Which Type of Guitar is Right for You?


One of the very first decisions a beginning guitarist must make is what type of guitar he or she wants to learn on initially. Guitars are classified into three basic categories: electric, standard acoustic and classical. The best guitar for you will depend heavily on the type of music you plan to play. Following is brief guide to all three principal guitar categories that will help you decide which one is the right choice for you.

Electric Guitar

Electric guitars are extremely popular for use in rock, metal, modern blues, pop and even some jazz music. Thanks to their ability to be amplified and enhanced with various effects, electric guitars have wide-ranging versatility when it comes to musical styles. These guitars are typically solid-bodied, although some hollow-body models are available on the market. One thing you should be aware of if you’re choosing to start out on an electric guitar is the fact that you’ll also need a guitar amplifier to accompany it. This increases the initial cost of learning guitar, but also offers you access to a greater range of tones than conventional acoustic guitars are capable of producing.

Acoustic Guitars

Standard acoustic guitars feature metal strings, usually made of either steel or nickel, and hollow bodies. The construction of an acoustic guitar relies on a hole in the top of the body to emit resonant sound from the guitar’s hollow interior. These guitars are most popular in folk, country, older blues and jazz styles, but are also sometimes used in rock music. It’s also important to note that many modern acoustic guitars feature built-in electrical systems that allow them to be plugged into an amplifier much like a standard electric guitar. Generally, these are specifically marketed as acoustic-electric guitars.

Classical Guitars

Classical guitars are very similar to standard acoustic guitars in construction, but use nylon strings as opposed to metal strings. Nylon strings tend to be easier for children and beginners to play because the strings are softer on the fingertips and easier to press down initially then metal strings.  Classical guitar also come in half size and quarter size options for younger students.  These guitars are predominantly used in classical, neoclassical and flamenco styles of music. A classical guitar is usually played with the fingers instead of a guitar pick. Fingerpicking is a very different technique then playing with a guitar pick, however, the it can be used on acoustic and even electric guitars.  

At the end of the day, the best type of guitar for you will be the one that is best suited to the type of music you want to play. Just as important as selecting the right guitar is choosing the right instructor to teach you the techniques and theory you’ll need to become a proficient guitarist. Check out the selection of experienced guitar teachers you’ll find at Create More Music to find your ideal instructor.

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