What Kind of Guitar Should I Buy?

So you walk into your local music store and there's a few guitars... or maybe there's HUNDREDS to choose from. What do you look for? Do you go for the pretty ones? The heavy ones? The acoustic? The electric?

Finding a guitar for a beginner is an exciting and overwhelming process at the same time. It might seem difficult, but finding the best kind of guitar is based on where you want to go with your guitar-playing. Do you want an electric guitar leaning towards rock, blues, or metal? Are you more of an acoustic player leaning towards folk, easy listening, or jam band?

Here are a few tips to determine what's right for you when looking for a new axe.

1. Do you like the way it looks.

Let's get serious here. If you don't like how a kind of guitar looks, you're most likely not going to want to play it or let alone keep it! Pick out a sick-looking instrument that really represents you personally. Don't get tossed around by the salesperson. They just want commission anyway.

2. Check the workmanship.

You can't go from a first glance on how professional a guitar may be. I've picked up $1200 Fender guitars in a store and noticed huge gaps between the body and the fretboard. This is a huge detriment to your sustain.

Pick up the thing. Look at the paint job for scratches or marks. Pay attention to how well all the pieces fit together and whether their are gaps. Stare down the fretboard from the headstock end and notice if it has the "natural curve" to the neck that all guitars should have.

Just be nosey and picky. You're paying out the nose for a new guitar. You want it to be practically perfect for your taste and your budget.

3. Play it!

This one is simple enough. Ask the sales person to hook the thing up and jam. Check out the action on the neck. Can you move from one chord position to the next as quickly as you would like. Are you more of a lead guitarist? If so, can you play single notes at the speed you think you should.

Try it out on a few different amplifiers in the store if you're able to. You need to get in touch with the natural sounds of the guitar.

4. Bring an experienced player along with you.

The main attribute to bringing along an experienced player is that they can give you an honest opinion of whether it's a good guitar and that's what you really need. Let them pick it up, give it a once over, and play it.

They'll let you know if it's a junker or a finely-crafted instrument.

These are just a few tips on picking out a guitar that's right for you. Usually when I walk into a music store, there's so many guitars that are just plain out of my budget. Just think to yourself, "Someday." Until then, be picky and pay attention to detail. Hopefully you can walk out with something that will last you until your NEXT big purchase.


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