5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Guitar
Whether you are buying you first guitar or simply after something new and exciting, consider these 5 simple steps to ensure your next acoustic or electric guitar is the right one for you.
Here at Music Bros. we meet people on a daily basis looking for a new guitar. Very rarely that person knows exactly what style of guitar they are after… most of the time they have no idea what guitar they want at all. That is where we come in! We follow these simple rules to help the player find the guitar that is right for them.
Should I Buy an Acoustic or Electric Guitar?
There are many styles of music that you can play on both Acoustic and Electric guitars so don’t panic if you have no idea of your musical direction at the time of buying your first guitar. That said, there are also many genres that are only suited for one or the other. Take Heavy Metal and Rock music for example, you won’t find many people trying to play this style on acoustic guitars. The reason for this is because the famous distorted or overdriven sound is achieved by driving the sound of an Electric guitar through an amplifier.
I’ve never played before, should I just be looking at acoustic guitars?
There is a common misconception that everyone’s first guitar should be an acoustic guitar. It’s important that you choose the guitar based on what style you want to be learning. The sooner you can start playing songs you like, the more you will enjoy it! Ok, so you are not going to just pickup a guitar and start playing ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ however if this is what you want to be learning it’s going to be achieved a lot quicker if you are starting out on an electric guitar.
So why would I choose an Acoustic Guitar?
There are many reasons someone might choose an acoustic guitar over an electric. One of the main advantages an acoustic guitar has over an electric is that they are always ready to go! You haven’t got to worry about finding your guitar lead or a spare plug socket to power up the amplifier, you can simply grab the guitar off the stand and start playing.
Another reason you may find yourself looking at acoustic guitars is there is less you need to start out. Because you don’t need to purchase amplifiers and leads it can be a much cheaper option if you are working with a budget.
How Much Should I Spend?
So you probably don’t want to spend too much on your first guitar, I bet you’re not even sure you’re going to stick with it right? Well If you go and find the cheapest guitar on the internet you can possibly find, then your chances of learning are going to be pretty low. But don’t panic, you don’t have to take out a loan or re-mortgage the house either. Actually there are a lot great guitars for around £99.
So why would you have less chance of learning on a £40 guitar you just purchased form some online shop you have never heard of before. The reason is they are more often than not poorly assembled with very cheap materials resulting in a very difficult to play guitar that even advanced guitarist would probably struggle on.
The more you can spend the better, however don’t be put off if you’re budget isn’t a huge amount. If you aim for around the £99 to £150 you will have plenty of options to get you started.
What do you get when you spend more
When you spend more on an instrument you are investing in the quality in the materials used to assemble that guitar. Take an acoustic for example, Acoustic guitars are mainly wood and a bit of metal. When you start spending more, the quality of those tone woods will make a huge difference on the quality of the sound the guitar will produce. Durability is another factor. If you are a gigging musician it would definitely be worth investing in a more durable instrument that is designed to be taken on the road.
Guitar Size Matters!
This mainly applies to acoustic guitars however the shape of an electric can definitely make a difference on the feel and comfort too.
A traditional shape of of an acoustic is called a Dreadnought. Dreadnought acoustics are quite large and although they can produce more volume and bass, if you find the guitar uncomfortable, the chances are you’re probably not going to play it very often.
Buying a guitar that fits and feels comfortable is a very important factor of buying a guitar. At Music Bros. we like to sit people down with the guitar, even if that person has never played before. If the person has to lean over the guitar just to see where you are placing your fingers on the fretboard then this probably is too big for you.
Choosing A Guitar Brand
There are more guitar manufacturers now than there ever has been before. This can make buying an electric or acoustic guitar seem incredibly difficult, especially if you fall into the wormhole of online forums. There is always going to people out there who prefer one brand to another and just because GarryGuitarist808 (made up dude) doesn’t like a certain brand definitely doesn’t mean they are not right for you!
Reading reviews can be a good way of getting a feel for a brand. If there is a certain brand that is getting a lot of poor reviews, with a lot a similar issues, from a lot of different people, then I would probably steer clear of those.
That said it is important to do your research if you are buying online. Don’t just take one persons word for it.
Most importantly, stick to well known brands!
Brands such as:
Should I buy a Guitar online or In Store?
Some people like to be a bit impulsive, whereas others need to be sure before they buy that the guitar they're getting is the one for them. Thats why we have our 27 club no quibble guarantee - meaning if you get your guitar and don't like it you can send it back to us without any issues. If you are thinking of purchasing a guitar from our online store we are also always happy to help over the phone or via email. That way we can go through these simple steps and ensure you will love your next guitar!!