When I first became a musician, one of my most vivid memories is that of walking into the local guitar store, and stopping dead in my tracks at the doorway. The walls were 15 feet high and completely wallpapered with guitars of all shapes, sizes, colors, and tonal persuasions. Fender, Ibanez, Squier, Gibson, acoustic, electric - it can be overwhelming.

However, you have found this guide, which is the first step. Read and learn this information well, my good student, and you will be able to walk into a guitar store and talk shop with the best of them.

Great Acoustic Guitars from Ibanez and Gibson

Guitars can be divided into two main types: electric and acoustic. Acoustic guitars are guitars that do not require amplification - all of the sound is produced within the guitar itself. This makes life easy when you are starting out. You don't need to worry about amplifiers, audio cables, nearby power outlets, or anything of the sort.

The key tip for buying great acoustic guitars is to find one with a tone that you like. Without all of the extra equipment, the sound you get when you play is based on the quality of the guitar body, the types of strings you are using, and where you pluck the string (relative to the guitar neck). Thankfully, most great acoustic guitar manufacturers design their instruments with a rich, versatile sound that works in a variety of circumstances. So it doesn't matter if you are playing MTV Unplugged or preparing for a classical performance, you are going to sound great!

An acoustic guitar can cost anywhere from $80 to thousands of dollars. You don't want to get one in the very low cost range. They tend to be made from very inferior materials, have a very shallow sound, and will break easily before too long. Instead, you want to get one at least in the $150 dollar range. The best acoustic guitars you will see in a guitar store come from Ibanez and Gibson. A great place for you to start with the Ibanez IJV50 JamPack Quickstart Dreadnought A. It has everything you need to get started with your acoustic guitar.

The Best Electric Guitars from Fender and Gibson

Electric guitars are instruments that require power and other equipment to create their sound. Rather than create the sound within the body of the instrument, the movement of the strings is detected by pick-ups built in to the body. These signals are then routed, processed, and amplified before they amaze your audience!

The advantage of electric guitars over acoustic guitars is that you have a choice of a wide variety of guitar effects pedals you can use to change the sound from your instrument. With the click of a button, you can go from heavy medal to psychedelic to country blues.

An electric guitar can cost anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars. The range of quality for electric guitars is similar to acoustic guitars, but, surprisingly, it has a much smaller impact on the overall quality of the sound. This is because of the impact of effects pedals and amplifiers on the guitar tone. The best electric guitars to buy are Fender and Gibson. The absolute classic standard for electric guitars is the Fender Stratocaster. This a great guitar for the beginner and professional alike.

As you become more experienced as a guitarist, you will begin to learn more about the subtle differences between different types of guitars. With this guide, you can walk into any guitar store with confidence and find the right guitar for you.