Purchasing a Guitar and Gear
As a guitar teacher, most of the calls I get concerning guitar lessons is whether or not the new beginner student needs a guitar or if I have one they could use. I obviously have a set of extra guitars handy, but I truthfully explain to them that if they are serious about learning to play an instrument then it would behoove them to invest in one. As with most commitments, human nature always seems to defer to a cheaper alternative. Usually an old second-hand or cheap sub-par guitar is purchased which inevitably not only sounds terrible, but all destroys any passion one may have when starting out. I do understand the hesitancy to invest in something with the excuse being that should the student find they are not enjoying learning to play guitar down the road, then this would seem like a good back-out plan, but it is essential to have a good guitar for an overall good learning experience.
So assuming that you do not already have one, and you are really wanting to learn how to play the guitar then it is time to drive down to your local store and pick one out. If perhaps you are leaning towards purchasing an electric or an acoustic-electric guitar you will need a good amplifier as well as a guitar cable.
When you are just starting out it is not necessary to purchase the most expensive instrument in the store, and the same holds true for amplifiers as well. With this in mind though, you want to choose a guitar that is a well-made quality instrument that you feel comfortable playing and that is set up with good playing action so that it is easier to hold down notes and chords.
There are a few things to watch out for when you are dealing with sales personnel at a non “mom-&-pop” music store. One is to realize that the sales person often times is trying to sell you the most expensive guitar or amplifier that they possibly can, and the other is that they may try and get you to purchase some type of an all- in- one pack that really does not hold up that well over time. For this reason, it is highly advisable to take either your music teacher or someone else who has been playing awhile along with you, who will be able to help you find the guitar that is right for you according to what your needs are as a new player.
With this initial step of deciding which guitar to buy, go ahead and make the extra invest to protect your purchase with either a bag or better yet a hard shell case. I would also recommend a few extra guitar strings as there is nothing worse than having a new guitar that you are itching to play and finding out after a couple of strums that a guitar string snaps.
Once you have your guitar it’s time for your first lesson…