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WGBS Bonus: Guitar Buyer (GOLD) Copy

What kind of guitar should I start with?

This is a huge question and the decision you make on what type, size and quality of guitar can affect your journey to learn in a really positive way or a terribly negative way.  Before you make a purchase or just grab the guitar from your basement and start strumming, read my advice here in the support center.

I am smaller and I can’t get my arm around the acoustic easily.  What do I get?

They make an acoustic guitar with a thin body just for you.  The auditorium style guitar has a smaller body and is great for girls and younger kids.  The bloom guitars are just like this and they also plug in so you can run them to an amp or a sound system.

What type of strings are the best?

The best strings for a beginner are light gauge.  For an electric, use .09 gauge strings (most common) and for an acoustic use with a .10 or .11 gauge.  No thicker than .12 on an acoustic.  The thicker the gauge of the strings you use, the harder it is to press down, make sound and sustain practice time without pain.  In the beginning, it is best to take your guitar to a local shop and ask for it to be set up with a light gauge string.

Should I use an electric or an acoustic?

Either one is going to work just fine.  An electric is easier to play for a beginner because the strings are lighter, have less tension, and the body is smaller.  Acoustics are usually more desirable because of their beautiful sound and portability.  Don’t be afraid to start with an electric because it can make things a bit easier.  You can purchase a small battery powered amplifier for a great price to avoid spending too much on the amp (plus it won’t drive everyone in the house crazy).

Why would I want an Electric/Acoustic?

An electric/acoustic is an acoustic guitar that has a pickup under the saddle and can plug into an amp or a sound system.  If you plan on leading worship soon, this is a great feature.  You can always use an external pickup in your sound hole (about $100.00) but the onboard preamp in most acoustic/electric guitar is a really nice feature to have.  It allows you to control the EQ settings and the volume with switches on the side of the guitar.

Where should I purchase my guitar?

Shop at a local guitar shop but heed this important piece of advice that will save you time and money!  When you are ready to go shopping, TAKE A FRIEND or someone in your circle of trust that plays guitar well. Tell them what you want and let them know your budget range.  Have them play the guitars for you and give you advice of the quality and sound.  Here are a few rules to use when trying to make a decision in a guitar store.

Rule # 1 – A larger price does not mean a better instrument.

Rule #2 – If it doesn’t sound good in the store, it won’t sound good at home.

Rule #3 – If you don’t love it at that moment, don’t buy it.

Rule #4 – Under $600, brand names don’t matter

Rule #5 – Take anything a guitar store employee tells you as an opinion, not a fact.

How much will a beginner guitar cost?

For acoustics, a good beginner guitar will cost between $200-300.  This is the price range I suggest for complete beginners.  You will learn enough in your first year to begin to hear the difference in quality and make an informed decision on your next guitar.  The next price level is $300-600 and then $600-1,000.  I advise beginners to stay away from this price range until they really know what they want.  For electrics, you should be able to pick up a decent guitar for about $200.00 and then add an amp for $50-100.

Are guitar packs a good deal?

For a beginner ELECTRIC guitar, I say YES.  You can usually pick up an electric player pack, which included a guitar, amp, case and some other small accessories for about $200-300.

For an ACOUSTIC, I say NO!  I don’t like the acoustic packs because they are usually a cheap guitar packaged with unnecessary things and the price just goes up.  I suggest picking a good sounding acoustic guitar and then adding an inexpensive case and a few picks.