If you or your child have never taken a guitar lesson before, you might be overwhelmed with all the different student guitars to choose from. Learning guitar takes time and patience, but it should be enjoyable from day one. The student guitar you choose will have an impact on how easy it is to pick up and how much fun you have, so it’s important to choose wisely. These are the things to consider to ensure that your guitar lessons in Charleston, SC go as well as possible!
Type of Guitar to Choose
The first step in deciding which guitar will suit your needs is to first choose what type of guitar is best. Inevitably, how inspired you are by the sound of the music you play will have a bearing on your success, so it is important to consider the difference between an electric guitar and an acoustic one. The advantages of an electric guitar are that they:
- Tend to be easier to play than classical or acoustic styles
- Are available in a number of different sizes, so they fit a broad range of beginners of all ages
- Provide a variety of different tunes
- Are frequently used in the most popular types of music
- Can be used with an amplifier, so you can set it to be as soft or loud as you want
An acoustic guitar also comes with many advantages, which are that they:
- Do not require amplification
- Can be modified for amplification if desired
- Have a bright sound that helps to distinguish chords
- Tend to be cheaper
What to Consider When Buying a Student Guitar
There are many factors to consider once you have decided whether you want an acoustic or electric guitar.
The Shape and Style
You want a student guitar that looks good, but you also want it to fit appropriately. Different body sizes produce various sounds. Dreadnought acoustic guitars might look nice and have a loud tone, but they are often too large for smaller children. Parlous styles have a thinner body and are better for children to practice on when they’re just starting out.
Also, choose a guitar with a smaller scale. Specific manufacturers will make guitars that are about 3/4 the size of regular guitars, which suit children better. In general, we recommend a 1/2-sized guitar for children up to 7, a 3/4-sized one for children 8-11, and a full-sized version for those who are over the age of 12.
When it comes to children, it is sometimes hard to tell whether they will stick with lessons, so spending a whole lot might not be a good idea. Our suggestion is that you go on the lower end for their first guitar. If they decide that they want to go further and put their time and effort into it, you can always upgrade. Just remember that your child will be lugging it around and it might get a lot of wear and tear, so it’s probably a good idea not to go with the most expensive option at the beginning.
Does the Guitar Stay in Tune?
Tuning a guitar takes practice and skill, and if you choose a student guitar that easily gets out of tune, that is going to affect sound and enjoyment along the way. Look for a guitar that will stay in tune until you are advanced enough to be able to tune it on your own, or it can cause a lot of frustration for learners who practice a lot.
The Straightness of the Guitar Neck
Guitars have varying levels of curves and bends. A student guitar ideally should be straight to prevent the strings from hitting against the frets. If you purchase a student guitar with a back bow or bow, it can be more difficult to play, especially for those who are just starting out.
What is the Length from the Fretboard to the Strings?
The action of a bass or guitar is relative to the length of the strings to the fretboard. If the strings are really far away from the neck to the point that the neck has a noticeable curve or the body and the neck intersect, then you might want to look for another one.
How Comfortable is the Reach of the Length of the Fretboard?
The length of the entire fretboard is especially important for little hands. Run your fingers along the side of both ends of the neck to see if you feel metal frets jutting out. Ideally, you want to choose a student guitar where the metal is level with the wood.
Should You Buy It Online?
There are some benefits to trying a student guitar before you buy it. When you buy it online, you have the option of seeing many different brands, styles, and price points, but it also means that you can’t hold it to truly feel how well it fits. The key to finding success when starting to learn guitar is finding the right student guitar, which needs to fit and feel comfortable.
When people come to our teachers of guitar lessons in Charleston as beginners, they often are overwhelmed with the many choices they have seen and don’t know where to begin. The best way to find a perfect student guitar is to let us help. The key to you or your child taking to guitar, being successful, and wanting to continue to learn and grow as a guitar player rests in the very first lessons they take so you want to give them the best chance at being successful from the start. If you or your child are ready to begin guitar lessons, contact us today and let us start your journey off right!