Info about buying instruments:
I would like to buy a tuner, which kind would you recommend?
There are so many different kinds of tuners available.
If you play an acoustic guitar, you can buy a cheap tuner, but if you play an electric guitar, I would recommend you buy a floor tuner that you always plug your guitar into.
That way, you can use it in the room when you are practising, but you can also use it when you perform as well.
Which pick should I use?
I would recommend Dunlop 0.88mm up to 1.00mm. Any thinner pick than 0.88 will create a very bad sound and make the playing very sloppy.
Of course it will depend on how good your picking technique is.
Which strings should I use?
If you are a beginner and play an acoustic guitar, I would recommend you use gauge 10 – 50, because they are not too hard to press to the fret-board.
If you are learning an electric guitar, I would recommend gauge 9 – 42. They are easier to play than thicker strings.
If you are intermediate or advanced I would recommend gauge 9 – 42, 9 – 46, 10 – 46 or 10 – 52 whatever feels right for you. The thicker the strings, the harder they are to play and to bend.
For your acoustic guitar, you could use gauge 10 or 11.
Some people choose thicker strings to get thicker sound, but actually the sound of your guitar also depends on how you set your equalizer on your amplifier and how you play.
I use gauge 9 – 46.
At the end of the day, you should choose strings that feel right for you.
What should I look for when buying a guitar or a bass?
I would look at every part of the guitar body including the woodwork — make sure there is no scratch, dent, bad paint work or anything like that.
Check the neck and make sure that it has a trust rod to adjust if the neck bends. Check the accent (the distance from the strings to the fret-board), make sure they are not too far apart because it would be very hard to play.
Check the quality of the wood and other hardware. Tune the guitar with an electric tuner and check the open strings and the 12th fret, make sure that they are in tune.
If you don’t know how to play guitar yet, ask the guy in the shop to play it and compare it with other guitars.
Make sure that the guitar is not too big or too heavy for you, because it will make it uncomfortable to play.
When I am buying guitars, I start with well-known brands.
For beginners there are so many brands you can choose from but, if you want to buy a standard guitar or bass, I would recommend Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Jackson, Charvell, PRS, Ernieball and all of those brands that are commonly used by professional musicians.
They are a little bit pricy, but they are good.
The guitar salesman in the shop I went to, advised me to buy a classical guitar with a nylon string to start with. What do you think about that?
I don’t agree at all.
Classical guitars have much bigger necks compared to acoustic guitars or electric guitars and they are too hard for the beginners to practice with.
I would suggest you get an acoustic guitar or acoustic electric guitar and put light strings on it. You will find it much easier to practice with.
What do I need to have to start lessons?
If you are learning acoustic guitar, you would only need the guitar itself and an electric tuner. If you are learning electric guitar, you would need to have a guitar, a guitar lead, a strap, a guitar amplifier and an electric tuner.
If you are learning bass, you need the bass, a strap, a bass amplifier and an electric tuner.
It would be a very good idea to get a music stand and a foot rest as well, to make it easier and more comfortable when you practice at home.
All of this equipment is necessary for you to practice at home, but when you come to lessons you will only need to bring your guitar and a pick or your bass.
I am going to start learning bass, which brand should I buy?
If you are a complete beginner, I would recommend you buy a cheaper brand which is still pretty good quality such as Squier or the cheaper models of Ibanez, Yamaha or any other brand that you will always find in music shops.
As with guitars, the brand doesn’t really matter. It all comes down to taste and how much money you are prepared to spend.
Where should I go to buy a guitar?
When you just start to learn guitar you shouldn’t spend too much money until you find out that playing guitar is really something that you would like to be good at or maybe even something that you would like to do forever.
Guitarists sound good not only because of their guitars, but because they know how to play them well and they know how to make them sound good. Good guitarist can make a cheap guitar sound good.
It doesn’t really matter where you buy guitar and what brand as long as it sounds good and comfortable to play. The most important thing is that the string action is not to high and if you are a beginner it is very important that you don’t use too high gauge strings.
I recommend gauge 10 to 50.
Also, I DON’T recommend a nylon string guitar for beginners, unless if you want to learn classical music.
I am a beginner and want to buy a guitar, what would be the best guitar to buy?
Basically there are 4 different types of guitars:
Classic guitar (Nylon stringed) – To play Classical and Flamenco music.
Acoustic guitar (Steel stringed) – To play Pop music. This guitar has no amplification.
Acoustic Electric guitar (Steel stringed) – To play Pop music and can be plugged into an amp if required (for playing solo or in a band).
Electric guitar (Steel stringed) – To play any kind of music (in a band).
For most people (beginners especially) I recommend the Acoustic Electric guitars as we can play it with or without an amp and we can even plug it into a mixer when we play on a stage. But if you know that you are going to be serious about learning guitar and thinking about playing in a band in the future, you should consider getting an electric guitar.
Everyone has different taste when it comes to style and brand so it really depends on how much you wish to spend. If you want to take lessons with me, I could give you some advice and suggest the best places to go or come along with you and help you choose a guitar or bass.
What brand do you recommend?
The brand doesn’t really matter, it all comes down to taste and how much you are prepared to spend to buy the guitar.
Reasonable acoustic guitars for beginners range from about $300 to about $500. You can pay more of course, but it would be smart to not spend too much until you know that you are going to use it or if you are only dreaming to be a guitarist but don’t want to practice.
If you are buying a guitar only to put in the corner of your room to collect dust, maybe you should buy a cheaper guitar.
Same like anything, you will get what you pay for. So, the more expensive guitars the nicer sound they have and the nicer to play.
Which kind of guitar should I buy?
If you are a complete beginner, I would recommend that you buy an Acoustic Electric Guitar.
If you are thinking of getting serious about learning guitar and thinking of playing in a band in the future, it would be a good idea to get yourself an electric guitar.
But really, to start with it doesn’t matter which kind guitar you buy, because the technique of playing is all the same, only the sound that comes out will be different.