Janet Feld - Janet's Planet: Music Lessons for Humanoids, Inc

Buying A Guitar When You Don't Know How To Play

If you’ve never played a guitar before and you want to buy yourself one here are the a few things you can pay attention to so you can get something you’ll enjoy playing.

The size and shape of guitars vary and it’s important to find an optimal fit.  Place the guitar on your lap with the neck to your left and the waist of the guitar resting on your right leg.  Let your right arm rest on the body of the guitar.  With your left hand, place your thumb on the back of the neck, your wrist bent and your fingers curved with the tips touching the strings.  Neck width varies.  You want a guitar that doesn’t feel like you’re wrapping your fingers around a tree trunk or alternately, a tooth pick.

Also, pay attention to the size and shape of the guitar body in relation to your height.  If you have to hunch your right shoulder to get your arm resting on the body, a smaller size might be better for you.  If you feel like you’re playing a ukulele then perhaps you’d be better off with something bigger.

I always recommend listening to several different guitars in your price range to hear how they sound different.  Bring a friend who plays along with you or have a salesperson play them.  Buy the one that when you hear it you can almost hear it saying, “Buy ME!!”

There are a number of different brands that are excellent starter guitars.  More expensive doesn’t always mean better.  It’s good to buy from a store that offers a return policy.  My favorites are guitars with a solid wood top and laminate sides and back as they’re inexpensive yet the solid wood top gives them a decent sound quality.

Find out if the guitar comes with a gig bag (a soft case).  It’s not necessary to buy an electronic tuner if you have an iPhone/smart phone as there are a number of free apps available.  It’s a good idea to have an extra set of strings.  I recommend light gauge acoustic strings.  I also prefer medium flat picks.

Want more information about my guitar workshop for beginners in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, June 17th at 10:30 a.m.? Click here.

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