Guitar Guide - Picking The Perfect Acoustic
Choosing your first or ‘first proper’ acoustic guitar might be a bit daunting. However shops like The Music Centre exist to give you the best possible advice, so you will have something which will suit your needs, sound right for you and come in at the right price.
Differences between them are really easy to break down when you split acoustics into different categories.
Freshman Renegade Dreadnought Natural
When you think of an acoustic guitar it might be one that looks a bit like this - fairly large body, curvy profile.
These guitars are great all-rounders and fantastic to start learning on as you just need to pick them up and play, nothing else to worry about.
Many of the tops will be made out of a light wood, like spruce, and it’s good to remember that light woods often have a lighter/bright sound. Whereas darker woods, such as mahogany or sapele, can have a more deeper/mellower tone.
Our picks: Ibanez V50NJP Jam Pack Fender CD60S All Mahogany Takamine GD11M-NS
Cutaway Electro Acoustic
Takamine GN93CE NEX
These are a bit like the dreadnaught but, with a chunk taken out of the body. This is to allow the player to reach further up the fingerboard without having to stretch round the whole instrument. These guitars also have a pickup installed in them and, like the name suggests, this picks up the sound from the instrument and lets you plug them in to an amplifier.
A cutaway electro acoustic might be the choice if you are looking to perform with other people in the future and need that lift in volume. They are also great for recording and performing!
Our Picks: Sigma OMTC-1STE-SB+ Takamine GF30CE Brown Sunburst Ibanez AEG10II Nat B Burst
Manuel Rodriguez Caballero 12
Also commonly referred to as Spanish guitars, these are slightly smaller in size than a Dreadnaught and instead of all steel strings, are strung with nylon core strings. The fingerboard is a bit broader to allow for classical play and finger picking.
You will also notice in playing these that there is less tension on the strings, making pressing them down just that bit easier. You get a very mellow tone from Classical Guitars with none of the ‘jangle’.
Our Picks: Valencia VC204 4/4 Yamaha CX40 Classical Electro-Acoustic Takamine GC1CE
Other things to think about...
Solid Top vs Laminate
The main difference people notice is the price. You are unlikely to find anything with a solid top for under £200. Solid tops are made from a single piece of wood. Laminate is layered pieces of the same wood. Solid top guitars can give you richer tones, better sustain and a resonance which you wouldn’t get with a laminate.
You might have heard this mentioned before. It is the height of the strings from the fingerboard. Although you want an instrument that is comfortable to play, don’t let something like this completely rule out a guitar for you. A good instrument store (like The Music Centre) can adjust this for you in a process called 'a set-up'.