Tips for Buying an Electric Guitar

you want to buy an electric guitar? Well get ready to drown in a sea of confusing options like body styles, pickup choices, hardware options, manufacturer differences and modeling capabilities just to name a few. If you walk into a decent size music store these days you will be confronted with more options than what the latest luxury SUV offers. Or you might be thinking about browsing an online music store. Now you have even more choices than your local store.
Fortunately, it is possible to group these choices together in a list of options that you can bring to your music store salesperson. So, let’s get started…

Do you want to rock? Are you into blues, jazz or country? Answer this question and you’ll greatly narrow down your choices. Certain types of guitars are typically used for certain styles of music. (In the interest of maintaining a fair and objective position on brand names and products I will refrain from mentioning specific brand names.)

If it’s modern or classic rock you’re into, you’re going to want to find a solid-body guitar. For a thick, rich tone you will want to select a guitar with “humbucking” pickups. For a brighter thinner tone choose a guitar with “single-coil” pickups. If you’re interested in those crazy 80’s guitar tricks you might want to find a guitar with a “floating tremelo” If not, go ahead and choose a standard bridge or a fixed tailpiece.

If you prefer a little country twang, you’re probably going to want a solid-body electric guitar with single-coil pickups. Don’t worry about the floating tremelo on this one.

For jazz, you might prefer a semi-hollow body electric with humbucker pickups for a nice round tone.

As is the case with most retail products today, you get what you pay for. If the price seems to good to be true it probably is. Determine what your price range is and visit a reputable music store rather than a large department store. I have found that most decent quality guitars are priced at $300.00 and up. I’m not sure why this is the magic number but you can look at almost any major guitar maker and find that their decent quality guitars start at about $300.00. Anything less than this and anything purchased at a large department store will most likely be of lesser quality.

Once you’ve found the instrument that fits your musical style and budget, choose one that fits your personality. There are so many options available in terms of color, body style, graphic prints and so on that you will be able to choose a guitar that fits your personality. Many manufaturers are creating replicas of the guitars played by innovators such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen just to name a few. Some of these instruments are recreated in exact detail.

It’s my hope that this article gave you at least a starting point in your search for the right instrument. I haven’t even mentioned all the options available in amps and accessories but I’ll save that for another article. Well I hope you find the guitar you’re looking for. Good luck and happy hunting.

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