Choosing Your First Guitar
Buying your first guitar is an exciting time for anyone but there are many things that you need to be aware of and look for when choosing your first guitar.
If you are relatively new to guitar playing and feel a little out of your depth when perusing the guitars on display at your local guitar shop, ask a friend who knows a thing or two about guitars to accompany you.
Many people are unaware of the factors that make for a suitable first guitar, and although the staff can be helpful, don’t forget that they will likely operate on commission and might not have your best interests at heart!
Once you have decided on the variety of guitar to buy, for instance a nylon or steel string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, etc. take the following points into consideration.
1. Your budget
You may have a whopping budget to spend on a guitar but don’t go overboard. You can pick yourself up a great first guitar for a couple of hundred dollars, so save what you have left for your next guitar – there’s a lot to be said for starting off simple.
Take the time to research guitars online and ask friends for tips. If you know of people who play guitar and are happy to let you try theirs, make the most of the opportunity as you may come across something that you really enjoy playing.
However, with so many guitars on the market these days it would be a shame to limit yourself in any way, so research guitars in your price range and see what you have to select from. Chances are, you’ll be pretty impressed with what you come across.
Never, ever buy a guitar that doesn’t feel comfortable to play. It may be considered a fine guitar and well-worth the price, but if you don’t feel comfortable playing it there’s little point in you buying it.
You must feel comfortable holding the guitar, running your hand up and down the fret and holding down the strings. The more comfortable you feel playing the guitar the more you will enjoy practicing and more inclined you will be to put in the effort required of you to improve.
After checking with the salesperson in the store that the guitar is in tune – this is another reason why you should consider bringing someone along who knows a thing or two about guitars with you – test the sound of the guitar.
Pluck the strings with a reasonable amount of force – don’t be shy now! – and listen out for any strange sounds, like unnecessary buzzing, popping sounds of any kind, and any sort of sound that you would not want to hear when playing.
Guitars in the higher price ranges won’t be a problem, but if you are looking at cheap guitars from ‘no name’ manufacturers this could be an issue.
Take note of these tips to shop for your first guitar with confidence.