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How to Choose a Beginner Electric Guitar and Amp on a Budget
Choosing which guitar and amplifier to start out with can become a hair-pulling task. But here are some ways to make it easier.
Consider what type of music you'd like to play.
- If you never intend to do octave high vibrato bar stuff or play music in the style of bands like PANTERA (hard, fast metal, with lots of high note bending leads), or Jimi Hendrix (psychedelic rock), then exclude any floating or fancy bridge (also called a tailpiece). Non-floating tail pieces are usually more stable (keeping tune and intonation) and cheaper to buy.
- You should visit a local guitar shop to purchase your first guitar. You will benefit immensely from their experience, and they will be able to support you after the sale. Avoid places like Walmart, Best Buy, etc., because all they can do is sell you a guitar, and a poor one at that. Most local guitar shops have gone to great lengths to select guitar lines that are serviceable, and play and sound good. As a beginner, you will appreciate their service and commitment to you, even though a local shops pricing may be a touch higher. Most local shops offer lessons, as well.
- Avoid mega chain music stores such as Guitar Center or Sam Ash. The customer service record is poor for the most part, and the atmosphere is not conducive to a beginner picking out their first instrument. Also, they offer no in-house service department, and no lesson studios, either.
- Neck thickness. Do you want an all-around guitar, or do you have a certain style you know you are going to want to play? Slide blues players should look for a neck that is wider and has a nice arch on the backside for support. If you want to play popular metal or rock, you should go for a nice narrow neck. It's easier to move the fingers.
Look at the action.Action is the distance between the fingerboard and the string at any given time. Make sure you hear no buzzing from the guitar when playing a note at a normal weight. Try it at the 5, 10, 12, fret, etc. and listen for the 'buzz' of strings banging on the frets below it. If any guitar is like this, ask the music store (any good one will do this for you) to adjust the neck if you can try it out in playable condition. If they can adjust it for you, then there is no problem, it just needed adjustment.
Inspect for fret wear, cracks, etc.The obvious stuff.
Get it tuned up and play it in the store.Some people may find this uncomfortable, being a newbie and all. If you don't want to play it, just start bending strings, up and down, using the whammy bar; think of it as 'guitar stretching'. Then see how well it stays in tune. If this guitar has no locking nuts on the head, and it still stays in tune, it's a winner. But if you have to re-tune more than a little, and almost all the strings, pass on it. You will grow frustrated by it very quickly.
Hook it up to an amp, and see if you like the sound.If you are new to this, your taste for tone will likely change. Just get something that sounds close to what you want. Think in terms of clarity, tinniness, depth, colour.
Have a realistic budget and stick to it.Look around until you find something in your range. You can expect to find something in the 0 to 0 range for beginners.
Go for tone with the amp.Try more than ten different types before you decide. You may need to buy a processor as well, so consider whether the amp has inbuilt effects or not.
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- Take a guitarist friend with you to help you filter out the lower quality guitars.
- The best guitars for a lower price won't be the major brands. The majors may offer guitars in your price range but they are usually poorly made in China, or who knows where. When you get better award yourself with a major brand and the major price tag that goes with it.
- Don't buy on brand name.
- Listen, observe. Get a good idea of what you want by listening and sampling; don't buy on a whim. Take a few weeks if you have to. Just make sure components are in good condition, and function as you would like them to.
- Retail store guitars-DO NOT buy a guitar from Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Etc. These guitars look very flashy, but have bad pickups, low quality wood, and go out-of-tune after about 30 seconds (for real).
- DANDY DIME ADS- This is a great way to get a deal on new gear. Just be careful, some people will say anything to get you to buy. With a smooth tongue to back it up, a cheap guitar can look like a top-liner to a novice. Don't buy into a story, get the model numbers and Google it.
- Tremolo bars - Many lower-end guitars are designed to look cool and are equipped with floating bridges for super tremolo bends and flutter. They look cool , but a sad fact is many of these lower end models have low quality hardware. There is nothing more frustrating than being a newbie, buying a hot looking guitar, and have to fine-tune it every 2 minutes. Avoid this, or buy a decent bridge for around 0.00 extra and install it.
Video: Electric Guitar Buying Guide
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Date: 06.12.2018, 14:05 / Views: 82435