Hey guys I am new, and have always had a interest to play acoustic guitar. I am wondering what kind of beginners guitar I should purchase. I have seen quite a few value packs that seem tempting but not sure if that is the right way to go any insight?
The first thing you should do is find a local shop and play several of their guitars that are within your price range. Take a friend who can play and have them play several to find one you like the sound of. What kind of music do you plan to play? That will make some difference in the body style you buy. I have a post on my site on choosing a guitar for fingerstyle/fingerpicking here: http://www.acousticfingerstylemusic.com/choosing-an-acoustic-finger.... Even though it is specific to fingerstyle it also has some general things to look for like nut width, intonation and action.
Certainly take the advice on buying a guitar that is comfortable. I borrowed a Jumbo acoustic when I first started and found it to be to big for me. I have a cheapish Cort Cap 530 with a DiMarzio pickup that sounds fine. A guitarist friend of mine set it up and I am very happy with it. Perhaps you need to find a guitar shop in your area that is recommended by local players. A good shop will always try to help.
It totally depends on your budget. Sometimes you'll get lucky with a value pack guitar but they typically are not very high quality instruments. While quality varies considerably in "affordable" guitars they improve dramatically about every $100 more you can spend. A $300 guitar will usually be much better than one for $200 and one for $400 will be much better still. You'll also get a guitar that is easier to play and can be adjusted more easily than a cheap one. But, like I mentioned before, you could get lucky. As Nic suggested bring someone along who knows what to look for and can play them since you can't be expected to know what a playable guitar is going to feel like. Have fun!!!
My advice? Go to a store, with a friend, or someone you know, who plays...try a few, have your friend try a few, and decide on one...these days, one doesn't have to spend a lot of money to get a decent quality instrument. I recently went shopping with my girlfriend, who expressed an interest in guitar. She picked a $200 Yamaha, and I was impressed with it's sound, easy action, and intonation.
As for the value packs--I'd be very leery of most of them...just buy a guitar, and see if they'll throw in some picks, a strap, or at least a gig bag. Many shops will do so...oh, and don't forget to ask if they will throw in a setup (an important thing, trust me)! Good luck!
Looks like you've received a lot of good info on purchasing your first guitar. In regard to dimensions and specs, a lot of that will be foreign to you until you've put some time into playing, then you'll realize how certain specs translate into a guitar that is more comfortable FOR YOU. To get someone else to play a guitar for you will only go so far, and everybody has their own opinion on how a guitar sounds and feels. More importantly, if you don't know how to play yet, at least sit down with a few different guitars in your lap - a dreadnaught guitar might not be as comfortable as a smaller body guitar like a parlor size. A lot does depend on your budget like another person mentioned. You can either take the approach of getting a nicer guitar that you can 'grow into,' or a cheaper guitar that you can then 'graduate' from. Definitely get a guitar that is playable and doesn't have any major problems like uneven frets or a bridge that is becoming unglued - some cheap guitars have these issues. This is where a friend that knows to look for these things will be helpful for you.
Hi Mike --
I'm a beginner too and I've learned a lot about guitars from my own mistakes. My first was letting my husband pick out my first guitar and buy it for me without even having touched it myself. It ended up that the fret board was too wide for me so I ended up selling it. So, I agree with everyone here that says go to a reputable guitar shop, sit down and just play as many as you can. My second suggestion is to sit down afterwards and write a list of what you liked and/or didn't like about each of the guitars you played and then decide on a price range. I didn't want to spend very much on my first guitar because, as a beginner, I didn't think it made sense for someone who was getting their feet wet and who might not continue in the hobby to invest a lot of money in an instrument. I ended up buying something second hand and have been playing for a little over a year now. I recently traded up and bought a better guitar by selling some of those second hand ones that just happened to "follow me home." Enjoy!
Yet one more beginner here -- but it's my second attempt at guitar. This time, I'm gonna keep with it.
All the advice here is great!
I heartily recommend used guitars with great sound, bought from reputable music shops or from musicians you know and trust. I found two -- a nylon string and a steel string -- in two different shops. Combined, they cost me the price of one decent new guitar (under $500 total, including our exorbitant state sales tax). Both are nicely seasoned, or "opened up," and each one's sound lives deep in I-Am-Not-Worthy country. No need to move up for years, or maybe forever.
Neither is in mint cosmetic condition. Still, they both happen to look very good. But I really looked for excellent sound, comfort, and working condition. Sometimes condition problems are a simple fix -- or not. It pays to have someone along who knows the difference.