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How to Choose Your First Guitar

So you just saw the new documentary on Jimi Hendrix and want to start shredding on the guitar? This leaves you with a few important choices & questions. What kind of guitar should I buy? Should I buy an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar? Should I start with private lessons? Everyone has a different path in life and everyone has a different path when learning music. Some like Hendrix learn by ear while taking lessons from various teachers along the way, others take weekly private lessons and even go so far as to get a doctoral degree in music!

The general answer to the equipment question is you should have an instrument that will not hold you or your child back. It should also be an instrument that allows room for growth into. A great beginner instrument will not be one that you need to immediately replace, and will save you valuable time and money. The answer to the teacher question in my opinion is to find a teacher that can guide you to reach whatever your goals may be, whether it be performing at a local coffee shop, attending music college, Yankee stadium, or just playing for friends and family on the back porch. At The New York Academy of Music in Amityville, NY our dedicated staff provides quality music lessons on Long Island in all instruments, all styles and all levels. The in-home lesson program Music At Your Door also provides our amazing teaching service, helping you select the most qualified teacher in the convenience of your own home and on your own schedule!

There is an age old recommendation of buying an acoustic guitar first practice that for a while and then you graduate electric guitar. I would hasten to say this is not very relevant to achieving your musical goals. Acoustic guitar has what guitarists describe as a “higher action.” What this means is that the strings are relatively high off of the neck of the guitar (at least when compared to an electric). The one big advantage of having an acoustic is you don’t have to buy an amp! That is nice at first and honestly both guitars are useful to have for various musical styles and or playing situations i.e. a barbecue (acoustic) a garage band w/ a drum set (electric guitar).

The type of music you want to play is also useful, if you’re trying to play James Taylor singer songwriter type music an acoustic is ideal. If your going to be playing Jimi Hendrix rock/blues or jazz type music an electric is ideal.

Another important issue to note is the age of the guitarist. If its an eight year old an adult sized guitar is NOT going to work. There hands are far too small to reach the notes let alone hold it on their lap. It will be very discouraging and they will likely not get the right start on their instrument. Our expert staff can help you navigate our selection of ½ and ¾ size guitars and find the right fit for your child.

The two beginner guitars I recommend are as follows. For electric guitar I recommend products by Epiphone, Squier, and Ibanez. At the New York Academy of Music in Amityville, NY our experienced staff can get you the right price as well as set you up with Guitar Lessons as well as other instruments such as Piano Lessons, Drum Lessons & Vocal Lessons. I would recommend purchasing all instruments in-store to make sure there are no issues with the instrument. For Acoustic the instrument I would recommend is the Yamaha FG700S or the Fender FA-100. Both options are a great guitar that you could play for years depending upon how professional you choose to become.

Remember to have fun and enjoy music and your new guitar!

Call us today and we will help get you on the right path to musical success! 631-608-8858

Noel Brennan Program Director – The New York Academy of Music

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