The guitar is one of the most popular instruments, and for good reason. Whether acoustic around the campfire, rocking out in a band, or accompanying your self-written songs—hardly any instrument is as versatile as the guitar. Guitarists are in demand and yet it can be difficult to find the best guitarist for your band, project, or as an accompaniment. Here on mukken you can find a lot of talented guitarists in your area:
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Are you looking for a guitarist? We offer a variety of products and tools to help you find the right guitarist. Keep reading to learn interesting things about the guitar as an instrument, e.g. how to learn to play the guitar, what the best guitar is, or what you can earn as a guitarist.
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Important facts and questions
In principle, anyone can learn to play the guitar. Nevertheless, certain basic requirements are useful to make your practice easier. For one, you should have good coordination as your hands need to be doing different things at the same time. Exercising your fingers can actually help to make certain grips easier to grasp as well. Basic knowledge of both music theory and the structure of your instrument are beneficial, too.
Being able to read sheet music is also a plus, but not entirely necessary as you can also read what are called “tabs.” You should also be able to tune your guitar, have a certain feeling for sounds and rhythm, recognize and create the dynamics of a song, and play together with other musicians. By the way, we have got great posts over on the blog about starting out with the guitar, and also about the best guitar-learning apps.
You don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money for a great guitar—especially as a beginner. There are affordable models that are ideal for starting out. The relatively soft strings of a concert guitar make it our recommendation for beginners. A good starting concert guitar is the Yamaha CX 40 acoustic concert guitar. If you are looking for a good cheap option, check out theClifton concert guitar set.
You should also pay attention to the size of children learners, as there are special, smaller guitars from ⅛ to ⅞ for them. Western guitars are also a good place to start, especially if you want to move into that genre of music.
In the beginning, however, you should opt for a 6-string western guitar (there are also western guitars with 12 strings), such as the Yamaha F310. Of course there are also electric guitars for beginners, but we would always advise you to master the acoustic guitar first. That being said, a fairly cheap but quality electric guitar to start with is the Fender Squier Bullet Stratocaster HSS.
There are special guitar sizes for children. As the child grows, a larger guitar is also needed until they’ve grown-into the standard 4/4 guitar.
Therefore, we recommend not spending too much money on a children's guitar. Instead, it might be a good idea to rent different, suitable guitars from the music school where the child learns to play, for example. A ⅛ guitar is recommended for learners up to a height of 1.10 m, followed by a ¼ guitar for those up to a height of 1.30 m. Children from 1.20 m to 1.40 m can play a ½ guitar, and those from 1.30 to 1.50 should use a ¾ guitar. If the child is 1.40 m to 1.60 m, they can already play a ⅞ guitar, and finally at 1.60 m the full-size 4/4 guitar can be played.
We would also recommend a concert guitar, since the nylon strings are gentler on children's hands than the steel strings of a western guitar, for example.
Which guitar suits you depends on various criteria. First and foremost: Which genre do you want to play? Virtuoso on the concert guitar? An acoustic accompaniment a to a singer-songwriter? Or perhaps rocking out in a band?
These are all criteria that will determine which guitar suits you best. Do you want to create smooth sounds, play strong riffs, or maybe even need something more than the standard? You should also be honest with yourself: If you are still a beginner, investing in an expensive guitar is not as worthwhile as it is for someone who is more advanced. Have you already mastered the guitar? Then of course it's worth spending a little more on your instrument. Ultimately only you can decide which guitar it will be. That's why you should go to a specialty store and try out and play different guitars. Choose the one that feels right.
There are many stores where you can buy guitars. You should definitely make sure to go to a specialist shop with good advice. The best-known places to go for a new guitar are Music Store and Thomann.
That being said, local guitar shops are often a great place to find a new guitar and sometimes surprise you with real specialties and unique pieces. Of course you can also buy your guitar online, but we would not advise you to do so - unless you are an advanced player, or have already used the particular model of guitar in-person.
The structure of the guitar is always similar. Extending from the hollow body is the guitar neck with the fingerboard, and above that is the head. The strings, usually of six different thicknesses, are stretched from the bridge to the head.
TThe bridge is located on the bottom of the body of the guitar, and above it is the sound hole. On the fingerboard there are also thin strips of metal called “frets.” The point between the neck and the head is called the saddle, and on the head are the tuning pegs.
If you want to buy a tuner, you are spoiled for choice. There is now a huge selection of different tuners. In principle, a distinction is made between clip-on tuners (specifically for stringed instruments) and chromatic tuners. The whole thing doesn't diminish your choice as a guitarist.
A popular clip-on tuner is the Korg pitch clip. But the Martisan by Neumaor the Belfort TuneMaxare also good choices. For the chromatic tuners, we recommend the Korg TM-60or the Korg GA-2.
When to change your guitar strings depends on how often you play. If your guitar is used daily, it’s due for new strings after three months at the latest. The strings should usually last about two months.
You can also extend the life of your strings by taking care of them properly. To do this, wipe them regularly with a cotton cloth. If you are not sure whether your strings are ready to be changed, just listen carefully. Do the strings sound dull? Then it's time for new ones! Is it difficult to tune, and do the strings get out of tune very quickly? You guessed it: Time for new strings!
Lastly, pay attention to what they look like—if the strings are rusty or extra stiff, they should be replaced. Also, if you change one string, change all the strings, even if they don’t all 'need it equally.' By the way: In this blog article we will tell you which strings are best for your electric guitar.
A guitar doesn’t often require refretting. However, sometimes the frets can become so worn that the strings start making a rattling noise, or you can't grip and play properly. Then it's time to get the guitar refretted.
This usually only happens if you've gotten your hands on an old treasure, or a vintage guitar. Your new guitar should last quite a while without refretting. You can have your guitar refretted by a guitar manufacturer of your choice.
Tuning the guitar down just generally gives you more range. In addition, many chords sound fuller and stronger. Whether you choose to tune your guitar down is simply a matter of style and taste. Of course, it also depends on whether you play in a band or use your guitar for other projects.
The task of a guitarist can vary. In a rock band, for example, they are among the most important instruments and give the songs their unmistakable style.
Mostly electric guitars with a strong sound and riffs are used. As a guitarist, you can really be the center of attention here when it comes to playing solos. In other bands, for example a pop or folk band, the guitar becomes more of an accompaniment, but it is no less important. Sometimes there are even two guitarists in a band who complement each other.
You can buy guitar sheet music in stores, online, or in apps. There are plenty sources for sheet music and tabs these days. In classical music stores you will find many sheet music books for various genres.
You can find just about everything online, and apps usually have up-to-date sheet music and tabs. We can recommend the Music Store and Thomann, but of course it’s great to support local retailers and shops. When it comes to online sources, there’s Ultimate Guitar or Guitar Pro Tabs. Songsterr is also a popular place to look for sheet music.
The most obvious difference between guitar and bass is the number of strings. While a bass has only four strings, the guitar has six or sometimes more.
In addition, the bass sounds much darker, softer, and fuller than a guitar overall. In a band, the bass is fundamental and often provides the rhythm along with the drums, while the guitar—particularly the lead guitar—gives character to the melodies and solos.
Of course you can earn money as a guitarist. Whether as a guitarist in a band, an orchestra, a backing band, or as a studio musician or guitar teacher, there’s no shortage of options.
But please note: The profession of guitarist is not a protected profession, i.e. anyone can call themselves a "professional guitarist" and does not have to have any relevant training or studies. Many people know that, which means being successful in the long run will require impressive performances.
The same applies here as with all music professions: the range of how much you can earn is large! Anything is possible. Guitar-playing could be your side-hustle, or your primary source of income.
It all depends on what you do with your guitar. Are you playing street music, working as a guitar teacher, playing in the studio, or touring with a band? We can't give you a number, but we can tell you for sure: Yes, you can make a living as a guitarist.
Of course, the answer to this is always a matter of opinion, but there are some who are known to be (or were) virtuoso guitarists:
- Jimi Hendrix
- Frank Zappa
- David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
- Les Paul
- Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
- Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)
- B.B. King
- Chuck Berry
- Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
- Eric Clapton
- John Mayer
- Slash (Guns’n’Roses)
- Carlos Santana
- Angus Young (AC/DC)
- Brian May (Queen)
- Keith Richards (Rolling Stones)
- George Harrison (The Beatles)
- Mateus Asato
- Ichika Nito
- Tim Henson
- Keith Urban