Learning the guitar online is a long way from my very humble beginning. I started with the two by four strings with barbed wire Norma guitar we have previously posted about. Many of you will want to learn first on the acoustic guitar.
If this is your choice then you should avoid anything akin to the Norma. That would be reflected in the hundred dollar variety now where that one came home for a twenty dollar bill in 1971.
The top brand instrument producers like Martin, Gibson, Guild and Fender these days have their American made traditional brand premium guitar lines. The big name makers also taking advantage of the global economy and the less costly foreign production have budget lines.
Whether you have retired now and want to finally learn to play, or you have graduated from college and need a new hobby you’ll want to think your first guitar purchase through.
Maybe you are setting a child or grandchild up for something besides that XboX and Mortal Murder Games. Either way my recommendation is buying a premium name in the budget line. They cost a bit more but are reasonable in price and you can be assured of satisfactory quality.
I can share my experience. I own a Guild acoustic hand-picked for me by a recording artist. But I have played identical models and the quality is fine. It is Chinese made guitar and while I’d prefer American made I simply cannot afford that at this chapter of life.
In the past when I was young and reckless I owned a Guild D 50 NT, a Larivee L-19 (Eagle) and in my thirties a Collings OM-2. Way back when I owned a Marting Classical guitar that I miss. I owned two Alvarez Yairi guitars as well.
The Collings, in my opinion is the finest guitar money can buy, lots of it, as they bring 4,000 dollar,000 and up. A Brazilian Rose wood Collings is assuredly five figures. A friend of mine owns a vintage,1929 000-45 Martin, that appraised in the nineties at 135,000 dollars.
The other guitars on the list I have owned above are all over two thousand dollars now, maybe excepting the Guild D 50 NT. Hey if you’re well off and want the best do realize there are collectors and traders who earn their living buying and sell such guitars.
The guitars I am talking about in the budget line up are around 500 dollars. They provide features found on the more expensive models such as truss rods, used to adjust the neck in the event it bows. I have had to do this only twice in all my years of playing and owning guitars.
They have good playability and will hold their value in the event you, you child or grandchild don’t persevere and end up with another closet clogger. You’ll get most of your money back.
So Let’s have a look at a few of them. This will give you a better idea of the look of these more reasonably priced models. Hopefully this will help you in your acoustic guitar buying decision.
First lest have a look at the Guild F-250CE which features a solid spruce to and maple back and sides. It also has an arched back which means better sound projection. The Maple back and sides gives a guitar a little brighter sound than Mahogany or Rosewood.
It comes with a Fishman pickup also and this allows for playing through an amp or PA System as well plugin into an interface for recording in a DAW, such as Studio One or the Tascam DP-24 or 32 Portastudio.
It has a sunburst finish also and looks much like the Guild Guitar I own. This one also has the cutaway to allow fingering on the frets above the body. I personally have only owned two acoustic guitars with a cutaway. But wanted to show a model appointed with one.
Next we look at the Fender Limited Edition FSR FA-345CE Auditorium Acoustic-Electric Guitar. This one is a beauty with the Flamed Maple Top and Laminate back and sides.
Again we have the cutaway and this also features Fishman Electronics Pickup. It is a very easy playing guitar per the marketing featured there within zZounds. My experience with Fender is you will not go wrong buying one.
It is a little less money that the Guild. A very good beginner’s guitar but will also work for anyone even performers. That is my point here to get you started with something you’ll be able to enjoy learning on and playing.
Next here we will look at a Rock Music Icon, the Epiphone Hummingbird. Beautiful cherry sunburst with the classic etched pick guard. The Gibson Hummingbird is featured on many classic acoustic pop music songs.
One of my favorite acoustic guitar recordings of all time is the Rolling Stones Angie which was recorded with Kieth Richards and Mick Taylor both playing Gibson Hummingbird Guitars. A truly beautifully recorded song.
Of course the Gibson model is a lot more money than the Epiphone which is much more reasonably priced guitar under 400 dollars. Again the features we discussed above are all here. No cutaway on this one.
A word here about zZounds great customer service. I exclusively buy my own instruments and recording equipment with zZounds. You can pick up the phone and talk to an actual human being knowledgeable to answer your questions or handle any concerns.
Further they have their great Pay as You Play program whereby if you have a credit card and they can verify your identity you are approved. To further assist you with the budget the Epiphone here for instance can be delivered to your door in two days, free shipping for the first interest free payment of $ 61.50 totaling 6 payments.
I am very impressed with zZounds and their effort to satisfy customers and help those on a budget.
Finally, here we will look at the Martin DX2E another acoustic electric from the paramount name in acoustic guitars. Your friends will be impressed when you tell them you own a Martin Guitar.
This one is Magony Laminate back and sides with a solid spruce top. Fishman MX pickup is featured on this one. A very nice looking guitar and a great start for your guitar quest.
If you’re wondering the Pay as you Play payment on this one is 74.88 for 8 payments. A great guitar at an affordable price.
Now when you get your guitar there are probably a couple other things you’ll need. First you’re going to need to tune your guitar. Tuners are the answer here. I highly recommend Boss effects and tuners. Like this:
It is 19.99. Turn it on, pluck the low E (Top String) and adjust that tuner key until the needy is centered. Next string is A (repeat) then D then G B E as you go down top string to bottom. E,A,D,G,B,E. The tuner knows the way.
You need to decide if you want to learn to read music, or jump in like I did with a chord chart book, though I did take a few lessons. Later I took lessons from a Jazz player, Steve Cardenas and we were working through a book called Sight to Sound. Can I read music? Yes, but for the most part unless you are a Jazz player or Classical Guitarist there’s really not much music to read. Those books like Beatles Complete Volume 1 and Volume 2 are actually written for piano with the chord charts for the guitar added. If you want to know the chords to your favorite Beatles Songs the books are available at Book-A-Million “BAM” on my other website above at the right. That is how I started. After a few lessons.
Pop, Rock, Blues and Country are played mostly by mechanics and by ear. These days there are many teching video programs on the internet and that will give you a start. The sooner you get started the sooner you’ll be cutting with Eric Clapton at The Royal Albert Hall or swiftly exploring the neck with Tommy Emmanuel, Chet Atkins, BB King or Kimi Hendrix. One of my personal favorites is Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady the guitar player and bass player from Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna Fame.
I hope this has given you some insight into beginning as a guitar player or giving your young ones a push to get them started. Thank you for visiting my site. Thank you for reading my post. Please ask your questions below as it is my goal to help you here. Leave any comments there as well. Thank you again. Chris.