#1
Hi, (i'm really new to using this site so forgive me if I'm doing this all wrong:p)

When buying a new guitar, is it crucial to have played it beforehand? I'm interested in buying a new one as my Strat isn't as "shreddy" (however I do LOVE playing it) as some other brands. I'm looking for something built for faster stuff and metal solos.

I've been playing for a year and a half-ish, I'm fairly good, perhaps a bit sloppy, but i'm not confident when asked to play in front of people so if I were to go to a guitar shop would I be frowned upon for playing like crap? Should I wait until I'm more at ease about playing in front of people?

Thanks for reading(::::
#2
Only by pricks.

One of the most important things to learn about playing an instrument is you're going to suck sometimes. Especially when you're trying something new.

And if you do start to feel self-conscious while you play, you can always turn the amp down or off.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#3
When buying a new guitar, is it crucial to have played it beforehand?

Not really, but it's always very beneficial.

I think its more important to play a guitar before buying it if they are a newcomer that hasn't played a lot of guitars and/or you're purchasing a guitar that's on the more budget range of the market.

If you have more experience and the guitar you're looking at is a relatively traditional one, there's a good chance that you've played guitars that are very similar to it in the past, so you can make an educated guess as to how the guitar you're purchasing might feel without actually playing it beforehand. Especially if you do lots of research and received feedback from other players about that specific model. But if you're a newbie, obviously you're not going to have that advantage.

If you're buying a guitar that's relatively cheap, there's going to be more or a risk that the guitar you actually buy will have quality control issues like poor fret levelling, sharp fret edges, cosmetic imperfections, misplaced hardware etc. as those are the sorts of areas (among many) that are compromised when a manufacturer has to build a guitar down to a price. So the benefit of playing the actual example you're buying is going to be greater so you have a more accurate idea of what exactly you're getting before putting any money down.

Buying online always carries a risk. But there are tons of guitars out there that are simply not available in any guitar stores near you so trying before buying is simply not an option. I for one have had no negative experiences with buying online as I did a lot of research and I've played similar guitars in the past.
but i'm not confident when asked to play in front of people so if I were to go to a guitar shop would I be frowned upon for playing like crap?

No guarantees that people will never be insensitive pricks, but you're in that store to buy a guitar, not to impress anyone.

Remember that.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#4
I've bought some expensive acoustic guitars by mail order, and it has been about as successful as trying before buying. I see it as being like a mail order marriage. You do your research, you commit, then you make it work, for better or worse. Like many things, experience helps, as TDB notes.
#5
best way to get over playing in front of people is to play in front of people. warm up on your current guitar before you go shopping. have a few chords licks that you are good at playing and use those. I tend to play certain things when I try out guitars as it makes a good frame of reference to compare.

ok as for buying online it's not bad but it is a real crap shoot as to whether you will like the guitar or not. as TooDeep Blue mentioned as you gain more experience you will be better at guessing whether you'd like a certain model or not. of course all guitars are a little different so even if you played 10 of the same model and like them #11 ordered off line might not one you like. personally I won't buy without playing but I have several stores in my area so I have that luxury.
#6
Today I don't think it matters as long as you know what it is you want, If you don't or cant decide then you should definitely go to a music store, Down side is if you have a problem with it then your stuck with shipping charges to send it back under warranty, and yes waiting, But generally just about all guitars today come out of the box pretty well set up and with no problems, Quality control is very good these days and manufactures stand behind they're product, That or they go out of business, And this is a cut throat business, Yet as others have stated its best to play a lot of different guitars on your journey, This leads to developing preferences, In which case now you can really tell if you like a certain guitar or not, Give me a Stratocaster and I get visions of Monterey and Jimi Hendrix, then start looking for some lighter fluid and a book of matches, The old timers should get that one, Hey they actually finally located that guitar! Just as he left it , Well not still on fire of course, But you know what I mean
#7
Quote by holland711


When buying a new guitar, is it crucial to have played it beforehand?


No. But it helps to have a good tech on your side who can set them up perfectly after you buy it.
I suggest that you include the cost of a really good setup in your purchase budget.
#8
I would say it's crucial if it's a guitar you've never played before (unless you have a lot of money and don't care). If' you're buying -let's say- a strat and you've played a Fender Strat many times and you're aware of the specs, it's less of a risk.
I've purchased Les Pauls before without playing because I know what I'm getting.
Also be sure you're buying from a respectable/reliable source. Ebay it sketchy, at least with Craigslist you can see/play it first. And large online companies are usually safe.
Don't worry about impressing people or being shy at a shop. If anything go out of your way to sound ultra boring by playing a bunch of simple practice exercises, turning a lot of knobs to get lots of tones. Basically see how versatile the guitar is, what it does good/bad, and how it feels in your hand. Also try it in several different amps if possible.
#9
I've bought many online.

Like the others say, buying in person is better, but buying online from a reputable seller is a perfectly reasonable and relatively safe thing to do. It may well be your only option for some items.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
I have no problem with buying instruments online, but do as much research as possible before buying. Find a good site to buy from and you shouldn't have any issues.

As for buying in a store, you'll find the staff hear all levels of ability from their customers and its extremely unlikely that they will make comments and risk losing a sale.
#11
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Not really, but it's always very beneficial.

I think its more important to play a guitar before buying it if they are a newcomer that hasn't played a lot of guitars and/or you're purchasing a guitar that's on the more budget range of the market.

If you have more experience and the guitar you're looking at is a relatively traditional one, there's a good chance that you've played guitars that are very similar to it in the past, so you can make an educated guess as to how the guitar you're purchasing might feel without actually playing it beforehand. Especially if you do lots of research and received feedback from other players about that specific model. But if you're a newbie, obviously you're not going to have that advantage.

If you're buying a guitar that's relatively cheap, there's going to be more or a risk that the guitar you actually buy will have quality control issues like poor fret levelling, sharp fret edges, cosmetic imperfections, misplaced hardware etc. as those are the sorts of areas (among many) that are compromised when a manufacturer has to build a guitar down to a price. So the benefit of playing the actual example you're buying is going to be greater so you have a more accurate idea of what exactly you're getting before putting any money down.

Buying online always carries a risk. But there are tons of guitars out there that are simply not available in any guitar stores near you so trying before buying is simply not an option. I for one have had no negative experiences with buying online as I did a lot of research and I've played similar guitars in the past.

No guarantees that people will never be insensitive pricks, but you're in that store to buy a guitar, not to impress anyone.

Remember that.


Buying in a shop often carries risk, too- you often can't inspect the thing as much as you'd like or you might miss something etc.

and if the people in the shop are really dickish that doesn't exactly help you to try the thing out properly.

but other than that, excellent post and agreed.
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#12
I was going to say yes, trying before buying is very beneficial.... but I remembered even though I bought all 5 of my guitars online and was disappointed by each, it's only because I bought MII/MIK stuff that was dodgy and I expected supreme playability for some reason.

Even playing in a store can't tell you how good a guitar can play if its not set up, and most everything at a place like Guitar Center is not set up.

But feel is another thing. How the body feels in your lap, or against your body. How the neck shape feels. Stuff like that for a newer guitar player may be beneficial when trying them out in a store. Personally I'm adaptable and don't have much of a preference on necks, I'm more concerned with build quality.

If you can try out a specific model that you want, by all means do that. Or if you just simply want to go try a bunch of different styles/brands, nothing else will help you figure out what you want. I know it's nerve racking to play in a store, but I usually sneak around, grab a guitar, and find a practice amp to jam on at a low volume. If you specifically ask for a guitar that you can't reach or something, the workers usually hover around you and that's really aggravating.

If you find one online you really want and can't find one to try locally, as long as it's not super cheap and by a reputable brand, there's nothing wrong with that. Just don't expect perfection if it's not MIA/MIJ/custom shop/etc.
#13
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE


I think its more important to play a guitar before buying it if they are a newcomer that hasn't played a lot of guitars and/or you're purchasing a guitar that's on the more budget range of the market.



I'm not sure that it makes all that much difference *especially* if it's a newcomer who hasn't played a lot of guitars. You probably don't have any idea what you're looking at or what it is that's good or bad about the guitar.

Ideally, you should take along someone who does know, or run the guitar by a really good tech who can tell you what's good or bad.

I have a friend who's played acoustic guitar for years who decided he wanted an electric guitar. He came home with an Epiphone LP new off the wall from Guitar Denter that had been worked over by customers, and I had him take it back. The action was about what he expected on his acoustic (which is to say "high*), the frets were already wearing, the pots had bent shafts, one of the tuners was bent, there was an obvious open somewhere in the neck pickup circuit and there was already a chip out of one side of the nut. He got it because he though it was pretty and "bad-ass."

We found him a used but pristine Carvin DC400 that played like a dream ("I didn't know electrics played like that").
#14
Do research. I bought an XPT700 recently off fleabay. And while the guitar is minty, it sucks to play while standing (very neck heavy) and I refuse to drill holes in a minty guitar. Hopefully a leather strap will help.
I would recommend buying off eBay, if you go online. If by chance the seller inaccurately describes, or guitar shows up trashed, eBay buyer protection covers you from getting hosed.
I've bought many guitars off there, with pretty good results.
I also researched the models in particular,(I knew of Xiphos neck heavy issue) if they weren't a "mystery guitar". Then it's kind of a dice roll. Usually can't go wrong with something MIJ/A.
#15
Quote by dspellman
I'm not sure that it makes all that much difference *especially* if it's a newcomer who hasn't played a lot of guitars. You probably don't have any idea what you're looking at or what it is that's good or bad about the guitar.

Ideally, you should take along someone who does know, or run the guitar by a really good tech who can tell you what's good or bad.

I still think that going alone is still a hell of a lot better than buying sight unseen online. It absolutely does make a difference.

I agree that you should also take somebody with you who knows what they're doing. And I suppose a tech is a good idea too they aren't going to gloss over everything wrong with the guitar as doing that won't make them any money. It's in their self-interest to fix guitars.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#16
You could always do what I do with shopping (I don't do this with guitars, as I'm pretty versed on what I like)
I find something at a store I like, then look for it used on eBay.
I'm a huge advocate of buying used guitars and gear. I've had minty new guitars, and I'm always dreading that first ding or chip. It's inevitable, if you play them. Buying a used guitar with a couple dingers already there, makes it easier for me to rock it. Like my ESP MII. it's been around the block, with a few chips and dingers, and I play on it like I'm trying to kill it.
#17
I like to play a bunch of different guitars before I buy one I usually don't leave with the guitar I thought I was going to buy and I haven't been disappointed yet
Wise man once said, " If you ever get lost in the woods, just start jacking off someone will see you."
#18
It's perfectly fine. Trying before you buy is just more perfectly fine
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#19
Buying online is not inherently bad but it can be risky. If you choose to buy online make sure you have a clear understanding of the return policy, if there is no return policy don't buy it. Getting a feel for a guitar before buying going to be optimum. I was able to test drive every guitat that I currently own before purchasing them I have in the past bought online with mixed results some of them I held onto for awhile until I became bored with them then I sold or traded them others I purchased from Guiotar Center online (new and used) were returned rather quickly because they just didn't feel good to me.


Quote by Diatribes
Do research. I bought an XPT700 recently off fleabay. And while the guitar is minty, it sucks to play while standing (very neck heavy) and I refuse to drill holes in a minty guitar. Hopefully a leather strap will help.


I love my Xiphos XPT700 for me the neck dive is not too bad, nothing I can't live with. Mine is also minty (blue/green chamelean) the only thing I want to change is the tremolo I want to put an Edge Pro on it, I thnk the DiMarzio D'Activaters sound damn good.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

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Time for primal concrete sledge

#20
Evilnine
Yes I am quite impressed with my Xiphos.
For and indo guitar it fckn rocks. The pups sound great. The build quality is very nice.
I plan on swapping the edge III out eventually, but the guitar is like new. The edge has presented no tuning issues.
Schaller Floyds are also drop in conversions.
#21
Quote by dspellman
I'm not sure that it makes all that much difference *especially* if it's a newcomer who hasn't played a lot of guitars. You probably don't have any idea what you're looking at or what it is that's good or bad about the guitar.

Ideally, you should take along someone who does know, or run the guitar by a really good tech who can tell you what's good or bad.

I have a friend who's played acoustic guitar for years who decided he wanted an electric guitar. He came home with an Epiphone LP new off the wall from Guitar Denter that had been worked over by customers, and I had him take it back. The action was about what he expected on his acoustic (which is to say "high*), the frets were already wearing, the pots had bent shafts, one of the tuners was bent, there was an obvious open somewhere in the neck pickup circuit and there was already a chip out of one side of the nut. He got it because he though it was pretty and "bad-ass."

We found him a used but pristine Carvin DC400 that played like a dream ("I didn't know electrics played like that").


can't agree. sure a new player won't know to look for those things but that's why bringing someone or at worst asking someone else at the store is a good plan. new players aren't going to know what might have been damaged in shipping etc either so its kind of a wash either way.

looking at a catalog just isn't the same as trying out a guitar even if it is because it looks "cool" ordering online is fine for those who know exactly what they want but lest face it new players usually don't.
#22
Is it bad to buy a guitar online?


Bad bad bad. Olivia Munn will be by to spank you.
#23
RESEARCH!
Research everything about a particular guitar you're interested in.
Everything. Pups, electronics, hardware, etc
And post said guitar here, for expert advise (not necessarily from me ?)
#24
judging by his most recent couple of posts it looks like dspellman has just come off the chemical castration...
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#25
Purely a personal choice.

I have bought 1 guitar online and the other dozen or so by playing beforehand. I prefer to play em first but a lotta guys happily buy online. Whatever floats your boat. I don't really enjoy plugging in and playing in a music store showroom so I will play a few unplugged until I like the feel and balance and then plug in and hang out with it for a while in private. I tend to ask for a practice room where I can turn up a bit without offending others in the store. I also tend to buy 9/10 guitars used at 1/2 retail price and prefer this for both value and a semi-private test drive. Many of the ones I get have already been professionally set up and are owned by seasoned players who care for their instruments.

As to the Strat not being "shreddy enough", some folks have managed to shred quite nicely on them so you may want to reconsider getting a new "pointy" guitar unless you simply want the look.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Nov 22, 2016,
#26
Quote by Cajundaddy
Oops! double-post and no delete button. Mods help!?!
click the post number in the top right like this

Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#27
Quote by holland711
When buying a new guitar, is it crucial to have played it beforehand?


I sure hope not, I just bought my first electric this way...

Quote by dspellman
No. But it helps to have a good tech on your side who can set them up perfectly after you buy it.
I suggest that you include the cost of a really good setup in your purchase budget.


The place I ordered from includes set up at a local shop, which is something that should be looked for when ordering from chains, IMO.

Quote by Cajundaddy
Oops! double-post and no delete button. Mods help!?!


Triple post now...
#28
I'd say only buy online if that site is trustworthy, or has a physical store somewhere near you
Like Guitar Center for example, I know they have stores near me, so if I buy guitars or gear from their website, I know I can get it at a store and have it returned/replaced if it comes out bad
Gear:
- ESP LTD MH-50
- Strandberg OS 7
- A cheap fender strat knock-off not worth naming
- Garageband
- Boss GT-1
- Potato
#29
Quote by Cajundaddy
Purely a personal choice.

I have bought 1 guitar online and the other dozen or so by playing beforehand. I prefer to play em first but a lotta guys happily buy online. Whatever floats your boat. I don't really enjoy plugging in and playing in a music store showroom so I will play a few unplugged until I like the feel and balance and then plug in and hang out with it for a while in private. I tend to ask for a practice room where I can turn up a bit without offending others in the store. I also tend to buy 9/10 guitars used at 1/2 retail price and prefer this for both value and a semi-private test drive. Many of the ones I get have already been professionally set up and are owned by seasoned players who care for their instruments.

As to the Strat not being "shreddy enough", some folks have managed to shred quite nicely on them so you may want to reconsider getting a new "pointy" guitar unless you simply want the look.


I play that same thing when tuning up bastard must have stolen it

I wish. totally agree though no reason you can't shred on a strat at least the more modern ones that don't have as round of a fretboard (yngwie scallops his so even though his is the old style it plays very different.)
#30
Quote by Cajundaddy

I have bought 1 guitar online and the other dozen or so by playing beforehand. I prefer to play em first but a lotta guys happily buy online. Whatever floats your boat. I don't really enjoy plugging in and playing in a music store showroom so I will play a few unplugged until I like the feel and balance and then plug in and hang out with it for a while in private. I tend to ask for a practice room where I can turn up a bit without offending others in the store. I also tend to buy 9/10 guitars used at 1/2 retail price and prefer this for both value and a semi-private test drive. Many of the ones I get have already been professionally set up and are owned by seasoned players who care for their instruments.


Probably worth pointing out that a lot of the people (me included) who buy online don't necessarily do so by choice, they often do it because what they want either isn't available locally, or it is but the pricing isn't competitive or the gear isn't in good condition in the shop (even though it's supposedly new), or the shop isn't that great to try stuff out in (since the belfast guitar emporium closed, I don't think we have any guitar shops here in NI which have private trying-out booths, which, I agree with you, are awesome).

The other thing is, at least in the EU, you have much more rights as a consumer if you buy online. If you buy online legally you're allowed to send the thing back within 14 days if you don't like it. Buying in a "real" bricks and mortar shop, you don't have those same return rights. Shops may well have their own return policy, but I'm not sure I've ever seen any guitar shops here who'll let you return guitars etc.. which you bought in the store (clothes shops and bigger supermarket chains etc. often let you return stuff even bought at a "real" shop). In fact I've been in guitar shops here which had signs up saying, "All sales are final", i.e. no returns if you don't like the thing if you tried it in the shop. That's another reason for buying online. Especially since (in my experience and opinion) I can rarely try the thing out well enough in a shop to be sure I want it.

And yes, yngwie can shred on a vintage-spec strat (apart from the scalloping, as monwobobbo said). But he's awesome, and in my opinion it's a lot easier on a superstrat.
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