Common Guitar Terminology to Know
Here are some guitar terms that will appear in this article:
- Bolt on neck: This is the neck of the guitar that is attached to the body with screws.
- Frets: Frets divide the fretboard into segments that go up and interval with each next fret. For guitars, each fret goes up one semi-tone. For example, if the guitar has standard tuning, then the open sound on the sixth string will be E, the first fret will be F, the second fret will be F# and so forth. 22 fret guitars go up 22 semitones and 24 fret guitars go up 24 semitones (or two full octaves.)
- Action: This refers to the string height to the fretboard. The lower is the action is on the guitar, the easier it will be to push strings against the fretboard.
- Sustain: The length of the sound of the note or chord from the moment you play it until the moment it fades out.
- Tremolo bridge: When operated with, a tremolo arm can be used to achieve various sound effects by changing the tension of the strings. This is when the string achieves a “trembling” effect.
- Tune-o-matic: A static bridge and tailpiece that are standard for Les Paul type of guitars.
- Pickup: Guitar pickups convert the string vibrations into electrical current, amplifying the sound.
- Coil tap: A feature that brings down a pickup’s output.
- Humbucker: This refers to a type of electric guitar pickup that adopts a method of using two coils to “buck the hum,” in other words: to cancel out the interference that is picked up by coil pickups.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Review
Those who can not afford the original Gibson Les Paul have a great alternative. Epiphone Les Paul Standard brings a lot of that same performance and feeling at a far more reasonable price. Let us see why this version is the gold standard among beginner guitars.
Body And Neck
There are two iconic guitar body shapes out there, and Les Paul is one of them. This Epiphone delivers the identical aesthetic and much of the build quality of the guitar it was inspired by. The body itself is made from mahogany with a cherry walnut top.
It’s nothing fancy, but it’s only in a class of its own. The neck is a standard maple design with a great excellent rosewood fretboard on top. This guitar sport similar abalone inlays, in addition to white binding on the neck. Overall, once you start playing it, you realize exactly how comfortable this guitar really is.
That’s what differentiated them from Fender back in the day. Interestingly enough, Epiphone Les Paul Standard comes with a set of Alnico pups of great quality. These two are controlled by the traditional controls found on any worthy Les Paul.
You’ve got two Tone and 2 Volume knobs to play with, along with a pickup selector switch. Everything feels and looks solid and the knobs are pretty accurate. We mention this as you can easily control volume with confidence in a situation where time is everything.
We got an extremely sturdy Tune-o-Matic bridge which sports six adjustable saddles on one end, and a great pair of die-cast tuners on the other.
All hardware on this guitar comes from chrome, which is pretty true to what Gibson delivers on their Les Paul Standard. The bridge is solid, and holds both the intonation and tuning fairly well. Tuners, although pretty standard, are relatively sturdy.
Sure, it’s not exactly the same as the one you can get with an original Gibson model, but it halfway there at least. Seriously, this guitar simply dominates in its category, particularly if you’re after that classic tone.
It manages distortion, overdrive and clean surroundings with a lot of confidence. You can play metal today, and then just tune up the guitar for a blues improv session. Epiphone definitely outperformed nailed it with this model, to our great fortune.
If your budget is flexible, going for an Epiphone Les Paul Standard is most likely the best possible way you can start off your guitar learning experience. This ax is extremely well balanced in all aspects which matter, and it’s a strong performer.
I see a lot of people online trying to compare this version to a Gibson but I wouldn’t as the value which this axe offers is one of a kind. The quality of a Gibson is great, but it comes at a really large price, unlike this one. The Les Paul Standard is a excellent solution for everyone who is not ready to throw a few grand on a Gibson.
Fender Modern Player Telecaster Review
Telecasters are guitars which have their roots solidly in the 1950s, usually offering guitarists an superb all-round vintage-inspired instrument. This is not true with the Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus — in actuality, the title says it all! While it does not fully shun its legacy, this Tele comes loaded with some modern upgrades that make it even more powerful and flexible. Sounds great to us! Let us take a closer look…
Body And Neck
While the hardware in particular gives this version its modern feel, the total design is timeless Telecaster. It sports the classic single-cutaway shape, with the entire body made from solid walnut — a lesser-seen wood, but one which is actually pretty great for contributing warmth to the tone. This comes with a couple finishes — Honey Burst or Charcoal Transparent — which both show off the appealing, tight grain of walnut.
The playability of this Modern Player Tele is just one of the reasons we urge it as a great guitar for beginners. To keep the prices low, this version is made in Fender’s Chinese mill, although the craftsmanship is very commendable — hardly any flaws in the fit and finish.
Onto the primary event! Straying from the tried-and-tested duo of all single-coils, this Telecaster sport three pickups. In the trunk you’ll come across a conventional Telecaster single-coil, before the appearance of a Stratocaster single-coil at the center. Just once you think it can not get uncontrollable, in comes a humbucker at the bridge. This unlikely trio proves a very versatile combo, as we discuss below. Adding to the versatility is a mini toggle to coil-split that the humbucker, sandwiched between master volume and master tone knobs, as well as a five-way selector change.
The rest of the hardware is free from surprises. There’s a typical set of sealed chrome didie castuners on the headstock, a vintage-style string-through-body fixed bridge with six saddles, and a synthetic bone nut — all contributing to good tuning stability and sustain.
With the addition of three very different pickups — and coil-splitting for the humbucker — the tonal flexibility on this Tele is huge. Actually, there aren’t many tones you can not locate. Obviously, the Tele single-coil in the neck provides the more traditional twang you’d crave from a Telecaster (even if it is somewhat weak concerning power). There’s more sparkle and bite in the middle Strat pickup, whereas the humbucker adds yet another dimension, providing you more dirt and beef for everything from classic rock to modern metal.
The Modern Player Telecaster Plus certainly won’t appeal to everyone — especially Telecaster purists. However, for such an affordable genuine Fender, the playability is great, it looks fantastic, and there is a lot of tone and flexibility on offer.
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Review
Yamaha is not all that popular in guitar community, at least not when it comes to electric guitars. That said, their Yamaha Pacifica 112V is by far one of the best and most capable beginner guitars one can get.
Body And Neck
One quick glance at this guitar will let you know what kind of aesthetic Yamaha was going for. The body shape they have used for the Pacifica collection of guitars is relatively unique, but similar to a Strat. Tonewood of selection is Alder. Interestingly enough, that is the same wood Fender uses for all their guitars. The neck is straightened and made from walnut.
This particular model has a rosewood fretboard, which is the only option for the Pacifica series. When you pick this up, it simply feels solid and well constructed.
The sort of electronics Pacifica 112V brings is probably the one thing that’s obviously different in the Strat. This is why this setup is actually great. Beginners often feel limited by single coil pickups, particularly if they would like to play heavier genres of music.
Having this one humbucker at the bridge provides additional versatility which is something you want in an entry level version. The standard of the pickups is decent, to say the least. These are in-house made pups but are unquestionably among the better in their own category. Pickups are wired to one Tone and Volume knob, together with a pickup select switch.
Hardware is another point where Yamaha clearly produced some options from Fender. These bridges are not something you truly want in an entry level guitar, so largely because they will need to be of a certain quality in order to work rather than mess up the intonation.
However, the one Yamaha installs on those Pacificas is rather decent. If you do not abuse it too much, it will work pretty well. Tuners fitted onto this guitar would be your ordinary die cast variety. They’re pretty exact, but you definitely don’t want to push them too far. In general, the hardware is on par or even better than that which most guitars in this price range need to offer you.
That humbucker in the bridge position is effective at dealing with gain-rich distortion only fine, and is rather clear. When it’s time to do some pore exact work on a clean station, you’ll observe that this guitar seems wholesome.
It is much less defined as a much more expensive model is, but it keeps up just fine. Middle and neck pickups are excellent when you need to muddy up the tone a little, especially with a wonderful coating of overdrive at the top. The overall theme of this guitar is flexibility and that is reflected through its tone too.
While Yamaha Pacifica 112V might not be the best guitar in the world, it’s one of the best beginner models you can grab. Not a great deal of people even know about this guitar, which is quite a shame. If you’re interested in finding a well-rounded entry level guitar, then make sure to check out the Pacifica line. You’re certain to find something that is right for you.
Ibanez as a brand has become synonymous. While they make a whole lot of amazing high grade instruments, it was their cheap stuff that attracted the biggest audiences out there. The RG450DX we’re taking a look at today has proven to be among the finest performing beginner electric guitarson the market. While it’s positioned between lower mid range and higher section, RG450DX is among those’futureproof’ choices.
Body And Neck
It’s made of pretty high-quality mahogany, and even features a Stratocaster style pick guard. Neck belongs to the Wizard III series, and is by far one of the most comfortable profiles out there. This neck comes with a great rosewood fretboard which sports standard Ibanez Shark Tooth inlays. You can get this awesome guitar in a variety of finishes, most of which are a solid color of some kind.
As a matter of fact, this seems to be their principal coverage. One that is more economical and the difference between this RG is at the model of the bridge itself. Here we are looking at a Std. DL tremolo bridge — a pretty decent model that doesn’t suffer from many different issues like its basic alternatives ado. Tuning machines are regular Ibanez stuff, meaning you don’t have to fret too much.
Ibanez went ahead and installed three of the Quantum pickups in HSS configuration. Interestingly , the neck and bridge pickups are ceramic in character while the middle one is a real alnico design. Pickups are wired into a single volume control knob, 1 tone control knob, and a normal pickup select button. Ibanez may not have generated the greatest electric guitar, but they sure did make a very trustworthy and consistent one.
The idea behind the HSS pickup configuration would be to give you the best of the two worlds. You desire the robust bridge humbucker tone, but also the refined single coil experience that no other pickup can really offer. Question is, did Ibanez figure out how to deliver this kind of performance? It’s safe to say it has, because more and more intermediate players are turning to model exactly like this . Besides using a fairly wholesome tone, then that center alnico pickup makes a huge difference. It’s there to extend the versatility of the Ibanez RG450DZ, but in addition to spice up the tone colour to some point.
At the end of the day, it comes down to your budget. If you are trying to find a fantastic newcomer model that’ll help keep up with you as you develop your skills, then RG450DX might just be the type of solution you were looking for all along.
Epiphone SG-310 Review
Epiphone SG-310 brings a great deal of design at a reasonable price. Because of this and many more reasons, it belongs to our listing of guitars for people that are just starting out.
Body And Neck
For that reason, they had a variant of this guitar that will bring the SG aesthetic to the budget user. Epiphone SG-310 is certainly not the first guitar built for this function, but it’s one of the more popular ones. The body of this SG clone is made from alder and comes in several colors. Concerning finish and fit, everything is on point. The guitar feels very solid when you pick it up.
Epiphone’s choice of pickups for SG-310 is spot on. We’re talking about a set of open-coil, AlNiCo packed humbuckers which work perfectly with the overall theme of this guitar. These are wired to a set of volume and tone knobs, as well as the pickup select switch. Everything is put together nicely and closely, allowing for a very powerful, consistent output. Humbuckers in question are Epiphone’s 650R and 700T. While they are not high in their lineup passive pups, they offer great performance to price ratio. Hooked to some 500k pots, you are aware that the power is obviously going to be there once you bring up the quantity.
One of the greatest things about Epiphone is that their quality hardware. Even an entry level guitar like this one includes a set of hardware which not only does its job well, but also ensure great performance. The bridge is a normal LockTone Tune-o-Matic unit using a stop-bar tailpiece. While nobody really expected anything amazing from this bridge, the degree of sustain it provides is definitely above average. Tuning machines come in kind of a rather standard die cast set, although they have a tendency to be quite powerful as it comes down to keeping a pruning. Usually, the very first thing people are updating on guitars at this price range is your tuners department. But, that’s not really necessary with the SG-310.
Even though we’re talking about a relatively reasonably priced guitar, Epiphone still managed to capture the character of what SG is all about. The noise you get from Epiphone SG-310 is built for rock. Pickups have sufficient output to deal with pretty much any kind of overdrive or distortion, not sound shallow. When you want a few clogs, the guitar keeps up. Trebles are nice and sharp while the mids and lows seem fairly rich. For the most part, it is possible to pull just about any sort of noise with this thing, particularly something blues oriented.
Epiphone SG-310 is a perfect beginner guitar for people who want that classic, neutral tone. It’s built like a tank and it brings the sort of functionality that will keep up with you when you grow up as a guitar player.
Not all beginners need a Les Paul or Stratocaster copy — a few desire something a bit different, a bit more tender, a little more… jazzy. And that is where this affordable Jazzmaster out of Fender’s subsidiary Squier comes from. While it is not specifically promoted as a guitar for beginners, the simplicity and playability of this Jazzmaster make it well worth exploring for anyone just starting out. Let’s take a closer look…
Body & Neck
There is something about the Jazzmaster that’s very relaxed. The overall style is incredibly appealing, using a solid alder body finished in glossy white and also a’68 Stratocaster headstock including some vintage to it. The iconic Jazzmaster/Jaguar shape in particular is a wonderful change from all of the Strats and Les Pauls you find at the beginner market, as it matches which distinctive asymmetrical body providing full access to all 22 frets of the rosewood fretboard.
This sits on a very comfortable one-piece bolt-on C shaped maple neck, and this can be satin-finished, very hardy and typical of all versions related to Fender. In reality, this is the prime reason why we pick this guitar on the chart of the best electric guitars for novices — the incredible playability. Beginners want a comfortable and glossy neck, and this Jazzmaster actually delivers.
Squier have removed the old switching system on this Jazzmaster version and stripped down things, meaning it is simple for beginners to get to grips with.
Elsewhere, Squier have opted to get a six-saddle hardtail bridge using this Jazzmaster instead of the classic tremolo bridge. Thus, what you lose in vibrato effects, the guitar constitutes in curbing stability. On this note, the headstock is fitted with a pair of nickel tuners, which can be nice to use — nothing special, but very acceptable.
If you understand anything about the Jazzmaster, then you might be expecting a mellow classic tone, ideal for surf-rock and similar genres. On the other hand, the 2 humbuckers are surprisingly sexy, so this seems better suited to heavier rock and metal — which seems a little strange with this particular model. Still, for beginners practicing and jamming, it’s not a bad thing in any way. They are rather clear and have a decent general output, though they may be well worth upgrading as you improve.
Squier’s cheap Affinity Jazzmaster is somewhat different to what you may have expected concerning hardware and tone, but it’s a major winner in our eyes. Additionally, it is very affordable, and looks and sounds fairly cool, which can be a good bonus!
Dean Vendetta XM Review – Mean Ax Out For Blood
Locating a Dean in the affordable range is not too uncommon these days. The brand is still recovering from the short pause they’ve taken several decades back. With a more aggressive presence in the entry-level section of the marketplace, we are seeing some pretty impressive and strange Dean designs. Designs like Dean Vendetta XM. This item packs a mean punch and will go at any of its competitors who dare come near. While it’s definitely one of the best guitars you can snatch for about 200 bucks , let us see just what this item is really capable of.
Body And Neck
The first category where Dean took another route in comparison to other brands is their choice of tonewood. Instead of opting for mahogany, Agathis or even basswood, they chose paulownia. This sort of timber is very, very seldom seen in guitars these days, but provides a fairly interesting set of properties that are amalgamated. Can it be a gamble? Likely not, but if it was, it was worth it. The neck is a bolt-on maple piece with a fairly plain looking rosewood fretboard at the top. Dean went with a slightly altered Strat body, which is a known, low-risk choice.
Instead of packaging a standard stationary tail bridge, Dean really offers the Vendetta XM using a Tune-o-Matic bridge and string thru body design. It seems they wanted to pack as much of the solid performance to this starter model, as it was humanly possible. Hardware functions, and it works well. Intonation and tuning retention is great, even in the event that you go a bit harder on these bends.
Talking of safe bets, packing your novice guitar with a pair of two quite balanced humbuckers is as low risk in regards. All these pups are Dean’s very own design, but feature a pretty standard type of performance. To put it differently, neutral tone and balance across the range. Circuitry that accompanies them is also fairly straightforward. You are taking a look at just one tone knob, a single volume knob, and a pickup select button.
The combination of all tonewood, hardware, and pickups Dean chose for Vendetta XM makes for a pretty interesting sound. Those humbuckers are more than capable of taking care of your distortion pedal of choice and can generate a satisfying tone in the other end. Where they fall short is the clean tone, like many of their competition.
All in all, the chief reason Vendetta XM is an outstanding guitar is due to Dean’s unorthodox way of building a beginner model. We love the fact that they moved with a Tune-o-Matic bridge, rare tonewood, and a set of potent humbuckers. There is definitely quality inside this package.
Squier Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster – Bringing Back The Golden Age Of Rock
Fender subsidiary Squier has launched a massive collection of Stratocasters over the decades — some conventional, some modern, and a few vintage-inspired. And it is in the last category that today’s featured version — the Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster — matches in, since this Strat is greatly affected by the 1950s in both sound and tone. Let’s see what this reasonably priced model must provide…
Body And Neck
The Classic Vibe Series shows the best aspects of the past and this 50’s Stratocaster certainly has the right look and feel about it. The body is made from solid alder, and is comfortable and lightweight, which makes it a great game for novices . This is covered in one of two brightly colored finishes — possibly the 2-Color Sunburst or, our favorite, the Sherwood Green Metallic, that comes with a matching painted headstock.
Bolted on the body is a slick maple neck that shows off traditional Strat playability, using a cozy C silhouette, a maple fretboard and 21 medium jumbo frets. Both the fretboard and the neck include a vintage-tint gloss finish, which enhances the retro appeal of the instrument as well as the playability, providing a smooth hand-feel.
Onto hardware, along with the Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster is filled with all the classic Strat configuration of 3 pickups, at the bridge, middle and neck positions. There is nothing out of the ordinary from the controls either, using a master volume, individual tone controls for the neck and middle position (all three in white plastic for added classic appeal), along with a five-way selector switch.
The six-saddle vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge is another expected addition, as is the accompanying whammy bar. You will also find a set of coated vintage-style chrome tuners on the headstock in addition to a synthetic bone nut. Again, nothing extraordinary here, but the components are very reliable, maintain your pruning really solid when keeping the groovy vintage style Squier is moving for.
If it comes to tone, the timeless Vibe 50’s Stratocaster surely competes with guitars at a higher price range — it sounds fantastic for the purchase price! While they don’t provide a true vintage tone, the trio of all single-coils are very commendable and are perfect for blues, surf rock and Hendrix-style playing with lengthy sustain. The usage of Alnico III magnets delivers a hotter output than you’d initially exexpected so it’s also ideal for classic rock rhythm and lead once the gain is cranked up.
All in all, the Classic Vibe 50’s Stratocaster gives you greater than the cost suggests it should. The comfort, simplicity and value will surely appeal to beginners, but there’s more than enough tone, style and playability to create it rewarding for any experienced guitarist looking for a vintage-inspired axe.
Squier Affinity Jazzmaster HH Review – A Stripped-Down Beginner-Friendly Jazzmaster!
Not all beginners need a Les Paul or Stratocaster copy — a few desire something a bit different, a bit more mellow, a bit more… jazzy. And that is where this very affordable Jazzmaster from Fender’s subsidiary Squier comes in. While it is not explicitly marketed as a guitar for novices, the simplicity and playability of this Jazzmaster ensure it is well worth exploring for anyone just starting. Let us take a closer look…
Body & Neck
There is something about the Jazzmaster that is very relaxed. The overall style is incredibly appealing, using a solid alder body finished in glistening white and a’68 Stratocaster headstock including some vintage to it. The iconic Jazzmaster/Jaguar contour particularly is a nice change from all the Strats and Les Pauls you see in the beginner market, as it matches that identifying asymmetrical body providing full access to all 22 frets of this rosewood fretboard.
This sits on a very comfy one-piece bolt-on C shaped maple neck, and this is satin-finished, very hardy and typical of all versions associated with Fender. In reality, this is the prime reason we select this guitar on the chart of the finest electric guitars for beginners — the unbelievable playability. Beginners want a comfortable and glossy neck, and this Jazzmaster actually delivers.
Squier has removed the old switching system on this Jazzmaster variation and stripped down things, meaning it’s easy for novices to get to grips with.
Elsewhere, Squier has chosen for a six-saddle hardtail bridge using this Jazzmaster rather than the traditional tremolo bridge. On that note, the headstock is fitted with a pair of nickel tuners, which can be nice to use — nothing special, but very acceptable.
If you know anything about the Jazzmaster, then you may be expecting a mellow classic tone, perfect for surf-rock and similar genres. On the other hand, the 2 humbuckers are surprisingly sexy, so this seems better suited to heavier rock and metal — that looks a bit odd for this particular model. However, for novices practicing and jamming, it’s not a bad thing in any way. They are rather clear and have a decent overall output, though they could be worth upgrading as you improve.
Squier’s affordable Affinity Jazzmaster is somewhat different to what you might have expected in terms of hardware and tone, but it is a big winner in our eyes. Additionally, it’s very affoaffordable sounds and looks pretty cool, which is a fantastic bonus!
The Guitar Buying Guide for Beginners
When buying your first guitar, it’s sensible to stop and consider what you are buying it for. Is it something to learn on? Are you upgrading in a year or 2 when you begin considering forming a band, gigging, and documenting? If so, you might be better off trying one of these affordable electric guitars, which all offer a solid platform on which to learn.
Whatever budget you’re on, you will always be able to find a suitable guitar. In the $100 price range, you may get some models that play nicely. Nevertheless, in that super-budget market there is a lot of garbage, so be cautious.
Even if you are on a budget, it is always worth looking in the higher price brackets and considering something a bit more expensive, which will offer better audio quality (which is always encouraging), better build quality (usually more comfortable to hold and play), looks cooler (that is going to keep you motivated), and will last you more — allowing you to grow with the guitar. It’s best to purchase at the top end of what you can afford. For additional inspiration, make certain to check out this electric guitar listing.
Always factor in the size of your device. If you’re a young player — or are buying a guitar for a child — consider that small hands playing on a full-size guitar might be more difficult than if you had an electric guitar made for kids.
The Anatomy Of An Electric Guitar
If you are serious about purchasing a guitar and learning how to play it, you should be familiar with everything one can provide, from forests to pickups. Here’s a brief image of some of the most important elements that make up a guitar, and what you should look out for when surfing:
Before we go into the elements of an electric guitar, it is worth noting that there are 3 different body types: solid body, hollow body, and a semi-hollow body. The principal difference between them is the way the bodies have been constructed, and the amount of resonance they create. If you’re into punk, metal, stone, or any style of heavy or fast music, then it should be a strong body all the way. It allows for louder sounds and much more sustain while avoiding the feedback issues that impact some hollow bodied instruments at greater volumes. The hollow and semi-hollow bodied guitars available on the market will appeal to players who prefer softer styles, such as jazz, blues, and country, as well as soft rock and pop, as they offer you a full, rich and more resonant sound with lots of bass. Beginners will be best off sticking to a solid bodied guitar, as they are easier to manage in many scenarios. For the remainder of this anatomical breakdown,we’ll focus on solid body guitars.
Solid body guitars offer an excellent platform for builders, allowing them to craft the wood into literally any shape. Obviously, you’ll probably want to opt for a guitar with a single-cutaway Les Paul or Telecaster style shape, or a double-cutaway shape like a Stratocaster, Yamaha Pacifica, or Ibanez’s RG. However, the more gullible newcomer can have a look at some cool styles that always catch the eye, like V or Z-shaped guitars, or anything from Dean Guitars — especially if you would like an eye paint endeavor!
Although it’s a minor issue when choosing your first guitar, the tone and sustains that the guitar can produce depends upon the quality of the material it’s made from. The most used tonewoods from the budget range are basswood, poplar, alder, and paulownia, while more expensive guitars can be made from pine, mahogany, and swamp ash. This is only a rough rule, however — nowadays you will discover mahogany in budget guitars and basswood in premium versions. All of them have distinct tonal qualities — for example, mahogany typically provides a warmer sound, swamp ash is brighter, while basswood and alder are well-balanced.
Regarding necks, nearly all guitars will have either a maple or mahogany neck, with a rosewood, maple or ebony fretboard. Again, there is no right or wrong, and neck wood is not going to influence your choice. But you should choose something which feels smooth and comfortable to play. There are a variety of shapes and profiles, and what you go for depends on personal taste and playing style. By way of example, a contemporary C-shaped neck is always a safe choice as the majority of guitarists will feel comfortable using it, even though a thin U-shape is great for quicker players (think punk rock and metal).
So the 4 key Measurements of neck shape we will now cover are:
About the Width, slimmer necks are more comfortable to grasp especially for people with smaller hands.
Whereas wider necks are often better-suited for larger hands, and have greater space between each string, which could allow for easier fretting as well.
In regards to the two Depth and Profile, there are 3 main shapes to choose from:
The most popular of all designs, the C shape, has the shallowest depth and a silhouette someplace in-between the V and U shapes (as you can see from the picture above).
Most modern guitar necks (including most Strats) have a profile that closely resembles the C shape because it’s the most versatile for a variety of hands shapes and playing styles.
The V and U shapes, on the other hand, have a greater depth and are generally found on vintage guitars.
The V shape is commonly favored by players who hang their thumb over the edge of the fretboard, while those prefer the U shape keep their thumb behind the neck.
And finally, in relation to Fretboard Radius, there are two key points worth mentioning:
As you can see in the picture below, the smaller the radius, the higher the curvature of the fretboard.
Greater curvatures are usually ideal for playing chords, whereas shallower curvatures are generally ideal for soloing.
There are two main types of pickup you’ll find on a guitar suitable for beginners: a single-coil pickup and a humbucker pickup. Without bogging you down in the details of how they operate, the single-coil is the classic original pickup, which typically offers a bright and sparkly sound. As they cut through the mix, single-coils are excellent pickups for direct players. Then comes the loyal humbucker, which — as its name implies –‘bucks’ the hum, meaning less background noise. Humbuckers create full, meaty sounds located across the world of stone and metal, and are terrific for lead and rhythm guitar. However it’s still possible to play fast punk rock power chords with a single-coil, just like you can play an upbeat country number with a humbucker! You’ll usually find two or three pickups on a guitar, although some models will offer just one. Guitars with at least two pickups will come fitted with a pickup selector switch to quickly change between them.
Generally, pickups included with pricier guitars tend to have:
- less noise
- more tonal control
- hotter outputs
The frets are those thin metal bars running down the neck, which act as note separators, letting you play individual notes and chords. Most guitars will feature 22 frets, although those more rock and metal-inclined will sometimes offer 24, letting you reach higher notes. As a beginner, it should not really bother you whether you have 21, 22, or 24 frets. It is only as you grow into the instrument you’ll find what works best for you.
There’s the bridge, which serves two basic functions:
Intonation adjustment — which is done by the fine-tuning length of the vibrating string so that every note at each fret is in-tune with the others.
Action adjustment — that is achieved by adjusting the height of the string over the frets, so that no”fret-buzzing” occurs.
A 3rd optional function, referred to as the whammy/tremolo pub , is one that some guitar players prefer to create special diving/vibrato effects that are especially common in heavy metal music.
This effect, however, requires a special floating bridge, which rocks back and forth along a pivot point, immediately slacking or tightening all 6 strings at once.
The issue with traditional floating bridges is that they tend to cause tuning instability…
Since every time the tension shifts, so does the series’s contact point over both the nut and bridge saddle.
To solve this problem, a bridge design known as the Floyd Rose adds a string-locking mechanism over both the nut and bridge saddle which radically increases tuning stability…at least compared to other floating bridges.
However, as they still require a certain degree of skill (both musically and technically) to keep in a means that will not cause too many problems…
For both newbies and”non-metal” guitar players…a fixed bridge, which can be firmly anchored to the body of this guitar…
Is generally thought of as the best option, since it is much easier to use, and provides maximum tuning stability.
The 4 fixed bridge designs that are most popular are:
Gibson Tune-o-Matic w/ stop pub
Gibson Tune-o-Matic w/ String-thru
Along with the 3 most common floating bridge systems are:
And you can see all 7 of these in the image below:
There are numerous types of the bridge (located at the bottom of the guitar, where the strings are attached), but to keep things simple you will usually find either a fixed bridge or a tremolo bridge. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A tremolo bridge will let you experiment with everything from vibrato effects directly up to full-on divebombs, and can sound amazing when playing high lead solos. But, tremolo bridges can influence tuning unless the bridge and nut locks. A fixed bridge is excellent for sustain and tuning stability, although there’s no vibrato. Again, it’s all down to personal taste.
What’s the Easiest Form of Electric Guitar to Play?
When buying an electric guitar for the very first time, you might be confused over what is best for you as a beginner — a solid body, a hollow-body or a semi-hollow body.
Though it’s possible to learn on any of them, we recommend a solid-body guitar, which comprises all the models featured on this page. The main benefit of a solid body guitar for beginners is that they are easier to control in front of an amplifier. By this we mean you are unlikely to season squealing feedback from the amp, which can be a big annoyance when it happens all the time. Solid body guitars are often simpler to hold as well, as hollow versions tend to be a bit bigger in size.
As we have mentioned previously, the more you spend on an electric guitar, the better it ought to be in terms of playability. If it is possible to aim higher than a super-low budget model, you will be rewarded with updates such as a smoother, flatter neck and a simpler playing experience all-round.
How Much Should I Pay for a Beginner Electric Guitar?
Technically there is no limit to how much you should pay when buying your first electric guitar. In case you’ve got the budget, you could learn on something quite expensive — similar to learning how to drive in a Ferrari!
However, it isn’t necessary to spend so much on a beginner’s electric guitar. With so many guitar manufacturers and models on the market, manufacturers have had to up their game to make sure their guitars meet a much better standard at a lower price.
You can spend under $100 on a beginner’s electric guitar, which would be perfectly okay — particularly if you aren’t sure whether the tool is for you. Why waste money if you are not sure if you’ll stick to it?
But if you have aspirations of the point or recording, you might want to invest a couple of hundred dollars in something which looks, feels, sounds and plays higher quality. This will save you money in the long term (as you won’t need to update so soon) and will provide you a guitar that will be prepared for performance when you’re.
Do You Want an Amplifier for an Electric Guitar?
It may sound like you are asking an obvious question, but it’s a very valid question indeed!
First off, no law says you must have an amplifier to play an electric guitar. If you do not have the funds for one or you simply don’t need one for any reason, that’s fine.
Despite this being okay, we do advise purchasing an amplifier at the same time as your first electric guitar, because dry practicing for too long can encourage some bad habits.
By way of instance, with no amp, you might be playing too aggressively to make yourself heard, which isn’t a good technique to pick up. Also, by not having an amp, you are also missing the important response and feedback that an amp can provide you with on your playing methods.
Besides — playing an amp sounds so much cooler!
We suggest factoring the price of a little practice amp into your general guitar budget. While it may mean you will need to settle for a slightly cheaper guitar, the advantages of having an amp from your very first day of playing are too great to pass up.
So You’ve Got An Electric Guitar Suitable for Beginners! What Now?
First, let’s hope that with the guitar you also bought some essentials, like an amplifier and a cable, as well as plectrums, a strap, and a bag.
Wherever you purchase your very first guitar from, make sure you take it to a regional professional or friend with some experience and ask them to set it up for you. They may charge you a couple of dollars, but it’ll be worth it to have fresh strings, a fantastic action, and correct tuning. If at all possible, ask them if you can watch how they put it up, so the next time you can try it yourself.
Now, you have your first guitar and it is set. The next thing you ask is”what’s the best way to learn guitar?” And the answer is simple — get some lessons! Whether it’s from your neighborhood pro, guitar instructor, or by a range of excellent online courses, lessons will teach you the basics — letting you begin playing songs within a couple of hours.
Are Online Guitar Lessons Any Good?
Yes, most of them are very useful! These days there are hundreds of online tutors offering great guitar lessons. And there’s no need to throw your money at the first offer you see, as a lot of quality instructional and tutorial videos are free on platforms such as YouTube. Generally, paid courses are generally better since they’re tested and are well-structured, and — in theory — you should have the ability to progress faster. But everything depends on your budget and on your will to learn on your own.
Lastly, have you ever heard a definitive reply to the question “how long does it take to learn guitar?” Us neither! Learning your first chords may take a few hours, but the tool can take a lifetime to master. But that is the joy of playing with guitar. It is down to you to practice and advancement because practice makes perfect!