Acoustic Guitar for Beginners Buying Tips

acoustic guitarsI didn’t learn to play guitar the first time around, which was about 40 years ago but finally, once I was 47 I learned and the feeling of satisfaction was indescribable. Let me be the one to tell you that it’s a great feeling showing something about playing guitar to someone else.

I have never owned a new acoustic guitar but I have had two good Yamaha acoustic guitars and it takes a good guitar, not an expensive one, to get the quality sound you need to keep on learning. And that leads to a question:

What Do I Need In Good Acoustic Guitar

For me the number one thing I need to know about an is if the tone is quality. If it doesn’t sound good to me I look for something else. I also want a guitar that fits me, it needs to feel right in my hands and on my lap. I also want a guitar that looks good to me, so it needs to fit my taste.

While checking out the sound and appearance I have to think about staying within my budget. I have known too many people who end up selling their guitar for far less than they paid because it was too much.

The two Yamaha acoustic guitars I’ve owned were both at a really good  price and have served me well. I have certainly got my money’s worth as both cost me less than $100.

Note: All the time I was learning to play my used $40 guitar I figured I would be buying a new guitar but instead I bought a second Yamaha acoustic guitar from a friend buying a new guitar, for just $75 and still play it today, ten years later.

When Buying A New Guitar

The first thing you need to do is look for music stores in your neighbourhood that carries a good collection of acoustic guitars and make a list of the guitars that catch your interest. If possible, bring a friend or family member who have a good ear and who know something about acoustic guitars. For me that means Jason, Gary or Robert, my local guitar heroes.

If you have multiple guitar stores or even a pawn shop be sure to check them all out to see if there is a guitar that makes you happy, within your budget.

Where you knowledgeable friend comes in handy is checking the workmanship of the guitars you are looking at. A guitar with a price that’s too good to be true is likely too good to be true, don’t get sucked in.

Check Local As Well As Online Guitar Stores

I always prefer to buy local, when it’s within my budget. However, when buying a new it might be wise to check your local guitar shops to find the guitars that interest you and then compare prices and deliver costs online. Let your local guitar store owner know if you are going to buy online because they may bring their price down closer to the online price you’ve found.

Guitar Showcase’s Gary Wineroth and Jack van Breen let us hear and see the differences between the various types of acoustic Guitars and dispel some old myths about what’s best for beginners.

When buying the best for beginners, never settle for one made of very cheap materials. Surely, it would have lesser quality of workmanship and many defects on its finish. Worse, the sound would be greatly affected if the materials used for the guitar were subpar. Most importantly, never pick a guitar just because its color or design impresses you. Three features should be your main basis when choosing a guitar: the sound it makes, the way it fits in your hands, and its workmanship.

guitar strings (3)I know that sense of satisfaction one feels learning how to play a musical instrument. For me it was learning how to play . As a matter of fact I get that feeling a lot, even though I’ve been playing for about a decade now. it’s just so indescribable.

Just this past Friday night I was at a guitar jam with a few friends. There was a new couple there, both learning how to play guitar using a guitar they borrowed from my friend Peggy, the one hosting the jam. I could see that excitement in both of them.

They were asking me what acoustic guitar I think they should buy. My response was for them to check the pawn shops to buy their first acoustic guitar. I have known too many people who when out and spend too much money and gave up after just a few months of trying to learn how to play their guitar.

Do You Need The Best Acoustic Guitar?

It’s funny that I never hear people telling beginners to go to a pawn shop or to buy a used acoustic guitar but both my Yamaha guitars are used and have been great. My second Yamaha has been keeping me happy for a decade now and it only cost me $75.

If you know a good guitar player who has a great sounding acoustic guitar then you should ask them to come with you and help you evaluate used or even new acoustic guitars. Don’t take a friend who has a guitar that doesn’t sound good to you.

My first guitar was a used Yamaha acoustic guitar that sounded good to me and only cost me $40. A year later I bought a second, again a Yamaha acoustic guitar and only paid $75. After 10 years of playing it daily it does need a fret job to replace the top two frets but other than that and the few dings I’ve put in it that guitar is great.

But does one need the best acoustic guitar? Not in my humble opinion and here is why.

Not to mention names but a friend wanted to buy a new guitar. Rather than ask a seasoned player for help finding a quality acoustic she just bought the same one her friend had just bought and sold me her Yamaha for $75.

She paid $800 for her new guitar and I think the one I bought from her is better quality and sound better too. They bought their guitars based on appearance rather than quality of sound.

 

Personally my feelings about buying an acoustic guitar for beginners is to find a guitar that feels good in your hands and sound good to you because you are the one who will have to live with what you purchase.

Picking The Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginners

1. Look For Quality Tone.

If a guitar doesn’t sound good when I strum it why would I want to buy, even if someone tells me it’s the best acoustic guitar. Just doesn’t make sense. Let your ear guide you, although you still want quality construction of course.

I started with a really inexpensive I bought second hand for just $40. Two years later the opportunity presented itself and I upgraded to a better used guitar for just $75 while the owner bought a new $800 acoustic guitar that I think sounds cheap.

Unless you’re made of money I wouldn’t suggest you buy an expensive acoustic guitar as your first guitar. I have known far too many who wanted to learn to play guitar but didn’t last long before giving up and selling their expensive guitar for far less than they paid.

2. Get An Acoustic Guitar That Feels Good.

Both my second hand guitars are Yamaha acoustic guitars and both felt great when I played them. They sounded great and felt good to hold. Those were my first two requirements as I quickly became a bit of a fanatic and would play them up to 4 hours a day.

It’s more than a decade later and I still play my acoustic guitar at least 2 hours every day.

Should You Buy A New Acoustic Guitar

It’s one thing is you’ve been playing for some time and know you won’t be giving it up but if you are just learning to play guitar as a beginner I would think twice about getting a new guitar.

I have two friend who both bought $800 acoustic guitars and I don’t like how they sound at all. They sound cheap and hollow but they look great. One of them sold me her second hand Yamaha acoustic guitar, for just $75 and I feel I got the better deal, by a long shot. As a matter of fact I still have that Yamaha and play it every day.

Don’t look at the price tags of the guitars you try. Give the guitar the chance to impress you before you either accept the price because sometimes you’ll surprise yourself and find the perfect guitar at a really good price.

Personally I would check out the local pawn shops where you just might find a gem. I have a couple of friends who go to the pawn shops all the time and buy up the best guitars for themselves.

If a pawn shop guitar is not what you want then check out all the local guitar shops and take your time playing every guitar until you find the one that sounds great and fits your body.

When I am sitting in a room jammin’ with friends I can quickly pick out the poorest sound quality and they are not always the cheapest guitars in the room.

If you have a friend who has the ear for quality at a good price take them with you to help you make up your mind but ultimately it has to sound good to your ear because you’re the one who has to play it or give it up.

Having a knowledgeable friend with you is good as they will know what to look for in the quality of the guitar.

My first second hand guitar wasn’t setup properly so the strings were a bit high which meant I had to put more pressure on the strings to hold them down. That gave me a few blisters that might have stopped other from continuing and may have caused them to quit.

It also had a few dings that may have turned other off but they didn’t hurt my ego or the sound quality plus I got a really good deal on because of the dings. Works for me.

Guitar buddy Gary was the perfect one to have look at guitars because he would go over them with a fine toothed comb making sure they were no flaws that would affect the quality or sound. These were things I didn’t have a clue about 10 years ago.

Compare Prices

The reason you want to check out multiple guitar shops is so you can compare prices for those acoustic guitars you like so you get the best price you can get.

Don’t do what T & D did as they made their guitar choice based on the appearance and colour but didn’t both so much with the sound quality. These two people are far more educated than I am but they really just threw their money away.

Now that you’re ready to get a good sounding guitar to learn to play guitar as a beginner I would suggest you look at Jamorama.com and Jamplay.com to get the best guitar training around at an affordable price.

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