Knowing how to choose the right guitar that is suitable for your learning style and playing needs can simplify the guitar-buying process. So, before I can salute those who want to start their guitar lessons, I have a few tips and recommendations to help you get started.
Choosing the Right Guitar for a Beginner
One question that most parents ask me is what guitar they should buy for their child who wants to start learning to play. I will offer you a few pointers on how to buy a guitar for a beginner.
Buying Electric vs Acoustic Guitar
Both the electric and acoustic guitars have their advantages and disadvantages depending on how you intend to use them. Electric guitars are by far the most popular guitar type used in contemporary music. When playing on their own, electric guitars produce faint sound, but when connected to an amplifier, they produce a variety of sounds. These are primarily used in metal, rock, pop, jazz, R&B, and blues music.
Electric guitars are easy to play and are available in several sizes which makes them the perfect choice for young players. These are also versatile and can produce a variety of tones, making them ideal for use in almost all popular music styles. The downside of electric guitars, however, is that they require additional accessories such as a connector cable and an amplifier to produce the maximum sound.
Acoustic guitars are designed to produce quality sound with no electric amplification. They are used in music genres such as singer-songwriter, folk, bluegrass, and country. They are occasionally used in blues, rock, and R&B. Acoustic guitars do not require any additional amplification. They also produce a bright sound that is perfect for playing chords.
Most parents ask me about the difference between learning electric guitar vs learning acoustic guitar. They are the same instruments and the concepts learned on one can be transferred to the other. However, I recommend an electric guitar for beginners as it is easy to play. The neck is narrower and the strings are easier to press down.
Things to Look for When Buying a Guitar
Choosing the type of guitar to buy is not enough. There are other things that you need to consider as well. Below are a few factors to consider:
The Shape of the Neck
Before buying a guitar, check for any bends or curves. A good guitar should have a straight neck to prevent the strings from hitting the frets when playing. If it has a bow or back bow, playing can be difficult especially for beginners.
The Distance of the Strings from the Fretboard
The action of the guitar is determined by how the string connects with the fretboard. You can adjust the action easily, but if the strings are far from the neck at the point where the neck and body meet, or if the neck is curved, then it becomes difficult.
Check if You Can Access the Entire Fretboard
If the guitar produces good sound and the action is good as well, next see if you can comfortably reach the entire fretboard. I encourage new buyers to move their fingers along each side of the neck to feel if any metal frets are sticking out.
If you find that some are not on the same level as the wood, you can find another guitar that doesn’t have the same problem. Frets that aren’t level with the wood can easily be fixed, but you don’t have to deal with that if you are buying a new instrument.
When it comes to buying a guitar for beginners, you must choose one that best meets your playing needs. Start by identifying the type of music you will be playing so you can choose the best guitar for it. Then check the features of the guitar.