There are plenty of myths that beginning stringed instrument musicians are led to believe by well-meaning people. These false ideas set players back. Move forward by letting go of these 3 beginner myths.

Myth #1) You shouldn't buy a nice guitar when you're starting out.

It's not true that beginners should stick to playing lousy instruments until they pay their dues in some painful manner. Unless you're forced to do so by budget constraints or other circumstances, there is little value in playing a cheap stringed instrument that will never sound good no matter how often you practice. You're bound to grow discouraged when your instrument is too hard to play.

If you've proven you're committed to stringed instrument study, by all means invest in a quality bass, mandolin, banjo, violin or guitar for your lessons. Choose well, and this instrument will be with you all of your life until you know the fretboard better than you know your own family. But always remember: if you get famous, your first cheap guitar will be worth something, so don't toss it carelessly.

Myth #2) More is always better.

Now that you have permission to pick out a treasure, don't succumb to the myth that more is more. You only think you want the ability to see all the guitars. But seeing images of every up-for-sale guitar imaginable is the absolute worst way to find the guitar that's right for you.

So what's the answer? More knowledge? Players who post on instrument forums may be immense help when explaining what works for them. But all of the combined guitar talents of the internet aren't going to lead to the best "real" instrument for your own studies.

Remember that stringed instruments must conform to your body type. They must feel comfortable to you when held up by a strap, when pressed against your chin or when played while you sit. To find your perfect instrument, nothing beats a trip to the music store to actually hold and play a variety of models and styles.

Myth #3) You'll shame yourself if you can't play well.

Some beginners are embarrassed to try out instruments in a music store. They eye the merchandise longingly, but they're too shy to let anyone see their rudimentary playing. Remember that music store personnel are there to help you become the player of your dreams, but you have to swallow a bit of your pride. They understand; they were all beginners once, too.

If you're an introverted player, do 2 things to get over your fear. First, find one or two songs to practice until you can play them in your sleep. They'll be your go-to music store songs. They don't have to be anything fancy; even a 3-chord progression will help you determine if an instrument is one you would like to have.

If that's not possible, find someone in the music shop who plays the instrument you're after. Have that person play the available guitars or banjos for you and you'll hear the different tones each one makes. When you pick out the one or two that have the sound you're after, play those yourself to see if they will work for you. Bring a friend who's a knowledgeable player with you if you don't think anyone at the store plays the particular instrument you're seeking.

For more information, contact Caldwell Connection or a similar company.