Tips on Selecting a Guitar

By Anthony Salazar

Anthony Salazar - AMI Guitar FacultyWhen selecting a guitar for either yourself or your child the first consideration should be your goal for music lessons, followed by your or your child’s interest in a specific genre. If the goal is to take rock music lessons, buy an electric guitar. Do you love Spanish style classical or flamenco? Then choose a nylon string guitar to purchase. Steel string acoustic guitars offer the greatest flexibility, and their neck size and strings are similar to an electric guitar. This makes the transition to an electric guitar smoother. Additionally, you do not need an amplifier, guitar cable, or electricity to play and be heard. Acoustic guitars are better for practicing on the go for this reason. If the greatest amount of interest is in hard rock music then an electric guitar is best, but you will need an amplifier and a guitar cable. It should be noted that acoustic instruments are a little easier on the parent’s sanity, too. Electric guitars can be loud!

The second consideration should be the size of the instrument. For children younger than 8 or 9 years old, buy a smaller sized guitar. For children approaching middle school, you may want to purchase a full size instrument and let the child grow into it. In these instances a capo can be used to decrease the length of the neck until the child grows and can reach the end of the neck at the first fret comfortably.

Generally speaking, you should be able to reach the first fret easily and your other arm should be able to reach over the guitar to play the strings comfortably. It is obvious when the instrument is too big for the person playing it. Comfort is the most important factor.

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Anthony Salazar graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.M. in Classical Guitar Performance. He received a M.M. from Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts. Mr. Salazar has studied both guitar and piano respectively at NIU and Roosevelt Univ. He currently studies with GFA winner and Naxos recording artist Dennis Azabagic. Mr. Salazar is a guitar faculty member at Waubonsee Community College and University of St. Francis. He is able to play and teach all styles of music, including rock, metal, jazz and classical.