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What Beginners Should Consider When Buying An Acoustic Guitar

Updated on November 5, 2015
The Right Acoustic Guitar
The Right Acoustic Guitar | Source

Guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments. While there are no rules in regard with how you learn to play the guitar, its best you start your guitar journey with an acoustic guitar and then move to an electric guitar as you progress. Individuals may go for guitar tuitions, guitar classes or learn through online videos. Individuals that have begun their guitar journey get excited when they decide to buy an acoustic guitar, and rightly so. Many beginners just walk into a musical instrument store and buy an acoustic guitar. Every guitar available at a musical instrument store looks appealing to beginners; however, not every guitar displayed at a musical instrument shop will sound as good as it looks.

Acoustic Guitars for Beginners
Acoustic Guitars for Beginners | Source

Beginners are often fascinated by guitar brands their favorite guitar players endorse. You have to realize a guitar that works well for a guitar player may not be the best choice for you. Do not buy an acoustic guitar in a hurry. Make sure you visit musical instrument stores and actually play different acoustic guitars to get a feel of how your left hand and right hand shapes up on various guitars. Do not let the glossy finish of guitars deceive you. Many beginners pick guitars that look good, and that’s not the right way to make a choice in regard with a guitar. Pick a guitar that sounds good and feels comfortable. When you hold an acoustic guitar you should feel comfortable playing.

Smooth Tuning Pegs
Smooth Tuning Pegs | Source

Not everybody can afford an expensive acoustic guitar. When you are in your early stages of guitar playing, you have to consider what’s best for you in the present scenario. You do not need an expensive guitar when you are learning to play the guitar. Furthermore, a guitar does not have to be expensive to sound good. New guitar brands offer their range of guitars at a lower price than established guitar brands, and it’s a wise move to opt for a newer acoustic guitar brand if you want to save money. You can always buy an expensive acoustic guitar as you progress with your guitar playing.

Check the Guitar Action
Check the Guitar Action | Source

Beginners! Before buying an acoustic guitar consider the following

Guitar action

Make sure the action on the acoustic guitar is not too high. If the action is too high, holding down chords will be quite a struggle. Similarly if the action is too low, the guitar will buzz at different frets as you press down upon strings as you play chords, or while doing runs in a scale. The guitar action should not be too low nor should it be too high, it’s got to be just right. Make sure you play on different parts of the fretboard to ensure there is no fret buzz. A good acoustic guitar produces an even tone on different parts of the fretboard.

Acoustic Metal Frets
Acoustic Metal Frets | Source

Check the Frets

Ensure the metal frets on an acoustic guitar are not raised too much. Some acoustic guitars have exceptionally high raised metal frets. When metal frets on an acoustic guitar are raised, beginners find it difficult to slide notes. Sliding the finger from one fret to another is not smooth when metal frets on an acoustic guitar are raised too much.

Guitar Intonation is important
Guitar Intonation is important | Source

Guitar intonation

Guitar intonation refers to how a guitar holds up in different parts of the neck when tuned. When you tune a guitar it should remain in tune in different parts of the fretboard. A guitar that does not hold up in tune when you play at different parts of the fretboard is simply not a good guitar.

Acoustic Fingerboards for different playing styles
Acoustic Fingerboards for different playing styles | Source

Thin Fingerboards Or Broad fingerboards

Acoustic guitars have thin fingerboards and broad fingerboards. Your playing style will determine the type of fingerboard you prefer on an acoustic guitar. Guitar players that like playing scales on their acoustic guitar prefer thin necks on acoustic guitars because a thin neck makes maneuverability while playing fast runs easy. On the other hand guitarists that love experimenting with chord changes find a broad fingerboard more suited to their style of playing. Ultimately, it’s about how comfortable you feel with your left hand on the neck. Make sure you play different acoustic guitars to get a feel of which fingerboard feels good in your left hand.

Weight and sound of an acoustic guitar
Weight and sound of an acoustic guitar | Source

The weight of an acoustic guitar

While most modern acoustic guitars are light weight, it’s the heavier acoustic guitars that are made with solid wood that produce a rich tone and resonance in sound. A number of entry level light weight guitars are constructed with laminated wood and these guitars do not mature well. Solid wood guitars sound richer tonally as they age. While cedar and spruce goes into making many guitar tops, guitar woods often used for the back and sides are maple, rosewood, and mahogany.

Sound Dynamics of an acoustic guitar
Sound Dynamics of an acoustic guitar | Source

Sound of an acoustic guitar

If you have just started playing guitar you will not be too concerned about sound dynamics in regard with an acoustic. However, if you are a stickler when it comes to sound, you should be looking for a guitar that does not sound too boomy on the bass notes. The sound when you strum a guitar should be deep without being overly boomy on the low E string, A string and D string. Honestly, every acoustic guitar that comes to life in a factory has its own unique sound and as such there are no rules in regard with how a guitar is supposed to sound. What you should be looking is a warm-sweet resonance of string sound. The best way to get a clear perspective on how a guitar sounds is when you get someone else to strum the guitar.

Chinese Acoustic Guitars
Chinese Acoustic Guitars | Source

Are Chinese acoustic guitars any good?

In recent years there’s been a lot of talk about Chinese guitars not being very good quality. No matter where you are located, most acoustic guitars you come across in musical instrument stores come from factories setup in Asian countries. Majority of acoustic guitars you come across will be made in a factory in China, Indonesia, Malaysia or Korea. Guitar manufacturers are looking at lowering their costs, and many Asian countries offer low subsidies to start manufacturing units. You never know how a guitar sounds unless you play the guitar or hear someone play the guitar from close distance.

The Acoustic Sound
The Acoustic Sound | Source

Not every guitar that emerges from a Chinese factory is inferior quality or a bad-sounding guitar. You can get a great sounding Chinese acoustic guitar for less than half the price of an acoustic guitar that emerges from guitar factories in US, Europe and Japan. In recent years the acoustic guitars emerging from Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia have become a rage with guitar players. The truth is you do not have to be country-specific when it comes to buying a good acoustic guitar. The best way to judge a guitar is by playing and hearing another guitarist play the same guitar.

Acoustic Guitar Brands
Acoustic Guitar Brands | Source

Guitar Brands

You should consider the guitar brands mentioned below in accordance with your budget

  • · Taylor
  • · Yamaha
  • · Ibanez
  • · Takamine
  • · Martin
  • · Seagull
  • · Fender
  • · Guild
  • · Washburn
  • · Alvarez

The feel and sound of the guitar are important aspects you should consider when buying an acoustic guitar. The most important bit… you should feel comfortable playing the guitar. A guitar you feel comfortable playing invariably ends up as your weapon of choice. Be true to what you love. Wish you the best with your guitar playing journey.


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