Guitar buying guide
Looking for a new guitar? Whether you're just starting out, or buying for a child, we'll help you choose the right size and style.Shop all guitars
Types of guitar
Start by considering what type of guitar you want to play. Here's an overview of the three mains types available.
Compared to guitars, a bass guitar has a much lower pitch, and is used to help provide the rhythm and set the base notes of a harmony. They typically have 4 strings and, like an electric guitar, they need to be plugged into an amplifier.
Parts of a guitar
You might come across a few unfamiliar terms when researching your new guitar - here's an overview of the key parts and where you'll find them on an acoustic and electric guitar.
At this end you can control the pitch of each string on your guitar.
1) Tuners/tuning pegs: By turning the tuners you can loosen or tighten the strings, which will change the pitch. This is how you'll tune your guitar.
2) Nut: The strings pass through the nut, which keeps each one correctly aligned.
In this middle section you'll control the notes that you play.
3) Fretboard: This is a piece of wood runs the full length of the neck, sitting under the strings. Embedded in the fretboard are the frets and markers.
4) Fret: These are the metal strips that divide the fretboard. Acoustic guitars typically have 19 while electric and bass guitars can have up to 24. Pressing the string between these frets as you strum will change the note you play.
5) Position markers: These 'dots' act as a visual aid to help you find the right fret.
On an acoustic guitar the body is hollow, while it can be hollow or solid on an electric guitar. The size, material and shape of the body will affect the sound the guitar makes.
6) Sound hole: This opening is found on acoustic guitars and it helps to project the sound (meaning you don't need an amp to play).
7) Pickguard: This piece of material (usually plastic) helps protect the finish of the guitar from getting scratched as you play.
8) Pickups: This device converts the vibrations from the strings of an electric or bass guitar into the electrical signal that then plays out of your amplifier.
9) Volume & tone controls: Play around with these to change the sound of your electric or bass guitar.
10) Bridge: This holds up the strings over the guitar body to help amplify the sound. On some electric guitars these can be adjusted to suit your playing style.
Guitars for beginners
Guitars for kids
To get the most out of your new guitar, consider these extra accessories.