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Video:Tips for Buying an Acoustic Guitar

with Joe Blumenthal

If you're in the market for your first acoustic guitar, there are many factors to consider. Learn what to look for at the guitar shop with these tips.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Buying an Acoustic Guitar

Hi, I'm Joe Blumenthal for About.com. Today, we're going to talk about how to buy an acoustic guitar.

Acoustic Guitar Set Up

The most important piece of advice that I can give you is that you should look for a quality guitar that's properly setup. If you have a guitar that's not properly setup, it'll be harder for you to play and you'll get frustrated, and you'll feel like you can't do it, and it's actually the fault of the guitar instead of the fault of yourself. This guitar is setup so it's very playable. If the string was even this much higher, it's unplayable and it'll never play in tune for you.

Nylong String Acoustic Guitars

Once you've decided to buy a guitar and you've found a place that can sell you one that's in good condition, the first question you have to ask yourself is what kind of music do you want to play? If you want to play classical music, Bach or baroque music on a guitar, or if you want to do finger-style music, having a nylon string guitar - which you play just with your fingers - is better. Nylon strings are also easier to push down, so they're very nice for beginners in that way.

Steel String Acoustic Guitars

If you want to play rock or country or bluegrass, you need a steel string guitar like this that you can play with a pick that you strum chords on.

Acoustic Guitar Size

It's also important to get a guitar that's the right size for you. I'm 5' 8." I'm very comfortable with this size guitar, it's called a concert-size guitar. But if you're taller, you might want to have a larger guitar. Most women are also more comfortable with this size guitar. This is a dreadnought-size guitar. Somebody who's under 5'9" probably is a little short for playing one of these. These guitars have more bass response and are a little bit louder, and they're particularly nice for playing bluegrass. But if you're a short person, you may not be as comfortable playing one of these. It's very important when you're starting out that you be comfortable with the instrument you're holding.

Acoustic Guitars With Pickup

A lot of people think about getting a guitar with a pickup in so they can plug it into an amp. I don't recommend this for someone who's just starting out. The only reason to have a pickup in a guitar is if you're in a band, and you need to be loud when you're playing with other people.

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