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How to Choose a Guitar

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There are many people that would like to learn to play a musical instrument.  Many decide to learn to play the guitar since it is an instrument that a person can learn the basics rather quickly.  But once you have made the decision to play guitar the first thing you will have to do is buy a guitar.  But what types of guitars are there and which type should you buy?  Where should you go to buy a guitar?  How will you know which guitar you should buy once you have decided what type you want? To the person who has been playing guitar for a while these may seem like simple questions, but to the beginner they are the perfect questions to be asking. So let’s talk about them.

There are basically two types of guitars: acoustic and electric.  An acoustic guitar is the choice for most beginning guitar players.  It is larger and hollow with a whole in the body of the guitar where the sound comes out.  It is usually lighter and has a nice smooth sound to it.  The advantage of the acoustic guitar is that it is built to project sound and doesn’t need to be plugged in through an amplifier (although there are those that do plug into an amplifier in case you ever need to run the guitar through a sound system.  They are called acoustic-electric guitars).  In my opinion it is a great place to start without having to buy any additional equipment.  You can just pick it up and start to strum.  It might compare to buying a piano where you have one natural sound.

Electric guitars are usually a dense solid piece of wood with electronics on the inside.  Underneath the strings you will see a number of pick-ups.  They are called that because they pick up the sound from the strings and send it to the amplifier.  Most amplifiers except the most basic have the ability to not only project that sound but they can take the sound and change it in various ways, from distortion to delay.  This is what makes electric guitars so versatile.  They allow you to find the exact sound you are looking for to play a particular song.  That being said, they do require you to buy extra equipment besides the guitar itself in order to use them.  If you are sure that you are going to be playing a certain style of music where an electric would be best suited then that will be the way to go.  An electric guitar might compare to buying a keyboard that will give you many different sounds besides the natural piano sound.

Once you have decided the type of guitar you want, it is best to go to your local guitar shop to try some guitars out.  I don’t recommend going to a regular box store to find one.  Most guitar shops will carry lower end guitars from reputable companies that are very affordable and will be better quality than what you will find at the box stores.  There will also be someone there that can answer your questions and can help you as you are looking. I also recommend coming into the store with an idea of what you want to spend and look at the models within or close to your price range.  You don’t want to get your heart set on an expensive guitar you can’t afford.  Plus, you may not even like playing the guitar after you get started and then you will regret your purchase.  You can always upgrade later.

The first thing you want to pay attention to is the feel of the guitar.  Does it feel comfortable when you hold it?  You don’t want a guitar that feels too heavy or bulky when you play it.  And you should pay attention to how wide the neck is.  If you have smaller hands you don’t want a neck that is too wide.  A trained worker will be able to help with that, but after picking up several guitars you will likely begin to get a feel for it yourself.  The second thing you want to pay attention to is the sound of the guitar.  You have to love the way your guitar sounds.  Period.Everyone’s tastes are different. If you like a bright sound or a deeper bass sound then keep strumming different guitars until you find it.  If you don’t love the sound you will eventually stop picking it up no matter how expensive it is or how awesome someone else tells you it is. When I was inexperience I bought a guitar that I liked the look of but I quickly grew tired of playing it because it didn’t have a sound I really liked.  I kept it a while but eventually gave it to my brother and bought one that had a feel and sound I loved.  Had that one for almost 9 years until it got stolen.

I commend you on your desire to learn to play worship songs on guitar.  I hope this helps you take the next step and actually go out and buy a guitar and give it a try.  You won’t regret you did.

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