How To Choose a Guitar To Learn To Play

What would be the best and most appropriate type of Guitar to learn to play? A flat top Acoustic Guitar? A hollow body Electric Guitar? A solid body Telecaster or Les Paul style? No one can really answer that question but you.

You must first determine the style of music that you will be playing. If you are going to play Bluegrass then unequivocally the answer is an Acoustic Guitar. Most all Bluegrass Guitar players will recommend a Martin. As a matter of fact, many Bluegrass pickers swear by a Martin and will play nothing else although Taylor and Blueridge Guitars are quickly solidifying their place with Bluegrass enthusiasts.

If you are more into Country, you have several choices and a few things that you must determine. Are you going to play Rhythm Guitar or Lead Guitar or even Bass Guitar. If you are going to play Rhythm then as with Bluegrass you will want to select an Acoustic Guitar. If you are going to play Lead Guitar then your best choice would be an Electric Solid Body Guitar like the Fender Telecaster or the Gibson Les Paul. If the Bass Guitar is going to be your passion then the Fender Jazzmaster Bass is the standard.

If you are into Rock and Roll, Heavy Metal or Punk there are various body designs such as the classic Fender Stratocaster, the Gibson SG, the Flying “V” and a plethora of other styles.

The style of music you are going to play will dictate your selection. Here are some things you will want to consider.

1. Acoustic or Electric? There are two sides when choosing which is which. The pros and the cons are oftentimes weighed. Compared to an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar is easier to operate but is more complicated with all those strings attached and buttons to push. An Acoustic Guitar can be played without any additional equipment. Picks, a Strap and a Capo of course are almost required necessities, but you can get along without them. If you decide upon an electric guitar, you will need to buy an amplifier and a cable. You will most likely want a case as well, either a hard shell or soft shell gig bag will do.

2. Your Budget. Money is always a determining factor with any purchase. Try to question your better judgment on how to determine a cheap yet good guitar. If you have limited finances on hand, stay within your means. Don’t settle with something you love yet the price isn’t that friendly. But if you saw something that made your heart melt, and you’d really, really, really like to have it, ask someone who works inside, a sales person who could help you work out on something, like paying for it on an installment plan. Good communication results in better understanding. There are more than a few Guitars that are good quality yet not outrageously priced. The Yamaha FG700S is a great choice.

3. Features. After you have settled the question of your Budget and decided on an Acoustic or Electric Guitar, what features do you want? If you have opted for the Electric Guitar do you want Single-Coil Pickups or Humbucker Pickups? Single coils produce that bright, glassy cutting sound found in the Strats and Telly style Guitar while the Humbuckers are two single coil pickups that are wired together creating higher output while cancelling out hum and interference from other electrical sources like fluorescent lights. These are usually found in the Les-Paul style Guitars producing that fat, beefy wailing rock and metal sound heard by such artists as Jimmy Page, Slash and Ace Frehley of Kiss. Humbuckers are also fantastic for Jazz as they can produce a nice, warm tone.

The combination of Pickups on the Electric Guitar can also vary. Some Electric Guitars have 3 Single Coil Pickups, others 2 Humbuckers or 2 Singles and a Humbucker. You have to decide the best sound. The best way to do this is simply to go to a Music store, like Guitar Center and try them all out.

The style of music that you listen to will greatly influence your decision on which type of Guitar to purchase. Once you have mastered your choice, and I use that word mastered loosely, broaden your horizons and get a second Guitar. Many Guitarist, myself included, own more than one Guitar and more than one style. I personally own an Acoustic Guitar and three Electric Guitars, a Hollow body jazz style, a Fender Telecaster and a Gibson Les Paul style. Never be secluded on your decision and learn to be versatile.

You have many options and many things to consider, the next step will be to hit that music store and start playing.

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