Updated: Feb 24, 2020
If I'm just starting out with guitar lessons, what kind of guitar should I buy?
If you are thinking about taking guitar lessons, you may be wondering what kind of guitar you should purchase. Should you buy an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar? What brand of guitar should you buy? Should you buy a new or a used guitar? As you can imagine, there is no exact answer. It may depend on what kind of music interests you and what is available at the time of purchase. The good news is that in the beginning of guitar lessons everything you learn on one guitar will generally apply to most other guitars.
Often people think the acoustic guitar is for beginners. This is a common misconception. There is no such thing as a beginner guitar.
Basically, there are two types of acoustic guitars: Steel stringed and nylon string or classical guitars. Steel stringed guitars have heavy strings and are harder to press than nylon. Nylon stringed, or classical guitars have lighter strings are easier to press than steel strings. Nylon guitars also have more space between the strings and a wider neck than steel stringed guitars.
Electric guitar is played by connecting the guitar to an amplifier. The main difference in playability between acoustic guitars and electric guitars is that the strings on acoustic guitars are heavier than the strings on electric guitars. Heavier strings are typically more difficult to press and therefore acoustic guitars can be somewhat difficult during the first few lessons. (Acoustic guitar strings tend to be heavier than electric because heavier strings are louder. Electric guitar strings do not need to be so heavy because volume is controlled with a guitar amplifier).
For beginning guitar students, buying a new lower priced electric guitar starter package from a store is a good way to begin. There are various brands offering starter packages that include an electric guitar, a small practice guitar amp, guitar cable, guitar tuner, picks and a guitar strap. The beginner packages usually cost somewhere around $200 depending on where you buy. You can find packages with smaller guitar sizes called ¾ sized guitars or mini guitars for younger kids.
Buying a used guitar for your first guitar is not recommended unless you have someone
with you who really knows about guitars and can help you choose a good quality used guitar.
If you want to wait before buying a guitar because you want to try a few lessons before committing, you can find a music shop that will rent to you.
Buying the wrong guitar can really impact the learning process and create a negative experience for the beginning student. It is important that any guitar you buy should work properly and be properly set up.
When buying or renting any guitar, you want to make sure the strings are not too far away from the of the guitar, and you want to make sure there is no string buzz.