Even great guitarists have humble beginnings, some artists start their journey by inheriting them from friends and family, some simply buy them. For a new guitarist enthusiastic to learn the guitar it can be confusing, here are some of the best options.
Guitars can broadly be categorised into two sections: acoustic and electric. So, the first decision is what genre of music you want to learn. Your first guitar is about making music and that will nurture your soul. These recommendations are based on detailed research and commendations from many guitar teachers. So, let’s dive in.
Should I choose an acoustic or electric guitar?
Acoustic Guitars – The major difference that acoustic guitars carry is that they do not need electricity, they do not need to be plugged in to be heard. Technical knowledge of this is not required. They are relatively large and built with hollow chambers that create the magnificent resonance when the strings are plucked. They have a bridge that is essential for the transmission of vibration of the plucked strings to the body. They are easier and simpler to play and more affordable. Acoustic guitars can be further classified into two categories.
- Classical and Flamenco Guitars– use nylon strings, designed to accommodate inexperienced fingers and produces a soft mellow note.
- Steel-stringed Guitars – have steel strings and are used in rock, blues, pop and country music. Though the hard strings will develop calluses on the tips of your finger, they are easier to play, louder and are much more versatile.
Beginners should avoid the Classical Guitar because they have a thicker neck which makes it difficult to form chord shapes.
Electric Guitars – The major difference is that electric guitars have to plug in to produce sound. A cable and an amplifier are also required. They are lighter and have lighter gauge strings compared to an acoustic guitar.Therefore they are better for people with small stature and small hands.
Broadly, there are three types of electric guitars.
- Standard Electric Guitars
- “Semi-Acoustic” Guitars / “Hollow-Body” Electric Guitars – comprise of a sound box and one or more pick-ups. They are a hybrid of electric and acoustic guitars.
Each type of guitar has its good and bad points. The secret is to look at the huge variety of steel stringed guitars. But, if you are aiming to play an electric guitar, you should begin with an acoustic guitar with a narrow fret body and a thin neck. This will give you the feel of an electric guitar without annoying too many people in your house and neighbourhood.
Now that you have decided which kind of guitar to start with. Here is a list of the best guitars for beginners in each category taking into the consideration budget, feel and the sound that each offer.
The best options for an acoustic guitar are:
- Yamaha F310 – 6 strings acoustic guitar. Yamaha F series guitars are popular. This guitar has a natural shape with cuts and is suitable for strumming. (Yamaha FS 100C is another similar guitar to start with)
- Yamaha FG700S – is a respected brand for beginners. What makes this guitar unmatchable is the Sitka spruce along with the fantastic wood tone.
- Jasmine S35 Acoustic Natural Guitar – The Nato lamination is a unique touch and the satin finish makes it a beautiful guitar. The neck of this guitar is slim which makes it comfortable to hold.
- Seagull S6 Original Guitar – Affordable and produces a rich and a beautiful sound. Solid cedar, increases the sound quality and its elegance.
- Fender Squire SA-105 Acoustic Guitar – Very popular especially in the Indian market and is also reasonably priced.
The best options for beginners who want to learn electric guitar are:
- Epiphone Les Paul 100 – An entry-level version for Epiphone Les Paul Standard Guitar. The body is mahogany and the top maple wood with a rosewood fretboard enhancing the sound and sustain. (Epiphone PR-4E Electric guitar is a similar option)
- Fender Modern Player Telecaster – With a bridge pickup, middle pickup and tele single coil neck pickup, this guitar produces many tones.
- Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar – Maple and Rosewood, it produces a vintage tremolo
- Ibanez RG Series – Produces jumbo frets.
- Jackson JS32 Kelly – Indian Cedro, has a very sleek and a stylish appearance with 24 jumbo frets.
Head to guitarlisty.com to find out our top rated electric guitar of the year.
Stick to buying an acoustic guitar and you will have a great experience. Take time before the purchase of your first guitar. Do some research and don’t just rely on other peoples opinions. Watch plenty of videos, read articles and talk to experts before making your final decision. Passion and dedication is the key factor in learning guitar. Give time to it each day and you will surely succeed.