable. This is a toy.

By PMcGee

from Crest Hill, IL

I bought this for my sons first guitar. I could not tune or play it. I dont think my son would enjoy it so I am returning it.


Fun to play

By slowhand2

from Brewster, NY

I keep this guitar next to my desk and pick it up whenever I have a free moment. Nice sound for its size, but needs to be tuned constantly.


one more thing to carry to the beach

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I bought this on an impulse figuring for a few bucks it might work, if not I would give it to some kid. I love this thing, now I have a great little guitar to travel with and haul down to the beach. After reading some of the other reviews I can't help but wonder, what the heck did people expect for the cost of a pair of cheap jeans. This thing is great and a bargain, anything that makes music for this price is worth it.


Do not buy! Can not be tuned

By Outwest

from Oroville, CA

This is a pretty guitar, that, unfortunately, can not be tuned. It is unplayable. Even with a good set of strings, it is unplayable. This is not a good first guitar. The student will not learn the correct notes. Buy a better acoustic guitar!


Kids toy

By Lou-DcIy4

from Olympia, WA

This guitar looks good but the intonation is so whacked out in the first five frets that it is hard to play basic chords that don't sound foul. If you really want to teach your kids guitar spend the money and buy the Fender Junior or similar guitar. It seems to me that this guitar can be hit or miss on quality. All in all it looks professionally made but lacks the accurate craftsmanship.


Not too bad afterall

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

After looking for a suitable starter guitar for my 3 yr old son, I came across this Dean. It is much better constructed than any of the First Act guitars I saw in the stores. Even the tuners were surprisingly descent, but you have to tune it to A or G and use heavier strings due to the short scale length. It WILL not stay in tune if you use light strings and standard tuning. And for the money, I won't feel too bad if the boy beats it up. Overall, a good value.


You get what you pay for

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I paid very little for this guitar so I'm not going to complaign about the quality (or lack thereof) of this guitar. What I am going to complaign about however, is the false advertising claims that are posted in the product description on this web site. It reads: "...Well made, easy to tune, and very playable. Excellent intonation...". For the price I figured it was a throwaway but I expected the truth at a minimum. The intonation on this guitar is worse than horrible. You can tune it perfectly and nothing sounds good outside of the open strings - even the simplest chords. This guitar is completely unplayable - even my 8 yr old knows it sounds bad.


You get what you pay for

By Mikep25

from Massachusetts

About what you'd expect for the price. Intonation is terrible. If you can manage to get one chord to sound in tune, that will be the only one. I was hoping to teach my daughter with this guitar, since it is the perfect size, but I am afraid she will get discouraged because it sounds so out of tune.


Low price and chap construction to match

By MetalDrummer-PnNS0

from Pismo Beach, CA

This guitar is impossible to tune. My nephew can't learn how to play music on a guitar that is out of tune. Spend more on a real gutar, because this one is worthless.



By bestnevermakeitbig

from charlestown, RI

The intonation is not excellent as advertised.The "B string" is constantly sharp in the key of "D or A" while at the same time flat in the key of "E" on the lower frets and requires tuning in between each song depending upon the key the song is being played in..Too bad because it is fun to play smoking leads on the JTJ, and it is easy to get those squealing overtones during bends. That is where the guitar shines. On the other hand, the acoustic value for music like James Taylor does, my specialty, is just is not there.The guitar is cute to look at and the bridge is cool, but I was sent the one that is finished in gloss, not the natural that I was hoping for. There are also 2 small chips out of the paint exposing the wood near the tuners!The price is right, hell the gears alone are worth that.I can only give the guitar a 5 out of 10. It frustrates me. However, my 4 year old can't put it down.


Great for beginners and fun to play for pros.

By Jason Dolezal

from Wisconsin

See all my reviews

You could pay as much (or more) for a plastic guitar with nylon strings and plastic friction peg tuners. If you have a child in your life under 12 years old, I recommend this instrument.


Could be worse

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Ok, obviously a $$ dollar guitar is not gonna play like a Martin but I found it holds my nephews attention just fine. I told my girlfriend I was looking for a little cowboy guitar to give as a gift. She called me one day to tell me she found one for $$ at a yuppie toy store. Well I drove out to look at it and it was made of cardboard with fishing line for strings. So when I saw the dean playmate I thought it was a fair value. It is true it doesn't stay tuned for long but I found it works better if you tune it a little higher than standard. I bought three for gifts and the quality between the three varied a bit but they all tuned up and they all played open note chords-for a beginner is there any other kind of chord? I put old school cowboy decals with the kids names on them and they display very nicely in the corner of their rooms. Its a fun first guitar-far nicer then the scratch and dent 1/2 scale guitar my grandparents bought me when I was 6.


Great price, but.....


from Alexandria, VA

I bought this for my 6 year-old girl. It fits her nicely, but I was disappointed in the workmanship and sound. The instrument we got has a fret about 1/4 inch below the nut, and it wasn't properly seated in the neck, so it interfered with the strings. I filed it down quite a bit and that helped, as did replacing the strings, but I'd still rate the intonation as only fair/good, and not "excellent" as the product description here suggests.


Not a bad

By George Z

from Socorro, NM

See all my reviews

Sounds . . . well, like a small guitar. Best deal I could find for a starter guitar for my four-year old. I even pick it up occasionally to pick out a few tunes while sitting on the sofa. The quality of woods, strings, frets, and tuners used is really quite good for such a low price. Find a case or gigbag for it, though, if you don't want your kid to tear it up in a couple of weeks.


Basically a toy

By dougiebe

from Lawrence, KS

See all my reviews

Despite the description, this is basically a toy, albeit, one you can sort of play. The quality is what you would expect for the price. If you expect anything more you will be disappointed. I got this guitar for my 2 year old son because it "looks" real and functions like a guitar. He likes to get his hands all over my real guitars. Now he has his own to bang around, drag through the yard, whatever. All the other reviews are right. Difficult to tune (intonation is awful but if you fudge it you could pick comical, out-of-tune versions of kids songs), won't stay in tune (but my kid's favorite thing to do is just turn the tuning pegs!), binding is painted on, what looks like faux wood grain on the top, painted fretboard, zero fret, sounds like a box. Don't expect to be able to learn on the instrument but I figured if my kid took enough interest and learned how to handle it, I'd consider getting him a real guitar some day. BTW, we've had this guitar for over a year now and it has held up well, scratches, dings, sticky fingers and all! I'd recommend it as a realistic looking toy and nothing more. We've enjoyed it!


Dont waste your time

By punkrocker101

from Purcellville, VA

See all my reviews

This is not a good guitar. I bought it for my little bro and the second he played it one of the strings broke. I would recommend the Squire mini strat. For you people who want a little more money involved i would buy the Fender Mini Strat (Squire is made by Fender but the quality is very different). Or even a small nylon stringed guitar.(nylons are exellent first gtars)But this guitar is only good for one thing, and that is good decor.


Good starter for a child

By JBlaxton

from Hampton SC

I bought this guitar for my 8 year old daughter around Thanksgiving. I was pleased that it was sturdy and more like a true acoustic than some of the small ones you sometimes find in stores. Had to change the strings soon after getting it. When I press on the strings hard they give a note slightly higher than they should, but if you just press down a little lighter, you don't get that. A great starter for a kid to see if they are really going to stick with it.


Great for Kids

By John-zkOiy

from West Richland, VA

This is perfect for the child size beginner. Small frets for small fingers and a small body to get the short arms around. My son loves it and it sounds great along side my 7/8 and full size guitars. It tunes at different octaves than a full size so that was a bit of a trick to figure out, just use an electronic tuner and start at E6 and then just tune to the next string that comes up. A very great deal!

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