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by Erik Dashuttaman
When it comes down to it, deciding on a guitar is a matter of preference. Here are a few points to consider:
It doesn’t have to be fancy or complex. Ask yourself, “Which guitar excites me the most?” What style of music do you want to learn to play? Often times, as an experienced guitar instructor, I will see students begin on one style and then switch as they advance over time. You’ll find that there are many styles, sounds and ways to express yourself through the strings of the guitar. If you are a beginner, you want to find a guitar that is solid, sounds and stays in tune (some cheap guitars don’t hold tuning very well) and in the range of $250+. You don’t need to spend a lot to get a great sounding guitar to learn on. Remember too, always have a professional (guitar instructor/guitar aficionado) check it out to ensure it’s the right guitar for the asking price. Always work within your budget. Professional sounding guitars can get expensive quickly – those are typically in the $750 – $1,200+ range. Over time, you can add to your guitar collection and choose brands that excite you.
This is a question many people have, both are great but you want to understand the major differences. The acoustic guitars have heavier gauge strings which will require firmer picking/fingering. Electric guitars have thinner strings which can feel more soft on your fingers and makes playing the guitar easier. Electric guitar strings are also easier to bend. String bending is a common technique used in guitar playing. It is also easier to learn how to play barre chords because of the lightness of the strings. In addition to this, parents, if you have children or teens taking lessons, please note – you can plug headphones into the amplifier so they can practice without driving the entire household crazy. If you or a loved one are just starting out and planning to take lessons – you may want to strongly consider going with an Electric. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can always move to acoustic or add another guitar to your collection. But always check with YOUR guitar teacher to determine what guitar best suits your goals and needs. As an experienced guitar teacher, I generally recommend beginning on an electric for most people. You can plug it in to an amplifier which allows you to alter the sound simply with the flick of a switch. This will not only be valuable learning to play the guitar but you’ll also learn the many ways to alter and manipulate the sound of your guitar with the amp. This is always exciting and fun for students to learn and helps the student find their unique sound / guitar playing voice that sets them apart from everyone else. This is the art of learning guitar. If you are buying an electric guitar, amplifiers are easy to find locally or even on Amazon.com – You don’t need to spend a lot of money on your first amp. You’ll want something with a headphone jack so you can practice quietly and more often. A Microcube is a great brand for beginner students and is a great value. Once you’ve decided on a guitar, remember you should take lessons at least twice a week and practice at home as often as possible. Practice makes perfect and while learning can be an ongoing challenge at times, your overall progress and the benefits are endless throughout the course of your lifetime. Practicing guitar is great fun, can add to your social life and is excellent for your brain. Learning to play chords and read music is “positive rewiring” for the longevity of your brain’s cognitive function and opens neural pathways. This can help increase your concentration and memory!
Erik Dashuttaman is the CEO of Maui Guitar School. If you’re looking for guitar lessons in Kihei then check out Maui Guitar School to get going on learning your new guitar!