Opinion: Beginner guitars are a myth and don’t exist

There is no such thing as a beginner guitar but there are things to look for in a guitar

BY BRENNA KHIEV, STAFF WRITER

The existence of beginner guitars is a myth and comes with many misconceptions. 

Beginners don’t have to start on acoustic guitars. This misconception comes from the idea that playing acoustic will strengthen your fingers quicker than an electric guitar because of its thicker strings. While that may be the case, starting on an electric guitar will have the same effect in strengthening your fingers over time just the same.

Beginners don’t have to start on a cheap guitar. This stems from the idea that you wouldn’t be too devastated if playing guitar just wasn’t for you. Most preferably, you would want a guitar that makes you want to pick it up and play it, which goes into my next point.

If I’m a beginner at guitar, what do I really want to look for? There are three main factors that go into looking for a guitar, which are price, playability and how fabulous it is.

How much should it cost? Cheap guitars are getting better and better by each year and can even become comparable to guitars that are more than $1,000 in playability. Ideally, roughly $200 should be the baseline for purchasing a guitar since nearly anything under that price range may take more effort trying to play it than actually playing it. Also, browsing the used market can get you higher quality guitars at a lower price if you find a trustworthy dealer that would hopefully have more than a few years of experience playing guitar.

Is the guitar playable? If possible, you wouldn’t have to press too hard on a string in order to make a sound. The best way to test this would be going to a guitar store and trying out boatloads of guitars or even having someone you know who’s experienced with guitar accompany you on picking one out if you’re lucky.

Does the guitar look good to you? The guitar for anyone, not just beginners, should be something you would want to pick up because it looks nice to you. An “ugly guitar” could easily turn beginners off into picking it up and learning it.

Finding a guitar that fits all three might be challenging. Maybe you want to prioritize playability and don’t care if the guitar’s dinged up a bit. Or maybe you want a guitar that’s beautiful to stare at but maybe doesn’t have the best playability. Maybe even money might be a struggle but still want to pick up the guitar as an instrument so buying something cheaper is preferable.

But the biggest part of learning guitar is just having fun with it and not sweating the small details like maybe things like string gauges or pickup sounds. Heck, guitar amps could be their own thing with the different sizes and sounds that different ones make.

Looking for some guidance on finding a guitar? I’m happy to help!

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