The hardest thing when deciding on a first/new guitar is where to start.
The web offers such a subway sandwich array of options. Everything from acoustic guitars, electric guitars, 3/4 size guitars, amps, leads, gig bags etc. The list is endless! Sometimes it's so overwhelming that the idea of buying your first guitar becomes so overwhelming that we put it on the back burner of things to do!
The question I get asked a lot is... 'should I buy a guitar for the long term or buy something cheap until I decide I like it?'. The honest answer to that is... 'I don't know'. Doesn't sound like much help right? Well let me explain a bit more. It comes down to knowing yourself. If you are a person who finds they commit to a lot of new hobbies and don't often stick things out (be brutally honest with yourself) I suggest you go for the cheaper option first. On the other hand if you have a track record of sticking to things for the longevity then it may be more financially savvy to go for something that will last you for the foreseeable future.
Electric or acoustic guitar?
For the beginner guitarist the question to always ask before deciding on which type of guitar to buy is to determine what type of music you would like to be able to play. If you find yourself enjoying the Ed Sheeran vibe then an acoustic is probably the way forward. If you see yourself as a bit of a Slash or Jimi Hendrix then an electric may be the best option. For those of you who have such an eclectic taste in music it may be that both would be a good investment. That or if you're a cheapskate like me... pick one!
For children aged 5 - 7 usually a 1/2 size guitar is the preferred option. For those between 7 and around 12/13 a 3/4 size works. Of course this all depends on the size of your child. If you have a Michael Jordan look a like or a Andre the Giant then you will need to assess what is best for your child based on their current size. Most music shops will happily advise on whats best.
For an adult the best guitar is obviously a full size unless you are particularly petite in which case a folk or travel size guitar may be more suitable.
If I buy an acoustic does it need to be an electric acoustic?
...No. What you want more info? Okay then!
Unless you have plans to either record or play live then there is really no need to spend the extra money for an electric acoustic. Having said that if it is something you think you may consider in future then again it may be more financially savvy to go for that option. Most electro acoustics come with a built in EQ (Equaliser) which allows you to control things like your volume and tone as well as providing you with a built in tuner.
For the rockers an electric guitar is a safe bet. The downside is there are so many options to consider including:
What pickups do I go for?
Am I interested in coil tapping?
Do I want a tremolo bar?
Is the weight of the instrument important?
What wood is best for my needs?
Should I go for locking tuners or a bigsby/floyd rose?
The questions are unless but don't despair the guitar man is here! Within the next few blog entries I will answer some of these questions and let you know what works best for me (an experienced player and guitar teacher).
Keep tuning in to the Fresh Music Aberdeen - Guitar Lessons Aberdeen blog for more helpful advice and tips.
Bon voyage for now!