Andrew Wells grew up in Los Angeles, California and started touring internationally at the age of 15. By the age of 17, he’d ended up on sessions recording for diverse artists ranging from TLC to Demi Lovato. Not long after and with several major label tours under his belt, he was acquainted with Cody Simpson and has spent two years touring as his lead guitarist. During that time, Justin Bieber and Simpson recorded a duet album together, and Andrew was asked to play guitar alongside Bieber’s longtime musical director/guitarist, Dan Kanter. You can also find him out on the road with Jessie J. We asked Andrew a few questions about how to pick a good beginner guitar, and these are the tips he provided:
Q. When did you learn to play the guitar, and what was your first instrument like from a playing perspective?
A. I started playing around the age of 8. My first instrument was actually a really cool candy apple red Squier with two humbuckers that I wish I still had.
Q. How does the quality of your instrument influence how you learn to play?
A. I think it makes a significant difference in how you learn to play, but quality aside, what makes the biggest influence is that it’s an instrument you want to spend hours playing. It’s all about what instrument makes you the most excited to make music.
Q. What is a good style or type of instrument to learn with? What attributes does that instrument have?
A. I’d recommend starting on a smaller acoustic that has relatively lower action. Starting on a larger bodied acoustic with thicker gauge strings that are an inch from the frets can be quite intimidating. Just like the last point, it has to inspire you through all of the tedious hours learning different chords, positions, etc.
Q. What advice do you have for new players who are just starting out?
A. The advice I’d give is not to give up when you’re a week in and realize that you have months of your fingers hurting before you can play anything that sounds remotely listenable. I planned on quitting at that point and if I didn’t have someone giving me that same advice, the entire course of my life would be radically different and a lot less fun.