Beginner Guitars?

I have two New Year Resolutions for 2019. One is to learn to play guitar at a basic level.  So, I need a guitar to get started.  Any suggestions out there?  Acoustic or electric?  A certain make/ model (moderately priced)? 

Thanks in advance for any help! 
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Comments

  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 19,871
    my first acoustic was a washburn d-1.  solid guitar.  i like it better than my martin.
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • bbiggsbbiggs Posts: 3,618
    Thanks man! I’ll look it up. 
  • WobbieWobbie Posts: 25,190
    electrics are easier to play. whatever you do, don’t buy one of those Target, etc. Epiphone guitar/amp combos for $149.95
    If I had known then what I know now...

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  • bbiggsbbiggs Posts: 3,618
     ^ No, no. I won’t. I’m not looking to break the bank, but I want something decent that will hold up. Good advice though. 
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 19,871
    go to the nearest guitar store in the chi town area and talk to the sales people.  pick up each guitar and buy what feels right to you.  
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • darwinstheorydarwinstheory LaPorte, INPosts: 3,127
    mcgruff10 said:
    my first acoustic was a washburn d-1.  solid guitar.  i like it better than my martin.
    I'll gladly take it off your hands! 
    "A smart monkey doesn't monkey around with another monkey's monkey" - Darwin's Theory
  • dudemandudeman Posts: 2,006
    If I were starting over again, I would have bought a used Mexican Fender Stratocaster, a cheap multi-effects pedal with a rhythm feature and headphone out and a used Fender Pro Jr. or Blues Jr. amp.

    The guitar should be around $300.00, the amp between $250-$400 and a processor from Digitech, Vox or Zoom should be under $100.00.

    The guitar and amp should be able to be sold for what you paid if you don't like them. If you stick with it, they can be modified to sound incredibly good if you want to go further.

    Practing with a rhythm source will help immensely once you begin playing with other people and the processor will give you access to a lot of effects types and combinations for very little cost.

    If you decide to buy an acoustic, I'd look into used Martin, Taylor and Breedlove guitars from their lower lines. Should be in the $400-$700 range. Again, you should be able to recoup all, or at least most of what you spent if you decide to move on.

    Talk to a few shops, play lots of guitars and be sure to tell the salespeople that you're just starting out. You will undoubtedly encounter some that want to sell you a bunch of stuff you don't want or need. Don't deal with them. Ideally, you will find a shop that you can develop a relationship with. This will help you find better deals on gear down the road, as well as get you acquainted with the other musicians in the area, should you decide to play with anyone else.

    Most of all, have fun and don't let yourself get bogged down by the multitude of options for gear, the competitive nature of some other musicians or of slow progress. You'll get to where you want to be if you put the time in.

    Good luck!
    If hope can grow from dirt like me, it can be done. - EV
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,022
    Taylor GS Mini acoustic

    They are cheap, have full size fret boards, sound good, but are smaller than full size so easy to handle and play on your couch.  For the price range, it will sound better then any beginner Fender in that price range.  And unlike a cheap beginner, you will still be playing it years down the road.  The tuners are very good.  Slap some Elixer nanoweb strings on it, spend a few minute stretching them, get them it tune and you are good for months. 

    Plus, if you do end up wanting to sell it at some point, the Taylor name will hold value.  

    I don't recommend starting off with an electric.  To many options and settings that will likely frustrate you.  You can take an acoustic anywhere and it will sound great.  Electric limits you to one spot in your house and it's unlikely you will get the sound you are hoping for.  
  • I have a mini Martin. It cost £350 a few years back and holds value well. 
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    this song is meant to be called i got shit,itshould be called i got shit tickets-hartford 06 -
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,165
    I agree with Jason P, go acoustic.  Not only that, but start by learning the chords, not notes.  Learning scales is a waste of a beginner's time and 90% of people who start that way never actually learn to play a full song.

    I would go with an entry level Fender acoustic.  They fret easily, they sound great, and they are a true entry level price.  Later, when you upgrade, that Fender will be the best "beater" guitar you could hope to find...I will say too, for low-priced guitars, I've played three Corts that were really comfortable to play, though not amazing sounding.

    Honestly, the best starter guitar might just be the ukulele lol
    Super easy to fret and nearly anything you do is a proper chord, there is almost no dissonance to be found in the instrument.  The only problem with starting on uke is you might not ever move "up" to guitar at all!
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 19,871
    I have a mini Martin. It cost £350 a few years back and holds value well. 
    Which one did you get?  
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • bbiggsbbiggs Posts: 3,618
    Thank you @dudeman @Jason P and @rgambs! This is extremely helpful info and exactly what I’m looking for. Much appreciated. 
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,022
    Agree with learning chords first.  You get instant gratification and focusing on five basic chords such as A major, E major, C major, D major, and G major will build up hand and finger strength as well as muscle memory and these chords are found in a large majority of popular songs.  
  • mcgruff10mcgruff10 New JerseyPosts: 19,871
    Yeah if you learn those five chords then you can play a heck of a lot of songs. 
    I'll ride the wave where it takes me......
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,007
    Acoustic....chords first is great advice.
    Be sure that the action is easy as you move up the neck.
    No, this is not about how you feel when you look at pictures of Mitch Trubisky....this is how much effort is required to easily hold the strings down close to the body of the guitar.  An acoustic with shitty action will scare away many first time guitar playing folks.
    Also try to see if there is a buzz when you move up.


    Tip for once you get the guitar -- do not store in a super dry area or in direct sunlight. 
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • bbiggsbbiggs Posts: 3,618
    Acoustic....chords first is great advice.
    Be sure that the action is easy as you move up the neck.
    No, this is not about how you feel when you look at pictures of Mitch Trubisky....this is how much effort is required to easily hold the strings down close to the body of the guitar.  An acoustic with shitty action will scare away many first time guitar playing folks.
    Also try to see if there is a buzz when you move up.


    Tip for once you get the guitar -- do not store in a super dry area or in direct sunlight. 
    Haha!! Instant gratification...easy neck action...I wasn’t sure where this was going. :lol:  
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,022
    I remember the magical "holy shit" moment when taught to play my first chord and a guitar transformed from a box of wood and strings into a musical instrument that I could control.
  • bbiggsbbiggs Posts: 3,618
    Jason P said:
    I remember the magical "holy shit" moment when taught to play my first chord and a guitar transformed from a box of wood and strings into a musical instrument that I could control.
    So cool, man. That’s what I’m looking forward to.  I messed around with it a bit as a teen, but never took it to the point of becoming any good, so I’m basically hitting reset and starting over at age 38. Better late than never. 
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,022
    Other small things that help starting off:

    Snark tuner.  They are $15 and make tuning strings simple.  I'm sure there are apps, but this is a keep it simple, stupid tuner.  Check to make sure your guitar is in tune every time you play.  It's understated how a good tuned guitar will help motivate you to play early on

    String winder:  Under $10 and make changing strings 100x easier

    Guitar stand:  Under $20 and the accessible guitar is the guitar that gets played the most.  Put that thing within arms reach of where ever your butt tends to land when you are at home.

    Good strings:  Elixer, Elixer, Elixer, Elixer, Elixer.   Did I mention that Elixer makes good strings?

    In regards to fret action, this too is uber important when choosing your first (and future) guitars.  Watch some youtube videos to understand.  If you bring this up to a salesperson that will help them distinguish you from a customer that wants to actually play and someone they can unload a cheap starter pack on that will go on to collect dust. 

    Last bit of advice:  Trust no ones advice at Guitar Center. ;)
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,022
    edited December 2018
    Also, learn by reading guitar tablature (otherwise generally known as "tabs").  Google your favorite artist / song and tabs.  They make logical sense if you don't have a background in music theory.  
  • https://www.samash.com/electric-guitar-packages/

    A few companies make "starter kits" and come with everything you need including an amp.

    I'd try one of these packages and if you progress fast you'll quickly outgrow that guitar which is a good thing.

    Some great advice on here.
  • Jason PJason P Posts: 18,022
    I can't stop:  One more bit of advice.  In regards to guitar construction, your basic starter guitars under $500 are made with a laminate wood construction.  Laminate wood mutes sound.  For a starter, it is almost impossible to not have laminate construction on the sides and back, but if you can find one with a spruce top it will sound remarkably better than a laminate top.  

    That's another reason I recommended the Taylor GS mini.  They have solid sitka spruce tops and put out a remarkably good sound for a smaller guitar.  As always try one out to see if it fits your tastes.
  • darwinstheorydarwinstheory LaPorte, INPosts: 3,127
    Acoustic....chords first is great advice.
    Be sure that the action is easy as you move up the neck.
    No, this is not about how you feel when you look at pictures of Mitch Trubisky....this is how much effort is required to easily hold the strings down close to the body of the guitar.  An acoustic with shitty action will scare away many first time guitar playing folks.
    Also try to see if there is a buzz when you move up.


    Tip for once you get the guitar -- do not store in a super dry area or in direct sunlight. 
    This was going to be my biggest piece of advice. I got a Fender accoustic w/ case for about $275 several years back. Learned the 5 chords everyone else is talking about and a little more. But I never really got too far past that. Obviously, I have not been dedicated enough (though I have not given up). The more chords I have tried learning, I struggle with. And if I have to barr (barre?) all the chords, then I'm screwed. There is just too much "action" for my liking/ability. I tried, but could not get past it. I have briefly picked up some other accoustic guitars and found the action to be MUCH more forgiving. Maybe this is something that is not necessary, but it better is available, the why the hell not. 

    Think of it like beer. Coors and Miller are the cheap starter guitar packs. A solid Lagunitas is a $350-$450 guitar investment and the best local IPA/BBA Stout is the equivalent to a Martin or Taylor guitar. 
    "A smart monkey doesn't monkey around with another monkey's monkey" - Darwin's Theory
  • bbiggsbbiggs Posts: 3,618
    This is awesome info guys! Super helpful and I’m compiling a list of notes with all of this. I plan to get out to a local shop and start looking later this week or weekend. 
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,007
    Acoustic....chords first is great advice.
    Be sure that the action is easy as you move up the neck.
    No, this is not about how you feel when you look at pictures of Mitch Trubisky....this is how much effort is required to easily hold the strings down close to the body of the guitar.  An acoustic with shitty action will scare away many first time guitar playing folks.
    Also try to see if there is a buzz when you move up.


    Tip for once you get the guitar -- do not store in a super dry area or in direct sunlight. 
    This was going to be my biggest piece of advice. I got a Fender accoustic w/ case for about $275 several years back. Learned the 5 chords everyone else is talking about and a little more. But I never really got too far past that. Obviously, I have not been dedicated enough (though I have not given up). The more chords I have tried learning, I struggle with. And if I have to barr (barre?) all the chords, then I'm screwed. There is just too much "action" for my liking/ability. I tried, but could not get past it. I have briefly picked up some other accoustic guitars and found the action to be MUCH more forgiving. Maybe this is something that is not necessary, but it better is available, the why the hell not. 

    Think of it like beer. Coors and Miller are the cheap starter guitar packs. A solid Lagunitas is a $350-$450 guitar investment and the best local IPA/BBA Stout is the equivalent to a Martin or Taylor guitar. 
    Dude, denigrating Coors is uncalled for!  :lol:
    Honestly, I drink far more Coors Lights than any other beer.  Far more.  When you drink them like water it is better to actually drink water-flavored beer.  As a fellow 10C member likes to point out -- the good stuff will give you tits.
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,165
    Yeah, I don't see Martins or Taylors as starter guitars, honestly.
    More than 400$ is a good bit of money for someone who may not stick with it (no offense, we all tried and dropped it at least once before it stuck) and doesn't have finger strength.  I've never played a Martin or a Taylor that fretted easily, but I haven't played the minis suggested here.  Great guitars, I'm sure, but I think playability should take precedence over sound for a beginner.
    I learned to play on a 75$ used Cort, and I still play it when I'm writing, because it plays smooth. 
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,165
    Let us know what you get OP, when the time comes! 
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • darwinstheorydarwinstheory LaPorte, INPosts: 3,127
    Acoustic....chords first is great advice.
    Be sure that the action is easy as you move up the neck.
    No, this is not about how you feel when you look at pictures of Mitch Trubisky....this is how much effort is required to easily hold the strings down close to the body of the guitar.  An acoustic with shitty action will scare away many first time guitar playing folks.
    Also try to see if there is a buzz when you move up.


    Tip for once you get the guitar -- do not store in a super dry area or in direct sunlight. 
    This was going to be my biggest piece of advice. I got a Fender accoustic w/ case for about $275 several years back. Learned the 5 chords everyone else is talking about and a little more. But I never really got too far past that. Obviously, I have not been dedicated enough (though I have not given up). The more chords I have tried learning, I struggle with. And if I have to barr (barre?) all the chords, then I'm screwed. There is just too much "action" for my liking/ability. I tried, but could not get past it. I have briefly picked up some other accoustic guitars and found the action to be MUCH more forgiving. Maybe this is something that is not necessary, but it better is available, the why the hell not. 

    Think of it like beer. Coors and Miller are the cheap starter guitar packs. A solid Lagunitas is a $350-$450 guitar investment and the best local IPA/BBA Stout is the equivalent to a Martin or Taylor guitar. 
    Dude, denigrating Coors is uncalled for!  :lol:
    Honestly, I drink far more Coors Lights than any other beer.  Far more.  When you drink them like water it is better to actually drink water-flavored beer.  As a fellow 10C member likes to point out -- the good stuff will give you tits.
    I'm not going to say you're wrong. I drank Coors for the first 10 years I drank beer. Now I have tits and drink exclusively craft.  ;)
    "A smart monkey doesn't monkey around with another monkey's monkey" - Darwin's Theory
  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 17,007
    Acoustic....chords first is great advice.
    Be sure that the action is easy as you move up the neck.
    No, this is not about how you feel when you look at pictures of Mitch Trubisky....this is how much effort is required to easily hold the strings down close to the body of the guitar.  An acoustic with shitty action will scare away many first time guitar playing folks.
    Also try to see if there is a buzz when you move up.


    Tip for once you get the guitar -- do not store in a super dry area or in direct sunlight. 
    This was going to be my biggest piece of advice. I got a Fender accoustic w/ case for about $275 several years back. Learned the 5 chords everyone else is talking about and a little more. But I never really got too far past that. Obviously, I have not been dedicated enough (though I have not given up). The more chords I have tried learning, I struggle with. And if I have to barr (barre?) all the chords, then I'm screwed. There is just too much "action" for my liking/ability. I tried, but could not get past it. I have briefly picked up some other accoustic guitars and found the action to be MUCH more forgiving. Maybe this is something that is not necessary, but it better is available, the why the hell not. 

    Think of it like beer. Coors and Miller are the cheap starter guitar packs. A solid Lagunitas is a $350-$450 guitar investment and the best local IPA/BBA Stout is the equivalent to a Martin or Taylor guitar. 
    Dude, denigrating Coors is uncalled for!  :lol:
    Honestly, I drink far more Coors Lights than any other beer.  Far more.  When you drink them like water it is better to actually drink water-flavored beer.  As a fellow 10C member likes to point out -- the good stuff will give you tits.
    I'm not going to say you're wrong. I drank Coors for the first 10 years I drank beer. Now I have tits and drink exclusively craft.  ;)
    If I ever grew my own tits I am not sure that I would leave the house.

    Just sayin'.

    Thread integrity...
    If you can find what type of guitar you like then you can start scouring around for a good deal.
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
  • satansbedbugssatansbedbugs In my TreePosts: 2,394
    I bought a Takemine GS330S like 15 years ago and still play it to this day.  You gotta go acoustic/electric for your first guitar.  That way when you get an amp, you can plug in also.  Good Luck, its tough but keep with it.

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