Playing guitars is one of the best ways to get acquainted to music. Learning the art of playing this instrument is fun, refreshing, stress relieving and can be taken on as a healthy professional path. For those who are looking forward to buying a guitar, it should be noted that hundreds of varieties of guitars along with several of its accessories are available in the market, which varies in shape, size and usability. Read buying guide

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Buying guide

Electric Guitar Gibson Les PaulBuying a Guitar: first considerations

Before one goes and blindly purchases a guitar without knowing his/her musical preferences, it may prove to be a waste of time and money since different types of guitars are used to produce different kind of sounds. Some of the mainstream music genres along with their favorable guitar preferences are listed below.

Music styles

Rock, blues, punk and metal have been molded by the electric guitar sound. So as general rule, you’d want to buy an electric guitar if you are into artists like U2, Metallica, Eric Clapton, The Beatles and so on.


If you are a fan of singer-songwriter songs, folk music and softer ballads like those of artists such as John Mayer, Eagles, Jack Johnson, Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, then a steel string acoustic guitar will give you the most adequate sound.


But if you are into more erudite acts like Baden Powell, Niccolò Paganini, Andrés Segovia and John Williams, then the traditional nylon string classical guitar will likely be your best friend. This is also considered the best type of guitar to buy as the first guitar for younger guitarists, and it is frequently available in 3/4 and 1/2 sizes.

Performance Location

After knowing the style of music one is interested in, the next important thing that needs consideration is the venue where the person intends on playing this instrument, whether it’s a living room, hall, banquet or a live concert. Based on this one needs to filter his/her requirements.


Home: For beginners or hobbyists who wish to play guitars at home, steel string electric guitars are preferable since they have lighter gauge strings that are easier to play and they require an amplifier to adjust their sound intensity.


Small Venue: If a person intends on playing the guitar in a regular coffee shop or a small hall, then acoustic guitars would be the most comfortable instrument to perform with due to the fact that they don’t need amplifications or distortion or electronic effects.


Large Venues: Those guitarists who wish to join a band or follow their hobby like a pro, its necessary for them to get an acoustic-electric hybrid guitar along with effect pedals. This type of guitars has a built in sound pickup for amplification and produces acoustic sounds.

Guitar size and weight

In general, electric guitars are heavier than acoustic guitars. So if a person is a frequent traveler, then he/she can consider using an acoustic guitar instead of an electric one at first. Depending upon you height and physique you can choose various size of a guitar varying from 1/2 to 3/4 and finally full size.

Brand and pricing

A number of well established companies as well as smaller brand contemporaries manufacture thousands of varieties of guitars which vary in their type, mode and material of construction. So, compare pricing, servicing, spare parts and warranty factors before choosing a guitar. It is recommended that branded guitars should be chosen as they provide better sounds and have better servicing.

Acoustic GuitarsAcoustic guitar

A good quality steel string guitar will provide a very robust, full and clear natural sound when played. Cheaper models obviously won’t come close to achieving the same results, but it doesn’t really matter that much when you are learning. Even so, going for a classic nylon string acoustic guitar when starting to learn how to play would probably still be better than buying the cheapest steel string guitar around. If you are looking for a top-quality steel string guitar the price would be between a classical guitar and an electric one, from 700 dollars onwards. These models don’t need amplification, which is another factor to take into consideration. On the other hand, a steel string guitar requires really precise and firm pressing of the strings to produce the correct sound, making it harder to play than either other guitar model. Some of the more well-known steel string guitar manufacturers are Martin, Taylor, Takamine and Santa Cruz.


Nylon string classic guitars are the beginner’s best friend. Their nylon strings are way easier on the fingers than steel strings, and they produce a warm, velvety sound, making them very discreet. Moreover, a good quality classic guitar is significantly cheaper than its steel-stringed counterparts, starting around a very reasonable 200 dollars tag. Its thicker neck, softer strings and good space between cases / strings also combine to make it a very smooth instrument to play. However, this also means that people with small hands can have some problems with some specific models. Some of the most well-known classic guitar manufacturers are Yamaha, Jose Ramirez, Alhambra and Manuel Rodriguez.

Electric Guitars

Electric guitars are unique because they can create really unique and powerful sounds with the help of amplifiers and effects pedals that overdrive, distort and fuzz their output according to preset configurations. It can go from the most suave and creamy blues sound in B.B. King to the most wheezing, sludgy blast in stoner doom metal bands like Electric Wizard and Sleep. With the right set of equipment, the possibilities are nigh-endless. Their light-gauge strings and thin arm also mean that they are actually quite easy to play when compared to steel string guitars. Moreover, by playing without an amp you can still distinguish notes but at a very discreet volume, which is great for practicing.


On the downside, pedals, cables and amps are absolutely necessary to get the most out of it. When buying an electric guitar or an acoustic electric hybrid – which is a very nice option for those who want the best of both worlds – take into consideration the costs of amplifiers, pedals and cables of high quality. Beginners will probably be good to go with a Squire, Epiphone or Ibanez model. For more experienced players who want to get the absolute best guitars around, consider models from ubiquitous brands like Fender (of the legendary Stratocaster), Gibson (and its equally legendary Les Paul), Rickenbacker and Jackson.


When buying acoustic and electric guitars it is really important to consider the intended final use for these instruments, as well as any additional costs that one may have to extract the most out of it. But remember: saving money is no use if you buy a product that you are hardly ever going to use. So read Shopbot’s user and expert reviews, compare prices using our site’s tools, and make sure you are really rocking with your purchase!

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