Chances are that if you have
asked someone if you can use their guitar for a while, it
would probably be an old classical acoustic guitar or maybe
a steel string acoustic.
These guitars are excellent to learn on because electric
guitars require things like leads, amps, speakers and power.
With acoustic guitars you only need a pick.
The other great thing about acoustic guitars is that you
can't turn them up loud. When you are learning it is
probably better to play on a guitar that isn't going too be
loud, only loud enough so your ears can hear your errors and
your good performances.
If you don't know which types of guitar you want to play on,
ask yourself, 'what kind of music do I want to play?'
Pick a song that you like for its guitar sound. Listen to
the guitar sounds and only the guitar sounds. Are they
clean, soft sounds? Or are they harsh, heavy or distorted?
Generally, acoustic guitars are softer and cleaner.
Distorted, heavy sounds come from electric guitars that are
plugged into amplifiers and effects units. Can you hear
individual notes being picked or are the strings being
strummed hard? The harder you play, the thicker your strings
need to be. You need to know what style you want to play.
OK you have found a style of music that you like. Try and
find out what the band video for that song is and watch it.
There will probably be a section in there where the band is
playing. In this part, look at the guitarist. Is he/she
playing on an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar? What
brand is it? What style? If you know the exact guitar from
the video, you can ask to play on it at your local guitar
shop to see if it suits you.
People play guitar for many different reasons. You need to
understand what it is that you want to get out of the
guitar. To discover your tastes in guitar music, listening
to different styles and genres. Ask musicians at music shops
about what kind of guitars different bands use, or ask them
what kind of amps/effects those artists use to get that
The answers don't have to be exact because they will get you
thinking about what you need to buy to achieve the sound you
For more information on achieving different guitar sounds,
see our articles on basic guitar effects and guitar
manufacturers and guitar models.
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