Different Types of Guitar Tuners

There are basically three different types of guitar tuners.  It is super important that you keep your guitar tuned, especially while you are learning to play, so you know when you are making mistakes or not.  What I mean is that most of the time, if your guitar is tuned, you can tell you did something wrong because you can hear it.  You can just hear that something is off.  But if the guitar isn’t tuned, you may be doing everything perfectly and still think you are doing something wrong because that un-tuned guitar sounds awful.  Keep that in mind.

When I say there are three different types of guitar tuners, what I mean is that they typically come in three physical forms depending on what you like or what you need.  But, aside from how they look, I want to mention what they can do.  A chromatic tuner can tune a string to any note you want it to.  A non-chromatic tuner will only tune your strings to the the six notes in standard tuning (moving from the top, biggest string down to the bottom, smallest string, those notes are E, A, D, G, B, E).  This is fine as you are starting, but there really is no reason to buy a non-chromatic tuner when you can get a chromatic tuner for around the same price and it is more versatile.  There are different ways to tune a guitar (these are called alternate tunings) besides the standard tuning  I mentioned and someday you may want to try some of these as you are growing as a guitarist.  A chromatic tuner will allow for that.  These two types tune one string at a time.  A polyphonic tuner allows you to strum all the strings on your guitar at once and it will show you which ones are in tune and which are out of tune.  These are a bit more pricey, of course, but are a pretty cool nonetheless.


These tuners typically have a rectangular shape and have a needle, or an image of a needle, on a screen, that moves when you strike the string.  If the needle moves past the middle then you are “sharp” and need to loosen the string until it is in the center.  If it is below the middle when you strike the string then you are “flat” and you need to tighten the string till it comes to the middle.  These tuners usually have a small microphone on them to hear the sound when you hit the string.  The disadvantage is that it needs to be quiet.  Background noise can get in the way.  However, most of them have a place to insert a guitar cable coming from your guitar so you can plug straight into it if you have an electric or an acoustic electric guitar and that eliminates the need for quiet while tuning.  Some of these will also have a metronome setting so you can practice playing at a constant speed during a song.


These tuners clip to the head of your guitar and use the vibrations when you strike a string to allow you to tune the string.  The screen is much like mentioned above but these are typically smaller and you can tune anywhere, noisy or not, since they are using the vibration of the strings rather than the sound.  I just bought a clip on tuner because the new acoustic guitar I bought didn’t have a built in tuner.  It works great and I really like it a lot.



If you have ever been to a live show and wondered how they keep the guitars in tune it is because you will rarely see a musician playing live use either of the two tuners mentioned above.  They almost always use a pedal tuner.  If you already know what an electric guitar pedal is then you will understand what I mean.  A pedal tuner looks exactly like a pedal that you would step on or “stomp” to get a certain sound, whether distortion or chorus or you name it, to come through the amplifier.  When you step on the pedal tuner it cuts off the guitar from the amp so you can tune quickly without being heard.  It will have a dial or some lights just like the other two to let you know if you are sharp or flat and allow you to tune.

These are the three main types of tuners and what they will do.  Remember to keep your guitar tuned no matter which type of tuner you decide to get.  It will definitely help you as you are learning and you will know as you are playing whether you are doing something wrong or not.

Good Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

Good Acoustic Guitars for Beginners

If you have landed here it means you have made the decision to buy an acoustic guitar rather than an electric so I want to help you out by suggesting some good acoustic guitars for beginners.  I am going to shy away from using terms like “the best” acoustic guitar for beginners simply because the word best is so subjective.  Everyone is different and what may be the best beginner acoustic guitar for someone else may not be the best one for you.  But I am going to try to give you a good starting point.  If you continue playing for any length of time you will start to develop your own sense of what you like and don’t like when it comes to the instruments you buy and why.

First, you really should avoid buying a guitar from a big box store.  While they are great for tons of things, they will usually have guitars made by a no name company that are pretty low in quality.  The great thing is that most of the reputable guitar companies have low end guitars to help get you started and many of them are very affordable.  You will get a better product from a company that usually makes only musical instruments (Yamaha is the one exception I can think of but they have a reputation for quality in everything they build).

The best way to choose a guitar is to actually go into a shop and strum a few.  Guitars can be made out of different types of wood which affect how they sound.  Different guitars are shaped differently and come in different colors.  Some have smaller necks and may just “feel” better when you hold it. These are all things that will weigh into your decision.  And don’t underestimate how important it is to find a guitar you think looks good.  We all know personality is important but that doesn’t mean looks aren’t…haha.  You definitely want a guitar that you enjoy picking up and playing since that is what will make you a better player and that includes having the sound, look, and feel that you like.

That being said, I am going to suggest some good beginner acoustic guitars by some well known brands that will be a good starting point since not everyone has a shop close by.  I am including a traditional acoustic look and a cutaway design whenever available.  If you aren’t sure about what each of those is, click here.  Please note, several of the cutaways are acoustic-electric, meaning they can be plugged into an amp or run through a sound system.  Be aware of that.  They cost a little extra for that versatility, so if you aren’t needing that then you may want to choose a different one.  I had trouble finding too many cutaways that were not acoustic-electric.

If you click on the name of the brand itself it will take you to a page full of all their guitars rather than a specific one.  One may catch your eye that I didn’t mention.  I am trying to keep the price range low, but feel free to look through some a little up in price as quality does go up.  Hope this helps.  Click the picture of any guitar you want to find more information on.

Good Beginner Acoustic Guitars (in alphabetical order by company):


ss Alvarez Artist Series AD30 Dreadnought Guitar, Natural/Gloss Finish Alvarez Acoustic Electric Guitar AD30CE (Dreadnought) Alvarez Regent RD26SB Acoustic Guitar Spruce top Dreadnought Free Gig Bag Alvarez RD26CE Cutaway Acoustic Guitar with Deluxe Gig Bag



Applause: These guitars are made by Ovation and are unique in that they have a rounded back made out of a composite synthetic material instead of wood.  Some people love them.  I have owned a couple before and didn’t like how they wanted to slide off my lap as I played sitting down because of being rounded.  They are no problem when playing standing up.  You may love them but I just wanted to give a little FYI on these particular guitars.  They are definitely unique.


 Ovation AB24A-4 Acoustic Guitar, Applause Balladeer Cutaway Dreadnought Ovation AB24A-5 Acoustic Guitar, Applause Balladeer Cutaway Dreadnought Ovation AB24-RR Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Applause Balladeer Cutaway Dreadnought Ovation AB24-4 Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Applause Balladeer Cutaway Dreadnought

Daisy Rock:  Daisy Rock is a company formed by the president of another famous guitar company, Schecter.  His wife came to him with the idea when their daughter was very young. If you have wondered if there is an acoustic guitar for girls then Daisy Rock acoustic guitars are probably what you are looking for.  The neck of the guitar is thinner to allow for smaller hands and, well,  they come in colors like pink and silver sparkle…haha. Most importantly they have a reputation for good quality.


 Daisy Rock Pixie Acoustic Guitar, Silver Sparkle Daisy Rock Pixie Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Blueberry Burst Daisy Rock 14-7501 Sophomore Acoustic Guitar, Pep Rally Purple Daisy Rock Sophomore Butterfly Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Epiphone:  ***Astericks on this one.  The first one below is close to $100 and had great customer reviews.  This color is a bit more expensive but when you get to the page look near the middle of the page and you will see some color options.  The natural looking one is $107.00.  Nice!!


 Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar, Vintage Sunburst Epiphone PR-150 Acoustic Guitar Vintage Sunburst Epiphone AJ-100CE Jumbo Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Passive, Natural

Fender:  Fender is famous for some very iconic electric guitars they make (the Stratocaster is super famous…think Eric Clapton and countless other guitarists) but they make some great acoustic guitars.  In fact, the first quality acoustic I got for myself after learning a bit was a Fender acoustic with a beautiful sound and gorgeous flame maple body.  After having it over 10 years it got stolen, but I digress.  Great guitars.

 Fender DG-60 Acoustic Guitar Sunburst Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar with Gig Bag – Natural Fender Hot Rod Design T-Bucket 100CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar, 3-Color Sunburst Fender FA135CE Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural

Gretsch:  Gretsch guitars have a great reputation.  The only style I could find that were not approaching $400 were these throwback guitars to the parlor playing days of the 1940s and 1950s.  They are a much smaller body with a very distinctive shape.

 Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top – Vintage Sunburst Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top Delta Sky Burst 12-Fret 6-String Acoustic Parlor Guitar Gretsch G9500 Jim Dandy Flat Top – Roundup Burst Gretsch Guitars G9520 Jim Dandy Flat Top Acoustic Guitar Black

Ibanez:  Ibanez makes some good guitars.  In fact, I own one right now.  The picture in the “About Me” page on this blog is a picture of me holding it and I’ve had it for some 7 years now.  FYI…the last 4 below are the same guitar, just in different colors.

 Ibanez Gd10 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Natural Ibanez PF15NT Performance Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Natural Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar Black Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric Guitar Transparent Blue Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar Violin Sunburst Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar Antique Natural

Mitchell: I don’t know much about these guitars except I noticed they were highly rated by customers at a reputable online guitar store and very affordable. Comments like, “The sound blew my more expensive guitars away” kept popping up so I thought I would put these two out there for you.  The first one below is just over $100.

 Mitchell MD100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Natural Mitchell MD100SCE Dreadnought Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural

What Type of Guitar Should I Buy?

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.

Acoustic Guitars

An acoustic guitar is the choice for most beginning guitar players.  It is larger traditional acoustic guitarand 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 acoustic guitarcutaway.  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 guitar and ampElectric Guitars

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.



Should I Learn to Play the Guitar?

Many people that love music and have always wanted to learn an instrument ask, “Should I learn to play the guitar?”  Below I have listed some reasons you might consider if you are on the fence about learning but I want to say straight away that if you are even asking the question then the answer is, “Absolutely!!!”  Of course you should!  Just the fact that you have a desire to give it a try is reason enough to go ahead and do it.  But if you are looking for some other reasons why you should, here are a few to think about.

Why Should I Learn to Play the Guitar?

1.  You never know if you like it or not until you give it a try!  Most things in life work this way.  I recently took a motorcycle safety course to learn how to ride a motorcycle.  It looked like fun to me but I had never ridden so I figured I should give it a try and find out.  I loved it!  Guitar is the same way.  You need to get a guitar and try it out.  I have seen people that were so excited to learn to play the guitar only to find out that they didn’t have time, didn’t really enjoy it, or just got bored.  But I have also seen people that tried it and absolutely fell in love with playing.  It really is the best feeling the first time you play a song and actually have a friend start singing along because you nailed it!!

2.  It is one of the easiest instruments to learn to play.  I am not saying you will pick it up and be Eric Clapton by the end of the first week, but you can definitely be playing some basic songs by the end of the first week with a bit of practice.  That is why so many people learn to play the guitar.  Picking up the basics doesn’t have to take that long and you will be absolutely shocked at how many songs you can play just by learning 3 or 4 chords (especially when you use a capo….something you will fall in love with I promise!!)

3.  Playing guitar is a great way to meet people!  Musicians automatically attract other musicians, as well as people who just love music.  And just about everyone I know loves music of some kind.  Most people love it when someone breaks out the guitar at the park or around a campfire so everyone can join in or just listen.  Music brings people together (and for the guys….chicks do dig it!!)

4.  I asked a friend of mine why she started playing the guitar.  She had grown up playing the oboe for many years and she simply said she wanted to play an instrument where she could sing as well.  I had never thought of that but it is definitely an instrument that allows for and encourages you to not only play, but learn to sing as well.

5.  Getting started playing the guitar doesn’t have to be expensive.  If you start off on an acoustic guitar all you need is a guitar, a few picks, and a book of chords (or a video, online program, or teacher depending on how you want to start learning).  Heck, if you happen to have friends that play guitar you may even be able to borrow everything to get started.  Try learning to play a drum set or a piano on the cheap like that!

6.  Playing guitar is quiet enough to be personal if you don’t want to be heard and also quiet enough not to disturb the entire house like practicing drums or a trumpet or something.  It isn’t the only instrument that this is true about but it is probably the most popular one that this is true about.  Even if you move on to an electric guitar that requires an amplifier, pretty much all amplifiers have a place to plug in headphones so you can be rocking out in your own little world.  Perfect for when you want to shred loudly to yourself when you get some skills, but also perfect for when you don’t have any idea what you are doing and still sound terrible…ha!

I am sure I have missed some very good reasons why you should learn to play the guitar, but these are a few I think are worth considering.  Jump in and do it!  I promise that, even if you decide it isn’t for you, that you will be glad you did.  Even if you hate it you have learned something about yourself.  If you spend the whole time you are playing the guitar wishing you were drumming then you may have just discovered that you are a drummer in the making and there is not harm in that.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Here’s to your guitar playing future!!