You dream of being a guitarist, you are willing to practice day and night and you are confident that you will become a superb guitarist one day. But, if you do not choose the right guitar as a beginner, you will definitely be unhappy with the outcome of your efforts and will inevitably give up the guitar. Don’t let your dreams fall apart, follow these simple guidelines and select the best guitar to be a maestro.
What are my needs?
First thing when buying your first guitar is to decide what kind of a guitar you are looking for. You can speak to musicians and music instructors you know and get their ideas to help you to decide what you are going to buy.
You can also browse the internet and get information from places like forums, but make sure that you are taking advice from a reliable source.
It is also important to decide what your budget is going to be, as what you are going to buy will depend on it too.
What do I buy, Acoustic or Electric?
If you are beginner and are on a tight budget, you can go for an acoustic guitar. The benefit is that you won't need an amplifier, which would cost a large amount of money.
An electric guitar is easier to play as low action is needed, but you will need an amplifier. This is good if you have the money to spend as the signal can be run through sound processors, giving you the additional benefit of being able to experiment with sound.
From where do I buy?
It is always better to go to a music store in person and select your guitar. Buying from a dealer would ensure that you are getting an instrument with good quality and good after-sales service. Always be cautious when you get help from sales persons as they may not always be sincere.
Which guitar do I select?
Once you are in the shop, don't just be a sightseer, take each guitar in your hands and feel it. Find which one you are most comfortable with. If you are not much familiar with guitars, it best to go with a person who knows about them. There are few basic things you need to check in the guitar.
1. Check the Action
Depress the strings and see if it is easy or difficult to depress the stings.
read the article - Action of a Guitar
2. Check Intonation
The guitar should be in tune throughout the entire length of the fret board. This is known as Intonation.
To check intonation, tune the guitar and check the 12th fret harmonic to see if each individual sting is correctly tuned.
3. Feel Fret Edges
Fret edges should be clean and smooth.
4. Inspect the Neck
• The neck should accommodate your hand comfortably.
• See if there is any twisting or bowing of the neck, and if it is straight.
5. Check the Sound
a) Acoustics guitars
• Look for resonance.
• The ideal guitar should be loud and should have a good sound projection.
b) Electric Guitars
• Plug the guitar into an amplifier
• First check the guitar without overdrive, distortion and reverb at a low volume, and see if there are any odd sounds like crackles, noises, etc.
• Touch each pick up with a metal object like a key, ring. There should be a pop sound when the pick up is on.
• Rotate the volume and tone dials and see if there are any abnormal loud noises.
• Then check with overdrive setting also.
What else do I buy?
Buy a set of strings depending on the type of guitar you have chosen.
2. Guitar case
A guitar case will help you to protect the guitar, specially is you plan to travel with it.
3. Amplifier and guitar cable
You will need these if you are buying an electric guitar.
4. Other accessories like guitar strap, picks according to your needs.
Read More Guitar Tips