Posted Oct 04, 2011 06:44 AM
Ever since I last dropped into the forums, many people have been asking me how to buy a new guitar. So, I am going to teach you guys how to choose, and buy, a brand-new rockin' axe for your style.
Step 1: Be prepared.
Never expect a real instrument to cost only up to 100 bucks. Look forward to using at least a budget of:
$200-$300 for Beginner guitars,
$300-$500 for Casual-playing/Budget-based guitars,
$500-$700 for Mid-end guitars,
$700-$1000 for Top-notch guitars,
and over $1000 for Signature guitars.
Also, if this is your first time buying a guitar, have a buddy who is a guitar expert follow you on the trip to your nearest market. If you are a professional, this is no big deal as ou already know which guitar to choose.
PS Be prepared to spend at least 1 hour in the store for guitars.
Step 2: Look around.
Take a moment to look around the store and see if there is a guitar you would like to play. Also, always consider a maximum, and minimum, budget you will use into buying a guitar. If this is your first time, your friend will help choose a guitar for you.
Step 3: If required, ask the salesman to help you in choosing a guitar.
If you are in trouble trying to select a guitar, ask the salesman for help in choosing the guitar. If you are a professional, this is no big deal as you already know how to choose a guitar.
Step 4: Check the guitar for any defects.
Price of the guitar NEVER indicates quality. Check the guitar for any obvious defects such as bad fret leveling (the metal shims on the fretboard), stainable finish, unstable neck curvature, abnormally high action (the distance between the strings and the fretboard), poor quality materials, or loose objects on the guitar. If the guitar has any of these defects, then it's not worth buying it. Just reject the guitar and get another one. If the guitar passes the quality test, then move on to the next step.
And also, keep in mind that a guitar made in America is not always better than imported guitars. I know from my personal experience that even imported guitars have much better quality control compared to the famous, American guitars.
Step 5: Plug the guitar in, and do a simple sound check.
If this is your first time, have a buddy or a salesman do a sound check for you. This is done by connecting the guitar to a nearby stock amplifier using a patch cord. Does the sound seem clean?
Step 6: Ask the salesman for the specifications of the guitar.
If you are unsure of how the guitar would be suitable for the style of rock music you are playing. Are the pickups good enough for you? Guitar body comfortable? Guitar intonates well? High string bends don't fret out? Guitar bridge/neck stable?
Step 7: Check the guitar again for any defects.
Do a final check on your guitar to confirm if the guitar is right for you. If you are done, move onto the next step.
Step 8: Check the store to see if you can get a guitar that is better than your guitar for a much more reasonable price.
It's really hard to find your 'perfect' guitar. Always check the store to see if you can get a better guitar than what you want.
Step 9: Once you are sure, get the accessories you'll need to get for your guitar.
Electric guitars are never complete without any accessories for the guitar. If this is your first time buying a guitar, make sure that when you are buying a guitar, always get the following items along with it:
Minimum 10 Guitar Picks
Guitar Case (Preferably a hard-cover case)
Guitar Amplifier (Any basic amplifier will do.)
Allen Wrench (Only applies if you are getting a guitar with a locking tremolo system)
Patch Cord (3-ft cord will do)
Guitar Capo (Jim Dunlop Capo is recommended)
Guitar Strings (Ernie-Ball 9-42 strings are recommended)
And a Guitar Maintenance Toolkit.
If you are a professional, this is no big deal as you already have the tools you'll need. Move onto the next step.
Step 10: Bring the axe home and shred!
You can now bring your favourite guitar home and shred! Just be sure to have the guitar properly maintained and you'll be shredding for life!