Beginner Guitars & Children's Guitars

Beginner & Children's Guitars

Home >  All Guitars > Rants > General Information > Tech Articles > Beginner Guitars For Sale
Most music stores out there get their primary income from lessons & beginners. If you read this you will come away with certain knowledge that they don't want you to have. I assure you that many of these stores and independent teachers don't want you to be aware of what is written on this page. 

Most IMPORTANT it's best to start a youngster out on an ELECTRIC SOLID BODY guitar no matter what !!!! Electrics are much much easier to play. They are not big and bulky.  They can take a beating.  Electrics always come with thinner necks, lower action & they are much easier to see what you are doing when playing.

If you learn to play Electric you will automatically be able to play Acoustic.
If you start on an Acoustic you will not necessarily be able to play an Electric

You're Never Too Old To Learn

You're Never Too Good To Learn


That's my buddy Billy F. Gibbons ( ZZ Top ) learning a classic Hendrix riff from Bruce Conte (Tower of Power).

Billy is using our most inexpensive "RVC" while Bruce is playing one of Ed Roman's new $1,195.00 "Baker Flametop" Guitars.

 Incidentally !!

Coincidentally, the two guitars that they are playing were both built by Ed Roman, and are probably the two most economical, quality guitars that I offer in my store. (See above links.)   RVC & Baker...  This is an absolutely candid shot.  It was not set up or posed.  Billy simply overheard Bruce playing a Hendrix riff, and asked him to show it to him.  The two men sat there for more than an hour working it out right in front of customers & salespeople.

Normally we don't allow that type of jamming in the store...(Because people tend to scratch & dent many of our guitars that way)  However Billy Gibbons can come in anytime he likes and do anything he wants... If you looked up "Cool" in the dictionary you would find a picture of Billy Gibbons.

What's the difference between a Violin and a Fiddle ???

Who cares neither of them are Guitars !!!!

Ask Ed Roman

 Frequently Asked Questions
Ed Roman Debunks The Myths

Should I start with an electric or an acoustic guitar ?

Ed Roman highly recommends electric. They are about 3 times easier to learn on and you won't bother other people while you are learning.  Plus, the resale value on electrics is good where lower cost acoustics are usually worthless several weeks after you buy them.  (Especially Esteban, Costco & Sam's Club Guitars) Electric guitars hold up better and they are a lot cooler!!!  Of course, if you want to play acoustic guitar and sit around the campfire, roast marshmallows, and sing folk songs like,  "Michael Row the Boat Ashore," then you should start with an acoustic.

I went to a store that told me to buy a nylon string guitar because the strings were soft & it wouldn't hurt my fingers.  Should I buy a Classical Guitar ?

Well Boo Hoo Hoo !!!  We wouldn't want you to hurt your itty bitty little fingers now would we?

Sorry for the sarcasm but, I really hate that BS story.  The truth of the matter is, nylon string Classical guitars are usually the absolute cheapest guitars that can be bought.  Most of the time the dealer who tells you that one is looking to make the most money off a poor, unsuspecting, trusting customer. (Esteban is a great guitarist but his guitars are crap )

Cheap Classical guitars have no real tension on the neck, making it easy to use substandard woods and sometimes no truss rod.  These guitars can be built in Indonesia for as little as $11.00.  By the time it reaches John Q Public in the USA, it will sell for as much as $179.95.  This kind of thing really grinds my gears !!!!

The most important thing about Classical guitars that I don't like for beginners is the fact that the necks are so incredibly wide. The width of the neck makes the guitar very uncomfortable to learn. Classical technique is very different from traditional Country, R&B, Pop, & Rock music. Misguided schools throughout the USA are always pushing Classical guitar on the students. I think that is a real problem, just because some old fart thinks that these kids today should get a little Classical education injected into the curriculum. Most average kids today don't care about Mozart or Andres Segovia.

 What is your opinion on school music programs ?

Recently it has come to my attention that most school music programs require the students to use a Classical guitar to learn on.  I have a major problem with that.

1. School music programs are only in place because it is a proven fact that children who play an instrument are smarter, more articulate, and it helps to develop their coordination and general attitude.  It is supposed to give them a boost of self esteem and make them enjoy school.

2. Some of the larger corporate guitar companies, under the guise of caring about our school children, have spent lots of dollars to hoodwink the school boards into thinking that they can and should buy into one of their packaged programs. This is where the company sells them the guitar, the strap, stands, cases, strings, picks, music books, and even supplies videos for any lazy teachers that don't want to actually teach. I have been told there is a training program that teaches a non-musician how to teach guitar in 3 days.  Theoretically, eventually these people will be the ones responsible for teaching the programs.   EEEEEEE EEEEkkkkkkkkk!!!!

3. I have seen some of these guitar shaped objects and as I suspected they were cheap imported guitars that would barely last 3 years.  The local schools in Las Vegas start with 30 guitars and are allowed to buy 10 more guitars a year to replace the ones that fall apart.  (Talk about your planned obsolescence.)

4. For the last few years, I have been scratching my head about where some of these large guitar companies are making all their money.  In my end of the business, these larger companies are looked on with disfavor by most real musicians.  Except of course the paid shills who make as much as $100,000.00 yearly to tout some crappy name brand.  I suspected that they were doing it by selling to Europe and Asia.  Over there the musicians are running about 7 years behind the USA.  In Germany, a Gibson or a PRS are still considered to be the top of the line guitars.

Eventually the Germans will smarten up and they will catch on.  For the time being, that's the way it is.  I am selling lots of PRS guitars in Germany.  Almost as much as I sell at Christmas time here. (PRS is the Current Christmas Guitar, it used to be Gibson....)

A Christmas guitar is the brand that the rich people buy their kids for their 14th birthday. The kid doesn't know the score, the parents are usually well meaning, but they know less than the kid does.  In the hands of an evil commissioned salesman in a superstore these people are the reason they come to work. 

1970 to 1982 Fender Stratocaster was the Christmas guitar

1983 to 1988 Kramer Pacer & Baretta was the Christmas guitar.   (Today they are quite valuable and hard to find for sale except for the cheap Chinese ones from Gibson.)

1986 to 1998 The Gibson Les Paul was the Christmas guitar.  (The Les Paul is an ancient design that is too heavy and I can't think of a single reason to buy one) (Oh yeah, that's right it will make you cool)  Oy Vey

1999 to present PRS is way out in front with no one licking at their heels.   ( A PRS is built a lot better than a Gibson but still not recommended by Ed Roman.  People will eventually see the light.) In the meantime Ed Roman Guitars will continue sell 150 or so PRS guitars in December every year and about 15 for the entire rest of the year.

PRS has made the same mistake that Kramer did and they have come out with Cheap Korean guitars several years back.  They did this to cash in on the PRS name with the people who couldn't afford to spend the insane price they are charging.  (Remember today's PRS guitars are no longer handmade.)

PRS IS SPENDING BIG MONEY ON ADVERTISING THOSE CHEAPO MODELS... Why?  because the profit margin on a $699.00 imported guitar can be higher than on a $1,999.00 USA made guitar. (Sad But True)

Do I Need Lessons ?

Definitely not. I recommend that you learn to play a little by ear first then, if you want lessons you will be much better served.  Some of the world's best musicians are totally untrained.  Just as most wealthy entrepreneurs are high school dropouts.  I am not saying quit school.  Just don't let it program you to be an automaton.  Pick up a chord book and have a friend show you a couple of things to help you get started.  Once you are having a little fun, (FUN is the key word here), then you can decide if you want to improve yourself with some theory and some lessons.

Should I Find One Teacher & Stick With Him ?

It is rare that one teacher will be multifaceted, most teachers are jazz buffs. I personally believe that if you are going to take lessons you should try and find as many teachers as you can afford and spread yourself around. This will go a long way towards helping you in developing a style of your own.

Should I Learn On A 22 Fret Model Or A 24 Fret Model ?

I strongly recommend that you learn on a full double octave guitar (24 frets). It is just as easy to learn as a partial one.  In fact, it is probably easier because it makes more sense when you try to learn scales and positioning.  It's also physically easier to play because the necks are usually slimmer and longer.

What Brands Of Guitars Do You Recommend ?

Today almost any brand of guitar is decently made.  I recommend trying to stay away from the big corporation brands like Gibson, Epiphone, ESP, Schecter, etc.  I recommend that solely because, I would rather see the smaller companies succeed.  Fender builds a great beginner guitar and so does Peavey.  Just don't fall into the trap. (See Below )   Jackson.  Ibanez,  Fender Squire Guitars are actually pretty good just not the real cheap ones. 

Here's the Trap !!

Wow!  If this Fender Squire $277.00 guitar is this good, it stands to reason that their $1,850.00 must be way better! 

NOT!  In fact, the one that costs 6 times as much is usually not that much better at all. In fact the Japanese Made 500.00 one is better than the ones costing $3000.00.   The Japanese ones have been discontinued because they were hurting USA sales,  Nowadays a Japanese Fender is almost impossible to find.

I'm a quality conscious person. 
I want to invest into something that will go up in value.
What should I buy?

The absolute best way to learn is to pick up a chord book and start learning basic chords, Then hook up with someone else who you can play with. You will learn to play 3 times as fast as you would taking lessons and you will develop your own style.  Plus it costs nothing.

Ed Roman usually has numerous traded in good quality used electric guitars available for beginners. Call us when you are ready to buy We have some acoustics but not as many.

Don't buy into the hype, look for quality and workmanship. Spend time comparing models, Don't Look At The Brand Name.  Look at the playability. Look at the construction. Look at the fit & finish.  Look at the design improvements.  If you use your head and not your emotions, it becomes very simple to choose the right investment grade guitar.

Remember.... Don't buy into the hype,  Pay no attention to the perceived value, and use your basic intelligence.  (Your basic intelligence is your best friend)   USE IT !!!

Ed Roman

If you have questions I will be glad to try to help you make a quality purchase !!!!  Please don't call me after you have already bought something and look for my reassurances,  I just don't have time for that silliness!!!  It's too late you already bought it.   Live With It !!!!