How To Buy A Guitar For Beginners
Things To Consider When Buying A Guitar
If you are passionate about playing the guitar and want to take further classes to advance your skills, then your first step would be to choose the right kind of guitar. Jimi Hendrix, Slash, and even Joe Satriani are all big names in the world of guitars – and they never just picked a guitar out in random! If you’re serious about playing the guitar and you’re not one of those people who just strum away to pass time, then you need to buy yourself a guitar.
You can’t learn the guitar properly if you don’t own one, and there is no point in borrowing a friend’s guitar every time you want to play. Because, playing the guitar involves hours and hours of practice.
The guitar is made up of several parts, which are:
- The Body – The body is a hollow that has a big hole in it.
- The Sound Hole – Is situated in the center and is usually round. This is the place from where the sound comes out.
- The Soundboard – Being the most important part of any guitar, the soundboard is a wooden piece that is mounted on the frontal part of the guitar’s body. Its function is to amplify sounds.
- The Strings – The strings are what guitarists pluck at to produce the sounds. Normally, there are 6 strings, but there are 12 string guitars also these days.
- The Bridge – The Bridge is what is attached to the soundboard and its role is to act like an anchor for the strings.
- The Neck – This is the part that is long and thin and sticks out of the guitar’s body. This is where the strings run the length of the guitar and it also supports the fret.
- The Head – This is the part that is located at the summit of the neck and houses the tuning pegs, which help tune the guitar strings.
Now that you are slightly familiar with the various parts of a guitar, you will have to decide what kind of guitar you want to learn on. There are two basic types of guitars, namely the steel string acoustic guitar and the classical guitar.
The steel stringed acoustic guitar is more popular and will give you a rich and nice sound. If you are an amateur, it is important to note that the steel strings can hurt your fingers. But, if you’re serious about playing the guitar, this shouldn’t pose as a problem. What’s more, if you stick around long enough, your hands will develop calluses that in turn will stop the pain.
The classical guitar on the other hand is a more user-friendly guitar for beginners and has nylon strings that don’t hurt as bad. Nylon strings don’t tend to produce a sound that is as loud and if you have smaller hands, you might have a slight problem with the wide neck of the guitar. However, the guitar is far more portable, as it happens to have a smaller body.
Now that you have chosen what kind of guitar you would like, your next step is too choose a guitar that is within your budget and that looks decent enough. After all, you’re not learning to play the guitar to pass time right? Always make sure your guitar looks good and when buying your guitar make sure you check for scratches, dents or even discolorations.
Many guitars have a small part of the body cut away in order to provide fingers easy access to the frets. These are called cutaways and with such guitars, reaching those high lying frets will be easier, which will make it easy for you if you’re planning on playing solo. The cutaway affects the sound and loudness of a guitar since there is less space for air to resonate in.
Types of 'Faces' or 'Tops'
The face or the top of a guitar is where the sound hole is. It is that part that serves as a speaker when you are strumming on the guitar. So, when choosing a top, always choose the best material. The top can be made in two distinct styles:
- Laminated Veneer Top – Very similar to plywood,
this top has thin wooden sheets that are stuck together. Not considered
to be the best op for a guitar, the laminated veneer top is chosen by
thousand of guitarists all over because it is cheap.
- Solid Top – The solid top is a solid piece of
wood that resonates better than any other material. Thus, the overall
sound effect of the guitar sounds clearer, louder and better. Of course,
it is a lot more expensive, but if sound quality means something to you,
then the solid top is worth it.
Then, you have the combination of a solid top and laminated veneer side. The sound quality of such a combination is superior to that of a laminated veneer top. So, if you don’t have a big enough budget to buy a pure solid top for your guitar, then you could probably opt for this combination over the laminated veneer ones.
Ready To Buy Your Guitar?
For those of you who are absolutely clueless, it is always best to go to a guitar shop or music store and have someone help you in choosing the best guitar. However, this could be a slightly more expensive option. On the other hand, buying guitars online is not advisable for beginners, because if you don’t know what you are buying, then how can you buy it? But, buying a guitar online is a cheaper option.
Talking about cheaper options, second hand guitars also make good investments. Ask friends and relatives if they’re willing to sell their guitars, go to pawnshops and second-hand stores for good deals. However, when buying second-hand, always check the guitar before buying it.
So, that’s the skinny on guitars and what to look for when buying them. With patience and practice, you’ll be able to play like Steve Vai in no time at all! Well, maybe a little longer than that, but the sky is your limit when it comes to playing the guitar and with enough practice, you’ll be able to impress everyone including yourself!