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Guitar Advice/Recommendations?

Hey all. I’ve been wanting to learn an instrument for years now, and I’ve finally decided that I want to learn piano and guitar. I have a piano at my house, but no guitar. That being said, I need some recommendations on which guitar to buy. Something that would be good for learning with.

Any advice you guys have in terms of the process of learning to play would be greatly appreciated. I’m 21 right now and I never learned how to play an instrument. I’ve learned how to play a few things on the piano, like the riff from “Clocks” by Coldplay, the riff from “Remember the Name,” and the riff from “Still Dre” by Dr. Dre. That’s all. I used to be able to play the opening chords of “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple on the ukulele and guitar, but that was a few years ago.

My buddy just got his own apartment a few months ago, and he is a musical genius, and he frequently asks me to come over for a jam session. It’s fun, but I have no idea wtf I’m doing, and I’d like to. I’m also at the point where I’m tired of video games; I played them whenever I wasn’t at school or sports practice from the time I was 13-18. I’ve been looking for a creative outlet for a while, and learning to play an instrument is perfect. It’s a life skill, and even if you aren’t the greatest, people generally admire and respect people who are proficient at a certain instrument. I would love that.

Sorry for all the random added info. TL;DR: Which guitars should I consider buying as a beginner? What words of advice do you have for someone just learning to play an instrument?

I’ve been out of the guitar world for a couple decades, so I reckon others will have better suggestions on which brand and model to start with. What I CAN advise tho is:

  1. Do you want to start with an acoustic or electric guitar? Your answer will steer this conversation.
  2. Since you know a few chords, go to local guitar stores and strum a bunch of guitars. Choose the guitar that allows your fingers to flow smoothest over the fretboard and strings.
  3. Some stores have used guitar sections. Don’t be afraid to buy a used guitar that’s in good shape, if you like that guitar best. As you learn the guitar, you’ll find which features you appreciate and what you don’t like, which, if you stick with playing, will likely lead you to buy another guitar that optimally suits your preferences somewhere down the road.

I personally learnt best on a guitar with high gauge strings. I own some very expensive guitars, slide guitars, a few uekeleles, and electric guitars.
I learnt on an acoustic that cost my parents $20 from a local junk store. No name brand, but as I learnt chords and what not, I started upgrading it. Bought some D’arddario strings and it turned the sound from a crap to something magical. It may of just been the fact it sounded better that drove me to start learning more, but no doubt it helped.

Another thing, I have large hands so I may be biased, but when I was learning I bought a second hand 12string and removed the other 6 strings. The extra room on the frets really helped instill good habits of hand placements and palm muting techniques that when I went back to my standard guitar, it was so much easier to play.

Lastly, as a beginner, learning tabs and chords are paramount. Seriously, you’ll be able to play 90% of songs if you learn G D Em A E and F. The rest is just fingerpicking and alternating those chords


Best sounding guitar I have! The strings have been on there for years and I am afraid to change them because i have no idea what kind they are…lol May be D’arddario, maybe Martin, may be something else entirely.

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For an acoustic, I just put some new strings on mine not long ago, I think they were called Elixer’s, anyways they’re really good, my buddy told me it sounded like a new guitar altogether.

@lava2007 for a beginner I would think any guitar that sounds half decent should do, you can always upgrade later if it’s going well with playing, I would hit up a pawn shop. I have an Epiphone for an acoustic, it’s pretty good and I got it from a pawn shop.


Get an acoustic first in my opinion. Once you develop those callouses buying an electric and playing it will be easier if you want to.

Agree with the pawn shop narrative, just make sure the nut and bridge aren’t worn out (no buzzing playing the lower [higher on the neck] notes on the big E and A strings).

I like De Addario (spelling?) Strings for acoustic. They’re “brighter”.

I would recommend learning how to read music and learning the keyboard at the same time. It makes more sense that way. Also when you go to a jam and somebody says “in the key of X” you can play rhythm or lead in that key even if you’re just jamming and you’ll do okay.

The most challenging stuff I played was some of Segovia’s classical stuff where he’d try and play a whole concerto on one guitar. If you can play classical really well, rock will feel slow when you get to it.

Disclaimer:I quit playing 10 years ago.

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A 100 dollar fender squire is a great place to start. Sweetwater for online (NA I believe only) has some great deals and/or your local music store.

An acoustic is fine too, but you will always want to go to an electric, because it does everything an acoustic can do and more, unless you’re partial to acoustic genres of music.

For advice, I’d recommend grinding past the initial phase that most people quit at. Guitar is one of the harder instruments to begin learning due to the need for callouses and hand strength. The piano is a MUCH easier instrument, which is why you see people skilled at it more often than you do the guitar, so you need to remember the first few weeks/months will be tough, but it is SO worth it.

I’d also recommend you steep yourself in music made mostly by…guitars. Try to learn from the best in the world, through technique, youtube lessons they have, and just by learning some of their songs. Joe Satriani and Stevie Ray Vaughan kind of sparked my interest in the electric guitar many years ago. Their music is not only very nuanced and technically advanced, but very friendly on the ears to most listeners. Whereas players like Guthrie Govan, Allan Holdsworth, Shawn Lane, and in a broader scheme, ANY jazz or jazz fusion player are more esoteric; likely to thwart you from listening.

Some great youtubers for learning: Music Is Win, Rob Chapman, Adam Neely, Rick Graham (easily one of the greatest players alive, and certainly on youtube), Chris Zoupa, and I can’t really think of others atm. Hope that helps!


Cheap shitty acoustic to start with. Buy steel string rather than nylon. Doesn’t really matter what kind.


I’ve actually just bought a sexy as fuck new guitar.

1995 Gibson Les Paul Standard. It’s purple. I love it so much.

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Niceee! Standard pick up?

Aye, 490/498.

My favourite of the Gibson pup combos; loads better than the burstbuckers they put in these days. I’ll never modify a thing on it. I play it through an old valved Marshall. Gibson guitar + Marshall tube amp = sexy business.

I will add that modern Gibsons get a load of smack talked about them with no one really being too keen, but I’ve a 2014 Hummingbird Rosewood that is absolutely the most beautiful acoustic in the world. The guitarist in the band I’m in also has a modern ES-335 which is just incredible.

But I’m glad I scooped up a mid-90s LP. Wouldn’t be buying one of the new ones.

EDIT: although I should probably mention that my mate switched out the 57 classics in his 335 for bare knuckle something or others.

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Edit, my above post was originally supposed to say nice :joy:

Nuts man, sounds like ear porn

Anyone I know with les Pauls plays in rock bands. I personally say they all want to sound like slash hence the pickup mod comment but I 100% with you. Marshall is the way to go.

My prized possession is a collings cj35. Picked it up for $500

Man, it’s always been Les Pauls for me. 80% of the guitar music I listen to was made on one. Do have a soft spot for telecasters though.

No shit? That’s a find! You could sell it for like 3 grand.

I had three guitars: Takamine, American Strat, Les Paul.

I then found out I have no rythm and am tone deaf. So sold all of them and now I just play rockband with my nephew twice a year.


Yeah it was at a deceased estate auction and they obviously hadn’t done any research, I was very hush hush about it, the auctioneer said they thought the main worth out if it was the case. A very big win

3 absolutely stunning guitars, but if it’s not for you then you’re better off with the cash I suppose.

A very big win indeed! That’s a once in a thousand lifetimes type of win.

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Thanks for all the input y’all. My buddy lent me one of his guitars (acoustic I think) tonight. I just learned 2 basic Blues chords and was practicing switching back and forth between them.

I know absolutely nothing about music. I listen to loads of '60s and '70s rock with a few '80s bands mixed in. The ultimate goal is to be able to play a few Zep and Stones songs. I love Santana and Jimi Hendrix but I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to be anywhere near skilled enough to even touch what they can do.

Are there any good books or online resources that you guys know of that I can use to teach myself with? I have a few piano theory books because my mom teaches piano (she’ll teach me soon), but is there a guitar equivalent? Is there guitar theory? Tonight I was just using YouTube and it was pretty nice, but I don’t want to miss out on anything that could help.

Thanks again guys. My hands are small and thick and my whole life I’ve been using them to squeeze baseballs, footballs, barbells, and shot puts, so it’s a little tricky trying to extend my fingers in opposite directions right now lol! I hope that with time, my hands will learn to flow like a real musician’s. Thank you all for your advice and funny comments

I’m not too sure if it will be a good thing for a beginner but I find “ultimate guitar” as a great website and app to have. Pretty much the biggest library of songs to learn, has chord diagrams and heaps of tabs, I’m sure it has a basic “learn to play” section and it always features different bands and artists. It had blues month a few months ago which was cool to hear old story’s and what not
Maybe give that a download and sign up for the 7 day free trial (it’s free but the paid section allows heaps more access)
That and watch heaps of YouTube videos on how to play blues
I’m more a fingerpicker and folk so the different styles are pretty contrasting

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songsterr is really good for tutorials if you can read tabs, has interactive tabs too. I learn most of my heavy metal songs (on guitar) from songsterr.