Hi all 🙂
So what is the best beginner electric guitar ?
Maple or Rosewood neck ?
How to know what a beginner needs.
OK so I’d like to list some good guidelines for beginners when choosing a first electric as it’s easy to go into a music store (without knowing if it’s a well made guitar) and just pick a colourful one off the wall, but what else can you consider ?
Parents and first time buyers who maybe don’t want to spend too much on a first guitar will be happy to know that you can pick up your first electric for under $950 dollars, and you can have a great beginners guitar. Depending on your budget, between $500 to $1000 will be your spending range.
Guitars with wide frets will make it harder to grip the frets and form chords as easily as a thin neck and so beginners and kids will benefit from a thin neck to start on. I often see students with guitars which are doing them no favors in that department as the shapes feel that much harder to push down through the strings.
All guitars weigh in differently and the best beginners guitar shouldn’t be heavy. If you’re sitting down to practise it might not be an issue at first but a heavier model (lets say for example a Gibson Les Paul) is going to be pretty darn heavy after just minutes of playing. Playing a guitar made from heavy wood isn’t going to be fun for kids, teens and beginners. Instead, you want something they can grab and lift comfortably with no red marks on shoulders or back aches.
There are plenty of manufacturers out there who make a nice sounding
guitar that won’t be pulling down on your shoulder the whole time your
playing. My Top Pick product list to follow 🙂
Full size or half ?
With an electric, I’d go with a full size body because it’s that much thinner than an acoustic and shouldn’t be too hard to get your arms around it. What’s more, electrics usually have nice contoured bodies at the back so they should fit snuggly to your body. Although the fret board might seem a little long for a kid, they’ll soon get used to it.
Neck, body wood & style of music
Having an idea of the style of music you’d like to play is important to know before choosing an electric. For lots of players this can determine the type of wood they go for on the neck and bodies of their guitars.
Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
Rosewood is soft and warm sounding and perhaps a bit more versatile wood
than maple. It’s often preferred for blues and classic rock and rosewood is a
nice companion to alder as it adds a warmer touch to the bright ash.
Alder is used in most Fender Strats mainly because of its light weight. Alder is also the most neutral sounding of the commonly used wood types with a full tone, well balanced low & mid ranges.
Ash is considered as the most musical wood and
is often preferred by professional players. It’s a bright sounding wood with a strong punch and rich sustain because of its high density.
Maple has a distinct bright punchy tone – a perfect match for the
slightly darker alder body. The characteristics of the maple neck played
a huge role in defining the sound of the 50s and early 60s with the
surf and Shadows instrumental bands.
This is no rocket science and you shouldn’t let it ruin the fun of
buying a first electric guitar but it’s definitely worth it to just try a couple of
different models. Colour should be the last thing you consider really & always trust your ears.
Paul’s Top Pick : Get yours right here
I strongly recommend the Fender player range if you are looking for a great all rounder that will give you tons of tones. I have often found these models to be of the same tonal quality as the Fender deluxe and squiers (made in USA & Mexico). They are priced considerably lower than the Fender Standards and have similar specs.
Here is my top pic !
The Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar
So this is my top pick for players looking for a first electric. I’ve played and own this guitar and it has so many strengths tone wise. This is a great starter pick in my opinion so I hope this information was useful and leads you to many years of practise and fun playing!
Comments, ideas and stories most welcome.