This article is to help you choose a good guitar that suits the music you like to play no matter how good or bad you are.
To begin: First you should know the difference between the different styles of pickups and what they are good for:
You may also get a guitar with a single coil at the neck and a humbucker at the bridge. There are many different combinations...
Of course, the quality of your pickups greatly affects your tone.
What is the difference between a pickup at the bridge or at the neck?
Well the difference is that pickups at the neck have a shorter distance from the fretted note and it seems to give a much warmer tone, that is why a guitar with one single coil and one humbucker has the single coil at the neck. The bridge pickup is further from the fretted note so it gives a nicer tone with distortion. The tone you get is more harsh and you get more distortion and sustain when the bridge pickup is selected.
You may even use both pickups at once, using the selector switch.
The next thing to take into consideration is the wood of your guitar. Heavier woods such as mahogany give more sustain than woods such as ash or alder. Therefore guitars such as the Les Paul sound so good with distortion because of the combination of a mahogany body with good quality humbuckers. The biggest downside to guitars made of such heavy wood is that they become very heavy and it becomes hard to play standing up for long periods of time.
The standard Fender Stratocaster has alder or ash bodies. his combination goes very well with its 3 single coil pickups to give a good clean sound.
The 3 most commonly used woods are mahogany, alder and basswood(cheaper wood).
There are also different types of bridges.
There are many different bridges but the ones that you will come across most often are: The Floyd Rose and The Neck Thru Style. Well the major differences are that the floyd rose style is a floating bridge and the neck thru style is a fixed bridge. The Floyd Rose style: It has a floating bridge which means that it comes with a whammy bar. This can be used to dip the bridge to quicy slacken the strings or tighten them so it changes the tuning just by pushing the bar and when you let go, it returns to normal. You will see that Eddie Van Halen uses this alot. This is a really good thing to have but the problem with the bridge is that changing the strings and tuning the guitar becomes harder as well as a lot longer and sometimes when you dip the bar too much the tuning changes.
The neck thru style: This is a much simpler bridge. It is a fixed bridge where there are 6 holes in the guitar through which you thread your strings much more easily. Tuning as well as changing strings becomes much easier but you cannot use the effect made with a whammy bar.
No fear: if you really want to use the whammy effect and you want a fixed bridge, buy the digitech whammy pedal. It allows you to drop the tuning up to 2 octaves lower or higher and you do not have to touch the guitar.
There is also the number of frets to take into consideration. Some guitars come with either: 21, 22 or 24 frets. Guitars with 21 frets are more stable than the guitars with 24 frets but if you love soloing on your guitar then 24 frets are more useful.
The type of strings that you use on your guitar depend on your playing. If you play on low tunings, then you need heavy gauge strings so the strings do not become too slack. I f you solo alot, then you need lighter gauge strings such as 9's so that string bending becomes easier.
Those are the main things to take into consideration.
Now some advice on good guitars for all levels of playing:
If you are a beginner, then i recommend the Squier guitars by Fender. They are cheaper guitars made by fender. If you are just learning to play guitar, then the strat pack is good because it comes with all the equipment you need to begin: A guitar, amp, cable...
The Squier Stratocaster is a fantastic guitar for 100pounds. It is similar in looks to the Fender version except that is alot cheaper. The sound is not bad but it comes with 3 single coils so it isnt ideal for beginner rockers
Yamaha Do some great guitars for under 200 quid. I recommend checking these two companies out. If you do not go for a guitar package, then i recommend a small Marshall amp (10 WATTS) or the Roland Micro Cube. The micro cube is a really good amp. it gives amazing clean tones as well as some brutal metal tones (i use a ESP LTD KH202 and im not sure how it sounds with other guitars.) The cable you choose should say noise reduction on the side to ensure that it is a good quality cable.
If you are buying an Expensive guitar, i would go for either the Lespaul, SG or the Stratocaster. These are the real deal. For clean tones, the strat and for heavy tones the Gibson SG or LP. I prefer the Lespaul but the one major disadvantage is the weight of it. It is very heavy and can often hurt your back but i feel the quality of the guitar makes up for the weight.
Some of the great guitarists that use Gibson: Slash, Jimmy Page, Zakk Wylde, Angus Young, Joe Perry, Mark Knopfler....the list is endless.
Those who use the Strat: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Jeff Beck. So if you are using one of these guitars, you can see that you are in good company.
Make sure that when you are buying an amp or some effects, take your guitar to try it out because some combinations do not go well together.
Any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please rate this article and give your comments. I will take every thing into consideration for my next article...