We know many of our readers are avid and experienced guitar players, but buying your first guitar can be daunting. So we thought a guide to buying your first guitar would be helpful.
So what type of guitar will suit you? There are five types to choose from including:
- Acoustic (Steel Strings)
- Classical Acoustic (Nylon Strings)
- Acoustic-Electric (Acoustic Guitar with option to plug into an amp)
- ¾ Size: for petite people and younger children
Which one you choose will depend on several factors, including:
Genre: If you prefer a particular style or know which genre of music you want to play, you can easily narrow down the guitar you need to buy. So if you’re into rock, metal, punk etc it will be electric; acoustic if its country or folk; RnB, blues, jazz can be either and Spanish or classical will be a classical guitar.
Getting a suitable guitar for your genre will mean you’ll find it easier to create the sound you are after and more than likely find it more enjoyable. If you’re buying a guitar for your child, we would recommend getting the guitar for the genre they enjoy. If they want to rock out like Nirvana there is no point buying an acoustic guitar, as it may well end up cluttering up the house and gathering dust within a month.
Budget: No matter your budget you need to buy a guitar that gives you a good sound, if it doesn't it could well be a total waste of money. Equally there is no point spending a lot of money on a guitar for a beginner who won’t know if it is something they will stick at. Spending between £150 and £300 should ensure you have a guitar that will last beyond a year of playing. Acoustic guitars are usually the cheapest as its just a guitar you’re purchasing. Electric guitars require amps, cables etc and acoustic-electric’s are usually the most expensive because it requires expert craftsmanship and electronic work to be able to combine both.
Second Hand Guitars: Be very careful when buying a second hand guitar. Guitars are delicate instruments and it’s important to have a knowledgeable friend on hand to check it over. It needs to be able to hold it’s tune for several hours and there needs to be no major warping.
Flexibility and Portability can be a deciding factor if you’re still in doubt. An acoustic doesn't need an amp and can be played in a variety of environments (including a camp-fire when you have no electricity). The electric guitar could be played without plugging it in, but it wouldn't provide the sound that you bought the guitar for. The unique and louder sounds are what makes the electric guitar what it is. The electric guitar is the most durable, since the body is solid and less likely to crack if it gets banged around. The Acoustic-Electric is the most flexible (and expensive), as it can be used as a regular acoustic, or plug in to be amplified for a larger audience (even with the plug-ins it still produces an acoustic sound).In Part 2 of this guide we will go further into our recommendations of makes, models, where to buy and what will be the best guitar for you….