#1
This is probably the biggest type of post on EG. Help us to help you as effectively as possible.

BUDGET

How much do you have to spend? Pretty straightforward, but vitally important to getting good answers. Getting suggestions to buy guitars you cannot afford is of no help to anyone. Giving vague amounts or not giving us a budget at all is unhelpful too. Give us a number to work with.

LOCATION / CLOSEST CITY

Whereabouts in the world are you? We don't want to stalk you, but knowing this information is very important because depending on your answer, you may or may not have easy access to many of the pieces of gear that other users might otherwise recommend. There may also be import and additional shipping fees to consider that may affect the viability of a given purchase. A guitar that initially seems like a great value can have a substantial amount of its value be lost and may no longer be practical or cost effective to buy depending on your locale.

Another more recent legal development that complicates the issue are the new CITES II regulations concerning woods that CITES view as being endangered or vulnerable to exploitation, such as rosewood, bubinga and in the foreseeable future, ebony. Guitars with certain species of wood for their fingerboards may require the seller to send a permit to make an international transaction. The rules regarding CITES II vary depending on what part of the world you live in, so the details of which will not be covered here. Please do your research on this before making a purchase with an international seller.

Here are some sources for more information on the topic:

https://reverb.com/uk/news/new-cites-regulations-for-all-rosewood-species
https://blog.andertons.co.uk/guitars/cites
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cites-imports-and-exports

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NEW or USED and ARE YOU WILLING TO ORDER ONLINE?

Again, this is fairly simple but it makes a big difference. If the guitar must be brand new then please specify. If you are willing to buy used this may give you a lot more options and you may find you'll be able to afford nicer gear than you would've initially thought. Some aren't comfortable with this however, but it is often recommended as a way to make your money go further and get you better quality gear.

Some prefer to not order online and some are fine with it. Going online will give you more options, but again if you won't buy a guitar if you don't have an opportunity to try it first, then please let us know. In which case, there's no point in recommending guitars that you aren't likely to get locally.

SPECIFY WHAT YOU WANT

If you want gear that will work for the music you play then we need to know what exactly that is. The more specific you can be in this area, the better the recommendations you'll get as the guitars will more likely suit your needs.

Statements like, "What's the best metal guitar?" or, "I just want a guitar that sounds good and plays good" are too vague. Be specific.

Give us an idea of what you are playing and trying to achieve. Give examples of the sorts of bands you like if you feel that's easier.

You need to specify a list of features that you're looking for in the guitar. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

. What body style do you want?
. What neck profile are you looking for?
. What pickup configuration are you looking for?
. Are there any pickups that you're looking for in particular? Passives? Actives?
. What bridge do you want? Would you rather have a fixed bridge or a vibrato (tremolo) bridge? If so what kind of fixed bridge or vibrato?
. Do you have a preference for fretboard radius?
. How many frets do you want?
. What kind of neck construction do you want?
. What finish options do you want?
. Any particular wood combinations you want?
. Any particular brands you're interested in?

This is not a comprehensive list, but it gives you a good idea of the kind of information we're looking for. The more detail you can give, the better.

If you have absolutely no idea what any of this means and you don't know what you want, then the next step would be to go down to a guitar store and finding out what you like for yourself. Nobody else can make the decision of what you might like for you.

If you're totally inexperienced and incapable of playing a few chords, then bring a friend who knows how to play guitar with you to the guitar store. They may well have a better idea of what may or may not be a good guitar for you as they'll have more experience. Keep in mind that their opinion is also subject to bias. Obviously it isn't ideal that you cannot play the guitar yourself, but if you have absolutely no idea how to play one this may be your only option. At the very least, you can grab hold of the neck and determine if you think it's comfortable compared to other guitars, if the body is balanced and ergonomic etc.

WHAT AMP DO YOU HAVE?

This question seems odd, but a poor quality amplifier will not make your new guitar sound much better (if at all) than your old one. This is a very common misconception that rookies make. If you want a new guitar because you want a better sounding guitar, specifying what amp and cabinet setup you have is imperative.

WHAT OTHER GEAR DO YOU HAVE?

This may include other guitars, other amps, stompboxes etc. All of this information is good to know because it'll help define what you feel is missing from the gear you currently have and how this new guitar may aim to fulfill your needs in ways your current setup doesn't.
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If these guidelines are followed then your chances of getting useful advice will greatly increase. Keep in mind that opinions of one person to the next may vary, so don't expect a definitive answer every time.

Last but not least: understand that these is just recommendations. In the end, it is up to you to decide what you end up getting. You also need to keep an open mind as what you thought you wanted may not be what you actually need. For instance we often get questions like, "What guitar will make my Line 6 Spider IV sound like a Mesa Duel Rectifier?" As much as we'd like such a guitar to exist, it doesn't. Your money needs to go towards a better amp, not a better guitar, in that situation.

Don't get mad if the advice given isn't what you want to hear either. Every effort is made to give honest helpful answers and we have many members that know what they are talking about. (also a few that don't but this is a forum so no guarantees can be made. But most people here do the best they can)

Hope this helps and happy posting!
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#2
HOW BEST TO GIVE ADVICE ON THIS FORUM

One of the best things about this forum is the many members with knowledge to share. Some are better at it than others and some may be a bit hesitant. These guidelines should help keep things interesting and constructive.

As we all should know, gear advice is tough for a number of reasons. There is usually not one answer and everyone has their favs. This keeps things interesting and hopefully give those seeking advice options. It also may spur some (hopefully) friendly debate which keep this forum interesting.

WHAT IS GOOD ADVICE?

This should be simple but often it's complicated. Simply, good advice should answer the posters questions and meet what they want. Sadly it isn't always that easy. The best advice may be totally different from what the poster expects. In any case some kind of explanation should be given as to why your advice is viable. Try not to talk down to folks, we were all n00b players at one time. Most of all your advice should be useful in a genuine manor.

TYPES OF ADVICE:

Advice usually comes in 2 forms (at least for this type of forum.)

FIRST HAND : This tends to be the best type of advice. 1st hand means you either own or have personally tried whatever is being recommended. Those who actually own (or have owned) are in the best position to give solid information. They know the pros and cons inside and out. They are in the best position to answer any questions a poster may have about it and give solid advice. Those who have tried something can at least give an educated answer on it but this tends to be more of an opinion, but it is still very useful. Either way personal experience usually makes for the best advice.

SECOND HAND: This gets a lot tougher but still can be useful. Advertising, YouTube and the like all provide 2nd hand information. Reading about an item online is also 2nd hand. Advice based on this gets a little iffy but can still be useful if done properly. STATE that this info is 2nd hand but the poster may want to look into it. None of us are likely to ever be in a position to personally try everything out there, so we often are in a position to hear about gear. Something may sound like the perfect solution to a posters question so it can't hurt to mention it as a possible option. Care must be taken with this in order to make it useful.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#3
BE POLITE!

We often get the same questions or get some seemingly dumb noob questions. At one time all of us were noobs so keep that in mind. Some posters don't always do well with advice given, but try to keep your cool when responding. Other folks may respond with something you don't agree with, this is a big part of a forum. Again, try to keep things civil and in the form of a debate. FLAME WARS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. We all make mistakes so again be polite when pointing them out. Don't just come into a thread to point out something sucks with nothing more to be said on your part. Not useful.

GIVE USEFUL ADVICE:

This should seem obvious; and it doesn't always happen but it should. We fully encourage everyone here to participate and don't want to make anyone feel like they have to be an "expert" to answer a posters question. Having said this, we don't encourage folks to post on things they have little or no knowledge about. Really read what the poster says and try to give advice that best suites the question. This may include recommending things that you personally aren't a fan of but is what the poster needs. Advice shouldn't be about what you like as much as what will best suite the poster. Use common sense and all should be good. Try not to be a fanboy either. We all have favorite gear and promote it as much as we can, and if that gear is what the poster really needs great go for it. If it really isn't the best option then either stay out of the conversation or recommend what would be the best option.

We hope this helps. Our members are what makes this forum great so lets keep up the good work and make this a place known for good advice.


Many thanks must go to monwobobbo for implementing this update and helping make this thread possible.
Quote by Axelfox
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Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend