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So you want to find the right first guitar for a teenage musician? We can certainly understand the many different factors at play in such a big decision. Whether the young player is brand new to music or has put in time with another instrument, it’s important to get things going in the right direction from the outset. You may be wondering about cost, styles, and more. These are things you’ll want to keep in mind, but don’t overexert yourself. In order to help you feel confident in your selection, here are a few tips on finding the right guitar for a teenage musician.
Don’t Swing for the Fences
One of the most tempting things to do when you’re starting out with a new hobby, be it rock climbing, music, or anything else, is it dive in head first financially and spend your money on the best possible equipment. You want to assure yourself that you’re committed to the cause and offer yourself the best chance for succeeding. If you have the money to burn, then be our guest. Finding the right first guitar for a teenage musician, though, doesn’t necessarily mean buying the most expensive instrument hanging on the wall of your local music store.
If you’re a parent buying a guitar for a teenager, you may opt for something on the lower end of the price range. You want to make sure the musician is all in on the learning process before spending $1000 on the same guitar played by his favorite rock star. As long as the guitar has a decent build and its made by a reliable brand, there’s no reason why you need to spend more than a couple hundred bucks. Let the high-end instruments wait for a day further down the road.
Acoustic Vs. Electric
A big question for anyone looking to play guitar for the first time is whether to choose an acoustic instrument or one that is electric. Skipping over the acoustic-electric guitars which are acoustic but feature plugins for an amp, these two classifications lead to distinct and different forms of music. An acoustic piece leans toward singer-songwriter, country, bluegrass, or church worship music. Meanwhile, an electric guitar favors rock, jazz, pop, and other genres. These are, of course, somewhat interchangeable, but the important thing is that you think about what kind of music the teenager is looking to play. Finding the right first guitar for a teenage musician requires adjustment for the sound he or she wants to achieve. Keep in mind that most guitarists will eventually hop back and forth between the two classes of guitar, so there’s always a future opportunity for switching things up.
Find Something Comfortable
We often prioritize sound over everything else, but a vital component of finding the right guitar is how the instrument fits against the player. Between acoustic, electric, and everything in between, you’ll find a good bit of size variation when it comes to the body and neck. In the same way, teenage musicians come in all shapes and sizes. We could be talking about a 90-lb female or a young man weighing in at 250 lbs and measuring over six feet tall. Needless to say, not every guitar will meet the same comfort level for these two people. While searching for something that looks and sounds good, don’t forget about how it feels to the touch.
Be Patient While Looking for the Right First Guitar for a Teenage Musician
Looking for something truly special? Your search for the perfect guitar will require lots of patience. Though you could get lucky on your first stop, finding the right first guitar could include comparing prices online, looking at used instruments on social media, or burning through a tank of gas as you cruise around town between brick and mortar stores. If you just can’t commit to an instrument until things feel absolutely right, don’t freak out if the search lasts longer than you’d like. The other part of this journey which may require some patience is finding the right price. Beyond Black Friday and a few other obvious times for discounts, getting a good deal can be tough work.
Let the Musician Have a Say So You Can Find the Right First Guitar
We’re assuming since you clicked on an article with this title that you’re probably a parent, mentor, or in some similar guardian relationship with the teenage musician looking for the right first guitar. In that case, one piece of advice we’ll give you is to let them have a say in what kind of instrument they receive. Even if you’re looking to surprise her with a new guitar, you should ask a few probing questions about her musical interests just to better understand what she’s hoping to get. You can also go with the musician in question to a nearby music store to find out what’s available. If the player doesn’t have a say in which instrument he gets, that guitar may only collect dust in the corner of the room.
Think About What Kind of Music is to Be Played
Going back to our earlier point about acoustic and electric guitars, knowing the style of music a musician prefers may have an impact on finding the right beginner guitar. A Flying V electric guitar is a beautiful instrument, but it might look silly for a young girl who wants to play country music. Certain guitars lend themselves better to different forms of music. That being said, there is plenty of wiggle room here, so don’t obsess over musical styles too much.
Have the Musician Get Instruction
Whatever kind of guitar you end up buying, it’s important for the young musician to know how to play it. Leaving a beginner on their own without instruction can work out in the end, but why play those odds? Either sign the first-timer up with some helpful guitar lessons or show them some of the vital resources for teaching oneself how to play. It doesn’t matter if you bought the right first guitar for a teenage musician if he or she doesn’t have the confidence to play it. You can show your support for their new passion by paying for private lessons, signing them up for one of the many video tutorial services out there, or just point them in the direction of these teaching methods. It’s less about the gear and more about learning how to play music.
Finding the right first guitar for a teenage musician is a big first step in the process, but there’s a lot of work between the beginner phase and becoming a working musician. One of the best ways to help a musician succeed is by sending them to a music camp where he can be challenged, encouraged, and have a lot of fun in the process. Camp Electric is a summer music camp that brings together 13 to 19-year-old students and some of the biggest names in Christian music for an unforgettable week of concerts, classroom instruction, workshops, and more. Find out how you can be our next camper by clicking on the link below.