What Guitar  Should You Buy
What Guitar Should You Buy
Posted by Ian Mayes - Tagged

If you have not already bought a guitar, you may have a few questions about what to get. Below I have listed a few options and why you may want to choose them.

Classical Guitar

A classical guitar is also sometimes called a nylon string guitar, due to it having nylon strings! They are good for classical players as they have wide string spacing and nylon strings, which are good for the finger style classical guitarists use. It is worth noting many people begin on classical guitars, as I did myself, as the wide string spacing allows space for beginner hands, and the nylon strings are softer so hurt less. Many half size and 3/4 size guitars have nylon strings and are quite a good choice for young beginners.
Nylon string guitar
Here is a good example of a classical guitar from gear for music. This is ideal for children as it is half size. 

Acoustic Guitar

Steel string acoustic guitars are slightly different to classical guitars, they have thinner string spacing, and steel strings which are brighter and louder sounding. Good for pop, folk and blues.

Think Ed Sheeran singer songwriter, and that is the typical use of a steel string acoustic guitar. They are more versatile than classical guitars within more modern music. That said, they can be hard to play for beginners because the steel strings hurt and the actions are usually high.
Steel strung and nylon strung acoustic guitars come with the option of being electro-acoustic, which means you can plug your acoustic guitar into a speaker and make it louder. I would not recommend this option to beginners. If you have a budget of say around £100, the guitar without the added electronics may well be of higher quality and easier to play because of it. By the time you are ready to play live and need to plug in, your likely to want to update your guitar anyway. Though if you have a higher budget and want to future proof and only buy once, then it may well be worth buying electro-acoustic first time round.
Fender guitar

Here is a good example of a Yamaha acoustic guitar from gear for music. This is ideal for teenagers and adults. 

Electric Guitar

Electric guitars can pretty much cover most styles. They are found in rock, jazz, blues, funk, pop, metal and much more. The reason for this is because electric guitars can become so much more versatile, they are less prone to feedback when playing live as they have no sound hole (the big hole in the middle of an acoustic guitar) and they can get many different sounds through amplifiers and effect pedals.
If you really want to get straight into rock or metal then an electric guitar is for you. Other reasons beginners choose electric guitars is because they have lower actions, thinner strings and are generally easier to play. The downside of this some people argue is that if you go back onto an acoustic you may not have developed full strength to play both.
There is a lot more equipment needed with an electric guitar, something like this may be a really good way to get started, and is exactly the kind of pack I started with.

Which is right for you?

If you are the parent of a young child then a 3/4 sized classical guitar could be a good buy as they are usually okay made, have wide string spacing for fingers, nylon strings for softness and don’t require being amplified to practice and sing along to. If you are an adult or older teenager looking to start, a steel string acoustic may be for you as it will get the sound you are most likely looking for straight away (unless you have a specific sound you are looking for). Lastly electric guitar is good for people who have a specific desire to learn electric guitar, or for people who feel they would rather the lower action. Also, electric guitars are great for people that do not want to be heard when practicing. Especially useful if you live in a busy house, or are self conscious. You can practice through headphones or un-amplified.
I am a guitar teacher based in Chichester, West Sussex. I offer guitar lessons to all ages and abilities.
Rock Guitar Lessons - Ian playing guitar


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