GUITAR BUYING GUIDE
Our guitar buying guide will help you make the right choice!
Choosing your first guitar can be confusing for the first time player. If you want to truly fall in love with playing a guitar, you have to make sure it’s the right one for you. But with hundreds of different guitars on the market and so many tiny variables which can impact greatly on your playing experience, how do you make the right choice, especially when you’re a novice?
We’ve prepared this guitar buying guide to help outline a few of the things you need to consider. We’ll look at the make-up of the guitars themselves, the different variations and situations they’ll be most at home, along with a run down of some of the different considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when you’re looking.
Nylon String Guitars
A nylon string acoustic guitar consists of a hollow wooden body with a large circular hole, a wooden neck, and nylon strings which run the length of the neck. When the player plucks or strums the strings, they vibrate. The hollow body picks up these vibrations and the sound waves reverberate around the body, amplifying the sound and giving it a special tonal character.
The main advantage of the nylon string guitar are that the strings are much softer than a steel string guitar so, for the first time player, it is a more comfortable and pleasant playing experience. In addition the fingerboard is wider and flatter making is easier for fingers to find their place. The nylon string guitar is regularly suggested as a ‘first guitar’. One of the main reasons for this is that they are readily available in a range of sizes: 1/2 size, 3/4 size, 4/4 or full size etc. For example, an eight year old will probably find it difficult to play a full size guitar, as the body and neck of the instrument will be bigger than they can comfortably handle. Conversely, an adult is unlikely to want a half size guitar. The Axiom beginner guitar packs offer a great way for adults or children to start playing as they contain everything needed in one affordable package.
Steel String Guitars
Next in our guitar buying guide, a steel string acoustic guitar has a much brighter and stringer tone compared to a nylon string guitar. It is the steel string guitar that you hear in most modern music and it is suited to pretty much all styles.
The strings of the steel string guitar are made of nickel or bronze and are therefore harder on the fingers than the soft nylon strings. However, after a few weeks playing the ends of the fingers will harden up and any initial discomfort will soon pass.The steel string guitar has a number of sizes, the most common being the “dreadnought”. Other sizes include the “concert” size or “folk” size. It is also possible now to get a “travel” size guitar with the same sound and feel but in a portable size designed for travellers.
What about electric guitars? Many people, including some teachers, will tell you that you should always start on an acoustic guitar before moving onto an electric. This is not true. There is absolutely no reason you can’t make an electric guitar your first choice. Ion fact there are a number of reasons why this could be the best choice
The strings on an electric, whilst still steel, are much lighter than on an acoustic and usually much closer to the fingerboard. So you will find an electric much easier to press the strings and play. The guitar itself is smaller and more compact and easier for kids or smaller sized adults to manage. And finally if you or your child wants to play rock music an electric offers a range of sounds an acoustic can’t match. An electric can be played with our without an amp, although without an amp the sound will be quite soft. The Axiom “Discovery” Beginners electric pack offers a great value way to get started on electric guitar.