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Don’t Fret: Tips for Choosing a Guitar for Beginners

As a beginner, choosing a guitar that is right for you can be a very daunting task. With the wide range of available models and types, not to mention the different brands, it is quite understandable for a fledgling to be confused. But don’t let appearances and the cheap price fool you. As said before, not all guitars are created equal. If you really want to not only look but also sound like a rock star, you may want to consider the lists below before making that life-changing decision.

There is an ongoing consensus with many adept guitarists that every brand is unique due to the brand’s own musical preferences. Some brands favor jazz, folk or blues while some brands are perfect for rock, metal and even pop. Though experts mostly agree on this, there are still certain guitar brands that most musicians from different music circles swear their life on:

    • Gibson from Nashville, USA is the most known acoustic guitar brand in the world. Company founder Orville Gibson was the mind behind the archtop guitar – a full body steel-stringed acoustic guitar with the distinctive arched top that is favored by most jazz artists. Though most attest to Gibson’s quality in sound and make, it is also known to be more pricey than other brands. The good news is, Gibson makes sure that your money is definitely worth it. Gibson is also known by the (moderately-priced) names Epiphone, Kramer and Tobias, to name a few.


    • Fender from Arizona, USA is widely known to be the best manufacturer of solid body electric guitars and amplifiers. Its founder, Clarence Leonidas ‘Leo’ Fender, was the first to be commercially successful in designing the Precision Bass, a solid body electric bass that was favored largely by rock, jazz, country and funk musicians. Fender’s Stratocaster has been the favored guitar of well-known guitarists Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.


  • Ibanez from Nagoya, Japan is the most recommended brand for beginners. With its affordable price, Ibanez was never known to sacrifice their sound quality for just looking good on stage. Ibanez has successfully entwined cheap price with quality making it one of the fastest and best-selling brands in the market.

Now that you are familiar with the best guitar brands out there, let’s whet your appetite more with these cool guitar makes that you might want to look at while picking a guitar from your local music store. For those who chose to learn acoustic, you will want to take a look at:

    • Epiphone DR-100 from the makers of Gibson. It is known for its prominent spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and its very low price making it the perfect choice for beginners. Though the sound quality is good, it is mostly considered as the “novice’s guitar” so you might want to either trade or sell this to a more upgraded make, Epiphone EL-00 or the more expensive Gibson Robert Johnson L-1.


    • Fender CD-60 Dreadnaught, the low-cost acoustic guitar from Fender which is also known for its laminated spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and its low action that makes it easy to play.


  • Ibanez AW50NT is known to be the benchmark guitar for beginners. Really affordable without compromising the quality so intermediate and professional players can enjoy it too.

For those who want to grab an electric guitar as their first, you need to take a look at:

    • Epiphone Les Paul Standard is made perfect for Rock and Roll. It is very affordable with a great sounding pickups and build quality. For musicians who prefer punk, rock, metal and funk.


    • The whole Squier Stratocaster and Telecastervariety from the makers of Fender. Yes, it may seem unfair that two whole line of Squier is on this list, but these varieties are known for its low prices, comfortability and its ability to actually look like the more expensive Fender Stratocaster. Also, musicians like Keith Richards have been known to favor the sound that comes off a Telecaster.


  • Ibanez GRX20, Ibanez GRGA32T and Ibanez Artcore Guitar are also worth seeing. The selling point of any Ibanez guitar is its affordability and overall good quality, making this line a must-have for guitar enthusiasts.

Never purchase a guitar whose price does not exceed $200 because those low-priced guitars are known to have a hollow sound, thus making it a poor investment. If in doubt, return to this list and you’ll soon find the perfect guitar for you. And remember, you’ve been warned.

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