When asked, what guitar should I buy, my answer might be much different from yours. You see, I have been playing for a number of years now. Someone who is just getting started will need a different answer from what mine would be.
My answer would reflect my years of experience as a guitarist. It would also need to match my needs and desires from what I want out of a new instrument. Perhaps you are in the same place as I am.
You simply want a new guitar for the sake of having it. Or maybe you are upgrading to a more expensive instrument to match your new skill level. Maybe you are a collector?
This makes the answer to this question broad and quite complex. So let’s explore the topic with some questions and a quiz at the end. This might help you realize what you need or want from a new guitar.
What Guitar Should I Buy?
The fact that you are considering a guitar means you’re ready to buy. So I assume then that you have some money to spend. Having a budget is important, but isn’t a huge factor. This is because there are great guitars at most price points. New and used as well!
So when considering a new guitar, look at these items of consideration. And then answer them to the best of your ability.
1. What Style of Music Do You Like?
Before proceeding, it’s important to decide on the specific type of music you intend to play. This can encompass various genres. There are many types of guitars available that can cover a wide range of musical styles.
However, if you have specific primary styles you want to focus on, it may be beneficial to choose a guitar type tailored to those styles. While many instruments can be versatile across different styles, some are designed specifically for certain genres.
In such cases, a guitar made for a particular style might be a better fit.
2. What Age is The Guitar Player?
While most guitars will fit even the youngest of players, it’s still best to explore this question. There are many instruments made for kids that are simply a better fit. Guitars made for adults can be harder to balance and hold for a child.
There are smaller-sized acoustic guitars, such as 3/4 or 1/2 scale models, which are better suited for younger players. So make sure to explore them if you’re buying a guitar for a younger person.
3. What is Your Budget?
While budget should never be the primary deciding factor, it’s still something you need to set. While some may suggest buying a cheaper guitar in case you don’t continue playing, it’s important to consider other factors beyond price.
Most guitars hold their value really well and move quickly. To get the best possible start, you should find a great guitar, even if it’s around a grand. This doesn’t always mean you have to buy a new one.
There are many used instruments that will be perfect for you. So set a budget for yourself and then see what kind of instrument you can afford. We have a ton of recommended guitars for all types of players and budgets.
4. Are You Trading a Guitar?
If you’re in the market and are an experienced player, perhaps you are looking to trade up. There are many retailers that have great programs that can help you get into a new instrument. Moreover, the incentives offered by retailers can make the process even easier and more enticing!
Selling a guitar yourself to trade it for another could be very time-consuming. It’s always worth going to see what they have. You may find your next instrument easily this way.
5. Are You Inspired By a Famous Player?
Considering the preferences of famous players and their brand affiliations can greatly simplify your guitar purchase decision. Many famous players swear by certain brands, and if you’re a big fan of someone, you might be interested in what they play.
Chances are good that you will learn some of their songs or techniques, so it would only make sense to play the same guitar. There are many players who are brand loyal to manufacturers that produce exceptional gear.
For example, Mark Tremonti plays PRS guitars because they are awesome, and as a result, they have created specific models tailored to his preferences.
6. Electric or Acoustic Guitar?
While most people recommend starting with an acoustic guitar, this advice may not apply to everyone. Some individuals require constant inspiration and may find an electric guitar to be their weapon of choice.
Others can stay motivated without the need for the thrill of playing music they love, and might opt for an acoustic guitar. Choosing between electric and acoustic is a personal decision that only you can answer for yourself.
Do you need the excitement of rocking songs to stay motivated, or can you set a plan and stick with it? Everyone is different. However, when starting out, the choice between an electric and an acoustic guitar is significant, so take your time to figure out what suits you best.
7. What Electric Guitar Should I Buy?
Learning to play an electric guitar is a great place to start. The thrill of holding an instrument that has shaped music as we know it. It’s quite the feeling for the first time.
Trouble is, with an electric, you may need an amplifier. The electric guitar isn’t very loud on its own, so to get the full experience you need additional equipment.
Along with an amplifier, you will need cables, maybe even a speaker cabinet. So if you do decide to start with an electric, make sure to keep this in mind. You don’t want to find out later that you’re not motivated because you lack an amplifier and all the equipment to go along with the guitar.
8. Which Acoustic Guitar Should I Buy?
An acoustic guitar is also perfect to start with and is more commonly chosen by beginners. Some people feel intimidated by the electric guitar due to its complexity, which is evident just by looking at it.
If you enter a music store as a beginner, you might find the electric guitar intimidating. This intimidation factor is often the reason why most people choose to start with an acoustic.
The acoustic guitar is also self-amplifying, producing a louder sound on its own, and it can be lighter and easier to move around. As a beginner, it’s quite convenient to simply grab the acoustic and play.
Additionally, it’s easier to move to a different room when your parents or spouse can’t tolerate any more of your playing!
9. Try Before You Buy
Depending on where you live, it’s also possible to try out different guitars. Every city will have a music store with both electric and acoustic guitars available. Music stores primarily keep guitars on hand for customers to try and explore, although they may also use this opportunity to promote string sales.
Take the chance to feel them out and try various types and sizes until you begin to realize your preferences. Pay attention to how the necks feel and how well your hand wraps around the different shapes.
Since this instrument will take you to the next level as a player, it’s crucial that it fits you well. It’s worth mentioning that buying a guitar online is also an option that has its own benefits.
10. What Guitar Should I Buy Next?
Are you a guitarist who has been at it for a few years but needs inspiration? Let’s say you have owned your instrument for many years, and it just doesn’t excite you anymore. In this case, it’s important to assess where you are as a player and where you want to be.
Maybe it’s time to transition from a 6-string guitar to a 7-string guitar, but the idea of tuning one is discouraging you. If you have been in a slump for a while and are looking to refresh your passion for playing and growth, getting a new guitar can be a great way to achieve that.
However, if you decide to go this route, it’s crucial to ensure that you choose the right one.
Instead of jumping into any guitar, take the time to explore the type of music you are currently into. Perhaps your musical preferences have changed, and your choice of instrument may need to change as well.
What Guitar Should I Buy Quiz
Quiz yourself to find out what type of guitar you should buy. It’s easy to figure it out when you ponder on what you like. Plus, I have some great suggestions for you!
What Kind of Music Do You like?
- A. Metal.
- B. Classical.
- C. Rock.
- D. Country.
If you selected A or C, you should consider an electric guitar. Selecting B would mean you should consider a nylon string acoustic. A selection of D may require a steel string acoustic.
What Hand Do You Write With?
- A. Right Hand.
- B. Left Hand.
Guitars are made for both right and left-handed players. Make sure to find out what suits you best. You do not want to get this wrong and find out later after you started with the opposite hand.
Where Do You Live?
- A. House Alone.
- B. Apartment.
- C. Barn In A Field.
- D. House With Parents.
Learning on an amplified electric guitar may not work for everyone. If you chose A or C, you should get an electric guitar. Maybe you chose B or D, in which case you may want to consider an acoustic.
Coke Or Pepsi?
- A. Coke.
- B. Pepsi.
If you chose A or B, you should just be careful of how much of this stuff you drink. I know a guitar player gets thirsty, but it’s no good for you.
What Sounds Do You Like?
- A. Loud.
- B. Soft.
- C. Warm.
- D. All.
If you chose A or D, you should consider an electric guitar. Maybe you chose B, and a steel string acoustic is best. Or a Nylon or classic acoustic if you chose C.
Here is an audio sample of what an acoustic guitar sounds like, just for your reference:
Now that you have some answers from the quiz, here are the guitars you should look at based on how you answered.
If you choose an electric guitar as your next instrument, that’s great! Even if you live in an apartment, there are many amps that offer headphone options. So you can play silent without any issues. It should really only come down to the music you want to play.
Fender Player Stratocaster
The Fender Player Stratocaster is a perfect guitar for new or even intermediate players. It’s great for blues, jazz, rock and more. Many generations of players have used this guitar for all kinds of music. This is because it sounds and plays wonderful. Plus, it’s very affordable!
PRS Custom 24-08
The PRS SE custom 24–08 is a work horse of a guitar! If you desire a thicker sound and are focused more on rock or metal, then this is the guitar I suggest for you. It has a throaty tone when used with high-gain and is meaty for leads. Plus, it has a great switching set up to get even single coil pickup sounds.
Acoustic guitars are very powerful and bold sounding. They are perfect for music styles like country and singer-songwriter arrangements. Here is my recommendation for steel string acoustics.
Breedlove ECO Discovery S
The Breedlove ECO Discovery S is a sustainable and eco-friendly acoustic guitar. It offers a balanced tone, comfortable playability, and is crafted using environmentally conscious materials, making it an excellent choice for both musicians and those concerned about sustainability.
For me, though, it’s the excellent warm sound and beautiful aesthetic for under 500 bucks!
Add some more questions to the list that are personal to you. What do you like and dislike about sound or music? If you buy an electric guitar and loud noise bothers you, then you will not get far.
If you buy a steel string acoustic but like classical music then you might be disappointed. It’s very important to first consider what you like before selecting a guitar.
Unless of course you have been at it for 20 years and know exactly what you want. In this case, the only thing holding you back might be option paralysis!
Whatever it is, a new guitar is a thrill when it fits you like a glove. Good luck with your choice, we know it will be a good one!