September 30, 2023
Guest Blog

Last Minute Music Shopping: Are You Looking for a Beginner’s Guitar?

[There are still a few hours to get your Christmas shopping done. Maybe there’s someone on your list that wants to learn how to play guitar. This guest post by Alex Frank may be helpful. – AC]

Do you want to be more creative? Do you want to exercise that part of your mind that so often goes unused? Do you want to start doing something right now that will give you hours, months, and decades of enjoyment? Then you have probably already thought about learning to play the guitar.

In general, when you are looking to buy a guitar there are a number of things you have to consider. It can be hard to know where to start, what to look for, and how to go about finding your next guitar. When the guitar you’re looking for is your first guitar, matters are even more difficult.

This guide is meant to help you understand how to look for your first guitar, whether it is an acoustic or an electric. Do you want to find a guitar that will do everything you need it to and then some? You need to know what to look for and what to avoid. This guide will teach you those things and will give you a rundown of the best guitar for beginners.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37125 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Last Minute Music Shopping: Are You Looking for a Beginner’s Guitar?

  • Tangential, but I’ve really gotten into the Rocksmith game (on PC/Playstation/Xbox) for improving at bass. It teaches lead & rhythm guitar, and bass, playing along with favourite tracks.

    It’s kind of like those old Guitar Hero or Rock Band games, but you play with a real instrument. The game has built-in lessons, but it’s very smartly designed for teaching along to real songs. The difficulty is dynamic … it starts with just a few notes, mostly for fret changes. The better you play, the more parts of the song it adds until you’re doing the whole thing. There’s a further “master mode” where it begins hiding the notes as you memorise them.

    I taught myself guitar and bass, but the game forces me to play accurately and faster than I’m used to. For learning specific songs it’s a hell of a lot better than downloaded guitar tabulature, though there are additional fees per track not included with the base game. It also exposes me to music I wouldn’t normally have tried on my own.

    Two caveats though … there’s a setting for flipping the default presentation of the guitar neck — I find that essential so it looks more like regular guitar tab. I found it way too confusing when I first tried to get into it.

    Secondly, the game requires an instrument with good intonation. Cheap guitars and basses, or nice ones that haven’t been maintained, often won’t stay in tune when you’re way up the fretboard. This means the game can’t detect whether you’re playing correctly or not and makes it rather frustrating.


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