Guitar Recommendations

A lot of pupils ask me what guitar they should purchase. The truth is that you do definitely get what you pay for. You can get a bargain second hand, but at the same time if you don’t know what you’re looking for you can end up with a guitar that is badly set up, or even unplayable. If you’re just starting out on guitar, then being ‘easy to play’ is possibly the most important aspect. In the last 10 years, factory-made budget beginner guitars have come a long way in terms of quality and value for money. As you can probably tell from this page, I’m quite a fan of Fender! As well as being excellent, well-made guitars that are easy to play, it’s also probably the most famous brand in the world of guitars, so retains it’s second-hand value very well.

Fender CD-60Acoustic Guitars

If you are looking for an acoustic guitar, the first one to look at would be a Fender CD60 (£120, pictured).

The Fender F-1000CE (£240) and the Fender CF-140SCE (£310) are both guitars that have the ability to plug into speakers and/or a PA system. If you prefer a slightly brighter sound the Tanglewood TNDC (£279) could also be an option.

If you wanted a classical guitar which has nylon strings, then you could go for a Fender ESC105 (£97). The nylon strings are easier on the fingers, but do not suit contemporary music as well – rather more traditional, classical, spanish or folk styles.

Electric Guitars

The easiest way to purchase an electric guitar is to buy everything in a pack which typically also includes an amplifier, cable, strap, tuner and bag. You can find packs which include the Fender Squier Stratocaster (£264, pictured), the Epiphone Les Paul (£169) and the Fender Squier Telecaster (£265). The quality of those guitars are similar, but the Fenders come with a better amp.

Fender Squier StratocasterOr if you’re willing to spend a bit more, you could go for Fender Squier Stratocaster FMT (£310) or an Epiphone Les Paul Plustop Pro (£449), although you would also need an amp with these guitars such as the Fender Mustang (£109, 20 watt, but built in effects etc).

Children’s Guitars

Fender ESC80Children’s guitars tend to be slightly smaller, and also usually have nylon strings which are a little easier on the fingers for young hands. An excellent 3/4 sized guitar is the Fender ESC80 (£88, pictured). I’ve had pupils who’ve owned a variety of starter guitars including the popular Jose Ferrer ones, but the strings are much closer to the fretboards on the Fenders and they also stay in tune very well.

If you would like a more advanced childrens guitar (i.e. for better players) – the LX1 Little Martin (£399, has steel strings and sounds beautiful – made popular by Ed Sheeran).

It is slightly easier for younger players to start on an acoustic/classical guitar due to the nylon strings being kinder on young fingers. However, if a child especially wanted to play electric guitar then I’d have no problem with that as the extra enjoyment might mean they would practice a lot more and get their fingers used to the thin steel strings anyway. A decent 3/4 sized guitar is Pure Tone ones (£75) which includes a very small amp. Or there is the Fender Squire Strat (£120)

For very young children (approx ages 5-7) it might be worth starting out with a 1/2 sized guitar like the Jose Ferrer 5208C (£67.95).

Accessories

A capo is often needed, and rarely comes in any starter packs. The TGI Trigger Design Guitar Capo (£12.99) works well, or for a little more quality you could go for the Planet Waves Tri-Action (£23.90).

There is little point in buying a separate guitar tuning device as you can get apps for your phone/tablet that do the job just as well. The app Guitar Tuna (available for Apple and Android devices) makes it very easy to learn how to tune your instrument.

N.B. Prices correct at the time of writing! They tend to change a lot.

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