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Buy a Guitar-How To! April 5, 2007

Posted by rgordon83 in Articles, Guitar Gear, Tips.
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Here is a great article on how to buy a guitar. Check it out:

Buy a Guitar-How To!
By Carlos Gamez

You’re off to buy your first guitar. I remember the first guitar I fell in love with. I used to go and just look at it in the store window. It was a Fender Telecaster.

Of course in those days my family couldn’t afford to buy a guitar, so it was 10 years later when I finally did buy my first guitar.

So what do you do? How do you know which one is right for you? Should you buy the same one your friend owns? Do you choose a Gibson, Martin, a Taylor? How about Fender, Yamaha, Takamine, Guild, or Ovation? Should you buy a Vintage guitar, a used guitar, a cheap guitar?

With the huge number of guitars available on the market today, going out to buy a guitar can seem to be an overwhelming task. But with a few basics under your belt you can buy a guitar easily.

While the proven brands (like those I mentioned above) are generally the best built guitars using the best materials, they are also considerably more expensive than lesser known brands. But those lesser known brands, beginner style guitars, have become surprisingly good values in the last couple of years.

You will hear many opinions on what to look for when you buy a guitar. for example I was recently in a guitar store when I noticed a young couple looking at guitars. I overheard the husband saying that his friend had told him he needed to buy a guitar “with a spruce top”. He kept saying this over and over again while looking over every guitar in the place.

His wife kept looking over the guitars saying “this one is pretty, don’t you think? or “This one looks nice.” The husband kept repeating his mantra ” We need one with a Spruce top.”

When it was obvious to me that he didn’t really know what a “spruce top” was and that they were both quite lost and didn’t have a clue on how to buy a guitar, I decided I’d better save them!

So I talked with them for a few minutes and within 10 minutes they were happy, smiling, and on their way with a new guitar.

When you buy a guitar I feel there are 4 aspects of major importance. The points listed here are for an acoustic guitar. I believe that should be everyone’s first guitar.

1. You have to be happy with or like the way the guitar sounds. Play around with a few guitars or if you don’t know how to play yet, have the salesperson play them for you. Have him play the same tune or melody (so you can compare apples to apples). Listen to the way they sound. Some are loud, some have a deep wooden quality, and some ring with a crystal like tone. There isn’t a right or wrong sound there is only which do you like best! After a while you may decide to buy a guitar for each sound. For now though pick the one you like the best. When you have settled on a couple that you like the best go on to the next steps.

2. The guitar must be comfortable. Have a seat on a stool or a chair (no arms on the chair please) take hold of the guitar and place the bottom curve of the guitar(if you are right-handed) on your right thigh (if you are left-handed) place the bottom curve of the guitar on your left thigh. Lean it back slightly so that you can see what you are doing and ask yourself, Does it feel comfortable ? Does your strumming hand feel comfortable on the front of the guitar? Is it too big? Is it too small? Do you have to bend over too much or sit up too straight? Now strum the guitar, can you do that comfortably? If the guitar is not comfortable put the guitar away and repeat this step with another guitar. Don’t bother going on to the next steps. If you are not comfortable with the guitar DON”T BUY IT. Try other guitars until you find one that meets your comfort level only then go on to step 3.

3. Now lets look and work with the neck of the guitar. It must be easy for you to wrap your hand around comfortably. There are many shapes to the guitar neck and various widths as well. The most Important thing in buying your first guitar is that it must be easy for you to wrap your hand around comfortably. When you find a guitar that is comfortable, check two more things. The frets( the wire strips that go across the fingerboard). You have to make sure the ends are finished correctly if not they will be sharp and can cut your fingers when you play the guitar. You must also check the string height If they are too high they will be tough to press down and play. Too low they will buzz and clunk when you strum or pick the notes. Sometimes the guitar shop has a set up or repair dept. that will “set up” your guitar for you but this can sometimes be expensive . One you have found guitars that you like the sound of are comfortable in your lap with a neck that is th correct size and shape, you are ready for the last step.

4. You should buy a guitar that is within your budget. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy a guitar that is decent and will serve your purpose.. My daughter surprised me with a guitar she bought for $100. I was ready to take her back and set the clerk straight for taking her $100.00 and ripping her off. “How could they do that, take her money…” That’s what I was thinking. Well, to make a long story short, she brought me the guitar and I must say it sounded better and felt more comfortable than guitars I’ve seen that cost $250.00 to $350.00 ! So you can buy a guitar and stay within your budget. Once you become a better guitar player then go invest in a really good guitar for now remember something, You are playing the guitar to have fun. So have some fun playing the guitar and learning the guitar and you decide when you want to buy a guitar of higher value!

OK, Those are the tips I have successfully shared with others when they ask me how to buy a guitar. Good Luck on buying your first guitar!

Carlos Gamez has been playing guitar and performing for many years. His website, http://guitar-magician.com was established to help others learn how to play guitar and to help already established guitarists improve their guitar playing skills. Guitar-magician.com is committed to providing useful, practical, information on playing the guitar. It is a resource for beginning guitarists and more advanced players as well.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carlos_Gamez

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