You wake up one day, hear a song on the TV or YouTube and go, “Heck yeah! I wanna learn to play that on the guitar.” Well, that’s how it usually goes and I speak for myself too when I say that. I picked up a guitar so that I could learn to play some Deep Purple riffs. That was a decade ago, but now things are different.
With the convenience of YouTube and other platforms, learning a new skill has become easier than ever. So you’ve decided to pick up a guitar, you’re all set to give in the time every day to learn the instrument. But what remains is buying the guitar. Unlike a decade ago, there are many great-sounding guitars available in the market that won’t empty your wallets. In this article, I present you with some great options to begin learning the guitar. (Note: this article won’t feature any Enya guitar because I haven’t tested them.)
If you’re looking for a great-sounding pure acoustic guitar, then the Yamaha F310 is hard to beat at its price range. The guitar has a dreadnought body that provides it with a warm and full sound. The full-sized body also gives the guitar adequate volume for strumming. The F310 comes with a spruce top and a Rosewood fingerboard.
The back and sides of this guitar are made out of Meranti wood. If you’re a beginner, you must buy an instrument that’s affordable and at the same time, sounds good, plays good and inspires you to pick it up. If you’re only concerned with the sound, I strongly recommend this guitar because the F310 won’t disappoint you for what it’s worth. The market price for this guitar is around Rs 18,000.
The Mantra guitars are growing in popularity and there’s a reason behind it- the reassuring feeling while buying one. Designed in Nepal, Mantra Guitars have a wide range of options targeted at both beginners and intermediate players. Of all the Mantra guitars, Moksha might be the one you should buy. At an affordable price, you not only get a great-sounding guitar with quality parts but also an equalizer for plugging it into an amplifier.
What’s surprising is that for a guitar worth Rs 20,000, the Moksha comes with a solid spruce top giving it more resonance which gets better with time. The back and fretboard of this guitar are made out of rosewood. Generally, guitars with rosewood backs have scooped mid-range which can be a good thing for singer-songwriters. You also get lots of freebies like a capo, strings, a guitar strap, guitar picks, and a warranty of 1 year with the purchase of Mantra Moksha.
(Note: Grab one during festivals for a discounted price. You can always check the official Facebook page of Mantra Guitars to see if they have any offers running.)
The Fs100c can be a great option for younger players because the guitar has a relatively smaller body. If you’re more into fingerpicking, you might want to start with a guitar like this instead of a jumbo or dreadnought guitar like the F310. The spruce top on this guitar makes it sensitive to soft playing style- another reason to consider it for fingerpicking.
The guitar comes with a mahogany neck and rosewood bridge. The cutaway in the guitar (also present in Moksha) allows you to access the higher frets which can be great for soloing and improvising. The price for this guitar on the market is Rs 19,500.
Of all the guitars I’ve played, the Mantra Prakriti is the most forgiving on your fingers because of their relatively low action and smaller body size. The Prakriti is a fun traveling guitar that you can take anywhere with you. It’s small, light, comfortable, and at the same time, beautiful sounding.
The mahogany top gives it a balanced darker sound. Just like the Moksha, you get freebies like strings, capo, strap, and a 1-year warranty with the purchase of Prakriti. With a market price of Rs 10,500, it’s the most affordable guitar on the list.
Unlike other guitars on the list, the Yamaha C70 is a classical guitar. Although people don’t tend to buy a classical guitar as their first instrument, it can be a great option for you, especially if you’re into classical music, jazz, or even fingerstyle. Unlike steel-string guitars, classical guitars come with nylon strings which are easy on the fingers. Although you might need to stretch your fingers more with the Yamaha C70, you won’t needlessly mute the strings while learning chords- thanks to the adequate spacing on the fretboard. Generally, steel-string guitars are more versatile for playing different genres.
Having said that, the classical guitars have a mellow tone with a lot of warmth and depth making them beautiful instruments like the piano. The Yamaha C70 comes with a spruce top and Meranti (2-ply) on its back. The price for Yamaha C70 is around Rs 19,400 in the Nepali market.
At the end of the day, when you’re just learning an instrument, what you need is something that not only sounds good but also comfortable to play with. With that in mind, I recommend you to visit the stores and try these guitars yourself before buying.