As a guitar teacher in Perth, I get to see many guitars bought to me as possible contenders to be used during my lessons. Some are great and some literally quite horrendous. A typical scenario may be a parent who wishes there child learn to play but understandably unsure about the longevity of their child’s interest may purchase a budget acoustic guitar just to get going. As we know guitars come in all shapes, sizes and qualities and typically cheaper guitars tend to have their drawbacks. If they are acoustic guitars the action (height of string from the fretboard) may be unrealistically too high to play for little fingers, you could however fashion the bridge lower by sanding it down somewhat or having a luthier look at it but for a guitar that may be worth $200 sending it to a luthier for a $100 setup seems hardly worth the expense. Consider also the tone of some of these cheaper guitars, they are often quite uninspiring, typically made of cheap ply that displays little inherent beauty in sound. Something I have also noticed that young children struggle with is the size of the guitar itself, reaching over the body of an acoustic instrument can be quite a challenge for small arms and to position the picking hand in the correct position an almost impossible demand.
This is where the humble electric I feel serves us very well indeed;
- The electric guitar has less mass than an acoustic guitar and can be supported via a strap closer to the body and managed more easily.
- The quality on an electric guitar is likely to exceed that of an acoustic guitar of similar value.
- The sound of an electric can be greatly modified with tone, volume and amplifier controls, an acoustic has a limited palette of sound.
- Lighter strings are usually strung on electrics requiring less pressure from the student to action a chord.
- An electric can be setup by a novice with a little education.
- And of course electric guitars look cool with vibrant flashy colours that can be exciting and motivating to a young mind.
To get going my recommendation would be this Ibanez RX40 TFB Electric Guitar. I absolutely love the value for money you get with Ibanez products. Their quality control is outstanding, and for about $289 here in Australia it really does the job well. For the same price in a Fender product you just wouldn’t get close.
Ibanez RX40 TFB Electric Guitar
So get out there! Pick up a great axe and start learning! It doesn’t have to be expensive to be highly playable. Be educated and buy right the first time.
Mike de Velta Perth Professional Guitar Lessons (Coogee) ph 0415108230