There’s a thousand and one options available when buying an electric guitar, and settling on one can be quite difficult. As a beginner, it’s advisable to get a suitable guitar, one that has great sound, is right for your body frame and size, and rhymes with your kind and genre of music. Pick a great quality guitar to make your journey from beginner stage to the next stage much easier. As a beginner, it’s easier to remain positive and inspired to keep playing when you have a good quality guitar.
Let’s look at some options to consider when buying your first electric guitar:
? As a beginner who may not know so much about electric guitars yet, you can bring a friend, teacher, guide or anyone at all who knows how to play the guitar and has a vast knowledge about guitars so they can help you make the right choice. If you want to make a choice on your own, let it be when you can play to a certain extent to avoid making mistakes.
? Every electric guitar must be plugged in before use, when you hold the guitar, don’t plug it in just yet, play and test it without the sound coming from the amp, hear how it sounds unplugged. If its a good instrument with a sound acoustic tone, it should sound clean and energetic. If it produces any sound less than this, it’s advisable not to go for it, because there is no assurance that the sound will improve with time.
? Different electric guitars comprise of different kind of woods. Before you buy your guitar, make sure you have studied enough about the woods used in making guitars, because the wood used in producing a particular guitar influences the overall sound and tone of that instrument. Have in-depth knowledge about woods like maple, swamp ash, mahogany, basswood etc. Know about the different woods and how they affect the sound of the guitar.
? Feel the fretboard of the guitar with your hands; it must be smooth and easy to glide up and down. If it has any rough edges or contours, or doesn’t feel so good in your hands, don’t go for it.
? The hardware of the guitar must comprise top-notch quality parts. Don’t settle for a guitar that’s not properly positioned or aligned just because its cheap. Once you notice that the hardware is fitted haphazardly; loose screws, nuts and tuning pegs, weak switches and knobs, protruded or bent neck or fretboard, just drop the guitar and move on to examine the next one. You therefore need to learn to have ‘eyes’ for good guitar hardware.
? Pickups contribute an outstanding impact to a guitar’s tone. We have 3 types of pick ups: Single-coil pickups (they have very sharp, crisp and neat tones), Humbuckers (they have the warm, ‘heavyweight’ sound that most metal players love) and P-90 Style pickups (they lie in-between the sharp sound of the single coils and the warm sound of the humbuckers). Choose the best and most suitable pick up for your guitar.
? When you plug the guitar and play it through an amp, play a clean and smooth tone first, set the equalizer controls to an average, and then listen to the entire tone of the guitar if its bright or dark, strong or weak, dull or alive, empty or full etc.; also check the guitar’s sustain.
? Choose a guitar that feels right by you and for you, don’t just choose based on what your guitar idols or role models use. Carefully consider different models of guitar before settling for a choice. .
???How much should you spend on your first guitar? The answer depends on how much you have and how much time you are willing to commit into learning the guitar. Buy the best electric guitar you can afford but don’t spend too much money on it if you know you’ll abandon the instrument in a short while. If you buy a good quality guitar and decide you no longer want to learn the instrument, you can always sell it off and get all or half of your money back, but if you get a low-quality instrument, no one would be willing to buy it from you when you decide you’re done with it.
You’ll remember your first electric guitar for the rest of your life. Choose wisely.
If you have an electric guitar, what did you look out for when buying yours? Tell us in the comment section?