Now that you have decided that you want to pick up the guitar and learn to play and perhaps even write some truly killer songs, you need to decide on the guitar that will get you started on your way. With the sheer number of choices of guitars for beginners out there, this may seem to be a daunting task worthy of stopping before you start. Don’t fret though, (no pun intended) because by keeping a couple of pointers in mind you can quickly and easily make a decision without too much stress.

One of the criteria that will eliminate a huge amount of contenders is price. It is often said that you get what you pay for, and this is true to an extent. But don’t think that you have to buy a $1,500 Ibanez when you haven’t yet played your first scale. It’s like the golfer who buys a $700 driver and shoots a 45 over par. Practice and hone your skills before you spring for the top-of-the-line guitars. You can find good beginner guitars for less than $500, and I would suggest keeping it even closer to $200 or less.

Yes, the higher-priced models are better in quality and better in sound, but if you are not yet at the skill level to fully utilize the higher craftsmanship of the expensive varieties, it is better to stick with something a bit cheaper and risk a lot more money learning what you need to learn.

The quality of the wood is a major determinant of a guitar’s sound, and it is often said that you can never obtain that rich, resonant sound from a guitar made from plywood. Try to get something made from some really well-seasoned wood such as ash or alder for the soundboards. Not the Guaranteed maple or birch that has some Special tag.

The neck should be attached to the body and have an internal groove meaning that it can be manipulated to suit the player. Does it fit comfortably without being too small? This is hugely important. You will find many players who have a certain feel that they need, but this feeling will change slowly and consistently.

How far up are the strings? Anywhere within the first twenty frets most, any size guitar will work well.

All guitar necks are not the same length, but the “normal” neck is about halfway between the nut and the bridge saddle. Using this general guideline your guitar will be comfortable for playing, the strings will not be too high and neither will the nut.

Next, you must be happy with how the guitar sounds. You may have your preferred sound that involves a heavy bottom end and a big low end with your tonal options being many, but that’s what makes the guitar versatile.

Play around with the settings. Get your desired sound and see how they sound with different settings. You can maiden any setting you like until you get the sound you want.

Every serious rock or jazz guitarist needs a good set of accessories. Start with a capo; this is a clamp that you put on your guitar and then use your fingers to create various pitches and tones.

This serves as your guide should you need to add in the future.

Cords and cables. You may need to use a small adapter to go from a small perch to a standard jack.

This may sound like an overwhelming task for a beginner, but make sure the right cable is selected and that it fits your instrument. This will go a long way to supporting your music practice.

Get the feel of the guitar. Practice holding it and making it do what you want. You may feel awkward at first but that is just because you have not used it yet.

As time goes on you will be comfortable with it to the point where you do not need to think about it.

Pave. This is a bit tricky because every guitar is different. Pave by taking off the bit of carpeting that’s covering the guitar. You usually can loosen this with enough grass clippings to get underneath the padding and look for flat spots that will make contact with the guitar. Use your rasp and a brush to rough off any rough spots.

Sand the buffing blanket a few times making sure that the blanket is flat. Put this between the guitar and the window so that you can see it when you’re not playing the guitar.

Make sure that you regularly wipe down the instrument to make sure that you have a dust-free environment to work in. Don’t let your dust particles or dirt from your hands build up and attack the finish. Wipe the strings down after you’re done working and use a small amount of polish to clean the strings up.

The strings will get dirty very quickly on the finish so you should change them every now and then.

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