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Learn about guitars

Take your time. Play a lot of guitars. Try out your friends' guitars. Visit guitar shops and try out every guitar you find there.

Enlist the help of a musician friend who can go around with you and demonstrate the different guitars for you.

Study up on what the different parts of the guitar are: the body; the sound hole; the strings; the bridge; the neck; the nut; and the headstock.

Study what the differences are between the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar.

Surf the web and research the major guitar brand names and models

Electric or acoustic?

For guitarists who are just starting out it is best to buy an acoustic guitar the first time around. Learn the basic skills on a traditional acoustic instrument and then proceed to an electric guitar and all the extra skills that are required for that instrument later on.

If you are just starting out, you are not really sure if you will continue playing and buying an acoustic guitar is a less expensive purchase. Electric guitars need lots of extras such as an amplifier and an effects box and the cost of these can mount up fast.

Cheap or expensive?

Do not buy a really cheap guitar. Really cheap normally means badly made. Buy a guitar that sounds good and feels good to play -- and you will enjoy playing it more and be more likely to stick with your guitar lessons and have a lot of fun on the way.

You do not have to spend a huge sum of money. Just shop around and get good advice.

Look for a guitar that is well-made. Do not buy acoustic guitars with tops made of plywood but of cedar or spruce. Electric guitars should be made of a hardwood such ash, maple or walnut.

Ask yourself: Does this guitar feel good? Does it sound good?

Where to buy your guitar

There are several places you could buy your guitar:
- your local music store;
- your local pawn shop;
- classified ads in local newspapers;
- online; and
- mailorder.

If yo know what you are doing, you can get bargains buying through classified ads or from pawn shops. But you must really know guitars well, or you may end up with a guitar which has been used and abused.

Sometimes you can get an excellent deal these days online (such as the eBay website) or via mailorder -- but if this your first time buying a guitar, it is probably better to buy from your local retail or chain music store where you can return for advice or help if there are any problems.

How to select a good guitar that is right for you..
and get a good price too

When you visit a music store take along a friend who plays the guitar. Your friend can try out each instrument for you and give advice.

Take your time. Try out a lot of guitars. Try out a guitar or two from each of the brands on sale.

Find a quiet spot and a comfortable stool. If you can, find a separate room where you and your friend can really play away and hear each guitar's sound clearly without the background noise of a dozen other instruments. In a separate room you can also play each guitar as soft and as loud as you want and so really hear what the tone of each guitar sounds like and see if there are any defects such as buzzing strings.

Be wary of music store sales people pressuring you into buying a more expensive model or paying a higher price than you really need to.

Most major brands have their own website which you should visit.
Make a list of the brands and models you see in the music store and then go home, get on the Internet and check out the full details, features and benefits on the guitar company websites.

Also visit websites which have reviews of guitars so that you can find out what other musicians have to say about the various brands and models. Users often give franker information than companies do.

Be sure to visit several music stores. Comparision shop.

Once you have chosen the guitar that you wish to purchase, shop around on price. The list price of guitars is often inflated and if you bargain a bit, you can often get a reasonable discount. Again -- take your time. If you seem not in a hurry and no overly enthusiastic, your chances increase of getting a better deal.

Apart from discounts on the guitar itself, you can often receive some great extras thrown in for free or heavily discounted too, such as guitar lessons or a guitar case, strap, some extra strings, picks, wood polish and other supplies.

Look for the best warranty.

Recommended Resource

Tipbook - Acoustic Guitar: The Best Guide to Your Instrument
by Hugo Pinksterboer

One of the nice things about guitars is that you can buy a pretty good instrument for very little money. On the other hand you can easily spend half a year's wages on one. This book has several chapters that explain everything you will want to know before going out and buying an instrument.

Chapter 4 gives current prices, explain the best strategies for buying a new or secondhand guitar, and give other tips before you go out and buy a guitar.

Chapter 5 tells you what to look out and listen for, how to determine the differences between one guitar and another. This chapter gives lots of
tips for comparing and play-testing guitars - so that you choose the best possible instrument.

Also there is a chapter introducing the major guitar brands, with an indication of product and price ranges.

Click here to buy this book

Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)

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See also:
Middle Ages Music
Renaissance Music
Baroque Era Music
Classical Era Music
Romantic Era Music
Nationalist Era Music
Turn of Century Music

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