Here are my recommended steps for getting started with lessons.

First Step:  Contact me

This will give me opportunity to better understand you or your student’s goals and interests regarding lessons.  We can
also talk about scheduling. I will also be able answer any questions you might have regarding lessons.

Next Step: Purchase a guitar and accessories for lessons.

Let me help you with the following questions that come up during your search for a guitar or bass:

  • What size instrument will work best for my learning needs?
  • Should I purchase an electric or acoustic guitar?
  • What is a reasonable price range for a beginning instrument?
  • What additional accessories do I need to purchase for lessons?

Guitar Size

Over the years I’ve found that the following guitar sizes work well for these age groups:

  • Half-Sized Acoustic/Electric – Students Ages 6-7
  • 3/4 Sized Acoustic/Electric –  Students ages 7-12
  • Full-Sized Acoustic/Electric – Students ages 12 – Adult.

I would recommend trying out several guitars at a local music store to see which instruments feel the most comfortable to hold and play.

Should I purchase an electric or acoustic guitar?  Answering these 3 questions will help:

  • Intuitive Feel of the instrument – Which instrument type feels most comfortable to hold and play? The best way to answer this question is to try playing several different electric and acoustic guitars at your local music store.  
  • Stylistic interests – Which instrument represents the students music interests?  An electric guitar will be a better fit for a student interested in learning Rock guitar.  Student’s interested in folk or country would be better served with an acoustic.  
  • Amplification:  If you purchase an electric guitar you will need some form of amplification.  You can find a new/used amplifier between $60-$100.

Price Range: What is reasonable?

The price range for a beginner level guitar falls generally between $100 – $350.  From my experience students have a harder time learning to play if their instrument is poorly constructed or not set up properly.  So, it’s important to find a guitar that is in good playing condition (the guitar stays in tune, the neck is straight, and it is not hard to play notes on the fretboard).  As a parent myself, I think it’s realistic for parents to invest cautiously and start with an entry level guitar.  Especially if a student has yet to demonstrate their commitment to practicing and responsibility taking care of their instrument.  The retail markup of instruments is roughly 50% so it is possible to save money by purchasing a used instrument.

Recommended Instruments

Here are several guitars that I would recommend as a beginning instrument according to 3 general price categories.  This is certainly not an exhaustive list.  Feel free to contact me if you would like feedback on an instrument that didn’t make it on the list.  I can give you more specific feedback if you email/text me pictures and the general information on the instrument you are considering.

Acoustic Guitar Starter Kits

Many manufacturers sell guitar kids that contain the instrument plus all needed accessories.  Here are two that I would recommend:

Ibanez IJV50 Jam Pack Quick Start Acoustic Guitar Package
Yamaha GigMaker Acoustic Guitar Pack 

Acoustic Guitars 

Economy – $100 – $150

Mid-Price $150 – $200

Upper End $200 – $350

Yamaha FG JR (3/4 Size Guitar)
Yamaha CGS Student Classical Guitar (1/2 Sized)
Epiphone PR-150 Acoustic Guitar
Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Guitar
Yamaha F335 Acoustic Guitar Natural
 
Baby Taylor (3/4 Size)
Martin x Series LX Little Martin Acoustic Guitar
Takamine G Series NEX Acoustic Guitar Gloss Natural

Electric Guitar Starter Kits

These kits usually contain a guitar, amplifier, and all the accessories needed to get started.  Convenience and cost are two benefits with purchasing a starter kit. The potential downside of a starter kit is that sometimes the quality of the instrument, amplifier, and accessories are diminished. I picked these three kits because I believe they are decent in quality and usually set up well for beginning students.

Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack Ebony
Ibanez GRGM21M miKro Series Electric Guitar Starter Kit
Squier Strat Pack SSS – Brown Sunburst

Electric Guitars

Economy $100 – $150

Mid-Price $150 – $200

Upper End $200 – $350

Fender Mini-Strat (3/4 sized)
Epiphone Les Paul Special II Guitar, Vintage Burst
Laguna LE50 Short-Scale Electric Guitar, Black Satin Finish (3/4 Size)
Fender Bullet Stratocaster HSS Electric Guitar, 2-Tone Sunburst
Epiphone SG Special Electric Guitar, Cherry
Fender Squier Affinity Series Special Edition Telecaster Electric Guitar – Butterscotch Blonde
ESP Ltd M10 Electric Guitar with Gig Bag
Schecter Omen-6 24-Fret Electric Guitar, Walnut Stain
Ibanez GRG121DX Electric Guitar, Metallic Gray Sunburst
Epiphone Les Paul LP-100 Electric Guitar, Heritage Cherry Sunburst

Electric Guitar Amplifier Options (you can save money if you purchase this used)

Blackstar LT-ECHO 10 – 10-watt 2×3″ Combo Amp with FX
Acoustic Lead Guitar Series G10 10W 1×8 Guitar Combo Amp

Electric Bass Starter Kits

Ibanez IJXB150B Jumpstart Bass Pack – Black
Squier PJ Bass Pack – Brown Sunburst

Electric Bass Options

Economy $100 – $150

Mid-Price $150 – $200

Upper End $200 – $399

Squier Affinity Series Bronco Bass 3/4 size Black
Dean Edge 09 4-String Electric Bass Guitar Satin Natural
Ibanez GSRM20 miKro Bass (3/4 size)
Squier Affinity J Bass Electric Guitar Brown Sunburst
Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass  3-Color Sunburst
 Ibanez GSR200SM 4-String Electric Bass

 Electric Bass Amplifiers

Hartke HD15 1×6.5″ 15-Watt Bass Combo (1×6.5 15-watt Bass Combo) Guitar Amp
Blackstar FLY3BASS Mini Guitar Amplifier – 3W – Black
Acoustic B15 15W Bass Combo Amp Black

Additional Accessories:

Guitar Strap
Cable (for electric guitar only)
Guitar Tuner
Guitar Case or Gig Bag
Guitar Picks

Recommended Reading/Research:

Rob Beck, editor of Beginner Guitar HQ, recently shared some of his recent articles with me on how to go about choosing a guitar, bass, and amplifiers.  He does a wonderful job breaking down all of the factors that need to be considered when choosing an instrument for the first time.  These articles provide a great deal of depth and insight that will definitely boost your confidence when talking to sales staff at any local music store.

How to Choose the Best Guitar, 15 Factors to Consider According to Science
How to Choose a Bass Guitar – 12 Factors to Consider According to Science

Best Guitar Amp

Please contact me if you have further questions.  I’m happy to help!