Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Advice to parents buying a guitar for their child

My tips for parents buying a first guitar for their child:

  • If the kid wants an electric guitar, don't get him/her an acoustic guitar as a "starter" guitar -- with the notion that if she/he keeps going with the acoustic, you can "upgrade" to an electric later. The difference between electric and acoustic guitars is like the difference between a synthesizer and a piano: they're too different to be satisfactory. The electric guitar, plus amplifier, will be a bit more expensive -- but you're also more likely to get most of your money back if you sell it used, if the kid stops playing it.
  • Getting an amplifier with a speaker that's too small (less than four inches in diameter?) will produce a tinny sound. Playing guitar with a crummy sound **really** poisons the experience -- which makes it less likely that your kid will actually play the guitar. And you'll get most of your money back if you end up selling a "decent" speaker. (Workaround: If you or the kid is at all handy -- use a garage-sale stereo speaker as "the speaker" -- wire it into the teeny guitar amp you bought, and disable the built-in speaker.)
  • And, if your kid wants to play an acoustic guitar, please get the type of acoustic guitar -- nylon-string or steel-string -- that suits the type of music that your kid wants to play. Nylon-string is good for classical music and flaminco-style. All the other styles (folk, campfire songs, folk-rock, pop, rock) really do sound better with steel-string guitars. Yeah, the steel-strings cost a little more: but again, the guitar won't sound right.


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At March 30, 2011 9:29 AM, Anonymous bierhoernchen said...

Good advice!

Likewise with fly-fishing equipment. You don't need high-end stuff, but if you get the discount store starter pack for $60, it can be a pretty unsatisfying and frustrating experience. Also, there is very little resale value.

At March 30, 2011 11:04 PM, Blogger Gye Greene said...

Good point! Yeah, would cross-apply to lotsa hobbies.

The Girl still asks about going fishing: I keep telling her to ask Grandpa or Uncle B.


At April 02, 2011 3:02 PM, Anonymous bierhoernchen said...

Any time you guys are in the states, I'd be glad to take the girl! (I'd take her where you are, but I haven't the faintest clue what I would do down there!)

At April 02, 2011 11:12 PM, Blogger Gye Greene said...

Fishing: Neat-o; thx! :)



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