How Many Guitars Do You Need? Lots Of Course!

Guitars are one of the most popular musical instruments in the world! This is because they offer a diverse range of sounds and playing styles. Owning one guitar may be sufficient for many players, others opt to have a collection of several! But how many guitars do you need?

A beginner should own one guitar. That’s it! This is because there is much to learn, and having too many guitars may impede your progress.

Anyone who is more familiar with the instrument can own as many as they like. It can be either to meet demands for specific needs. Or just to collect them all.

This Killer Rig article will explore the reasons for owning multiple guitars. We’ll look at the phenomenon of Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. Plus, the factors to consider when building your collection.

How Many Guitars Do You Need?

The right number of guitars will vary depending on several factors. These include their level of experience, playing style, and some practical considerations. Things like storage space and budget. It’s different for everyone!


When you’re new to the guitar world, less is more. As a novice, you’re still figuring out the ropes of playing and understanding the instrument. Hence, one or two guitars are plenty.

  • Single Guitar: Beginning with just one guitar helps you concentrate on grasping the fundamentals. And without the distraction of diverse guitar types. This could be an acoustic guitar, often suggested for newbies due to its wide-ranging use and easy handling.
  • Pair of Guitars: If you lean towards owning two guitars, you could think about one acoustic and one electric guitar. This lets you explore and learn the contrast between these two main guitar types early on.


As a mid-level guitarist, you’ve nailed the basics and are now venturing into varied music styles. Here’s when possessing an array of guitars proves advantageous.

  • Classical Guitar: Distinguished by its nylon strings, a classical guitar offers a unique playing feel and sound. Especially fitting for classical and flamenco music.
  • Acoustic Guitar: An acoustic guitar, usually with steel strings, is multifaceted and finds a place in numerous music genres.
  • Electric Guitar: An electric guitar ushers in a universe of sound explorations with its capacity for amplification and effect alterations.


Professional guitarists typically have a larger collection of instruments. Often ranging from five to ten or more.

This allows them to tailor their sound to specific genres. Plus, modify their setup for live performances. But also provide backup instruments in case of emergencies.

It’s important for professionals to strike a balance. This is between having enough guitars to meet their needs. But not acquiring so many that it becomes a burden. Traveling around the world with guitars costs money!


For guitar collectors, the sky is the limit when it comes to the number of instruments they own. However, it’s important to keep in mind the practical considerations.

Do you have storage space? Pay close attention to your budget when acquiring new guitars. Don’t let GAS get out of control. The threat is real!

Further Reading: Why do players change guitars between songs?

Many Acoustic Guitars.

Why Own More Than One Guitar?

There are many guitars on the market. It can be overwhelming to settle for just one. Believe me, I know! But you have to ask yourself, why would a player need more than one guitar?

This is different for everyone. You must decide based on your musical situation. Here are a few things to consider.

Music Styles

Guitars, in their diverse forms, really do cater to specific musical styles. You could attempt a speedy metal riff with a Fender Jaguar or jazz it up with a Charvel, but the outcome might leave you wanting.

Undeniably, some guitars mesh better with certain music styles. A jazz enthusiast might not be thrilled strumming a Jackson decked out with EMG pickups.

Just like a death metal player may cringe at the idea of using a hollow body equipped with low-output pickups. It’s not that it’s impossible; it just may not yield the sound they crave.

Truth be told, it’s not set in stone. Yes, any guitar can belt out any tune you want, but does it always sound just right? Not quite. So, you get why someone might want many guitars. Each one, you see, is tweaked just right to make special sounds for different types of songs.

And, let’s not forget our friends, the acoustic guitars. Each breed offers a unique flavor. For instance, the compact parlor guitar accentuates the mids, producing a boxy sound.

On the other hand, a dreadnought acoustic provides a balanced sound, rich in bass and perfect for chord progressions.

Specific Roles of a Guitarist

Each guitarist in a band usually has a specific role, which can also influence the number of guitars:

  • Rhythm Guitarist: This guitarist typically plays the chord progressions of a song, providing the rhythmic and harmonic foundation.
  • Lead Guitarist: The lead guitarist plays the main melody lines, solos, and riffs, often using techniques like bending, vibrato, and slides.
  • Additional Guitarists: In larger bands, additional guitarists might be used to add depth to the sound, play complimentary melody lines, or even to perform on different types of guitars.

Different Tunings

Imagine, you’re switching between songs, each with a different tuning. Won’t you start longing for an extra guitar already set in those distinct tunings? Yes, you will, because myself and any guitarist I know eventually does.

Swapping from your standard tuning to a simple drop D doesn’t really stress the system. That’s a swap you can pull off without much fuss.

However, imagine tuning into the realm of arrangements like C sharp. Here, a guitar that’s already in tune can be your best ally. It saves time and energy.

Plus, constant tuning and re-tuning puts undue strain on your strings, reducing their lifespan. It even affects the guitar’s intonation.

It also doesn’t look good to tune your guitar in between songs. Especially if the tuning is radically different. So you need another guitar to pull it off quickly.

Convenience and Backup 

Another advantage of having multiple guitars is convenience and backup. No one wants to be caught without a guitar in an emergency! Having a spare instrument can save the day in these situations.

Additionally, owning more than one allows you to switch between instruments quickly. This can be useful for live performances or recording sessions.

Two Electric Guitars.

New Experiences and Challenges 

Owning multiple guitars can provide new experiences and challenges. Trying out different guitars can help you expand your playing style. It can also broaden your musical horizons. Maybe you’re exploring musical genres and trying out new playing techniques.

Or even experimenting with different modifications. Owning multiple guitars can help you take your playing to new levels. There are many types, too, so maybe you need some electric as well as acoustic guitars.

Sentimental Reasons

My first guitar was given to me when I was young by my grandparents. They have long since been gone, but I still have this guitar with me and probably always will. It’s not a great guitar, but it means something to me because of how It was obtained.

Most players have a story like this and keep guitars because of sentimental reasons. And sometimes this may even result in a few guitars that will remain with a person forever. Even if they are really never played or looked at.

Guitar Acquisition Syndrome

Guitar Acquisition Syndrome, or GAS, is a term used to describe the compulsive desire to acquire may of them. Often without practical consideration! This might be the result of brand loyalty, a new look, or even tones.

Owning multiple guitars can provide versatility, convenience, and new experiences. But it’s important to consider the potential pitfalls of having too many instruments.

Signs and Symptoms 

Symptoms of GAS may include constantly searching for and buying new guitars. Neglecting maintenance and upkeep of existing instruments. But also difficulty controlling spending on guitar-related purchases.

The Pitfalls of Having Too Many Guitars 

Having multiple guitars can offer many benefits! But it’s important to consider the pitfalls of having too many instruments. Over-acquisition can lead to financial strain, storage problems, and neglect of individual guitars.

All of which can detract from the overall enjoyment of playing. It’s important to strike a balance between having enough guitars to meet your musical needs. But also not having so many that they become a burden.

Can You Be Happy With Only One Guitar?

Absolutely! Owning multiple guitars can provide versatility and convenience, it’s true. But it’s not a requirement for being a happy and fulfilled guitarist.

The number of guitars a player needs is a highly individual decision. It depends on various factors such as playing style, genre, and budget.

For some, having a single guitar that meets all their playing needs and preferences is enough. Doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, hobbyist, or professional! Having a guitar that you love and enjoy playing can bring immense satisfaction!

In fact, having fewer guitars can simplify your life as a musician. You won’t have to worry about maintenance, storage, and keeping track of many instruments.

It can also force you to become a better player! This is because you have to rely on your skills and techniques to produce sounds and play styles.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to find what works best for your interests. Whether it’s one guitar or ten! As long as you have an instrument that brings you joy and allows you to express yourself musically! Then you have all that you need.


How many guitars does the average player own?

Depending on their skill level, musical preferences, and financial situation, the average guitarist may own anywhere from one to dozens of guitars.

Nevertheless, many guitarists typically own at least four or five instruments. Consisting frequently of both electric and acoustic guitars.

This allows them to explore a variety of tones and styles. But remember, these are just averages and the “right” number of guitars for you is a highly personal decision.

What 2 guitars should I have?

Contemplating the idea of being a two-guitar owner? Quite a few folks lean towards getting one of each, an acoustic and an electric guitar.

  • Acoustic Guitar: Imagine a tool, versatile as a Swiss army knife, that’s what an acoustic guitar is in the world of music. From mellow folk tunes to uplifting pop, it strums along in harmony. It’s a top pick for your very first guitar, perfect for honing skills and jamming out without any electrical assistance.
  • Electric Guitar: Now, switch gears to its electrifying cousin, the electric guitar. This one cranks up the volume, offering a unique set of sounds, savored in genres like rock, blues, or jazz. It can even be a smoother ride for your fingers, thanks to its softer strings and closer-to-the-neck action.

With these two in your arsenal, you’ll have a rich palette of sounds and styles to play with. But remember, it’s your music. Your guitar should echo your tastes. The ‘right’ one is the one that strums your favorite tunes.

How many guitars does a professional guitarist typically have?

The number of guitars a professional guitarist has can vary widely. Some might only have a few that they use regularly, while others might have a large collection of dozens of guitars. It often depends on their personal preferences, the styles of music they play, and their budget.

What guitar should every guitarist have?

There’s one guitar every player needs. And that is a top-notch acoustic guitar. And here are the reasons.

  • First up: versatility. Acoustic guitars can groove to any beat, whether it’s country or folk, pop or rock. They’re the all-rounder in your music toolbox.
  • Next, portability. Grab your guitar, and off you go! No fussing with amps or wires. Perfect for those impromptu jam sessions or just practicing in the park.
  • Lastly, think fundamentals. Mastering the acoustic guitar takes a dash more finger strength and accuracy than playing the electric. It’s a great workout for your skills.

You might consider adding a Martin D-28, a Gibson J-45, or a Taylor 810 to your collection. Pretty good options, right? But remember, the guitar that sings to you will depend on a trio of factors. They are your budget, how you play, and what feels just right.

Photo of author

Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!