Buying your first guitar is a crucial step towards mastering the instrument but this can feel stressful to some. As a beginner guitar player, it’s easy to get carried away by the plethora of options available on the market and make less than ideal choices when it comes to purchasing the right guitar. When searching for your first guitar, you need to know the difference between different guitar models and how to assess their quality. Our step-by-step beginner’s guide is the best resource for new players who need some help in demystifying the incredible world of guitars! 

Step 1: Choose Your Guitar 

With countless models and types of guitars available for purchase, it can be overwhelming to filter it all down to the one instrument that you will enjoy playing. Choosing a beginner guitar can be an overwhelming task but if you narrow down your options according to your needs and preferences, you can make progress in finding the perfect instrument. 

Electric Vs Acoustic Guitars for Beginners 

The first choice you have to make is deciding whether you want to play an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. As a beginner, both are fair game but the choice largely boils down to your preferences and what kind of music you’d like to play. While acoustic guitars are excellent for country and pop music, electric guitars are essential if your goal is to play rock or jazz. If you’d like to read a more in-depth comparison between the two guitars, read our blog post on Acoustic Guitars Vs Electric Guitars.  

Types of Acoustic Guitars 

Acoustic guitars can be broadly classified into the following categories: steel stringed and nylon stringed guitars. Aside from this broad classification, they can also be classified into different models. The main types of steel stringed guitars include the Dreadnought guitar, the Orchestra Model guitar and the Parlor guitar, all of which are iconic in their own right. Nylon string guitars can further be classified into more types like the classical guitar and the flamenco guitar, both of which offer a more mellow sound. 

Types of Electric Guitars 

There are so many different types of electric guitars, each with its own quirks. The most popular of these are the telecaster and stratocaster guitars, two classic models that are both from Fender, each with its own unique pickup and distinct design. Another popular model is the Les Paul, a versatile guitar that can seamlessly play a wide range of genres from rock to R&B. Other models include the SG (Solid Guitar) and Offset guitars. The choice here depends on your preference of pickup, tone and design. 

Step 2: Quality Assessment 

Before you make your purchase, you need to assess the quality of the instrument. A high-end, well-made guitar can last a lifetime but there are lots of guitars at reasonable prices that will easily last for 10 to 30 years. Whether you have decided to purchase a new or used guitar, there are several pointers that you have to keep in mind in order to spot a quality guitar. Just because a guitar is new doesn’t mean that it is automatically better than an older one. An older, used guitar that has been well taken care of can outlast a new one that is poorly constructed. You should also remember that quality construction isn’t only about how long a guitar will last but also how good it sounds. 

How to Assess the Quality of an Acoustic Guitar Prior to Purchase 

One of the most important things you need to check is whether the guitar stays in tune. If a guitar does not stay in tune, it could be due to several reasons such as the string not being wound correctly, poor functioning of the tuners or issues related to the bridge or nut. A good guitar should be able to stay in tune. You should also look for proper alignment and clean joints. For example, the guitar neck should be straight and the joints must not have any gaps or messy gluing. A good acoustic guitar will also be made with high quality tonewoods like mahogany, spruce, rosewood, etc. 

How to Assess the Quality of an Electric Guitar Prior to Purchase 

When it comes to electric guitars, many of the same factors apply. You need to check if the guitar can stay in tune and check if all hardware components and electronics are in good condition. If you are buying a new electric guitar, you should also ensure that the construction and finish of the guitar are excellent. 

Step 3: Choose Your Guitar Accessories 

Guitar accessories is a very broad category that covers a lot of different things that have various uses for the guitar player. While some accessories are absolutely essential for playing your guitar, some others are good to have around in order to create a better experience. 

Acoustic Guitar Accessories 

Guitar Straps 

Guitar straps are an essential accessory if you plan to play your instrument standing up. Guitar straps are usually adjustable and there are plenty of options available in terms of material, pricing and design. From nylon to leather straps, there are tons of options that you can choose from. 

Guitar Picks 

Guitar picks come in a range of shapes and sizes. You’ll find everything from metal picks to wooden ones and each one will sound different. For beginners, we recommend sticking to the trusty old plastic picks. When choosing your pick, you’ll also have to consider the thickness; while thin picks are excellent for accentuating higher frequencies, thicker picks are generally great for bass guitars due to better control and are also good for producing louder sounds. 

Guitar Tuner 

There are a lot of different guitar tuners on the market. If you are looking for a portable and convenient option, we recommend getting a clip-on tuner that can be clipped onto the headstock. This is a great option for acoustic guitars. If you have an electric guitar, Pedal tuners are an excellent option. They come with digital screens, are highly accurate and also make it possible for you to tune silently with the help of the screen. You’ll also find other options like soundhole tuners for acoustic guitars. If you don’t have a high quality tuner with you, you can also make do with a tuner app on your smartphone.

Guitar Strings 

It's always a good idea to have backup guitar strings in the event of an emergency. Whether you use nylon, steel or brass, keeping an extra set can come in handy when your string breaks. 

Guitar Case 

If you plan to travel with your guitar, whether in a car or on a flight, a guitar case or bag is essential. Soft bags are adequate for short distance travel but if you are traveling long distances, we recommend hard cases that will offer more protection for your guitar. 

Electric Guitar Accessories 

Guitar Amps 

As a beginner electric guitar player, you don’t need to invest in a top-of-the-line amp. You will be able to get the most out of an affordable, easy to use amp that is lightweight and has a few interesting effects. 


For electric guitars, you will also need a cable to connect the guitar to the amp. The cable should be long enough to keep your guitar connected whether you are standing or sitting. 


If you want to practice your electric guitar discreetly, you can do so without any worries about disturbing others by connecting a pair of headphones to your amp. This will also enable you to hear your tones clearly. 


In addition to the accessories given above, electric guitars also require straps, picks, a tuner, a case and extra strings just like any other guitar. 

Step 4: Make Your Purchase 

Pricing is another factor that comes into play when deciding what to purchase. The truth is that you can get really high quality guitars for a good price. You don’t have to shell out thousands and thousands of dirhams to get a good instrument that meets your needs. What's more, as a beginner, your primary goal is to learn how to play. You can always upgrade your guitar later on. Now that you have an idea of what you need to look out for when guitar shopping, you are fully equipped to purchase your very first guitar, whether online or in store! 

About Blackbird Guitars 

Blackbird Guitars is an online guitar store in the UAE, catering to music enthusiasts who have a passion for well-made, unique guitars. Shop a range of models of electric and acoustic guitars including stratocasters, telecasters, Les Paul, dreadnoughts and more, exclusively available online. 

March 28, 2024 — Fadi Hijazi