Which Guitar Type is Right For You

 A Beginner's Guide to Choosing the Right Electric Guitar


A Walk Down Memory Lane


Nearly two decades ago, my journey as a guitar enthusiast began. The Internet was still evolving, and YouTube was not a thing. The dilemma of choosing the right electric guitar felt like navigating a maze without a map. With the absence of platforms like YouTube, I had to rely on trial and error, taking years to determine which guitar suited my style of playing best.


Today, I'm offering a guide I wish existed back in my early guitar days. While this post isn't sponsored by any brands, I've linked some of my favorites  for you to explore. If you find this guide valuable, consider subscribing for more content like this.


Diving into Electric Guitar Body Styles

When we talk about electric guitars, body style plays an integral role in the instrument's sound and feel. When it comes to body styles there are three main types. Here’s a brief overview:

1. First, you have the most common, the solid body electric guitar. As the name suggests, these guitars have a solid body. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and wood types.

2. The second most common style is the semi-hollow body guitars. A semi hallow guitar is a hybrid between solid and hollow bodies. It features a solid wood block in the center with hollow chambers on either side.  

3. Last, you have the hollow body guitars. Entirely hollow, these guitars resonate like acoustic ones. They're known for a warm, loud, resonant, and wooden sound. Perfect for jazz, but watch out for feedback when playing them loudly through an amplifier. 


Understanding Scale Length

Scale length describes the distance between the saddles on the bridge to the nut at the neck's end. Brands like Fender and Gibson differ in their scale lengths, affecting playability. Fenders generally have longer scale lengths (25 1/2 “), resulting in more string tension, which means it takes more force to stretch or bend a note on them. Fenders also have more space between the frets. Gibsons scale lengths (24 3/4”) are shorter, have less string tension and tend to be easier for some to play. With Gibsons, its a little bit easier to bend or fret a note. If speed is the name of the game, or you have smaller hands you may want to go with something like a Gibson. If you have larger hands and tend to play heavier, you may want to look at a Fender. It is an important decision, but at the end of the day it shouldn’t make or break your decision.


The Impact of Pickups on Sound 

Pickups significantly determine an electric guitar's voice. Here's a breakdown:

The first main type of pickups is called a single coil pickup. The name single coil refers to the construction of the pickup. You have six individual magnets that are wound with copper wire thousands of times. It is called a single coil because it is only one coil of wire. When found in Stratocasters, they offer a distinct, punchy sound. With traditional Stratocaster's layout you have three single coil pickups and a five way switch. If you are interested in what the different positions on the Stratocaster sound like, you can find that here. Telecasters are another really popular type if single coil guitar, however the sound is a bit different due to construction differences. Telecasters are wound differently, they only have two pickups and a three way switch. If you want to hear what the different positions on the telecaster sound like, you can find that here.

P90’s are another type of single coil pickup. They look much different than what you find on a Stratocaster or a telecaster, and as a result, they sound quite different too. Generally, P90 single coils have a little more output, meaning they are louder than something you would get from a stratocaster or telecaster. They are beefier but they are not as mid range or beefy as a humbucker. In terms of sound, P90’s sit between a strat and a humbucker.

  Humbuckers are the last type of pickup we are going to discuss. These are essentially two single coil pickups stuck together and then wired together to eliminate that 60 cycle hum that comes from a single coil pickup.The PAF (patent applied for) humbucker is possibly the most iconic rock pickup of all time. They have the most mid-range punch and gain of the pickups discussed so far, which makes them perfect for rock music.


A Guitar is More Than Just Sound

Remember, there are no rules that bind a specific guitar to a genre. While some guitarists might be synonymous with certain sounds, like Jimmy Page with a Les Paul or Stevie Ray Vaughan with a Strat, the sound is just one aspect of the equation. It is important to factor in the feel, comfort, aesthetics, and playability because they are equally vital to picking the right guitar for you. The more you play the more you will be tuned into the guitar that suites your playing best. On thing it wish I would have known when I was younger, the guitar that makes you the most excited to pickup and play is the one you should get.

Buying a guitar that excites you, that you can't walk past without strumming, will inspire you to play more. As a beginner the best thing you can do is to pick up a guitar and play, so having a guitar that excites you is going to allow you to do that more. Which in turn is going to help you improve as a guitar player because you will be putting it the reps. Experiment, try different guitars, and find what resonates with you. Remember that the perfect guitar type is subjective, and that’s ok.


In Conclusion

Finding the perfect guitar is a journey. Don’t be restricted by brands or body types. Explore, experiment, and discover what you love. If you're interested in exploring some of the guitars mentioned, check out the links below. Remember to subscribe for more insights and guides. Happy hunting!

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