Marty Schwartz of GuitarJamz and Youtube guitar instructor extraordinaire just put out a list of excellent tips on guitar equipment. Check em out-
Okay, I’m going to boil this down for you because this
is obviously a potentially huge topic that we could
discuss at length.
First things first: I realize that cost is an issue
for almost all of us.
But before I tell you, let me just say that equipment
is not something to obsess about if you’re just
The important thing is to play and get going.
Why do I say that?
Simple. Guitars made with cheap materials fall out of
tune more easily.
All right, so here is what I consider to be the
“ultimate” combination of quality and price . . .
In my opinion, the best guitar to learn on for the
money is a Mexican-made Fender Stratocaster.
You’re getting the best of both worlds here . . .
You’re getting the quality of a Strat — because the
quality of a Mexican Strat is generally similar to
American Strats — and you’re saving a lot of money.
I’ve seen used models for as low as $200. That’s a
HUGE savings over what you’d pay for the American
To find a used one, you can cruise all the usual
places: eBay, Craigslist, classifieds, etc.
My favorite acoustic guitars are Martin but they are
One of the most important features you want to
consider is a guitar’s “action.”
Action broadly refers to string height. In other
words, the closer the strings are to the top of the
frets, the better the “action.” This is known as “low
action.” Low action also gives you less “fret buzz.”
Make sure the guitar neck fits your hand nicely and
doesn’t feel as thick as a telephone pole. Also
consider the width of the neck (the fretboard), the
fret size (medium, jumbo) and the “straightness” of
the neck. (A properly set-up neck will be
ever-so-slightly bowed in, or concave, not completely
A lot of this is subjective, of course, and will
depend on the size of your hands and fingers. If this
is all Greek to you, then don’t sweat it. Just hold
the guitar in your hands and make sure it feels
Do yourself a favor by starting out w .009 gauge
strings. These are the thinnest gauge and easier to
mash down, causing the least finger-tip pain and wear
and tear. You can always go up to 10 or 11 gauge
strings later once you’re ready.
You’d be surprised how many people have given up
guitar simply because the strings were so far off the
fretboard and the action was horrible.
Make sure your tuners are good enough that the guitar
won’t be going out of tune every 15 minutes of playing!
A lot of guitarists get excited by a big amp . . .
until they have to lug it around! That’s why a combo
amp is good choice. Everything you need is built into
a more manageable size.
If you’re going to be getting gigs, then the amp I
recommend is the Fender Blues Hot Rod Deluxe series.
It has a high quality with the advantage of a more
reasonable price. And because it has vacuum tubes, it
will give you a nice, warm, bluesy sound.
And it’s plenty loud enough to play in any band
Most of all, keep playing!
Want more tips from Marty especially when it comes to playing the blues AND get free jam tracks to practice over? Click below for more great info