If you're reading this you have probably decided, or are in the process of deciding, to learn to play the guitar. You may have already started looking for your first guitar and are a bit overwhelmed by the wide variety of guitars available. To help make the process of choosing a guitar that little bit easier we have put together a short guide.
1. What Type of Guitar are You Going to Get?
There are four main types of guitar and each suits a different kind of music. So you want to ask yourself what type of music you want to be playing on your guitar.
The classical guitar, also known as the Spanish guitar, was originally made to play classical or flamenco music but they are often used to play whichever type of music the player desires.
Classical guitars are made with nylon strings, which are easier on fingers so great for beginners, and produce a mellower sound than other acoustic guitars. The sound they produce, the often cheaper price, and the variety in sizes available has made the classical guitar the most popular for beginners.
The classical guitar is best suited to beginners and also those that want to play classical guitar music. Choose the classical guitar if you're new to the guitar or want to sound like John Williams and Julian Bream.
The acoustic guitar is similar to the classical guitar but instead of nylon strings it is made with steel strings that produce a much louder sound. The acoustic guitar is the most popular choice of guitar.
The acoustic guitar is best suited to those that want to play folk, country, acoustic rock, and singer-songwriter styles of music. Choose the acoustic guitar if you want to sound like Damian Rice and Jack Johnson.
The electro-acoustic guitar is the basically the same as an acoustic guitar but the option is there to be plugged into amplifiers, recording equipment, and effects pedals.
The electro-acoustic guitar is best suited to those that want to play acoustic guitar live or with effects. Choose the electro-acoustic guitar if you want to sound like Ed Sheeran and Chris Martin.
Electric guitars differ from other types of guitar because they produce a sound by converting the vibration of the strings into electric signals. Meaning that unlike the other guitar types you cannot just pick up an electric guitar and play it.
You will need to plug the electric guitar into an amplifier to get a sound. The electric guitar is particularly popular with those that love to play rock and indie music.
The electric guitar is best suited to those that want to play metal, rock, blues, and jazz music. Choose the electric guitar if you want to sound like Jimi Hendrix, Arctic Monkeys, and B.B King.
2. What Size Guitar Should You Get?
Your age and height may determine what size guitar you should get. For example, players that are on the younger or smaller size will quite often need a 3/4 size guitar to play as it is more comfortable than a full size guitar. Take a look at our Guitar Size Guide to find out the size you will need.
3. What is Your Budget?
The price of guitars can vary somewhat and there are great guitars available right across the price scale, so it is worth deciding on your budget and seeing what is available to you.
However, if you get your guitar from Duet shop using our rent to buys plans the price will be broken down into smaller monthly payments rather than one large payment. This allows you to open up your budget and get the guitar you really want, take a look at 'How It Works' for more information .
4. How Loud Can You Be?
As much as you want to plug in a rock out you may want to consider how loud you can be. If you have a lot of neighbours who might be disturbed by loud music you might need to consider the quieter options of classical and acoustic guitars over electro-acoustic and electric guitars.
5. Will You Be Taking Music Exams?
This is worth keeping in mind when buying your first guitar as music exam boards often have requirements as to the type of guitar that can used in the exam. Take a look at exam boards such as Trinity College London or the ABRSM for more information.
6. Will You Be Self Teaching or Taking Lessons?
Learning to play with a teacher is a great idea if you are looking to progress at a good rate or are considering taking music exams. If you are looking to learn with a music teacher there are many great websites you can use to locate a teacher including MusicTeachers.co.uk and First Tutors. You can also reach out on social media or ask for recommendations through schools and music hubs.
Teaching yourself to play the guitar will be much harder but the end result will be worth it. If it is your plan to teach yourself to play the guitar there are a lot of great aids and learning material available. Check YouTube and blogs for free tutorials and research books, apps, and magazines that you can buy.
Be patient, whatever way you decide to learn to play the guitar it will not happen overnight, it is a gradual process. Take your time, practise regularly, and enjoy yourself.
If you're still unsure of what guitar to choose, the size you should go for, or anything else, contact the Duet Shop team and we can help.