Want to learn to play the electric guitar? What to start with?
Get the right guitar
When it comes to buying your first electric guitar as a beginner, you need to be truthful with yourself about the initial investment you are willing to make. Of course, it does not have to be big – you can actually find several premium-quality electric guitars at affordable prices. As soon as you have set your budget, then it is time to go hunting for the right electric guitar for your needs. Try to read several reviews and customers’ feedback online. You might not really know what you are looking for as regards sound, but you’ll know what feels good and comfy in your arms. Once you find an excellent electric guitar with good feedback from customers, go for it. Playability and tonality are features to look for down the road. If you are still in doubt, try to look through the acoustic-electric guitars to start with or choose an instrument for the genre you prefer, like blues acoustic guitars.
Get the right accessories
The right accessories can make a huge difference in refining your technique and improving your tone. The most important accessories for you as a newbie are an amplifier, picks, a strap, a cable, a strong guitar stand, a good tuner, and a guitar case. Of course, as you develop as a guitarist, you can look for other tone-enhancing accessories like slides, pedals, effects, and more.
While the guitar might sometime seem like the most difficult musical instrument to learn in the world, it can actually be easy if you put your mind to it. Of course, you have to be committed, focused, and be ready to put in a lot of work. However, the biggest mistake a beginner could make is expecting to become a master overnight. In truth, learning to play the electric guitar is actually a gradual process that requires time, patience, and true understanding of concepts.
As a beginner, you have to make the most of the free resources scattered all over the Internet. There are loads of websites online to learn how to play the electric guitar. Some of our favorite websites to get started as a beginner are JustinGuitar, Arlen Roth and Gibson, Ultimate Guitar, and Fender University.
You also need to buy a simple songbook. There is a million of simple songbooks out there. Buy those with familiar songs, and have only a couple of chords for each song. Most contain chord charts so you will have an easier time. For now, don’t bother about songs with complex-looking chords.
Features to consider before buying an electric guitar
Since we have been researching this topic for a while, we are aware of the common problems usually faced by beginners. When you’re shopping for your first electric guitar, below are the most important features to take into consideration.
The scale length is the string’s vibrating length, which is normally set by the distance between the bridge saddle and the nut. The frets of the guitar are usually spaced depending on ratio, which means that the longer scales are more distanced between frets.
The scale length affects both the note’s tone quality and the string’s tension at a particular pitch.
A typical mistake made by most beginners is purchasing an electric guitar without ensuring it is made with a high-quality wood. The kind of wood the instrument is made from affects sound, tone, and resonance. Every kind of wood provides its own distinctive resonance because of the wood’s hardness and density. You can check several websites online before buying your instrument, and read through the specs of different guitars. This way, you’ll know the quality and type of wood that a guitar was made with before deciding to purchase it. Some common woods are adler, basswood, mahogany, agathis, rosewood, and maple.
There are three types of body available on the market when it comes to electric guitars: solid, hollow, and semi-hollow. The difference between these three types essentially comes down to the tone and resonance they create. The hollow body and semi-hollow body can produce a lot more resonance and reverberation than the solid type.
Despite being the body type that produces the least resonance, the solid body guitar is by a wide margin the most well-known guitar among manufacturers and guitarists. Both hollow type and semi-hollow type are favored by various genres such as jazz and blues, the solid body type is preferred by punk, hard rock, and metal genres. Of course, either body type can be used for any genre with adequate technique.
While there are several types of bridges out there with many adjustments possible, one thing stays constant between all of them – it has a big impact on the sound and performance of the guitar.
Although choosing between different types of bridges can be a difficult decision, to make things easier, it is better to pick one that is suitable for your personal music taste and your skill level.
A country player may have a frustrating time with the one bridge that is suitable for the heavy metal genre. For people that have many guitars at reach, each of your instruments could have a different bridge to fit that music style or situation. The most common bridges, however, are the Floyd Rose, Synchronized Tremelos, Tune-O-Matic, Fixed Bridge, Hard-Tail, and several others.
Whether it’s a hambucker or a single coil, each electric guitar incorporates some sort of electronics. It is what enables you to convert the strings vibrations into signals to be caught by the amp.
Single coils are ageless and contain a magnet that has been wrapped by a few yards of wire. They provide crisp and bright sounds but are susceptible to static and distortion most probably because of magnetic interference. Single coil pickups are perfect for people that play lighter music genres and are used on several models on our list, including the Squier by Fender Mini Strat and the LyxPro.
Humbuckers are basically two single coils utilized to separate the magnetic interference by being combined. The result of this is a powerful, crisp, and bright sound without the hum, noise, and static. Humbuckers are suitable for people that play heavier music genres and are used on the Epiphone PPEG-EGL1VSCH1 Les Paul Electric Guitar and the C-1 SGR by Schecter Beginner Electric Guitar.
You also need to consider the number of accessories. Your ideal beginner electric guitar needs to come with as many as possible. Some accessories, like the cable and amplifier (they come in different price ranges and can be purchased for under 200 and 300 dollars) are things you can’t play without. Others such as a case, stand, or additional strings are totally your perspective. Make sure you take some time to consider your choice of add-ons and accessories. Models like the Best Choice Products Blue Electric Guitar come with several accessories and add-ons.
You also need to consider extra features such as fret scale and the number of frets. Usually, an electric guitar has 21, 22, or 24 frets. While frets are integral to the quality of music produced by your guitar, it is unnecessary to make adjustments to it unless you’re are experienced and find it absolutely necessary.