How to Select the Right Guitar for Beginners

How to Select the Right Guitar for Beginners

How to Select the Right Guitar for Beginners
Starting your musical journey with the guitar is an exciting decision, but it can also feel overwhelming given the plethora of options available. The right guitar can make a world of difference in your learning experience, affecting everything from your playability to your motivation. This guide aims to demystify the process, ensuring you select a guitar that resonates with your musical aspirations and comfort.


Understanding Guitar Types
Acoustic vs. Electric
The first decision you'll likely encounter is choosing between an acoustic and an electric guitar. Acoustic guitars are versatile, portable, and ideal for singer-songwriters or folk music. They're great for learning the basics of guitar playing. Electric guitars, on the other hand, require an amplifier but offer a wider range of sounds and are typically easier on the fingers due to lighter string gauge and lower action. They're favored for genres like rock, metal, and blues.

Classical Guitars
Classical guitars, with their nylon strings, offer a softer sound and are often used for classical, Latin, and jazz music. They're excellent for beginners who prefer fingerstyle playing. 


Body Styles and Sizes
The shape and size of the guitar can significantly affect comfort and playability. Dreadnought acoustic guitars are popular but might be too large for younger players. Electric guitars come in various body styles, each offering different aesthetic appeals and comfort levels.


Consider Your Music Genre
Your preferred music genre should influence your choice. If you dream of shredding solos, an electric guitar might be your best bet. For those looking to strum along to folk tunes, an acoustic guitar would be more appropriate. Classical guitars are perfect for those drawn to instrumental pieces or classical music.


Budgeting for Your First Guitar
Beginner guitars vary widely in price. You can find quality starters from $100 to $500. While higher-priced guitars often offer better quality and sound, there are plenty of affordable options that are great for beginners. Remember to budget for accessories like picks, a tuner, and possibly an amp for electric guitars.


Features to Look For
The action, or the distance between the strings and the fretboard, is crucial for playability. Lower action is generally better for beginners as it requires less finger pressure to press the strings.

Neck Size and Shape
The neck's width and profile should fit comfortably in your hand. Players with smaller hands might find guitars with slimmer necks more comfortable.

Good quality tuners are essential for maintaining your guitar in tune. Look for guitars with reliable tuning pegs.

Accessories to Consider

  • Guitar Picks: Different thicknesses for various playing styles.
  • Extra Strings: Acoustic (steel or nylon based on guitar type) and electric guitar strings.
  • Strap: For playing while standing.
  • Guitar Stand: To safely store the guitar when not in use.
  • Gig Bag or Case: For protecting the guitar during transport.
  • Cleaning Kit: Includes cloth, string cleaner, and fretboard conditioner.
  • Music Books: Beginner books specific to your musical interests. We have a variety of books available at Risko Music.
  • Amplifier (for electric guitars): Practice amps are perfect for beginners.
  • Cables (for electric guitars): To connect the guitar to the amp.
  • Music Stand: To hold music books or sheets at a comfortable reading angle.
  • Lessons from Risko Music: Personalized instruction tailored to your skill level and musical interests, leveraging over 30 years of musical experience.

Where to Buy Your Guitar
When it comes to purchasing your first guitar, look no further than us here Risko Music in Ossining, New York. We have a vibrant online store at and a welcoming brick-and-mortar store, and we pride ourselves on catering to beginners of all ages and budgets. Our selection includes hundreds of guitars of various sizes and playability, ensuring that every aspiring guitarist finds their perfect match. Our knowledgeable staff are passionate about music and dedicated to helping you embark on your musical journey with the best instrument in hand. 

Trying Out Guitars
Choosing the right guitar is a tactile experience that involves much more than just aesthetics. It's about how the instrument feels in your hands, its playability, and the emotional resonance of its sound. When visiting a store like ours here at Risko Music, you're not just shopping; you're embarking on a journey to find the perfect musical companion.

Feel and Comfort
The physical feel of a guitar is paramount. As you try different guitars, pay attention to how each one fits in your hands, the ease with which you can reach the frets, and the comfort of the body against yours. The guitar should feel like an extension of yourself, comfortable and natural, not awkward or cumbersome.

Playability is another critical factor. A guitar that's easy to play can make a significant difference in your learning experience, especially as a beginner. The action—distance between the strings and the fretboard—should be low enough to allow easy fretting of notes but high enough to avoid buzz. 

Sound Quality
Listen closely to the sound each guitar produces. The right guitar should produce a sound that resonates with you, whether it's the bright, lively tones of an acoustic, the warm, mellow timbres of a classical guitar, or the electric energy of an electric guitar. The sound should inspire you, evoking emotions and driving your desire to play and learn. 

Expert Guidance from Risko Music
As you navigate through these considerations, speaking with the musical experts at Risko Music can significantly enhance your selection process. Our staff, boasting over 30 years of musical experience, is passionate about helping you find the guitar that best suits your needs. We strive to understand each customer's individual journey and preferences, offering personalized advice to guide you towards the instrument that not only meets your technical requirements but also your emotional and aesthetic desires.

Taking your time is essential; do not rush this decision. Each guitar has its own character and feel, and finding the one that 'clicks' with you is worth the patience. At Risko Music, we're committed to making this process as fulfilling and enjoyable as possible, ensuring that when you finally make your choice, it's the right one for your musical path.

Maintenance and Care
Proper maintenance is key to your guitar's longevity. Regular cleaning, string changes, and storage in a stable environment can keep your guitar sounding its best. Familiarize yourself with basic guitar care practices.

In Closing
Selecting the right guitar is a crucial step in your musical journey. By considering the type of music you want to play, your budget, and the features that suit your needs, you can make an informed choice. Remember, the best guitar for you is the one that inspires you to play and learn.

When you need help selecting your first guitar, either for you, or for the music lover in your life, we hope you’ll consider contacting us here at Risko Music. We would love to get your musical journey started!

We hope this guide has demystified the process of choosing your first guitar. Feel free to share your experiences or ask any questions in the comments below. Happy strumming!


Q: How much should I spend on my first guitar?
A: While you can find guitars for under $100, investing $100 to $500 in your first guitar can provide a balance between quality and affordability.

Q: Can I start learning on an electric guitar?
A: Absolutely! If electric guitar music inspires you, starting with an electric guitar is a great choice. We offer music lessons at Risko Music if you're interested.



Back to blog