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Shopping for your first instrument should be the initial step in a lifelong journey of learning and inspiration. It can also be confusing because all musical instruments come in so many different makes and models.

If you’re buying your first guitar, you’ll face choices like what size guitar to buy, deciding between an acoustic or electric, or whether to invest in a new or used instrument. While there are many variables that might affect your decision, the most important thing is to find a guitar that sounds good, looks good, and feels good to play – to you.

Acoustic guitars
Acoustic guitars only use acoustic means to transfer the vibrational energy of its strings to produce a sound. What basically happens is that the vibration of the string is passed on into the body of the guitar, the empty space there amplifies the resulting sound, which is let out through the sound hole.

You can subcategorize acoustic guitars further:

Nylon stringed classical guitars
Steel stringed acoustic guitars
These 2 sub-types create a totally different tone, and you play them a bit differently too.

Electric guitars
Electric guitars use a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical impulses. This signal is sent to an amplifier, where the strength of the signal is amplified, and than sent to the loudspeaker.

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There are literally thousands of different acoustic and electric guitars, so choosing one can be a bit difficult.

Buy a guitar that is best suited for the style of music you want to play. Below are some suggestions, but please keep in mind that these are only recommendations. Buying a guitar is a very personal decision, so feel free to think outside the box!

For beginners, it’s important to have a guitar that is easy to play and stays in tune. But cosmetics, body style, electronics, and tone matter too. Often, a beginner may have a favorite guitarist who inspires them to play. Check out what guitars their heroes play and try to aim for something similar. Your budding country star may not be very enthusiastic about the pointy guitar with skulls, but they will probably fall in love with a classic. You may choose something different, but this is a good starting point in determining which guitar is likely to inspire your up-and-coming guitar prodigy.

All guitars will have similar specifications in this lower price bracket. So there’s no need to focus much on what the fretboard material is, or how many knobs it has, or what the hardware is made of. There are lots of variables in guitars so it’s important not to feel overwhelmed.

Even how they sound is less important than how the shape makes you feel. If it excites you to look at, you’ll be more inclined to pick it up and play.