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Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Guitar

We live in a world where a person’s social status can be judged by one’s ability to play a musical instrument. A place where the word ‘guitarist’ almost corresponds with the “cool” social status. This is one of the numerous reasons why people in general have gone through the phase of wanting to learn how to play a guitar. Unfortunately, not all have the passion or dedication required to be taken as a serious musician by discerning and adoring fans. But for those that do, they need to realize that picking the right guitar to begin with is much harder than learning to play it.

You read it right – not all guitars are created equal. While they may all look alike at some point, below is a list of models of guitar that is commonly seen and used by your friendly neighborhood so-called rock stars and obviously need to be familiar with yourself:

Acoustic Guitar – Considered as the most basic guitar and is further subdivided into three: (1) classical or nylon-string guitar usually used in playing classical, jazz and flamenco music; (2) steel-string guitar which is commonly played in blues, country, folk, jazz and rock; and (3) the archtop guitar.

Electric Guitar – Normally seen in rock bands, this type of guitar works by producing modified and amplified electric signals through a loud speaker.

Bass Guitar – Seen in rock and heavy metal music and also works by generating electrical signals, it is usually used in playing beats and music framework.

Most guitar-playing individuals would probably recommend starting with an acoustic guitar. Aside from being able to produce rich and mellow sounds without the additional cost of an amplifier, acoustic guitars normally used harder and heavier gauge of strings that makes it so much harder to learn than the electric and bass guitars. Much like the principle of learning to drive a manual car before replacing it with an automatic, acoustic guitars serves as a good foundation for those who really wanted to learn guitar playing seriously. However, it still all depends on exactly what type of music the student wants to play.

Even after you’ve decided the guitar model you wanted to learn playing with, there are still a number of things to be considered before actually making a purchase. Below are the guidelines you can follow while visiting your local music store.

Consult your wallet or savings account before even thinking of buying a guitar. Aside from the fact that guitars are the easiest musical instrument to learn, it is also one of the cheapest. You don’t even need to buy a brand new guitar in order to learn. You can check your local second-hand stores or pawn shops for guitars on sale. However, beware of guitars that costs under $200. Remember, there is a logical explanation as to why that guitar you’ve been eyeing on only costs $100 – it is probably made out of cheap materials or is poorly constructed that would inevitably affect its sound.

Call your seasoned guitar-playing friends and ask for their opinion on what they think is the best guitar model and brand. You can make a list based on what they said about what make and brands to consider and what are to be avoided.

Have a feel of the guitar before thinking of making a purchase. Appearance is not everything so always remember to play the thing before handing the salesperson your hard-earned money. You can ask your friend (from Guideline #2) to accompany you in making a purchase. Try plucking one string at a time while choosing your guitar – the sound may come out nice but if you feel uncomfortable playing that specific model then leave it and try another one. Always consider the guitar’s size, curves, weight and cut-aways (if any) while choosing what to buy, for these factors will also add comfort to your learning.

Choosing your very first guitar should be fun! Just don’t forget the warranty, extra set of strings and tuner before leaving the music store and you’re good to go.

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