What Guitar Should I Learn First For Beginners?

What’s the best guitar for beginners? Every week we get about a dozen emails asking this question and it’s an important one because choosing the wrong guitar can ruin a beginner’s chances of learning the instrument.

‘What’s The Best Guitar For Beginners?’

Wow, this is a question I’ve been asked hundreds of times. The short answer is that the best beginner guitar is the guitar that you want to play and find fun and easy to play.

What’s the best beginner guitar for YOU? Well, that varies from person to person due to body shape & size, height, finger thickness, hand size, posture, musical tastes, and your physical environment and home/practice space.

One person’s “perfect guitar” is another person’s nightmare.

If there’s one point I want you to take from this guide it is this: One size does NOT fit all.

This is a fact: Lots of people try to learn the guitar and not everyone succeeds.

Few things will affect your chances of success more than the guitar you learn with. Having a good beginner guitar is essential.

Guitars are very different from one another in size, shape, sound and playability. Some guitars are difficult to play. Some guitars are easy to play.

If you are a total beginner, you better make sure you learn on a guitar that’s easy to play!

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Different Types Of Guitars

Broadly, the different types of guitars fall into two camps: acoustic or electric.

But there are different types of acoustic and different types of electric.

Acoustic Guitars

Let’s look at acoustic guitars first. Broadly, there are two different types of acoustic guitars.

  1. Classical and flamenco guitars, which use nylon strings. 
  2. Steel-stringed guitars are more common and widely used in rock, blues, pop, and country music.

They look quite similar, and it can be difficult for new guitarists to tell them apart.

How To Quickly Tell If A Guitar Has Nylon Or Steel Strings

Feel them. Steel strings feel metallic. Nylon strings feel more like plastic and are warmer to the touch.

Look at the bridge. Steel strings are usually attached with pegs. Nylon strings are tied with a loop. Steel-strings are under a lot more tension, so they’re pegged in.

What’s The Difference Between “Electro-Acoustic” & “Semi-Acoustic” Guitars?

An electro-acoustic is an acoustic guitar that you can plug into an amplifier if you need more volume or want to use some effects. It looks just like a steel-stringed acoustic guitar, but it has a jack input.

A semi-acoustic guitar (AKA ‘hollow-body’ electric) is a type of electric guitar that has both a sound box and one or more electric pickups.

Electric Guitars

Broadly, there are 3 different types of electric guitar; standard, semi-acoustic and bass.

Standard electric guitars are what most people imagine when they think of electric guitars.

Semi-acoustic electric guitars are a hybrid mentioned earlier.

Bass electric guitars are a different beast. With 4 strings instead of the standard 6, they are very thick and play very deep, low tones.

Bass guitars are very fun but are not the ideal beginner guitar unless your sole aim is to become a bass guitarist.

To be a well-rounded guitarist, you must understand chords and strumming. For this reason, I recommend people learn guitar first and THEN move on to bass if they want to.

The Secret To Learning Guitar Fast

Do you want to know the secret? The secret to learning guitar is: <drum roll> Make things easy and fun. Yes, it really is that simple.

Why does this matter?

You have a choice to make, right now at the beginning of your guitar journey and it’s a crucial choice. What guitar will you choose to learn with?

Will you take the option that will make things easy and fun? Or will you choose the option that makes things frustrating and harder?

Tilt the scales in your favour!

When it’s presented like this, it seems very obvious doesn’t it? It’s much better to have the scales tilted this way. (Why WOULDN’T you take the option that makes things easy and fun, right?)

Well, you would be amazed at how often people choose the more difficult path. Let me explain…

95% of the time, the best guitar for beginners is a steel-stringed acoustic guitar.

Through tens of thousands of hours of teaching people to learn guitar, I’ve consistently seen that the best beginner guitar is a steel-stringed acoustic guitar.

Why? Because it’s easier to make an acoustic guitar sound good than an electric guitar. For beginners this is huge.

Most beginner guitarists who use an electric guitar sound REALLY bad and this is hugely demotivating for a guitar learner in the early stages of their journey.

In time, I hope you progress to electric guitar and you’ll master all the above variables and that will allow you to sound awesome on the electric guitar.

But it will just take some time and practice.

The best beginner guitar is a steel-stringed acoustic guitar as it has an overall simple experience that branches out to further opportunities and skillsets. Every person should try to learn electric guitar, but not straight away as a beginner.

Once you have the fundamentals of guitar playing down, then maybe graduating to an electric guitar is possible.

It will be much easier and much more fun for you to approach things in this order.

Then you can bounce back and forth between acoustic and electric for the rest of your days.

What If I ONLY Want To Learn Electric Guitar?

If you have no desire to learn acoustic guitar, or if you have inherited an electric guitar from somewhere and it’s all you have, then sure thing. Go for it. With enough hours of practice, you will learn, it just may be harder and require more dedication but believe in yourself.

What about children? Well they may prefer to begin on a 3/4 size guitar rather than a full size.

The main things you should consider are:

How easy is it to get your arm around and over the instrument?

Do you feel that the guitar is ‘obstructing’ you from playing it? Or is it ‘welcoming’ you?

Begin Learning Guitar Today

If you are looking at learning guitar then look no further than Music Lessons Australia. We have fantastic, motivated teachers dedicated to making you the best guitar player you can possibly be. We have over 550 students all around Australia learning to play an instrument and you could be a part of it.

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