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What to look out for when buying a new guitar

Updated on October 20, 2010

Buying a new guitar

If you just took up guitar lessons and looking to buy a new guitar, I hope this article helps you in some ways. :) 

Most of the time when you walk into a guitar store, you find a wide array of guitars and if you’re a beginner,

you’ll probably be wandering around and wondering which guitar to get. You stare at the

guitars like as though you’re playing ‘spot the difference’ and you realize that even though

some of the guitars look alike, they are actually different in many ways? Some of them has

nylon strings, some has steel strings, and the prices! You pick up 2 similar looking guitars

but when you compare the prices, one can cost $200 and the other $2000! So what are the

differences between these kind of guitars? The brand?


Firstly, always bring a friend who knows how to play the guitar ( or your guitar teacher) to go

along with you to the guitar store if you are a beginner. You can choose the guitars based on

the colour and appearance first then ask your friend/teacher for some opinion.


NOTE: When choosing your guitar, try to resist the urge of looking at the price tag first!


The most important thing to look at when choosing your guitar is the Tone. Everything else,

including the price, is secondary.


If you are a beginner, the best way to assess tone is to listen to the guitar when someone else is

playing it. So, ask a friend, your teacher or even the shop assistant to play a few guitars for you.


Narrow your selection down to two or three, guitars.


With this 2 or 3 guitars, you can now try playing it yourself and ask these few simple questions:.


Do you feel comfortable holding the guitar in your hand?


Can your fingers reach around to each string?


Can you comfortably reach most frets ?


Do the strings buzz?

-If yes, try letting your friend/instructor play the same strings as it might be due to you

depressing the strings improperly.

-The strings should not buzz if you play it properly.


Do the strings stay in tune as you play?


Does the sound sustain after you strum or pluck it?

-The sound from a high quality guitar should sustain for a significantly longer period of

time as the sound resonates in the high quality wood.


Now, you can choose the colour and the make of your guitar.

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