If you are reading this article, you are most likely a beginner looking to buy your first electric guitar or a more advanced player trying to find a low budget instrument as a spare. This article is aimed at the beginner guitarist and includes a few tips on how to choose your first guitar. For a list of recommended low budget guitars, check out Best Electric Guitar for Beginners.
There are five basic things you need to remember, no matter which guitar brand you end up getting, if you want your music journey to last more than a few weeks, you will need an instrument that:
1. Stays In Tune: A guitar that constantly goes out of tune is pretty much useless. You will not be able to practice effectively with an out of tune guitar and will get frustrated very quickly.
2. Is Easy To Play: The closer the strings are to the fretboard (in guitar slang: low action), the easier they are to hold. Guitars can be adjusted by a guitar tech to have low action, but this can be expensive. Ideally, you want a guitar that’s playable out of the box, unless you are willing to pay for a set up.
3. Is of Good Quality: Purchasing your first guitar is similar to buying your first car. You want a solid ride from the start without breaking the bank. If you are on a budget, you also want a guitar you can resell once you outgrow it. Brands to look for: Squier by Fender, Epiphone by Gibson, Yamaha, Ibanez, among a few others.
Sure, that guitar with the weird name at Walmart looks just like the one Eric Clapton was using on TV, but looks can be deceiving. You will have a difficult time selling a used guitar that nobody has ever heard of and you’ll end up either giving it away or using it as decoration.
4. Sounds and Looks Good: Having a decent tone from the start will put you on the right track. A good sounding, playing and looking guitar that stays in tune will make you want to practice more without a doubt!
5. Ask for Advice: Well, this is an extra tip not related to the instrument itself. If you don’t know what you are buying, do not buy until you speak to a friend or somebody that can give you some feedback. If you are starting lessons, ask your teacher for advice before buying the guitar. If you don’t know anybody, read lots of reviews on amazon.com or musiciansfriend.com before you buy.
- Visit your local music store and check out a few guitars in person, you can always buy online later if you find a better deal.
- The input jack on low budget guitars tends to brake/fall off after some time. This is a cheap and easy replacement.
- Strings need to be changed every 2 or 3 months, so get a couple of sets along with your guitar.
- If a string pops, it doesn’t mean your guitar is of bad quality – it happens!
- Having your new guitar setup by a professional will cost money but it’s probably worth it. Some guitars are not playable out of the box and need adjustment.
- If buying new, buy from a store that has a return policy in case your guitar is defective or you change your mind and want to get a different model.
- For even better deals, buy used from craigslist or eBay, but please ask your guitar player friend to help you out with the deal. You don’t want to be ripped off.
- Last but not least, DO NOT buy guitars from Walmart, Target, Costco or any store where you buy gorceries or clothes (these guitars are toys).
Jazz guitarist Adam Rogers has recently launched his new website www.adamrogersmusic.com.
For eleven years Rogers has co-led the critically acclaimed Lost Tribe, which has toured nationally and internationally, releasing three albums. However, he has recently been focusing more on recording and performing with his own groups. Since 2002 Adam Rogers has released 4 albums as a leader, his most recent one, “Time and the Infinite”, with Scott Colley and Bill Stewart, was released in February 2007.
Check out Adam Rogers’ equipment here.
As announced last November, Extreme is set to return in the spring of 2008 with their first album of all new material in 13 years. The band features original members Nuno Bettencourt, Gary Cherone, and Pat Badger, along with new drummer Kevin Figueiredo (Paul Geary, the band’s original drummer is now involved in the managerial side of the band). These are some of the highlights of Nuno’s latest update regarding the band:
“We are now finishing up the recording of our new release…We ended up with about 24 tunes…which we dwindled down to the 14 that will be on the record. And I’m sure it’s no surprise to you, our fans, that they are a “mish mosh” of Old School Rock and some tasty abstract ditties…Both on record and live when we come to your town…and WE WILL. Yes… we plan to tour for at least 1 year, well probably 2 years…cause we’ve got a lot of catching up to do with you guys and gals…
Lock up your daughters and lock up your wife…Lock up your back door and run for your life. Cause once we move back in…We plan to be around for the rest of our days…God willing… how ever long that may be. Well… that’s it for now. Who ever is making the trip to LA to see us… see ya there and say hello. We will have a drink at the Hilton bar afterwards.”
Check out Nuno’s Myspace to read the complete announcement.