Once you have decided you are going to learn to play the guitar, the next question you have to ask is, “What type of guitar should I buy?“. It is a great question and needs to be answered so you can figure out what kind of guitar is right for you and then go out and get one. Basically there are 2 main types of guitars: acoustic and electric.
An acoustic guitar is the choice for most beginning guitar players. It is larger and hollow with a hole in the body of the guitar where the sound comes out. It is usually lighter and has a nice smooth sound to it. The advantage of the acoustic guitar is that it is built to project sound and doesn’t need to be plugged in through an amplifier (although there are those that do plug into an amplifier in case you ever need to run the guitar through a sound system. They are called acoustic-electric guitars). In my opinion it is a great place to start without having to buy any additional equipment. You can just pick it up and start to strum. It might compare to buying a piano where you have one natural sound.
Acoustic guitars will come in two basic shapes as well. There is the more traditional look and then a body style called a cutaway. The cutaway has a part of the bottom of the body cut out so you can reach further down the neck of the guitar (for when you are ripping some amazing solo…eventually).
Electric guitars are usually smaller and are made from a dense solid piece of wood with electronics on the inside. In the body, just underneath the strings, you will see a number of pickups. They are called that because they pick up the sound from the strings and send it to the amplifier. Most amplifiers, except the most basic, have the ability to not only project that sound but they can take the sound and change it in various ways, from distortion to sustain to delay to reverb to…..(you get the idea…there are lots of effects that can come on an amp or you can buy an effects pedal to add them to your arsenal of sounds). This is what makes electric guitars so versatile. They allow you to find the exact sound you are looking for to play a particular song. That being said, they do require you to buy extra equipment besides the guitar itself in order to use them. If you are sure that you are going to be playing a certain style of music where an electric would be best suited then that is the way to go. An electric guitar might compare to a keyboard that will give you many sounds besides the natural piano sound.
So which type of guitar should I get?
There isn’t a wrong answer. The honest truth is that if you end up sticking with the guitar you will more than likely end up having an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar in your arsenal. If you aren’t sure where to start then I would look for an affordable acoustic guitar to start with. If you are sure you are going to be learning music that has more of a heavy, distortion sound then start with an electric. Just be prepared to buy an amp and possibly an effects pedal to go with it. Just be honest with yourself as to what you really want.