What sort of guitar should I be looking to get?

Well this really has a lot to do with your musical tastes and influences.

An Acoustic guitar if steel strung (steel strings) could be suitable for Folk songs, Country, Pop etc in fact it can crop up in almost any area (genre) of music and so is a very popular choice of guitar.

An Electro or Semi Acoustic guitar (this has facility to be plugged into an amplifier to make the sound a lot louder) can be used as above.

A Nylon strung Acoustic guitar is usually used for Spanish Classical, Baroque, Classical playing and has a mellow sound, often played with fingers and no pick.  It seems to be the popular choice for children as the strings can be easier to deal with for small hands/fingers but the fretboard is quite wide.  It depends on what type of music your child is interested in learning and your child’s size as to what type of guitar is best for them.

An Electric guitar is a very versatile instrument given the fact that it can be easier to learn and play than acoustic and you can connect effects pedals (stomp boxes) as they are also known to create some fantastic sounds,this together with the amplifier used can give some pretty cool and weird, at times, sounds.

Where should I consider buying?

You have a few options open to you here. Let’s start with the biggest first, buying online via the internet.

No doubt there is cash to be saved buying this way and if you are experienced enough it can be a good choice, BUT there are downsides:

  1. You cannot physically hold and play before you buy (although some returns policies will allow a refund if not happy but you could have to pay posting costs), so when it arrives will you be happy with it?? Who knows…
  2. Returns policies can and do vary between retailers so do your homework BEFORE you spend your hard earned cash.
  3. Is the company you are dealing with reputable?  Customer service, etc..no use if emails get ignored and phones don’t get answered.
  4. Google for company name reviews see if anybody is ‘dishing the dirt ‘on them.

eBay and Classified Adverts

  1. You can get some good used deals this way and in some cases it is better to buy a good used brand than a new cheap brand.
  2. Some could be local enough to you for you to try before you buy.
  3. Check out again as in 2 above.
  4. Some cash to be saved if no reserves and the seller needs quick cash.
  5. Looking in your local rags (newspapers) and notice boards, some hidden gems at times.

The local guitar shop

Yes there is a lot to be said for shopping the ‘old fashioned’ way.  Okay it might be a bit more expensive buying this way but there are some plusses:

  1. You could get helpful and knowledgeable staff that are eager to get you going with the right guitar for your needs.
  2. You will be able to try out not 1 but lots of different types of guitar and get a feel for what you like.
  3. Usually the returns policy is pretty fair and reasonable.
  4. If you strike up a relationship with the local store you may get future discounts, and maybe even meet other guitarists.

What brand should I buy then?

This really comes down to how much you have to spend.

To a degree the more you spend the more refined the guitar.

You may of heard about names like Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Taylor, Lowden, Martin and loads more.

These are all reputable brands and some say you are paying for the name which may be true a little but the popularity and re sale tend to be better than lesser brands.

Budget wise I suggest around £150 up to £450 ish to get a reasonable build quality.If you spend mid way you can get a good guitar… Yamaha do well in this range. With constantly changing, prices, styles, brands etc.  I could not possibly keep up to date with all the best deals.

Generally if you spend more the components used like the  timbers, metalwork, finishing, etc. are of good grade and will provide a user friendly guitar with a good sound.

I often hear the line ‘well I won’t spend a lot in case I don’t stick with it’ this is sometimes a false economy as the build quality on some ‘not all’ cheaper guitars is suspect and so it is tricky to play, may not look great and the sound might not be great either.

You need to inspired by your guitar, sound, looks, feel etc and if you are not you may well just not play it often or at all and leave it in it’s case… if it has one, so be very careful.

Google for the most recent reviews on your chosen guitar.

Guitar specifics

Check the ACTION is ok for you.  This is the height between the strings and the fretboard.The higher the action the more tricky it can be to play, and the lower it is the easier it is to play.

It is a balance as too low can cause buzzing and choking and give you hassle when playing.

String gauges can give differing sounds on guitar and the thicker they are more tone and trickier to press down with fingers.

Make sure it is comfortable for you to hold either seated or standing.

For children and some females a 3/4 size guitar is a good choice, a bit like the size Ed Sheeran uses, it has become more popular lately.

This is just a guide for you, if you have any further queries feel free to contact me.

The First Step…

Give me a call on 07341 907 301 or use the contact form here
to get in touch and discuss your goals.

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Try before you buy come and meet for the first lesson and if you don’t enjoy you don’t pay…!

STUDENT FEEDBACK…

  • Pete’s a great teacher, always very fair and honest. His website really reflects his personality and he always makes sure that the your’e happy with the lessons, if you are not happy with something then talk to Pete and he can fix it!  I’ve played for 15 years and had several tutors, I’ve always struggled with timing, but Pete took me back to basics and helped me get things tight. He’s completely changed my approach to playing, I recommend him highly!!!
    A Walker (Bromley Kent)
  • As a complete novice, I found Pete’s tuition easy to understand. Pete, himself, is very patient and his studio has a calm & pleasant atmosphere and his teaching relaxes you so that we also enjoy a laugh or two along the way.  In finding out which type of music I liked he was quick to adapt this to the song/s that I would be interested in learning to play, to keep my enthusiasm going whilst learning the guitar. Now I am progressing and am able to hear the beginnings of what sounds like the song I chose which is very satisfying for me.
    P Fisher (Orpington, Kent)
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