Guitars
 

Choosing Guitars

For choosing guitars, you need to think about some considerations. First you have
to decide what kind of guitar you want - Electric Guitars or Acoustic Guitars ?


Electric Guitars
Solidbody Guitars
Initially, the best electric deal will be a solidbody guitar . They often are the cheapest, the
most durable and the most popular. Stratocaster, Telecaster, Les Paul, SG are solidbodies

Hollowbody Guitars
Hollowbody guitars are usually a couple of inches deeper making
it similar to an acoustic guitar . It has a boomy or jazzy sound .

Semi-Solidbody Guitars
Semi-Solidbody guitars are a hybrid of solid and hollow bodies .
The result is a stronger instrument...guitars like the Gibson 335.

Electric Guitars Woods
A good BODY is made of hard woods because they are durable and are able to
improve the sustain. Maple , ash , alder , walnut and mahogany are all popular
The NECK is usually built in mahogany or maple. The FRETBOARD is rosewood
or ebony. Ebony is better because it's extremely hard. Avoid painted fretboards

Important: Remember, when you go for an electric guitar, you also need an
amplifier Make sure you plug it into an amp equivalent to what you will buy .

Playing the electric guitar is easier because the strings are close together, they
are a lighter gauge and its neck is narrower . It covers a lot of musical styles .


Acoustic Guitars
Classical or Spanish
It is made with a large, hollow sound box. Its fretboard could be made of solid
woods with Spruce or Cedar top, Rosewood back and sides. Nylon strings are
used - which gives you a sweet , gentle , slightly muted sound . This guitar is
ideal for any melodic work ... but particularly suited for classical music songs .
Flamenco
A nylon stringed with thinner wood dimensions and less body depth than the
Classic . Cedar Top with Cypress back and sides . The important difference
between acoustic guitars and the classical one is that the fretboard is even
wider; apart from that these two instruments are based on the same concept

Folk
Similar to the classical but the sound box is larger, its fretboard narrower, the sound
is brighter and the strings are made of steel . Woods: spruce or cedar top, ebony or
rosewood fretboard , mahogany or maple for the back and the sides. If you want to
play rhythms or take your first steps in rock , here is an excellent choice to consider
12-String
The fretboard is extra long, many people tune acoustic guitars down a tone to ease the action.
This instrument is especially useful for loud strumming or phrases of twin sounds in 2 octaves.
Note: Tuning a 12-string guitar is really difficult

Acoustic guitars are more portable and can be played anywhere. You have to buy
an instrument that feels and sounds great. You won't need any other equipment.


Evaluation

SOUND

TONE
The instrument must sound exciting to you or you will not enjoy it and therefore not play it much
TONE BALANCE
This means that it possesses bass and treble frequencies
SEPARATION
Can you hear the individual notes on a chord?
SUSTAIN
All the notes last rather than quickly die
TUNING
The instrument has to be able to stay in tune

CONSTRUCTION

FRETBOARD
May be flat or slightly curved from side-to-side
FRETS
Should be even, and none of them should stick out more than the others
NECK
A good neck has a functional trussrod so that a repairman can
do adjustments ... a great neck should ALWAYS look straight .
BODY
Run your hands all around the body's edges. If it feels like the wood
does not quite meet properly in any place, don't buy that instrument
BRIDGE
Be sure that the bridge is in the right place
PICKUPS
One pickup is enough if you're a starter. Don't expect a guitar to
sound louder or better because it's loaded with multiple pickups .
SMOOTH OPERATION
Make sure the tuning machines, the switches and the knobs are tight and operate smoothly

FEEL

NECK
Should be smooth and comfortable. Classical guitars have wide necks.
Electric guitars have narrow necks...and folk necks are somewhere in
between. If you have small hands a narrow neck is more comfortable
BODY SIZE
The majority of steel - string acoustic guitars have dreadnought style bodies . These
are big instruments and if you are a small person they can be uncomfortable to play
BALANCE
Hold the guitar in the playing position and notice how it feels . Now , your
instrument should be balanced so that it is not too heavy at the headstock
If you buy a cool electric guitar , how would it feel hanging from a strap ?
ACTION
How high are the strings from the fretboard ? The low action make guitars
easier to play. The higher the action, the greater difficulty you would have
PLAYABILITY
This is especially critical for the beginning student. An unsuitable
instrument can have negative effects on the learning experience

COST

• Spend as much as you can . Once you've set a maximum price, stick to it and DO NOT exceed it
• If you decide for an electric , get an additional budget to purchase an amp and guitar effects
• Always, focus your attention (and your budget) on the guitar itself. You are going to have a very close relationship with it ... and it has to feel OK.
• Playability affects the price, cheap is no fun.
If a guitar is no fun to play , you won’t play it.

               


Other Things Needed

CASE
A flight case or hardshell case is best . Soft cases
and nylon gig bags do not provide real protection
STRAP
Get an adjustable one that lets you set the length -
I recommend to buy a strap lock at the same time
TUNER
Get an electronic tuner . I recommend a chromatic
STRINGS
To start out , buy a light gauge --- they're easier to
play but aren't so thin you'll break them right away
PICKS
Try all those sizes , shapes , thicknesses and brands .
Try them all and determine which works best for you
AMP
If you buy one electric guitar , you'll need a small amp.
8 - 15 watts of clean power with one speaker - 6" to 12"
MUSIC
Unless you're already taking lessons , one safe way for a
safe beginning is to get tablatures of your favorite songs