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1 Jul 2020

What kind of guitar is the best guitar to start out with?

instruments What kind of guitar is the best guitar to start out with?

Are you going to play acoustic guitar for the first time? It is often recommended to purchase a classic acoustic guitar with nylon strings. The reason is that nylon strings are lighter and easier to press on the frets. In addition, the neck of a classical acoustic guitar is often wider and this helps you to learn your first chords. You can, of course, also start playing an acoustic guitar with steel strings, it will only cost you a little more effort.

To start out with an acoustic or electric guitar?

You could also start learning guitar on an electric guitar. There are many starter packs offered just like:

  • Classical nylon guitar with a gigbag, pick, tuner, capo, footstool and guitarstand
  • Western acoustic guitar with a gigbag, picks, tuner, set of strings, guitarstrap and guitarstand
  • Electric guitar with a gigbag, a small 5-15 watt amplifier, jackcable, picks and a guitarstrap

The prices of these packs vary between €100 and €250 and could get you on track to help you get more enthousiastic about learning how to play guitar! Keep in mind that, to make these prices possible, there have been cuts in quality and finishing. Our advice as always, also for these packs, try them out before you definitively make your decision to purchase. A lot of these shops offer to test out these guitars at home and if you are not satisfied you can return them.

Tip: Get your new guitar set-up and maintained properly!

This will save you a lot of worries and frustration if you can't tune your guitar properly (intonation problems), strings are too high or too low (fretbuzz or intonation problems), skipping frets (consecutive frets that produce the same note, a high fret on the fretboard) and there could possibly be some functional / electronical problems (like buttons or the output-jack that are not tight, sharp edges on the frets). These small things will get in your way of enjoying your guitar, the learning process and may possibly keep your guitar in it's stand collecting dust!

Consideration between quality and intentions

If you are planning on really going to do it, take initiative, put in time and energy, you could go ahead and kick up your game by getting better quality guitar.

With electric guitars this can be expressed in a number of model series by vendors:

  • Ibanez RG instead of Ibanez GIO
  • Epiphone Custom or Standard instead of Epiphone Special or Studio
  • Squier Classic Vibe instead of Squier Bullet of Affinity

With steel string acoustic guitars between the prices of € 90 - € 250 you are in the starter segment and above € 250 - € 500 you are a step higher in quality.
With classical it starts between the prices of € 40 and € 150 and above between € 150 and € 400 your step is higher.

Now choosing a guitar is very personal and you can see that after I was looking for a nylon string guitar myself. With a decent budget and a model in mind, I went to Bax-Shop and played a tens of classical guitars, but my choice went to a whole different guitar than I came for: a Yamaha C40M prices € 140,-. What basically is a starters guitar, but the playability, sound, finishing and looks were the deciding factor in comparison to it's more expensive brothers.

To conclude

Take your time to do your research, read reviews and watch online videos where people demonstrate the guitar by showing and playing it. Before you head out to the store for a specific model, see if you can try this model from other vendors as well when you drop by the shop. If necessary, call the store if it's in the showroom and if it's, relatively alright, set-up to play and to give you an idea.

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