What type of guitar should I get?

I want to learn how to play the guitar and am planning on asking my mom for a guitar for Christmas/my birthday.
I want an acoustic guitar and am wondering what length I should get and if there is any type that is best for beginners.
Oh and I’m about 5’10 if height has anything to do with the length I should get.
Any comments, recommendations and suggestions would be much appreciated.

Chosen Answer:

If you’re 5’10, you need a full size guitar. Period. You certainly won’t be comfortable playing anything smaller, like a ¾ size.

There is no particular type that is best for beginners; there are different brands of varying quality and price, but without knowing how much you and your mom have budgeted to spend on a guitar its hard for me to advise you as to what brand to get.

There are 2 basic types of acoustic guitars. Nylon string guitars are meant to be strung with –you guessed it – nylon strings. Nylon strings don’t put a lot of “pull” or tension on a guitar body or neck but they also don’t put out a lot of volume, they’re softer and mellower sounding. Guitars designed to use nylon strings are built of thinner, lighter wood with lighter bracing on the inside to make them as resonant and responsive as possible to work with the quieter strings. Steel string guitars put a lot more tension and “pull” on a guitar body and neck, but they put out a lot more volume and a brighter sound. Guitars designed to use steel strings are built out of heavier wood with a truss rod inside the neck, and more and heavier bracing inside the body, to withstand the stress of the steel strings. Note that you CANNOT PUT STEEL STRINGS ON A NYLON STRING GUITAR – you will very quickly break the instrument if you do. Contrary to what The Jake said, it doesn’t work to put nylon strings on a steel string guitar either – you won’t break the instrument if you do but the nylon strings don’t have enough power to work with the heavier body of a steel string instrument – you’ll get very little volume and the sound you do get will be crappy. The only reason some people mistakenly suggest putting nylons on a steel string guitar to start with is that the nylons are supposedly a little easier on your fingers when you first start playing. But no matter what kind of strings you have, the first few weeks of playing are going to hurt your fingertips until you develop callouses. If you get a steel string, just put light gauge steel strings on it to start and expect a little discomfort for a few weeks until your callouses develop.

The type of guitar you get – nylon string vs steel string – depends on what kind of music you want to play. If you’re interested in playing classical music, if Andres Segovia, Christopher Parkening, or Muriel Anderson are your guitar heroes, you’ll need a nylon string guitar. If you have no idea who those people are, you probably don’t want a nylon string guitar. If you know you want to play folk, rock, country, or bluegrass, you’ll want a steel string guitar to give you “that sound”.

Hope this helps.
by: RachelS165
on: 22nd September 07

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2 Responses to What type of guitar should I get?

  1. The Jake says:

    I like that your getting an acoustic. That is the best one to learn on. Also length doesnt really matter. I guess just standard size would be good. Also if your wondering about what kind of strings to get then i would suggest a good set of Nylon strings to start then eventually move up to Bronze and Steel strings. That should do it then. I hope you enjoy playing as much as i do.

  2. Rachel_S165 says:

    If you’re 5’10, you need a full size guitar. Period. You certainly won’t be comfortable playing anything smaller, like a ¾ size.

    There is no particular type that is best for beginners; there are different brands of varying quality and price, but without knowing how much you and your mom have budgeted to spend on a guitar its hard for me to advise you as to what brand to get.

    There are 2 basic types of acoustic guitars. Nylon string guitars are meant to be strung with –you guessed it – nylon strings. Nylon strings don’t put a lot of “pull” or tension on a guitar body or neck but they also don’t put out a lot of volume, they’re softer and mellower sounding. Guitars designed to use nylon strings are built of thinner, lighter wood with lighter bracing on the inside to make them as resonant and responsive as possible to work with the quieter strings. Steel string guitars put a lot more tension and “pull” on a guitar body and neck, but they put out a lot more volume and a brighter sound. Guitars designed to use steel strings are built out of heavier wood with a truss rod inside the neck, and more and heavier bracing inside the body, to withstand the stress of the steel strings. Note that you CANNOT PUT STEEL STRINGS ON A NYLON STRING GUITAR – you will very quickly break the instrument if you do. Contrary to what The Jake said, it doesn’t work to put nylon strings on a steel string guitar either – you won’t break the instrument if you do but the nylon strings don’t have enough power to work with the heavier body of a steel string instrument – you’ll get very little volume and the sound you do get will be crappy. The only reason some people mistakenly suggest putting nylons on a steel string guitar to start with is that the nylons are supposedly a little easier on your fingers when you first start playing. But no matter what kind of strings you have, the first few weeks of playing are going to hurt your fingertips until you develop callouses. If you get a steel string, just put light gauge steel strings on it to start and expect a little discomfort for a few weeks until your callouses develop.

    The type of guitar you get – nylon string vs steel string – depends on what kind of music you want to play. If you’re interested in playing classical music, if Andres Segovia, Christopher Parkening, or Muriel Anderson are your guitar heroes, you’ll need a nylon string guitar. If you have no idea who those people are, you probably don’t want a nylon string guitar. If you know you want to play folk, rock, country, or bluegrass, you’ll want a steel string guitar to give you “that sound”.

    Hope this helps.

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