what type of guitar to start with?

Posted by Karen on Sun, 01/30/05 - 18:35:43.

Hello and I hope someone will please take the time to read and respond to my post. I have a 13 year old son who has problems in school because of ADD and so he is not elegible to play sports etc. I was thinking a wonderful idea would be to buy him a guitar and get him into guitar lessons to help him with a hobby and build his self esteem.
What type of guitar would you guys suggest? Of course being a 13 year old boy he wants electric but to me it would make sense to begin with accoustic or do I even know what I am talking about?
Any help would be oh so helpful and I look forward to hearing your responses.

Thank you,
Karen

stress007@aol.com

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Re: what type of guitar to start with?

i think any guitar would be good to learn on, idealy an accoustic would be best and even better would be a nylon strung classical type guitar, but is that going to hold the interest of a 13yr old boy? the advantages of a nylon strung guitar are, they have a wider neck (which makes it easier to get your fingers around, more space between the strings), they have 'fat' strings which are easier on the fingers, steel strings dig into the fingers and you can only hold them dow for a short while, where as the nylon strings are a lot easier on the finger tips, they are light guitars, they dont need an amp, easy to tune and maintain. Well thats the upside, the downside is you look a right plum playing one, who wants a classical guitar at 13?? he will probaly want an ibanez electric or a fender or gibson, something thats loud, and heavy and cool, so maybe middle ground would be a steel string accoustic guitar, it's still accoustic so doesnt need an amp, volume would be low, still light but the strings are made of steel and it would hurt the fingers for a while, i say a while cos after about 3 weeks of practice you get hard skin developing over the tips of the fingers, this waould also be a bonus if he eventualy progresses on to an electric.
Accoustic wise you need to take him to a store to see which one he likes and also feels comftable playing, cost wise you would be looking at anything between £100 - £300 for a good starter guitar, and like wise for the nylon strung guitar. Good luck with your choice, im sure he will get a lot out of it, i got into guitar in a similar way, i only went to school guitar lessons to get out of French lessons! i went 2 weeks and was hooked, still am 25 years later.

Lee (just turned 40)

Re: what type of guitar to start with?

Main concern is if he'll like it or not, which can't really be told beforehand. Lots of parents buy their kids guitars, and it gets quite costly. But some of the times, they just stop playing and let the guitar collect dust or become a doorstop, then end up putting you in the situation of selling it on eBay so keep the receipt! As you've mentioned, it is better to start with acoustic, and also much cheaper. But the necks are pretty wide and the strings are hard to push down. I first started out with an electric (very pointy =D) and it worked out pretty good. But before that, my friend let me play his acoustic and electric and at that age acoustic wasn't 'cool'. If you buy him an acoustic, it's just that and maybe a tuner/case/what not. But as for an electric, it's going to be amp/cable/strap/case/tuner (not all of those are needed, but he'll probably want them). If you think he'll have fun and take guitar seriously, then something ranging from 300-450 is a good price range, but usually a 200-300 is a good start (starter packs, comes with everything). As for lessons, a teacher is always good, but the lessons should only be guidelines and not a nuisance (like homework). Best of luck.

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