So you’ve decided you want to play electric guitar. Awesome. You’ve just taken your first step into a wider world of elation, frustration and finger callouses.
When you’re a beginner guitarist, it’s important that you start out with the right gear.
There’s plenty of cheap and cheerful looking equipment out there to tempt the world’s would-be Hendrixes, but when it comes to amps, picks, leads or tuners, buying cheap usually means buying twice, and can seriously get in the way of your progress learning the guitar. (On a side note, if you’re looking for a reliable electric guitar tuner that makes tuning a breeze, look no further than Roadie 2).
Of course, this especially applies to your first electric guitar. Pick out the wrong six-string and all the guitar lessons in the world won’t stop your playing from suffering.
I wish I could say that there’s one definitive best guitar for beginners. But unfortunately there isn’t. When it comes to guitars, its different strokes for different folks, even for newbies.
However, I do have some advice for picking out a good beginner guitar that will steer you away from buyer’s remorse. Follow these steps and an unplayable axe won’t burn you.
Play Before You Purchase
Buying guitars online is seriously tempting, especially when online retailers such as eBay offer electric guitars for dirt cheap.
I’m not averse to buying guitars online – there are some amazing deals to be had out there. But, when it comes to buying your first axe, playing before you pay is a must.
There are two reasons for this:
- Guitars are all set up differently. You only know if the guitar is set up right for you by playing it.
- You can identify any problems with the guitar (raised frets, dodgy electronics etc.) that would put you off buying it.
Oh, and if you’re not confident in your own abilities to judge a guitar’s performance and playability, bring along a friend who is. If you’re unsure, there’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush into buying your first guitar. Take time to explore your options and don’t be afraid to spend a few hours trying out different instruments. A guitar is a big purchase and you want to make sure you get it right.
If you play a bunch of instruments in a day (and I would recommend setting aside a day to buy a guitar) and don’t find what you’re looking for, don’t feel tempted to settle. Sleep on it and come back with fresh ears and rested fingers. Check out a few different stores.
Getting the guitar your really want might take time, but it’s worth it in the end.
Find A Store You Trust
A good guitar store will let you take all the time in the world to try out different instruments. Why? Because they understand the importance of finding you the right guitar. Think about it – it’s in their best interest. If you get the right instrument, you’re more likely to keep up guitar playing, which means they’re more likely to get repeat business from you.
If a store clerk is being pushy, trying to hurry you along or pushing guitars on you that you don’t really want, then leave. They won’t help you find the right guitar and they don’t deserve your custom.
Oh, and if you don’t know where to start when it comes to guitar stores, go on reviews. A quick Google search and you’ll soon find out where all the serious guitarists in your area are buying their gear.
What was your first electric guitar like? Did you get it right first time, or face buyer’s remorse? (I was DEFINITELY in the latter category!) Let me know in the comments.