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Acoustic and Semi-acoustic Guitars to Buy

Updated on November 23, 2016

Buying an Acoustic Guitar on the Internet

If you are thinking about buying an acoustic or semi-acoustic guitar these days you can do your shopping online as well as from music shops. eBay and Amazon both sell guitars and other musical instruments, as do many other suppliers.

Today there is an incredible range of guitars available for you to choose from and prices to suit all pockets, from cheap models through to very expensive guitars by top quality makers like Martin and Taylor.

There are acoustic guitars, semi-acoustic guitars, 'jumbo' and 'dreadnought' guitars, cutaways, six-stringed instruments, 12-stringed guitars, black ones, blue ones, red ones, green ones, nylon stringed Spanish, steel stringed guitars, big ones, smaller ones - so very many types of guitars out there.

Acoustic guitar photo

Yamaha APX700 acoustic guitar. Photo by CantoV Yousef Abdul-Husain
Yamaha APX700 acoustic guitar. Photo by CantoV Yousef Abdul-Husain

So What Type of Guitar is Best for You?

As a guitarist and singer-songwriter myself the most important aspect of buying a guitar is getting one that produces the sort of music you are happy with. I currently am using a Fleetwood jumbo semi-acoustic guitar. It serves my purposes. I use the guitar to back myself on stage and for recordings and to write my songs with. However, that has never meant I have needed a very expensive model to accomplish what I am doing.

I have never had a lot of money at my disposal and the acoustic guitars I have owned have never cost more than a few hundred to buy. But if one day I ever make it into the big time, then I would be able to get the guitar of my dreams, which would probably be a Martin. My hero Neil Young uses a Martin when he plays the acoustic guitar, and they make a really top quality sound. Many of us like to try and copy the artists we regard as our musical mentors. We want the types of guitar they use.

However, if you are a beginner there is no point in shelling out a lot of money at this stage. You need a guitar you can practice on more than anything else. That being said, you still need to look out for a decent make of guitar. Some very cheap models are very badly made and are very difficult to play. This will discourage you and you could easily end up blaming yourself when the fault would be that you have been using a very hard to play instrument.

An example of a badly made guitar would be one with the action set too high so you would have difficulty holding the strings down.

A more professional player needs to consider what sort of sound they want from their instrument, and where they will be playing it. Do they need a guitar that makes a lot of sound? Are they happy playing a six-stringed model or would the distinctive sound of a 12-string guitar be what is desired.

Perhaps a nylon-stringed classical or Spanish guitar would be what you need? These are a special form of acoustic guitar that produce music that sounds very different to that produced by a larger steel-string guitar.

An advantage, especially for beginners, and for people with soft hands and fingers, is that a Spanish guitar will be much easier to learn on and to play. It is far simpler and gentler to hold down nylon strings rather than hard steel or bronze-wound ones that can easily cut your fingers.

You may want a guitar in a particular style or colour to add to your appeal and images as a performer. Perhaps you would want the type of guitar some hero of yours from the music world uses? Most of us like to try and emulate those musicians who inspire us.

Perhaps it is an electro-acoustic or semi-acoustic guitar that you need and are looking for. This type of guitar is perhaps best if you play professionally on stage and want a guitar that can be easily amplified. This type of guitar can be plugged into a PA desk or can go via an amplifier. This has the advantage over a purely acoustic model that would have to be "mic'd up" to amplify its sound.

There are very many things you need to think about when choosing an acoustic guitar to buy. You need to think carefully before you go ahead too because if you are paying out a lot of money for a guitar and later on decided you don't like it you can hardly take it back if there is nothing actually wrong with it!

When buying a guitar from a music store you can try out playing the various models they have there. This is really the best way of shopping for a guitar. But perhaps you have found the type you think you want on the Internet? Perhaps you prefer the convenience of shopping online?

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Some Top Makes of Acoustic Guitars

Takamine are a very popular make of acoustic guitar. This company make a range of guitars that are not too expensive but offer excellent tone and sound from their instruments. I have seen a lot of performers who use Takamine guitars and get an excellent musical sound from them.

There are expensive models from the Takamine range as well as the medium to cheaper-priced instruments. All Takamine guitars are dependable for quality though.

Some other well-known makers of acoustic guitar include Fender, Ovation, Washburn and Yamaha. There really is an incredible range of guitars out there to make your choice from.

Taylor guitars are one of the top makes. This is a guitar for the stars of folk and country music. Taylor guitars are very expensive but are very well made using the finest materials and craftsmanship. But you get what you pay for and if you want a top quality guitar you know will never let you down and will produce top quality music, if you can afford it then a Taylor might well be the sort of guitar you are looking for.

Taylor guitars will make special custom-built models too. I know this because I used to work for Incredible String Band founder turned solo performer Robin Williamson, and Robin has a custom-built Taylor. It is a dream guitar and I never asked him how much it cost but I am sure it was a lot!

Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor are other top singer-songwriters who have used Martin guitars. As I have already said, Neil Young is known to often use a Martin too.

Martin guitar strings make an excellent sound and I usually buy them. Even though I can't afford a Martin acoustic guitar just yet I can afford the top quality strings this guitar company makes!


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    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Sounds like you may have found a bargain there, Mark!

    • profile image

      mark noble 7 years ago

      hey, am buying a fleetwood on friday, hope there ok , like you said, not much money to splash around, i had a fender tele acoustic, really nice sound, but my son broke it, but i saw this red fleetwood and thought yeah al have that, only £65

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for posting too, Hmrjmr1! Season's Greetings returned!

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for posting, Katiem2! I am glad you found my hub of interest!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile image

      Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Great Info Bard, I like Ovation personally, but one day hope to own a Taylor, as I really like the richness of their Dreadnoughts. A Happy Christmas too you as well!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Thanks for the tips on buying an acoustic or semi acoustic guitar online. I prefer online shopping and my 12 year old is out growing her acoustic guitar a perfect gift for this Christmas! Peace and Joy :)