Tips on Choosing a Beginner Guitar

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In this video guitar lesson, there are 3 basic types of guitars that I am going to talk about for choosing a beginner guitar. Acoustics, electrics, and classicals.

As I have stated previously, I recommend starting with an acoustic guitar. They are a little harder to play in reference to being able to press the strings down to the fretboard, but once you get use to it, you won’t have any problems.

If you don’t have any knowledge at all about guitars, if you have a friend who plays guitar, ask them to go down to your local music store with you and play a few guitars for you so you can hear how they sound and help recommend one to you.

I might add that I have a link on my homepage on the right side of my website entitled “Visit Our Online Beginner Guitar Store” where you will find a good selection of beginner guitars for young children all the way up to adults. And the prices are very reasonable.

In choosing any guitar, make sure the action is low. The action is the distance between the strings and the fretboard. Guitars with high action are very hard to play properly. If you have a guitar already with high action, take it to your local music store and ask if they have a guitar tech. If they do, have them do a set-up on your guitar. This will make it play and sound much better.

If you are wanting to start learning to play guitar on an electric, that’s fine also. Electrics are easier to hold, have a smaller neck, and the strings are also smaller in diameter. And, you don’t have to have an amplifier to start. The electric guitar is loud enough without an amp to hear and practice with. However, there are some very nice small inexpensive practice amps out there.

Classical guitars are a little different. If you are a person who has very fat fingers, the classical guitar may be the answer for you. However, I don’t recommend starting on a classical guitar unless you just have too. Classicals have a wider neck making it very hard to make guitar chords on them. They also use Nylon guitar strings which really are not very loud and crisp sounding.

There are a lot of budget beginner guitars on the market to choose from. Again, if you are looking to start learning guitar but don’t have a lot of money to spend like many of us these days, I invite you to click on my link on the right side on my homepage where is says “Visit Our Online Beginner Guitar Store”. Here you will find a large selection of beginner guitars at very reasonable prices.

If you have any questions about your guitar lessons as you start learning to play guitar, I am here to help you personally. Simply send me an email by clicking the link at the top of my homepage where is says “Join My Free Monthly Newsletter”, fill in the details along with your questions, and I will answer them in 24 to 48 hours.

Lets go play some more guitar!!!

Next>> How to Tune a Guitar

What guitar should you buy? Guitar for beginners.
Hi, how’re your doing? Sam here.

In this lesson today I’m going to be checking out the different types of guitars that
exist in the world. Well actually, just three kind of main types, and talking about the pros and cons of each one.

If you’re a beginner guitar player, looking to buy your first guitar, what sort of thing you should be looking for.

So, there’s three main types of guitar. The one I will start with now, is a steel string acoustic guitar. Which is what most people kind of think of, like guitar players think of, when they’re thinking of an acoustic guitar.

The other types of guitar are an electric guitar and a classical guitar. And a classical guitar is also a type of an acoustic guitar as well, so we end up in this crazy area where things are not quite falling into one of the three categories. But that’s the most important three.

Now, when you’re choosing which one of them you’re going to play, there’s a few things that kind of set it off straight away. If you want to play rock guitar, get an electric guitar. Full stop, easy, done, sold. If you’ve don’t have very much money to spend and you’re really looking at as cheap a guitar as possible, get an electric guitar. I know that sounds kind of funny, that you think “oh, it’s an electric guitar, it’s got more
fancy stuff in it”, but actually the problem is, with acoustic guitars, especially steel string acoustic guitars, when they’re really cheap, they’re sometimes really difficult to play. They’ve got what’s called a high action, which means that the strings are quite far away from the fingerboard, usually, and so they’re really, really difficult to play barre chords on. They tend to not sound very good as well, cheap acoustic guitars, because they’re made of laminated wood and my general opinion is,
that if you’ve don’t have very much money, an electric guitar is a far better way to go.

If you want to play classical guitar, you should definitely buy a classical guitar. Hey, a little bit obvious that one there, Sam, thanks! But it’s true. You don’t want to be trying to play classical music on a steel string guitar or an electric guitar. That said, I’m not really a classical guitar teacher, I don’t cover classical guitar as part of my course. I don’t really think it’s the best, most fun thing to learn guitar on, classical guitar ’cause it’s all like learning to read notes and playing one note at a time and stuff and it’s a bit easier to kind of just get going if you’re playing chords and stuff.

Anyway, so, lets talk about the steel string acoustic guitar. The things to look for when you’re checking out an acoustic guitar are:

Does it sound nice? Now, the best thing you can do when you’re going shopping for a guitar if you’re a beginner is: take somebody who knows what they’re doing. Right? Take
somebody who’s played guitar for a bit, can strum a few chords, you can have a listen to it, see if you like the sound of it. If you’re a complete beginner and you know nothing, you kind of have to rely on the sales people and a lot of the time, they’re kind of full of it and don’t really tell you the truth because they’re trying to sell you something, right? So, on the website, there’s a link which will give you some links to some products and stuff that I recommend.

But the big thing you’re looking for here, on a steel string acoustic guitar, is that that action is not too high. And that’s the distance between the string and the fret. If you press the string down, you know, you probably don’t want it to be more than, I don’t know, say three or four millimeters at the twelfth fret. Right? Definitely not five millimeters or more. Because you will get them that high on a cheap guitar. So I wouldn’t be looking at really cheap steel string acoustic guitars, but you can do if you want. The choice is yours.

You can get a what is called electric-acoustics as well, which is an acoustic guitar with a pickup system. They generally have a little volume controls and and other controls. They can have actually a little microphone built into it, you don’t really
need that when you’re a beginner. If later on you’re going to do gigs and stuff, you can retrofit it later. You can get the electric system put in afterwards. Or, you can buy yourself a guitar. So, another guitar, a better guitar maybe. So if you’re learning on one guitar, you can get a fairly cheap one to learn on. When you decide that kind of professional guitar you want now, you want to go and do a gig, then buy another guitar.

You know, I’d be more inclined to do that than spending a whole lot of money. Especially on a budget guitar, you don’t want to waste money on an electric system. Because it’s a budget guitar, the electric system’s not going to be very good either and it’s going to take more money away from just having a nice guitar in the first place. So, that’s a steel string guitar.

Okay, now lets discuss a classical guitar. And these are quite easy to play. I learned on a classical guitar. Also, they’re called a nylon string acoustic because the strings aren’t metal anymore, we’re talking about nylon. Used to be made of cat gut, believe it or not. Definitely glad my cat wasn’t around in the days when they did cat gut guitar strings. Anyway, the strings are made of nylon now so you don’t have to worry if
you’re an animal lover. These can be quite cheap. I’ve started off on a Yamaha GC-100 I think, or 110. And it was a fantastic guitar. It didn’t cost very much. Yamaha makes
really good nylon string acoustics, highly recommend them.

I don’t play them anymore, but for beginner’s guitars, they’re really nice. Don’t worry about getting one with an electric system, you don’t need it. They’re slightly wider on the neck. The height, or no not the height, the width of the neck can be considerably wider. You know, 10 mils, I suppose, wider, so quite a bot bigger. So a nylon string acoustic guitar can be great for people with big hands as well. That’s a really, really
helpful thing there if you’ve got big hands. And the strings are also a little bit further apart. So it can make it a little easier to fret your chords properly when you’re starting again if, you know, for a big handed dude. You’ll have a lot of trouble
getting further up the fingerboard because you don’t have any access to the higher frets which could cause you problems, but probably not. A lot of children learn on these because of the nylon strings and they’re a little bit softer on the fingers. Don’t really recommend it. They’re good for, the one thing they’re good for is people with big hands. Right, a classical guitar is great for that. Or really young children if they’re worried about playing on the metal strings and their fingers, the skin on their fingers is too soft.

Generally nice, they just don’t kind of have the same sound. Classical guitars have a very different sound to a steel string acoustic guitar. A lot more suited for that kind of thing, for doing that kind of guitar, more so than kind of strumming along, they don’t tend to sound so good when they’re strummed. So, that’s a classical guitar.

Okay, the last type of guitar we’re going to have a look at, is an electric guitar. Now, a Fender Stratocaster, which are a really good, kind of standard electric guitar.
You know, they sound good, they’re quite versatile. There are thousands of different types of electric guitar and the one that you choose is really up to what you like and what sort of sound you want to get and what guitar players you think look cool or whatever. You know, there’s not really a big deal about electric guitar.

But there are some big deals on electric guitar that are really important when you’re
considering buying one as a beginner. In fact, I really recommend getting an electric guitar as a beginner guitar player, for a few reasons. First of all: they’re easier to play.

Generally, the strings are closer to the neck, so it’s easier to press down the chords. The neck is a little thinner, which for most people is an advantage when they’re trying to stretch out for the chords. It’s a little bit easier to start off with. They’re a lot quieter. You can still hear an electric guitar without an amplifier. So don’t be under the impression you have to buy an amplifier if you get an electric guitar. You don’t, you can play acoustically. You’re not going to be very loud, right? Which is maybe a good thing for your parents and neighbors when you’re learning guitar.

But you’ll hear like it’s perfectly audible for you to hear while you’re playing.
You know, no question. So, getting an electric guitar is good for that as well. There’s some really good quality budget electric guitars around.

The Yamaha Pacifica is the one that springs to mind. Ibanez make some really good budget electric guitars, Fender Squier are okay, there’s been a few quality control issues in ones I’ve seen lately and they’re really cheap ones, but definitely like the Pacifica great.

I don’t have a deal with Yamaha, it’s just I think they’re really, really good, cheap electric guitars. You know, pretty decent sound, play well. So it’s really, that’ll be the thing that my personal recommendation is that if you’re going to learn guitar, you’re just starting out, you don’t know what sort of guitar to get, get an electric guitar. Simple.

Don’t worry about getting an amplifier and stuff yet, save that for a little bit later when you know what you’re doing, what sort of sounds you want to make and stuff. Don’t worry about anything fancy, just standard, you know, Yamaha Pacifca or Fender Squier Stratocaster or, I don’t know what the Ibanez one’s called. Or whatever, you know. Any of those. Again, there’ll be some links on the website for some specific guitars that I
recommend and why.

And I just wanted to discuss with you the ideas of the pros and cons between the electric, classical and the steel string guitar.

Another thing that you might see is a semi-acoustic guitar or a hollow body electric guitar. Which are kind of a regular electric guitar, they’re mainly used in jazz. And their bodies are a little bit thicker and they’re actually hollow inside. So they’re kind of somewhere between an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. But definitely, in my opinion, in the electric guitar family. Not a bad thing if that’s what tickles your fancy, then that would be a great thing.

Otherwise, just get yourself a nice, simple electric guitar and off you go. And instead of thinking about, or spending too much time thinking about what guitar to get, think a lot about doing loads of practice and getting good real quick. Much better idea. Okay, hope that’s helped you in your dilemma a little and I’ll shall see you for another lesson very soon.

Till then,