At a basic level, all three guitar types (acoustic, classic, electric) require the same playing technique, which means all are equally good for learning basic guitar. However, particular music styles are better played on each of the types, so if you know what kind of music you would like to play, and don’t already own a guitar, it is better to purchase the right sort of instrument from the very beginning. For example, an electric bass is more suitable for playing pop, heavy metal, rock, jazz, country, reggae, gospel, and blues.

What to look out for

Whether you go electric or acoustic depends on various other factors, among which the playing style you prefer. So, if you like finger-picking, classical guitars should be your first choice. To the contrary, if you enjoy more playing with a pick, then consider an electric or a steel string.

An electric bass guitar is typically more expensive than acoustic and classical guitars, mainly because of the extra cost of the amplifier; on average, the price range for an electric guitar is $500-$1000. Nonetheless, if you have the time and knowledge, a more affordable option may be to purchase a used guitar in decent condition, but this option is worth it only as long as the instrument is not damaged or of very poor quality. Make sure to compare the price of the used guitar against the cost of a new one (the exact same model) at a different store before buying it, though.

Regardless if you buy the guitar new or used, check that it is set up properly; in other words, there is no buzzing sound when you play the frets of each string. Moreover, make sure the guitar is the right size and shape for your fingers and body, and that you can hold and play it comfortably both while standing and sitting (both are acceptable with bass guitars, although most often you will play standing rather than sitting).

To perform live before an audience, you will need an amplifier, a speaker and a cord; you can buy these separately or they can come with the guitar as part of a starter kit; you can compare offers on websites like As a general rule, the larger the venue where you will be playing, the more powerful the amplifier should be. Note that the bass guitar amplifier is somewhat different from a regular amp, since it must be able to reproduce low-frequency sounds at high power levels; among other things, this means it will require larger loudspeakers.