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Doug C

Guitar advice

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Hello VC guitar players. My grandson, who will be 11 soon, wants a guitar for his birthday. His grammy and I are getting it and his folks are going to get him lessons. My questions are: 1) Is it better for him to learn on an acoustic or an electric? and 2) We don't want to spend too much money because, being a kid, who knows how long the guitar will interest him and he can always upgrade. Therefore, any suggestions on acoustics or electric/amp combos that will meet his need to learn on and ours to not spend more than $100-hopefully not $200?

 

I appreciate any time given. Thank you.

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There is some old mythology about the importance of starting on acoustic... it's just not true.  The most important piece is which one he'll connect with and will motivate him.  The electric is a little easier on the fingers, but blisters will be a hurdle either way. Electric also requires an amp.

 

If I were trying to help a kid figure out if they cared about playing guitar, I'd probably get them a Yamaha acoustic (probably around $100, even cheaper used on craigslist if you have someone who plays to tell you if it's a playable instrument), or a Squire Stratocaster electric, or perhaps an Epiphone Les Paul with whatever practice amp is the cheapest.

 

If this kiddo gets passionate they'll probably want to upgrade in a couple years, but they'll have to at least quadruple the price to get a noticeable improvement, so these are both pretty good values for a student instrument.

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Thank you. I appreciate the time you took to offer advice. I found a new Squire Stratocaster beginner combo pack that fit our budget. 

 

Again, thanks!  :thumbup  :)

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You may want to invest in a cheap tuner, too.

 

I remember when I kid and getting frustrated because it never sounded right. Granted, I sucked at playing it, but once I figured out how to tune it correctly, it was more enjoyable sucking at it...

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I am biased, but I am in the camp that you should learn on acoustic. A stripped down experience to start in order to get a feel for it.

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You may want to invest in a cheap tuner, too.

 

I remember when I kid and getting frustrated because it never sounded right. Granted, I sucked at playing it, but once I figured out how to tune it correctly, it was more enjoyable sucking at it...

Thanks. The beginner package that we purchased comes with a tuner. 

 

I am biased, but I am in the camp that you should learn on acoustic. A stripped down experience to start in order to get a feel for it.

Now you weigh in! Just joking. I appreciate your input. Thanks.

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Yeah, the most important thing is getting him a guitar that he'll WANT to play. To that end, an electric would probably be the better choice, because he'll be able to make all sorts of cool noise with it and will be more-likely to be something that he'll want to actually pick up and play.

That is, unless he loves folk music.

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Yeah, the most important thing is getting him a guitar that he'll WANT to play. 

 wholeheartedly agree with this. it's true that electrics are easier on the fingers that steel string acoustic. you could also consider a nylon string acoustic (as i did with my son) but that might lack the "cool" factor. it all depends on the kid, his interests and taste in music. good luck!

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