Buying Your First Guitar
Buying a new guitar can be a daunting task for new beginners overwhelmed with information and choices that can often be difficult to make sense of. Lets cut through the noise to give you the basics on purchasing a new guitar, what to look out for, and what you should be considering in your decision.
There Is No Silver Bullet
Since we all come in different shapes and sizes, it’s difficult to give one general answer that will cover all the bases. Some guitars are great for concert halls, some better for living rooms. You’ll find some are great for standing, some better for sitting. And you’ll find some guitars you will want to plug into an amplifier, and some you will use around a campfire. There are classical guitar, flat-top acoustic guitars, arch-top jazz guitars, acoustic-electric guitars, solid-body electric guitars, 3/4 size guitars, short scale, hard tail, and many more! Here are a few pointers and some guidance that may be helpful.
Most acoustic guitars you may be familiar with are steel-string acoustic guitars. As you might have guessed from the name, the strings are steel. It can be a little tougher on the fingertips, but the neck is generally thinner than a classical guitar so it will be easier for smaller hands to use. These guitars are common in the pop and folk styles we hear today. Acoustic guitars do not require amplification and are relatively portable. Manufacturers will often make models with full-size necks and smaller bodies which can be a more comfortable option for many. Shop Amazon Now >>
Smaller Guitars For Smaller Guitarists
Most guitars you see on walls and racks at stores are full size. Some guitars come in 1/2 or 3/4 sizes as well. Some will have traditional steels strings and some have nylon strings. These smaller guitars with nylon strings will be in the classical style, with smaller bodies and wider necks. Nylon strings are a common option for children since nylon strings are softer and easier on the fingertips when starting out. Because the necks are slightly wider, that can be challenging for small hands to get around, however. For an older child, adults, or those interested in pop music, these guitars will likely not be a suitable choice. Shop Amazon Now >>
You will hear electric guitars in rock, blues, pop, metal, jazz, funk, and more! With a wide variety of body styles and sounds, the sky is the limit with what you can do. As far as playability, electric guitars will resemble acoustic guitars more than classical, with steel strings and a thin neck. However, the strings tend to be a bit smaller and more pliable, making them somewhat physically easier to play. Electric guitars can be a bit more of a financial investment. They will require an amplifier to project the sound in a meaningful way. That said, their versatility is far greater, with the ability to play more melodic figures and other technically demanding things. Shop Amazon Now >>
If you’re new to guitar and the world of accessories is foreign to you, you may wish to look into purchasing an all-in-one guitar pack. Guitar packs are a great deal that provide all the necessary items to get started right out of the box. Along with the guitar itself, you’ll find a lightweight, portable practice amplifier, cable, picks, tuner, strap, and polishing cloth. These are items that will definitely come in handy, some of which may be critical to your initial success. Purchased separately, you’re likely to spend far more, so there is some incentive to make it easier and hassle free. Shop Amazon Now >>
It’s best to find a way to try one or two example of each. While none may feel natural right away, your body will tell you what feels best. Feel the differences between the neck sizes, the body sizes, and the strings. Renting guitars is not often recommended. In many cases, it’s often cheaper to purchase a beginner model guitar than rent for a few months.
You can find great deals at Amazon.com and other volume dealers who often sell at a major discount. Check out www.forbesmusic.com when you’re ready to get started with lessons and jam with one of our awesome teachers!