I'm currently looking into buying an affordable and decent quality guitar, but I'm wondering what to look for? I noticed that there are 6-string guitars and 12-string guitars, which is best for a beginner?

I have been playing piano for four years and I want to play another instrument, I have learned up to a decent level of theory (level 7).

What should I look for when buying a guitar for beginners?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yamaha are a reputable company who make musical instruments of almost every sort,in all price ranges. But it sponds as if you're a long way from knowing enough about guitars to make a sensible choice. Take your first lesson before choosing an instrument. Ask the teacher's advice.

You definitely don’t want to start off with a 12 string, which requires a lot more finger strength and dexterity. My thoughts would be to just go to your local guitar shop and buy something cheap. That’s why I did anyway, 2 years later and I’m still playing on my crappy $120 steel string. You can also check out pawn shops. Gear doesn’t matter much as a beginner.

  • 1
    What you say seems to make sense, except that I do not agree at all that gear does not matter to a beginner: if poor equipment makes it hard to play or unpleasant to hear, you will regret your purchase and may be put off playing. A lot depends on how much you can spend and how much you expect to play. – PJTraill Nov 14 at 22:36
  • @PJTraill - yep. Another thing that must be considered is that many cheap guitars (like cheap violins, etc) are set up so poorly- especially in having action way too high- that they're very difficult to play at all. – Scott Wallace Nov 15 at 14:14

Yamaha do make some decent acoustics but I have found their very cheap ones aren't great, as they're mass produced in a factory which makes various other things, so as you can imagine they're not subject to the same quality control or craftsmanship as other companies are.

I've heard good things about Freshman guitars - they're very well trusted, as are a lot of Epiphones and Tanglewood guitars.

Some other things I'd want in a good acoustic - although this is arguably a matter of taste - is guitars with a satin finish on the neck. Some guitar necks have a lot of polycellulose lacquer on them which can make them sticky. You'll find it easier to play if you're not trying to work against friction from a highly polished neck.

As a user mentioned above, you definitely want to start with a 6 string, and not a 12, as they require some extra finger strength to press those extra strings and a slightly different playing style is required to play them successfully.

The entry level and bottom of the line guitars are junk, unless you know what you are doing. It's worth spending $250-400 on your first guitar to get something that sounds decent, has a relatively nice fretboard action, etc.

Seagull and Washburn are some possibilities. For a little more money, Blueridge makes a nice entry level guitar. I don't have any experience with Yamaha guitars. But, I've played their keyboards, and they have a very nice action. Yamaha makes a wide range of musical instruments, and is well-known in the music business.

It's a LOT easier learning on a nicer instrument. The guitar will be easier to play, and it's less likely that you will get discouraged, and quit.

You definitely want to purchase a 6-string guitar.

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