Sure it does get exciting when it comes to buying your first instrument, especially a guitar. But when it comes to buying, the number of varieties in it will make your jaw drop, leaving you unable to make a decision.
But let me give a piece of advice that no one usually gives… before you buy one, play one for a week at least. I’ve seen a lot of people hold the guitar because they think it’s cool. But when it comes to learning it, after a couple of days, they DROP it.
So if you find yourself procrastinating from learning the guitar in the initial stages, trust me, the guitar isn’t for you. Forget the idea of it. On the contrary, if you do enjoy the experience, then you’ve come to the right place!
They do say we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but if you’re buying a guitar, it is an investment for the long run. So check out which guitar color, size and shape suits you best. When you enter a store, if there are about thirty guitars in front you, pick out half of them which you find it worth having.
But if you’ve already played a bit before, I’m pretty certain that the looks won’t really matter to you anymore. Sound quality and feel matters. Speaking of sound quality, let’s move on.
2. Check the sound quality
I wouldn’t exactly advise buying the guitar which is loud. Some would prefer to go for a quieter guitar. So if you’re looking for anything of the sorts, then you would better go for the classical guitar. Classical guitars aren’t loud as the usual metal-stringed acoustic guitars.
They have nylon strings which give a soothing effect to the music and feel pretty good with fingers on them too. Classical guitars are not only for classical music though. They can be used for all kinds. Their strings can be much freely handled. Another advantage is that they’re much cheap compared to acoustic guitars, hence considerable for beginners.
But if you’re planning on going on stage sometime later with the guitar, it would be better to go for the acoustic. The acoustic guitar isn’t only loud, but it also can be further modified into electric by installing a pickup.
3. ‘Feel’ of the guitar
You’ve probably heard about people saying about getting the ‘feel’ of the guitar. This commonly refers to the way their fingers feel while plucking the strings. If they find the sound of the guitar and their fingers perfectly matching and are satisfied with it, they say it’s got the ‘feel’.
This varies from person to person. So pick up the guitar and see it for yourself. Move your fingers on the strings and feel the way it sounds and vibrates. This will probably difficult if you’ve held the guitar for the first time (This is why I advised you to play one for a week first).
Anyway, let’s move on, if this didn’t help, the next few tips might help.
When I refer to measurements, I don’t mean it literally. But there are a few things that you have to look into before buying a new guitar.
i) The distance between the strings
This should not be a problem to most of you but there are some out there with small hands. People with small hands will find it difficult to finger-pick on strings that are distant from each other.
Usually, classical guitar strings have more spaces between them. So be careful to keep that in mind while purchasing one. Apart from this, make sure the distance between them isn’t too less either!
Make sure each of your fingers doesn’t touch the other strings while touching the one which you wish to touch discretely. People with bigger fingers will face this.
ii) The distance between the fretboard and the strings
When you look up for guitars that are among the top brands like Yamaha, Fender, or Gibson, then this doesn’t really matter. They always have the best designs so nothing to worry about. But for others, make sure you look through it.
Towards the tuning nuts on the end of the guitar, observe the distance between the strings and the fretboard.
If it is less, it’s great. But if it is too less in such a way that a minor touch on the strings can make a buzz, then it sure will be a pain in the future.
Also, make sure the distance isn’t too much. You might get used to it, but it will be a problem if you hold another guitar some other time. Moreover, the judgment becomes more difficult with the increased distance.
This shouldn’t really be a problem but looking out for a longer span and introspecting, weight DOES matter. Not only because it will be a comfort for a standing performance on stage… It is not suggestable to buy a guitar which is heavy but has low sound quality.
Some guitars seem small but are heavy. Unless it is an electric, it’s a straight No-go. On the other hand, I would go for guitars that might even look bulky but are pretty lightweight. Usually, Yamaha guitars are of such.
5.The strength of the guitar
Please don’t try to bend the guitar to see if it is strong now. There are certain parts that need to essentially be strong.
The neck should be strong enough to withstand the tightness of the strings. There really isn’t any way you can check it other than asking the service assistant in the store.
Make sure to also ask if the bridge is strong. Bridge, in case you don’t know, is the piece after the sound hole which holds the strings with deep-button like nuts. If you’re buying a second-hand guitar, make sure you don’t find any ‘tearings’ on the sides of the bridge. It may sound odd, but you’ll figure it out if you see one.
If the neck is strong, then the body is also strong in most instances so the body isn’t a thing to worry about. But the front face of it, no matter how strong you want it, it is made delicate and it has to be delicate. So don’t bother about the strength of the front body.
6. Purchasing it
Most of the times with instruments, it so happens that the prices online are fixed and rarely come down. But the same product on a retail store can be bargained to a price lower than the online market rate.
So it is better to purchase it from a local retail store.
If you’re looking for something dirt cheap, then you have a lot of options, I can agree. But honestly, considering it a one-time investment, it would be better if you go for something in the range of 110 dollars to 130 dollars. It’ll be worth it.
I have only one guitar but have played on many others. But I found mine to be the best one for all. Beginner or a pro, it performs rhythmically. I own a Yamaha F310.
It’s a little over 110 USD or in simple words over 8000 rupees, but it’s worth the price, given it’s perfomance.
So check it out. And good luck to you all!