A common question asked by many beginners is how to choose their first acoustic guitar. You don’t need to spend a lot of money in order have an instrument suitable for learning on however there are 2 very important factors which must be right. In this article we’ll look at those in detail and hopefully it will help you to buy a great first guitar.
1. As a beginner you want the lowest action possible on your acoustic guitar
Firstly we’ll talk about ‘action’. The action of your guitar is the how far the strings are away from the fretboard. It’s measured in millimeters so it’s quite intricate and precise. Actually it’s amazing the difference a few millimeters can make to how hard or easy it is to play a particular guitar.
If the guitar you are interested in does not already have a low action then you can get it adjusted. It’s extremely important. Learning on a guitar with a high action is going to make everything 10 times harder to do.
2. Make sure the guitar tunes up perfectly – It’s called Intonation
Next we must make sure that the guitar will tune up properly. Tuning is a delicate art and on some guitars, even though all the individual strings are correctly in tune, if you strike a few chords you could notice that some are in tune while others are not.
This is a sure sign that the ‘intonation’ of your guitar needs to be fixed and adjusted so when your guitar is in tune all chords will sound equally well.
Extra care must be taken with older acoustic guitars that have been sitting around unused for years as they tend to come with the most problems. Having said that however, it’s also possible for new guitar you buy from the guitar store to be badly set up with a high action and bad tuning characteristics.
In a nutshell, find the guitar you like within your price range and ask the store staff the following – To ensure the guitar has the lowest action possible and that its intonation is perfect so it will tune up really well. Then you’ll have a fantastic instrument for taking guitar lessons on and your chances of success will have gone up significantly too.