From learning to master haunting harmonics or speedy tremolos to executing a metal influenced string tapping solo, mastering the guitar and all of its techniques becomes a labor of love for those willing to put in the necessary time. Once you start on the sometimes arduous path of guitar mastery, there are no shortcuts, but you can expect many hours of enjoyment. Nothing is quite as exciting as hearing yourself faithfully reproduce a favorite melody or developing your own unique sound.
There are many types of guitars to choose from in a plethora of styles and shapes, but which type of guitar is best for a beginner? When choosing a guitar, it’s important to know the type of sound you want to create. You can choose from an acoustic guitar, an electric, a semi-acoustic for the blend, or even a bass guitar for that extra soulful, deep sound. In this guide, we are going to walk through some of the types of guitars that are best for a beginner and what to expect from each.
Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul
Gretsch G9200 Roundneck Boxcar
Ibanez Artcore AF55 Hollow-Body
Epiphone Dot Archtop Electric
Dean EAB Acoustic-Electric Bass
Rogue Classic Spider Resonator Sunburst Squareneck
Epiphone SG Special Electric
Yamaha FG700S Solid Top Acoustic
In the past, a guitar was simply a six string instrument, sporting a hollow body, a fret board, and invariably, a 3+3 headstock. Extending into antiquity, the first guitar is suspected to have been created more than three thousand years ago. In modern times, many guitar types have branched out from this ancient archetype. In this section, we’ll give the aspiring beginner guitarist an idea on what to expect as they begin their journey.
This is the most traditional iteration of this classic instrument. These types of guitars can be very inexpensive. You can find a cheap acoustic guitar for sale online for as little as 40 dollars, or you can decide upon a very financially taxing guitar. Some of the most expensive guitars can cost as much as several thousand dollars. Typically, the variance that differentiates the price is in the makeup of the guitar, as more discerning materials and construction can cost more money.
This type of guitar is best for those who don’t want to purchase an amp to hear resonating melodies, as the hollow body will create beautiful sounds unassisted. In most cases, you can expect a 3+3 style headstock from this type of guitar, meaning the six strings are attached by threes on either side of the headstock of the guitar.
When it comes to the strings, the types you will find on an acoustic guitar can vary. Many acoustics have steel strings, which vibrate well and feel very solid while strumming. Steel also provides a completely different sound than other types, and an acoustic guitar that has steel strings is perfect creating rock, country, or blues. The top four strings for this type are typically wound steel whereas the bottom two strings are unwound and appear almost wire-like.
Another fairly common type of strings for acoustic guitars is nylon strings. Many beginners enjoy this feature because the strings can be more comfortable for the fingertips. The strings are so non-abrasive to the fingers that this type of string is often used on children’s guitars. The tone of this type of acoustic guitar is much softer than the slightly metallic sound of a steel string acoustic guitar.
For those with a lack of experience, the tactile and visual appearance of these strings can sometimes seem strange. The highest strings appear almost plastic-like and typically have a transparent look, while the deepest strings can be actually coated in steel and are wound similarly to steel strings. This is just the appearance though, as the cores of these deeper strings are made of nylon as well.
When purchasing strings for your guitar, there is one thing that beginners should always take into consideration. For the most part, string types are not interchangeable. Placing high tension steel strings on a flamenco or classical guitar that is designed for nylon strings can cause massive damage to the neck of your guitar. The bridge and saddle of your guitar can also be unnecessarily strained by improper strings.
Gauge is also a consideration for stringing your guitar. Typically, the lighter the string, the easier it is to play. Strings with a width of .010 are the lightest, and at the opposite end of the spectrum .059 are the heaviest. Heavier strings also vibrate more than lighter strings, but they typically produce much more volume and sustainability. These types of strings are harder to bend and fret on due to their thickness. A good rule to go by when learning to play guitar, especially when learning on an acoustic, is to start with lighter strings.
Many choose an acoustic guitar to start out on due to its simplicity, though don’t expect to shred too hard on this variation on the instrument. Unfortunately, electric features like tapping and tone changing don’t work quite as well on an acoustic. Though going to the park or for a nature walk with a guitar that’s unencumbered by unwieldy wires and amps can be a genuine treat for a guitarist, neophyte or master.
Jasmine S35 is a dreadnaught body-styled guitar that is perfect for beginners, or anyone else looking for a solid acoustic guitar that they would be comfortable taking on a camping trip. Simply the best acoustic guitar that is well below a $ 100, so you won’t be as guilt-ridden if you bump it around on accident. Now, you might think a hundred dollars can’t get you very far when buying a guitar, but you would be surprised. The brand is owned by KMC Music, who also own Takamine, so it’s safe to assume that they know what they are doing. This is, in fact, corroborated by numerous five-star reviews and a ton of satisfied buyers who made Jasmine S35 a best-seller!
This is the best acoustic guitar for the money that we could find. It measures about 25.5 inches in length, so it’s definitely a full-size, grown up’s guitar. If you are expecting to see a miniature children’s guitar upon opening the package (and the price point suggests that, in a way) you will be pleasantly surprised to find this beauty inside!
If you still want to be nit-picky, even though you’re getting a great guitar, then we feel obliged to mention that most buyers recommend replacing the stock strings that are on the guitar as soon as you unpack it. It’s going to cost you around $5, but the difference it’s going to make will be huge.
If you’re serious in your attempts to master this instrument, we urge you to buy Jasmine S35 Acoustic Guitar. With a little bit of fine-tuning, you’ll be able to make it into a great-sounding guitar, and the best part is that none of your friends will even know you got it for that paltry sum! We are serious; this guitar is so surprisingly good that you’ll be able to pass it off as a quality, mid-range model. As we already said here, it is the best acoustic guitar, we’re just not sure why it sells at such a low price, but hey, no complaints here!
Want to shred and play power chords? Then, it may be time to consider the advantages of an electric guitar. Electric guitars have steel strings that convert the vibration of your strums into a radio frequency, which is then enhanced by an amplifier. Typically, this type of guitar is made of a single, non-hollowed block of wood or other lightweight material that has attached pick-ups as well as volume and tone dials. If you’re looking for an unplugged sound, this type of guitar may not be for you. The sound that is produced without an amplifier is distinctly minimal and only really enjoyable by those in very close proximity, but when you plug in; get ready for some face-melting tunes.
Many electric guitars also have a pickup switch. The pickup switch helps the user select which pickup they wish to use, each of which gives a unique tone. The pickups themselves are oriented right underneath the strings of your guitar, beneath the fretboard, attached to the body itself. They work magnetically utilizing Faraday’s law to conduct a magnetic field through copper wire, which thusly generates an electric charge that is then translated to sound by the amplifier. Most of the time there are three unique pickups and five settings on the pickup switch. The first three settings select the pickup to use, and the remaining two blends different pickups for varying sounds.
The knobs and dials on this type of guitar can also make for a truly unique playing experience, as they help to blend the sounds coming from the pickups. Whereas the pickup switch has preset tones; the knobs allow for more potential variations. Many guitars have three, but there are some models that have up to five; each doing something unique to the tone that the guitar produces while plugged into an amplifier. The volume knob is fairly self explanatory when you don’t have a distortion effect on your amplifier, but when you do the volume knob adjusts gain.
Dependent on the model, electric guitars can also come with a vibrato bar. A vibrato is when you vibrate the string once you have a note ringing out to add a tremulous effect to the note. The bar lets you execute a vibrato even when playing open notes or notes where you don’t touch the fret board.
Electric guitars come in either 3+3 or 6 in-line headstock varieties. The popular Fender Stratocaster is a 6 in-line type and the model popularized by the late BB King, the Gibson Lucile, sports a 3+3 headstock arrangement. Headstock doesn’t affect play, but definitely has a notable influence on a guitar’s aesthetics. The 3+3 has a more classic look that is great for blues, while the 6 in-line can look more modern with a rock influence.
Anyone who’s ever held a guitar probably imagined themselves on a huge stage at one point or another. Picture it, thousands of fans in front of you and you rocking on your Gibson Les Paul Standard. However, if you are not a professional guitarist, chances are you will not be inclined to buy a guitar that costs $ 3, 000. So what is the alternative? Complete beginners find Epiphone’s LP Special II to be a great-sounding instrument that closely resembles the Gibson Standard model, which considered one of the most expensive guitars in the world.
It is actually pretty amazing how Epiphone managed to cram a lot of cool features in this model and still keep the cost at an all-time low; truly a testament to their great guitar-building history and craftsmanship. The high-quality basswood body is no better or worse, and the difference in sound is noticeable only to very astute professionals.
Some buyers note their disappointment with the controls on this model. There are only two – tone and volume, but the guitar is also fitted with a three-way pickup switch. That said, those buyers readily admit that they did not presume that this is an entry-level instrument (considering how great it is, judging by the rest of their comments), and most other users that are just starting out say that the fewer controls they have to fiddle with, the better.
If you are on the market for a great, but affordable electric guitar, then your search has come to an end. Epiphone LP Special II Les Paul Electric Guitar is a great instrument, predominately geared toward guitar beginners, but praised by professionals as well. Whether you are buying it for yourself or as a present for your musically-inclined child, if you buy Epiphone you can rest assured that you are getting your money’s worth and more!
In the guitar world, nothing sounds more soulful than the base variation. This type of guitar is available in four or five strings as well as in the 2+2 or 4 in-line varieties. Five string bases are also available in the in-line style. If you’re looking for that deep, thrumming sound, base guitars are what you’ve been searching for. Many bass guitars tend to have a slightly longer neck than their guitar cousins and the strings tend to be much thicker. Any of the prior types of guitar can be played with either pick or fingers, but the bass guitar experiences the greatest sound variation when choosing either method. Bass guitarists tend to rest their fingers on the large pickups while fingering, which is fairly unique to this type of instrument.
Basses can also utilize an amplifier; and while you can get by on a standard guitar amp, the sound won’t be very good. There is also the chance of damaging your amp’s speakers when the deep sound of the base fills the room. As a beginner, if you want to hear the best sound come out of your bass guitar, then you’ll have to get a bass amp.
As they also can be played with an amp, bass guitars also have knobs, which interact with the humbuckers or single coil pickups under the strings. Humbuckers, which are features that can be found on some electric guitars, work similarly to pickups, but they work using a slightly different principle. As with electric guitars, the knobs interact directly with the pickups or humbuckers, and they help to establish the tone and treble of the guitar.
When seeking a great bass guitar it’s wise to have an idea of the actual guitar’s dimensions. Purchasing one online can cause a bit of a surprise, especially when the neck can be much longer than a traditional electric guitar. Learning how to play guitar on a bass that is too long for you can be a daunting experience, especially if the bass is for a person who is not fully grown.
If you are in the process of learning how to play a bass guitar – or if you are a professional that likes to mix things up and add good axes to your collection – we can wholeheartedly recommend this excellent Dean E09M, electric bass guitar model. It is a great model that offers a rather high value-to-price ratio, and it should definitely be high on your to-buy list, especially if you need a bass that delivers a quality tone and is made by experts who know that durability and quality of make are both hallmarks of a quality instrument.
Dean E09M is the most affordable item in the prestigious Edge line. This bass weighs around 7 pounds, making it light enough for first-timers so they are not get easily overwhelmed. The entire guitar is 40-inches long, with a 34-inch maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard and features classic abalone inlays.
While this is a great guitar for those just starting out, keep in mind that you won’t be able to play it right from the box. It comes completely assembled, but you will have to fine-tune it to adjust the action that is too low so the strings tend to rattle against the frets. Simple adjustments to the neck and the saddle will sort this problem out.
In conclusion, we would like to add that this particular model comes in four, five, and six-string variants so you can take your pick and get the one that best suits your playing style. Dean E09M Edge Mahogany Electric Bass Guitar is a great addition to your guitar collection, especially if you’re trying to add a bit of diversity to it and still keep your costs low. However, we find that it is a great instrument for complete guitar beginners, who will find it easy to master and user-friendly!
Do you want to kick out a soulful unplugged ballad, but also want to add a little power to your licks every now and then? Then, a semi-acoustic or electro acoustic guitar may be the right instrument for you. Typically, this type of guitar sports a hollow body to produce dulcet tones without the assistance of an amplifier. Most hollow bodied electric acoustic guitars have a lead that’s designed to be plugged in to an amp as well. This type of hybrid guitar is a jack of all trades, but typically it doesn’t employ electric only features such as a whammy or vibrato bar.
Hybrids can be great when looking for a wider range of ability and this type guitar does not disappoint. Smooth sound and easy adjustment are two of the key factors of electric acoustic guitars. The knobs can be present on the body of this type, or it can be added as a panel to the musician facing side of the instrument for easy tone adjustment. For the type that have a tone panel, some models even have a on-board tuner, which makes this type of instrument a good guitar for beginners.
There aren’t many negatives with this type of guitar save for what can be said of many hybrid styled instruments, you won’t necessarily get as full a sound playing it as a standard acoustic and full electrics can sound slightly better when plugged into an amplifier. This is not necessarily the case for all semi-acoustics, and results can certainly vary with each guitar and amplifier combination. Regardless of this potential limitation, these make for good guitars, especially for beginners.
Ibanez’s Artcore AF55 Hollow model is a prime example of a semi-acoustic guitar, which means that it has both a sound box and electric pickups. It combines the best of the both worlds, allowing you to really play a diverse range of styles without having to purchase two or more different guitars. If you are dead-set on playing the guitar and want a real beast of an instrument that you can deliver full, warm notes, you should definitely take a look at this model!
One of the defining characteristics of an Ibanez Artcore AF55 is its completely hollow body. This means that there are no sound blocks in the sound box, as you will see in many other semi-acoustic guitars. The resulting tone is very different because of that, complex, warm, and rich; definitely something that will appeal to the musical purist lurking within.
Even though most buyers agree that this is an excellent guitar, hands down, some point out that feedback is an issue in some melodic keys. They note that this happens exclusively if you are standing too close to amplifiers, so a quick and easy solution is to put some distance between you and them.
When all is said and done, we were really surprised to find how affordable this quality guitar really is. Ibanez Artcore AF55 Hollow-Body Electric Guitar is a bit pricier than other entry-level guitars, but the point is that it’s essentially an all-in-one solution, intended for enthusiasts who like to keep their options open when it comes to the type of music they’ll be playing. Definitely a smart, and life-long, investment!
Like a little twang in your music? This type of guitar is perfect for the folksy, country music beginner. They produce a rich, metallic sound, which is hard to emulate on any of the other guitars in this guide. As these types use metal cones to produce the deep ringing sound, a beginner should know what they’re getting, if they are interested in purchasing one. Typically, played without an amplifier, these acoustic guitars are perfect for the beginner musician who wants to take his or her show on the road. This ability to be unplugged makes this type one of the best instruments for learning to play the guitar.
Even though this is an acoustic style instrument, this guitar has amazing volume. As a rule, even steel string acoustic guitars and their classical cousins need a microphone to carry the sound they produce in a large room, which is not the case with resonators. The sound they produce can reach listeners in the back row of any venue, but it is perfect for small to mid-sized venues. The sound this type of guitar produces is so unique that a beginner who enjoys folk or country music will be pleased to play it as often as possible.
For a beginner, there is one caveat; this guitar produces a very robust sound, typically without volume control, so it’s not best played where it would disturb others. Also, resonator can be among the most expensive guitars, but typically the guitar makes up for the cost difference with quality construction.
If you are blue-grassy sort of person, then this Gretsch G9200 Boxcar resonator guitar will definitely be your cup of tea! Extremely well-made, it produces a rich, rustic tone that will blend in great with your style of play. Also, we should mention that it is an absolute beauty to look at. You will notice right off the bat that it is quite easy to play. If you are just starting to play, or if you’re new to this whole idea of resonator guitars, consider this model. Its price-to-value ratio makes it a great entry-level guitar, and it is selling at a very affordable price.
One of the first things you are going to notice is the vintage feel and the look of the guitar. From the design of the neck, and that semi-glossy finish, all the way to the intricately-designed spider resonator, this Gretsch model really looks like something that fell out of the 1930s!
Some buyers note that the light construction of this guitar gives it an appearance and feel of being flimsy and not well-made, making them doubt its durability. However, some point out that the guitar is holding its own even after years of playing, so that really goes to show that, at Gretsch, they really know how to build delicate, but long-lasting guitars.
If you’re looking to spice up your sound and have always wanted to test out a resonator guitar, this model might just prove to be a perfect catch. Gretsch G9200 Boxcar Round-Neck Resonator Guitar offers a great bluegrass playing experience, but the best thing is that you will not have to break the bank to buy one, as it is relatively affordable!
Before you decide which type of guitar you want to learn to play on, it is important to consider the different features you will want on your guitar. Certain aspects are needed on all guitars, even for someone who is just learning how to play guitar. Here are some key aspects to consider before you purchase your first guitar.