Steel String Acoustic Guitar

Choosing a Guitar for a beginner

Learning to play on a poor quality instrument will hinder your progress whereas playing on a guitar with good action and intonation and which is properly tuned will allow you to make the progress which your efforts deserve and will inspire you to spend more time practicing.

Mastering the art of playing guitar takes years, so don't procrastinate by waiting until you can afford a professional instrument before you start.

Here i hope to answer some of the common questions which prospective students ask me.

Q: Should I buy a Steel String or a Nylon String Guitar

A: Traditionally classical guitarists play Nylon String Acoustic Guitars. Rock, Pop and Jazz guitarists more often than not play Steel String Guitars.

Many beginners start with a Nylon String Guitar because they are softer on the fingers or because they are slightly cheaper.

Nylon String Acoustic Guitar

Q: What size guitar should I buy?

A: It is important to play a guitar which is a comfortable size. Guitars are made in smaller sizes such as 7/8th, 3/4 or even 1/2 size for petit ladies and children. Classical style guitars have wide fretboards which do not suit people with short fingers. Playing on a guitar which is too big is a serious impediment to progress.

Q: Should I buy an Acoustic or an Electric guitar?

Acoustic Guitars have some great advantages. They are cheaper as you don't need to buy amplifiers and cables. You can play them anywhere as you don't need a plug point. This makes them great for taking on picnics etc.

Electric Guitars also have some great advantages. Because less vibrational energy is needed from the strings you can use lighter guage strings which can give an electric an easier playing action. Electrics also have longer fretboards and easier access to the top of the fretboard.

Q: What is a cutaway and why is it important?

A cutaway is a feature in a guitar body's design which allows you access to the higher frets on the fretboard. As a rule electric guitars have them, so it is only really an issue with acoustic guitars. As a beginner you will not need this but sooner or later you will, so it makes sense to get a guitar with a cutaway.

Electric Guitar