Picking an Acoustic Guitar to Play Rock Guitar
If you decided to play rock guitar on an acoustic guitar as well I will give you a five things to look out for in an acoustic.
You should pick based on this order:
Price range for the guitar:
The price range I would recommend for a first acoustic guitar is between $200 and $350. A guitar below $100 will not be good quality at all. Between $100 and 200 it may not be great. What you want is a guitar that will stay in tune and not warp or bend easily. Paying over $200 will get you a descent quality guitar that will stay in tune and last you a few years. There is no need to pay over $350 for your first acoustic guitar. Many guitarists in fact never own an acoustic worth more than that.
Type of acoustic:
I would recommend getting a steel strung guitar unless of course you want the sound of nylon strings. Nylon strung guitars need to be handled carefully as they are quite easy to damage. The strings need to be changed carefully and regularly and have a very soft tone for rock. Steel strung guitar are a bit more robust. Also the steel strings suits the sound of rock better for those who want to play rock guitar. They can give a soft or hard sound depending on the pick attack or playing.
Quality of guitar hardware:
There are a few more things to the quality than the price. Get a guitar with good hardware, easiest thing to check is the machine heads.
If you look at the top of the neck at the back of the guitar headstock where the tuning pegs are, you want to see individual enclosed machine heads. You don’t want to see any cogs. I take this as good sign of quality in an acoustic guitar. Enclosed machine heads last longer and are self-lubricating inside as well.
You can get acoustic guitars with electro pickups now. This not necessary but gives you more versatility, you can feed your acoustic guitar through an amplifier and effect pedals to give you more variety and sounds to play rock guitar.
Usually if they have pickups they have built in tuners as well which I am a big fan of. Not being able to tune the guitar is one of the biggest things that stop people learning and playing a guitar so an electronic built in tuner takes care of this. Or else just buy a hand held tuner along with your guitar.
Sound and tone of guitar:
Sound is down to the size and the wood. Bigger bodied guitars are louder than smaller bodied acoustic, but smaller acoustic can be easier to handle. The wood can determine the sound. Once you are an experienced guitarist you might start picking the type of wood to get a certain acoustic attribute or sound but as a beginner I wouldn’t worry about this at the moment. I know when I had a $150 guitar and then bought one for $350 you could immediately hear the difference it made when plucked. The $350 guitar had a rich, fuller sound with beautiful bass tones.
Style of acoustic guitar:
Style is down to you and really is the last thing to consider. What colour, shape, style, single or double cut away doesn’t really matter, it is what you like. You can get different size bodies on the guitar. A smaller body will not be as loud as a bigger bodied guitar. Some people think that a smaller body guitar is easier to play, but if you are of average size then it really doesn’t make a difference. I would stay away from the jumbo sized guitar; they are more associated with mariachi or country music.
You can get a guitar with no sound hole in the body, they look very nice but acoustically these will not be as loud as a guitar with a sound hole and you would really need the built in pickup in this case. But be aware that some of these lower priced guitars are more looks than quality especially if you never heard of the brand.
Take a look around and see what you acoustic guitar like the look of but stick to the guidelines above.
Summary for picking an acoustic guitar to play rock guitar:
1. Price. $200 to 350.
2. Type. Steel strung guitar.
3. Quality. Check hardware especially machine heads.
4. Sound. Stick to price range in number 1 and it will be good.
5. Style. Your choice.
Once you have an acoustic guitar here is an acoustic rock guitar lesson to get you started playing rock guitar.