Instructional DVD and Video
Buying Your First Electric GuitarBuying your first guitar
is a big step, and there are a lot of things to consider.
Electric, rather than acoustic guitars are the most frequent
choice for budding guitarists, as they are generally easier
to play and, for many beginners, more fun as well. Knowing
which equipment is a necessity and which is overkill,
comparing prices and brand names, and sorting through a
mountain of technical jargon and specifications can all make
the process intimidating. This is particularly true for
budding musicians or people trying to find that perfect gift
for the musician in their lives.
But buying a guitar doesn't have to be hard. In fact, many
professional musicians look back on buying and learning to
play their first guitar as one of the most fun times in
their lives. This article will sort out of a few of the most
confusing aspects of guitars and accessories, and at the
same time make the process of buying your first guitar as
personal, easy and fun as possible. After all, you're not
really interested in buying a guitar, you're interested in
By using the menu below, navigate through the rest of this
article, including what you'll need to get started, as well
as how to select the right guitar and amplifier.
There are a few absolutely essential pieces of equipment
that are needed to play the electric guitar. The bare
minimum set of equipment includes:
This one should be obvious, but read the section on choosing
the right guitar for more information about which features
to look for when buying your first guitar.
An Amplifier (Amp)
Some guitar amplifiers come with built in speakers and some
don't. Many have particular features which put them ahead of
others in their class. Read the section on choosing the
right amplifier for more information.
An Instrument Cable
At least 6 ft. long, to connect the guitar and amp.
A Set of Guitar Strings
A Guitar Pick
The contents of this list may seem obvious to some, but
overlooking any one of these items will require an
inconvenient trip to the music store or your favorite music
supply website before you can start playing. In addition,
there are several other items that are not strictly
essential, but many musicians would say they cannot live
Distortion and Effects
A key element of a guitar's sound is the effects that are
used to modify it. The most common, essential effect for
rock music, jazz, blues, and most other forms of modern
guitar is distortion. Some amplifiers come with built in
distortion, some don't. Read the section on amplifiers for
Guitar Carrying Case
It's pretty hard to move your guitar around without damaging
or detuning it, so a hard guitar case or soft "gig-bag" are
an important piece of equipment.
If you're just starting out playing guitar, having an
instruction book to guide you will definitely help. It's no
substitute for taking professional lessons, but it's a
Since there are many pieces of equipment needed to play
electric guitar, one attractive option is to purchase a
single "kit" containing all the neccessary items and
accessories. An example of a good quality, affordable guitar
kit is the Vintager Guitar Pack [http://www.beatstaff.com/174970/6604609.html].
Now that you know which equipment you'll need to start
playing, read the sections below for more information about
selecting the right equipment to meet your needs.
Learn to play the guitar with the new Learn and Master
Guitar DVD training course. This new edition contains 20
DVDs, 5 CDs and a 100 page lesson book. Your guitar
instructor for this course is professional guitarist Steve
Find out more about this quality guitar course at:
The Learn And Master Guitar Website
Choosing the Right Guitar
The most important and possibly most intimidating part of
putting together your first electric guitar "kit" is
selecting the guitar itself. Music stores have walls full of
guitars with a wide range of quality, features and price
tags. So how can a beginner sort through the ocean of
terminology, brand names, and jargon without getting lost?
The choice really comes down to three essential elements:
body construction, electronics, and budget.
Although electric guitars derive a lot of their sound
quality from their electronics, the construction of the
guitar's body is even more important. The way sound
resonates through the body of the guitar will determine
whether it produces a warm, solid tone or a hollow one. As
common sense might dictate, a solid-body electric guitar
will produce a stronger more solid tone than a hollow-body
guitar. Although some people do like the thinner sound that
comes from a hollow body guitar, a solid body will be the
most versatile, and most appropriate for beginners and
veteran guitarists alike. In addition, a well constructed
guitar should have the entire body, neck and fretboard made
of wood, not of laminate or plastic materials.
A second consideration is the guitar's size. A "standard"
electric guitar has 22 frets, meaning each string is capable
of producing 22 different notes. However, many electric
guitars, particularly those marketed to beginners are
smaller in size. Except for small children who lack the
wingspan to reach a full sized guitar, this is undesirable,
as it limits the range of notes the guitar is capable of
producing. Therefore, teenagers and adults looking to
purchase their first guitar (and 10th guitar, for that
matter) should look for full-sized, 22 fret guitars.
Finally, the last important feature of an electric guitar's
construction is the bridge. The bridge is the part of the
guitar where the strings attach to the guitar body. There
are two types of bridges: fixed bridge and floating
(vibrato) bridge. For most aspiring guitarists, the vibrato
bridge will be the best choice. This allows the guitarist to
"bend" notes as they are being played using the included "wammy-bar".
This is a common technique in rock, blues and jazz music.
Although the bridge won't have a large effect on other
aspects of the guitar's sound like those listed above, a
floating or vibrato bridge really makes guitar playing more
fun and expressive.
Another essential element of a guitar's sound is the system
of electronics it contains. The most important element of an
electric guitar's electronics is its pickup (or pickups).
Pickups are like small microphones that sit just beneath the
strings. The position and quality of the pickup(s) in the
guitar will have a large impact on the guitar's sound.
Pickups placed near the bridge produce a sharp "twangy"
tone, while those placed near the fretboard produce a deeper
more melodic tone.
The best option for a beginner (and many more advanced
guitarists) is a guitar with multiple pickups. This allows
the guitarist to choose the appropriate sound for the type
of song being played, and greatly increases the guitar's
versatility. A common setup is a guitar with three pickups
and a switch that allows the guitarist to select which
pickup(s) are being used. In this case, a 5-way switch
allows for any pickup to be used, as well as combining
multiple pickups to produce a unique sound.
Just as with any product, budget is an important factor to
consider when buying an electric guitar. Guitars can range
in price from about forty dollars to several thousand. And
just like with most products, the top of the price range
spectrum is occupied by "designer" guitars with celebrity
endorsements that don't offer much more in the way of
quality than those in the middle of the price range. In
short, they are the equivalent of a designer handbag:
inflated price without much real functional benefit.
The truth is that most of the name brand guitar
manufacturers (Fender, Ibanez, Behringer, Jackson) produce
an affordable beginner model, and most of these models are
of perfectly good quality for a new musician, and will last
for years. As long as you stick to the guidelines in this
article for body design, electronics, amplifier design,
etc., you can't go too wrong.
The next important task is selecting the right amplifier to
go with your new guitar!
Choosing the Right Amplifier
Most people (but perhaps not all people) realize that the
electric guitar does not produce any sound by itself (except
an almost inaudible twang). The sound you here from an
electric guitar actually comes from the amplifier, which is
connected to the guitar by an instrument cable. Therefore,
the quality of the amplifier is as important as the quality
of the guitar itself in determining how the guitar will
ultimately sound. Much like selecting the guitar itself, the
process of selecting an amplifier can be intimidating, but
can be boiled down to a few essential features.
When reading about a guitar amplifier, the first thing that
is always listed is the power rating. The power of a guitar
amplifier is measured in watts (abbreviated W). The higher
the wattage, the louder the sound it can produce. However,
although this feature of an amplifier is important for stage
performers, it is not the most important thing to a beginner
Practice amps are available with as little as 5 watts of
power, while amplifiers with hundreds or thousands of watts
of power are typically used for stage performance.
Realistically, a power rating of 10-15 watts is more than
enough to wake the neighbors, and you'll rarely if ever max
out the power of your practice amp. The more important
aspects of an amplifier are its features and effects, as
these will affect the sound quality.
One important feature of an amplifier is the type of
electronics it employs. There are basically two types of
amplifiers: solid state and vacuum tube. While almost all
modern electronics, including guitar amplifiers to some
extent, have phased out vacuum tubes and replaced them with
transistors, it is still widely accepted that vacuum tube
amplifiers produce better tone, better distortion, and
better all around sound quality. In fact, many if not most
professional rock, blues and jazz musicians use vacuum tube
amplifiers because of their superior sound quality. Most
practice amps in the price range affordable by beginner
guitarists do not include vacuum tubes, but there are a few
companies that have made this option available. The
Behringer AC108, included in the Vintager Guitar Pack
[http://www.beatstaff.com/174970/6604609.html], has a vacuum
tube that can be turned on or off, allowing for increased
versatility and sound quality, while still maintaining an
Another desirable feature of guitar amplifiers, particularly
for beginners, is a CD input. This allows the guitarist to
plug a CD player, cassette or iPod into the back of the
amplifier, and play along with his / her favorite tracks. If
you've ever tried to learn to play guitar, you probably
realize that this is something beginner guitarists do all
the time during the learning process, and the convenience of
a CD input makes this process much easier.
The last major element to consider when buying a guitar
amplifier is the built in effects it includes. Effects such
as distortion, reverb, and equalization (EQ) allow the sound
produced by the amplifier to be customized, thereby
increasing its versatility. The more effects that are built
into the amplifier, the fewer effects you'll need to go out
and buy separately to produce that perfect sound you're
The process of buying an electric guitar can be confusing,
but it should be fun, too. Music isn't meant to be about
instruction manuals and long spec sheets - it's about fun
and inspiration. Hopefully, by providing some basic guidance
on what you'll need to start your guitar career, this
article will make that process easier and more fun.
Nick DeLong [http://www.beatstaff.com]
Nick has been playing music for 20 years, and has played
guitar, bass, drums and piano. He has played in several
bands, and has extensive expertise in the technology and
business of musical instruments and equipment.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Buying-Your-First-Electric-Guitar&id=471536]
Buying Your First Electric Guitar
Featured in the Warner Bros. film Deliverance and based on
Dueling Banjos written by Arthur Smith.
Teach Yourself Bluegrass Banjo
Teach yourself authentic bluegrass banjo with this book and CD pack.
Vintage: VB30G Banjo
With the ever-increasing interest in folk and roots music taking place in the music world, Vintage® instruments represent the ideal way to experience some of the most traditional of musical sounds.
This attractive G Banjo displays crisp tones with a versatile playing performance.
Features of VB30G Banjo
- Body: Mahogany Resonator
- Head: Remo
- Neck: Mahogany
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Scale: 666mm
- Hardware: Pearloid/Chrome
- Finish: Natural
Simpsons' Themed Guitar Plectrums: Variety Pack 1
A variety pack of five medium-weight plectrums sporting hilarious pictures from
the worldwide hit TV series.
See More Guitar
Rockschool Guitar Grade 4 Guitar Sheet Music
is about playing the styles of music you enjoy. Our
specially written tunes develop the key skills, styles and
techniques you need so you can play the hits of today,
yesterday and tomorrow.
The Rockschool guitar sheet music packs have standard music notation plus great
sounding CDs featuring top musicians. We also encourage
everyone to be creative with our Rockschool tunes - so feel
free to improvise and adapt them to suit your playing style
and musical approach.
This pack contains tunes from Grade 4 in the
Performer Zone. This Zone is for those of you who are
confident in all the key skills on guitar and who are
stepping up to more advanced skills and stylistic
expression. To help you progress quickly, read our 'Guru's
Guide' where you will find hints on playing each tune.
There is also a description of all the playing achievements
you need to aim for in the Performer Zone, both for
Grade 4 and
Grade 5, so you can have an overview of your progress at
Our Rockschool guitar sheet music grades are accredited by Trinity College
London. When you take one of our Rockschool exams you will
have a qualification and measure of your achievement that is
recognised around the world. It shows that you can play your
music when it really counts.
We know you will achieve great results from playing Guitar
with Rockschool. Enjoy!
You Can Do It... Play Bass Dammit!
This is the book for you if you always wanted to learn but somehow kept putting it off, if you’ve played bass before and given up or if you’re determined to crack it this time.
The no-nonsense guide that will soon have you playing big, fat glorious bass grooves with as little pain as possible! Some basic musical knowledge is handy, but the 2 CDs included feature a demonstration and backing tracks for each exercise.
Arranged by Matt Scharfglass who is a New York-based songwriter, bassist and multi-instrumentalist. He does session work, leads his own band and performs extensively in the New York City area.
Absolute Beginners: Guitar Chords
A new reference book to accompany the ever-popular Absolute Beginners tutor series. Covers over 50 commonly used chords with photographs and diagrams, and CD demonstration tracks. Probably the only chord book you'll ever need!
Guitar Accessories? Which Ones Do I Need To Buy For My Guitar?
There are a number of guitar accessories
that you might want to buy for your guitar. Guitar
accessories are relatively cheap and if you are buying a
guitar, you might be able to pick up a good deal if you want
to buy a number of accessories as well.
Here is a list of guitar accessories to consider (in order
of the most popular):
Guitar bag or case
Guitar tuner/pitch pipe
Effects pedals/Foot Switches
Plectrums (also known as picks)
Cleaning and maintenance (polish, nut file set, wrench set,
fret file set)
Stringwinder (also known as a pegwinder)
Power adaptor for effects pedals
Guitar Bags and Cases
If you plan on gigging a lot or travelling on planes/trains
etc. I recommend buying a guitar case, otherwise a padded
gig bag will do just fine. The Kinsman guitar cases and
guitar bags are a very good quality and are also one of the
most popular. The Kinsman guitar bags come in three grades.
1) Standard - hardly any padding and one small pouch for
music books and accessories
2) Deluxe - quite well padded, with two pouches
3) Premium - extremely well padded, with large and small
pouches and a shoulder strap.
The Kinsman guitar cases are made for Stratocasters,
Telecasters, Les Paul shape, electric, acoustic or bass
Guitar tuner/pitch pipe
There are hundreds of guitar tuners to choose from on the
market. The best brands in order of popularity* are:
The two guitar tuners that stand out from the rest are the
Stagg Automatic Guitar/Bass Tuner and the Korg GA-30. These
two guitar tuners are sold more than any other guitar tuner
on the market.
It's always wise to have a spare set of guitar strings to
hand. You never know when one will brake and leave you in a
You will need to buy steel strings for electric, bass or
acoustic guitars and nylon strings for classical, Spanish or
Here is a list of the top brands of guitar strings, in order
For some groovy sounds you will need to buy an effects
pedal. The two most popular are the Jim Dunlop GCB-95
Original Cry Baby Wah Wah Effects Pedal and the Ibanez Tone-Lok
Series SM7 Smash Box Effects Pedal.
Here is a list of the top brands in order of popularity*:
Amplifiers are used with electric guitars, bass guitars and
You will need to buy a lead to connect up to your guitar.
There are many types of guitar amplifiers ranging from the
smallest which is normally 10 watts up to 500 watts! or
Practice amps (these are normally quite small)
Standard amps (used for playing in bands or gigging)
Bass amps (used only with bass guitars)
Keyboard amps (used with electronic keyboards and stage
Speakers and Monitors
Combo amps (also known as combination amplifiers)
Which brand of Amplifier do I choose?
There are a number of brands of guitar amplifiers, here is a
list in order of the most popular*:
All guitar amplifiers sound different. Some (like Marshall
and Line 6) are good for Rock and Roll, others have a softer
and less bright sound like the popular Vox amps and Mesa
For beginners, I would recommend either the Peavey Backstage
or the BB10 blaster amp.
The Peavey Backstage is by far the most popular and best
value for money beginner's guitar amp on the market.
Guitar stands or Guitar Hangers
There are lots of different types of guitar stands, it
really depends on which stand is more suited to you.
There is the standard guitar stand, the universal guitar
stand, the auto grab guitar stand, the double and triple
guitar stand and the wall mounted guitar stand. The standard
guitar stand is the most popular and comes in three
different types: i) electric/bass, ii) classical and iii)
The most popular* brands are:
Plectrums (also known as picks)
Plectrums are very cheap and can be bought individually, or
Most commonly you can buy plectrums on the web in packs of
Guitar plectrums come in different gauges. Usually the
thinner ones are
used with Classical, Spanish or Flamenco guitars, the medium
gauges with Electric and Acoustic guitars and the thickest
ones with Basses.
There are lots of brands of plectrums. The most popular*
Guitar Leads normally come in different lengths: The most
common is the 15 feet/4.5 metre leads. This length is ample
if you are playing in a band.
Popular* brands of guitar leads/cables are:
If you want to buy a gift for a guitarist, there is nothing
better than a nice leather guitar strap.
Levys and Gibson are the most famous brands of guitar
straps, Levys have the most comprehensive selection.
Other guitar straps to look out for are Dickies and
A capo is a clamp that you can use on different frets of the
guitar to change the pitch of the open strings. Each fret on
the guitar is a half step. If you place the capo on the 1st
fret, all of the open strings will sound a semi-tone higher
than normal, this makes changing the key of a song easy.
Dunlop and Shubb are the most popular* guitar capos.
The guitar slide is a tube of some hard material about one
to two inches long. Commonly, it's made from glass and
metals. Each type of guitar slide has distinct
characteristics, tonality, and overall sound. The guitar
slide is pressed lightly against the strings so as not to
touch the strings of the fret, producing a sustained tone
which can be varied in pitch by moving the slide across the
neck. A quick side-to-side motion is often used in this way
to generate vibrato.
The most popular brand to go for is Dunlop.
If you want to play at home but don't want to disturb your
neighbours, then a good set of headphones is recommended.
Any headphones will do, so take your pick from any of the
following leading brands:
Gemini Sound Products
Ministry Of Sound
If you want to play your guitar in time then you are going
to need to buy a metronome.
You can choose from modern electronic metronomes or
traditional mechanical metronomes.
Traditional metronomes look very nice and are made from
either plastic or wood, they are also known as pendulum
metronomes because the ticking sound is produced by a small
pendulum that swings back and forth, much like the old
Grandfather clocks. The Traditional wooden or plastic
metronomes tend to be a lot more expensive than the
The leading metronome brands in order of popularity* are:
Cleaning and maintenance (polish, nut file set, wrench set,
fret file set)
To look after your guitar you will need to at least buy some
guitar polish. Gibson produce a good guitar polish and also
Doctor Ducks Axe Wax is very popular.
If you are serious about guitar playing then you might want
to have a nut file, fret file or wrench set. You can keep
your guitar in top playing condition.
The guitar footstool is used mainly by Classical, Spanish or
Their style of playing and the way they hold the guitar
makes the use of a footstool quite important.
Stringwinder (also known as a pegwinder)
If you have lots of guitars, own a guitar shop, or tune
guitars on a regular basis, the guitar stringwinder comes in
handy as a real time saver. Instead of turning the guitar
pegs by hand, you can use the stringwinder to speed up the
For replacing the bolt that holds on your guitar strap.
Power adaptor for effects pedals
If you use effects pedals then you will need a power adaptor
to connect to the mains.
*Please note that the above article makes references to
guitar accessories listed in popularity order. The
popularity order of these guitar accessories is taken from
rel=nofollow http://www.Soundsmusical.com - the leading UK
musical instrument website.
I hope this article has been useful and you are now more
informed about guitar accessories.
If you are ready to buy some guitar accessories you can find
a comprehensive selection here:
accessories, tuners, bags, cases, guitar strings, stands and
About the Author
Graham Howard is known as ‘The Music Guru’ and is the chief
writer at [http://www.Soundsmusical.com/]Soundsmusical.com.
Graham has spent his whole life in music. He has played
various musical instruments to a very high standard, learnt
to build pianos form scratch, tuned pianos professionally
and run several music businesses. He loves to share with
everyone his experiences and immense knowledge of music.
Graham hopes that the above guitar article will help you
make the best buying decisions. If you have any questions
you would like to ask please email:
Guitar Accessories? Which Ones Do I Need To Buy For My