How To Choose an Electric Guitar For a Beginner
When I was 6 years old my Dad gave me my first acoustic guitar. It was a kid-size Stella. It hurt my fingers, and it didn't sound that great. A few months later I quit playing. I really wanted to be a drummer. A few years went by, and my dad encouraged me to try again. He gave me an import version of the legendary Fender Stratocaster. I was SOLD. 35 years later and I am still playing guitar. I still own that Stratocaster and I will never part with it. Two things about that guitar made the difference for me as a young kid. The guitar was easy to play, and it inspired me to play. I still make guitar purchase decisions based on those two criteria to this day.
What Inspired You to Want To Learn Guitar?
This is the most important question when deciding what kind of guitar to purchase. You may find that in the popular forums and groups on social media there are many self-proclaimed experts who have very strong opinions about what they think you should buy as a beginner. This can be very overwhelming and even discouraging. This Is my first recommendation...
Think about the music that inspires you. Go through your collection of music and pick your favorite artists and songwriters that really inspire you to play the guitar. Do a little research about the instruments they play. Now, I never encourage people to just copy their heroes, but there is a reason you are drawn to those artists. Find out what that is. If it is the guitar they play, it may help you to narrow down your choices. There is typically a "beginner" version of the guitar your hero plays that is affordable and of good quality. There is no need to go crazy with overanalyzing every little aspect of your hero's sound, but it is a start. The fun part is, you may make a discovery or two along the way. Many of my guitar heroes were actually very simple in their approach. The important thing is to be inspired by the music. The guitar, amp and other gear may change over time, so be inspired by the music.
Inexpensive Guitars Can Be VERY Good
35 years ago when I started playing, it was very difficult to find a quality guitar that was easy to play, stayed in tune, and sounded good, for an affordable price. With the advent of computer-controlled milling machines and other technology, you can get a good quality entry-level guitar that is very affordable. At the time of this writing, the Stratocaster and Telecaster that we bought for the accompanying video could be purchased on Amazon for 199.00 US each. They play well, they sound great and are a great learning platform for any beginner. They have all the things needed to get any aspiring guitarist up and running. We used the entry-level Fender brand in this example, but many of the major guitar brands like Gibson, Paul Reed Smith, and Ibanez also offer entry-level guitars as well.
Just Get Started
Playing guitar is a life-long endeavor. All of this may seem overwhelming now, but just get a guitar, a small amp and cable (we will have a video and an article about this in a few days) and start playing. There are some great learning resources that will be discussing in upcoming posts, so stay tuned.
Playing music is amazing because you never know where you will end up. For some it is just a hobby, for some, it turns into songwriting and other forms of creativity. Once you start sharing what you learn with others either in person or over social media, you become part of something very special. Make sure check out the video below for more.
Music is Life.