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FAQ: What guitar for beginners?

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Q: What kind of guitar is best for beginners?

A:  This is one of the most common questions asked by people who want to take up guitar learning.  Before I give an answer about the best kind of guitar, it might be necessary to clearly define different kinds of guitars.

If this is your first venture into the world of guitars, you'll probably be armed with an arsenal of terms like 'acoustic' and 'dreadnought', but might not even be sure what they refer to.  Let me make it real simple, by first of all breaking it down into the four main types of guitars available on the market.

What guitar for beginners?  Unfortunately it's not a straighforward answer:  It depends on a few factors like the style of music you want to learn and your budget.  Classical guitars are for classical music and electric guitars for rock, alternative, punk and metal.  Acoustic guitars are versatile and can be used with most kinds of music.  Classical guitars are cheaper than acoustics, which in turn are usually cheaper than electrics.

What kind of music do you want to learn, play and love?  Get the corresponding instrument!

I personally have found that for simply learning the basics of guitar a classical guitar is good for beginners since it's so easy to play.  But, most people are not intent on playing classical music and if that's you, buying one just for practice might not be feasible.

Electric guitars will require more skill, effort and time to reach a level of acceptable playing, but is a powerful instrument (and of course very cool!).

At the end of the day the versatility and potential of acoustic guitars mean that they will probably be ideal for most people.  They are slightly more expensive, but provide  players with an open field of opportunity.


Acoustic Guitars will be ideal for most people - despite being slightly harder to learn on initially (than a classical guitar), they provide the most versatility and value for money.     For a look at some decent entry-level acoustic guitars (and other types) that'll provide great bang for your buck, visit the cheap guitars section.
Classical Guitars - These are acoustic based guitars that use nylon strings.  Nylon strings are smoother on the fingers than the steel strings used by other types of guitars.  Classical Guitars have big fretboards and its strings are slightly further apart than that of acoustic guitars.  Classical guitars are mainly used by people playing classical, acoustic style music.  These guitars do not have a built in pickup, which means that by itself it cannot be connected to an amplifier or sound system.
Acoustic Guitars - These guitars are similar to classical guitars, but use steel strings.  Steel strings are harder on new fingers than nylon strings.  Acoustic guitar necks are also thinner so people with smaller hands can play them easier.  Acoustic guitars have better sustain and volume than its classical counterpart.
Acoustic-Electric Guitars - The same as an acoustic guitar, but comes with a built in pickup.  This kind of guitar can be connected to an amplifier or sound system.  Sometimes the pickup include controls like volume and bass and even a built in tuner, which makes tuning your guitar a breeze.
Electric Guitars - Electric guitars have no acoustic or 'natural' sound in and of itself, but need to be played through a guitar amplifier.  The action on an electric guitar is very low (meaning its easier to press the strings down) and electric guitars allow for great flexibility in music form.  Electric guitars are not as mobile as acoustics since they always need an amp and electricity around to work.
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