Complete Guide On Buying A Guitar

Discussion in 'Beginner's Q&A Forum' started by god_of_guitar, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. god_of_guitar

    god_of_guitar New Member

    i have seen many threads of newbies on how tow buy a guitar. this is not my work but i found it very helpfull and thought of posting it here. it gives the whole proccess of buying a guitar hope u like it and pls try to make it sticky


    Have patience - do not decide you HAVE to buy the guitar that day. Plan on taking at least two trips to the music store.
    Maintain control - You are in charge! Don't let music store salesmen intimidate you.

    Research - The web is a great place to find info on guitars. Use it to your advantage!

    Get help - if at all possible, recruit a friend who plays guitar to help you choose an instrument. If not, don't be afraid to ask music store employees multiple questions.

    You do not have to be an expert guitarist to get a good deal on a good guitar. What you do have to be is a disciplined shopper.

    2.In The Music Store

    For many guitarists, especially novices, trying out a guitar in a music store can be an intimidating experience. Invariably, there are several other guitarists in the store who feel the need to show off their skills on the instrument, by playing all their most impressive licks. Understandably, this can be scary, but you'll need to focus on your goal - finding the best instrument possible, for the least money.

    Scan the store until you find an instrument that appeals to you. Make sure you are given a good stool, and a pick (although I suggest you bring one you're comfortable with). If you're playing an electric guitar, make sure you're plugged into an amp similar to the one you plan to use. If you've only got a small practice amp at home, don't allow the guitar to be plugged into a Marshall half-stack through a rack of pedals.

    The first few times I tried out a guitar in a music store, I remember playing very quietly so no one would hear that I wasn't very good. A perfectly natural instinct, but in retrospect I've realized it was the silliest thing I could have done. In order to really hear the tonal qualities of a guitar (either electric or acoustic), it needs to be played at a reasonable volume. Do not be afraid to strum the open strings hard - listening to the guitar's sustain, and keeping an ear open for problems like buzzing strings. If you're having a hard time hearing (due to other guitarists in the store, etc.), ask to play the guitar in a separate room, or in a quieter part of the store. It should be noted I've been in music stores where owners glared at me for turning up the guitar a little, or strumming an acoustic vigorously. My solution to the problem - I hand them the guitar, say thanks, and take my business to a store that allows me to find out what the guitar sounds like before I buy it. I urge you to do the same... these people are obviously not very familiar with the way guitars work, thus not the best stores to deal with anyway.

    I've had students come to me, and ask me to teach them "something cool to play in music stores". Wrong approach. When demo-ing a guitar, you should be playing things you're comfortable playing, and concentrating on the guitar, NOT on who is listening to you. Try playing each fret on the neck, slowly, making sure there are no fret buzzes. Be sure to check the guitar's intonation. If playing an electric guitar, try all of the different pick-up combinations, and listen for unwanted pick-up noise.

    Spend time trying many guitars in the store. Ask questions, and make notes on every guitar you play. Write down the manufacturer of the guitar, the model number, and the price. Ask what type of wood the guitar is made of. Note any special likes or dislikes you have about each guitar. When you feel like you can't stand to be in the store another minute, thank the salesperson, and head for home.

    3.Choosing A Guitar

    So, now you've played a bunch of guitars, and hopefully found a few that you really like. It's time to do some research on all the guitar companies whose instruments you are considering. Use the Brands of Guitars links resource to get familiar with what each of these companies has to say about their instruments. Most guitar company websites provide specs on each of their guitars, so you can find out additional information on the instrument you're considering. Search their website for warranty information, and make note of that also. You can even call or e-mail them if you have any additional concerns.
    Guitar company websites are fine, but obviously they're going to be biased, so you'll need to find out what others think of the guitar you're considering. Fortunately, the web is filled with sites that archive user-reviews of guitars. Check the Gear Reviews section for links to critiques of guitars. When studying these reviews, take special notice of the prices people paid for the instrument, and carefully consider all criticism. Be wary of people who give their guitar a "perfect 10" score - many of these reviewers aren't knowledgable enough to offer constructive criticism.

    Next, take out your phone book, and look up the other music stores in your area. You should consider visiting each of these stores and trying out the guitars they offer. For now, call each of them, and see if they offer any of the same guitars you're considering. If so, ask to be quoted a price. Occasionally, you'll run across a store employee who is hesitant to quote you prices over the telephone. Mention you're about to buy a guitar elsewhere, and he should change his mind. Again, make note of any differences in price.

    If you're still unsure about what guitar is right for you, feel free to post your questions to the FretBoard, an online bulletin board designed to help guitarists interact. Chances are, in no time someone will respond to your questions with their advice.

    Armed with all this new knowledge about the guitars you're considering, it's time to take the second trip to the music store. I'll generally wait until the next day to do this - a clear head often gives me better perspective on which guitar suits me best.

    4. Getting A Bargain

    You think you know which guitar is right for you? Congratulations. But, your work isn't done yet. You've got to get that guitar at a price that you can be proud of. Many people assume that if the guitar price tag says $599, that's the price they'll have to pay. Not true. Music store owners make a profit on the sale of items from their store, thus are able to significantly decrease the price of an item. The trick is to get them to do that for you.
    Unfortunately, in order to get a bargain, you'll have to temporarily think of the music store employee as the enemy. The basic fact is - he/she wants your money, and you want to give them as little of it as possible. It is important to remember that YOU are in control - they want your money, and you should make them earn it. Here are some other things to keep in mind during your second trip to the music store:

    * Keep the salesperson on a need-to-know basis. Don't tell them "I have to own this guitar!" Mention you've seen some nice guitars in other stores around town.
    * Before you begin bartering, make sure you know if the price includes a case. Ask whether the case is hardshell (more $) or softshell (less $).
    * Try out several guitars on your return visit. You might want to pretend to be considering a much cheaper guitar. Selling you a cheap guitar means a small commission for them.. so they'll be more willing to give you a deal on a more expensive guitar.
    * Don't appear to be in a hurry. Take your time, and carefully consider whether this IS the guitar you really want.
    * NEVER pay list price for a guitar. List prices are usually greatly inflated.

    Many people have difficulties bringing up the subject of getting a discount with a salesperson. Here's the way I generally approach the issue - ask the salesperson to give you the whole price, including tax and case, for the guitar. When they give you the final quote, simply say "Hmmm, now what can you do for me to get that price a little lower?" Have a price in mind that you'd like to pay - I often aim for a 15% discount. If you know of a store that offers a lower price for the same guitar, make the salesperson aware of that. You might have to use a little bit of pressure, but it's something you'll get used to doing.

    Sometimes, if the guitar is already on sale, or is a very budget-priced instrument, you'll have a hard time convincing the salesperson to further lower the price. In these circumstances, try asking them to include some guitar accessories for free, or at least at a heavily discounted price. These might include: a capo, guitar strings, a patch cord, guitar polish, a guitar humidifier, a guitar tuner, or even small items like string winders and picks. It might not be the discount you're looking for, but it will at least give you the satisfaction of knowing that you successfully bargained with the salespeople.

    This marks the extent of my knowledge on how to bring home a new guitar you're happy with, at a price that won't bust your budget. I hope you'll enjoy all your newly purchased instruments as much as I'm loving my new guitar. Best of luck, and happy hunting!
    Super-Admin likes this.
  2. god_of_guitar

    god_of_guitar New Member

    this is not my work so please dont post replies saying i have copied it from a website as u guys normally do
  3. jocelyn

    jocelyn New Member

    Nice article and I must say I agree with almost all of it.
  4. god_of_guitar

    god_of_guitar New Member

    thnx i hope mods make it sticky
  5. fat_kax

    fat_kax Kickin Ass Since 1989 !

    hey look ferward to my next post --- Youth Of Today_Are We Living In A World Controlled By "GUIDES"??? ;)
  6. acoustic_ear

    acoustic_ear New Member

    Excellent article .. just in time for my first-guitar-buy.
    Also I must mention, I went to a store yesterday and almost bought the first one I liked and had to be literally dragged out of the store by my best friend.
    Now i know what to do .....
  7. Crave

    Crave New Member

    Cool ! ... Thats wonderful man, it surely has helped many newbies like me (am sure). Great work!

    ~Rock On~
  8. TosheX

    TosheX New Member


    Thanks a lot mate, your thread saved me a lot. I bought my first guitar yesterday, and I followed your advice, and got a discount.
  9. jazzbox

    jazzbox His X Ln C 1000CC

    nice article by the way ..

    keep it up
  10. kanchiarchie

    kanchiarchie New Member


    Hiiii...Nice article dude....
    thinking of buying a new guitar by next month...
    Ur article is very helpful...and actually gave me a i m a beginner...was getting jst dnt even knw a, b , c d of guitar...
    Thanx a lotttttttttt.......
  11. godblessme

    godblessme New Member

    i hv granada accoustic..
    it's to heavy..
    at d time of buying i ws nt concern abt dis..i just chk out d sound it's amezing !
    but my sir told me dat it's too heavy n it will bent..
    is it true..??
  12. Nazo

    Nazo New Member

    hey....thanks a lot...ur article will surely be helpful for a beginner like me!! especially your encouragement to play the guitar in the shop.....boosts my confidence....being a total fresher!!! Tks once again!!!
  13. ultrabot90

    ultrabot90 Like fishes need bicycles

    Zis is from, innit? o_O
  14. god_of_guitar

    god_of_guitar New Member

    good to see this article's helpijng u guys..
    @ultrabolt.. dont remember frn where i got it.. its been sometime now..
  15. AtoZ

    AtoZ New Member

    any good tips of selecting a guitar checking the body of the guitar, neck, wood, bridge, fretboard, strings, pickups etc. generally most of them tend to untune frequently, warp or sound poor after few months. A couple of maintenance tips wud be gr8 too.
  16. Ozze

    Ozze New Member

    what if u have posted this 4 years back :) any ways good one for the bigners besides there r some point i,ll keep in my mind to while buying a new one ... (some of these tips can b helpful in shoping also :p )
  17. puneet5997

    puneet5997 New Member


    thanks for buying guide
  18. Adarsh3230

    Adarsh3230 New Member

    Good Post

    Thank you, after reading the post now i will keep those things in mind before purchase.
  19. Nimit Daftary

    Nimit Daftary New Member

    hey this was from wasn't it
  20. talkjay83

    talkjay83 New Member

    I liked it. I will use it.

    Thanks a lot.

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