Choosing the ideal Beginners Guitar

Choosing the ideal Beginners Guitar

What makes a good first guitar?

Once you have decided to play the guitar the more difficult decision is often which type of guitar to buy. In this Guitar Blog we will look at some of the pros and cons to help you make the best choice for you.

Nylon Acoustic Guitar

Nylon vs Steel String Guitar

The Nylon String Classical Guitar is one of the most popular choices for a beginners guitar. The most significant

advantage is that nylon strings are soft and require less tension to reach correct tuning. Consequently this means the strength needed to play is reduced and to softer nature of the material causes less pain for the player. This is especially important for children, who need more time to develop strength and are more easily deterred by pain when playing.

Steel String Guitar Image

The neck on a classical guitar is also wider than a steel string guitar. While this can be a concern for people with

smaller hands, the advantage is that a little more space between strings makes it easier to place your fingers on one string without obstructing another string. This can be helpful when you are learning to play chords.
In addition, a drawback with nylon strings is that they are much more sensitive to heat. This causes the guitar to lose its tuning faster that steel strings. Fortunately, these days we have electronic tuners and smart phone apps that help you get your guitar back in tune quickly and easily.
The Steel String Acoustic Guitar rose to prominence early in the 20th century and in Australia is certainly still the

most popular style of guitar. The steel strings offer a brighter and louder sound than nylon. Therefore as steel strings need approximately double the tension to tune, the construction of steel string guitars differs greatly from nylon string guitars. This makes both styles of guitar unsuitable for switching strings.


Nylon String Classical guitars are generally available in four sizes. A full size classical guitar is considered to be 4/4, with sizes ¾, ½ and ¼ getting smaller by increment.

A general sizing guide for children would be:
¼ size – 3 to 5 years

½ size – 5 to 8 years

¾ size – 8 to 12 years

4/4 size 12 years and up

This is just a general guide. To make sure you purchase the correct size guitar for a child it is recommended you take the child to a music store to find the most suitable size.
Steel String Guitars also come in four basic sizes. Only, it is a little more complicated.
00 or Parlour size – The smallest steel string model, comfortable for smaller players. Smaller body results in lower volume and less bass frequencies.
000 or Grand Auditorium size – A little wider and deeper body size than the 00 gives the guitar a better high to low frequency balance and improved projection.
Dreadnought – As the name suggests, provides pronounced low frequencies and powerful projection. This is the most popular size of steel string guitar. The larger size can be a drawback for smaller players.
Jumbo – Similar in shape to the 000 only larger than the Dreadnought. It has a deep bass frequency and projection that you can feel in your chest as you play. As with the Dreadnought, the larger size can be uncomfortable for smaller players.

Beginner Guitar Brands

Once you have an idea of the type of beginners guitar you want you still need to find the right brand and price.

Here at Pats Music we have a range of instrument for the beginner through to the pro.
Our Guitar Shop sells Nylon String Classical Guitars from Valencia, Yamaha, Katoh, Ibanez & Alhambra.
The prices range from $75 for a ¼ size Valencia through to $1399 for Alhambra 4P professional guitar.
In our Steel String Acoustic range we have guitars from Yamaha, Fender, Sigma, Ibanez, Martin & Maton.
Entry level Steel String guitars start at $100 and can range up to $3500.
For more Guitar advice, why not stop by Pats Music Guitar Shop and talk to one of our in-house pro guitarists.