Guitar buying tips:- The guitar is a stringed musical instrument, one of the most common in the world. It is used as an accompanying or solo instrument in many musical styles and directions of music, being the main instrument in such musical styles as blues, country, flamenco, rock music, sometimes jazz, etc.
The electric guitar invented in the 20th century had a strong influence on mass culture. The classical guitar is an acoustic guitar with nylon or steel strings, initially conceived for the interpretation of classical music pieces.
The body is hollow and flat, in the shape of eight, and made of several different kinds of wood. The neck has frets that make it a tempered instrument.
The most common versions have six nylon strings, but there are guitars with other configurations. Such as the seven-string guitar and the bass guitar, with 4 strings, tuned one octave below the 4 lowest strings of the guitar.
The predecessors of the guitar had an elongated rounded hollow resonating body and a long neck with strings stretched over it.
The case was made whole – from dried pumpkin, tortoise-shell, or hollowed out from a single piece of wood. In the III-IV centuries AD in China, there are instruments ruan (or yuan) and yueqin, in which the wooden case was assembled from the upper and lower decks and the shells connecting them.
In Europe, this caused the emergence of Latin and Moorish guitars around the VI century. Later, in the XV – XVI centuries, the viuel instrument appeared, which also influenced the formation of the construction of a modern guitar.
Origin of name
The word guitar comes from the merger of two words: the Sanskrit word sangita, which means music and the ancient Persian tar, meaning string. According to another version, the word guitar comes from the Sanskrit word couture, meaning four-stringed.
As the guitar spread from Central Asia through Greece to Western Europe, the word guitar underwent changes. Such as cifara in ancient Greece, Latin cithara, Guitarra in Spain, chitarra in Italy, guitar in France, guitar in England. The name guitar first appeared in European medieval literature in the 13th century.
The brief history of Guitar
The use of the guitar is one of the most diverse, being able to be used both in instrumental music (orchestras) and in the accompaniment of the voice (solo songs).
For a period of history, the guitar was defamed due to being a favorite instrument of bohemians and semesters, carrying the title of marginal instrument, vagabond thing, however, this fact has already been overcome.
- The origins of the guitar go back more than 3000 years before our era.
- The instrument was mentioned for the first time in Persia – although the appearance resembled that of a lute rather than that of the traditional guitar known today.
- It was then imported to Spain in the course of the 10th century and has undergone various changes over the centuries: classical guitar, folk guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar.
- The earliest surviving evidence of stringed instruments with a resonating body and neck, the ancestors of the modern guitar, date back to the 2nd millennium BC. Images of Kinnor (a Sumerian-Babylonian string instrument mentioned in biblical tales) were found on clay bas-reliefs during archaeological excavations in Mesopotamia. Similar tools were also known in ancient Egypt and India: nabla, nefer, zither in Egypt, wine, and sitar in India. In ancient Greece and Rome, the instrument of kiphar was popular.
- Since the guitar is one of the plucked instruments (and it has more than one string), it is possible to produce several tones at the same time.
- Since the guitar has been known, it has been a popular instrument that creates a connection between people. This comes on the one hand from their geographical migration and also from the social effect that it creates.
- By adapting to all musical styles, the guitar can also accompany numerous other instruments or can be played as a solo instrument in different styles such as rock, blues, jazz, country, classical or reggae.
Types of Guitar
Anyone who thinks that the guitar is, all the same, is wrong: in fact, there are several differences between the most used models on the market.
Each type of guitar has its own characteristics of aesthetics and adaptability, being more suitable for one or another musical style.
That is why when buying a new guitar it is so important to know everything about them. Here are the most common types of guitar which you need to understand.
As the name says, the classical guitar is the best known, used, and sold to musicians. It is an acoustic model and works with six strings, which in most cases are nylon.
In addition to being easily found, it has a lower cost compared to other types and is suitable for beginners due to the lightness and softness of the instrument. Remember that classical guitar is widely used for classical music, MPB, samba, bossa nova, among other musical styles.
Having as main characteristics the bigger and more sharp body, folk guitars are also quite popular. Most models work with steel strings and can be electric or electroacoustic.
It is the most suitable for genres such as pop and rock, precisely because it generates a fuller sound, with a different timbre.
Also called dreadnought, the folk guitar is indicated for those who need an instrument that generates more volume and more attack. Because it is a little bigger, its box projects more notes and delivers in a much fuller sound.
The thinner neck makes it easier to assemble chords with large openings because in this case, the effort will be less. The anatomical feature of the arm also helps when doing solos, as the hand moves more freely and comfortably.
Very versatile, this model is used in blues, country music, and acoustic pop and rock performances in general. This is the most suitable guitar model for live performances. Despite all this versatility, it is not suitable for samba, bossa nova, or classical music.
The flat guitar is perfectly flat in shape. And that is precisely the main characteristic of the flat guitar since its acoustic box is quite thin! It is widely used by professional musicians and in most cases, it is played with nylon strings.
The generated tone is smoother and, since it is almost always found in electric models, needs amplification. This model is one of the favorites of professional and classical musicians, precisely because it provides good playability.
The small size of the box makes it more ergonomic, light, and easy to use for long and long hours. In general, flat guitars have soft tones and are more pleasing to the ears, mainly because of the possibility of equalizing the sound – a feature available in electroacoustic instruments.
In his electrifying performances, Lenine usually uses a flat guitar.
The jumbo guitar became known when Elvis Presley started using it and, despite being very similar to the classic type, the big difference is in the wider body and the more rounded base.
It is easier to find electroacoustic models with steel strings and the sound generated is more serious and full-bodied. With this more protruding box, it causes the sensation of being an instrument too big and ends up generating a sensation of discomfort.
Because it is more common in the electroacoustic model and with steel strings, this guitar delivers a deeper, denser and fuller sound.
Known as the Brazilian guitar, for being indicated for genres such as choro and samba, the 7-string guitar has no differences in its structure, when compared to the classical guitar.
The only difference is the seventh string, which is usually tuned more severely than the other six, which requires a knowledge of the musician who will play it.
It also does not show differences in structure, but it has twice as many strings as the classic, which are grouped in pairs – half of them tuned to an octave above. The 12-string guitar has full resonance and requires technique and practice to be able to press two strings at the same time.
Zero, Double Zero, And Triple Zero guitars
These guitars are categorized as Parlor, having smaller structures and being more suitable for casual and not so professional use.
In their beginnings, mid-19th century, these instruments were used to liven up parties or casual encounters, and their strings were made from animal casings.
Currently, they are appreciated by musicians of blues, folk, flamenco music, and by the fans of the fingerstyle technique, because the larger arm accommodates the style better.
Its main features are the small body (smaller than a dreadnought and often smaller than a classical guitar) and longer neck than the other two models. Because they have small dimensions, parlor guitars deliver a more uniform frequency response – treble and bass with the same volume.
They are divided into the categories below:
- The zero guitars are the smallest of the three and have a comfortable structure to play for a long time.
- The double zero is already a little bigger, but it has a good sound and is suitable for fingerstyle techniques.
- Triple zero is intermediate in size and generates a more peculiar tone.
Benefits of playing guitar
Playing a musical instrument has countless benefits for our lives. In addition to being an activity that improves the intellect, the weekly hours we invest in the study of the guitar are good for physical health and perform a real detox in the mind.
Besides being cool, it turns out that many popular musical instruments besides the piano and violin have physical and spiritual benefits for you. Such as:
Increases brain activity
According to a study in Scotland, playing a musical instrument improves brain activities and functions. This means that if you play the guitar, you will also be fighting cerebellar degeneration in the medium and long term period.
The guitar releases stress
Are you tired of work? Scolded by the leader? Or, flat tire on the road? Arriving at home, take a shower, pick up your guitar, and release your heart’s content through the strings.
When you start strumming a guitar, you will immediately feel calm and more focused. A study from Loma Linda University’s School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems in 2005 stated that playing music, including guitar, can wipe your mind from stress to the level of genes.
In other words, besides stress, playing music can also reduce the trauma that haunts your mind. Therefore, if your mind begins to fumble, immediately play music.
Increases the working power of the brain
It’s no secret if pregnant women listen to classical music so that the baby branch can be born smart. But, it’s not limited to that. Apparently, playing the guitar can also increase the working power of the brain.
According to a study from the University of Zurich, musical instruments, including guitars, can increase IQs by up to seven points. In addition to the University of Zurich, the University of St.
Andrews in Scotland also supports the opinion that music can improve one’s brain performance and prevent brain aging. If you’ve got the basics of playing guitar and suddenly playing wrong, you immediately reflexively replace the wrong key with the right one.
This shows that the music player’s brain has a higher focus power.
Acts as painkiller
Playing music and listening to music can actually reduce a person’s pain. This was stated by a study from the University of Utah’s Pain Research Center. Moreover, if the music comes from your own fingerpick. Guaranteed, your pain will decrease significantly.
Improves motor coordination
Playing a musical instrument requires complete coordination between hands, eyes, and ears. Consequently, the musician [amateur or not] tends to develop skills that improve motor coordination.
Playing an instrument induces the individual to have a good body posture. With a good posture, which is always comfortable, we have an easier time performing body movements.
In this way, we learn to avoid exaggeration of physical strength when performing some movements.
Musical learning develops socialization
As it is a universal language, music has the power to unite! When we learn to play an instrument, we create opportunities to make new friends and to socialize.
As much as you have a little shyness, the music class will encourage interactions with other students and teachers. So, instinctively, you will exchange musical figurines in a natural way.
And as one subject leads to another, there will come a time when it will be common to have conversations about everyday life, football, dating, jokes, etc. and such.
Healthy for the heart
Besides reducing stress and revitalizing the brain, it turns out, playing the guitar also has properties to heal your heart. Apart from physical sports, mind sports are also felt necessary.
In 2009, researchers from Harvard Health collected research on the relationship between music and heart health. Playing and listening to music can reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
In addition, the musical activity becomes an effective recovery therapy for sufferers of heart attacks or surgery patients. Besides tunable in the ears, these tones also smooth blood circulation! Therefore, it is never too late to strum the guitar.
Heal a wounded heart
The final benefit of playing the guitar that is felt by many people is healing a broken heart. Not just any claim, apparently, it turns out there is a scientific explanation!
A study from McGill University in 2011 explained that playing the guitar can make your brain produce the hormone dopamine. The dopamine hormone is a hormone that plays your happy feelings.
In other words, playing the guitar makes your heart happier even after experiencing the sad events as above.
Increases your sense of responsibility
Playing the guitar comes with some responsibilities. Maintenance and care of the instrument are very important to keep it in good condition. Each instrument has a series of specific precautions to keep it working perfectly, but most need cleaning and some kind of waxing.
In addition to maintenance responsibilities, you need to be responsible for classes, training, and rehearsals.
Keeps your concentration sharp
Playing music requires you to focus on pitch, tone, tempo, rhythm, note length, and timbre. Playing music with other people requires a lot of concentration on listening to what others are playing as well.
Creates a feeling of success
Being able to overcome musical challenges that you thought you would never be able to overcome makes you feel much better about yourself.
When you start to learn to play a musical instrument, just hitting a certain note or setting the tempo already seems like a big event. When you get more experience, making music that affects not only you but also other people, is a very rewarding experience.
Makes you happier and makes you pass that happiness on to others
Playing a musical instrument can be one of the best experiences of your life. Playing a song that you like a lot feels great. Do a very good performance and listen to the applause of the audience an even more exciting feeling.
It is very gratifying to play an instrument and see that the people listening are enjoying it.
Factors that you need to consider while buying the guitar
Amid countless options on the market, choosing which guitar to buy can be a complicated task. And it can be an even more confusing choice if it’s the first time you’ve come across so many varieties and models of guitars.
Veteran or beginner, it is essential for all guitarists to know aspects of guitars well that will facilitate the choice at the time of purchase. Here are the factors that you need to consider while buying the guitar:
Quality of workmanship
The quality of workmanship is important for musical instruments and thus also the guitar, after all, it is constantly subjected to mechanical stresses during play.
Do not be too sorry to test each pot, switch, pickup, and mechanism in peace for its functionality, good handling, and robustness. Regarding the latter, it is advisable to compare many guitars with each other.
If necessary, be persistent and punch the seller with all your questions. The moving parts in particular should fit well. You can usually quickly tell from them what the overall manufacturing quality of a guitar is.
Do not let the seller influence you if he is standing next to you with an irritated facial expression, possibly even getting impatient. It is your hard-earned money that you want to use to buy your guitar and that you could spend here.
The staff must, therefore, come to terms with the fact that the possible purchase decision and processing take a while.
Checking manufacturing defects
Before you get an impression of the sound and the playability of an instrument, it is worthwhile to look at the selected model externally and to check for any errors.
These include inadequately glued-on attachments such as the bridge on acoustic guitars. But the body-neck transition should also be examined in detail. It should be ensured here that screwed necks sit in the neck pocket without play and that glued necks are connected cleanly and perfectly aligned.
The surface quality gives a first impression of how carefully the instrument is processed. If there are any imperfections in the paintwork or in the general condition of the wood, which may even be a hindrance when playing, it is advisable to look around for another instrument.
Small optical defects in the coating, in turn, do not necessarily have to be a knock-out criterion for inexpensive instruments, provided that the instrument makes a good impression on the other point.
However, if the instrument has a high price, there should be no defects in the paintwork.
Play the guitar
This point is crucial – playing the guitar must be very comfortable for you and it must not prevent you from putting your best performance and speed on the fingerboard. Play the guitar in all positions and frets and make sure that nothing stands in your way.
Appearance vs. Playability
The design of the guitar has a significant impact on the decision to buy. Nevertheless, try not to be overwhelmed by the look. Because the most beautiful guitar does nothing if you are not able to play your best solo on it.
Before buying a guitar – compare
If you have allocated a certain budget in advance that you want to spend on buying a guitar. You should take the time to play other models from the same price category and with the same features so that you can buy the guitar that is best for you.
That should be clear, but the actual tip now follows: If the store has several copies of the same guitar in stock, you should also try them all out. Even with machine manufacturing or the best brands and quality controls, every guitar is unique.
Packaging and upholstery
Make sure the guitar is packaged well when you finally decide to buy it. Is there a protective cloth or a strip of styrofoam or similar protective material between the fingerboard and the strings – if the strings are already open? Is there a guitar case or at least a gig bag?
If not, how gently will you be able to transport the guitar in the car or in any other way? It is important to answer these questions for you. Therefore, pay attention to safety if you want to buy a guitar.
The string position
You should definitely pay attention to this when buying your guitar: the string position. This describes the distance between the string and the fingerboard.
If it is too high, you have to use a lot of force to press the string onto the fingerboard and you will lose the fun in the long run. Unfortunately, you can not find the information about the string position in any online shop. You will also not find this information on any datasheet from the manufacturer.
However, there is still a simple trick for you to determine the string position. You can have a few coins in your wallet. With these, you can roughly determine the string spacing.
But beware of the notorious string chirping. If the string position is too low and the guitar string vibrates against the fingerboard, a noise is produced that separates the musician community.
Several points belong to the topic of intonation. You can easily check for yourself whether the instrument is octave pure.
For each string, you compare the harmonics on the 12th fret with the gripped tone in the same place. If there are any deviations, the guitar is not properly adjusted.
This can usually be made up of but should be the case for a manufacturer with quality standards ex-works. You should completely distance yourself from a purchase if the frets are not properly placed on the fingerboard.
In this admittedly rare case, the so-called fret purity is not guaranteed and a subsequent correction is very complex. Sometimes, inferior or played strings can cause intonation problems. If you like the instrument itself, it is worth it
How a guitar sounds and what potential it also has in its ongoing sound development depends largely on the choice of wood. In general, it can be said that the body of a guitar should be equipped with a solid ceiling, as this is very important for the vibration properties.
All the better if the instrument is made entirely of solid wood. However, you won’t find this feature on inexpensive guitars. Whether you prefer spruce or cedar, for example, depends on your personal taste.
Only trying out helps here. Maple or mahogany necks and rosewood fingerboards are also classic and proven combinations. If you encounter these materials, this is the first indication that you are on the right track in terms of sound technology.
However, there are still a lot of deviations or crossings here.
At the latest now you have to prick up your ears. How does the instrument behave when notes or chords fade away? Do you feel that the sound of all strings is reproduced cleanly and evenly? Does the instrument react sensitively to dynamic playing styles?
If this is not the case, even the best setting will not help. It is also important here to look for another guitar. The assessment of these points is the hardest for a beginner to answer. Here it helps to consult an experienced player if necessary.
Of course, the hardware of a guitar should also be checked carefully. These include the pickups including electronics, string holding and bridge, the saddle, and of course the tuning mechanisms.
So check with electric guitars whether all pots work properly and without any background noise and also check whether the pickups have been shielded properly.
Classic single-coil pickups are an exception here and are typically more susceptible to interference. In the best case, piezo pickup systems should also not have any noise or at least only have a very low level of noise.
If the strings have been stretched in advance and are still out of tune, this may be due to the mechanics or from the saddle or the bridge. These problems should not arise with a good quality guitar either.
Some simple tips for you to buy a guitar of any type
You need to know, the guitar has a variety of sizes, types of strings, designs, and others. So, what is a good guitar like?
You can choose a guitar that has a good design, aka cool, in your opinion, but the most important thing is the sound that the guitar resonates with. It’s useless if the style is cool while the sound of the guitar is cracked, even falsified.
So, what influences the sound quality of the guitar? Of course the ingredients. So here are some simple tips for you to consider when buying a good quality guitar:
Guitar forming parts that must be considered
The material for the guitar turns out to affect the sound quality produced. The guitar is formed from several parts ranging from the head to the guitar body. Now, those parts can be made from different materials.
However, the important thing is that the body parts of the guitar are good for acoustic guitars. Most acoustic guitars use mahogany for the body and rosewood for the fingerboard like the Yamaha F 310 Natural.
The sound produced by mahogany is dry and suitable for playing pop or jazz songs. If you want to buy an electric guitar, the sound of an electric guitar is influenced by pickups, bridges, and necks.
If you want to produce a cheerful vibe, choose a guitar with a single pick up. A good guitar to play hard rock to the metal usually uses a humbucker pick up because it produces a dark vibe.
Find a guitar that fits in your hand and in your heart
After getting to know a little about guitar materials, now is the time to find a guitar that suits you. It is actually not the player who chose the guitar, but the guitar who chose the player.
After you have tried many guitars, you will find a guitar that is nice and suitable in the hand. The meaning of good in hand is that you feel comfortable and feel they feel when playing the guitar.
Decide on a guitar model
There are not only many different types of guitars but different models within each type. In a first step, consider whether you want to buy a cheap beginner’s instrument or spend a little more money on a mid-range guitar.
Each guitar is different in its handling, features, usability, and size. Inexpensive beginner models are basically only suitable for the familiarization phase.
If you are sure that you will enjoy playing the guitar, you should consider investing in a mid-range instrument. As soon as you get used to the sound of the guitar, you will notice how much cheaper and medium-priced instruments differ.
Inquire about the processing
The sound of your guitar is closely related to the processing of the instrument. It is important that your instrument is reasonably robust, after all, you want to make music on it as long as possible.
Take a close look at the guitar before buying it and check every single switch on electric guitars. In a reputable music shop, a seller will be happy to answer all your questions.
Try different instruments
Stop by several retailers and try instruments everywhere. The offer differs from store to store. Even if you cannot play yourself, you should take different instruments in hand.
So you at least notice how they feel and can compare the guitars. For a good feel, it is important that the instrument feels good in your hands and that you feel comfortable with it.
Don’t be put under pressure
Under no circumstances should you let your companion or a seller stress you out. Take the time to think before making a final decision. If a seller refuses to provide you with several instruments for the audition, it is better to look around in another shop.
Do not be afraid to leave the shop empty-handed if none of the instruments offered has convinced you.
Keep an eye on your budget
Your budget plays a crucial role in choosing your instrument. Think about a financial framework in advance so that you don’t lose track of things. If you are unsure which guitar best suits you and your plans, either ask a musician friend or ask the music shop for advice.
Once you have clarified the financial questions, you are looking for models in your price category. Many cheap models are poorly made and do not have a nice sound. It is worth buying an instrument in the middle price range.
Try out used guitars
If you want to buy a reasonably high-quality guitar but don’t want to spend that much money, it’s a good idea to look at used instruments. You can find offers either through private contacts, on the Internet, or from time to time in music stores.
With used instruments, you have to examine every detail before buying. Especially if you buy from private sellers, there is no guarantee.
In any case, make an appointment for an audition and if necessary, get advice from an experienced musician. A rushed purchase may later lead to disappointment.
Buy guitar online
If you want to save your way to a music store, you also have numerous options to buy a guitar online. You will find it not only at companies but also at private providers who often offer used instruments.
However, buying online brings some pitfalls that you shouldn’t take lightly. One of the biggest drawbacks to buying online is that you can’t try the instrument.
You only get information about the age and quality of the guitar anonymously and you cannot assume that your questions will be answered. Even if you discover defects on the guitar, it is more difficult to fix them when you buy online.
Transport costs are very likely to be incurred for the return. If you bought from a private person, they do not have to take the instrument back. If you would still like to buy on the Internet, it is advisable to make an appointment for a test.
If this wish is not fulfilled, it is best to look at other sellers for suitable instruments.
Consider the purchase of a guitar an investment
One of the biggest fears is that money will be spent on learning to play the guitar and then you don’t have as much fun as you thought.
However, even if you end up completely disinterested in the guitar (which is rather unlikely), if you have made a good investment, you can always sell it and recover a good part, perhaps just by going to the shop where you purchased it.
Some guitars even acquire value over time, so that reselling them after several years could also lead to a profit, this happens on quality instruments.
Guitar or any musical instrument can bring you joy and inner peace so consider buying a guitar. Follow the tips given above and consider the factors that have been listed so you can always buy the good quality guitar at a reasonable price.