Today we’re going to learn about the absolute worst guitar.
When you’re buying a new guitar it’s important to know which guitars are best and which ones to avoid.
For the purposes of this article we’re going to focus on beginner guitars.
What to look for in a beginner guitar.
When buying a starter guitar, there are a few key factors to consdier:
- Is the guitar easy to play?
- Is the guitar the correct size?
- Will the guitar stay in tune?
If your beginner guitar hits on all of these points, you’re good to go.
Is the guitar easy to play?
Learning the guitar can be challenging at first. This is especially true for kids.
Anyone who has tried to play the guitar knows about guitar finger pain.
Pressing down the strings with your fingers hurts.
Your sensitive newbie guitar fingers aren’t used to pressing down metal (or even nylon) strings.
To make matters worse, cheap guitars are even harder to play.
This seems kind of backwards – you would think that beginner guitars would be easier to play.
But here’s the thing: most beginner/cheap guitars are mass produced which results in a crappy product.
So how does this relate to finger pain?
Well, when you press down the strings on a guitar your fingers have to push the string firmly (and hold that string down).
On well made guitars this is no problem. The strings are very close to the fretboard so you don’t have to use a lot of finger effort to press down the strings.
On cheap guitars, the opposite is true. The strings are far away from the fretboard so your fingers have to exert a lot of energy and effort just to get a note to make a sound.
This is awful for new guitar players.
What’s worse is that learning to play the guitar on a cheap model can turn a lot of new players off.
It’s sad but true.
Is the guitar the correct size?
If you’re an adult, any standard sized guitar will work.
There may be a little bit of variation between guitar models and brands, but for the most part all guitars will be roughly the same size.
However, if your a kid it’s a different story.
Buying a guitar for a child that they will “grow into” may seem like a good, cost effective idea.
In reality, you’re just making it harder for your child to learn to play.
When your child is learning to play the guitar make sure you get one that fits them.
If you’re not sure if it fits them, take them to a music store and try out a few different models or brands.
Or read any of these articles to help you get started:
Will the guitar stay in tune?
Obviously when you play the guitar you want it to sound good.
This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re buying a good entry level guitar.
But again, just like our finger pain issue – finding a cheap guitar that stays in tune can be difficult.
Many retailers sell beginner “guitars” which really aren’t guitars…. they’re closer to toys.
If you’re buying a guitar from places like Target or Walmart, you’re probably not getting an actual guitar.
You can get great guitars online (both cheap and expensive).
But you can also get really crappy guitars online.
So what are the worst guitars?
These look like guitars.
You can probably pick a simple melody out on them.
They’re affordable (less than $30).
But that’s about it.
These guitars will not stay in tune.
You will not be able to strum along and play chords on them.
Now, maybe an advanced guitar player can get these to sound ok.
But there is no way that a beginner will be able to make music on this.
First Act is a popular brand of guitars for kids.
While they are better than cheaper toy guitars, they’re not much better.
They’re still difficult to tune (which makes playing chords and strumming your favorite songs hard).
The strings are going to be hard to press down (especially for little fingers).
They run about $30 – $40.
Or read this article for more details on the best starter guitar for kids.
What about cheap guitars for adults?
Don’t worry – I got you covered.
As a guitar player who has never spent over $200 I am an advocate of cheap guitars.
But just because these guitars are affordable, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be poorly made.
Here is a list of the best cheap guitars.
A good rule of thumb when buying a new guitar for an adult: Don’t spend less than $80 (but don’t spend more than $150.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
If you have a question about whether or not a certain model or brand of guitar is good or bad, just leave a comment below with a link or photo of the guitar and I’ll check it out!
Jake Posko does Online Guitar Lessons and Coaching as well as in-home lessons in the Annapolis, Maryland area including: Annapolis, Edgewater, Severna Park, Pasadena, Crownsville, Arnold and Kent Island, inquire about lessons by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org