How To Choose A Guitar For Beginners: The Guitar Buying Guide

The following key issues are critical in selecting your guitar and even more so if you’re selecting it for your child. As a parent, grandparent, or caregiver, you fulfill many important roles in your child’s life. Your gift and provision of music, encouragement, and confidence can last a lifetime. Having an appropriately sized and adjusted instrument is the best way- how to choose a guitar for beginners. Each item below will give you new insight and help guarantee your success in accomplishing your musical desires.

Most importantly, only select a guitar you know is fully inspected and adjusted for easy playability, accuracy in tuning, intonation, and tone production.

Many important issues rest before thinking about how to choose a guitar for beginners, as the quality and playability of your instrument. Always get the facts. Ask what has been done to make the instrument easy to play. There is no greater impedance to progress, developing proper technique, and the enjoyment of learning to play than a poorly constructed instrument or one that is not correctly set up.

Tips On How To Choose A Guitar For Beginners

Consider the Controls: The number and location of the controls on the guitar is the most important feature to consider. Look for frets that have large contact points for ease of play, grips that keep the instrument close to the musician’s body, and a small volume pedal that does not add a lot of weight. Some of these features can be adjusted, and some cannot.

Think Small: Not all smaller guitar bodies look the same. What will your student do with this instrument? Consider how easy the guitar is to carry in a back pocket and slide around in a bag. Is it easier to put the guitar down while they are on the phone?

Value: Ask the Music Store Owner or Salesperson what features are valued most. Also, look around.

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Is Your Child Ready For A Guitar?

If you’re ready to purchase an instrument, a solid understanding of your child’s musical abilities is critical. This is particularly the case with older children and teens. If you have older children already capable of using the following musical skills, then, by all means, select a guitar with a lower-pitched neck or one with a flat back to meet the requirements of these older kids. But many kids who have not reached this level of musical development will need at least a 36-inch fingerboard to get through the repertoire. This is the reason for the more than 50% increase in the average price for guitars for older children and teens.

The major problem with many instruments for the younger child is they tend to be rather too loud or not loud enough.

What’s Important When Buying An Instrument?

An instrument is not an x-ray or CT scan. What’s important in choosing an instrument is not the ability to see inside it, but how it fits you and what it allows you to play. Here are some key issues to consider:

Many people approach the buying process with ideas about what they want to play, but the key is to select a style of playing that you will enjoy most and is appropriate for your age and skill level. Some instruments can be produced in many different shapes and sizes. Because of this, the learning curve for an instrument is different for each one. No two children or players are alike. It takes time to learn and master the finer points of playing many different shapes and sizes.

String Slots- The A, E, G, B, and C strings are for traditional guitar playing.

What To Consider Before Buying

When you’re selecting your instrument, consider the following:

Dimensions, Keyboard Size & Materials

When you’re choosing your instrument, make sure it is at a good weight and build and that it is at least as light as it needs to be. By weight, I mean that for the price of the instrument, the weight is correct. This is because, as you are heavier, you are going to exert more force on the strings and the neck to support your body as you play. A heavier instrument also hurts your posture and can damage your feet.

Guitar size is measured in either “open” (2 note bass) or “narrow” (3 note bass) scales.

The most important dimension that can affect a guitarist’s performance is the scale.

Setting Up Your Guitar

Nothing can more hamper the enjoyment of playing the guitar than the wrong tuning. Your guitar must be set up properly in order to have the best chance of ever becoming an enjoyable instrument for you to play. Your instrument’s setup is critical to even beginning the process of learning to play. You should seek out a pro fitter to set your instrument. Even if you purchase your instrument ready-to-play at a local music store, go to a pro fitter and have it set up so it plays your way. Get your player’s manual to understand the importance of proper intonation and set-up for a lifetime of pleasure from playing. For more info about how to set up your guitar, check out these directions.


When choosing the right guitar for your child, keep the following principles in mind:

Product Quality is the most important factor for many reasons. Remember that the value of the instrument is not as important as the playability, accuracy, and tone produced. Has the guitar been evaluated for free by a professional instrument adjuster or professional guitar store technician? Ask what has been done to improve the playing condition. All repairs should be made by an instrument manufacturer, with no exceptions.

Check for proper bracing. Make certain that the neck profile is just right and correct. The correct neck profile promotes a sturdy instrument that plays evenly and has a much better tone. The shape of the body and headstock are also important.

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