So, you’re thinking about learning how to play guitar and wondering what equipment you’ll need to get started. Obviously, the most important piece of equipment you’ll need is the guitar itself. But what kind should you buy… acoustic or electric?
The type of guitar you’ll choose depends primarily on your musical interests and long-term goals. Generally speaking, if you want to play heavy metal, rock n’ roll, or blues guitar and like artists such as… John Mayer, Eric Clapton, BB King, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Page, etc… then an electric guitar is probably the best choice.
On the other hand, if you prefer country, folk, fingerstyle or classical music and like artists such as… Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Don Ross, Christopher Parkening, Alex de Grassi, etc… then an acoustic guitar would be better.
Once you’ve decided on the type of guitar you will buy, the next important step is to get the right size. Pick a guitar that feels comfortable in your hand and doesn’t require any awkward contortion of your body in order to strum directly over the sound-hole.
Here is a list of some other equipment that you will also want to have…
– guitar case
– several picks – (thin, medium, and hard gauge)
– guitar strap
– guitar tuner
– guitar stand
– extra strings
– cleaning cloth
– bottle of guitar polish
– chord reference book
– small amp (electric and acoustic/electric guitars)
– guitar chord
Before spending any money at all though, you should consider what method you’re going to use to learn how to play the guitar. For example, are you going to teach yourself, or find a guitar teacher?
If you plan on teaching yourself, then I recommend you find a good program or book that will help you build a solid foundation. Everything will fall into place more naturally if you take it one step at a time and I think you’ll find that the learning process will be much easier for you.
On the other hand, if you try learning guitar from random bits of information that you gather here, there and everywhere, you might end up becoming frustrated and decide to quit altogether.
Taking guitar lessons from a qualified teacher will give you the advantage of having personal, one on one attention, which can help you progress at a faster pace. The downside is the cost. Private guitar lessons can be expensive, so you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons before making your final decision. What can you afford? Try to set some priorities in advance.
In the final analysis, the most important piece of equipment you need to get started learning how to play is the right guitar.
Your second priority should be choosing the right method of instruction that is most suitable for your particular situation and learning preferences.
Once you have these two basic elements in place, the rest of the equipment you may need can be added as soon as you can afford it.