5 Electric Guitar Buying Tips
If you’ve finally outgrown your air guitar and are looking for a real electric one, there are several things you’ll need to consider.
This includes how much you’re able to spend, the right size, what your current skill level is and how you like to play. You may have a preference for the brand or its design, but what it can do for you should be more important, at least until you’ve played enough to become a pro.
If you’re at the stage of wanting to buy an electric guitar, at whatever stage in your guitar playing career, this article will give you some handy tips to find the best one at this moment in time for you.
How Much Can You Afford?
You may have saved or decided to dip into your savings, but the chances are you’ve got a certain amount of money you’re willing to use and this is a good starting point. As much as anyone of us would like to have an unreserved amount to pay for the guitar of our dreams, very often, as stated by The Sound Junky, the reality is that you have a certain sum you can dedicate to spending on it. It means you’ve started narrowing down your choices, according to what you can afford. Don’t forget, there may be other things you’ll need to buy, like a guitar stand, perhaps even an amp. You could find your initial outlay soon mounting up, especially if you’re considering insurance too.
Of course, you may decide to save for a specific electric guitar, and good for you, but there are other things you need to consider. Whenever possible, you should try before you buy because you may find what was the guitar of your dreams actually turns out to be unsuitable for you for many reasons.
What’s the Right Size?
Just like your kicks, guitars come in different sizes. A full-sized guitar typically has a scale length of a minimum of 25 inches or more. Even if the whole guitar is smaller than 38 inches, if the scale length is 25 inches or more, then it’s still a full-sized guitar.
Any guitar with a scale under 25 inches isn’t a full-sized one. So why do people buy them? There’s a number of reasons. If a person is under 5 foot or a child, then a ¾ guitar is a good choice for them because it’d be more comfortable than a full-sized one.
Contrary to what some people believe, small hands shouldn’t be a deciding factor about whether to buy a full-sized guitar or a ¾ one. Aside from the height of a person, ¾ guitars are often purchased when there’s not enough room when travelling to gigs. The main rule of thumb when it comes to finding the right size is comfort: if it’s comfortable to play then it’s right for you.
What’s Your Current Skill Level?
You’ve most probably seen many guitar players before you’ve got to the stage of wanting to buy a guitar for yourself. You may even have had your eyes on the guitar of your dreams, imagining what you’ll look like playing it in front of a crowd. If you’re lucky, you may have even had the chance of strumming a few chords on one and set your heart on having it.
However, if you’re only a beginner, or are still learning to play one, opting for a beginner’s guitar will be the best choice for you until you’re passed the learning stage. This is because these types of guitars will often come with everything you need to develop as a guitar player. Every guitar player has gone through this beginner phase to get to where they are now and where you want to be. You all know how amazing playing the guitar is when you’ve regularly made it on stage, in front of a crowd. But to get to this stage, you have to constantly adapt your personal playing style. Once you’ve got this nailed, finding an electric guitar that compliments this is the next stage when considering a new purchase.
How Do You Play?
Guitars feature in nearly all genres of music. Each genre has a specific style and sound that makes them unique and when you find what genre, or genres, you like to play your guitar to, you’ll need to look for guitar components that will help you improve your technique. Some will sound better when playing rock, blues, or even different genres, so knowing what music you’ll be playing is an important thing to consider. If you choose the wrong type of guitar, then your playing will be affected, making it harder for you to learn too.
There are some genres that are considered synonymous with the electric guitar, like rock music and blues. Some guitars may have adaptations for other kinds of music. For instance, some guitars have resonators on them. A resonator is like a metal cone that’s placed where the soundhole normally is. It helps to project the sound even more than usual and can be quite loud to the untrained ear. This type of guitar is used in blues, jazz, and country music, to name just a few genres.
Amps can also affect the style of music your guitar plays. Any good amp will have options to shape the tones of your guitar, merely by the flick of a switch on it.
Brand Preference and Look
There are some brands of guitars that have stood the test of time, including the Fender, Gibson, and Charvel. These are just some of the brands that people often veer towards. They’re known for their part in music history and for their quality. There’s nothing wrong with wanting one of these, especially if you’re playing to a crowd. However, as we’ve mentioned before, if you’re a beginner, focus on learning to play with a cheaper model so that you master the basics. Along the way, you’ll develop your own playing technique and will be in a better position to choose the right guitar for you.
How a guitar looks is often what attracts you to it. You may be attracted to how one looks, whether you’re playing it or not, or the image it portrays. Whatever the reason, how it looks is secondary to how it plays in your hands.
Purchasing a new electric guitar, regardless of whether it’s your first or one of several, is an exciting time. But you want to get it right so that the sound produced is spot on. With our tips, you’ll soon be on your way. Trust your instincts and take someone with you for a second opinion, just so you make the right choice. This way, you’ll avoid disappointment and have the electric guitar of your dreams.