Electric or Acoustic guitar for a complete beginner?

worz

Active Member
Hey Guys,

I am being pressed to decide on what I want for Christmas and have decided I would like to learn the guitar. However I have no idea on whether I should try to start learning on an Acoustic or an Electric?

I have had a search on the forums and found a few posts on which electric is best for a beginner etc, but nothing to really advise on what would be best(read easiest and most likely to not make me give up) way for a complete beginner to start.

Thanks for any advice you can offer..

Worz
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
Kinda depends what you're interested in playing really...

Acoustics tend to be a bit harder to learn on, but not massively so in my opinion.. the main advantage there is that with an acoustic you don't need an amp, can play it quieter (trust me, when learning bad notes through an amp win no friends!!)

But if you have no interest in acoustic music, then i'd get an electric.... plenty of choice - agin depends what you like playing though :)
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
No expert, not even a guitar player, just been through this with my son.

What sort of music do you like. If all your heroes play electric then get electric.

Acoustic come in classical (nylon string) and folk (steel string).

Electric and classical are meant to be easier on your fingers - electric because the string height is lower so you don't have to push down so much and classical because the nylon is softer on your finger tips.

Folk is hardest on finger tips because the bridge is high and the strings are like cheese wire (well some of them are).

Acoustic is cheaper to get into because like for like the guitar itself is cheaper and you don't need an amp, lead etc.

My son got electric first then got a folk later on.

NB - just because it's called a folk doesn't mean that it is just for folk music. Most of the acoustics you see being played in pop and rock music are folk.

But the main thing is to get the type that suits the music you like best if you want it to be a success.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

lechacal

Novice Member
I would go electric. Easier to play for a beginner and you have the option of practicing almost silently if you want to. Once you've toughened your fingers up a bit and mastered the barre chord on an electric you have a leg-up with the acoustic.

I know people who have given up simply because they couldn't get over the first couple of hurdles while coping with a tree-trunk neck and the high action of an acoustic.
 

TESLACOIL

Standard Member
I would be tempted to go shopping with your parents and buy your guitar that way

getting the right guitar really makes the difference

you can learn basic chords n stuff on any crappy guitar

but u need to spend close to 200 pounds to get an instrument that's playable


A multi Fx unit with headphones socket is the way to go you can get one for about 50 quid

Guitars only sound cool if you have an effects unit or a 500 pounds Amplifier

fx unit way cheaper

small hands go for a strat type guitar

rhythm guitar buy a les paul type guitar

long hair ? go for an ibanez type guitar


YOUTUBE IS YOUR FREIND..zillions of videos on there

oh and u have to practice....it like learning to walk but with your fingers (just like a toddler )

a classical guitar is another option - soft on the fingers but limited musically and requires great technique to play well like the pros

you could always be a woose and learn to play bass

(ouch that hurt)

ps you will develop callouses on your finger tips...but that life (your fingers would bleed if you didn't & the guitar wouldn't have been invented
 
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lechacal

Novice Member
Guitars only sound cool if you have an effects unit or a 500 pounds Amplifier
Sorry, but that's shocking advice in my opinion. Decent practice amps can be had for £80 (cheaper second-hand) and headphone amps for quite a bit less than that. I would say that your first guitar should ideally be a second-hand one and that you don't want to spend anywhere near £200 in case you don't get on with it.

Once you can actually play something and you know you're enjoying learning then it's time to sound cool. Until then save your money and get what you need.
 

evangelink

Active Member
Sorry, but that's shocking advice in my opinion. Decent practice amps can be had for £80 (cheaper second-hand) and headphone amps for quite a bit less than that. I would say that your first guitar should ideally be a second-hand one and that you don't want to spend anywhere near £200 in case you don't get on with it.

Once you can actually play something and you know you're enjoying learning then it's time to sound cool. Until then save your money and get what you need.
+1. Before thinkin. About fx units you would be much better off getting a solid grounding by learning the chords and scales. You can spend as much on gear as you want, but if you can't play it doesn't mean anything.

I was a complete beginner two years ago and found that the nylon string guitars are very easy on the fingers, and could be picked up very cheap. Good for learning on as you can play it more than a steel string initially in my opinion. But I also soon bought a steel string, and learnt to live with the hardened fingers. Before splashing out loads, I'd give it a try first otherwise you could have a redundant guitar sat there.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
long hair ? go for an ibanez type guitar
Works the other way round aswell. My son has an ibanez and has been trying to grow his hair long - not too successfully though as every time there is a school uniform inspection he gets told his hair is too long and he has to get it cut!

Cheers,

Nigel
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
You sure as hell don't need to spend £500 on an amp to get a good one!

Good practise amps can be had cheap, excellent small valve amps can be had for £130!!!

I used to have an Ibanez SA260FM... i don't have long hair but it was a fantastic all rounder... recently sold it for £160. Something like that would be a stunning first guitar - jack of all trades, mine was the earlier model from the Indonesian factory too, and was simply in a different league from the current version of it!!!
 

worz

Active Member
Thanks for all your opinions and advice, :thumbsup:
My favourite groups would probably be Electric guitar based, so I guess it does make sense to go for an Electric, as this is the sort of music I listen to.
The consensus does seem to be they are slightly easier to learn too!

I am quite excited about this now, my wife will have a present to buy me and I will have something to play with on Christmas Day!

Now the hours of searching, I did notice there was a Pacifica for sale in the Electric goods forum, which might be good value if I could knock them down a little from the £190 they are asking. Includes an amp, case etc too.

Cheers again all!

worz
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
When I was shopping for my son's first decent guitar we looked at the Pacifca 112 - very nice guitar (I liked it very much along with a Cort), but it was my son's guitar and he preferred the Ibanez.

One thing though, you can buy a Pacifca new for £180 or less. Obviously the deal has a practice amp, case and tuner but I'd think about the value of the package especially if you are getting a guitar and colour which is not necessarily your first choice. The package may be great value, but may be a false economy if you end up with a green guitar when you really wanted a red one.

Guitars are very personal and it is really nice to go into a good shop and pick up and few to see which feels nice in your hands.

Obviously, you can't play yet so hard to tell, but I asked the shop assistant to play the guitars on my son's shortlist so he could judge which sound he liked best.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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pmc

Active Member
That Pacifica looks excellent. Ask him what model the amp is. It's a Marshall so likely to be good but we can give you some feedback on how well it'll suit a beginner.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Yes it does look like a good deal. The amp looks like a MG15 CDR.

New, the guitar, amp, bag, tuner and lead would be £295 though you'd probably be able to do a deal and get a small amount knocked off.

But I'd still maintain having a look at the Pacifica in a guitar shop first. Whilst it's a great starter guitar, if you decide you don't look, feel, colour or sound (personal taste) it may not be a such a bargain.

Also I think it is more reassuring for a beginner to buy from a shop. They can have a demo and they know that they can always go back for free advice or help if there is something they are not sure off.

For example, we bought my son's acoustic from a local shop rather than online. It was about £15 more expensive but when we pointed out that the action was quite high, the shop got their guitar technician to hand file the nut so that the action was pefect - all free of charge.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
Good advice on getting friendly with a local dealer.... the big dealers all have a store presence as well as very competitive pricing on the web.

Where are you based - we can point toward some good stores nearby.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I think that green 112 is over-priced, especially as it's probably the older non "V" model. I would have thought around £170 tops was more realistic.

It's been on sale numerous times since February but he's apparently not willing to move on price.

112s sell for £100-£120 on Ebay. Gumtree is also worth a look.

The Roland Micro Cube takes some beating for a beginners/practice amp.
 

Toasty

Distinguished Member
Before hunting on ebay, try somewhere like Digital Village first. I've bought an amp from here in the past and the price and delivery time couldn't be beaten anywhere else.
 

Scott_Mac

Distinguished Member
Digital Village
Dolphin
Guitar Guitar
GAK
Andertons

All good....
 

worz

Active Member
I am in Epping Essex, So DV is quite close as is a smaller shop in Harlow which I can have a look around.

The wife wants me to have a brand new one :lesson:

So I will head somewhere and see which i like the look of :rolleyes:
I always like to be armed with at least some info first, for which I rely on you guys :p

I always remember a Not the Nine o'clock news sketch where a guy walks into a HiFi shop I think it is, where he is ridiculed hehe.
Damm I am showing my age now :(

Still reasearching Amps and all the little bits i will also need on Christmas day!
Micro too small? Trying to save a little money, the Roland cube mentioned by crocodile, seems popular but is £80.

Worz
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
May be worth making an offer on that green 112 package as you're close enough to pick up & inspect. He may be more willing to listen to offers with Christmas rapidly approaching.

Whilst I understand your missus' reluctance to buy you a "used" present, buying new is a terrible waste.

I picked up my Micro Cube from Ebay for around £45 & there seems to be a steady flow of them.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
My son has a Roland cube - fantastic.

I picked up my Micro Cube from Ebay for around £45 & there seems to be a steady flow of them.
Me too. :thumbsup:

Small, runs off batteries or mains. Has a small number of effects built in aswell as a tuning tone. Can make a surprisingly big noise considering it's size.

But if money is tight I would look at a 2nd hand small practice amp and then upgrade later - should be able to find one for £20 or less.

If buying new and you are buying a few things don't forget to haggle for a package. Many shops won't knock off money but the will throw in lead, strap, picks etc. which is effectively saving you £20 or so.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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deadtotheworld

Novice Member
Just to chip in with some advice....

Whatever guitar you choose - it would be a good idea to buy a new set of strings, a string winder and a tuner.
My first electric guitar had bad strings on it from different gauges and were just not good.

Its quite daunting going in to buy your first set of guitar strings as quite often, the idiot sales guy can smell a noob and will ask you stuff to confuse or embarrass you! Id get a set of quite light guage strings to start, such as Ernie ball 9's or Dean Markley 9's for about £5. The winder helps you neatly replace strings quickly and efficiently.

Look at how the strings are wound on the guitar before you take them off, maybe get a vid clip off you tube to learn how to replace strings properly and give yourself a decent head start by tuning the strings every time you play. Tuner = Essential Item.

Also learn about tablature - its the quickest and easiest way to learn songs that you like. You will constantly be learning and buzzing off the fact that you can learn your favourite riffs or songs with ease. If you pick a an album book (that sounds the simplest) by your favourite band - you know the song, the tempo, and the way the song should sound, you will know when you are playing a part right or if it sounds wrong. I know too many people who have given up playing because they buy traditional teach yourself guitar books and get bored playing boring chord or scales over and over - buy playing your favourite songs and keeping up the fun and enthusiasm, you will naturally learn chords and scales. Selecting the equipment is the easiest part its what you do when you get it is where most people fail.

Have a cloth with the guitar and wipe the strings after you play it, to keep the strings in good condition as Ive seen many beginners trying to learn with filthy, corroded, rusty strings and its not good!

Keep in tune, keep it fun and you will get out what you put in :thumbsup:
 

worz

Active Member
Well after going down to my local store and letting them talk to me about things i didnt really understand, and play me a few guitars. I went for a Roland Micro Cube and a Yamaha Pacifica 112v.

Sorry to keep asking but can anyone recommend a good book or DVD to start with. I looked into tablature and there seem to be plenty of resources on the web with thousands to try.

I am really looking forward to the challenge of learning now, shame I cant have it until christmas day :p

Worz
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Have a look at this thread.

In the meantime, you could make a start on learning the notes on the fretboard. If you PM me an e-mail address I may have something to work to.
 

worz

Active Member
That will give me something to be going on with, seems to be plenty there :)

Ta Croc.

Pmed email addy

Worz
 

deadtotheworld

Novice Member
There is lots of stuff on the net - but I would definitely recommend buying a book of one of your favourite bands, as it will be a lot more accurate than stuff that the average bloke submits on some of these tab sites. I even know of people finding sheet music and tab books in the library and just using the library photocopier to copy the songs they want.

Im also a big fan of teaching yourself, rather than lessons by teachers or video lessons on the net... you develop your own style rather than pick up other peoples habits.
 

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