Knowing what you’re looking for when you’re getting ready to buy a guitar, whether it is your first guitar or your fiftieth, is the single most important factor to having a successful buying experience. In this guide, I will lay out a number of different things that you should consider and research before making your purchase.
Choosing the right type of guitar is the first thing that you need to do. The first major decision is whether you want an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. Electric guitars are easier to play and they work much better for most popular types of music but if you’re looking to do strumming and singing, an acoustic is probably a better option. Most people know the sound differences between the two guitars, but if you don’t, I would look around youtube and listen to see which one you like. Most experienced guitarists will own both acoustic and electric guitars and many, including myself, will own guitars that cover a wide range of prices from cheap electric guitars to $2,000 acoustics guitars! Also, you need an amp in order to be able to hear the notes that you’re playing on an electric guitar, while an acoustic guitar produces its own sound.
Determining a Price Point
So many people start looking for a guitar without knowing how much they are willing to spend. You sh0uld figure out how much you want to spend in total before you start looking for guitars. I typically recommend that a person be willing to spend at least $300 for a whole setup if they are new to the instrument and if they think they are going to play seriously, then I would recommend spending up to $500. I have reviewed many excellent cheap electric guitars, so you should definitely be able to find something in your price range. There are plenty of good guitars in these ranges and no beginner needs to drop $3,000 on a Gibson. Compared to most other instruments, the guitar is actually quite cheap!
Knowing What You Need
A lot of people think all that they need is a guitar, but there is a lot more that goes into owning and maintaining a guitar. In addition to your guitar, you need an amp (if you are buying an electric guitar), a case for your guitar, extra strings, picks, a tuner (not necessary but extremely helpful for beginners), a cord chart and/or music, and probably a stand. There are other things that you can buy that are optional — like a capo — but these are not really necessary to start playing.
Take Your Time
Buying a guitar is an investment. Instruments are expensive, but they can last for decades when properly cared for. Additionally, being able to play an instrument is not only fun, but it is excellent for your emotional and psychological well being. Numerous clinical studies have determined that musicians routinely score higher on intelligence tests than those who do not play an instrument. With that said, buying a guitar that doesn’t suit you will not make you want to play. As such, taking your time, doing extensive research, and being honest about your goals, abilities, and commitment will go a long way to making sure that you are completely satisfied with your purchase.
If you need help and have questions, please feel free to e-mail me and I will try to help you.