First Guitar Advice

So you've decided to get a guitar, congratulations! Whether it's for yourself or someone else, playing the guitar will provide countless hours of entertainment. Unfortunately, purchasing your first guitar can be down right overwhelming. With so many different brands and prices picking a first guitar can be tough. While I don't get into specific recommendations I hope to provide some tips to make your purchase easier.

Should I get an Acoustic or Electric Guitar?

Before you can pick anything you will have to decide on an acoustic or electric guitar. Many will often know from the start what they want, and if that's the case go for what your want! If not, let's look at some of the advatages and disadvantages of each.
One of the biggest advantages to an acoustic guitar is that it's hollow body serves an amplifier. Therefore, once you buy an acoustic you're all set, no amp needed, no cables, no pedals. Another advantage is that acoustic guitars produce a beautiful clean and natural sound.

A disadvantage of an acoustic is that it's a bit harder to play, the strings are less flexible than those of an electric guitar. Their physical size is large, therefore children may have a harder time playing on an acoustic. Acoustics will always have the same sound, no effects unless it's acoustic-electric. Acoustics are only so loud, therefore, if drums are involved the drums would have to be played softly.

The biggest advantage to electric guitars is that they are easier to play, the strings are more flexible and the are easier to press down on. Another advantage is their thin body, which makes it easy for anyone to play whether you are an adult or child. The sound level of an electric is easily changed and many amps include a headphone jack, so you can play without having to disturb anyone. Electric guitars can also easily connect to different effects pedals, thus changing the sound of the guitar.

The biggest disadvantage to electrics is that they require an amplifier (amp). Amps range dramatically in price range, quality, and sound level. A crummy amp can make a great guitar sound poor and vice-versa. A little beginner amp can easily be drowned out by a bass amp and drums, so if you plan to be in a band a larger is amp is needed.

Expensive versus Inexpensive

There is an old argument that recommends that your should spend a lot of money so it will be extra motivation for you to stick with playing the guitar. In my opinion, that's crazy, over time you will decide if playing the guitar is really for you. Having an expensive guitar will not motivate you, instead it will leave you in regret if you don't stick to playing the guitar.

The good news for beginners is that inexpensive guitars have become very popular over the past 5-10 years. Many top manufacturers are designing decent guitars at a low price. Most are packaging value kits, electric guitars with amps and accessories. These low cost guitars present a nice way for someone to get into playing the guitar and if you stick with it you'll eventually want to upgrade someday to a finer guitar. In my opinion, start cheap and if you love the guitar, upgrade to your dream guitar and amp!


Remember if you're looking on the low end, you'll get what you pay for. In general I like the following brands in low end guitars, Epiphone, Squier, Yamaha and Ibanez. By no means does that mean anything else is no good. If your just getting started spending $1,000 on a Gibson is probably not the wisest thing to do. If you are parent buying for a young person or your strapped for cash you may want to check out some of the value packages for a convenient and low cost package. !--#include virtual="/_layout/footer.asp"-->