The guitar puzzle


PURCHASE a new guitar or bass can be a daunting experience, whether for someone who is a complete newbie to the world of these instruments, or for parents looking to purchase something for their child.

We’ve compiled a series of pros and cons of what to look for when choosing guitars or basses, as well as entry-level instruments that can be found in local music stores.

Electric guitars

By far the most used guitars by musicians at all levels and in most musical genres, electric guitars are also what most people would think of when they hear the word “guitar”.

Compared to acoustic guitars, electric guitars are much quieter, until they are plugged into an amplifier. When powered by electricity through an amp, these guitars are capable of producing a wide range of tones.

In that sense, I would recommend an electric over an acoustic, as it allows even the pickiest of people or children to fine-tune the type of music they want to play.


-> Comes in different sizes, for any size of a person.

-> Wide variety of sounds.

-> Other accessories, such as pedals, allow experimentation or further refinement of the above.

-> Not as difficult to play as its traditional counterparts.

The inconvenients:

-> As the player gets better with the instrument, further exploration and learning would require additional accessories, like the aforementioned pedals, and more powerful amps.

-> Similar to the above, greater knowledge of the instrument and accessories will be required to become even better.

Acoustic Guitars

Unlike electric guitars, acoustic guitars don’t sound as cool. Shallowness aside, acoustic guitars sound “fuller.” Players don’t need to tinker with their amp or pedal settings when it comes to acoustics; they just take it and play, if the guitar is already tuned.

Where electric guitars excel at producing and playing the modern sounds of genres such as rock, metal, punk, and pop, acoustic guitars are better for more traditional genres, such as country, slower rock and R&B. These guitars are also used by many up-and-coming musicians who want to create independent songs and those who want to learn how to compose.

However, be aware that acoustics is not all acoustics. What I mean is that acoustic guitars can be divided into two groups; acoustic guitars and classical acoustic guitars. It’s important to understand this distinction because the differences can be huge, especially with the strings used for the two.


-> An arguably fuller sound, compared to electric guitars that require an amp.

-> No need to spend extra money on an amp, cables, pedals, etc.

-> Does not require an amp and is still able to be loud without disturbing neighbors.

-> Excellent first entry-level instrument before deciding to invest further in the electric guitar route.

The inconvenients:

-> The sound is great, full and bright, but that’s really it. Don’t expect to go from country music to metal on the fly.

-> Don’t expect to play in a multi-instrument band with a vanilla acoustic guitar, as it won’t be heard, compared to an electric guitar plugged into an amp.

-> Acoustic guitars can be plugged into an amp but there is a caveat; players need to invest more in secondary equipment.

-> Some models from several brands are not as robust.

Acoustic and electric bass guitars

These may look like regular guitars for beginners, but they are not the same. Broken down to the simplest explanation, bass guitars use the thicker strings found on acoustic and electric guitars. So the sound that the bass produces is good, low.

Bass guitars, when used in tandem with other instruments, provide the groove that complements the other sounds. Used separately, bass guitars produce a very unique deep sound.

Some say the bass is easier to learn as a beginner compared to regular guitars, others argue the opposite. What is recommended, however, is that beginners go to a real store to try out a bass guitar and see if it’s really for them.

For the most part, however, they already know that bass guitars are what they want, either because they see other bass players or because they are preferentially inclined towards that unique bass guitar sound.


-> Used in almost all genres, especially rock, metal and pop.

-> Due to the above, bass guitars can deliver a wide variety of tones and sounds.

-> The eclecticism of bass guitars is further diversified through amps and effects pedals.

-> The benefits of an acoustic bass guitar are similar to those of an acoustic guitar, but the sound it produces is closer to folk and country music.

The inconvenients:

-> Electric bass guitars require more accessories.

-> Acoustic bass guitars are too simple and play niche music due to the smaller tonal range.

As for brands to watch out for as a beginner, for acoustic and electric guitars, look to Epiphone, Yamaha, and Fender.

For bass guitars, beginners can’t go wrong with Ibanez, Epiphone, and Yamaha.

Some brands sell their older, beginner-friendly models in packages that include a basic amp and cable (for electric variants).

Again, it is advisable to do extensive research to find not only what beginners want to invest in, but also the model and brand they wish to use as a gateway to the specific guitar world they hope to explore. .

Once the search is done, it is further advisable to go to a music store to look and perhaps pick up the desired instrument. This is strongly advised over buying the instrument online.


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