3 Important Things To Look For When Buying A New Guitar For Yourself
By Maurice Richard
Maybe you already have a guitar and want to upgrade it. Or you may not own a guitar yet and if so don’t worry as this will still apply to you too.
Buying a new guitar seems simple until you see all of the options available to you. It’s incredible how many different brand names and styles there are out there today! It can be overwhelming.
You may not realize it yet but this decision is very important for your playing in many ways. What you end up picking for your new guitar can determine how often you feel like playing it and the speed your progress.
Here are 3 important things you need to consider when buying a new guitar so that your decision will help you instead of hinder your playing.
- Feels Good In Your Hands
This is the biggest mistake I see people make when buying new guitars. Especially when they buy them for children.
They go to the guitar store and start looking at guitars, the sales person comes over, asks if they can help. Then they usually ask what their playing level is or budget.
Next thing you know you are at the “beginner” guitar rack. They convince you that it makes perfect sense to buy one of these if you or your child is just starting. I mean they are made for beginners, right?
No. Unfortunately they are not. They are made cheap. That’s it. Labelling them as beginner guitars is a disservice in my opinion.
Instead, the best thing for you to do is to first go and try many different guitars of all shapes and sizes. Make sure you can get your strumming hand around the body easily and that your fretting hand can reach the furthest frets. Be careful of very wide necks as this will make it harder to learn.
If this does not feel right then try more until you find something that does. Then you can ask the sales person to find other guitars with the same shape/feel and make your choice from those.
If the guitar feels good in your hands it will be easier to play and you will be more likely to play it!
- Sounds Good
I used to think all guitars sounded the same. Boy was I wrong!!!
It’s very interesting what happens when you go into a guitar store and start trying out a bunch of different guitars and listen to how they sound compared to others.
It was a startling revelation that led me to buying a different guitar than I had originally planned for an acoustic and also the electric side of the equation.
Both times I had found a few guitars that looked good and felt good but then an employee encouraged me to compare the sounds before I made my final choice.
I tried the electric guitars first through the same amp and settings. When I did that the sounds was like day and night between the guitars I had. I ended up with 2 different guitars to pick from in the end and the sound was so different and better with the one I picked that I was shocked.
I also compared several acoustic guitars of different shapes and sizes. It was even more amazing. The differences I never realized were there surprised me and I was able to pick the guitar that sounded the best.
If it does not sound good to you right away, it will not sound good to you later and you will not want to play it. So, make sure to try them out and buy a guitar you like the sound of! You will be happy you did!
- Looks Good
This is a lot more important than more people think.
There is a huge selection of guitars available today in every price range and in all sorts of shapes and sizes. More than enough to appeal to you.
However, what I have noticed is that many people cheap out when they buy their first guitars and get whatever color is available in that cheap model.
For some people it’s not a big deal, they can overlook it, but most of us are not like that. If you do not love the looks of your guitar you will be less likely to pick it up.
When you buy something that looks awesome it feels good every time you pick it up. I don’t know about you but I will take every possible positive motivator I can get to help me pick up my guitar and play it more!
The Main Thing Is To Make Sure It Is Not Cheap
Some salespeople will tell you there is not much difference between a $200 guitar and a $2000 guitar. Unfortunately, that is not correct and I totally disagree.
Now, just because a guitar is more expensive than another does not make it better every time, but when comparing high end guitars to lower end cheap guitars it is usually true.
The cheaper guitars are built with one goal. To be cheap. So they cut corners on everything to make sure the price is low. Higher end guitars start with a different goal. They aim for a certain sound, look or feel and tend to be better in all of these areas.
Most importantly, the bigger your investment into a new guitar the more accountable you will be to learning to play. You will ascribe a higher value to learning to play the guitar which tends to foster a better commitment and work ethic.
That does not mean you need to go broke to buy a guitar. But get something that fits all the criteria I have discussed and then pick the one that fits your budget.
About The Author:
Maurice Richard is a professional guitar teacher that operates out of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been a member of an elite guitar teaching mentorship program since 2007 and has taught many people how to learn to play the guitar. Go to his website to get more information on how to pick the best guitar for you.