So you’ve decided its time to get a new Guitar, and you’re ready to plunk down your hard-earned cash. A guitar can be a big investment, but if you buy the right one it’ll give you years and years of happiness.
How can you make sure you’re getting the right guitar for you? Follow these simple guitar buying guide for a better guitar-buying experience.
Some Considerations Before Buying A Guitar
What Type of Music can you Like?
Of all the beginner guitar players I’ve talked to I doubt any of them have ever considered which kind of music they enjoy and definitely will eventually want to play before they buy a guitar. Maybe you think it doesn’t make much sense either but i want to explain a little further.
Most beginners opt to pick up the guitar simply because they want to be able to play songs familiar for them. If you’re really into singer songwriters plus more laid back styles of music then an acoustic guitar makes a lot of sense for the first purchase.
After all playing a nice soft tune with an amplifier with distortion by using an electric guitar isn’t going to satisfy that craving to try out your favorite songs could it be.
Now vice versa, in case you are into hard rock you then should probably consider buying a beginner electric guitar rather than an acoustic. Why? Well for the similar reasons I just utilized to describe the acoustic purchase decision.
You’re going to eventually want to play songs that have distortion and a harder sound on the guitar. Take now very seriously when deciding which kind of guitar to buy.
Play Before You Buy
No two guitars sound – or play – exactly the same, even if they came off the same assembly line minutes apart. One often finds a less expensive guitar that sounds and plays better that a more expensive one, but the only way you’re going to know is to pick it up and play it.
You want a guitar that just feels right in your hands. Nothing will lead to faster improvement than owning a guitar that calls your name and demands that you pick it up every day, so don’t buy a guitar you can’t pick up and play first.
When in Doubt, Ask
Every guitar store has an employee who’s job it is to keep all the guitars in tune and in shape, ready to sell. This guy knows which ones are bargains and which ones are lemons. It never hurts to ask, “If you were buying, which one would you pick, and why?”
Get a Set-Up Included
Most guitars don’t come from the factory with the intonation and action adjusted the way you want it, so buy from a store which employs a qualified guitar tech, and includes a set-up (which will cost you around $70 otherwise) in the price of the guitar.
Check the neck to make sure it’s straight and not warped at all. Check the intonation of the strings. Make sure the neck is securely fastened to the guitar. If it’s an electric instrument, make sure to inspect the electronics by plugging it in and playing.
Even though you don’t get to hold it in your hand, buying a guitar through an online dealer is no problem either when it comes to inspection. You can use the online reviews to help you’re your feelings towards the instrument you’re about to buy. Believe me – if someone was unhappy, they’ll write something nasty and we’ll all know about it!
Acoustic is Harder on the Fingers
Here’s a negative point for the a guitar. Because the strings by using an acoustic are a heavier gage, and there is generally a higher action (space involving the strings and neck) by using an acoustic guitar it will be tougher on your own fingers.
When you first start you should have no calluses on your finger tips. These do form over time with practice but playing for further then a few minutes in the beginning is going to leave your fingers feeling pretty sore.
If you choose to learn on an guitar then your fingers is going to be twice as sore. Obviously the reverse is true also, your fingers will callus over quicker, however the initial stages of learning is a bit painful.
Avoid the M.A.P.
These days, we’re used to finding things cheaper online. This is true with books and DVDs, but not with guitars. The major guitar manufacturers dictate the cheapest price that sellers can advertise, but that price includes a healthy markup.
Do your research online and learn what the M.A.P. (minimum advertised price) is, and then when you find a guitar you like in a local store, ask them to beat that price. With an instrument costing over $500, they often will. Often they’ll cover tax, too.
Don’t Go Too Cheap
I can’t ignore the price factor here. It is good if everyone could get which ever instrument suited their fancy however the price point has to be considered. I’ve seen both electric and acoustic guitars round the $100 mark. They’ are not great instruments but they’ll get you started.
A cheap guitar isn’t saving you any money if you play it less because you don’t love it, and spending an extra $100 is a bargain if you get a guitar that you’ll own, love, and play for 15 years. Buy a guitar you love to play, even if it costs a little bit more, and you won’t regret it.
If you’re planning to purchase an electric guitar you will want a small practice amp to look along with it. You may use and learn in the beginning with no amp, but it won’t be long before you will want to start playing your found chords using a bigger sound.
There you have it. If you use these Guitar Buying Guide when choosing a guitar for beginners I’m confident you may not be disappointed with your purchase.
Of course should you really enjoy playing the guitar I know this will not be your one and only purchase but buying a guitar you’re satisfied with up front will save money later on and give you a better chance of sticking with it once you start.