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What Kind of Guitar Should I Buy?

Differ types of guitars can use different kinds of strings.
The type of amplification you are using should be considered when buying an electric guitar.
The right guitar can depend on the kind of music one wishes to play.
An electric guitar.
A guitar.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2014
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Purchasing a guitar can be a daunting task to even the most seasoned guitarists. There are many styles and brands to choose from and each has a different purpose. When choosing which guitar is right for you, consider the following: your playing ability, the music you want to play, and the budget you have to work with.

The most obvious consideration when choosing a guitar to purchase is your ability as a guitarist. If you are a rank beginner, consider purchasing an electric guitar and small practice amplifier. Very affordable beginner kits that come with an electric guitar, small amplifier, picks and a strap are available at most guitar shops and will give you everything you need to get started. Electric guitars are a good choice for beginners because their strings are generally thinner than those of an acoustic guitar, which makes them easier on the player’s fingers and more conducive to learning chords without too much hand-cramping.

However, if you are interested in playing classical music and not rock and roll, an electric guitar might not be your best choice. A classical, nylon-string guitar would get you the sound you are looking for. Beginners may struggle with this type of guitar because its neck is much wider, thereby making hand movements across the string a bit more difficult. However, the nylon strings are easier on the fingers than bronze, acoustic strings.

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An acoustic guitar creates a rich, full-bodied sound with or without the use of an amplifier. If space and volume is an issue, thereby eliminating the possibility of using a guitar amp, an acoustic guitar offers convenience and a unique sound typically heard across genres from folk to rock, from classical to country. Because the strings on an acoustic guitar are typically thicker and less yielding, it might be more difficult for a beginner to learn how to play on one.

Guitars vary in price from the very inexpensive to the ludicrously expensive. As a beginner, buy a less expensive instrument and decide if you like playing it before you invest in a guitar that could cost upwards of a couple thousand dollars. If you are a seasoned player, be sure you know what you are paying for: guitars come in an array of materials, hardware, electronics, and playability options. If you like thinner, faster necks, perhaps a Fender Stratocaster with a maple neck will do the trick. If you seek a chunky, gritty, distorted sound, the humbucker pickups on a Gibson Les Paul is right up your alley. Your best bet is to play a lot of different guitars and ask other guitarists for their input; this will help you find your perfect guitar quickly and without the headache.

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Discuss this Article

Glasshouse
Post 3

@Valleyfiah- I would recommend buying a new guitar over a used guitar. A new guitar will be void of defects and will have a warranty. An inexperienced guitarist may miss critical hidden damage on a used guitar simply for the fact they do not know what to look for. You can also find great guitars that are new for less than what you can find one for used.

I recently bought a p-bass on managers special at my local guitar store. I could not pick the color, but I was able to buy a $650 dollar guitar for $299 simply because the store had kept it in inventory to long. Sometimes the unadvertised deals are there, and if you strike up a rapport with the salesperson, you can get him or her to call you when they have something worthwhile hit clearance.

cougars
Post 2

@valleyfiah- My dad just died so I wanted to find a new hobby that would help me feel better. I bought my first bass guitar about a week ago, and I asked many of the same questions you are asking. I will tell you what I was told. If you are serious about playing guitar, don't buy the cheapest guitar you can find. Buy a middle of the road guitar that is a popular seller. You will end up buying something that sounds good and feels good.

ValleyFiah
Post 1

How do I decide what the best beginner guitar is for me? I need something that is good to learn on, but I do not want something that is so cheap that it sounds bad. I also do not know if I should get a guitar that is used or stick to a new guitar. Can anyone give me some advice?

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