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How does a Beginner choose a Guitar

Posted on July 28th, 2021 10:37 PM
beginner guitar india

Now that you are here, you have been researching to get a New Guitar for yourself.

Welcome to this Journey.


Before you start this Journey, let me tell you, there is no "Absolute Best" incase you have been using that keyword for a while on Google. 

What we should look for is what is Best for you. And what is best for a youtuber / neighbor / Friend, might not be best for you. Yes, You are Special in every way! 


Which means

  • A Guitar that is popular, but not comfortable for you could be a problem. (I mean would you wear an XXL size T-Shirt if your size is M)
  • A Cheap Guitar has too many reviews but you can actually afford to get a better option.  ( Always better to go for a better Guitar - if Affordable) 
  • Which Brand is better than the other and you are confused about it. ( Yes, there are too many brands and too many reviews confusing the hell out of you)
  • Mahogany vs Rosewood vs Spruce vs all the other woods that are coming into the market every single Year (No wood is better than the other. What matters is how its used)

Guitar Sizes

A popular misconception is, "Bigger the Better" (Bada hai toh Behtar Ha). I hate to tell you this is not Right. What most of them compromise is the Comfort. There are many size of Guitars in the Market. The popular sizes are

  • Dreadnought (41 inch in Length, Bigger body)
  • Concert (40-41 inch in Length, Smaller Body than a Dreadnought)
  • Travel Size (36 inch in Length, 3/4 size, Parlor Size is the Variant)


Most important statement to be made here is THERE IS NO BEST SIZE. That is as ridiculous as saying XL T-shirts are best for all. 

This is how we can narrow down these sizes as per Use, Height, Sound and some other considerations.


1. Dreadnought -

  • Most Popular in the Indian Market. Also referred to as Jumbo Size by most people, however Jumbo sized Guitar are bigger and not available in India. 
  • Best for people above 5.5 feet. Can get uncomfortable to people who are shorter. 
  • Not an optimum size to travel frequently with. 
  • Got Deep Bass but compromises the Mids and Highs (in entry level guitars)
  • Can get Uncomfortable for long hours of Practice or Performance
  • Available in Most International Brands. 
  • Examples are Yamaha F310, Yamaha F280, Fender CD60, Cort AD810, Cort Gold D8, Martin D28 etc


2. Concert Size

  • Less popular in the Indian Market. Concert size is with a Cutaway and without the cutaway can be called the OM size(Orchestra model). A smaller variant is called Auditorium Size. 
  • Comfortable to Most of them, However Kids under the age of 12 should prefer a smaller size. 
  • Got Tight Bass and balances out the sound very well. This size is the sweet spot between dreadnought and smaller sized guitars. Our personal favorite. 
  • Comfortable for long hours of Practice or Performance 
  • Limited Availability in International Brands across different price ranges.
  • Examples are Yamaha FS80c, Yamaha FS100c, Kepma EAC, Taylor 114ce etc

3. Travel Size

  • Less Popular in the Indian Market. Travel size is 3/4th size of a Standard Guitar and another Variant can be called Parlor Size. 
  • Best option to travel with. Lightweight and small in Size
  • Comfortable for Every One. Kids under age 12 can go for this size instead of a Junior Guitar since they can use this even after they grow UP. 
  • Smaller body contributes to smaller bass but a nice projecting bluesy sound. Its unfair to compare it to the bigger sizes in Sound.
  • Limited Availability in different price ranges. 
  • Examples are Mantic BG1 / BG2, Kepma ES36, Fender FA15, Gretsch G9500, Taylor GS mini etc


Now that you have found what size suits you best, its time to discuss Brands and Models. 

Its best to stay away from Guitars below 5000. The reason is poor build quality and we have discussed this briefly in this VIDEO

Some brands to absolutely avoid are Henrix, Juarez, Jixing, Amaze and other guitars below 4000. You must have definitely seen a review praising such brands but a long term review is going to be far from praises. Its always better to gather some funds and go for a good guitar if you are serious about learning. Remember, Music is one of the most beautiful gift Humans could receive and if you have a Mobile phone worth at least 10k, you can definitely gather that much for a Guitar. A Good sound and feel will contribute to your growth as a Guitarist. 

I am speaking this from our experience of handling, repairing, checking all brands and models that arrive at our store. We have heard out people regretting their cheap investment and that effecting their interest to learn the instrument. And we really hope that does not happen to you. 


Technical Specs:

I have mixed reaction about this and let me tell you why.

Firstly, There is no better wood. Each one has its own flavor and tonal characteristics. Its like arguing Blueberry ice-cream is better than Strawberry. Both have individual feel and taste and you end up choosing what you like. 

Secondly, Any kind of Nut width and string spacing isn't going to affect you to learn (excluding non branded guitars). On an intermediate to advanced level, these specs will make sense to your overall playing. But as a beginner, all you gotta do is focus on Practicing lessons.


Now why the mixed reaction is because we have encountered many beginners reaching out to us, confused and entangled in so many tech specs, that they haven't been able to buy a Guitar in more than 6 months. Now that is a lot of precious time lost. 

It is very important to finalize on a good sounding guitar and go for it. 

Ideally You cannot go very wrong with international brands like Fender, Cort, Ibanez, Kepma, Sire, Yamaha etc. Once you have a little flexible budget in place you can start your hunt.


Accessories to Buy

You can buy anything if your budget allows, however there are some accessories you have to absolutely consider when you go for any Guitar

1. Padded Bag: For Protection from Humidity and Dust / Dings

2. String Set: Beginners break strings very often. Its very good to have a backup to have uninterrupted practice. 

3. Tuner: While a lot of folks can argue that a mobile app works well, a Digital tuner helps in getting accurate tuning even in noisy surroundings.

Other accessories that you can consider(but not compulsory)

Capo

Strap

Lemon Oil 

Body cleaner


Furthermore, there are many doubts that a beginner goes through. And we have observed that every individual has a different twist to the same doubt that is not solved by Youtube and Quora. 

At John's Music, we celebrate this individuality and we encourage you to talk to us. Together, lets Figure out what is best for you and make a choice accordingly. 


Wishing you an amazing musical life ahead !





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