Whether you’re looking just to “mess around” at home and play some kumzitz style songs, or perhaps you’re looking to perform at events, here are some tips to help you get started with guidance on types and styles of guitars!
Let’s start with the basics. There are two types of guitars: Acoustic and Electric.
Acoustic guitar: this means that the guitar can be played without any additional gear, such as an amplifier.
When choosing an Acoustic guitar there’s the option of Classic/Nylon String or Steel String.
Nylon strings are a bit easier on the fingers although the fret board is often wider making it a bit more challenging for those with smaller fingers. Nylon strings are more popular in Europe & the Middle East, While Steel Strings are a bit more popular in the U.S. where many artists who use “acoustic” guitars use a steel String.
Although there are differences in approach on how to play these two, by and large they can be interchangeable.
For those seeking a guitar “for fun” a decent acoustic guitar can be purchased for under $250 and can be used for many years of light use. If you want to perform with an acoustic guitar, you might want to upgrade to an acoustic-electric guitar which enables the guitar to be plugged in to a speaker or amplifier. In general, acoustic instruments and gear (like amps etc.) are fairly simple to use and operate, so you can quickly learn the basics.
Electric guitars are a bit more complicated. They have some similarities and some differences to acoustic guitars. Chords and scales are the same, same strings, although electric guitar strings are generally slightly thinner than acoustic guitars. Electric guitars generally have longer fretboards, sometimes even up to 24 playable frets, and they are much heavier! The LyxPro Full Size Electric Guitar with 20w Amp is a great option for an electric guitar.
Parts of an electric Guitar:
For learning, most people find it easier on a classical as it is easier to hold down the strings. Electric guitars require an amp to produce sound and are a bit more difficult to learn on.
Basic parts of a guitar:
Some of the main differences between playing Acoustic or Electric guitar:
- Practicing guitar chord changes – Surprisingly, more important for acoustic guitar which relies more on chord changes.
- Learning strumming/fingerpicking techniques – most of the time when playing acoustic guitar, the picking hand will be performing a much different set of techniques than it does on electric guitar.
- Acoustic Guitars have wider string spacing, higher string action (distance between string and neck) and a larger body.
Because electric guitars are generally played at a louder volume, any mistake is more amplified as well; so they must be played w/ precision.
- Electric guitars also require a lot more gear (equipment, stuff) & maintenance (i.e. more time & money).
- ‘Gig’ Bag – Recommend getting a backpack type, not the super-heavy ones that are difficult to schlep around
- Picks – Everyone loves them, don’t need them to play & many people prefer not to use them; try both ways!
- Tuner – Let’s you know if the strings are producing the right sound, can get on iPod, Android etc. for free download
- Capo – (pronounced, ‘kay-po’) – helps transpose and change keys
Want to learn more? Look out for a part 2 of “Want to start playing guitar” coming soon!
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