Buying an Electric Guitar? by April 11, 2016 0 comments

Buying an Electric Guitar?

That very first experience of you having your hands over an electric masterpiece, striking the most melodious of notes in the most extravagant manner by plugging in…Mesmerized? Yes, that’s how playing the electric guitar feels like and if you buy the wrong one, it’s over before it has even started.

To avoid making mistake and getting the wrong guitar in hands, here is a simple guide that is going to help you out in narrowing down to the best selection for you, by making you understand the choices in market as well as the best fit for you.


(Note- This guide will help you inspect the guitars to select the best available option, assuming you already know the guitar anatomy)

Who Are You Buying For?

Intermediate and pro guitar players already know what type of guitar they would want to play for the years to come which is why they don’t really need an advice on that. However, beginners need to be very cautious while selecting their new electric guitar. If you are a beginner about to embark on the learning journey, electric guitar should be your very first choice and to select the best, you need to be thorough with the guitar’s anatomy. That’s right, if you do not know what a pickup or humbucker is, you probably wouldn’t be able to judge which guitar model is better out of the lot.


For beginners, I would suggest a light traveler guitar which is easy to handle and play as it weighs quite less as compared to a full size electric guitar model. Such models should not be chosen by experienced players as you would be cutting down on bags of great techniques by avoiding a little extra weight.


  1. Getting The Wood Right

All electric guitars are made from wood which determines the quality of sound that your guitar is going to produce. Even though some might say that wood in electric guitar doesn’t matter, it does significantly govern the tone of your guitar’s sound. So if you want to be genre specific and want to get a guitar that easy to maintain and lasts long, you need to get the wood right first.

Maple, Mahogany and Popla are three major woods used for making the electric guitar. Maple is good for a bright character while the mahogany for a warm tone. For a crisp tone, choose Popla.


  1. The Right Body Style

After choosing the guitar with the right wood, the next point to consider is to choose the appropriate body design. The guitar body comes in three different styles- solid, hollow or semi-hollow.

The solid body design makes the guitar sturdy and weighty, making it the most appropriate choice for rock n roll, metal and heavy stuff.

The hollow body guitars give a warm low tone which has a bluesy tone to it. This kind of guitar is best for jazz, blues, warm songs and melodies.

Semi hollow guitars are modified versions of the hollow body designs and they give quite a country feel to the tone of the guitar. Thus, such guitars should be used only for folk, folk-rock, country and other soft lead melodies.


  1. Getting The Right Action

Action is the term that is used for the gap between the strings and the fret board. The more the gap, the harder it is to play the guitar. Thus, it is always good to have a guitar with low action. When you set out to choose your own electric guitar, choose an electric guitar which has a low action and is easy to play or press finger on.

For beginners, low action would be very helpful as less effort would be used to press the note and play difficult chords like the bar chords.


  1. Neck Length

Something as little as neck length as well is very important when it comes to buying an electric guitar. Average length of a guitar neck should be around 24 inches which gives you quite a lot in number of frets and tone range. Smaller guitar necks might seem like an attraction but trust me, there is no use of a small neck guitar with less number of frets. The number of frets should definitely be more than 22 for electric guitars. All branded guitars such as the Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster and the Ibaneez models follow this rule.


  1. Examining the Bridge

The bridge design too changes significantly as you change the genre. Thus, you need to examine the bridge as well before buying, or you might find yourself spending over an hour to restring your Floyd rose that you never wanted in the first place.

Mainly, there are three types of bridges- fixed bridge, uni bridge and the floating bridge. The fixed bridge is like that of the acoustic guitar- the length of neck is completely fixed and can’t be altered. In a uni-bridge, you can use a whammy bar to push or pull the bridge which alters the tone dramatically. Same is true for Floyd rose or floating bridge in which you can pull as well as push on the guitar bridge for exquisite tone effects.

For a beginner, the fixed bridge is the best buy.


  1. Pickups

Finally, one of the most crucial aspects in an electric guitar- the pickups. As a beginner, you just need to understand the two most popular types of pickups available in the market- single coil pickup and the humbucker pickup. The single coil pickup is used for jazz and blues melodies as it has a warm tone itself. However, if you need the grunge, the feel of distortion and epic metal melodies, having a humbucker pickup should be a necessity.


Inspiration and Notes

Stay inspired and make sure you carry out your own research before jumping into the market to get a new electric guitar. After narrowing down to a few possible choices, you can select the budget and get the one you would like. Big brands sell more, but certainly there are many brands that have done equally well. Thus, don’t shy away from trying any model that comes your way.

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