How to choose a guitar

When looking for one’s first guitar nowadays, the selection is unprecedented. Not only are there more variations, and options than ever before, but in general a quality starter instrument is cheaper than ever. That said, there are some new factors to be aware of while shopping around.

Why are there more guitars for cheaper than ever to choose from? Because the market is larger, people buy guitars who have no idea how to use them, not exactly the same as a trombone for instance, guitar has a cool factor that attracts musicians and non musicians alike. With this new market mass production on a very large scale has brought the prices, down, and selection up. The flip side of this mass production though is QUALITY CONTROL, this is the main issue facing the beginner musician today.

Remember to check back, this list will be expanded, but here is a brief run down of what you need to look for in finding your first guitar:

The old saying, “if it is too good to be true, it probably is” still rings true especially when looking at guitars online. I have seen many online sold for under $100. Some of these are better than others, but they are all inferior, most of them are more a toy than an instrument and have problems with intonation, meaning that they can be tuned, but will not play in tune properly because of the incorrect placement of the frets etc.. The examples that I have had experience with that are the exception and will tune, most times develop other problems, such as frets popping up.

1. Make sure the neck is straight.
2. If you can have someone working at the shop, or bring someone who knows how to fret notes on a guitar display that each note is buzz free, this means playing every fret on every string.
3. Make sure that the frets are not sharp when sliding a hand down the fretboard, believe it or not some of the economy model guitars will not be finished properly, and can actually cut you!
4. Find out the return policy of the shop where you are purchasing the guitar, and get it checked out within that period.

When buying a first guitar, as with many other things often the thought taking precedence over anything else is price. Remember that the ridiculous bargains online many times are just that; ridiculous, and that it is worth it in most cases to pay a few dollars more, to have the option of returning the guitar, or at least having help dealing with any issues that arise. Make sure the shop you choose has set each guitar up, many of the big box stores will carry the exact same guitar, but the problem is often times out of the box the guitar is set up improperly. Meaning that the guitar for example may play out of tune, or cause you to break strings. Having any kind of repair work, or set up expenses will quickly negate that little bit that you saved on the guitar in the first place, but will also exponentially increase the frustration you may feel, and increase the likelihood that you will be one of the many who tries to pick up the guitar only to quickly quit.

If you are looking for guitar lessons, and or advice in the Mckinney area, remember to get in touch with me through the contact form found HERE.

2 comments on “How to choose a beginner guitar

  • Hi, I am looking for guitar lessons for my two boys7 and 6 years old. Just would like to try. No previous musical lessons experience.

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