Instrument Guide - Guitar

Updated: Jun 30



Learning how to play an instrument is an incredibly rewarding experience, and the guitar provides students with a versatile and portable option. If you’re starting lessons, it’s very important to begin looking for your own guitar – especially so you can practice at home!


We know that finding a guitar can bring up a lot of questions, and we are here to help. Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions that come up when looking for a guitar.


What type of guitar should I buy?


Long story short – it depends!


The type of guitar you are looking for depends on your goals and what music you want to learn.


The acoustic guitar is going to be your most versatile option: allowing you to play rock to folk to pop music.


An electric guitar will provide you with a traditional “rock” sound.


Classical guitars are primarily for (you guessed it) classical music. They are also used to play Latin and Flamenco styles. However, these can be used as an alternative to the typical acoustic guitar.


Besides the style, your age/size will determine the size of guitar you need. We will discuss this further below.


What’s the difference between acoustic/electrical/classical?


Acoustic:

· Steel strings

· No amp required

· Light

· Bright tone


Electric:

· Steel strings

· Require an amp to be able to hear the guitar

· Narrow neck

· Heavy

· Going to cost more than other styles of guitar


Classical:

· Nylon strings (softer, plastic feel – good for beginners)

· No amp required

· Wider neck

· Light

· Warm tone


Do children need a different sized guitar than adults? Why?


Yes! Because the guitar is an instrument you have to hold to play, having one that is too big will make it uncomfortable and difficult to play.


Guitars are manufactured in a range of sizes, based on age and average height. Please take a look at this chart for an idea of what size you or your child may need.



We recommend going to a local music store to hold and/or play different sizes of guitars to make sure you are choosing the most comfortable option.


Where can I purchase a guitar?


Local stores in the KW area:

· Long & McQuade

· Brickhouse Guitars

· The Guitar Corner

· Folkway Guitars

· Sherwood Music


Online stores:

· Amazon Canada

· Cosmo Music


How important is cost/quality? Do I need to buy an expensive guitar?


An expensive guitar is not necessary, especially if you are starting out. There are many great guitars that are budget friendly.


In particular, if you are buying for a growing child – that expensive guitar may become too small in a year or two. Buying a top quality guitar is only best if you are an active guitar player who has stopped growing and are willing to make the investment.


It may be best to aim for a guitar that is mid-range in price if you are starting out – in order to ensure that its material will be durable and that it is set-up well.


Can I buy a used guitar on Kijiji/Facebook marketplace? Or should I buy new?


Buying used can be a gamble, especially if you haven’t done your homework on what to look for in a good guitar. However, besides good deals, you can also find beautiful guitars that are no longer made new.


If you are looking for a guitar that is used, make sure you ask the right questions.

· How long have they owned the guitar for?

· What repairs has the guitar had? Is it regularly maintained?

· Are you able to test the guitar?


Old strings can be easily changed, but make sure to check for any rust or large scratches / cracks in the body of the guitar. These can be expensive to fix later on. Also, ensure that all the tuners work, and that the guitar maintains its tuning when being played.


Buying new ensures that the guitar is in good shape, and customer service policies usually allow for returns or exchanges if there is something wrong. However, you will be obviously be paying more.

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