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Guide To Purchasing A Guitar And Equipment For the guitarist, or soon to be guitarist.

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**** This tutorial is off my website. I'm not sure whether I should put the name or not because then it's advertising your website, so please post if I can't. Thanks and enjoy.*****

Guide to: Purchasing a Guitar and Equipment
Note: Before purchasing anything, please make sure to ask yourself whether you are going to take the guitar seriously and what your goals are. Also, keep in mind that you will have to practice for hours. If you plan on being an amazing rock solo guitarist, jazz musician or anything that requires a lot of musical theory (feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions regarding that). For the bassists, if you look at things that Victor Wooten plays, you can just see the days and hours of practice... If that's your goal, consider many hours a day. If you want to just strum an acoustic and be an okay player, you'll need a little less practice, but still more than you think.

Alright! If i didn't scare you off with that little note, then you need help on what to get! Now, you might think that to buy a guitar the first thing you should is talk to an employee about what type of music you will be playing. Chances are he can lead you in the right direction guitarwise or basswise, but don't let him lead you $200 dollars more than you're willing to spend.

Before you go to buy a guitar, you should have these things in mind:

1. How much you're willing to spend.

2. Some of the genres you're going to play.

3. How much time you're willing to put into playing per day.

4. What you want to spend more on, a nice looking instrument or a good, solid amp?

5. That you won't only be spending money on the amp and guitar: there are accessories you'll probably want to purchase as well (straps, picks, cables, etc...)

These rules apply to bass guitars, guitars, drums, pianos, xylophones, recorders, flutes, any instrument really. And don't think that there aren't accessories for most instruments.

Anyway, once you've got those 5 things in your head, go to a shop (I wouldn't suggest buying off the internet for your first guitar, you wan't a chance to play it) that carries instruments, specifically guitars and/or basses. Ask Mr. Employee, give him an estimate (remember you need to leave some cash over for your amp and accessories) and try out some guitars.

There are a couple of things you should be looking at while playing this guitar (when I say guitar, I'm reffering to basses, banjos, ukuleles, mandolins and those types of string instruments as well.):

1. Action - how easily your hand slides across the frets. Does your hand get stuck on frets that are sticking out? Is it nicely laminated? Compare to other guitars.

2. Weight - if you're relatively frail, look for a light guitar. Remember that if you ever perform, you might be playing with that guitar standing up.

3. Tuners - see how easily they turn. If you don't know, the tuners are at the top of the neck (on the headstock). They're these little knob things that the strings are attached to. Make sure that they are not worn or damaged.

4. Sound - if you're purchasing a plug-in guitar, make sure you try it out on an amplifier in your price range. If you try it on an amazing amp, you might get a pretty nice tone. Many people miss the fact that amps can have a lot more effect on sound than a guitar.
If you're purchasing an acoustic guitar, strum it and listen to how long it resonates and such. Listen for any strings that ring out faster than others. Check for lose bolts on the strings or frets that stick out while you're listening. (Those rules also applied to electrics actually.)

5. Electronics - ask Mr. Employee if he knew about the history of the guitar and what it's been through. Inside the guitar, there are many things that can get damaged. The pickups (the things under the strings that pick up the sound), the pots (the things that the volume and tone knobs are attached to), the input (where you stick the cable in) and more. Wiggle around the input and pickups, make sure they don't come out. If it's possible, ask if Mr. Employee can check the electronics for you, considering he's a pro (hopefully).

6. Looks n' Feeling - this might seem cheesy, but it's true. If you can't see yourself playing your guitar, enjoying it, lovin' it and feeling confident about yourself, don't get the guitar. You're going to end up playing infront of people no matter how you look at it, even if it's just someone asking to play them a nice simple tune.

By now, you should have gotten a pretty good idea of what type of guitar would be cool for you. If not, play around some more with guitars, or see if there's another shop in town! Either way, we're moving on to amps.

Amplifiers are great. Most people don't realize how much they do and that they have a massive influence on your sound. Considering most people enjoy buying new guitars over new amps, it might be a good idea for you to spend more on your amp than your guitar, it's easier to switch. If you're just starting and just want some simple stuff, I would get a 15 watt amp, give or take some power (although they don't really come in 23s or random numbers!) Acoustic players may skip this section, although they may want to read it for future reference. If you want a plug-in acoustic though, read on.

When you buy your amp, you want to make sure of the following things:

1. Condition - nothing should be lose. Scratches are fine if you don't mind them, generally they don't affect the sound, but if it's a massive dent then you might want a different amp... A dent can mean it was abused and that's never good. Check all the knobs, gently move them around a little and make sure they don't crumble and that there aren't any cracks. Turn it over. Some amps are closed and some are open, but if you see a round thing and it's open you want to check if any connections are lose. You can ask to solder these, but if there are other amps of the same model around you could just consider buying one of those instead.

2. Distortion and Clean tones - you might not know what distortion is (a.k.a. overdrive), so I'll explain. It's basically when the amp chops up the sound so much that it creates a hard, grungy sound depending on how much distortion you turn on. Clean is when the strings ring open and clearly, sort of like an acoustic. Test how they both sound, although some guitars and amps are better for clean while some are better for distortion.

3. Gain - gain sort of adds the 'rawr' to your sound, in my opinion. You want to make sure that it's fully functional, as depending on your taste you might find yourself messing with this a lot. Make sure to mess around with the settings to see how much potential you and your guitar will have (although in the end it's pretty much up to you!).

There are other things to look at, but we'll move on to accessories. Just take a final look at your amp and give it the 'yay' or the 'nay'. Don't worry to much about looks for your amp though... But keep in mind that louder often means better quality sound.

Okay! Last stop, accessories! There are a couple things that are quite important in buying your guitar that we'll look at now.

If you're using a plug in, make sure to purchase a cable. MAKE SURE! Otherwise you'll get home all excited and realize you can't do anything but strum quietly. You probably want a lifetime warranty or a good quality cable, they tend to break quite a bit.

If you like the idea of standing up and rockin' out infront of the opposite sex, then I suggest you buy a good quality strap. Strap locks are a huge plus, the worst thing is rocking out and your axe falling off and hitting the floor (cracking the neck and making you look like a total loser). Make sure it fits onto your guitar and is comfortable: lots of straps look good but are actually lousy quality and the fabric can irritate your neck.

Picks. You have no idea (yet) at how many you lose. It's insane. Over the years you'll find them in the weirdest places... In computer hard drives, sock drawers, pencil sharpeners... It's crazy. You'll probably lose a couple on your first day. Because of this, I suggest you buy quite a few and make a mental note of where you're going to leave them. When you stop using them, try to put them inbetween the strings of your guitar so it stays. Avoid countertops, someone might move them. :P

This might seem a little exadurated, but I find it quite nice to own. Guitar cleaners and cleaning cloths can seriously buff up your guitar. It's important to oil your neck every few months and keep it in tip-top condition. For the acoustic players: if your guitar's humidity isn't controlled, the back can form CRACKS. Invest in a small guitar humidifier and ask Mr. Employee how they are used.

Last stop: books and knowledge. See, you might actually not want this. Here you are on this website, reading a tutorial... You get that there's more right? We have all these lessons about chords and theory and everything you want if you ask... Of course there are other websites, and books can be great for a car trip, but please give our website a chance and instead buy a nicer strap, or spend more on your cable, buy some extra strings whatever and check out the internet. It's amazing. The information might be hard to find sometimes due to being so scattered (that's why this site was made, to help that) but it's well worth it.


Hope I did everything right :P

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Nicely done, I agree with almost everything on there. I bought a cheap package about 3 years ago that had an amp, strap, cables, and the guitar for like $250. The guitar has lasted so far (just a minor dent), and I really enjoy it. I do need a new amp, and you brought up a lot of good point about the amp. It is VERY important.You may find this hard to believe but I've used the same pick for over 2 and a half years now!! I have a bunch of spares but I just love using the one I have. The words on the pick are even worn off from me using it so much :XD:

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Awesome guide! I could have used this a few weeks ago. I just bought a guitar. I'm total a noob. I always got some software to try and teach me how to play it. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be. But, lickily I have a friend who plays. I can't sem to get the rthym going just yet. But, at least I didn't spend a whole lot of money for it.Vic

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