I'm going to buy a guitar

United States
April 10, 2007 9:04pm CST
I don't currently play guitar, but I'm thinking about buying one and trying to learn. Is there anything I should look for (or especially, anything I should avoid)? I'm just wanting a good beginner guitar, nothing fancy, but I'd still like to avoid buying a total piece of crap if I can help it. I definitely want to spend less than $200, but ideally, I'd like to spend less than or not much more than $100.
3 responses
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
12 Apr 07
Judging from your name and pic I'm assuming you want an electric guitar? First off, that's is good choice, I'm not sure why someone posted here that it's harder to learn the basics on electric. Totally wrong, I've been playing and teaching guitar for over 20 years and I highly recommend starting out with an electric. Keep in mind with an electric that you will no doubt need an amp and probably some effects pedals or units so it will cost more in the long run, but they are much easier to play and more versatile. I strongly suggest that you don't skimp on your first guitar. If you get a guitar that isn't of good quality, it won't play well and won't sound good and you probably won't want to stick with it. It makes learning an instrument that much harder if you are fighting the guitar because of low quality. My best advice would be get a middle of the road Ibanez. They play well, sound good, are of excellent quality and very affordable. It would be a good idea to bring a friend to look at them with you, decide on a model and then price shop around for the best deal. (Only for new guitars) Granted some may say that no two guitars are the same, even of the same model, and that is true. However if you go with a good brand like Ibanez, the production quality is good enough (espeically on this low end of a guitar) that you probably won't notice much difference, if any at all from guitar to another. A great place to find new guitars online is at http://www.music123.com/ I've done a lot of business with them over the years and have found them to be cheaper and have better customer service than musicians friend (enemy.) Some specific things to look for is to make sure the neck is straight and not bowed, and also to check every note on every string, on every fret to make sure that rings clear and does not buzz when you play the note. Also try to find something that is comfortable, over flashy or looks. I personally am fond of floating temelo systems, but it does make the guitar more expensive and it is harder to maintain, so you may to look for a "fixed bridge" guitar. Hope that helps, if you have any other questions let me know.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
13 Apr 07
I wouldn't rule out a used guitar especially if you are bringing some one with you who knows guitars. Guitars actually sound better the older they get and the more they are played. Also if you get a used one, your money will go farther, you can find a better instrument for the same price. The drawback being that it may not be 100%, or may have problems you won't be aware of until you start playing it often or change the strings. A key thing is to find out what a stores return policy is, often time a place like guitar center will give 7-30 days no questions asked return policy, so going used isn't such a bad idea in a case like that. A floating tremelo is basically what they call a floyd-rose tremelo. As you tune the guitar (during a string change) you have to tune it a good 10-20 times and is raises up the "floating" bridge. Then you use alan nuts to lock the strings in place. It makes changing strings and maintence more difficult, however once it's setup it rarely goes out of tune, and allows you to go crazy with the whammy bar with the guitar staying in tune the whole time. Most of the really good guitarists use this setup, satriani, vai, Kirk hammet, etc.
@jamz82 (1861)
• Italy
14 Apr 07
If you're looking for a cheap and good guitar, look for yamaha ones. Sometimes they sell a package where you find a guitar, an amp, picks and items to play at very special price! I think yamaha's guitars sounds very good for their price! take a look to 'em!
• United States
17 Apr 07
Thanks, filmbuff and jamz. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I was just judging by the mylot homepage what discussions had been replied to, and this one didn't show up. That floating tremelo system does sound nice. I'll also definitely consider some of those packages you were talking about. I'd almost forgotten about the other stuff I'm going to need in addition to the guitar itself, lol. Picks, extra strings, a tuner of some kind, and very importantly, an amp. Effect pedals would be pretty cool to play around with, but I'm definitely going to wait until I learn how to play a guitar before I mess around with extra stuff like that.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Apr 07
Good for you for deciding to play guitar and buying your first guitar. You never forget your first guitar, I still have my first I got when I was little kid. You might find some good links on this site for guitars http://www.wonderverb.blogspot.com Enjoy playing your guitar.
• United States
11 Apr 07
Thanks for the link. That's a pretty cool site you've got there. Once I buy a guitar, I'll start right away, since one of my friends who's really good has already offered me lessons. I've heard it takes quite a while just to get decent, and a really long time to actually get good, but I'm going to practice my butt off and stick with it.
• United States
22 Apr 07
Acoustic Guitars have tougher strings, and are harder to hold and bend. So it basically builds up stamina faster. My first guitar is a FirstAct one, it is decent, around $120. But I suggest saving up for a nice $300 one, you'll be more satisfied in the end.