Buying an electric guitar is an excellent first step to rocking the stage in front of hundreds of head banging enthusiasts. If you already play well, then buying an electric guitar is just the thing to do for a performance. There are tons of articles telling beginners how to buy an acoustic guitar and play it. There are many lessons that teach you how to play electric guitar. Right now, you want to know what to look for when buying electric guitar. Well then, read on and find out!
- Neck: while picking up any electric guitar, look for the neck design. There are thin necks, C-necks, wide-thin necks and so on. Just choose whichever is more comfortable for your hand.
- The style of guitar body: you might have heard your guitar lessons teacher or other guitarists talking about body styles of electric guitar. You should consider this aspect when you choose from the dozens of makes available. There are solid body guitars, hollow body guitars and of course, the semi-solid guitars. Most guitarists starting out on the electric guitar buy solid body guitars because they want effects, amplification and maximum sustain. The hollow body types are similar sounding to an amplified acoustic guitar, and give out feedback at times during excess amplification. The solution to this feedback problem lies in the semi-hollow types which allow high amplification without resulting in unwanted feedback.
- Guitar Bridge: another important aspect of ‘What to look for when buying electric guitar’. Bridge isn’t an issue while talking about ‘how to buy acoustic guitar’. The metal addicts prefer the tremolo bridge which is perfect for bending all strings together, but the strings won’t stay in tune too long. For better sustain, go for the fixed Stoptail Bridge which helps with maintaining tune for long.
- Length of scale: while learning how to play electric guitar, especially solo, you will be learning a lot about scales. Longer scales have widely spaced frets. For thick bass, opt for Gibson scale. For crisp sound, go for Fender scale. This choice will determine your tone quality. Lately, people have also been opting for the 25” scale which offers a completely different sound.
- Tuner: don’t go for open tuning machines. Covered machine heads are best, with low maintenance requirement.
- Bolt-on or set neck: Also check if the electric guitar comes with a set neck. It is a common opinion that set necks are best for long sustain. But you might have seen that the popular Gibson electric guitars are the set necks, while bolt-on is preferred in Fender Stratocaster and the likes.
- Amplifier: one important ‘What to look for when buying electric guitar’ feature is an amplifier. While you practice how to play electric guitar for performances, you will be using amplifiers. Beginners opt for Combo, while mere home use can do with 25 W amplifiers. Make sure you get a distortion/overdrive unit with the amplifier. Pros require very powerful amplifiers.
All these apart, you will have to consider the wood, type of pickup, number of frets (22-24), and the intonation. As a beginner guitarist, you learnt how to buy acoustic guitar. These points will help you to purchase the right electric guitar.