Buying a Starter Guitar

If you’re thinking of getting started playing guitar, here is some information that may be useful. You can find reviews of two other starter guitars on this page: Buying a Starter Guitar.

The most important factors for most people just starting out on the guitar are:
First, the size of the guitar. If it is too large it will be hard to handle. Take a look at a 3/4 size guitar like the ones on the review page mentioned above.

The second thing to be aware of is the sensitivity of your fingers – especially on your fingering hand – usually your left hand. Steel strings will be harder on your finger tips. They will hurt at first, but eventually you will develop what amount to callouses on your fingers. I suggest you start out with nylon strings. You might just rent a guitar for a month or two. Spend 15 or 20 minutes practicing every day and your finger tips will get harder. Then you will be ready to buy something more sophisticated and more to your liking.

The third thing to check out is the “action” of the strings. This refers to the distance between the strings and the fretboard. If the strings are too high off the fretboard they will be hard to press down and make your guitar too hard to play. Of course if they are too close they will buzz against the frets.

So be sure to get a guitar with the right action. Have an experienced guitar player check it out and recommend if you should have your guitar set up by a professional luthier (guitar technician/builder/fixer). Usually the guys (or gals) at your local music store can help you out.

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