Guitars are one of the most popular musical instruments in the world. People of all ages find the idea of playing a guitar appealing and want to give it a go for themselves. The first step for anyone who is serious about learning to play is to buy their very own guitar. Buying a guitar is not as simple as forking over cash though – you need to carefully consider what kind of music you want to play first. This decision can leave some beginners a bit overwhelmed and far too many discover later on that they have made a poor choice for their first guitar.
Below, the major kinds of guitar a beginner is likely to encounter are explained. This should give you enough information to make an informed decision on your very first guitar purchase.
An acoustic guitar uses acoustic, rather than electric means to produce sound. The strings are the primary method of creating sound with these guitars. Plucking the strings produces vibrations, which cause sounds of varying pitch and frequency once those vibrations hit the soundboard and sound box in the body of the guitar.
Modern acoustic guitars have steel strings, ensuring they can produce a strong, clear and loud sound. With acoustic guitars, there is generally no amplification, which means they naturally produce a softer more mellow sound.
As the name would suggest, an electric guitar uses electric means to produce sound. When the strings on an electric guitar are plucked, the vibration is converted into a series of electrical signals. These signal pass through an amplifier and then on to a loudspeaker system. This means that you will require more equipment to get started than if you were using an acoustic guitar.
Electric guitars have only been around since the 1930's. They were introduced as a way of getting a bigger sound from guitars, especially for use in Jazz bands. This style of guitar is still very popular in pop music today, so if you want to be a star, an electric guitar could be for you!
By appearance, the bass is also an electric guitar and it functions in a similar way with the use of an amplifier and speaker. The difference between the two, is that the bass has just four strings and produces a massively different sound than an electric or bass guitar. The bass is used as part of the rhythm section of a band – it is only rarely used as a solo instrument. Bass guitars are used to set up the progression and beat of a song and play an integral role in making great music.
Where To Start?
Even with the above information, you may still be confused about which type of guitar you would like to play. Reading more information is always helpful, but there is nothing that can compare to hands on experience. If you have any friends who play guitar, you should speak to them and get their opinion – you can even have a go on their guitar if they let you! Failing that, any quality music store will have qualified staff on hand to answer any queries you may have.