Choosing a guitar

Hello! In this blog I am going give a comprehensive guide to buying that first guitar. Whether it’s for you, your child, a loved one or a great grandma, I will shed some light on which type of guitar to go for if you are just starting out.

Let’s begin with the different types of guitar…

At Rockademy we often get asked by parents as to which guitar is best for their child.  Size, style, shape, colour, to name a few. In a nutshell, it is okay to learn on either a classical style guitar, a standard acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. The main difference, (apart from the appearance,) is the type of strings and feel of the neck and body. Here are the key features for each type:

Classical Guitar

Classical…  

– Fitted with nylon strings, that make it more comfortable on soft fingertips

– Lightweight and can be carried around easy in a gig bag to and from lessons.

3/4 size recommended for starting which are available

– Prices vary but these can be fairly inexpensive, starting from as little as £32.99

Classical guitars are the most popular choice for beginners. Also, known as “Spanish guitars” because they were developed to play classical or Spanish-style flamenco music however can be used for any style. These guitars have distinctive features such as 6-nylon strings (rather than steel strings). They are lightweight, small and easier to play, with a mellower sound than traditional acoustic guitars.

Also, available in even smaller sizes (1/2 and 1/4) which are perfect for the little ones. They’re usually cheaper, so perfect for those who just want a casual instrument to play and are perhaps unsure how seriously they’ll dedicate themselves to it.

electric guitar

Electric… 

– Skinny necks, easy to reach the bass strings for little hands

– Lend themselves for learning techniques such as string bending

– They have a striking appearance in a range of colours

– Can be amplified to give volume and ideal for using with FX

– We’re a fan of this junior guitar pack and 3/4 guitar.

Electric guitars do not include a sound hole for acoustic amplification, but produce their sound from converting the string vibrations into electrical audio signals. You won’t be able to use an electric guitar like an acoustic, as it won’t be very loud at all. You’ll need a small amp and a jack-to-jack lead to get going!

acoustic guitar

Acoustic…

– Steel strings, like an electric, but a hollow body… so is loud enough without plugging in

– Transportable and lightweight when carried in a gigbag

– Different colours (Black, Blue, Red, Natural) and sizes (3/4 and 4/4) available

Acoustic guitars are very similar to classical guitars, yet their steel strings make the difference in tone and build. They come in a variety of slightly different shapes such as dreadnought, jumbo and auditorium. They are the most popular type of acoustic guitar used by a range of artists over the years such as; The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Oasis and Ed Sheeran.

So what’s the added benefit of an Electro-Acoustic?

Electro-Acoustic guitars allow you to plug them into an amplifier, effects pedals or recording equipment and they are fitted with pickup/microphone or transducer. This makes them ideal to plug in for live performances.

electro acoustic

“There’s no one size fits all when it comes to choosing the right one, and it always comes down to personal tastes”

Which size should I get?

A good question. Guitars come in many sizes, three popular sizes are 1/2, 3/4 and full sized. This really depends on the height of the guitarist. As a rough guide:

¼ Size – Ages 4-6

½ Size – Ages 7-9

¾ Size – Ages 10 – 13

Full Size – Ages 13+

 

Stagg Classical Pack – £71.44

The Stagg C440 is crafted from durable Linden wood that provides a really nice tone and rich sound. There is an artificial rosewood fingerboard and bridge that will make your playing experience truly enjoyable and comfortable. Nickel machine heads on the guitar’s headstock make it very easy to tune the instrument and ensure it doesn’t go out of tune quickly. Fitted with nylon strings and finished in a lovely natural matte colour, this guitar is suitable for aspiring players aged 12+ and will get you off to a great start in your musical journey! To top it off, this instrument is supplied with a nylon bag that features shoulder straps and carry handle as well as a clip-on chromatic tuner.

  • Full size classical guitar
  • Finished in natural matte
  • Linden top, back and sides
  • Artificial rosewood fingerboard and bridge
  • Nickel machine heads
  • Nylon strings
  • Includes a guitar bag with shoulder straps and carry handle
  • Clip-on chromatic tuner supplied
  • Great sound projection and playability

 

Rocket Beginner Electric Pack – £149.00

The guitar has a solid alder body, hosts a maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and a classic black finish, alongside 3 single coil pickups, a 5 way pick up selector, 2 tone controls, a volume control, an “S” style tremolo bar, diecast chrome machine heads and to give it a real pop, a solid white pick guard. Included is a Jack to Jack cable and a 10 Watt practice amp which can be used with headphones for late night jamming.
This guitar has some real professional features, classic looks and for the price point is unrivaled!
  • Amazing quality, highly affordable beginners electric guitar
  • 3 x single coil Pickups
  • 1 x volume + 2 x tone Controls
  • 5-way Pickup selector
  • Solid alder wood body
  • Bolt-On / 648mm/ 25 1/2 inch neck
  • Rosewood Fingerboard / 21 frets
  • Classic “s” style tremolo Bridge
  • Diecast, chrome Machine heads
  • White pickguard
  • 1.5 Metre Jack Cable
  • 10 Watt Amp

3rd Avenue Electro Acoustic Pack – £77.99

This is a full size Electro-Acoustic guitar with a cutaway to enable you to play the higher frets. This a great choice for someone looking to start their musical journey. Especially, if they are looking to play live, record or just generally get more projection by plugging into an amp or PA system. Strung with steel strings, the STX10ECA will have a brighter tone than a Classical guitar and a rich, bass tone to create depth. The finish on the guitar is a sleek black finish which is understated but attractive.

  • Full size electro-acoustic guitar with a cutaway
  • Black finish
  • Steel strings
  • Ideal first electro-acoustic at a great price

3rd Avenue Acoustic Premium Pack – £65.99 

Strung with steel strings, the STX10 will have a brighter tone than a Classical guitar and a rich, bass tone to create depth. The finish on the guitar is traditional being lacquer over natural wood.

  • Full size Acoustic Guitar
  • Natural finish
  • Steel strings
  • Supplied with bag, stand, capo, tuner, plectrums, spare strings and string winder
  • Ideal first guitar at a great price

 

 

Normans Think: Leigh always writes interesting blogs and Rockademy offers a great service. Find more from them, here. 

About the author

Director of Rockademy - Who offer “Music Lessons that Rock!” to individuals/small groups.

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