Shred It: Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Your First Guitar
Maybe you want to sound like your favorite pop, rock, or country star. Maybe you want to start your own band out of your garage. Maybe you’re just bored, and your last three quarantine hobbies aren’t doing it for you anymore. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided that playing the guitar has enough advantages to merit buying your own.
But you wouldn’t buy any car off the lot or any computer off the shelf. So why would you buy any old guitar? To start your rock star career off right, here are some mistakes to avoid when buying your first guitar.
Thinking All Guitars Are the Same
No two guitarists are the same, so why should their guitars be? Before thinking that any guitar that looks cool will be a good fit for you, keep these things in mind.
Because music is an art form, it’s easy to focus on the mental and emotional side of playing and forget about the part where you physically hold and play the guitar. If you’re on the shorter side, you may have trouble with a full-sized guitar. If you’re taller, a ¾ model may cause you problems too. Check the size before you buy.
Think about Metallica, Taylor Swift, BB King, and Django Reinhardt (you may need to Google that last one). They sound wildly different, and that’s not just because of how they play. Different guitars lend themselves to different sounds. For indie or folk, you’ll probably want an acoustic guitar. For rock or funk, go with electric. Country may go either way, depending on the style.
Not Playing a Guitar First
The best way to avoid making the mistake previously mentioned is to pick up the guitar yourself and try strumming it a little. This will help you decide if the guitar has the sound you’re looking for. While you’re at it, try playing a few mock chords, even if you don’t know any real ones. You want to make sure you will be able to navigate the strings. This will also help you determine if the size is comfortable for you.
Going Too Fancy on a First Guitar
Here’s the thing: the guitar isn’t for everyone, and not everyone who picks it up will want to stick with it. And that’s ok! You should feel free to try new things even if they don’t become your life’s passion. But not keeping this idea in mind is a mistake first-time guitar buyers make. In a fit of enthusiasm, they buy the nicest guitar available only to have it collecting dust six months later.
A good rule of thumb is to buy a cheaper instrument to start out. Play it, teach yourself a few songs, and decide whether you like it. If you’re still playing it six months to a year later, upgrade to a better guitar.