We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Kind of Guitar Should I Buy?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated Jan 28, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Purchasing a guitar can be a daunting task to even the most seasoned guitarists. There are many styles and brands to choose from and each has a different purpose. When choosing which guitar is right for you, consider the following: your playing ability, the music you want to play, and the budget you have to work with.

The most obvious consideration when choosing a guitar to purchase is your ability as a guitarist. If you are a rank beginner, consider purchasing an electric guitar and small practice amplifier. Very affordable beginner kits that come with an electric guitar, small amplifier, picks and a strap are available at most guitar shops and will give you everything you need to get started. Electric guitars are a good choice for beginners because their strings are generally thinner than those of an acoustic guitar, which makes them easier on the player’s fingers and more conducive to learning chords without too much hand-cramping.

However, if you are interested in playing classical music and not rock and roll, an electric guitar might not be your best choice. A classical, nylon-string guitar would get you the sound you are looking for. Beginners may struggle with this type of guitar because its neck is much wider, thereby making hand movements across the string a bit more difficult. However, the nylon strings are easier on the fingers than bronze, acoustic strings.

An acoustic guitar creates a rich, full-bodied sound with or without the use of an amplifier. If space and volume is an issue, thereby eliminating the possibility of using a guitar amp, an acoustic guitar offers convenience and a unique sound typically heard across genres from folk to rock, from classical to country. Because the strings on an acoustic guitar are typically thicker and less yielding, it might be more difficult for a beginner to learn how to play on one.

Guitars vary in price from the very inexpensive to the ludicrously expensive. As a beginner, buy a less expensive instrument and decide if you like playing it before you invest in a guitar that could cost upwards of a couple thousand dollars. If you are a seasoned player, be sure you know what you are paying for: guitars come in an array of materials, hardware, electronics, and playability options. If you like thinner, faster necks, perhaps a Fender Stratocaster with a maple neck will do the trick. If you seek a chunky, gritty, distorted sound, the humbucker pickups on a Gibson Les Paul is right up your alley. Your best bet is to play a lot of different guitars and ask other guitarists for their input; this will help you find your perfect guitar quickly and without the headache.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
By Glasshouse — On Mar 11, 2011

@Valleyfiah- I would recommend buying a new guitar over a used guitar. A new guitar will be void of defects and will have a warranty. An inexperienced guitarist may miss critical hidden damage on a used guitar simply for the fact they do not know what to look for. You can also find great guitars that are new for less than what you can find one for used.

I recently bought a p-bass on managers special at my local guitar store. I could not pick the color, but I was able to buy a $650 dollar guitar for $299 simply because the store had kept it in inventory to long. Sometimes the unadvertised deals are there, and if you strike up a rapport with the salesperson, you can get him or her to call you when they have something worthwhile hit clearance.

By cougars — On Mar 09, 2011

@valleyfiah- My dad just died so I wanted to find a new hobby that would help me feel better. I bought my first bass guitar about a week ago, and I asked many of the same questions you are asking. I will tell you what I was told. If you are serious about playing guitar, don't buy the cheapest guitar you can find. Buy a middle of the road guitar that is a popular seller. You will end up buying something that sounds good and feels good.

By ValleyFiah — On Mar 06, 2011

How do I decide what the best beginner guitar is for me? I need something that is good to learn on, but I do not want something that is so cheap that it sounds bad. I also do not know if I should get a guitar that is used or stick to a new guitar. Can anyone give me some advice?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.