What kind of guitar do I have

Which guitar is right for me?

No matter if you are a beginner and want to learn guitar, If you are advanced or professional, the guitar you play will undoubtedly affect the musical outcome. However, the guitar is just one of many factors. Even if you find the ideal guitar, this is no guarantee that the musical result will be perfect, although it will have a positive influence on it. However, it is all too often underestimated that a guitar which is unsuitable for the student makes it difficult for both the student and the teacher to learn to play the instrument successfully, and unnecessarily.

So how do you choose the right guitar? Beginners in particular are often confronted with this question without really knowing what to look out for and whom to ask. Most of the time they don't have a guitar teacher either, and in guitar retailers you can never be sure whether you are turning on the instrument with the highest margin. We have summarized the most important quality features of a guitar in this guide and hope to help you with the decision.

What characteristics should a good guitar have?

Basically, good guitars are characterized by several features that basically do not differ between guitars for beginners and guitars for professionals. If you want to learn guitar, you don't have to have an instrument with the volume of notes to fill an entire concert hall, but it should be easy to play with little effort.

The sound:

Good guitars have a clear, sustainable tone in as many volumes and pitches as possible. The sound of the guitar - which is of course a matter of taste - is beautiful and has different timbres.
In addition, the sound of a guitar depends on how the processed wood, especially the top, vibrates. In the best case, this is made of solid cedar or spruce wood, while the sides and back of the guitar are made of maple, mahogany or rosewood. If all parts - the top, the back and the sides - of a guitar are made of solid wood, it is a solid guitar. If, on the other hand, you are offered a guitar with a laminated spruce top, it is usually plywood.
The differentiation between a non-massive and a massive guitar is not the only distinguishing feature. Because anyone who wants to buy a guitar and is looking for an instrument in stores will also find relatively high-quality guitars with a laminated top, which can also be expensive, such as solid guitars.

The playability:

A good string position and the shape of the guitar neck enable optimal playability. If you want to learn guitar, you should know: Good playability is achieved by being able to grasp every note easily and also strike it loudly without the string touching the fingerboard too hard.
When testing several guitars, you may find that even slightly different proportions on the guitar lead to significant differences in the amount of movement and force required while playing. In this case, the following applies: the easier you can operate the guitar, the more capacity you have available for making music. If you want to learn guitar, appearance also plays an important role. You should also be happy to pick up the instrument because of its matching optics. In addition to guitars with smooth surfaces, the market also offers instruments with a matt surface. See tunability as another determining factor. If you want to learn to play the guitar, when buying the instrument you should also make sure that it is easy to tune and that it can be kept in this mood for as long as possible.

As you can see, when you want to learn guitar, it is not that easy to find the right guitar. While some basic requirements such as good tunability should be given, optical features are purely a matter of taste, so you are spoiled for choice.

Electric guitar, classical guitar and western guitar - what are the differences?

The Classical guitar or concert guitar has strings made of nylon and - unlike other guitar models - is easier to grip. You can use this instrument if you want to learn guitar and play classical pieces or if you are a fan of Spanish and South American guitar sounds. A warm sound is a special feature of this guitar, whose fingerboard is much wider than that of other guitar models.

If your guitar has steel strings, you most likely have one Western guitar to do. With a western guitar, the strings are stretched under higher tension and the sound is much harder with this instrument than with a classical guitar. If you are a lover of rock and pop music and want to learn guitar, you can play your favorite pieces on a western guitar. In some versions you can even find the western guitar with twelve instead of the usual six strings. Of course, a 12-string guitar creates a really ‘fat’ sound, which also presents you with special challenges when playing. For a twelve-sided guitar, each string is assigned an additional string. But be careful: the special octave strings usually break faster than conventional strings.
The difference to the electric guitar is that its sound is generated without electronic amplification.

This is the point where the Electric guitar. In contrast to the classical guitar or western guitar, the electric guitar requires electronic amplification to vibrate the steel strings. Since the electric guitar does not primarily use its own sound body to generate the sound, the design of this instrument only plays a subordinate role. However, you should keep in mind that you always need an amplifier if you want to inspire your audience with this instrument and really rock ’.
As you can see, your taste in music plays a decisive role in learning the guitar when choosing the right guitar. You will certainly not be happy playing rhythmic flamenco notes on a loud electric guitar. If you are a lover of classical music, you will lose the fun of playing the guitar on a western guitar in the long run.

Solo or accompaniment - which guitar is suitable for what?

If you want to strike rock notes during a solo game, an electric guitar is definitely the right instrument for you. But in general you are free to use most types of guitars for solos or for classical chord accompaniment.

What special features do guitars offer for left-handers?

Some of the most famous music greats like Paul McCartney or Kurt Cobain are or were left-handed. It is therefore no wonder that the subject of ‘guitars for left-handers‘ receives special attention. However, simply repositioning the strings is not enough to be able to play a guitar with the left hand side. Some guitarists like Mark Knopfler have learned over time to play the guitars clockwise. Since the position of the guitar bridge is extremely important for the intonation, you can also have the instrument rebuilt by a guitar maker. If you fail to awaken the right-hander in you while playing the guitar, you will inevitably have to resort to a left-hander instrument.

Which guitar size?

Guitars are available in different sizes, which you can differentiate according to a system specially designed for string instruments or their length - the unit of length for vibrating strings. A "complete" guitar has a length of 65 centimeters. Further variations are the 7/8 guitars with 62 centimeters, the 3/4 guitar with 58 centimeters, the 1/2 guitar with 53 centimeters and the 1/4 guitar with 48 centimeters.
The ‘normal’ guitar in the 4/4 version is designed for adults. However, practice has shown that many adults feel much more comfortable playing on a 7/8 instrument. The smaller sizes are accordingly intended for the little ones. Even if an exact age classification is difficult, 1/4 guitars are used by five to seven year old children and 3/4 instruments by eight to eleven year old children.

Which guitar is suitable for professionals, advanced or beginners?

This question is not easy to answer. If you belong to the advanced ranks and want to get yourself a new, good instrument, you shouldn't be surprised to have to spend a four-digit amount on the instrument. Of course, you are free to purchase a cheaper instrument. However, you will then probably have to accept limitations in terms of playability. The sound also suffers from an inexpensive guitar. It is therefore advisable for you to look around in a guitar shop near you and choose the instrument that you feel comfortable with.
While professionals naturally have to dig deeper into their pockets, it is worthwhile for beginners not to spend more than 70 euros on acoustic guitars. Experience shows that many future guitarists - i.e. everyone who wants to learn to play the guitar - lose their interest in playing the guitar within a few months. In that case it would be a shame if the investment for the instrument was too high. But if you persevere and develop a certain style or preference for a type of guitar over time, you can easily keep your old guitar as a souvenir and switch to a new instrument. With this in mind: We wish everyone who would like to learn the guitar the best of luck!

To make your choice a little easier, we recommend our free course on choosing the right acoustic guitar from Alex. He goes into detail here again on important differences and gives you buying tips. If you are still not sure which guitar is the best for you, feel free to write us an email.

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