Choosing a Guitar

Choosing a Guitar

Part 1 of the How-to play Guitar Series

Getting Fitted

Finding a guitar that fits you well can be the most difficult part in beginning your guitar playing hobby/career. You’ll need one that is comfortable, easy to play, and that is suited well to your body style. If it is comfortable to you, a full size guitar will suit you. But if a 3/4 scale guitar is more suited to your body style, then that is perfectly fine.

3/4 scale means that it is not as big as a normal guitar, but its not the size of a childs guitars. Most people (including me) have a 3/4 scale guitar that can be used for traveling, as it is smaller, making it easier to travel places with it.

When choosing a guitar, you need one that is comfortable while you stand and one that is comfortable while you sit, provided you have the strap around you.

You will want to avoid guitars that do this when you play them:

  • The neck dips while you play
  • It hurts your neck while you are playing
  • and one that just doesn’t seem to feel right

If you avoid those, it will make choosing a guitar that much easier.

Electric, Acoustic, or Bass

This is also a difficult part in choosing a guitar. It can define you as a guitar player. Here is some pros and cons of each kind of guitar.

Electric:

  • Volume can be low or REALLY LOUD
  • You can play it unplugged, but it wont sound as good
  • You have electronics that need to be kept in their proper working condition
  • You will need an amp
  • You will need cables for your guitar and amp

Acoustic:

  • Can be played loud (if you strum hard, have a mic near it, or have a built in pickup)
  • Meant to be played unplugged (sometimes its the only option) and it will sound great
  • No electronics to fool with (unless you have a built in pickup)
  • Its lighter than an Electric, making it easier to travel with

Bass:

  • Volume can be low or loud
  • You have electronics that need to be kept in their proper working condition
  • You will need an amp
  • You will need cables for your guitar and amp
  • You can play it unplugged, but it wont sound as good
  • Is heavier and bigger than Acoustic or Electrics

Some brands that are good:

For Electric:

  • Epiphone
  • Gibson
  • Ibanez
  • PRS (Paul Reed Smith)
  • Shecter
  • Gretsch
  • Fender

For Acoustic:

  • Taylor
  • Seagull
  • Ibanez
  • Dean
  • Epiphone
  • Fender
  • Gibson
  • Takamine

For Bass:

  • Gibson
  • Epiphone
  • Washburn
  • Fender
  • Ibanez
  • Music Man
  • and some Deans

The best way to find a guitar that is good for you is to go to your local guitar store and try them out.

Stay tuned for the next part in our series.

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5 thoughts on “Choosing a Guitar

  1. I’ve read your first two guitar series posts and I think you’ve offered useful info, Jarrod. Your site looks good too. Since for the most part I agree with you, I hope you won’t mind if I elaborate on the small matter we differ about.

    I think most people’s first guitar should be nylon-stringed (folk or classical). Playing is physically uncomfortable until you get enough calluses on your left fingertips, so most who quit do so at this early stage. (Tough guys can start out with steel strings, though I wouldn’t advise a 12-string unless you are a masochist.) Having a guitar that will produce nice sounds with less physical effort encourages continuance. Once you have basic skills, the kind of music you want to play can direct your choice of a second guitar.

    • Well the only reason I left out classical or nylon string is because I dont feel like it strengthened my fingers and got them prepared for a steel string. This is all from my personal experience.
      I agree with your last sentence. Thats how I chose my second. I started out on bass, then I knew I wanted to move to Electric.

  2. Nice article, a lot of info. I however learnt as a boy on an old guitar laying around the house, it was a terrible nylon string acoustic, since then I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on guitars and played a lot, but I still look back on that beaten up POS I had as a kid and smile.
    I just wanted to say, people shouldn’t get too hung on the guitar, just play the damn thing.

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