When I ask myself the question, “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 found 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 perhaps a quiz. This might help you realize what you need or even want from a new guitar.
1. What Style of Music Do You Like?
You will want to decide on the type of music you are going to play. This can be a wide range of different types. There are a lot of guitars that can cover a great deal of musical styles.
But if you are focusing on a few primary styles, you may want a specific type for them. While a lot of instruments can do different styles, some are specific to them. Sometimes a guitar made for a specific style is 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 many acoustics that are smaller than a standard dreadnought that are a better fit. 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 is still something you need to set. Many people will tell you to buy cheap just in case you don’t stick with it. But the truth is 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 new either. There are many great 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. Guitar Center has a trade up program that can help you find something new or used.
And the incentives to do so might make it really easy! 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?
This is a question that might make it very easy when it comes to your guitar purchase. There are many famous players who swear by certain brands. If your a big fan of someone, perhaps you might be interested in what they play?
Chances are good that you will learn some of their songs or technique. So it would only make sense to play the same guitar. There are many players who are brand loyal. Manufacturers that make killer gear.
Mark Tremonti for example plays PRS guitars because they are awesome. And as a result, they make specific models for him.
6. Electric Or Acoustic Guitar?
While you will find most people recommend an acoustic to get started, this isn’t advice for everyone. There are a lot of people who will need to be inspired constantly. This might mean an electric guitar is the weapon of choice.
Other people don’t need to be inspired by playing music they love to stay motivated. These people might choose an acoustic. This will offer a different experience in play style. This is only something you can answer about yourself however.
Do you need the thrill of a rocking song to stay motivated? Or can you set a plan and stick with it?
Everyone is different.
7. What Electric Guitar Should I Buy?
Learning to play on an electric guitar is a great place to start. The thrill of holding an instrument that has shaped music as you know it. It’s quite the feeling for the first time.
Trouble is, with an electric, you may need an amplifier. The electric isn’t very loud on its own and 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 on that you’re not motivated because you don’t also have an amp to go along with the guitar.
8. What Acoustic Guitar Should I Buy?
An acoustic guitar is also perfect to start with and might be more common. Truth is some people are intimidated by the electric. There is a lot more to it and this is realized just by looking at it.
Decide for yourself, if you go into a music store as a beginner, do you feel like the electric is intimidating?
It can be for this very reason that most people start with an acoustic.
The acoustic is also louder on its own, and can be lighter and easier to move around. As a beginner it’s quite convenient to just grab the acoustic and just play. It’s also easiest to move to a different room when your parents or spouse can’t take anymore of your playing!
We all have a threshold!
9. Try Before You Buy
Depending on where you live, it is also possible to try a few out. Every city will have a music store with both electric and acoustic guitars on hand.
They primarily keep them there to draw you in to buy strings! But it’s also the perfect excuse to go in and play on some very expensive as well as cheap instruments.
Feel them out, try many types and sizes until you begin to realize what you like more. Feel the necks, see how well your hand wraps around the different shapes.
If this instrument is going to take you to the next level as a player, it’s best that it fits you well.
10. What Guitar Should i Buy Next?
Maybe you’re a guitarist who has been at it for a few years but needs inspiration. Let’s say you have had your instrument for many years and it just doesn’t do it anymore. In this case it’s important to consider where you are at as a player and where you want to be.
If you’re in a slump and have been for a while, you need to refresh your desire to play and grow. There is no better way than a new guitar. But if you do go this route you need to make sure you’re getting the right one.
Don’t just jump into any guitar, explore the type of music you’re into now. Maybe that has changed and your instrument type will need to also.
What Guitar Should I Buy Quiz
Quiz yourself to find out what type of guitar you should buy. Its easy to figure it out when you ponder on what you like.
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 its no good for ya. 🙂
What Sounds Do You Like?
- A. Loud
- B. Soft
- C. Warm
- D. All
Add some more questions to the list that are more personal to you. What do you like and dislike about sound or music. If you buy an electric and loud noise bothers you, then you will not get far.
If you buy a steel string acoustic but like classic music then you might be disappointed. Its 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 your spouse!
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!