Choosing Your First Guitar Part 1

ACOUSTIC or ELECTRIC?

It’s often seen as a rite of passage to begin on acoustic before progressing to electric guitar but it’s by no means necessary. They have the same tuning and the frets are in the same position so the things you learn can be transferred between the two. However, they are clearly different beasts when it comes to the sound they make so how you see yourself as a player should influence your decision. If you’re having guitar lessons to become a folksy strummer, don’t go buying a Metal Ripperblaster. And vice versa. Have a look at what your heroes play too as there’s no harm in a bit of hero worship.

It may be worth getting your hands on a few different guitars before you splash the cash, even if you can’t play a single note. This is probably more relevant for the dainty among us as, for example, acoustics tend to be wider bodied and less ergonomic than electrics.

Another thing to consider is volume. An un-amplified electric can still be played and won’t disturb the neighbours/kids/flatmates/partner. They can also be used with headphones or even amplified to ear-splitting levels should you wish to disturb your neighbours/kids/flatmates/partner. Acoustics, on the the other hand, generally have one volume but can be played on the beach, in the garden, in the woods, anywhere that doesn’t have a plug socket. Or even your own living room. In fact, this could be why they’re a popular choice amongst beginners: they’re simple, portable noise machines.

Don’t be put off by the seemingly exorbitant cost of some guitars, many of which reach into their thousands. Although it’s true that you get what you pay for, these days it’s possible to get a decent sounding, well made guitar for relatively little. Around £70-£100 is a good place to start and is a fraction of the cost of other starter level instruments which tend to kick off around £200. For something that will require a large investment in your precious time, it’s well worth investing a bit of cash to make it worthwhile.

So it’s really down to a matter of taste, comfort, cost and requirements. Just make sure you’re well informed and don’t be surprised if the guitar chooses you!

 

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