Choosing a good beginner guitar can be challenging but the process can be made a little easier if you have an idea about what you’re looking for before you start shopping. If you just start shopping for a guitar without any thought, you will most likely be overwhelmed by the vast selection. It can be daunting.
A Good Beginner Guitar for You Should Complement Your Interests
First things first. Look at these questions and see if you can answer them.
- What type of music do you enjoy playing and want to specialize in? Is it Rock, Country or Jazz? Maybe you want to play Spanish Music. This is very important because not all guitars types are good for every style of music.
- Do you want to buy a guitar that you can use with an amplifier? This would make an electric or electric-acoustic guitar the best choice.
- Do you want to be able to change the sounds of the guitar with special effects? If so, you may want to choose an electric guitar.
- How big are you? How big are your hands? Some types of guitars such as the Classical acoustic have a larger neck than others which makes it hard for people with little hands to play. Other guitars have small necks that make it difficult for people with large hands.
- Are you looking for a guitar that takes less force to play? This may seem like a strange question, but electric guitar strings are softer than acoustic strings which requires less force in finger pressure. Also, guitars such as the Classical acoustic use nylon strings as opposed to steel strings which makes it a little easier on the fingers.
- How much do you want to spend on your first guitar? If you’re not sure you’ll stick with playing, you may want to spend a little less on your first guitar, but just keep in mind that if your guitar isn’t fun to play or doesn’t sound really good, chances are great that you’ll just push it aside.
Of course, these are only a few of the things you need to consider when buying a guitar for beginners. Let’s look a few others in detail.
Guitar Construction. Many people like to stick to the top brands such as Gibson or Fender. This is fine but there are many other brands that can offer a good beginners guitar. What you’ll find is that almost every brand features both top of the line guitars and lower end guitars. The difference is typically in the construction which ultimately affects the sound.
For instance, an acoustic guitar that has a top made of solid wood will typically sound much better than one made of plywood or laminate. But this will cost you more.
The same is true of the construction of the body of the guitar. Bodies made of solid wood have a superior sound to those that are not. But this is not as important as the top of the guitar so if you have to cut back, cut back in this area.
Tip: If you see a guitar advertised as “Solid top with select back and sides”, this typically means the back and sides are made of laminate.
Tuners. Since having your guitar stay in tune is of utmost importance, make sure the tuners don’t slip. To check this, make sure the guitar is in tune, then strum and pick it hard. This should not cause the guitar to get out of tune. Check the feel of each tuning knob to make sure it offers resistances and doesn’t feel loose.
String Height or “Action”. The distance of the strings from the fret board is important. This will determine how much pressure you have to exert with your fingertips to play a chord. If the string is too high, it will require a lot of pressure and this is hard on the fingertips. If you’re brand new, it will take a while to toughen up your fingers.
Be Patient. Take your time when looking for your first guitar. Talk to a lot of people, especially those who play a lot of guitar. Don’t buy the first guitar you find and don’t buy from the first shop you visit. In fact, a lot of people shop at the local stores and choose the guitar they want and then go order it online because you can get outstanding deals online. NEVER pay the list price of the guitar in the store.
Tip: You can learn to play guitar as easily on an electric guitar as you can an acoustic guitar so if that’s what you want to play, don’t hesitate in getting a good beginners electric guitar.
Here are my personal picks for the best beginner guitars – both acoustic and electric. I’ve gone into detail on each of these in other articles. Follow the links.
Beginner Acoustic Guitar Recommendations: See how I rank them: Click Here
Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar
Taylor Baby Taylor (small hands)
Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar
Fender CD-140S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Takamine G Series G340SC Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
Beginner Electric Guitar Recommendations: See how I rank them: Click Here
Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul Electric Guitar
Epiphone G-310 SG Electric Guitar
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012DLX Electric Guitar
Squier by Fender Black and Chrome Standard Stratocaster HSS Rosewood