ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Performing Arts

Electric Guitar Buying Checklist

Updated on April 20, 2014

When you are buying a guitar there are certain things that you should check on the instrument. Many of these are very similar to the quality control checks that should be passed in the factory, by double checking these you are reducing the chance of you getting a "dud" guitar. There are also other steps you should take to make sure you are getting something that you are happy with.

Source

Don't Buy Unseen

Don't buy guitars (especially second hand) unseen unless you have the opportunity to send them back if they have a fault or an issue that you are not happy with.

Whilst Ebay can bring you brilliant bargains you will have agreed to buy it no matter what. The bid description of "Great Condition" may not correlate to your opinion of great condition, photos can also look misleading and make the guitar look different colours than what you will see in person.

The best option is to buy the guitar in a situation (Whether private or in a shop) where you can have a complete look over and play of the guitar with no obligation to purchase.

Quality Control

Before the guitar leaves the factory it will have passed quality control, if issues were found at this point the instrument was either fixed, scrapped or sold as B-Stock. Occasionally however problems get past quality control, especially with cheaper brands. So when you are buying a guitar you need to be your own quality control. The main things to visually check are:

  • Do all frets look level, if these are not level you will never get rid of fret buzz unless you spend money to get the frets leveled professionally.
  • Is the nut cut correctly. The strings should not be sitting in deep grooves but instead should be resting on top of indentations, enough that the string does not jump out the groove, however not so much that it will affect string height and restrict the strings movement across during tuning.
  • Are the ends of the frets up and down the neck smooth. If not these can cause abrasion on your hand.
  • Any blemishes in the finish of the guitar. Sometimes you can get a discount if you point these out to salesperson in a shop and are prepared to accept the damage.
  • On a used guitar check the fret wear. Look at the frets around the G and B strings on the 3rd and 7th fret pentatonic scale, these are areas that get the highest wear from bends and solos.

Play the Guitar

Playing the instrument is what you are buying it for, so it would be silly not to before you buy it. With an electric guitar to do this you will need to use an amplifier, play the guitar on a similar amp to the one you normally use otherwise any changes you hear may not be due to the guitar which is what you are "test driving".

When you are in the shop try to blank out anyone around you. Often people get nervous when playing in a shop if they are not experienced guitarists. Try to remember however that you are there to buy a guitar, the people in the shop are doing that same, they are not trying to judge you.

Don't just concentrate on the sound of the guitar, also concentrate on how it feels in your hands.

  • is the neck the right size and radius for you?
  • are the frets nice and smooth?
  • is the guitar the right weight for you?
  • Pluck all the strings and feel the body of the guitar and the headstock, are they resonating the same? if so then this is a good sign that the guitar overall resonance of the guitar is good.
  • Play every single fret of every single string, make sure there are no "dead frets" where the sound is muffled.

Have you ever regretted buying a certain guitar?

See results

Is it What You Really Want?

When you go to a guitar shop they will have lots and lots of other guitars around. Don't just zone in on the one that you may have been looking at before. Look around the racks and if you have any questions ask the staff. They may introduce you to options that you didn't consider before that you may end up preferring.

The inability to do this with online shopping is one of its key disadvantages.

If You Are Not Happy Don't Buy

This may seem like obvious advice however often people buy something they are not 100% happy with simply because they don't want to leave empty handed, they then get buyers remorse and regret the decision.

If you are buying a guitar and are serious about playing it is likely you will spent a lot of time with it, any imperfections might start to really bug you.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)