Should I get a guitar? The answer will depend largely on how committed you are to owning and learning the instrument. But to take you out of the guesswork: when you find yourself absorbed by this question, then it most likely means it’s time to consider getting your very own guitar!
It is very likely that you are reading this article because you are left under an unending loop of deciding whether you should or shouldn’t get a guitar of your own. If you have money to spare, then with no further questions asked, you should buy one.
With a guitar, you can play a song that you like anywhere and anytime you want. You don’t know the full prowess of a guitar until you own one.
During sad rainy days, you can just grab your guitar and play your favorite tune, and boom! Mood boosted. In scenarios where boredom lingers all over the room, you can cheer everyone up by aggressively strumming your guitar to a hit track; sooner or later, you will see everyone vibing with you.
But then, the fun stops when you begin to realize that you don’t want to play the guitar. So, the real answer on whether you should get a guitar depends on how passionate and determined you are to learn and play one.
First Things First
Okay, let’s say you’re all pumped up and finally committed to entering the guitar game. Now, what’s the next step? Should you learn how to play the guitar first before buying one or should you get a guitar first, then learn? The honest answer is, it really depends.
Some guitar professionals recommend that if you’re still hesitant whether playing a guitar suits you, it is oftentimes better to borrow a guitar first. Ask your friend if he has a spare unoccupied guitar that you can adopt for some time. And if he says yes, go test it out.
As you go through the process of learning how to play the guitar, your interest in it will reveal. If you eagerly wake up every day to practice, then a guitar is the instrument for you. On the other hand, when dust forms on your guitar for being untouched for a week or so, it is best to stop for a while, and then try it out again once the burst of enthusiasm resurfaces.
By testing your friend’s guitar, you could save loads of money than buying an instrument that will end up sitting on one corner of your room as display.
Another benefit of trying out others’ guitars first is knowing the hits and misses on their guitar that you want improved or retained once you choose your own personal guitar.
Now, if you don’t have the luxury of a friend who has a guitar that you can try out first, then you have no choice but to take the route of buying your own guitar. Even an inexpensive one will do. When you have the power to choose what guitar to buy, you’ll choose the one which ticks the most checkboxes on your mind.
However, the biggest risk of buying a guitar straightaway is losing interest along the way. So before buying your own, think about it carefully; if you really like it and are truly passionate about owning and learning the guitar, then go get one.
Getting Your Very First Guitar
Now, you are about to buy your own guitar (Yay!). With a wide array of options in the market, choosing which one to buy can be overwhelming. Guitars are built differently depending on how they would sound, so you should first decide what type of music you want to play.
Two great options as a first guitar are either acoustic or electric guitar. If you’re leaning to rock, metal, or jazz, an electric guitar is the one for you. Electrics are among the easiest guitars to play for any beginner; however, it requires additional equipment such as an amplifier and connector cable to reach its full potential. More equipment equals more money, so put this in mind if you’re planning to buy an electric.
Acoustics, on the other hand, don’t require any additional equipment to produce rich, quality sound. Go for acoustics if you plan on playing loads of folk, country, and R&B, but its wider neck and thicker strings make it a more challenging guitar choice for beginners compared to electrics.
After deciding what type of guitar to purchase, there are still loads of makes and models to choose from. The first aspect to look at is playability. Find the guitar size that fits you. A guitar that is too big or too small for you can affect your learning flow and performance. Usually for oldies like you—assuming you’re a fully-grown adult—a full-size guitar (40”) is oftentimes the best option! The color, finish, and other personal preferences are left for you to decide.
Here’s a helpful video on this topic:
Don’t Make These Mistakes!
Buying a guitar is not as simple as it seems. Guitar newbies make usual mistakes that make them lose more money than they should. In order to save you from experiencing this frustration, here are some things that you should observe.
- Inspect if there are physical deformities or factory defects on the guitar that you want. Check if the neck of the guitar is straight, having a bent guitar neck would make playing the guitar more difficult. If your guitar has knobs, buttons, or plugs, make sure that all of them are working. Also, check if the machine heads are made nicely. Due to the way some of these are created, most budget-guitars have problem staying in tune, so let the store owner tune the guitar for you and play a few chords to check.
- Most beginners get blinded by big brands and neglect products from small companies. However, big companies sacrifice lots of its quality just to get that low price tag attached to their guitar. In reality, big and small companies have the same playing field in the budget-guitar competition, so it is highly recommended to test the guitars you have your eye on regardless of their brand.
- Resist the urge to buy pro-level guitars. As a beginner with limited music knowledge, you do not need most of the features they offer, and so you would not get most of the value when buying one. And often, these guitars can overwhelm novice players. Start simple, and then transition when you are ready!
Have a Happy Musical Journey: Final Words
Purchasing a guitar is not an easy-peasy decision; you need to consider what type of guitar you want, your preferences, and of course your budget.
Musical instruments are investments, and so, you might see the need to spend a generous amount to get yourself the best guitar you can possibly afford. This certainly calls for careful decision-making as you don’t want to end up regretting your purchase.
It’s time to evaluate if you are truly ready to commit to owning a guitar that will be with you on your musical journey. If you do figure out the answer, the next time you enter that guitar outlet, you’ll be leaving with a guitar bag on your shoulder.
Joyce Ann graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies at New Era University. She especially enjoyed her journalism class and was nominated for Photojournalist of the Year. Joyce Anne loves music; she is a self-taught piano player. When she's not writing (or baking or watching documentaries), she's probably playing songs on the piano, mostly by ear.