Guitar Buying Guide: What to Look for Before Buying?

Is the artist within you craving for a new guitar? Many times, we have fantasized about playing and jamming that one song by our favorite band/musician. But we just know where to start! If so, there is a lot of information you must gather before buying a guitar. You have to know the different types with the types of strings, it’s built, and nearly every small detail. Before getting into the buying guide, let us look at the different types of guitar to ever exist.

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1) Types of Guitar

Classical: Also, knowns as nylon-string acoustic guitars, this type comes with nylon strings. Classical guitars are ideal for playing different styles of music, which include folk, pop, Flamenco, jazz. The nylon strings help produce mellow tones. If you want a harsher tone, all you need is to strum the strings harder. However, the end result will be mellow. Classical guitars are always the right choice for beginners. The wide fretboard and the low string tension makes it easier to play.

Steel-String Acoustic: Even in acoustic guitars, we find two types- Classical and Steel-string. We have already discussed the first type in this article. Unlike classical acoustic guitars, these guitars have steel-strings. For steel-string acoustic guitars, we have three body types, namely dreadnought, parlor, and jumbo. Steel-string guitars are not limited to these types, but these three are most commonly used and known. To play a brighter tone, steel-string acoustic guitars are the best choice. You can play country, folk, pop, blues, bluegrass, rock, and other similar kind of tones.

Electro-Acoustic: These are also known as ‘acoustic-electric’. You can plug it into an amplifier too or a mixing board. Coming to its looks, it is similar to normal acoustic guitars. However, the following features set it apart from the normal acoustic guitars:

  • Electro-acoustic guitars have a jack to the plugin.
  • It comes with a control panel with options to adjust the volume, insert the battery, and change the EQ accordingly. At times, these also come with an inbuilt tuner.

These guitars are best suited for people who perform live. It gives them control over their tone.

Electric: These are the versatile kind of guitars that come in different shapes and sizes. Each type is different than the others, and the musician would feel it while playing. In case you want to play electric guitars like the acoustic ones, getting a piezo pickup will help you. Coming to the type of music, you can play rock, blues, punk, metal, and more. Electric guitars are popular with rock bands or heavy metal bands.

Guitars are not limited to the above-mentioned types. We have talked about the most famous kinds. The other types are Extended-range Electric Guitars, 12-String Guitars, Resonator Guitars, Bass, Lap Steel. 

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Now that you have a fair idea of the different kinds of guitars let us take a look at the buying guide for guitars.

It is common to ask yourself, what to look for?” and be in a fix. Here are the factors you must consider/know before buying a guitar, irrespective of the type you buy:

2) Tonewood

The favored material for crafting a guitar is wood. The tonewood is crucial as it is capable of affecting the tune produced, i.e., brighter, warmer, sharper, and deeper overtones. Below are the common types of wood that are used in crafting a guitar:

  • Mahogany: It is capable of producing twangy and a fuller sound. The red hue wood is liked by the majority of people. It is a malleable and strong type of wood.
  • Maple: Maple wood guitars produce defined tones and clear sound. It is capable of resonating well and is usually used to make up the fretboard and the neck.
  • Ash: It is capable of sustaining the notes along with the chords. Ashwoods are economical and the strongest type.

3) Experience

If you are a beginner, you must start with the acoustic type. Acoustic guitars are considered to be beginner-friendly. It helps a beginner in learning quickly. It will help you with understanding the chords and with the finger placement. Acoustic guitars also give you the liberty to amplify or quiet the sounds. These are also cost-effective. So, for a beginner, it is the ideal type. The advantages of an acoustic guitar are:

  • It is lightweight thus portable
  • No electricity is needed to play
  • All you need is a guitar pick and no additional accessories
  • The strings won’t hurt your finger much

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4) Plan your budget for the Accessories 

As you progress with your guitar lessons, you will come to know about the different accessories being used. And, if you are an expert, you are already there! The accessories can be costly as they are usually high-end. It is recommended that you plan your budget for the accessories as you will need them later or sooner. Here are the most commonly used accessories:

  • Picks: It is the tiniest accessory but can definitely affect your playing. It helps you strum the guitar. Buying a cheap pick can result in it breaking easily or not delivering the desired sound.
  • Stands: It is found made with different materials. However, they all should be durable.
  • Straps: Buy a strap with the proper thickness to provide the perfect support for the shoulders.
  • Tuner: Off-tune guitars are pleasant to none! Tuners help with saving the setup time.

Concluding Words

Pick the right type, plan your budget, and make sure the guitar type meets your requirement. Happy Strumming! Once you get everything right, you are always good to go.

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