I have multiple cheap guitars, which should I use to practice?

Hi all, despite being a relative newbie (1year) and despite a lack of space at home I’ve managed to acquire 4 budget/ not very expensive electric guitars, would have been 5 but sold one. I can’t help myself I love them all, they all have a different wonderful feel, weight, fretboard radius and sound. When I practice I go from one to the other thinking I must get rid of one, I need to make a decision but can’t. So my question is as a beginner should I be focusing on one guitar for practice? Or doesn’t that matter. Cheers.

It would be better if you could, is there one of them that gets more attention from you? That a good sign that it wants you to play it… and that you’re responding to it; I am serious about this!
When I want a new instrument it might take me several months to find what I really want, if it doesn’t shout out to me and I gel with it it’s a no go. There have been several times that I’ve only half done enough to be sure about a purchase where I’ve not been thorough and it’s not worked out; the last one was when I got a Taylor 214 CE for a good price, 6 months on I decided it was a bit too big for me to play it comfortably - it had to go!
In your position rather than buying several cheap ones I would have looked at getting something of better quality; it does make a difference!

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Thanks for the response DarrellW. When I say budget they’re more than good enough for my level and above. The Danelectro is lightweight, sweet sounding, resonant and is good I think for my attempts at jazz and some rock. I recently got a G&L Tribute Fallout which is my only full scale 25.5" guitar and it feels great, precise and punchy and fun. My first buy was a Squier Super Sonic that’s the easiest to play (very thin neck & 24") and sometimes sounds good, other times the pick ups squeal. And a Fender Jaguar CIJ that’s got a different sound (more mid and bass?) to the others and also feels beautifully vintage. I probably could stick to anyone of them but they’re all brilliant to me.

There certainly may be doubts, if a newbie necessarily needs four electric guitars. But there must be a reason why you bought them :joy:. If there’s no financial need to sell one, I would keep them. As long as they don’t distract you from practicing, because you need too much time to decide which one to use today, everything is ok. Changing guitars for me always needs a certain time of adaption, so I wouldn’t change every day.

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The pickup height may need to be adjusted so the pickup levels are even and don’t distort unnecessarily.

Thanks Jozef. I’m going to take the Squier to a luthier when I have some money to spend. I’ll mention pick up height and see if that’s a fix for the squeal, be cheaper.

I think they’re very ‘hot’ to begin with so I was considering swapping the pick ups for Tone Rider Rocksong alnico 2. Any thoughts?


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Thanks Helen. No doubts I’m enjoying them all but you’re right I shouldn’t change too often.

Carlos, another way to look at this is that there are benefits to being able to make fine adjustments as you play different guitars.

So perhaps when you start learning a new chord shape for example (you mentioned being about a year in but not specifically how far you have progressed, so perhaps a bad example) then maybe pick one guitar and use it exclusively until you have become quite comfortable with the shape and changing to it.

At that point you may get value playing with the different guitars, learning to make small adjustments. And if you get inspired by the different sounds for different songs, then keep them and enjoy.

Hi, Carlos. I have been playing for 2 years now. Just finishing up Beg 2 and starting in on Beg 3.
I have four guitars, 2 Taylor acoustics and 2 G&L electrics. Each guitar has its own sound and I rotate through them. For basic practice I alternate between the electrics. For actual song playing I tend to use the acoustics. The one thing I looked for when purchasing the guitars is they all have the same, or very close, neck profile. With very similar neck profiles the fretting is pretty much the same for each guitar. I do have to adjust my strumming action given the wider bodies of the acoustics. I enjoy the variety and it spices up my daily routines.

David P and Chasethedream thanks for your responses. I guess I have the basic open chords together and basic barre chords down. So maybe I should use all 4 but dedicate prac ttice time on one guitar at a time.

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HI there,

I typically practice with one primary guitar for the majority of the time. There is nothing wrong with switching it up depending on your mood. I use an acoustic Martin guitar most of the time, because while learning an acoustic is not as forgiving of mistakes as an electric. If you are polished on acoustic electric is a breeze. Once in a while I play my ESP electric when I am in a humbucker mood or the song makes sense with the sound. I often default to my Fender strat for most rock music if I want to play electric. The choice is all yours and the end answer is what guitar makes you happiest and easiest to hold. Sometimes looks do not equal good sound. I used to have a BC Rich fancy metal style electric. After feeling the dead weight and wondering if a gorilla should be playing it instead I ended up selling it. Again like Justin says if it sounds good it is good-same goes for which guitar you play.


I think, rather than get rid of one, you should get one more!

Just enjoy the guitars and learn what you like about each one. Eventually, you may find what you like most in a guitar and refine how you choose them in the future….because there will be more.

I found switching from electric to classical hard. The fingers need time to adjust given my limited experience. Now I switch between a steel string acoustic and classical nylon without much difficulty. I play different things in them and enjoy the different sounds. Why not?

I constantly swap between my acoustic and electric, and it seems to go ok!

Depends what you’re playing though, I think. Chordy stuff, probably doesn’t matter as much. Picking lead lines, it probably does.

It doesn’t matter so long as you practice. The practice is the important thing.

I practice 90% of the time on my main guitar, only switching to a different guitar if I need a different tuning or a 7 string for a particular song. But if you enjoy switching between them, that’s fine - the skills you learn are independent of the guitar itself.

The only thing to keep on mind is that a good setup will make a guitar easier and more enjoyable to play. You can get most of the way to a professional setup yourself. I recommend Sketchy Setups as an inexpensive and easy to follow resource, just get the one(s) that match the guitars you have.

Enjoyed the comments, many thanks. Good to hear everyone’s opinions and that there are some switchers like me. I’ve been practicing hard for the last year. I’m still not any good and I’m not worried, the learning process is fun. Jamolay please don’t tempt me so many great second-hand guitars out there!