Most beginners may have heard and even felt obligated to follow the advice coming from well-meaning but ill-informed friends or relatives with little or no knowledge about the art or the instrument. "First buy a cheap guitar. Buy a good guitar only once you can play well. A beginner should only buy an acoustic guitar while learning to play. Acoustic guitars can’t/should not have electronics. Electric guitars are dangerous as you may get a shock. And so on....
All these precious pieces of advice are not completely true. A guitar is a guitar is a guitar. The style you want to play however could make a difference with the kind of guitar you would want to buy. Let’s see the different types of guitars to get a better understanding of what we want to buy and learn to play.
Guitars come in two main types: Acoustic and Electric.
Acoustic guitars have steel string guitars, 12 string steel guitars and nylon string guitars. All are used for different styles of music. Electric guitars are made of a solid body unlike the hollow acoustic ones. Electro acoustic guitars are acoustic guitars with pickups and electronics but with a thinner body and sound hole. Once again each type is used for a particular style of playing.
Examples of acoustic steel string guitar based songs
Examples of acoustic nylon string guitar based songs
Examples of electric guitar based songs
Acoustic or Electric
The steel stringed acoustic guitar is a great instrument to start your musical journey. The sound created from the steel strings is louder than that of nylon strings, and because of this it is a favorite beginner’s guitar. One can just pick it up and play it anytime, anywhere. Students mostly do not opt for an electric guitar because of the budget. An electric guitar requires an amplifier and a speaker or an amplifier speaker combo unit to be heard. Now that is going to raise a beginner’s budget. Another reason why an acoustic guitar is preferred for beginners is because the string gauges are a bit heavier than an electric guitar and this helps a beginner to build finger and hand strength which makes it a lot easier to play an electric guitar later.
Acoustic guitars may seem cheap and some really are, but the good ones are a lot more expensive than one can imagine. As for buying a cheap guitar while learning to play, it only has its downsides. The main reasons for buying a cheap guitar would be, you really want to learn to play the guitar and have absolutely no money to afford a decent one or you are not really sure if you have it in you, and if you would be able to, or want to continue learning to play.
Whatever the reason, don’t buy a cheap guitar! They are so badly made that they are very difficult to play and beginners usually give up learning to play for the wrong reason. Besides that if ever one has to sell it, there is absolutely no resale value. Buy a reasonably priced guitar instead. If you still can’t afford that, buy a used one!
If you are on a very low budget, a used guitar is a very good option as long as you have an experienced instructor/player to help you choose the right one. There are many who have not been able to move forward with their guitar playing and have chosen to sell their instrument. Many of these people bought very nice guitars. Nice guitars may be a little more expensive than a cheap one but they are good guitars! Buy a nice guitar! You will enjoy the process of learning and playing.