A guitar purchase is an investment in your musical enjoyment and creativity. Your instrument will become a personal vehicle of self-expression. There are many things to consider when shopping for the right one. Here is some advice for buying a guitar.
Think of how much you would like to spend. If you are an experienced player, it is better to budget a bit more to make sure you will be happy with the new purchase. A serious guitarist should plan on spending a significant amount of money. Remember, you may be able to find a comparable model for less money if you consider used guitars.
On the other hand, a beginner may want to invest less cash the first time. Entry level instruments cost less. Again, used models may be found for cheaper.
While really nice instruments cost more, one does get what one pays for. These models will play nicely, sound great, do not go out of tune easily, and play in tune up and down the neck.
Most guitars are made of wood, although some travel models are made of plastic. Different woods have different sound. Softer woods, like mahogany, sound warmer and are not as loud. Harder woods, like rose wood, are give a bright, crisp sound. The harder woods can be much more expensive.
Each guitar will have various kinds of woods in its parts. Electric guitars, for example, often have a maple neck. Sometimes the fret board has a darker wood over the maple. Maple is also common on the tops of acoustic models. These will have a dark wood on the back and sides, such as mahogany or walnut.
The various materials and constructions of mean every guitar you play when you shop will be different. If you will be performing on stage, it is worth spending a little more for a one that will have a louder, brighter sound. If you mostly will play at home, concentrate on playability and how well it stays in tune up and down the neck. Play a lot of guitars to find out what feels and sounds good to you.
Do not rush into any purchase. If the sales person offers deals or pressure you to buy today, smile and decline. You should seriously consider what will make you happy in the long term.
If this is your first guitar, you should probably start with an acoustic. When shopping for an acoustic guitar, you need to know whether you want a folk or a classical style. Classical guitars have wider necks, nylon strings, and the tuning pegs point backward. They are meant to be finger picked, so they also lack a plastic pick guard below the sound hole. These are good if you are taking a classical class, but are also used in a few rock songs. Folk style instruments have a pick guard, steel strings, usually narrow necks, and the tuning pegs point sideways. These are good for playing country, folk, and rock songs.
If you want an electric model, bring your amplifier to try it with. There are many styles so try as many as you can to see what is available. Even the ones you do not buy will help you develop a taste for what pleases you as a musician. If you also need to buy an amplifier, try a lot of those as well.