I have picked up guitars and lessons twice before, and quit for various reasons in life (kids namely, career didn't help either). My first was the usual squier strat wannabe, and the second was a Floyd Rose Fat Strat, which I loved.

Now that I'm able to commit to learning and playing on a daily and long-term basis, I'm looking to go buy myself a guitar to get started with.

My basic question is:
Should I go with an electric or an acoustic to start out?

I will buy a second guitar after I've gone to classes and practiced daily for three months, so I'll eventually have both, but I wasn't sure if one would be better to start with than the other. My thoughts were that an acoustic would help to develop finger strength a bit faster, but I'm far from knowledgeable.

The two guitars I am looking at are either the Fender Standard Strat (for electric) or the Fender Dreadnought acoustic-electric.

As far as what music I like... all of it!

I listen to mostly rock, but I'm also a fan of metal, country, blues, jazz, and bluegrass. If there is any one genre I should stick with as I learn, please let me know, but I'm a music person, and would like to eventually be adept at a broad range of genres (also the reason I plan on owning both electric and acoustic setups).

I will be taking classes from two different instructors as soon as I decide on a guitar, as well as taking what online lessons I can find.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
start with the acoustic. It'll help you build finger strength and placement over an electric
i agree...if you can play an acoustic very well...most likely playing the electric would be a breeze for u
The acoustic will definately help more with building strength, callouses, and accuracy. Its easy to "get by" with the electric and it will be easier, however beginners tend to overlook incorrect fretting on an electric. You cant hide from your mistakes on an acoustic. Plus I think its always nice to appreciate the sound of music you can make on an acoustic. Too many people grab a Squier strat pack to start with and try to play as fast as they can but end up making just noise, then quit. Many cannot even fret an acoustic due to lack of hand strength.

Either way, if you really plan on sticking with the guitar, get a solid top acoustic (may cost a few extra bucks). Whatever brand it may be, Fenders are fine. Make sure that the action is playable for a beginner, as most lower end guitars are not set up nicely and more difficult to fret. (Not that I am saying you are getting a lower end one....you know what I mean). The Standard Strat is definately a good guitar to start with on the electric. If you live in the US, you will always find a deal at your local Guitar Center during holiday specials. Dont know about today, but usually on a holiday Monday, they have sales. I picked up a Standard Fat Strat ($399 original price), for $319 on Prez day. Holidays are the best time to buy if you are patient.

Good luck.
Ok, I started looking acoustic, and was curious what the difference is between a solid top and laminated top?

From basic woodworking knowledge, I know that solid is self-explanatory, and laminated would be thin sheets of a material glued together to make a thicker material... I assume it's the same for an acoustic?

If so, I'm hurt. I had my eyes on a neat little custom dreadnought, but on closer inspection I noticed it was a laminate.

If I end up stubborn and go with a laminate, will it last me 6 months to a year? The plan is not to spend over 500 on the guitar itself until I've committed to playing. After the 6 months to one year timeframe, I have no qualms about paying for a top quality instrument.

Edit: I have to have an instrument I like to look at, which complicates things. Was initially looking at the Fender Limited Edition Monkey Business Tiki Style Dreadnought http://www.guitarcenter.com/shop/product/Fender-Limited-Edition-Monkey-Business-Tiki-Style-Dreadnought-AcousticElectric-Guitar-?full_sku=513927%2e010, but am now looking for other options. Ibanez has a nice one http://www.guitarcenter.com/shop/product/buy_ibanez_aes20e_acousticelectric_guitar_with_onboard_tuner?full_sku=103037404 but I'd have to see it to determine if the top is solid, since the features tab doesn't specify. Any suggestions on a sharp looking instrument for up to 500ish would be appreciated. I also plan to put my hands on whatever I'm looking at before I buy, but I'm initially going on looks and style.
Last edited by Techzilla at Oct 8, 2007,
You are exactly right about the solid vs laminate. Solid tops will give you better tone and will last longer. Honestly, the laminate top will last you a few years, if not more. It really depends on how you store it or care for it. Just know, if you plan to hold on to it for a while, the solid tops will age better and sound better down the line as well.

Guitar Center's website is very biased in what they sell online. I dont know how much help I can give you when it comes to looks and style, because i cant justify spending more for looks over quality.

Check some of these out....These are reasonably priced for the features. (All pretty plain spruce top dreadnoughts.)