Reviews of the best beginner guitars
I received my Gibson ES 175 as a gift three years ago. I had owned and played many guitars – dozens – up to that time, but I don’t think I ever fell in love so quickly with an instrument.
To my eyes, it recalls generations of the finest jazz musicians to hold a guitar. In my hands, it feels solid, stalwart. Like it has something to say. And to my ears, it produces some of the most remarkably beautiful sounds I have ever heard.
In the 1950s a young teenage boy from Canada became enamored by the smooth licks of American guitarist Duane Eddy. He went to his local music shop and bought a cheap $18 guitar in an effort to learn Eddy’s style. Nobody knew at the time that this teenager, whose name was Jean Larrivee, would go on to become one of the most influential Canadian guitar makers, whose guitars would be valued at over 150x’s that of his first guitar.
In 2013, a Canadian astronaut named Chris Hadfield floated through the International Space Station strumming the song Space Oddity on his parlor guitar. 25 million views later, the rest of the world was introduced to a guitar that Canada already knew to be great: Larrivée guitars.
In a 2009 article titled A Buyer’s Guide to Carbon-Fiber Instruments featured in the music magazine “All Things Strings”, a prediction was made that carbon fiber would begin replacing wood in string instruments in the low price range.
But why carbon fiber? What is all the hype about this material?
When the new guitars arrived at my door I had trouble believing that an acoustic instrument could actually fit in such a small box. Journey Instruments had agreed to send me two guitars to test – one solid-top wood guitar and one carbon fiber guitar – and I honestly had no idea what to expect.