If you are here, probably you considering buying a guitar. Or switching from one type of guitar to another, like from classical to electric.
When I started playing the guitar, I started with a classical and quickly switched to an electric. Because of the play styles, it offers. I still wasn’t sure that I want to continue playing the guitar and didn’t want to spend too much money on it. To my luck a friend of mine that already played on electric guitar help me in the matter.
So, How Much Should I Spend on a First Guitar? If you are considering an electric guitar then you should spend at least $200 and shouldn’t spend over $400. If you are considering buying an acoustic or a classical then you should spend at least $150 and shouldn’t spend over $250.
But you shouldn’t worry, I’m here to help you to make decisions on your first guitar, or for some of you the second.
There are many more factors that you should consider before buying your first guitar. Like when you should buy it? Why you shouldn’t buy too cheap, the type of guitar you should buy, where, etc’.
I will elaborate on all your concerns on your first guitar as a beginner on this down below. And if you have anything else, feel free to ask, I will be happy to answer.
When You Should Buy Your First Guitar
I recommend buying your first guitar only after you have some kind of experience with it. I would suggest going to one or two guitar lessons. you should go to the type you think you want to learn and you don’t need to have a guitar for that.
The major types of guitars are electric, acoustic or classical. If you got a friend that is playing the guitar and got the type you which to learn I would suggest going to him as well. Yet, an instructor will definitely make sure that by the end of an hour you will play something. Before scheduling a lesson with an instructor in your near area, make sure to tell him that you don’t own a guitar. Tell him you wish to experience the instrument and the music. This is because he will need to own an extra guitar beside his own. In order to prevent the hassle of passing the same guitar between the two of you.
If you are considering to start playing guitar and looking for an acoustic guitar on a budget and to save you time searching I made the following post Top 20 Budget Acoustic Guitars Under $100, $150, $200, $300 For Beginners
Which Type Of Guitar Should I Start With
If you heard somewhere the phrase “you should learn to play on a classical\acoustic guitar before you start on electric” or something in that matter. Please don’t pay attention to this. You should follow your instincts. Whatever you want to play rock, classical or country music you should play whatever you want. Thus you should start with a guitar the suits the genre you consider playing.
Of course, there are techniques shared between the types of guitar. But forcing yourself or you are forced by someone else to play a genre or type of guitar that you don’t want to so later on “when you will be good enough” you can start playing the one you want.
If you get an electric guitar you will be able to play rock, metal, blues, country, pop, etc’. Whatever it is clean or distorted, lead or rhythm part of the song.
If you get an acoustic guitar you will be able to play almost the same genres as the electric. with some differences like not having a distorted effect and doing quite a few techniques will be hard and almost impossible. You can say that the acoustic guitar is mostly used as a rhythm guitar for those genres and folk genres. But it doesn’t mean that with this guitar there a no lead parts. There are a lot of compositions with fingerstyle that can be played in this guitar. They sound as if two or three guitars are playing. For last but not least the classical guitar.
The classical guitar is very like the acoustic with the main difference that it has a nylon string. This gives the guitar a softer sound. Although you can play with this guitar genre like rock, country, and pop. I found that it is most used by Jazz and Folk and Classical music players
If you want to play en electric guitar but still not sure if you should buy it as a first guitar you must read my post When Should I Buy An Electric Guitar? Let Me Clear Your Doubt
Why You Should NOT Buy Guitars That Are Too Cheap
You may be tempted to buy your first guitar at a very low price of about $100 to $150, but you shouldn’t and the reasons for this are:
- Low build quality. With this low range price, you can definitely expect your guitar to be composed of low-quality components like wood, pickups, frets, knobs, etc’. Not to mention the low-quality assembly. These things can affect the life of these guitars. Because of this, as a beginner, you will probably struggle with difficult techniques. For example, you may experience difficulty playing barre chords, bends or even single notes. It may not sound properly and you may think this is because of you. You don’t want to get frustrated at the beginning as a result of the faulty guitar.
- Tou can’t ask for information. You will find the cheap guitar in big retail stores in your local area. If you are from the U.S this refers to stores like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, etc’. If an employee will be nearby most probably that he or she didn’t play the guitar in their life. So expecting useful advice or to guide you with what you should buy will not help you. They will just tell you to read the description and the item and that’s all.
- You can’t fully test it. The guitars will come in package deals that will contain the guitar and some accessories. Opening and testing it in the store won’t be an option. There is a lot that can be wrong with the guitar and equipment and you won’t be able to know until you tested it at home. And this will become a time-consuming task of returning it and testing it again. Moreover, if you managed to buy an operational guitar kit, it doesn’t mean it has a proper setup. It could have been a lot of time passed before this guitar was properly set up. As a beginner, you may not notice this.
- No variations. Your choices will be limited to the shape, color, and the components that the guitar will have. Most likely you will not know this as a beginner. But it is better to pay a little extra to have more guitar features that you will want to use as you advance.
What To Look For In Your First Guitar
So how to pick the right first guitar for you. I summarized the following key components you should check before buying the guitar.
- Appeal. You should definitely choose something that catches your eye. As long as it is in the price range. It is much better to see a guitar you like it’s appeal when you take it off it’s a case in the practice section. It will give you much more motivation to keep on playing.
- Brand. Try sticking to well-known brands. You can always ask the seller or research online while you shop. Try to avoid Chinese brands. Here you can find an extensive list of well-known brands and what other people say about them.
- Comfort. You need to make sure that the guitar will be comfortable for you. Don’t be shy and play it. But before you do make sure that it is in tune. You will need to check a few things to determine if it is comfortable. And if any of them not in place just try a different guitar. It wouldn’t hurt to try different variations.
- Sit with the guitar and play. Try switching a few sitting poses to make sure that you are comfortable with at least one of them.
- Attach a strap to the guitar and play it while standing. Playing for a few minutes and see if the weight isn’t too much for you. If you have trouble playing several techniques or reaching specific frets on the fretboard try adjusting the strap.
- While you playing sitting or standing notice how you feel regarding the fretboard. Are you able to play all the techniques? Can you move across the fretboard easily from one end to another? Are you able to perform bends easily?
- Durability. When you test the guitar you should defiantly take notice if is firm. If something gets loose or falls off. If something feels shaky or not.
- Sound. While you playing the guitar notice the sound it makes. Compare it with a few other guitars of your choice. Sometimes it is hard for a beginner to distinguish between different guitar. Never the less you should try to compare it between several guitars of your choice. It’s especially hard for electric guitars. You should check the guitar’s sound as it isn’t plugged in. Also, plug the guitar to the amp that you will buy. Almost always the employee will plug you into a high-end amp which will make even the cheapest guitar sound great.
Where Should I Buy My First Guitar
Now that you have all that information. The only question where should you buy? And the answer can be divided into two answers
An easy but expensive way
In this way, you will buy a brand new guitar from a local guitar dealer. Make sure you research online that it is well established and has positive reviews. This way you will get all the help you need and can go home with a guitar by the end of the day. In the shop, you will have a wide variety of guitar that you can pick from and test on the spot. There will be always someone to help. Either it is a question, uncertainty or just setting up the gear for you to test.
If you wish to save up time on the research or really new to the guitar world than this is the best choice for you.
A harder but cheaper way
You can buy a second-hand guitar from your local area. Here you will need to search on a local listing. Whatever it is online or not. You will need to do research on the guitar, meet with the seller, test it and negotiate the price. However all the hustle you can get a petty good guitar at a very low price. Sometimes even half of what you would pay for a brand new. If this option appeals to you and you like the challenge, you need to read my full guide on the buying a used guitar
If you found this article useful you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board
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