If you are just starting out on the guitar, you may have yet to decide what type of guitar you would like to learn on. You may have some guitars in mind based on your favorite players and musical heroes. Ultimately, when you are starting to learn to play you want to have a guitar that is suited to your level of playing.
This is not the time to be busting out the Gibson Flying V!
Most beginners learn to play on an acoustic guitar that has a relatively low action or a basic electric so that you can get used to the simple aspects of the guitar before moving on to the complex stuff.
In the end it comes down to personal preference. The guitar that you find easy and enjoyable to play will be the best. The key to learning to play any instrument is consistent and regular practice. This will be easier if you find it comfortable and fun to keep returning to your instrument.
Below are a few key tips to help you choose an easy guitar for beginners. Not everyone will agree on what is the easiest guitar to learn for beginners but we will try our best to recommend a few good ones!
Acoustic or Electric?
Is the acoustic or the electric the right guitar for you? The electric may be more visually appealing in many cases but the aesthetics of the guitar should not be top of your list of priorities when it comes to buying the right beginners guitar.
If you are looking for the most basic guitar for beginners you probably will want to use an acoustic guitar. A simple acoustic is often the starting point for most guitarists as you don’t have to worry about plugging it in or troubling yourself with amplification.
One size does not fit all in this situation. Within the acoustic and electric brackets there are even more distinctions that will have you scratching your chin. Do you want steel or nylon string on your acoustic? Do you want a semi-acoustic? Six strings, four strings or twelve strings? Guitars come in many shapes and sizes.
We are going to assume that you want to be a guitarist and not a bass guitarist so the simplest requirement is that the guitar should have six strings. Beyond that it is mostly personal preference, as you will see below!
Types of Guitar:
- Steel Stringed
- Nylon Stringed
- Semi-Acoustic (Hollow-body)
Steel Stringed Acoustic
A steel stringed guitar is usually the safest bet for a beginner. A classical or flamenco guitar is not ideal for a beginner because their necks make it tricky for a novice to form chord shapes. A standard steel stringed acoustic is a guitar made for playing blues, rock and pop songs. It has a thinner neck which makes it easier for beginners to practice chords and melodies.
Unlike an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar has a consistent tone that is not easily manipulated. It is easy to get lost in all the fun things you can do on an electric and forget to actually begin learning. A steel stringed acoustic is comfortable to hold and play and will produce a consistent tone that you can measure your progress against.
Acoustic guitars are usually the least expensive option and are commonly used around the world for teaching in classrooms. There is a reason steel stringed guitars are so ubiquitous in beginners circles. They require very little extra work to sound great and unlike the electric your errors aren’t amplified.
Easy rock guitar songs and super easy guitar songs for beginners are best played on a steel stringed acoustic. If you don’t fancy this route there are other options!
- The acoustic is the popular choice for beginners and therefore there is a wealth of knowledge and experience tailored for the acoustic guitar that has built up over the years.
- A steel stringed acoustic guitar is often the cheaper option. This is especially helpful for a beginner who is tentative about the guitar playing ambitions.
- There are very little additional materials that need to be purchased in order to play an acoustic.
- It may take some time for your fingers to get used to the strings. The relatively high playing action is not always easy for beginners.
- You may not like the sound of the acoustic guitar if your ultimate aim is to be an electric guitar playing rock god!
- If you purchase a cheap acoustic guitar, it may be difficult to tune and may not stand the test of time.
There are several plus sides to learning on an electric guitar. Aside from the fact that the electric guitar is undeniably cooler! The sound of the electric guitar through an amp is usually the sound people think of when they think about learning the guitar.
Electric guitars work via the “use of magnetic pickups. These are, very simply, magnets with coils of wire wrapped around them, which sit beneath the strings. When the strings vibrate, it causes a disturbance in the magnetic field around the pickup, which the coil of wire turns into an electrical signal. This is transferred down a cable to an amplifier, which reverses the process, changing the signal back to sound.” (Source: Dawsons).
Electric guitars have a fantastic utility in a variety of genres of music. Whether you are looking to blow minds with heavy chords, jazz licks or classic blues riffs, an electric guitar can be used in a variety of ways even by a beginner.
As a beginner, learning on an electric guitar is also a great way of gaining knowledge about the technical side of the guitar. Easy guitar chords can be enhanced by the tone of an electric guitar. Even a basic guitar for a beginner can be used to imitate famous rock sounds and strange riffs with a bit of practice.
If you are looking for a specific guitar to buy then have a look at The Hub’s article for the 6 Best Beginner Acoustic and Electric Guitars.
- Ultimately you will gain the most if you practice often. If an electric guitar keeps you coming back to the instrument then it could be the choice for you.
- The sound of an electric guitar at full force is arguably more satisfying.
- An electric guitar can be easier on the fingers due to the lower playing action and slimmer neck.
- Electric guitars are often more expensive and purchasing one as a beginner represents a large investment.
- The overall set up to get the right sound out of an electric guitar is more complicated.
- If you don’t already have one you will have to purchase a good amp.
- If you purchase a cheap electric guitar, as with an acoustic, it may be difficult to get it to stay in tune.
The Easiest Guitar for Beginners
Which one is your favorite? If you are a beginner and have never touched a guitar we recommend visiting a few guitar shops before you make your first purchase. While you can buy guitars online it will give peace of mind to know exactly which guitar you are buying and who it is coming from. A guitar store is also a great place to get more specific advice from musicians and music enthusiasts.
Is learning guitar easy? Not really!
Once you have your guitar the real work begins. We recommend finding some easy guitar song tabs and starting from there.
There a host of fantastic apps that are tailor-made to assist beginners learn the guitar. Hours and hours of practice will make even the humblest of guitars sing. Even within a few weeks on your first guitar you will be surprised at how it sounds.
Whichever guitar you acquire it is important that you take care of your guitar by learning to tune and maintain it. Even if you buy an expensive guitar it can become useless if it is not properly cared for.
Finally, while a steel stringed acoustic guitar may be the easiest guitar to learn on for beginner it is important to remember that it is all about you. The guitar that you have to hand and feel most comfortable with is going to be the best one to play.
What is your guitar of choice?
Share with us in the comments below!