Best Guitar For Beginners
What guitar you should buy is probably the first dilemma most aspiring guitarists face. You may be on the hunt for one for yourself or for someone you know. Everyone has their own opinions on what a good guitar to start on is and I don't expect you to blindly listen to mine. My hope however, is that my opinions along with any others you have heard, will help you make an informed decision on which beginner guitar is best to buy for your needs or the needs of whoever you may be tasked to help. I will also make some suggestions on the brands I think are good first choices.
Which guitar is best for beginners
Honestly the best guitar for beginners is the one that keeps them playing. Any guitar that empowers them to learn more or helps them progress is the guitar to own. Finding that guitar is the real task. But ultimately it should be accessible and easy to play.
Should I buy an acoustic or electric guitar
Taking a look at what you want to accomplish should be your first step in deciding whether to buy an acoustic or electric guitar.
What are your goals
If your goal to learn how to play strictly acoustic style music then the answer is clear. Get an acoustic guitar.
If you want to learn how to play mostly Rock or Heavy Metal music, get an electric guitar.
If your are unsure of your goals and just want to learn everything you can, I suggest buying an electric guitar. I'll tell you why I think an electric guitar is a first good choice later but first I want to show you some pros and cons of both types:
Pro and con of acoustic guitars
* Hand strength could increase faster due to a bigger neck and higher action strings. The "action" is the height that the strings sit above the guitar frets. Strings with low action are easier to press but budget acoustics usually have high action.
* Easier to learn finger picking on.
* Less obnoxious sounding as an electric.
* Does not need an amplifier.
* Some mistakes are less noticeable on an acoustic versus an electric.
* Less hardware to manage.
* The choice between steel or Nylon strings - Nylon strings have unique smooth sound.
* Acoustic electric guitars are available so you can amplify them but it's not the same as an amplified electric guitar.
* Harder to find quality acoustic instruments at affordable prices.
* They usually have wider necks making slightly more difficult and sometimes more painful to learn on.
* Strings are usually higher of the frets making them more difficult to press down.
* More difficult to make hardware modifications to.
Pro and con of Electric guitars
* Easier to find quality instruments at affordable prices.
* Electric guitars are more fun ad can make tons of different sounds.
* Can be hooked up to effect pedals to change the sound in new and exciting ways.
* Can be used to practice quietly using headphones.
* Electrics have smaller necks and strings tend to sit lower on the frets making them easier to play.
* Adjustments / setups easier.
* Needs amplification to make them louder. - This could also be considered a Pro because playing with an amp with do wonders for you. Learning to play on an amp will magnify any mistakes you make and you will have to learn quickly how to fix it. You'll start learning from the very beginning how to mute unwanted sounds using both of your hands!
So what kind of guitar do I recommend?
I recommend starting with an electric guitar. I think electric guitars are easier to learn on as well as more fun! I believe that you are more likely to stick to it when starting out on an instrument that is fun and easier play. I would recommend starting out on an acoustic only if you already have access to one or you want to play classical guitar or some other specific acoustic style of music. You can always buy a good acoustic later when you have a little more experience.
If you shop for an acoustic guitar look into these brands: Fender, Yamaha or Breedlove guitars all which provide good quality without breaking the bank.
Why you should consider a Fender Squier as a first electric guitar
Before I give my recommendation I want you to know that no one has paid me to say what I am about to say - this is my own opinion and it's what I tell everyone I talk to in person! For a first beginner level electric guitar I recommend a Fender Squier Standard (not the Bullet model). My reasons for this are pretty straight forward which are:
1) Reliable quality from a well known company.
2) They are inexpensive - in new condition they run about $249 and used from around $100 - $150.
3) Easy to upgrade parts - parts are interchangeable with other Fender American Standard Stratocaster parts.
4) Versatile - they can be used for just about any style of music.
Fender a.k.a Fender Musical Instrument Corp (FMIC) has been in business a long time and even their low budget Squier Standard series of guitars are made with quality in mind. If there is something you don't like about it, parts are so plentiful that it is super easy to change or upgrade. Sure, you could buy another brand and do the same thing but it just won't be as easy to find spare parts as with Fender standard series guitars.
Fender also owns Jackson and Charvel guitar brands too. To my knowledge though, they don't make a beginner guitar where all the parts are interchangeable with the more expensive bigger brother models. Jackson does have an quite a few entry level electric guitars but I don't know whether any of the parts fit each other between models. I'm sure with a little more research you could figure out which models have parts that fit each other but I really don't think it's worth the time and hassle for a beginning guitarist.
Buying your first guitar
When buying your first guitar or any guitar for that matter, you should do it from store location near you. That way you have a chance to check it for any problems before the purchase. This also give you a chance to bring someone with more experience with you to help look for problems or give you insight. Whether you make a purchase locally or online, make sure the store you buy from has a return policy in case you discover defects with your new guitar later.Need more help?
I hope I have given you some helpful insight as to which beginner guitar you should buy. If you still need someone to talk to feel free to contact me and we can talk via mail or gmail chat if you have further questions about what guitar is right for you.
Posted March 10, 2016, 4:35 am in: Beginner guitar lessons
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