#1
Hey i am just learning to play guitar and i was just wondering if i should get an acoustic or electric guitar first.So just tell me what you like and what you think is best for a beginner to start of playing.


thanks for posting!
Tempt not a desperate man
#2
i would say acoustic dude. electric is easier but with acoustic you get finger strength, speed and clarity that is harder to hide than with electric and its distortions...
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#3
Both have advantages. Acoustic is simple and less expensive,electric is easier to play and has a higher "sexy" factor. I'd just go to a local store, and mess around until something felt right, if I were you.
#4
I'd say electric. Its easier to stay interested in guitar with electric. You have to grow an appreciation for acoustic, and its more difficult.
#5
It all depends on the style of music you're planning on playing first, but if you're going for a more rock oriented approach, an electric guitar may be better for you, even if it costs a little more, you'll get more used to the feel of an electric guitar and if you get a decent electric guitar and amplifier, picking out your playing mistakes will be easier than if you were using an acoustic.

An acoustic would be good for building up finger strength, but many people may buy a classical guitar instead of an acoustic one as they generally look the same to people who aren't so experienced with guitars, if you choose to buy a proper acoustic, make sure the guitar you're buying has all steel strings, not nylon (often mistaken for plastic)

An electric would be easier to start off and play on and you'll probably prefer the sound you get out of it through an amp over an acoustic as it will lack the harsh tone that distortion gives, and the action (string height from the fretboard) will generally be lower and playing will be slightly easier, and the strings are thinner (lower gauge) which makes it slightly easier to play so you won't get too frustrated with playing an electric.

I'd go with the electric if I were you, but make sure to learn your chords! I think that making the transition from acoustic to electric may be difficult for some too, so there's something to look out for.
#6
an acoustic is much better for learning. the strings are usually harder to push down. meaning your finger strength is built up faster, and you can take it anywhere with you. which is the main advantage to an acoustic. it'll be a pain in the ass to fret chords and such at first, but keep at it.
#7
well like many have said before it depends on what style your into but acoustic is my choice. If you start a few months on acoustic then go to electric you will find that it is easier than just starting on electric (my opinion anyway)
when i started i started i went with acoustic and when the time came for me to get an electric i found that pushing the strings down was very easy (it was like there were no strings at all) acoustic strings are like wieghts for your fingers. They are also more portable and are not as complicated because you dont mess with all the knobs and dials on the amp and guitar.
But electric guitar is more badass and also in my oppinion a little more fun to play. I'm giong with acoustic but its your choice and if you want an electric go ahead since there both guitars and both the same instrument basically
#8
I got both in the space of 3 months, because I wanted to try both much against what I was told and what the general belief is. Its rather like this: if you are serious about guitar playing and/or you want to learn things properly, start out on an acoustic but be aware about the effects on your fingers and the requirements to acquire enough strength (something I'm still trying to get so we're really both in the same boat) before you can play appreciably well. Also, I think the acoustic keeps you more disciplined. On the other hand, if you are someone who is more into metal, shred, rock, or alternative stuff (don't want to get into granularity of genres) and are easily deterred by the possibly slow progress on acoustic (read impatient) and fear giving it up, you might want to get hold of an electric. Either way, read about both on the internet, if possible talk to friends who play and listen to riffs from both.

PS--Even though I said that last part, this is rather subjective...with electrics for instance, only a very very good amplifier may do justice to your guitar and with acoustic, some people play and generate sounds which make most beginners like me have an "aha" moment. For example, see this video which my friend just told me about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO4bmroCQY4&feature=related. So both guitars have their advantages...acoustic is in NO way inferior or less cool.

Have fun!
Last edited by darkmav at Jul 22, 2008,
#9
Acoustics your best bet
thats what i started on
My name is Vikki. Use it

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Out of the city
To plan our great escape
#10
for a beginner, acoustic. it show u more of the basics, and helps build calluses and finger strength. if you're like me, my goal was to play electric, and i did that after playing probably an year and a half of acoustic. acoustic first no matter what, that's my suggestion.
but if you're a classical guy, go with a classical guitar.
#11
I started on acoustic and if I had to go back and learn again, I would still start out on an acoustic.

Even now I try to play the acoustic just as often, it keeps me sharp.....not to mention it's an awesome instrument.
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#12
Classical/Spanish.
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#13
I self taught myself with an electric.
Easy to fret, hold the guitar and such. When I tried playing acoustic for the first time it was difficult adjusting to the huge body but within 10 minutes I was able to play.
Go for electric!!! Hearing that chunky sound everytime i turned it on helped me learn more and more.
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#15
Quote by Kurt~CobainRIP
Classical/Spanish.


Agreed, it's what I started on. Possibly the best bet if you want to build up finger strength.

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#16
it dependes on what type of music you want to play, if your into accoustic stuff, get and acoustic, if your in to rock stuff, get an electric....if you get somthing your not going to enjoy playing, you'll lose your motivation
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#17
Quote by HLrocker
it dependes on what type of music you want to play, if your into accoustic stuff, get and acoustic, if your in to rock stuff, get an electric....if you get somthing your not going to enjoy playing, you'll lose your motivation


agreed wholeheartedly. you want something which encourages you to play, and which doesn't make you want to give up, not something which *wow* might increase your finger strength slightly more quickly. if you play enough your finger strength will increase fine nomatter what instrument you get.

EDIT: if you like green day and paramore (move over, poirot), i'd start on an electric.

How much money can you realistically get together (and don't mind blowing on a guitar and amp)?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#19
ok doke. first things first, you want to avoid starter packs- the amp will suck (and if you're unlucky, the guitar will too).

i think you can get an MIM fat strat (HSS) for $400. That'd be worth considering, certainly.

Yamaha Pacificas are extremely nice too- the pacifica 112 is $200, so with $400 you should be able to stretch to one of the higher end models (412, maybe even 612).

michael kelly guitars are meant to be nice, but i haven't tried them- there seem to be some at $400.

you could get an ibanez rg321 or sz520 for under your budget too, if you like more metal guitars.

There are some godins around your pricerange too, they'd be worth a look (just make sure it has a bridge humbucker, so you can get a more heavily distorted sound for rock/metal).

just make sure you don't get anything with a locking trem, as at your price range, it's liable not to be very good.

For the amp- maybe a roland microcube or cube 30 (avoid the 15 and 20 as they don't have the amp models, which are what makes it a great starter amp). does depend on how much you want to spend, though.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
basically, if you want to seriously practice and get some skill quick, start with acoustic. it will make an electric feel a lot easier afterwards. you also wont need to waste more money on an amp to practice on. but if you want that electric sound then by all means go for it but you seriously should not go all out. start out as small as possible,
#21
well thank you very much Dave Mc. i'm going to check out those guitars and see which one might suit me.
Tempt not a desperate man
#22


post back with what you're considering...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#23
oh and also where is a good place to buy a guitar because the only place around where i live is guitar center and i think the place is pretty good but if you have any places or site you perfer tell me
Tempt not a desperate man
#24
it'd certainly be worth going to guitar center to try out guitars, that's for sure. All the guitars I mentioned, I got the prices from the Musicians Friend website, which is Guitar Center's web shop, I think. So with any luck, they might have most (or at least some) of those in stock, so you could try them and see how they look in the flesh (wood? ).

I haven't ever been in a guitar center, as we don't have them here- i have been in sound control (a music chain here which recently went bust), and I assume guitar center is a similar concern. The prices will probably be reasonable, but they may not be all that well setup etc.

do you have yellow pages in the USA (i think you do)- easiest thing to do is to look that up (or the online version) for music shops in your area, then visit a couple to see what they're like. I'd probably hit up guitar center first though, not to buy, but just so you can see and try out under less pressure (i always feel more under pressure in small shops than in big chains).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#25
Man you have been really helpful thank you so much for helping out a beginner like me!
Tempt not a desperate man
#26
no problem at all. good luck, and if you have any more questions, or if you've decided on the one to go for but just want to check it's a good choice, please feel free to post again.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#27
See, this is why everybody likes Dave_Mc-cause he's awesome.
also: I'd suggest a Vox AD15VT for an amp, it sounds pretty good, and it's quite variable.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#28
thanks for those kind words
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#29
Quote by Dave_Mc
thanks for those kind words

Current Gear:
LTD MH-400
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#30
i think dave mc is a pooopy head!


nah, just joking.

buy for the music you intend to play.
chugging on an acoustic would have gotten pretty old, pretty fast.

+1 on the suggestions too.
micro cubes for all the effects in a little package.
and
HSS strat or some sort of fixed bridge ibanez would be nice.
just look for a real wood body.


i've ordered on line at musicians friend before. there's that option as well.
but for a first time guitar player, it's best to actually try it when at all possible.


from the stickies...
How to try out guitars

Before you select a guitar, there are a few things you need to think over.
-The style of music you play.
-A budget you can live with.
-How long you've been playing. If you've ever owned a guitar before.
We all gravitate towards the guitar that looks the Hawtest, but looks and color, shouldn't be your first concern.
Wood type, bridge type, pickup configuration, guitar weight, brand reputation, and UG member recommendations should all come into play.
You need to have in mind, a few guitars that suit you best, before you even walk into the store.

Walking into The Store:

Wait, you've already blown it! Are you sure you're in the right place? Most of us only have a couple of options.
Ideally you live in an area with large chains, and local shops. Keep in mind that large chains pay their workers with commission. A money driven worker will not be working towards your best interest, no matter how nice he seems. Local shops might be able to offer you a better deal, but they don't carry as large a selection.
It's good to get prices online, some stores will even match competitor's prices, but whenever possible, physically play as many guitars as possible. Keep in mind that in most cases, the recommended list price for a guitar, is about twice its actual selling price.
In addition, when you are trying to get more guitar for the money, It might be worth your time to look into local pawn shops, classified Ads or to check out Ebay. There are some good deals out there, you just need to know where to look.

Take a Friend:

Guitar stores can be overwhelming. When possible, bring a guitar playing friend with you, preferably someone with purchasing experience. You want him to be objective and to run interference for you, if you run into any pushy sales associates.
Start off by finding the models and styles in your price range. If you aren't happy with the choices, at least you'll create a basis for comparison.
If you have a favorite type of pick, make sure you have one in your pocket. You want to feel as comfortable as possible.
There's no reason to call over a sales associate just yet, because you should start off by playing your choices acoustically.

Testing a Guitar:

Once you're certain about the model, you're ready to test some guitars. Don't be afraid to ask for one off the wall. When they don't want one played, they will usually tag it, but it's a good idea to leave the top shelf guitars alone unless they are in your price range. Let the sales staff know you're serious and they will be more willing to work with you on a good deal.
To make things simple, I've made a checklist.
Before playing...
-Sit down in a quiet area and feel the guitars weight. Make sure it's balanced, and suited to your size.
-Move the knobs and switch. Make sure they are tight.
-Go to the input jack, see if it wiggles.
-Lift the guitar to your face. Check the headstock and neck joint for small cracks or chips.
-See if the neck looks straight.
-Shake the guitar. Listen for loose parts.
-Look at the fretboard. Make sure there are no wood imperfections, raised or crooked frets. Make sure the frets don't poke through the side of the board.
Before plugging in....
-Strum and fret each string. You're listening for fret buzz.
Keep in mind, guitars aren't always set up prior to placement on the selling floor.
Sometimes they aren't even tuned. Action and fret buzz are USUALLY adjustable, but the guitar shouldn't buzz and rattle everywhere.
-Check the guitar's harmonics. Compare tones at the 12th. See if the guitar is intonated.
-Make sure the board isn't too wide for you. See if you can reach the higher frets.
-Make sure the bridge saddles are level, with no sharp points.
-Make sure the tuners don't feel loose.
Amp it up...
-Ok, find the pain in the ass sales guy. You'll need a guitar cable, and an amp,
JUST LIKE THE ONE YOU HAVE AT HOME!!!!
Don't Let him plug you into a $1,000 amp. You're testing the guitar not the amp.
-If possible, have a riff ready. If you're tagged as a complete noob, you'll get less respect.
-Use the switch. Select the neck pickup. Select the bridge. Listen for crackling noises.
Roll the knobs and listen for noise. Touch and lift your hand off the bridge, listen for buzzing that stops when you ground it. If you're into Metal, and are looking at a humbucker guitar, expect to hear less noise than if you were testing a single-coil guitar.
-Check the pickups with the amp on clean and with gain.
Questions to Ask...
-Hopefully you already know the wood type of your choice guitar. You need to make sure the salesman knows that you've done your homework.
"Do you have any other Mahogany guitars in this price range, you could recommend?"
-Let the salesman know that you've noticed any imperfections.
"I like this ibanez, but I'm picking up fretbuzz through the amp. Do your guitars come
setup?"
-Spend a while playing the guitar. Look upset even if you like the guitar.
"What can I get this guitar for?" "Does this guitar come with a case?"
You want to walk out of there, with as many free extras as possible. Especially if you've found anything wrong with the guitar. Any minor flaw, might work as a bargaining chip.
- "What's your return policy?"
Final thoughts...

IF YOU LIKE THE GUITAR ON THE SALES FLOOR, TAKE THAT GUITAR, NOT ONE FROM THE STOCKROOM. Unless it's a floor model, you should still get a box for it. You just don't want to take the time to find the perfect guitar, only to end up with a lemon in the end.
Also keep in mind, stores make a lot of money off of purchase insurance. In almost every case, it's not worth it to buy protection on a guitar. Except for the neck, every part is easily replaced. In addition, any flaws would be apparent within the usual 30 day return time frame.

Good Luck, Jenny
Jenneh

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#32
i'm not too well-up on epis... i haven't tried the studio. i tried a standard a while back, and it was alright. you wouldn't go too far wrong with it, i think... just i think HSS strats are possibly a bit more versatile, and also generally a bit cheaper.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?