Whether you are more of an aspiring rock god or looking to channel your inner Dolly Parton, the guitar is a great way to play your favorite music, learn a new skill or entertain those around you with a popular talent. Buying your first guitar as a beginner, however, can sometimes be one of the hardest challenges aside from learning how to play the instrument itself.
Not only are there many different kinds of guitars - think acoustic, electric or even a bass guitar - to play some guitars you need more than just the instrument. But do not panic! We’re here to help you on your way in the land of picks and pickups.
Check out our extensive guide below to see the best guitars that are suited for beginners and aspiring musicians.
Got the Blues
Deciding on whether an acoustic or an electric guitar suits you more, depends on a lot of things. Generally an electric guitar is more suited for the heavier work. Rock, Blues and some of the more upbeat and funky popsongs rely on electric guitar for chords, melody or screaming solo’s. The only downside here, is that you’ll also need an amplifier - and a good relationship with your neighbours - to play. Luckily there are special starter packs that include everything you need to hit the ground running.
Fender is one of the better know guitar brands out there. In this starter pack for the Fender Bullet Mustang HH 6-String Electric Guitar, you’ll find a Squier-built, top quality instrument. Squier is a company that was acquired by Fender in mid sixties and now produces the lower priced versions of Fender-designed guitars; perfect if you’re just starting out! There’s also a small Fender Frontman amplifier, the necessary cables, guitar picks, a strap and even a tuner.
Have you played before, but haven't mastered your skills just yet? You may want to upgrade to a more exclusive, full-sounding guitar like the Stratocaster Player Electric Guitar. The unique shape is a legendary design introduced in 1952 and still produced to this day. It has been played by some of the world’s most famous guitar players such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Joe Bonamassa. This specific instrument not only looks the part, it also delivers a punch sound, a well-defined high end and lends itself perfectly for a broad range of different music styles.
If you’re more into Jazz and light, soulful music, then this semi hollow-body design for the Ibanez AS63 Electric Guitar might be a better fit for you. A hollow body guitar has, as the name suggests, open space inside of the guitar's body. This will give the guitar a more resonant and rounder tone that lends itself very well to the nuanced and delicate parts that you find in Jazz.
Love songs and Americana
If you are not that into the heavier stuff, you can look into getting an acoustic guitar. Ibanez's IJV50 Acoustic Guitar comes with a starter pack that includes a carrying bag, a guitar strap, picks, and more accessories that are perfect for starters.
Do you not only want to start playing guitar, but start a band with some friends at same time? Maybe check out this Washburn pack that includes the EA15ITB Festival Series Mini Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar with a pick-up so that you can connect it to an amplifier. This is ideal if you’re playing together with a drummer or a bass player.
If you are looking for something a bit more serious, Fender, again, offers another great option for aspiring musicians. The Fender Malibu Player Acoustic Guitar is constructed of a solid spruce top, a mahogany back and mahogany sides. Spruce wood is known for its strength and resonance; you can really get a lot of power and volume out of this guitar. The mahogany makes for a relatively neutral tone with a bit of extra focus on the warmth and the upper high-end. Oh, and did we say that it also has a pickup and a built in tuner?
There is another, slightly more left-field option when it comes to playing acoustic guitar: the classical guitar. This kind of guitar is most often used for, yes, Classical music but is also the weapon of choice for anyone who likes Flamenco or other Latin American guitar styles. The classical guitar usually has different strings to a standard acoustic guitar - nylon instead of metal - which makes for a softer and rounder tone. La Patrie is one of the better known and more exclusive brands when it comes to classical guitar design and their older models are still a hot commodity on second-hand websites. The Dean CSCP GN Espana Classical Plus Solid Cedar Guitar is built of mahogany and cedar which results in a guitar that is best described as soft spoken.
What else is there?
Now, if you’re not looking to be the center of attention, dropping down to your knees in torn jeans while ripping through a thundering guitar solo, you could try a bass guitar. The Ibanez SR305E SR Standard Series 5-String Electric Bass is quite a versatile instrument. The extra fifth string allows you to hit extra low notes and the Nyatoh body - a type of wood that is quite new in the guitar world, often used to replace Mahogany - gives this bass a relatively neutral tone.
Hopefully this guide helps you on your way with buying your first or second guitar. Of course there is so much more to talk about; we haven’t even mentioned all the different amplifiers, strings, picks and effects. For now, you can start practicing your favorite solo on one of the great options we talked about.