While it may be beneficial for anyone interested in learning to play guitar to practice on a nylon string acoustic guitar for a least a year, the truth of the matter is that unless you are mostly interested in JS Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, playing electric guitar is far more gratifying. While the steel metal strings of an electric guitar can be hard on your fingers, you’ll quickly develop callouses that will allow you to rip awesome solos and strum rhythmic chords confidently. Whether you want to play psychedelic rock or jazz fusion with lots of chord extensions, developing an individual style and finger dexterity will bring you a great deal of satisfaction.
Depending on how much money you have in the bank, you may want to start by renting to own. If you feel confident that you’ll want to own a guitar, an entry level instrument should cost around four or five hundred dollars. Just because an entry level guitar is cheap, however, it doesn’t mean it has to sound bad – don’t let guitar snobs out there tell you any differently. Here are a few suggestions for a guitarist at the start of their hero’s journey:
Dan Electro ’63 Dano:
This guitar has a classic look that will make you fall immediately in love with it. Dan Electro is a great manufacturer that’s been around forever and they’re dedicated to making high quality “re-issues” of the guitars they’ve designed over the ages. The action on these guitars is great, so developing your fingering and technique should be a breeze if you put in the hours – to become a better guitar player you need to put in plenty of practice. This guitar’s iconic double cutaway offset horn shape is tremendously attractive from an aesthetic perspective and the lipstick pickups make for insanely great tone. Definitely a wicked guitar to get you started.
While buying a legitimate Fender guitar might be a bold move for a beginner, Fender also offers a line of discount guitars that are no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. Squire offers a wide variety of telecaster guitars, which you’ll definitely recognize if you’re a fan of Bruce Springsteen. The great thing about Squire is that they offer a huge selection of brand new guitars at an extremely affordable price, so whatever your preference is – with regards to looks and style – you’ll be able to find something that suits you. Telecasters are cool, but so are Stratocasters, Jazz-masters and Jaguars.
Now that you’ve picked out your guitar, it’s time to amplify it. Again, you probably don’t want to break the bank on a vintage tube amp right off the bat, especially if you haven’t developed a sound yet. It’s prudent to buy an entry level solid-state amp for learning purposes:
Fender Champion 40
This amp is less than two hundred dollars and has lots of fun features like tremolo and vibratone to mess around with. If you pick up a Squire guitar, this amp will be extremely complementary.
These great sounding amps are a little pricier than the Champions, but include a neat feature: they come with a USB port to make recording your guitar parts a breeze. Learning how to record as you learn guitar is a great idea, so that by the time you’ve written your first big hit, you have the resources to record it!
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