How do you tell what guitar you’re getting?
The first question you’ve got to answer is, “Do I want the beginner type guitar, or what will be the next big thing?” Some guitar players go to great lengths to look for guitars at competitive prices, but in most cases that’s just to look at pictures and find out. For more informed decisions, you should ask on these questions:
Are you using one of the most popular top brands, or one of the cheaper sub brand names?
Do you have a great deal of experience with the guitar, or do you have a couple of gigs under your belt?
Are you planning to use a pickup in the coming months? If you’re using a used pickup, have you ever had anything go wrong?
Are you going to use a special setting or adjustment? For example, do you need a specific bridge, or do you need the pickup set at zero (zero) out of the box? The good news is that most pickup designs are self adjusting; some people just have to buy a set on eBay for a couple of dollars or so.
When it comes to the second question, you should get a good idea of what the guitar is going to sound like in the coming months. If it was designed right, you will have good tone from it. If it is a newbie’s guitar, it will probably sound really good, but in most cases in a sub brand, the quality might be low. So start with the best you can afford (with some restrictions of course), and learn to play it as a musician, rather than just as a hobbyist.
The last question you should ask is, “Do I want to use the new setup or are there a lot of problems?” A lot of people start with “I don’t like to change the pickups”, but when you start out, most beginner’s guitars won’t have a lot of sound. After having tried the new pickups out, you may well find that there is more sound in them than you expected. In other words, it might sound fine, and it might sound like it’s a failure, but as you get better with the setup, it will become better. In my case, using a new pickup made the guitar sound great, and also brought me a lot of good feedback.
Before you buy a guitar, ask yourself, “Is this one of the most popular guitars in the music scene?” Then ask yourself, “Do I really need
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