If you’ve never owned a guitar, choosing the best instrument to suit your needs and style of play may seem overwhelming, although it does not have to be. You can take the challenge out of buying your first guitar by familiarizing yourself with the basics and beyond. There are several things to take into consideration, such as if the guitar is for a child, teen or adult. Considering there are guitars best suited for beginners, intermediate and advanced players, this is another factor to consider. Electric and acoustic guitars offer different styles of play and which you choose will typically depend upon the music you are interested in playing. Of course, your budget may also play a key roll in whether you choose a brand new model or a used guitar.
Where to Purchase that First Guitar
As you embark upon your guitar shopping ventures, you will find a few options for where to shop. You might look in a trade paper where new and used musical instruments are sold, but for a beginner it is probably best to shop at a local music store. When visiting your local music store, ask the sales clerk for assistance in helping you choose your first guitar. He will probably ask you some questions, such as if you will play the guitar as a hobby or professionally, as well as what type of music you want to learn.
If you are on a tight budget, you might consider looking in the local classified section for used guitars. You should use extreme caution when buying a used guitar, however. Check the strings and the body carefully. It’s not a good idea to purchase a used guitar over the Internet without inspecting it thoroughly. If you must purchase a guitar through mail order, be sure to read the description carefully and see photos for details. A warranty is extremely important when buying any musical instrument, as a guitar can be expensive to repair.
Which is Best: Electric or Acoustic?
There is no right or wrong in deciding which is the better instrument, electric or acoustic guitar. The choice should be made according to the style of music you would enjoy playing. You will do best with the type of guitar that suits your preferences, as this will keep you motivated to play. Another consideration is the size of the guitar, as a full sized guitar may be too difficult for a child to handle.
You may find that an electric guitar is easier to play from a physical standpoint, as it tends to be lighter and less cumbersome to hold. The acoustic models tend to have thicker necks and bodies, making them less suitable for small children. However, you need to consider the added expense of buying an electric guitar, as you will need an amplifier. A classical guitar, though similar in appearance to an acoustic version, will use nylon strings instead of steel, producing a softer sound.
What to Look for When Buying a New Guitar
While design and color might be of interest to the young guitarist, other factors should take precedence.
Whether you are buying a guitar that is brand new or gently used, it should be fully inspected for intonation and tuning. The person for whom it is intended for should pick up the guitar and notice how it feels in the hands. He or she should play the instrument and notice if it has that perfect sound and feel. If in doubt, keep looking until you find a model that suits you.
When All is Said and Done
Finally, you might want to consider the resale value of the guitar you plan on purchasing. This is especially important when selecting a guitar for a newcomer or a child that might lose interest in playing after a while. Rather than purchase a classical nylon string guitar that might be difficult to sell, an acoustic steel string guitar might have more potential for resale.
Regardless of the type of guitar you buy for your first musical endeavors, choose something that feels right and sounds good to your ears or to the person who will be playing it. Buying your first guitar should set you on a path that will provide you with years of musical enjoyment.
Justin Miller is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including electric guitar lessons. He writes for JamPlay.com, a leading online music educator offering 2,000+ guitar lessons for kids online in HD.