Everybody who decides to play guitar has to answer the same question: What type of guitar should I play? You might not know that there are different types of guitars or that it makes a difference to your playing; however, it is an essential factor. I hope this will help you choose your instrument if you are in doubt.
The two main types of guitars are electric and acoustic. An acoustic guitar is any guitar that makes sound within its body without the use of an amplifier. There are two acoustic guitar types: steel string and nylon string (sometimes called a classical or Spanish guitar). The nylon string guitar is a good beginner guitar: the strings are very soft and easy to play, come in a range of sizes and prices, and are very versatile. If you want to learn a bit of everything, fingerpicking, strumming, pop, rock, classical, everything in between, they are the best for that. A nylon string guitar is also the type of guitar needed to study Royal Conservatory music, which is classical guitar.
Steel-string acoustic guitars are tougher to play; the strings are very tight and challenging for some students. They are louder and have a different sound than the nylon string guitars. Many recording artists use a steel-string guitar, like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan etc. Both acoustic guitars are suitable for beginners; however, steel strings would be more appropriate for older or adult beginners.
Electric guitars are also very easy to play, their strings are very light, and the shape of the guitar’s body allows all notes to be played relatively easily. Electric guitars require an amplifier, as the name suggests, and this is necessary to increase the volume. A benefit of the amplifier is the ability to change the sound of your guitar by adjusting specific controls or effects, which can also be purchased separately. Electric guitars are commonly used in Rock music but are also found in Jazz, Country, Pop and other styles. Because the electric guitar is straightforward to play, they are appropriate for all ages of beginner musician.
I recommend a nylon string guitar for beginners, and it is essential to have the person who will play the guitar try it first. Also, they come in a range of sizes, and you don’t want a guitar that is too big or way too small.
If none of those guitars have grabbed you so far, what about Ukelele? The Ukulele is a small four-string instrument, very similar in shape to the guitar. It is related to guitar in many ways, including the order and relative tuning of the strings and chord positions. The Ukulele generally comes in one type, acoustic nylon-string; however, there are four sizes: Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone. I recommend using concert size. It is still very small but easier to tune and play. The Ukulele is tuned using re-entrant tuning, meaning the strings are not in order of pitch from low to high because of this, there exists a low G string. This opens up the Ukulele’s potential and allows for some very challenging pieces to be played on the instrument, although I recommend using a low G for beginner students.
If you’re still stuck and don’t know what instrument to choose, maybe you’d like Bass Guitar? It’s another four-string instrument, tuned one octave lower than the guitar. The bass guitar has been included in just about every song written since its invention, it may not be the most prominent, but it is always there. It can affect the harmony of a song , contribute to the rhythm, and play melodies and lead in the right situation. The guitar and bass guitar have similar tunings so it will be easy to switch between those instruments or learn them both as some students have.
I always enjoy learning a new instrument. Each new one I learn enhances my skill on my original instrument and gives a whole new perspective to it. It also helps when playing with other musicians; you can easily hear what they’re playing and how it interacts with your part. It’s also one of the best ways to improve in music, learning a new instrument. However, there’s no substitute for practice.