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5 Simple Things You Can Do Before You
Buy A Guitar
Today, there's so many brands and styles of guitars to choose
from, it's hard to know where to start. Before you trot off to
the local music store I recommend doing some private research.
Start by making a short checklist ...investing a small amount of
time thinking about your purchase will ultimately save you a lot
of time and money and significantly increase your chances of
buying the best quality instrument for your playing style.
Here's a short list to get you started:
1. Work to a budget
Before you do anything, take out a piece of paper and work out
the total amount of money you can realistically afford (or
justify) spending on your guitar.
This is essential as there is literally no top end limit to the
amount of money you can spend on guitars and guitar accessories!
2. Decide on the music you want to play
To help you with your budget considerations you will need to
think about the type of music you will be playing on your new
The best way to approach this is make a list of your 5 favorite
songs, what type of music are these songs? Are they (a) heavy
metal, (b) rock, (c) classical, (d) jazz, (e) blues etc ...
It's important to "zero in" on the style of music you want to
play because if you want to play heavy metal or rock music an
electric guitar would be the best instrument for that style.
As far as your budget is concerned, if you are playing electric
guitar you will also need to factor in the cost of a guitar
amplifier because it's very difficult to hear a solid body
electric guitar without an amplifier.
3. Acoustic or electric guitar?
Once you have decided on the style of music you want to play and
whether you will need an electric or acoustic guitar, it's time
to get serious about the specific details of the guitar you
intend to buy.
If it's an acoustic guitar, will you need a ...
(a) solid top or laminated - solid top acoustic guitars cost more
and generally produce a more mellow tone as the guitar ages.
(b) Cutaway or standard - cutaway acoustic guitars are they
latest trend with acoustic guitars, the main point to consider
is, will you need to be playing above the fifteen fret? If you
don't need to play extremely high notes on your acoustic guitar,
go for the standard acoustic guitar.
Remember, that the standard acoustic guitar will produce a better
acoustic sound than the cutaway because the sound board (or top)
of the guitar will have more vibrating surface area,
If it's an electric guitar, do you need a ...
(a) Electric guitar with a tremolo arm? If so, best to stay away
from the Floyd Rose, lock-nut style tremolo systems, a well
adjusted standard tremolo arm will work in most situations.
(b) Do you need a valve or solid state amp? Valve amps sound
warmer however you need to factor in the additional weight and
annual cost of replacing the valves.
4. How will you learn?
What is the most practical way for you to increase you guitar
(a) With a private teacher, one-on-one instruction
(b) On-line guitar lessons
5. What accessories will you need?
There's an endless array of guitar accessories, I've made a short
list of the most important and practical items.
* guitar case - gig bags or solid, gig bags are great for going
to lessons, they are light and easy to transport, however if you
are touring with a band the hard case is the way to go.
* guitar tuner - very important accessory, be certain to purchase
a electronic chromatic tuner, not the standard guitar tuner.
* guitar picks - heavy or thin? Again an important consideration,
avoid thin picks, I recommend starting with medium guitar picks.
* guitar strap - buy a good quality leather strap, many of the
vinyl style straps react with the finish of the guitar.
* music stand - get a sturdy one that will hold a thick music
* guitar leads - for electric guitar, use the shortest length,
best quality leads, for most players practicing close to
their amp a ten foot lead is ideal.
* capo - most players will be using this item a lot, again by
Should you buy new or pre-played instruments?
It's totally up to you, basically if a guitar (a) feels good, (b)
sounds great and (c) is within your budget ... go for it!
Well, I hope I've got you thinking!
As you can see there's quite a lot of things to consider, take
your time checking out these things, remember you are much better
off doing your research before you buy, unfortunately most people
only start thinking about these things when it's too late ...
after they have already bought their guitar.
How to Play Guitar
Rave Reviews for Express Guitar:
a student of Mike Hayes since 1999, I have found his teaching methods
and products to be first class. Whatever style or area of music I have
been interested in, he has provided me with useful information, advice
and study materials. His style of teaching and teaching products
enabled me to progress through his guitar course far quicker than I
ever imagined. He also helps in teaching yourself to find and develop
your own style of music. Mike’s teaching gives his
student’s the ability to become useful musicians, not just
Stephen J Reid
Guitarist & Musician
course teaches us how to learn, how to retain, and how to recall
information quickly. This entire program is built around "connected
learning" with key phrases, picture words ( yes there is such a thing )
and the most dynamic personal motivator I have ever had the pleasure of
Ken C Simpson
Business Owner & Guitarist
course is varied, in-depth and well-structured, making learning and
comprehension fast, thorough and enjoyable. It’s a great way of
learning, as you can pace yourself and move onto the next stage when
you feel competent. I find this course both innovative and
inspirational. I find myself leaving Mike’s lessons with the
determination to reach my new goals.
Karl J Ricker
Sunshine Coast, Australia