If you are planning to buy a guitar, especially an acoustic one, you probably have known clearly that no pedal or amplifier can cover your mistakes if you make them, unlike an electronic guitar.
So, since you have made up your mind, I will be sharing some aspects you should be interested in if you don’t know what to look at. Feel free to check it out!
What you need, first and foremost, is to determine how much you are about to spend on this guitar. Put a limit that you will not cross, ever. You can think of such things like, you are gonna use it on what purpose. If just for practice, don’t buy an expensive one. In my opinion, performing would need more of a high-end acoustic guitar. Also, ask yourself which level you’re in. Amateurs and professionals’ options are different indeed. Thanks to manufacturers, a variety of guitars with different features and quality are always at your service. You may wanna do some research after making decision, so as to refer the proper prices you can afford, as well as see how people choose their guitar (just like what you’re doing now).
Style (Body style)
The style, for you and for me, is crucial. So, I think I don’t need to state how important this feature is, right? (Well I don’t even need to mention this and you guys have already looked at it, really).
Body style of a guitar varies all the times. Now, we have slim guitar, jumbo guitar, half-sized guitar,… The sound hole, the waste must align at the fretchboad, protected by a plastic pick guard. In general, they say the larger the soundboard, the deeper and larger the sound. They divide them into different groups, with the name telling it all: Concert and Grand Concert / Auditorium and Grand Auditorium / Jumbo / Dreadnought / Travel and Mini-Acoustics.
The strings, either nylon or steel, are mounted properly to the body at the bridge. Nylon is easier with hands, with softer tone, often used in flamenco classic guitars. However, modern acoustic guitars prefer steel strings because they give louder and brighter tone. Country musician, even rock player like them better.
Lastly, the tonewoods also decide how the outcome would be. There are too many of them that I decide not to mention them all here, only common ones. “Cedar” , a soft wood that gives a bright tone. It requires only a decent playing technique, that’s why it is usually used as top wood for classical or flamenco guitars, of sides and backs. “Granadillo” is a scarce wood, kind of type of rosewood but denser. Traditionally, it is used to make sides and backs of acoustic guitars because its ability to produce clear and ringing tone, especially in marimba bars. “Maple” is also used for sides and backs, because of its low response rate and internal damping that produces a “dry” sound that emphasizes high-end tones. Its lower resonance makes it great for live sessions, even with a mix of instruments. Bands love maple for sure.
However, make sure you choose a guitar that fits your preference. It shoudn’t be too big for your hands or your body. Can you swing your hands freely when holding it, or struggling to pull the finger board? Can you transition smoothly between chords? Especially, do you feel comfortable holding it in your arms? Choosing a guitar is for you, not anyone else, so do not please anyone by purchasing a guitar that you-don’t-really-like, thinking it would be fine. It won’t, okay?