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With the holiday season coming up, it’s a great time to take up a new hobby by getting a new guitar. Or if you’ve been playing awhile, maybe it’s time to add a new guitar to your playing collection. Either way, there are some important questions to ask before purchasing a new guitar.


  1. Acoustic or Electric?

    Whether or not you buy an acoustic or electric really depends on the style of music you want to play. If you’re wanting to play rock or heavy metal, an electric guitar is an obvious choice because it would be hard to get the crunch and sustain you want out of an acoustic guitar. But if you’re more interested in country or folk music, you probably want to go with an acoustic guitar. If you’re interested in blues music, the choice might be more difficult because there are many great blues songs that use both acoustic and electric guitars to drive the song. You also want to consider if you want to play primarily rhythm or lead guitar. Many songs have an acoustic guitar driving the rhythm with an electric guitar playing lead lines over it.
    If you’re buying an acoustic guitar, you also want to consider whether you want one with on board electronics or not. An acoustic guitar with a pickup can be plugged straight into a sound system. Without electronics, if you want to play live before a crowd, you’ll have to play next to a microphone to project the sound.
  2.  Single pickups or humbuckers

    If you’re playing electric guitar, one of the choices you want to consider is the type of pickup configuration you want. This also depends on the style of music you want to play. Big boomy rhythm lines would benefit more from the thick sound of humbucker pickups. But if you’re playing primary lead lines or single-note riffs, single pickups tend to cut through better than humbuckers. Some guitars even have a configuration of both types of pickups, and you can toggle between them as you play.
  3. New or Used?

    New guitars are great because they’re still sleek and shiny, and no one else has played it before you. But just because a guitar is used doesn’t mean it’s not just as good as a new instrument. In fact, many older guitars are desired by players because of their unique level of quality and craftsmanship. Of course, if you’re buying a collectible, you have to expect to spend a lot of money. Buying a used instrument could also save you some money. Sometimes someone gets a new instrument and decides to sell their old one, giving you the opportunity to buy a perfectly well-made guitar for less than a new one. If you do decide to buy a used guitar, it’s a good idea to have it checked out by a professional guitar tech first to make sure it’s in good condition. If you’re not able to get a guitar tech to look at it, you can check out the video below to learn some of the most common guitar problems to watch out for.

4. How much are you willing to spend?

The higher the quality of materials used to make the guitar, such as the wood it’s constructed from or the electronics installed on it, the more money you can expect to spend on the instrument. For example, a guitar built from alder or ash will tend to be less expensive than a guitar built from maple or rosewood. Though the sound is impacted by higher quality materials, most find the differences to be negligible for moderate priced guitars. If you’re just looking for a beginner guitar, some of the lower end guitars will probably meet your needs, but if you’re interested in performance, you probably want to spend a little more for a quality instrument.

5. What accessories do you need?

If you’re buying a new guitar, chances are you’ll need a few accessories to go with it. Guitar picks are an obvious necessity unless you’re primarily a finger picker. If you’re playing electric, you’ll obviously need an amplifier and a guitar chord or two. You might want some effects pedals as well and some additional guitar cords. If you plan to travel with your guitar, you might want to get a guitar case. 

If you’re in the market to buy a new guitar this holiday season, these questions will help you make a more wise and informed decision to get the best guitar for your money.

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