Nothing satisfies the soul like music and one of the most popular instruments for beginning wannabe rock stars and ballad writers is the ol’ six string – the acoustic guitar. Because there are hundreds of styles of acoustic guitars, choosing the right fit for you can seem to be overwhelming when you are new to playing! This article will guide you step-by-step to pick out the very best acoustic guitar for your needs.
1 - What is an Acoustic Guitar?
- An acoustic guitar is an instrument that produces sound through the vibration of its strings in the air when you pluck them with your fingers or a pick – namely a ‘plectrum’ in music circles. The tones of the vibrations are amplified through the guitars body, which is always hollow for the sound to echo through.
2 - What are the Main Parts of an Acoustic Guitar?
- Body – Sound echoes out of the body, which is the largest part of the guitar
- Neck – The strings are stretched across this portion, and are pressed onto the fretboard
- Fretboard – The strings are held against frets in this area to change the tone of the music
- Strings - The quality of the sound changes with differences in length, mass, and tension of the strings, which are made from steel, nylon, or gut
For a more in-depth explanation of the history and sound mechanics of an acoustic guitar, check out Wikipedia’s informative lesson at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acoustic_guitar.
3 - What is an Acoustic Electric Guitar?
I can’t hear my guitar!
To help amply the sound, some acoustic guitars have a piezoelectric or magnetic pickup, or a microphone.
4 - What Acoustic Guitar is Best for Beginners?
There is no set “best” guitar – you need to try one on like a pair of pants! Some of the major choices to select from are:
- Mini, ¾ and Full-Size Guitars - for Youth, Young Adults and Adults
- Left or Right-Handed Guitars
- 6 or 12 String Guitars
- Neck Length
- Body Size
5 - What Acoustic Guitar should I buy?
I’m a Soccer fan who Loves Folk Music, He’s a Banker who Loves Country Blues
- Classical Guitar – The classical acoustic guitars use strings made from Nylon or Gut and tend to have small bodies. Used for Folk music, Spanish style ballads and flamenco music, romantic ballads and medieval or Baroque music.
- Steel-String Acoustic Guitar – These guitars use steel strings and are typically used for Western, Rockabilly and Americana Music. You can rock’n’roll, sing a twangin’ tune or strum a simple upbeat melody with these versatile, louder acoustic guitars. In contrast to a classical guitar they tend to have a large hollow body.
- Also, another steel-stringed acoustic guitar known as the Hawaiian Guitar or Lap Steel Guitar – The musician presses a metal or glass bar against the strings instead of pressing the strings against the fretboard using fingers.
6 – Where Do I Buy My Acoustic Guitar?
Research: Now that you’re armed with the basic how-to’s of what acoustic guitar you should buy, research the market for the best maker, or brand, of guitar that you would like to purchase. For example, some guitar websites such as Acousticguitar.com/ offer customer and professional musician reviews.
Shop local, get lessons: Once you have narrowed down the style and the brand, research your local music shops to promote local business and save big on discounts during shopping seasons.
- One of the biggest benefits of buying a guitar locally is being able to try it on for size. Nearly all music stores and pawn shops that sell quality acoustic guitars will allow you to play them on the storeroom floor to see if you like the way they feel. Try the one you like, than try two more just to be sure! Each guitar has its own feel, sound and style! Take them out for a test play!
- The veteran musicians that run small music stores will give you a complete walk-through of your newly selected guitar, the types of strings you should purchase, and what type of pick you should use if you do not want to strum the strings using only your fingers.
- Local stores also typically offer music lessons or can give you the number of local acoustic guitar music instructor.
Now You’re Ready
Get out there and start that garage band!
Knowing the difference between acoustic guitar styles will save you hours of frustration and hard earned money you can use for extra strings! Enjoy your newfound musical prowess with your friends and help them pick out a guitar, too!