You read a review of this guitar. Then, you saw your favorite guitarist playing that exact model. So you think to yourself, I want that exact same guitar. You’ve heard your guitar hero play it and it sounded amazing. So, you believe this must be the secret to the sound you’ve been chasing for.
Wrong dude. That’s just only one part of the puzzle. The truth is you need to look at yourself first.
It’s easy to be mesmerized by amazing promo photos and reviews but you really need to consider you first. The truth is everyone is slightly different. You may be tall or short. You may have big hands or small hands. You may be muscular or skinny. Just based on physique, people are different. When you consider musical taste or more precisely consider why you’d wanna get a particular guitar shape, brand or size – it get more complex.
I won’t be able to cover everything here but I hope this will give you general guidelines for your next (or first) guitar purchase.
How do you find the right guitar for you? Here are 6 things to consider:
What kind of tone do you desire? Do you want a twangy guitar sound? Do you want a warm jazz tone? Do you want a versatile guitar that can handle rock to jazz tones?
Does it djent?
Depending on what kind of tone you are aiming for, different guitars can get you into the tone ballpark must easier than others. Want that big lead sound for blues? Try a Les Paul or similar guitar. Want a classic Hendrix rhythm guitar vibe? Try out different Fender Stratocasters.
Although there are classic guitars for certain styles, remember that there are also other companies making their own take on these classic electric guitar designs like Stratocasters, Telecasters or Les Pauls.
For electric guitar, another consideration is what kind of pickups are the best to achieve your ideal tone?
For acoustic guitars, considerations into the size and shape of the guitar directly affect the tone. Different tone woods also are a part of this for acoustic guitars.
Figure out what kind of guitar you want and begin your search there. Let the tone guide your instrument hunt!
Now that you know what kind of guitar you’d like, you might want to consider playability. This is a general area where things like setup, string action, frets and neck shape all come into play and interact with your hands. Basically, is it easy to play this guitar? If it is, then it would rate high on playability. If not, you may need to get the guitar setup before you play it.
3. Size and comfort for your body and hands
This is when it gets really personal. Consider the size of the instrument and how comfortable it is for you to hold and play it. Sometimes, players might get an instrument because they saw someone play it comfortably but didn’t consider whether it fit their bodies.
Trust your instincts on this. Sometimes people get the wrong guitar for their physique and it can stop them from achieving their technical goals since it’s not the best fit for you.
4. Looks and Aesthetics
Does the guitar look good? Do you like the instrument? Do you like the color scheme? Is the guitar ornate enough or is it just nice? Different players have different sensibilities when it comes to looks and aesthetics. Maybe you like the look of a relic’ed’ Stratocaster or a played in Gibson acoustic guitar.
If you care about how the guitar looks, this is an area that you should explore.
5. Brand or builder
Do you have an allegiance for a particular brand or guitar builder? Some people only use Martin acoustic guitars and some people only use Fender Stratocasters. Certain companies build guitar that are known for the very specific sound they produce. For players who want a bespoke instrument, it may make more sense to buy from a builder they trust.
Depending on your experience trying out different instruments, this is something that may rate highly amongst guitarists.
How much do you have allocated for the purchase? Do you have a big budget or do you have a very strict guitar budget? This is what will open up or limit your instument choices.
Some people may choose to figure out all the other 5 choices before the decide on the budget or at times save up for the guitar.
The final decision
How much of these things be a factor in your guitar purchase? It really depends to your own personal situation. The most important thing in the end is to find an instrument that can inspire you to practice everyday and bring you joy. =)
Hope you found this blog post helpful. Please share this post if you think others might benefit from it!
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
What’s your dream guitar?
Why is it your dream guitar?
What guitar are you using now?
Leave your answer in the comments below! Remember to share as much detail as possible so that we can all learn from one another. Your insight may help another guitarist from across the world.
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