Buying A Guitar
Buying a first instrument can be a daunting prospect for someone who is newly starting out. There are hundreds if not thousands of different types of Guitar models available, and for someone who is not experienced it can be very hard to know what to buy, or where from. The following tips will help keep you on track and ensure you get the best instrument for you:
Buy from a Music Shop instead of Online
Although you can find some great deals online, when buying an instrument it’s always best to try it out in person (and especially so if it’s your first instrument). This allows you and your child to look at, hold and try out the instrument before deciding to buy. You will also be able to get help from the shop assistant if you have any questions, which a website will not do.
Set out a budget before buying an Instrument
Electric guitars are generally slightly more expensive than acoustic guitars because they require an amplifier to produce sound. However don’t let this put you off if your child wants to learn electric, because most shops sell electric guitar ‘starter package’ that include both the guitar and the amplifier with everything you need to get started.
As a rough guideline, you should expect to pay £120 – £200 for a good starter electric guitar, around £70 – £120 for a classical guitar (this a type of acoustic guitar with nylon strings, which are softer than steel strings and easier to press down), and around £100 – £200 for a steel string acoustic guitar.
Consider a short scale instrument
If your child is very enthusiastic about playing guitar, but they’re quite young and still have very small fingers, consider getting them a scaled-down, smaller sized guitar. This will allow them to get started with the basics much faster as it will be easier for them to hold the guitar and press down the strings. Guitars are available in half-sized and three-quarter-sized models.
Avoid the absolute cheapest Guitars
Avoid the absolute cheapest models if at all possible, because they will be made of lower quality materials and are much more likely to break and cause tuning problems. Similarly, don’t be tempted to spend lots of money and buy a top-of-the-range guitar costing hundreds of pounds – this will not help your child to play any better and it may be a waste of money if they decide further down the line that the instrument isn’t for them. You want to strike a balance between getting something ‘good enough’, while avoiding the cheapest instruments that will cause more frustration in the long run.
… If in any doubt, consult a Teacher first
Finally, remember that all good guitar teachers will have a guitar available for your child to try out at their first music lesson, and will be happy to advise you on specific models that would be best for your child. They can also advise you on the best local music shops and can help you set up the instrument properly once you’ve chosen one. Book a free introductory music lesson and I will be happy to help you pick the best instrument to get started.