Man playing an acoustic guitar

Thinking of buying an Acoustic Guitar? I have put together this blog to help you understand acoustic guitars and what you should be looking for when purchasing, along with helpful tips.

How much do I need to spend?

A difficult question really, as this all depends on your budget and how much you want to spend or have available to spend. You can get some very good acoustic guitars, like the Stagg Dreadnought, which offers a great sound. but for a cheap price. Obviously if you have a bigger budget then you potentially get more for your money. I would recommend trying out guitars where possible or taking advantage of our 14 days free returns as it is good to get a feel for a guitar and make sure you are comfortable with it.

Acoustic Guitar Jargon Buster
If you are not familiar with ‘guitar talk’ then this list will help you understand some of the terminology you may come across when looking at guitars –

Detail closeup of wooden a classic guitar

Parts of the Guitar –

Headstock: The top of the guitar that has the tuners attached to it; this can come in various shapes
Tuning Pegs: The knobs that are attached to the headstock. These are adjusted to the tune the string.
Nut: A small part between the headstock and the neck. It has tiny grooves that guide the string up to the tuners and is start of the fretboard.
Fret / Fretboard / Fingerboard: This  can refer to the space on the neck between the metal strips or it can refer to the strips themselves.
Neck: The section between the nut and the body of the instrument.
Body: The main part of the guitar. Acoustic and Classical Guitar bodies are usually hollow and Electric guitars are normally solid.
Bridge: This is attached to the body and holds the strings at the other end to the headstock.
Pick ups: Electric guitars have a small plate like parts attached to the body under the strings. These are called pickups and “picks up” the sound / vibration of the strings and allows them to be amplified.

Gitarre spielen, Westerngitarre, Gitarrenhals mit Kapodaster

Other Common Words –

Capo: A device that has the ability to hold down all of the strings, essentially shortening the string length to change the sound.
Gig Bag: A soft case that you can transport your guitar in. A lightweight option compared to a hard case.
Pick / Plectrum: A small, flat piece of plastic that is held by the player and used to pluck the strings.
Strap: Attaches to the guitar to allow the player to stand up and play.
Power Chord: A chord built up of Root and 5th notes. Used a lot in punk and rock music.
Lick: Usually short, often ad-lib (added in) piece of musical flair, normally used as filler and not as the main theme.
Feedback: An squeal or hum that occurs when the loop between an input and output device is closed.

A young man is sitting with his cat and guitar at home on a sofa and is writing songs in a notebook

Frequently Asked Questions
I have put together a list of the most common questions customers ask when buying a guitar. The questions include:

Should I get an Electric, Acoustic (steel strings) or Classical Guitar (nylon strings)?

We recommend a Classical Guitar for young beginners as it has nylon strings, so is easier on the smaller fingers. Electric or Acoustic is totally personal preference, we seem to sell more acoustics for beginners as you don’t need electricity or an amp and can just pick it up and play.

How long will it take to learn the Guitar?

This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on your ambitions and how good you want to be; the truth is that you will never stop learning. If you want to learn some chords and be play some songs then you should be able to pick it up within 6 months, as long as you practice. Practice is the key though, the more you practice and work at your technique, the better you will become.

How should I look after my guitar?

Too look after your guitar you need to make sure you keep it clean and using Lemon Oil,  is a good way to do this and also helps prevent cracks in the neck, as well as having a good quality dusting cloth. I would also keep it in a controlled temperature and not near a radiator or is high heats. Do not use furniture polish to clean your guitar.

When should I change my strings?

When the strings star to fade in colour and sound dead, or are hard to tune, then it’s time to change them.

What is Tab?

Tab or Tablature is an alternative way of musical notation that uses fingering corresponding to the strings of the guitar, rather than the pitch of the notes.

I would always say to read reviews online, see what other people are saying about the guitars you are interested in. YouTube is also a great way to see and hear the guitar as well as gaining people insights into them.

If you are still not sure, call us up at Normans: 01283 535333 or visit our website: www.normans.co.uk . If we don’t stock what you’re looking for, we’ll try our best to source it for you and match any price where possible. We also offer some great advice!

I hope this helps and if you do have any questions then please let me know.

Thanks, Jack

About the author

Jack is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Normans Musical Instruments and has been in this post since September 2012 after Graduating from University with a degree in Music. Jack's expertise is in guitars, technology and live sound although he does have a very well rounded knowledge of all aspects of Music.

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