How to choose your first guitar?

How to Choose Your First Guitar

If you want to play guitar, but you do not know anything about it the first step is already a big hurdle. The burning question is: How do I choose the right guitar for me? If that is your question this article is for you. We will look into what you want to accomplish and how the right guitar can make the way to that goal easier.

There are a lot of similarities between different types of guitars. Most of them have 6 strings of different thickness, have a neck with little metal frets on it and the strings are connected to little turnkeys to set the tension. There are already outliers to this description, but I would not worry about these for a first guitar.

The biggest differences are the types of guitars: Classical or concert guitars which have a hollow body and use in parts nylon strings, western guitars which also have a hollow body but use metal strings and electric guitars which usually feature a solid body and always use metal strings. As the name implies electric guitars deliver a small electric signal which is amplified by an amplifier to create loader sounds.

Here is your guidelines for choosing guitars:

If you want to serenade your lover under his or her window I would go with a concert guitar. They are most forgiving for your fingers in the beginning and produce a loud sound on their own. The cons for choosing this type of guitar is the bulkiness of the body which leads to difficulties in getting into a relaxed pose. A professional guitar teacher can help you with that.

For all other purposes I advise you to get an electric guitar. It is more ergonomic to use (though a bit heavier) and has more ways to get the sound you want. In addition most introductory-level electric guitars are easier to use than their acoustic counterparts. One reason for that is that the height of the strings is adjustable even with lower-priced electric guitar but virtually never with classic or western guitars in that price-class.

Here are two additional tips on what to look for in a guitar:

1) Listen to the sound. Have an experienced player play something on the guitar and listen to it.
2) If you buy a used guitar look along the neck and check for a screw-like bending. If you notice that it is very hard to fix. You could say the guitar is screwed. 🙂

These tips will give you an idea about the first steps into buying a guitar. An expert guitar teacher can help you even better in the process. You could ask about that on the contact form on this website.


Happy guitar playing!

About the author: Rene Kerkdyk is a professionally trained guitar teaching expert who teaches guitar in Hildesheim, Germany. He loves to help people to reach their guitar playing dreams.

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