There are a lot of things to consider when buying a steel stringed acoustic guitar. But what you should really look for—leaving aside all the little details that makes this a complex decision—is the instrument itself and the strings.
We are not going to get too specific with the strings in this post. Probably you don’t want to know the nitty-gritty specs of the string, just enough to make the right decision. And again, the guitar itself should be the focus here.
But, what acoustic guitar should you buy?
The reality is that no one but you should be able to choose the right acoustic guitar. But that doesn’t mean we can’t help you. So if you came here looking for a map, I’m sorry, we can’t help you with that. However, it’s far more interesting to provide you with a compass so you can decide for yourself. So first things first:
What kind of guitar player are you?
In the end, this is likely to be the most important question when buying an acoustic guitar. Do you play finger-style? Do you play chords to accompany singers? Deep down, these are two completely different situations that require different choices. For example, playing Bluegrass music requires an independent and characteristic sound that can “lead the way.” On the other hand, if you want to include the sound of an acoustic guitar in pop music, it just need to accompany the singer and the band.
Do you play alone? In a band?
This is critical when choosing a guitar. In simple words, if you want to play solo, you’ll look for a guitar that covers from the lowest frequencies to the higher ones. You’ll look for a guitar with a big body that allows to listen to the melody and at the same time leaving room for a very balanced sound. Guitars with bigger bodies are usually the Jumbo type, such as the Alhambra J-SSP Jumbo.
or 00 guitars (such as the Alhambra 00 acoustic guitar.)
And if you just don’t know, or you plan to do both, a great option is to go for a medium body guitar. Guitars such as the Alhambra A3 AB or the Raimundo MS801 CE will give you the versatility that both situations require. Here’s a video of Omid He-Jazzy, who wrote a similar post about this topic on Raimundo’s blog. (Link in Spanish.)
What guitar players do you admire?
I know it sounds simple, but knowing the kind of guitar your role models play—and the kind of guitar they use—would allow you to easily know what you need. In the end, you’re trying to do what they’re doing. Play what they play. So pick any guitar player you’d like to emulate:
What kind of guitar does he or she use?
What kind of strings?
How does he or she plays?
What’s the position of the right hand?
How does he or she pressure the strings?
We can come up with as many questions as there are guitar players. But, in the end, it depends on your particular style. Your needs. Your desires. But again, you’re the only one who gets to answer these questions. Nobody can answer them for you.
Either way, if you do have questions, please email us. Maybe we won’t be able to give you a map, but you can be certain that we’ll provide you the right questions to answer.
PS. At guitarfromspain.com you can find premium steel-stringed acoustic guitars, handcrafted using the techniques and craftsmanship of primo Spanish luthiers. With unique features such as the “Spanish Heel.” These guitars have been crafted using only the finest woods. They are available in different sizes and formats: jumbo guitars, dreadnought guitars or auditorium guitars; full-body or cutaway body. For the same price as a mass produced guitar made in Asia, you will be able to pick up unique acoustic guitar made in Spain with passion, patience and love.