TIPS ON HOW TO SHOP FOR A CHEAP ACOUSTIC GUITAR
I was recently asked to shop for a cheap acoustic guitar for my friend’s son. As a guitar player for nearly 30 years, this task came easy. Then I thought shopping for a cheap acoustic guitar would make a good topic for an article. Especially for those of you that know nothing about guitars.
Lets say you have to buy an acoustic guitar for less than 100 dollars and have only 3 days to it. (You would probably say holy crap how am I going to accomplish this?) The good news is that there is no shortage of cheap acoustic guitars that are available online for under 100 bucks. You can find cheap acoustic guitars for any level player and you wont even need to leave the house. Here are some simple guidelines to further you on your quest.
Who are you buying for? In my case the guitar was for an average teenager with no special needs as far as a guitar is concerned. You may be buying for a very young child or a small person. In this case you need to consider the scale (size) of the guitar.
When buying for a small person you may want to consider a smaller scale guitar. Here is a very general guide based on height.
Age Height Scale of Guitar
4-6 years old 3’3′ to 3’9′ 1/4 scale
5-8 years old 3’10’ to 4’5′ 1/2 scale
8-11 years old 4’6′ to 4’11’ 3/4 scale
11-Adult 5’0 or taller 4/4 scale (full scale)
Here are several body styles to consider when buying an acoustic guitar. The most popular guitar body style is the dreadnought. This body style is named after a type of battleship constructed in the early 1900’s. This battleship set the standard for future battleships. Which is funny to me because I don’t think of warships when I think of acoustic guitars. However the dreadnought body shape produces a big bold and very pronounced tone with good volume and is the standard choice acoustic guitar.
Lets get back to reality. You have 3 days and 100 dollars. If you are not buying a smaller scale guitar or have a specific request to buy a classical style guitar then the dreadnought standard is most likely the safest pick. Which is great because just about every guitar manufacturer makes a version of it.
TYPES OF WOOD
As you may know types of wood vary as much if not more than types of people. Some woods have better sonic properties than others. Where some tone woods are plentiful, others are extremely rare and expensive. In the 100 dollar price range you won’t find exotic woods with heavenly blessed sonic grace. You will find decent sounding, good-looking instruments that you won’t be ashamed to hang on your wall.
I believe that guitars sound like guitars. I am more inclined to believe that a guitar sounds more like the luthier (the guitar maker) and the artist (the guitar player) than the wood its made of. So don’t sweat the wood.
STEEL VS. NYLON
Steel string guitars are the norm for popular styles of music such as folk, rock, country, blues and pop. Steel stringed guitars possess a bright, loud pronounced tone that is much more in your face than that of a classical nylon string guitar.
Classical and flamenco style guitars have nylon strings and a very natural tone. These guitars are less painful for beginners to play as the strings have much less tension than that of steel string guitars.
SHOP FROM HOME
There is an abundance of cheap acoustic guitars that have great value and can all be purchased online for under $100 dollars.
I like musicians friend for many reasons, one being the excellent return policy and other policies that protect you as a buyer.
My experiences with them have all been very positive, even when I received a faulty product. I simply made a phone call to customer service. I was connected right away to a pleasant gentleman who listened to my gripes and emailed me a shipping slip that I printed out. I then sent the item back and received a new item two days later.
I believe you will be impressed with the level of quality and the multitude of features that $100 dollars can buy you these days. I am sure you will find a guitar to suit the needs of whatever player you are shopping for. Thank you for reading Cheap Acoustic Guitars.