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Choosing a New Guitar

Updated on April 22, 2019

Before we get started:

-First thing is first, You don't NEED a new guitar. If you're like me then you want every guitar you see but financially that may not be the best decision ever.

My goal here is to give a guide to the different guitars out there, not advertise.

Source

Overlook:

- Determine your budget;

- Choose a shape;

- Select a brand;

- Look for guitar shop to try the instrument before you purchase.

1- Determine your budget:

The budget for a new guitar should vary according to your level. A beginner would be strongly advised not to spend thousands on a custom shop (I guess that would seem obvious to most people) but rather start with a smaller budget of around 100 to 200£. It is important to remember that there is no guarantee that you will spend years playing your new instrument or that you will will keep on playing altogether so starting off small and working up is definitely more advisable.

For the beginner

For a beginner guitar player, there are a few options:

First of all try the second hand market. Many more experienced players are happy to look at second hand gear to find hidden gems sometimes from big brands at amazing prices.

The second path you could take are starter packs. Companies such as Squier, Epiphone and Yamaha provide bundles including a guitar an amp and other accessories (picks, cables...). This is in fact a great option considering the Added bonus of an amp and the low prices that these come in.

Please note: as a beginner, the best approach will always trying out guitar in a store, don't worry about the technical side of guitars and even if you cannot yet play, find what feels and sounds best to you.

For the experienced player

As an astute player, the idea of a budget changes dramatically seeing as you probably know more about what you are looking for. Always remember that higher prices don't automatically equal more quality, sometimes a 5000£ Fender custom shop just won't make your day. If you are indeed experienced as a musician you will no doubt already know this, some of us even learn this the hard way.

Once you are more familiar with gear, you might want to look out for what pickups are most appropriate for your playing (even if this is indeed down to your own personal preference).

  • Single coil pickups: A single coil pickup is a type of magnetic transducer, or pickup, for the electric guitar. It electromagnetically converts the vibration of the strings to an electric signal. Single coil pickups are one of the two most popular designs.

  • Humbucker pickup: A humbucking pickup, humbucker, or double coil, is a type of electric guitar pickup that uses two coils to "buck the hum" (or cancel out the interference) picked up by coil pickups caused by electromagnetic interference, particularly mains hum. Most pickups use magnets to produce a magnetic field around the strings, and induce an electrical current in the surrounding coils as the strings vibrate (a notable exception is the piezoelectric pickup).

2- Choose a shape:

This will be a very short section, mainly aimed at beginners.

Electric guitars come in many shapes and sizes, different brands have created different models sometimes using similar templates.

Popular "styles" of electric guitars: the single cut and the double cut or "ST" style.

Brands and models: "Les Paul" by Gibson (single cut), "Telecaster" by Fender (single cut or "T-style"), "Stratocaster" by Fender ("ST" or double cut).

3- Choosing a brand:

Wether you are a beginner or astute player,guitar brands should not matter for advanced players. You know what you like, and you know what you want. Choose a guitar that gets it done and don't worry about the name on the headstock. Having said this, you may still want a guiding hand to help you towards the guitar of your dreams.

For the beginner:

As I said above, the name on the headstock is of no real importance, as a beginner you could even buy an instrument with an unrecognisable brand as long as you practice and remember what matters the most: the music!

If you have a budget of 500£ or less, here are a few suggestions:

-Squier;

-Epiphone;

-Ibanez;

-Chapman.

Don't be afraid to look around for the right guitar so that yoour journey can begin!

For the experienced player:

Oh no you don't! As beginner there is a reason for being more curious about brands, especially given all the gear reviews online, but you are experienced and I know you already know this... Oh okay! If you are looking for something a bit different from the usual Fender or Gibson, check these out:

-Ormsby;

-Chapman;

-Stranberg;

-ESP;

-Shecter.

But come on, we both know that you already know what you need.

© 2019 Anthony Guiton-Miller

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