How to Buy Your First Guitar | Fort Lauderdale Guitar Lessons


fort lauderdale guitar lessons

If you’re ready to start learning the guitar (or perhaps your child or another family member is), one of the most daunting tasks can be finding the right guitar.  However, with the right advice, finding the right guitar can actually be a pleasant, rewarding experience.  In this article, renowned guitar teacher Dyce Kimura, who provides Fort Lauderdale Guitar Lessons, and online via Skype will show you precisely what you need to look for in that first guitar. 

As a good rule of thumb, Dyce believes that your first guitar should have three key qualities.  The first one is: it excites you!   When your guitar gets you itching to play just looking at it, that’ll make it all the more easier to play.  Number two is: it doesn’t get in your way.  There are many guitars that LOOK great, but are just awful to play.  If a guitar is too old, has too many ‘bells & whistles’ or is just plain cumbersome, these are all signs to run for the hills!  The 3rd quality is, it’s not too expensive.  Don’t sink your entire savings on something you’re just starting. You can find perfectly good used guitars for anywhere from $150 to $600. 

Fort Lauderdale Guitar Teacher asks: Acoustic or Electric?

The truth is, it really doesn’t matter in the beginning.  It’s like the difference between pen or pencil … either way, at least you’re writing!   Later on, as your abilities and taste grow, you might favor one or the other.  But actually, you’ll probably ending up owning (at least) one of each, before you know it. 


Acoustic guitars common in every genre of music, and perhaps more importantly for the first-time musician, they are extremely portable!  An acoustic needs ZERO extra gear, so you can make music anywhere, or anytime, you please.  

Among acoustic guitars, there are two (2) primary types: steel- & nylon-strings.  Steel-strings are more popular, particularly in pop music. If you’re simply looking to strum along with your favorite songs (and perhaps try your hand at singing along) steel-string is for you.  And you pretty much can’t go wrong with a Yamaha; their acoustic guitars are consistently good across the board.  I favor the Yamaha FG700s

If you want to focus on classical, flamenco, bossa nova or some jazz guitar, a nylon-string guitar is your choice.  These strings are easier to play; however, there are some nuanced differences in the shapes of the guitar they accompany.  Also, you will pluck the strings with your fingers, instead of a pick when using nylon strings.  One popular brand is the Cordoba C5.

Fort Lauderdale Guitar Lessons: Do you Wanna Rock?

Electric Guitars

No matter whether you want to rock, head bang, or unleash some soaring jazz / blues solos, the electric guitar is your axe.  However, electric guitars are extremely quiet by themselves, so you’ll also need an amp and a cable.

Because of this extra amp & cable, electric guitars aren’t as easily portable like their acoustic brethren.  However, they are way more versatile.  There is a whole world of pedals, effects, distortion and amps waiting for you to explore, as you dial up your own personal sound!  

For generations, there have been three (3) extremely popular electrics: the Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, and Gibson Les Paul.  These guitars are so popular that they have inspired literally hundreds of copycat versions.  However, investing in one of these big three is well worth the money.  If you want to save a few bucks, the Epiphone LP Special II is a great bet.  

Remember, of course, that you’ll also need to get an amp and a cable.  Some beginner kits even offer a guitar, amp and cable in one simple kit.  However, beware that these all-in-one kits are often lower quality, and may need to be completely replaced after just a few years.  

Fort Lauderdale Guitar Teacher advice: Kids

Because kids have such small hands, a 3/4-size guitar (such as the FG JR1) for children under age 10 is a safe bet.  However, some kids even younger than that do perfectly well on full-size guitars.  One caveat: try to avoid 3/4 size guitars entirely.  They are often cheaply made, hard to play, and generally just hold students back — due to excessive tuning difficulties, and weak electrical components.  

Your first guitar: where to buy it!

In the past, as an established guitarist & vocalist, I have bought musical instruments from online stores.  However, I would not recommend this practice for any beginning musicians.  Instead, the best bet is your local music store.  Try to bring a (more-advanced) guitar-playing friend for an unbiased second opinion.  

Before you go, take time to write down everything you’re looking for, including price constraints.  Once you’re in the store, be sure to communicate these needs to the sales associate, and don’t be afraid to walk out and hit the next store, if the first one doesn’t have precisely what you want.  


Be careful: The costs of Accessories and Setups

After you’ve settled on your perfect first guitar, there are a few other items you need: a guitar pick (or few … don’t worry, they’re cheap), as well as a tuner (essential), metronome (will do wonders for your “time” and overall playing), a music stand (you’ll need something to hold up all that music you’ll be shreddin’) and a case (to protect your investment.)  

However, perhaps the best investment you can try is a set-up.  (Some stores actually offer these for free with a new-guitar purchase, so be sure to ask.)  A set-up involves the store’s technician providing inspections & alterations: checking the neck’s straightness, ensuring optimal string height, inspecting the guitar’s overall intonation (not just tuning).  

While there are many other accessories you can buy, don’t worry about those for now: you’ll have a whole lifetime to invest in these! 

Parting Words

Buying your first guitar can be a wonderful, exciting experience.  Dyce Kimura has seen it firsthand, countless times, teaching Fort Lauderdale Guitar Lessons to hundreds of students.  If you follow the guidelines here, you, too, will be well on your way to years of fun and fulfillment playing the guitar.

Related Posts:

Understanding the Circle of Fifths

String Gauge Affects Guitar Tone

How to Develop Proper Muting Technique

fort lauderdale guitar lessons

Dyce Kimura offer Singing Lessons and Guitar Lessons to student in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area.  He also teaches students globally thru Skype.  For more information call 7864573687.  Aslo feel free to email Dyce at  Remember its always best to get advise from professional Fort Lauderdale guitar lessons.  For more information click here.