If you want to plug your guitar into your PC, let’s take a look at the simplest ways first.
Before we move onto more sophisticated solutions, you could try connecting your guitar directly to the microphone jack on your computer. This is the pink colored one. Doing it this way will work but the sound quality will be not great. The quality of the sound might not be to your liking and the volume on the guitar will need to be very low, but it’s a start.
To connect your guitar to the input jacks on your computer you will need an adaptor from Radioshack or somewhere to make the guitar cable fit. Alternatively, you could buy a cable specifically designed to connect a guitar to a PC.
Here is a video on the subject of plugging the guitar into the computer:
The guy in the video makes use of a free program called Audacity. this is a free audio editing program which will greatly enhance the sound of your guitar if you plug it directly into the mic input.
The next thing to try will be the “line in” jack on your computer. This jack will be the blue one. If you have an effects pedal with a volume control, you could place it between the guitar and the computer to give the guitar a boost in volume. If you use the line in method, you will need to double click on the volume control icon on your computer’s task bar and check all the “mute” boxes except for the line in one.
On the other hand, modern computers may not come with a line in jack, in which case you will need to look at one of the solutions that will connect your guitar to the USB port on your PC.
The Alesis Guitar Link Plus connects your guitar to your computer’s USB. It costs around one hundred dollars new and comes with Guitar Rig by Native Instruments. Even though it may be more money than you are willing to spend, it is a simple solution involving one cable. The Guitarlink gives you the analog to digital conversion that you need without installing extra drivers and Guitar Rig gives you a complete range of effects.
Here is another video on recording onto your computer:
If you have an acoustic guitar you will not necessarily need to connect the guitar and PC using a cable. You will only need a microphone.