In the music market, we can find loads of instrument options. Even though the most popular companies are Gibson and Fender, some other brands maybe even of superior quality.
Today we will break up PRS guitars, premium pieces mainly used by professional and seasoned guitar players such as Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro, and John Mayer as well.
Many novice musicians desperately desire these guitars, perhaps because of their look but, are PRS guitars good for first learners?
Since PRS are high-end instruments they offer an excellent playing experience not only regarding feel but also in tone. However, their value and configuration could not be the best option for beginners unless we focus on the more affordable models such as their SE line.
Through this article, I will try to fully clarify this claim, explaining every concerning aspect.
Continue reading to the end and you will know everything required to determine if a PRS guitar is the right choice for you.
What makes a good beginner guitar?
Every person who approached a guitar has been a beginner.
For some players is easier to learn and make progress but those who find it more difficult may need more time to get the hang of the instrument.
This aspect could be simply solved if the player chooses a good guitar for beginners.
However, starters might wonder, what makes a guitar a good option for first learners?
People giving their first steps may find it confusing but everything relies on how you feel your guitar.
When learning any kind of skill, subjects go through a process that consists of several stages.
Through them, the player could experience frustration which usually leads to quitting practice and abandoning the guitar.
Therefore, one of the main aspects to bear in mind for a beginner guitar is comfort. If you feel comfortable playing it, you will learn better and faster.
Another issue to consider is playability, in other words, the guitar should suit the player’s preferences and not the other way around.
What is more, is important to keep it simple, what I mean to say is that mods like coil-split, pickups in parallel or series, and even tremolo arms could be hard to understand by most novice players so try to avoid them, at least at the beginning.
Are PRS guitars good for beginners?
As mentioned earlier, comfort is quintessential when playing an instrument. Paul Reed Smith guitars perfectly cover this aspect.
Their design typically consists of a curved top in the body which makes the instrument amazingly comfortable to play.
Besides, we can find that in most models, the lower horn is curved as well.
This design offers free access to the higher frets, which is great when soloing.
Moreover, the hardware and tremolo are both strong which provides a reliable tuning along the whole guitar.
As you notice, PRS guitars provide proper comfort plus playability but they might not be the best option for beginners.
You may wonder why and the short answer is because of their price.
Money is not everything, but inexperienced players could be prone to quitting. Since these guitars are high-end pieces, their cost is astonishingly high and you wouldn’t want to spend a great amount of money for something you won’t use.
What is more, PRS are intended for experienced musicians; most of their products are custom pieces and that is one of the aspects that increase their price.
However, if you have the budget and you do believe the guitar suits your style and comfort, go for it!
The final decision is always up to the player’s preferences so follow your instincts and don’t be told what to do.
Are PRS guitars easy to play?
Every guitar has its own feel to the touch and each musician has their personal taste too, so stating whether PRS are hard or easy to play will be a tough task because it’ll vary from player to player.
If we compare them with Stratocaster we can find some similarities which could help us to answer this question.
If we focus on comfort along the fretboard, a PRS presents a 25’’ length scale a bit shorter than a Strat’s (25,5’’) plus a 10’’ neck radius, also comparable with the 9.5’’ neck radius in Strats.
These measurements make PRS’s necks comfortable and easy to get used to.
In addition, the shape of the body helps get the hang of the instrument faster.
The curved sections and the cuts make playing the guitar pleasant.
However, if we focus on the guitar’s specs we will notice that some characteristics might be confusing for first learners.
For instance, it is common to find pickup mods such as coil-split in PRS.
What is more, some models provide several pickup mods like parallel-wiring, series-wiring, and phase-shift among others.
Although these mods could provide more tonal options, they won’t be required for beginners.
Therefore, as regards playability, PRS are as comfortable as an old shoe.
On the electronic side, it could be tough to get accustomed to and fully understood by starters.
What music genres are PRS guitars good for?
Although Gibson and Fender are way more used guitar brands, PRS are employed by a wide number of guitar players.
As these wooden pieces are quite versatile, they can adjust almost to any genre, covering styles from rock or funk to even metal.
PRS have been used in many genres through the years and they have played a part in progressive rock music too.
Alex Lifeson, guitarist from the emblematic group Rush played not only PRS electric guitars but also acoustic pieces.
What is more, they are commonly found in groundbreaking styles such as nu-metal.
During the recording of Hybrid Theory, Brad Delson (Linkin Park guitar player) mainly used a PRS guitar.
PRS were played even in Latin America and their best example is Soda Stereo’s leader Gustavo Cerati, one of the most honored Argentinian alternative rock musicians.
He employed a PRS Standard Multifoil guitar in his recordings and live performances.
Due to its specs and config, a PRS guitar will perfectly fit heavy metal.
The short-scale length plus comfort in the fingerboard make this guitar great for playing high-speed solos, shredding, and sweeping.
Throughout time PRS have been seen in classic rock bands and also pop groups.
Even Rob Harris guitar player from Jamiroquai has played a PRS in his funky grooves.
As you see, Paul Reed Smith creates really versatile instruments which can adjust almost to every genre.
If you get a PRS guitar give it a try and play as many musical styles as you want, you will instantly notice how well it adjusts.
Does it matter what model of PRS guitar you choose?
Paul R. Smith is a well-known luthier famous for creating his own brand.
Every PRS piece is a high-quality custom instrument designed to meet high standards and meant for professional musicians.
Therefore, if you are a beginner, it does matter what PRS model you choose.
Although these guitars are mainly for advanced players, there is a particular line of models intended for students at a more affordable price point.
For instance, the SE Standard 24 is a PRS guitar designed with high-end materials but still at an affordable price.
As its name evokes, it has 24 frets and the initials “SE” stand for “Student Edition”.
Their pickups are custom devices, designed by the company and commonly found in even more expensive models such as those from the American S2 line.
It also provides a split-coil switch in the tone control, achieving different tones when active.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.