Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best place to start, acoustic or electric guitar?
The acoustic guitar is a better teacher anyway for the simple reason that it is a more difficult instrument to play. Anyone who has switched from an acoustic folk guitar or classical guitar to an electric guitar or vice versa will confirm this conclusively. Due to the slightly wider neck and strings that feel harder, your fingers will get tired faster. This does not preclude that your choice of guitar type may also depend on your personal musical spheres of influence. If you really can't wait to conjure up cool riffs from metal bands or immediately steal the show with simple blues licks, then nothing stands in the way of suddenly choosing the slightly more expensive alternative.
What should I pay attention to when buying a guitar?
When purchasing a "steel string" acoustic guitar (so not a classical or Spanish guitar) with normal dimensions, as a beginner it is best not to dive below the target price of 120 euros. The simple reason is that this price will normally guarantee a guitar that detunes very quickly and will produce a sound that is rather disappointing compared to other guitars that have cost just a little more. Always try the guitar yourself first with, for example, a few chords, or have them tested by an experienced guitarist. Hold the guitar neck in front of your eye and see if it runs nicely straight from the bridge to the headstock. For example, guitars that have been exposed to extreme temperatures for a long time or have been poorly maintained can be slightly deformed and atrocious to play. Try the guitar for a few minutes and then check if it is still in tune. Never buy a guitar without playing it. The same goes for an electric guitar, but the target price for this is more difficult to determine. There are already beginner sets from 250 euros that include a small amplifier, guitar cable, guitar bag, pick and strap.
What kind of guitar pick is best to use?
Again, this is of course a matter of personal choice. If you are just starting to play guitar, I would advise you not to use too hard guitar picks. Because they give less easily, you will also be able to hold them less easily and you have to pay attention to so much at once in terms of left hand technique. I myself use a soft and flexible pick of 0.60 mm for playing the folk guitar, eg arpeggiating or strumming chords.
How long does it take before I can play a song properly?
Of course everything depends on the time you invest in the musical passages where you still need the most improvement. The key to success is, first of all, practicing in a smart and varied way. Don't keep playing the songs or riffs you've known for a long time, but push your own limits, write music yourself and record yourself, play with other musicians and continue to enjoy what you do. Never play with reluctance. Make a daily or weekly schedule of your intentions to practice and the benefits will pay off very quickly. Guitarists with good planning have an edge in my opinion.
I have a lot of pain in my fingers when I exercise, is that normal?
Yes, but keep going and that pain is guaranteed to go away. Guitar, along with violin, is one of the most difficult instruments to learn to play. Your fingers have to adapt to unnatural grips and as your fingertips get used to the hard strings they have to grip to produce the right sounds, hardening or calluses will appear on them. Once you have this hardening, it only gets easier to use the right techniques and take your playing to a satisfying level.
Why does my version of a song sound completely different from the original?
Not only is technical performance on your instrument an important issue, but also the effects used in a song can make a lot of difference. In addition, most of the songs are recorded several times in a studio under professional supervision with very expensive material to make an end product that is still hard to criticize. It's a common knowledge that the quality of songs played live rarely comes close to a studio version. So don't be too critical of yourself but try to work on details and in no time you will be amazed at the possibilities you have with your own convenience.
There is ample parking in the street and the location is also easily accessible by public transport (bus 32 from Antwerp city stops behind the corner, Prins Boudewijnlaan).
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