What kind of guitar do I need to learn on?
When you first start playing guitar the selection of guitars available to you will seem overwhelming so I thought I would put together a quick guide to help your selection.
1) Kids guitars
Under 12 years old
A full-sized guitar can be very bulky and unwieldy even for a full-sized person so it is really important to make sure you get a smaller scale guitar so as not to put kids off playing.
I generally recommend getting a 3/4 size classical nylon string to start with. The reason that you want to start with nylon string as opposed to steel string is that the strings are softer so won’t make your fingers hurt as much to start with. This will give them a chance to build up protective calluses. Furthermore, nylon string guitars generally have a slightly wider neck which helps at the beginning of your playing when your fingers aren’t quite as accurate as they will become when you are more experienced.
I recommend getting a Palma 34; they are very reasonably priced and a good place to start. If you want to spend a little bit more money then I suggest you go to either of the following shops and ask for their advice;
- Scayles on Nicolson Street www.scayles.co.uk
- Red Dog Music on Grassmarket www.reddogmusic.co.uk
- Guitar Guitar in Corstorphine www.guitarguitar.co.uk
Over 12 Years Old
Once you have grown a little bit it is worthwhile getting a slightly larger guitar. You can get a 15/16 size steel string acoustic or nylon acoustic. If you want to play classical music or flamenco music then I recommend you get a nylon string guitar. If however, you want to play more modern styles of music then a steel string guitar would be good for you.
Some nice 15/16 size steel string acoustics are these;
- Taylor Big Baby
- Martin LXM
You can even go electric as electric guitars are usually smaller than acoustic guitars which makes them easy to hold despite being a little heavier.
One of my favourites to start with is the;
2) Adult Guitars
The kind of guitar that you should get depends on your own body shape and style of music you want to play.
If you want to play acoustic guitar music such as folky styles like James Taylor or singer songwriters like Van Morrison here are a selection of the types of guitar you should be looking at;
- 15/16 Scale or Travel Guitar
- OM/000 size guitar
- parlour guitar
- classical guitars (nylon string)
If you want to play more electric sounding music then you need an electric guitar (these are also easier to play barre chords on).
For vintage style rock ‘n’ roll and blues these are the types of guitar you should check out;
- Stratocaster (very versatile for all styles)
- Les Paul
- Semi-acoustic (ES–335 etc)
For more modern sounds like heavy metal you should look at;
I hope this was helpful for you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch by e-mail if you want a little bit more advice about what kind of guitar you should get.