Buying Tips

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What should I look for when buying a guitar?

What to look for in a new guitar

When choosing your guitar, there are several factors to consider... Particularly the price, playability, sound, and the looks.

Which is the most important? They are ALL important in their own way!

In no particular order of merit, here are the reasons...

1. If you are on a budget, then obviously the price is important! Most of us have wallets with limits! This is self-explanatory.

2. The playability of a guitar (how EASY it is to play) is important. Are the strings close to the fret board? Is the neck a comfortable fit for your hand size? Is the body shape comfortable to hold? Will make a big impact on your progress as a guitar player. Anything that hinders your progress can be disheartening.

3. Sound. Do the notes ring out on the guitar and sustain (last long before dying out)? Does the guitar sound fat and full, or bright and thin? What sort of tone do you want? For example - Rock and Metal players often favour fat, full sounding guitars.

4. Are looks important? You bet!! You want to look at your guitar and think it's cool. Playing something that looks a dog will not inspire you! Also, the look of a guitar can be important for the image associated with a certain type of music. Telecaster shaped guitars are often associated with traditional blues and country playing - Les Paul-shaped guitars are often associated with classic rock, Flying V guitars are usually associated with heavy metal.

Buying a guitar amp.


In choosing an amp, you have to first consider how much you have to spend, the style of music you like to play, and what kind of tone you like best. It is perhaps best to start with something small. You might feel that a Marshall stack is the way to go, especially if you have the money, but from home use, big amps are hard to work with because they get too loud too fast. They also take up a lot of space. Anything over 20W is overkill for a home practice or friendly jam session amp. Remember, even a 15W amp is loud when cranked. What you sacrifice with lower wattage is clean volume. But if you primarily use a dirty tone, small will work just fine. Here are a few recommended amps to look at MARSHALL MG-15RCD, VOX V9159 Cambridge 15, and Fender Blues Junior.

Is it important to have an amplifier when I start out playing guitar?

Your first guitar

When starting out playing electric guitar, you will be faced with many choices of guitar, amplifier and hordes of other pieces of equipment. While much of the gadgetry is fun, the SINGLE most important part of your setup is the guitar itself.

However much money you have to spend, try to get the best guitar you can - even if it means not being able to afford an amplifier to begin with!

Unless you are playing in a band, you don't really need an amp to start off with, and the better your guitar is, the easier and more enjoyable your learning experience will be!

And in most cases - you get what you pay for!

How do I pick a guitar?

Buying a guitar

Choose a guitar that has the strings close to the fretboard, or playing will be difficult. Be sure that it produces a clear sound, with no buzzes at any of the frets, and that the guitar is constructed of high quality wood, so the neck doesn't "warp."

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Christina Chan