Electric Guitar Buying Guide - The Hub (2022)

When it comes to buying an electric guitar there are a lot of options available, andchoosing one can be confusing. This guide will help you understand the basic differences in electric guitars so you can make an informed decision. And remember, we’re here to help with friendly Gear Heads who can guide you to the electric guitar that best meets your needs.

Table of Contents

Who Are You Buying For?
What is Your Budget?
How an Electric Guitar Works
Different Electric Guitar Body Types
Pickups and Electronics
Scale Length
Neck Construction
Tonewoods
Hardware
So, Which Electric Guitar Should You Choose?

Who Are You Buying For?

When buying a guitar for a beginner, it’s important to get a guitar that is properly sized, sounds great, and matches up with the budding player's musical tastes and aspirations. If you don't know, find out what kind of guitar they're lusting after and who their guitar heroes are.

Choosing an electric guitar that addresses these preferences helps guarantee that new players will stay motivated as they learn to play. Musician’s Friend offers a wide selection of ¾-scale, mini, and travel guitars that are ideal for smaller, younger players. Full-sized electric guitar bodies vary considerably in size and weight, and those factors should be considered.

For beginners, it’s important to have a guitar that is easy to play and stays in tune. But cosmetics, body style, electronics, and tone matter too. Often, a beginner may have a favorite guitarist who inspires them to play. Check out what guitars their heroes play and try to aim for something similar. Your budding country star may not be very enthusiastic about the pointy guitar with skulls, but they will probably fall in love with a classic. (Don't worry if some of these terms are unfamiliar—we'll address them below.) You may choose something different, but this is a good starting point in determining which guitar is likely to inspire your up-and-coming guitar prodigy.

For someone who’s been playing for a while, your options are a little different. Perhaps they’ve got a certain guitar in mind. If so, get them what they want! Chances are they’ve already done their homework and have their eye on their next guitar. If they’re not sure, you can still make an educated purchase. There are many popular options that should satisfy most experienced players. And there are many lesser-known models that can be the right fit for someone with more specific tastes.

Remember that when buying a guitar, quality usually comes with price tag to match. Consider paying a little more for the right guitar. Often, you can save money in the long run by purchasing a better guitar up front, skipping over the incremental upgrades along the way. A seasoned guitar player will often have a very good idea of what they like. With experience comes a desire to invest in quality. Musician’s Friend offers a stunning selection of Private Reserve Guitars. When gift shopping for a high-end guitar, it’s usually wise to forego the element of surprise and find out exactly what your giftee wants.

Reading reviews by fellow musicians as well as by the experts can help narrow your possibilities. You’ll find plenty of customer-written reviews for most of the electric guitar models we offer.

What Is Your Budget?

While you don’t have to mortgage your home to buy a good guitar, price will still be a key factor in deciding which guitar to purchase. When buying for a beginner—especially younger players—you may be hesitant to spend too much without knowing if the recipient will stick with the guitar. That’s perfectly reasonable. There are guitars to fit just about every budget. Just keep in mind that the better the guitar the new player starts with, the more likely they will be to continue learning and playing. An instrument that’s hard to play or won’t stay in tune will deter even the most enthusiastic beginner.

All new guitar players will need an amplifier and cable. Additional electric guitar accessories include:

  • a strap
  • a tuner
  • extra picks
  • extra strings
  • a stand
  • a case

Under $300

There are many options in this price range that will suit the beginning player. Musician’s Friend offers an extensive selection of Electric Guitar Value Packages that include an electric guitar, amplifier, and many of the accessories mentioned above. The components in these packages have been carefully chosen to work well together and can eliminate guesswork when choosing the right gear. Many also include instructional books, DVDs, and online beginner’s lessons, plus other resources to keep the new player motivated to keep learning.

Electric Guitar Buying Guide - The Hub (1)

Squier Affinity Series Telecaster

If you decide to choose a guitar, amplifier and accessories separately, consider spending more on the guitar than the amplifier. A better guitar will often suit a player’s needs longer, and a less expensive amp will be fine for early practicing sessions. If the player decides to upgrade down the road, often they may only need to upgrade the amplifier and not their entire setup.

$300 - $600

As you move up in price, you have more options available. It’s still advisable to spend more of your budget on the guitar than the amplifier, for the same reasons noted above.

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Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro IV Limited Edition

With more options, you can pick out something that’s going to suit the player better. Many models in this range are upgrades of less expensive models. The upgrades may take the form of better hardware, electronics, woods, cosmetics, and construction methods. We’ll address the impact of such upgrades below.

$1000 and up

In this range, you will find many premium options. Many guitars in this range will offer some of the best features available. Again, you will find many upgrades from less-expensive models. Often, these are considered the standard models. Of course, you certainly don’t have to spend $1000 to get a great guitar. However, most guitars of this caliber will satisfy even the most discerning player. Musician’s Friend’s Private Reserve collection includes instruments that cater to the most demanding professional guitarists’ requirements.

(Video) Everything You Need To Know About Buying Your First Electric Guitar!

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FenderAmerican Professional IIStratocaster Electric Guitar

How An Electric Guitar Works

While styles and models may vary, electric guitars operate on the same general principles. The pickup mounted on the electric guitar’s body functions as a magnetic field. When a metal string is plucked and vibrates, it generates a current. That current is transmitted by the pickup through a preamp circuit with tone controls to the guitar cable, and in turn to the amplifier. The amplifier boosts the signal and modifies it with various tone controls and effects, depending on the amplifier's design and capabilities. The signal is then output to a speaker, which converts it to sound waves. The type of pickup(s), tone controls, strings, playing techniques, and other factors built into the guitar's design all influence the signal that is sent to the amplifier. In short, each component of the guitar affects how the guitar sounds.

Electric Guitar Body Types

There are three basic types of electric guitar body styles, each with its own characteristics: the solid body, the hollow body and the semi-hollow body.

Solid Body

The solid body electric guitar is the most common body type and is made from a solid slab of wood. Solid body guitars can range from a simple, single-pickup model, to an ornately figured and decorated, multi-pickup instrument with a slew of electronic options. Although solid-body guitars don’t produce as much resonance as hollow-body models, the woods used still have an impact on the instrument’s sound.

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GibsonSG Standard Electric Guitar

Hollow Body

As the name suggests, these electric guitars have bodies that are hollow—much like an acoustic guitar—and produce more resonance due to their design. These guitars usually feature an archtop, and are more prone to feedback. Many jazz guitarists prefer the hollow body for its full, rich tones, and deep bass response.

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Pictured:Ibanez GB Series GB10SE George Benson Signature Hollow Body Electric Guitar

Semi-Hollow Body

Similar to the hollow body, the semi-hollow body has more resonance than a solid body. However, semi-hollow guitars are designed with a solid center wood block that adds stability and sustain, and helps cut down on feedback. Many blues players like the warmth of the semi-hollow and the increased attack and sustain offered by the center block. Semi-hollow guitars can be great for a wide variety of music - from blues and jazz to punk rock.

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Gibson ES-335 Semi-Hollow

Pickups and Electronics

Aside from the body style, the pickups and electronics have the greatest effect on the way a guitar sounds.

The most basic, original pickup design is a single-coil pickup. It’s composed of a single magnet with fine wire wrapped around it, creating a magnetic field that captures the strings’ vibrations converting them into an electronic signal.Single-coil pickups tend to be bright and crisp sounding. The tone they produce cuts through dense band sounds well, but they are also prone to generating hum and are subject to magnetic interference. Many great artists play guitars equipped with single-coil pickups. Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer, Merle Travis and many others are famous for their use of single-coil tone.

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(Video) Anatomy of the Electric Guitar | Fender

Fender Custom Shop 1969 Strat Pickup Set

Humbucker pickups were designed to deal with hum while also offering tonal characteristics beyond those of single-coil models. This design incorporates two single-coils wound together in series, with the polarity of the magnets arranged opposite each other. This design helps to eliminate hum. Hence it’s name. Humbuckers usually have a thicker, louder, more powerful tone when compared to single-coils. While they are very versatile, humbuckers lend themselves to rock, heavy metal, and jazz styles. Famous guitarists who use humbuckers include Slash, Jimmy Page, Joe Pass, and Duane Allman.

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Gibson'57 Classic Humbucker Neck Pickup

Not nearly as popular as single-coils and humbuckers, piezo pickups can be found on electric guitars as well. These crystalline sensors are usually embedded in the saddle of an electric guitar. Piezo sensors operate on mechanical vibration as opposed to magnets to convert sound from vibrating strings into an electric current. Piezo pickups can be used to trigger synthesizer or digital sounds much like an electronic keyboard. Most often, piezo pickups on an electric guitar are used to simulate an acoustic guitar tone. Piezo-equipped guitars often also include magnetic pickups to expand their tonal versatility.

Active Pickups and Electronics

Some guitars are equipped with active pickups that require batteries as an energy source and incorporate a preamp for sound-shaping. Active electronics may also include filters and equalization circuits for added sound control. Guitars with active electronics generally have a higher output than magnetic pickups and produce cleaner, clearer sound. Most guitar pickups are passive.

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EMG81 Humbucking Active Guitar Pickup

Pickup Switching and Other Controls

Most electric guitars feature multiple pickups. Some will have two or three single-coils. Some will have two or three humbuckers. Many offer a combination of single-coil and humbucker pickups. This combination offers the player a wide range of tonal options. Pickup configurations are often abbreviated by referring to single-coils with an "S" and humbuckers with an "H." The placement of each pickup is indicated from the neck down towards the bridge. Thus an SSH configuration has single-coils at the neck and middle positions and a humbucker at the bridge.

The placement of pickups on the guitar's body has a significant influence on the tone they generate. Pickups located near the bridge sample the strings where they have the least overall motion. The result is accentuated treble sounds or "bite." Pickups located nearer the center of the strings—closer to the neck of the guitar—produce a tone characterized by more midrange and bass sounds.

Guitars with multiple pickups have controls allowing the player to access each pickup individually as well as combinations of two or more pickups simultaneously. These controls may be rotary knobs, blade selectors, or toggle switches that allow the guitarist to quickly access various pickup combinations during performance.

In addition to pickup selection, most guitars will have controls for volume and tone. Volume controls simply regulate the strength of the output signal. Depending on the amplifier, this can control the tone as well as the volume. Most tone knobs control high frequencies and many guitars have separate tone controls for each pickup. This can vary a guitar’s sound between soft, warm, and mellow to a very bright, raw, distorted sound.

Other switching options found on select guitars can control phasing between pickups for unique effects, eliminate one coil of a humbucker, or toggle the output on and off.

Some newer guitars have digital technology built in to allow a user to access a variety of sounds, including acoustic, 12-string, and resonator guitar tones; violins, piano, and many other sounds traditional electric guitars can’t produce. Other options include emulating alternate tunings without actually adjusting the tension on the strings.

Scale Length

Scale length refers to the length of the string that vibrates, and is measured from nut to bridge.

A longer scale length usually offers a tighter feel in string tension, with a brighter shimmer and well-defined low end. A shorter scale length offers less tension, which facilitates easier string bending. It also can make it easier to play for smaller hands. A shorter scale offers a generally warmer tone.

Most Fender guitars (and others of similar design) use a 25.5 inch scale length. Most Gibson guitars (and others of similar design) use 24.75 inch scale length.

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Additionally, most PRS guitars use a 25 inch scale length. This design is intended to capture a blend of the warmer tones and ease of play of a short scale length, as well as the brighter tone and tighter playability of a longer scale length.

Neck Construction

The neck, which extends from the guitar body, includes the fretboard and headstock on which the tuners are mounted. It contains a metal truss rod that prevents neck bowing and twisting, and can be adjusted to help the guitar maintain consistent pitch. The fretboard is usually made from a thin layer of rosewood or ebony, although some models, usually with maple necks, have a fretboard made of the same wood as the neck. Most fretboards have position dots or other markers inlaid in the fretboard. Some models have markers on the upper edge of the fretboard offering the player easy visibility.

The neck's profile and width affects the guitar's playability and the player's comfort when fretting. While most necks are either "C"- or "U"-shaped, the width and depth of the neck in relation to the player's hand is an important consideration. Players with smaller hands should seek out narrower, shallower necks while those with larger hands will most likely find beefier neck profiles more comfortable.

There are 3 general types of neck construction:

  • Bolt-on
  • Set neck
  • Neck-through

Bolt-on necks, as the term implies, are bolted onto the guitar body. This is usually a more cost-effective method of construction. It allows for easier replacement of the neck—whether for repairs or customization. This neck construction offers less overall sustain and resonance than set neck or neck-through guitars.

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SquierClassic Vibe Telecaster Custom Electric Guitar

Set necks are set into the body of the guitar and glued in place, then fastened by clamping the neck to the body until the glue dries. Overall, this is a more stable neck joint, and gives better sustain and resonance to the guitar. Neck repairs are more difficult, however.

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The Gibson Les Paul Standard has a set neck that produces its legendary sustain

Neck-through guitars feature a (usually laminated) neck that, unsurprisingly, extends through the entire length of the body, with ‘wings’ or ‘fins’ glued onto the sides of the body. This gives even more stability to the neck and even more sustain and resonance when played. Neck repairs are, again more difficult and costly. However, the increase in stability means these repairs are much less likely to be needed.

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Jackson Chris Broderick Soloist Electric Guitar

Tonewoods

Since a guitar’s sound is primarily determined by the interaction of the strings vibrating and the magnets in the pickup, you might wonder why wood makes a difference. In fact, the wood has a significant effect on the way a guitar sounds. The resonance from the wood determines how long the strings vibrate and the shape of their motion. Wood also allows the pickup itself to move. This combination makes wood an important factor in the overall tone of the guitar.

Mahogany is a very dense, strong wood used in all parts of guitar manufacture except fretboards and bridges, which require harder wood. A mahogany neck and back are often found on short-scale guitars with maple tops. Another common combination is an all-mahogany body and neck (excluding the fretboard). Because mahogany is not very hard, it emphasizes the midrange and bass frequencies for a mellower guitar tone. Mahogany is a very resonant wood which enhances a guitar's sustain. It is generally a uniform rich brown color.

Maple is the most common wood used to make guitar necks. It is very hard and dense, and often has attractively detailed grain patterns referred to as figuring. Maple also has a very bright overall tone. Due to it’s figuring and its tonal characteristics maple is often used for a veneer or top laminate on more expensive solid body guitars. It is also used as a top wood in some archtop guitars, where it is usually laminated. Its hardness brings out the trebles in a guitar's sound. It is also often used for the fretboard where it adds definition to the sound.

Rosewood is the most common wood used for electric guitar fretboards. It is very dense and hard and can be quite beautiful, ranging in color from almost black to variegated brown and blond. Rosewood is occasionally used in electric guitar bodies, but this makes the guitar quite heavy.

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Ebony is a very hard, dense wood that is used primarily on fretboards of more expensive guitars. It has a silky feel and is usually almost entirely black.

Ash is a common body material in solid body guitars. It is harder than mahogany and very resonant. This gives the guitar ringing sustain and bright tone with a well-defined mid-range. A light colored wood with attractive grain figuring, it is often given a transparent finish. Swamp ash is a particularly appealing, detailed wood used on higher-end guitars.

Alder has tonal characteristics similar to ash, but is less costly and is not as highly figured. It is one of the most common body woods on solid body electric guitars. It is usually light tan in color, although it’s often covered with an opaque finish.

Agathis is similar to alder in appearance and tonal characteristics, though not quite as resonant. It is commonly found on newer, more affordable guitars.

Nato is also known as Eastern mahogany, and offers a warm resonance. Nato is very strong, and is most often used in the necks of less expensive electric guitars due to it’s cost effectiveness.

Electric Guitar Hardware

Guitars feature many different styles of hardware which have different uses. There is usually a direct relationship between a guitar’s cost and the quality of its hardware. Better hardware can make a difference in a guitar’s tuning stability and versatility. As you can imagine, this is an area where many improvements and upgrades can bring a host of benefits to the user. The most significant hardware components are tuning machines, bridges and tailpieces.

Tuning Machines

Also called tuners or machine heads, these geared mechanisms, usually mounted on the guitar's headstock, hold the strings in place and allow tuning the instrument by adjusting string tension. Most modern tuners have enclosed, permanently lubricated mechanisms. Strings are held in place on posts that are attached to knobs, which are turned to adjust string tension allowing the guitar to be tuned. Some tuners are designed to lock in place. This provides more tuning stability, and helps prevent strings from slipping loose from the tuner. It also makes changing your strings a little easier.

Some tuning systems lock down at both the nut and bridge. This provides excellent tuning stability and keeps the strings from slipping or stretching too much while using a tremolo system. (For more about tremolo systems, see Bridges and Tailpieces below.)

Bridges and Tailpieces

These two components work in tandem to influence tone and playability. The bridge is mounted to the lower portion of the guitar body. The strings are routed over it before terminating on the body or on a tailpiece. Bridges are designed to compensate for varying string lengths, gauges, and metals, ensuring that the strings remain in tune with each other. Bridges usually allow adjustment of the string's length to bring each string into tune along the entire length of the fretboard. This process is called intonation, and is an important part of setting up a guitar for optimal performance. Some bridges permit string height adjustments that affect the the ease with which the strings can be fretted, and is often referred to as the guitar's "action."

Some bridges allow players to introduce vibrato into their performance by means of moving a vibrato arm (aka a whammy bar) that moves the bridge up or down. Bridges with this function are often called tremolos. (Note that this is musically incorrect since tremolo means a repeating variation in volume, not pitch, but has been used so long it is accepted terminology.) A tremolo system allows the player to rock the bridge back and forth to adjust the pitch of the notes being played. This is called a floating bridge, and is popular on many guitars. For beginners, it may be better to avoid a locking tuning system for their first guitar. They can be tricky to adjust properly, and can make even a simple string change frustrating for the inexperienced. However, if your budding Steve Vai has his heart set, don’t let that stand in the way.

Not all floating bridges are part of locking tuning systems. Some are designed to be more user-friendly. Don’t shy away from these for your beginner. One other adjustable bridge is a spring-loaded bridge, often called a Bigsby (though other brands make similar bridges).

There are several types of bridge-tailpiece systems with the following being the most common:

Tune-o-matic: Originally developed by Gibson in the 1950s, this is a very common design that allows individual intonation of strings and overall adjustment of string heights.

Two-point rocking tremolo or fulcrum vibrato: Features individual string saddles that are adjustable for intonation and height. These are mounted on a bridge that rocks on two bolts mounted on the guitar top. The bridge has a broad perpendicular plate that extends through the body of the guitar. This free-floating plate is attached to the inside of the guitar by springs that match the tension of the strings. Locking tuners, which clamp down on the strings, help keep tuning more stable.

Locking vibrato: Often referred to as a Floyd Rose bridge after its inventor, like the two-point rocking tremolo, it provides individual intonation and height adjustments. It rocks on two bolts in the top of the guitar and is spring-loaded. The difference is that it clamps down on the strings at both the bridge and head nut. The result is rock-solid tuning, even when the vibrato arm is used radically.

Bigsby: A spring-loaded vibrato found on on many vintage and vintage-style guitars. It is a large, relatively heavy device that includes a rotating bar on which all of the strings attach. Many players like the vintage vibe of a Bigsby.

Six-point rocking tremolo: This was the original rocking vibrato designed by Fender in the 1950s. Like the two-point tremolo, it is through-body, spring-loaded, and provides individual string intonation and height adjustment. Some players feel that because this type of tremolo rocks on six screws it provides greater vibration transfer to the top and hence better resonance.

Trapeze tailpiece: Usually found on hollowbody guitars, particularly vintage models. This type of string termination attaches to the tail of the guitar, freeing the top from string tension.

String-through body: The strings are routed over the bridge saddles and through holes running from the guitar's top to the back of the instrument where they are anchored in metal ferrules. This provides a clean look, and some players feel it also enhances sustain.

So, Which Electric Guitar Should You Choose?

Ultimately, you want to make the best purchase for the person who will be playing the guitar while staying within your budget. As we recommended in the beginning, it’s good to get an idea of what the player is looking for. Find out what styles they like, and his or her favorite music. Looks are important too! The right guitar in the right color could make all the difference.

(Video) How To Intonate Your Guitar

We want you to be pleased with your electric guitar purchase, and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and generous return policy so you can order your new electric guitar with confidence.

After reading this guide, if you’re still not sure which electric guitar is right for you, we invite you call to one of our friendly and knowledgeable Gear Heads.

FAQs

How do I pick my first electric guitar? ›

For beginners, it's important to have a guitar that is easy to play and stays in tune. But cosmetics, body style, electronics, and tone matter too. Often, a beginner may have a favorite guitarist who inspires them to play. Check out what guitars their heroes play and try to aim for something similar.

Is 39 inches a full-size electric guitar? ›

A typical full-size guitar is around 38 inches long (96.5cm) with a scale length of around 25.5 inches (64.8cm).

How do I know if my electric guitar is good? ›

Keep this in mind when deciding on how much to spend on the guitar.
  1. Visually inspect the guitar for damage. ...
  2. Test the electronics. ...
  3. Detune, then re-tune the guitar. ...
  4. Play songs you know well. ...
  5. Test the intonation. ...
  6. Check every fret for buzzing. ...
  7. Check the action height. ...
  8. Check for neck warping issues.
10 Nov 2020

What is a good price for a starting guitar? ›

A good ballpark cost for a decent, beginner guitar is anywhere between $200 and $800. Depending on your means, your previous experience, and your commitment to learning, this is different for every individual.

How much should I spend on my first electric guitar? ›

So, How Much Should I Spend on a First Guitar? If you are considering an electric guitar then you should spend at least $200 and shouldn't spend over $400. If you are considering buying an acoustic or a classical then you should spend at least $150 and shouldn't spend over $250.

Should my first guitar be expensive? ›

Despite popular belief, your first guitar does not have to be expensive. You should plan on spending between $100 to $200 on your beginner guitar. This will allow you to get a decent guitar to learn on and to also find out what you do and don't want in your more expensive guitar you will inevitably buy down the road.

What guitar size does Ed Sheeran use? ›

ED SHEERAN GUITAR - WHAT SIZE GUITAR DOES ED SHEERAN USE? In summary, Ed Sheeran uses 3/4 size guitars, most notably the Martin LX1 series, with which he has a variety of signature models including the new Martin Ed Sheeran Divide Signature Edition Guitar.

How many hours does it take to master guitar? ›

More Arbitrary Ratings of Proficiency
LevelHours NeededDaily Practice Investment
Beginning625156 days
Intermediate125010 months
Advanced25001.8 years
Expert50003.5 years
5 more rows

Can adults play 38 guitar? ›

Great question, and the answer is yes. Even though the size of the components will vary, the 38 inch guitar is indeed considered a full-size guitar.

What is the lifespan of an electric guitar? ›

If you take good care of your guitar and have it maintained regularly, it can last from 10 to 20 years. This also depends on how much it gets used and the kind of treatment. If it gets gigged and tossed around a lot, this might have a negative impact on its lifespan.

Do electric guitars get better with age? ›

Do Electric Guitars Sound Better With Age? Yes, some electric guitars also sound better as they age, in a similar way to acoustic guitars. The vibrations again lead to the breakdown of sap, creating a more resonant tone with better sustain. However, this is less important with electric guitars than with acoustic ones.

What is the best Colour for an electric guitar? ›

Still, red and black are always good guitar colors. agreed, and you can include blue on that list too.
...
  • BLACK.
  • CHERRY.
  • TABACCO SUNBURST.
  • BLUE BURST.
5 Jan 2007

Which company is best for guitar for beginners? ›

The Fender Acoustic Guitar is the best choice for both beginners and professionals offering a great sound and feel that will inspire you.

Can a 70 year old man learn to play guitar? ›

You are never too old to learn guitar. You can start learning guitar at any age. While younger people tend to learn faster, you are still capable of learning guitar as a beginner whether you are 30, 40, 60, or even 70.

Can I teach myself electric guitar? ›

It is definitely possible to learn guitar by yourself and if you follow the right advice, it isn't hard. It's important to remember that everybody finds it hard to learn guitar in the beginning whether you have a guitar teacher helping you or you're learning by yourself.

What should a beginner electric guitarist learn first? ›

Open chords are one of the first skills a beginner guitarist will learn. Master just three, and you can play a whole host of popular songs. Aside from attending guitar lessons, following a chord chart is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the basics. Check out this chord chart as a place to start.

Which electric guitar is easiest to play? ›

Solidbody Guitars are the Easiest to Play

Electric guitars are considered by most experts in the guitar community to be the easiest type of guitars to play compared to all the others that exist today. There are three types of electric guitars—hollow body, semi-hollow body, and solid body.

Do guitars lose value over time? ›

Most Fender guitars depreciate quickly after purchase, but the guitar becomes a rare, esteemed piece after decades, resulting in appreciation. However, the guitar's condition determines how much it appreciates in value. For example, a well-maintained vintage guitar is sure to appreciate well.

Is it better to have a good amp or guitar? ›

Your amp is crucial to your musical style and the volume you'll be playing at, while your guitar has a direct effect on your playing experience and tone. There's no right or wrong answer!

What was John Lennon's favorite guitar? ›

Lennon found his hanging in a Hamburg guitar shop in the form of a natural-finish 1958 Rickenbacker 325, which was part of the company's Capri series (named for the Hall family cat). The 325, like the other models in the series, was designed by German luthier Roger Rossmeisl.

What is the most popular guitar size? ›

41" Full Size Dreadnought:

The most popular guitar size in the world. If you want bass, volume & power the full size dreadnought delivers the best overall combination of comfort, playability and sound quality.

What kind of guitar does Taylor Swift play? ›

Taylor Swift is known for her broad catalog of Taylor acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars. As for electric guitars, she's known for her Red Sparkle Gibson Les Paul and, in more recent years, she has also adopted the Johnny Marr Fender Signature Jaguar model as one of her primary guitars.

Should I practice guitar every day? ›

Quality of time spent can be a lot more important that quantity of time spent. It is important to practice the guitar regularly in order to improve your skills. One of the most common guitar practice tips is that you should practice every single day for a year to become a better guitar player.

How long should I practice guitar daily? ›

What is this? Aim to practice guitar for at least 15 minutes per day. Try to avoid long and unbroken practice sessions of longer than one hour at a time. If you want to practice for longer than 20 minutes, set short breaks to split up your practice sessions for the best results possible.

What should I practice on guitar daily? ›

The Ultimate Guitar Practice Routine - YouTube

Are big hands better for guitar? ›

The truth is, that the guitar is designed with every hand size in mind. But there are some trade-offs. If you have big hands, it might be easier to make bar chords but harder to play single notes. Whereas for someone with small hands the opposite may be true.

Are bigger or smaller hands better for guitar? ›

Reduced-scale guitars feel better because of the smaller neck, but also because the body is smaller. So if you pick up a 3/4 size guitar or a travel guitar and think it's perfect for your small hands, the chances are it's just the size of the body that makes it feel more comfortable.

Do you need big hands to be good at guitar? ›

No, you don't need big hands to play guitar.

It is all about practice and having the right technique at all times. Every single person is able to play the guitar regardless of whether they have huge hands or small ones.

Is it OK to leave an electric guitar without strings? ›

Guitars can be safely stored with or without strings as long as they are kept safe and dry. However, string tension pulls guitar necks forward, and many guitars are designed to account for these forces. If strings are removed, the neck may pull back, negatively affecting the action and intonation.

How often should you restring an electric guitar? ›

Deciding When to Change Strings. Most players should plan on changing strings about once every 3 months or 100 hours of practice—whichever comes first. If you're late by awhile, it doesn't matter. Your strings may last twice this long, or more.

How long do electric guitar strings last if not played? ›

Do not expect too much from a guitar that has not been played for months. The lifespan of the strings is between 2 to 6 months, depending on their quality. This means the guitar won't sound perfect if it has been stored for longer than 6 months.

How long should you keep a guitar? ›

So, what is the average lifespan of a guitar? The roughest estimation would be around 10 years for a cheap acoustic\classical guitar. On the other hand, even cheap electric guitars will be able to last a lot longer, 20-30 years.

How do I make my electric guitar last longer? ›

The best way to increase the sustain on your electric guitar, is to make your strings vibrate for longer, or help optimise the way the vibrations are detected. You can increase the sustain on your guitar right away, for free, by increasing the gain on your amplifier, or the bass control.

Why does a guitar sound better the more you play it? ›

As you play a new guitar (or other wooden instrument), the fibers in the wood settle somewhat due to the vibration, and over time this causes the wood to become stiffer, more stable, and more resonant, which in turn improves the sound.

Is a heavier or lighter electric guitar better? ›

Heavier guitars generally have better sustain, and more resonance than lighter guitars. This is often due to the wood type, and the body size. Thicker guitar bodies, cause the tone to be fuller, warmer and louder.

Is a lighter or heavier guitar better? ›

The general consensus among guitarists says that a lighter instrument will resonate better in response to the full spectrum of string vibrations and thereby yield a more musical sound, consisting of brighter highs and a more “open” tone.

Which electric guitar has the cleanest sound? ›

9 Best Guitars For Clean Tones – Clean Tone Monsters
  1. Fender Telecaster – The Iconic 'Tele Twang' ...
  2. Fender Stratocaster – The Clean Tone King. ...
  3. Fender Jazzmaster – The Offset Offender. ...
  4. Fender Jaguar. ...
  5. Rickenbacker 360. ...
  6. Gibson ES-335. ...
  7. Gretsch Guitars. ...
  8. Paul Reed Smith Guitars.

Which guitar is hardest to play? ›

It's All In The Neck

The reason why classical guitar is hard is because the shape of the neck. Wider Neck: Meaning that the distance between the top of the fret to the bottom of the fret is longer than other guitar types. This means that chords are harder to play because your fingers are required to stretch more.

Which guitar should I learn first? ›

You can definitely learn on an electric guitar, but overall, acoustic guitar wins out every time. It's easier to sound good, easier to play and it's easier to learn. Overall, it's a simpler experience. The best beginner guitar is a steel-stringed acoustic guitar.

Which guitar is best with price? ›

These guitars offer you the best of both worlds.
...
GuitarApproximate price on Amazon
Yamaha PACIFICA012 Electric GuitarRs 15,000
Yamaha FS100C Acoustic GuitarRs 10,000
Fender Squier 0370005506 Electric GuitarRs 13,000
Fender Squier MM Stratocaster Electric GuitarRs 9,000
4 more rows
13 Apr 2022

How many pickups should a guitar have? ›

Most electric guitars have two or three magnetic pickups. A combination of pickups is called a pickup configuration, usually notated by writing out the pickup types in order from bridge pickup through mid pickup(s) to neck pickup, using “S” for single-coil and “H” for humbucker.

What guitar do most professionals use? ›

Gibson acoustic guitars are some of the most popular guitars in the world. Although there are many acoustic guitar brands that came out before it, Gibson is still one of the most widely used guitars by popular artists.

Which company has best electric guitar? ›

5 Best Electric Guitar Brands (top picks)
  • PRS (main and SE lines)
  • Gibson.
  • Fender.
  • Epiphone.
  • Ibanez.
  • Gretsch.
  • Jackson.
  • Squier.
6 May 2022

What guitars get better with age? ›

Many experienced guitarists believe that acoustic guitars sound better with age. As water-soluble sugars that make up the wood's cell walls break down the wood becomes lighter and more resonant while retaining much of its flexible strength.

What is the best way for an older person to learn guitar? ›

Most seniors will prefer an acoustic guitar for learning, a choice that I would agree with. Acoustics are simple to play without plugging in, even if the strings are a little harder to push down (acoustic steel strings are heavier).

How long does it take for fingers to get used to guitar? ›

Developing calluses on your fingertips can relieve a lot of the initial pain of learning to play guitar. On average, it takes 2 to 4 weeks for calluses to fully form.

What should a beginner electric guitarist learn first? ›

Open chords are one of the first skills a beginner guitarist will learn. Master just three, and you can play a whole host of popular songs. Aside from attending guitar lessons, following a chord chart is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the basics. Check out this chord chart as a place to start.

Which guitar is best for first time? ›

For us, the overall best beginner acoustic guitar has to be the Fender CD-60S. This ace beginner acoustic delivers everything you could possibly need when starting out, and all at a delicious entry-level price. This guitar offers great sound, is easy to play and sports a rugged construction.

What guitar should I play first? ›

You should learn acoustic guitar because its harder to play at first and will make your hands and fingers stronger. You should learn on an electric guitar first because it's easier to play.

Which is easier to play Strat or Tele? ›

Main Differences Between Telecaster vs Stratocaster

Telecaster is easier to play and tune, whereas Stratocaster is more comfortable to hold. Telecaster has one piece that extends right below the bridge pickup, whereas the Stratocaster bridge that has a two-point tremolo system.

How many hours does it take to master guitar? ›

More Arbitrary Ratings of Proficiency
LevelHours NeededDaily Practice Investment
Beginning625156 days
Intermediate125010 months
Advanced25001.8 years
Expert50003.5 years
5 more rows

Can you teach yourself guitar? ›

It is definitely possible to learn guitar by yourself and if you follow the right advice, it isn't hard. It's important to remember that everybody finds it hard to learn guitar in the beginning whether you have a guitar teacher helping you or you're learning by yourself.

Is it hard to teach yourself electric guitar? ›

So the basics are the same, but overall, learning electric guitar is harder than learning acoustic guitar because for electric guitarists there are more variables in play at any one time. There are more 'controls'; dials and things that influence the sound you create.

Can I play electric guitar without amp? ›

There are four ways you can play an electric guitar without an amp. You can play your guitar with any headphones or speakers using a PC or Mac, using an iPhone or iPad, using a micro-amp, or with a multi-effects pedal.

What is the easiest song to play on electric guitar? ›

Top 5 easy songs to learn on electric guitar
  • Smoke on the water (Deep purple)
  • Enter Sandman (Metallica)
  • Iron Man (Black Sabbath)
  • Creep (Radiohead)
  • Back in black (AC/DC)
25 Nov 2020

Which guitar is hardest to play? ›

It's All In The Neck

The reason why classical guitar is hard is because the shape of the neck. Wider Neck: Meaning that the distance between the top of the fret to the bottom of the fret is longer than other guitar types. This means that chords are harder to play because your fingers are required to stretch more.

What should I do before buying a guitar? ›

Guitar comes in various sizes and it is important for you to know which size is best for you. Broadly we can divide Acoustic Guitar into 6 different size.
...
  1. SOUND BALANCE. Guitar must have a proper sound balance. ...
  2. FINISHING OF INSTRUMENT. ...
  3. TUNING PEGS MOVEMENT. ...
  4. ACTION OF THE GUITAR. ...
  5. PRICE. ...
  6. CONNECTION WITH THE INSTRUMENT.
13 Aug 2020

How do I pick a good guitar? ›

How to Choose the Best Guitar, 15 Factors to Consider According to Science
  1. 1 Tone-wood and Sound Waves. 1.1 Tone-wood.
  2. 2 Electric Guitars and the Tone-wood Fallacy.
  3. 3 Acoustics.
  4. 4 Harmonics and Tone.
  5. 5 Pickups. 5.1 Single-coil. ...
  6. 6 Internal wiring and Components.
  7. 7 Hardware. 7.1 Machine Heads. ...
  8. 8 Importance of 'Action'
14 Jan 2018

Should I learn all guitar chords first? ›

Scales and chords should be learned at the same time. All music consists of a harmonic component (chords) and a melodic component (scales). In order to play music on the guitar, both scales and chords are important skills to develop.

Should I learn songs or chords first on guitar? ›

It's Easier To Play Songs With Chords

If you want to play songs (especially for an acoustic guitar), then learning the basic open guitar chords is a fantastic start.

Is it OK to learn electric guitar first? ›

Electric guitars have thinner strings and therefore are a great choice for beginners because they require less hand strength. Players with small hands might also prefer an electric for its slimmer neck, which warrants an easier grip and shorter reach.

Videos

1. How to Tune an Electric Guitar for Beginners | Fender Play | Fender
(Fender)
2. Which Instrument Is Right For You? | Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Ukulele | Fender
(Fender)
3. Acoustic vs Electric Guitars | Which Guitar Is Right For Beginners? | Fender
(Fender)
4. Best Electric Guitars For Beginners | Squier Bullet, Affinity, Classic Vibe | Fender
(Fender)
5. Squier Bullet HT Stratocaster Electric Guitar | Beginner Guitar Demos | Fender
(Fender)
6. How To Adjust the Action on Your Guitar
(Gibson TV)

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