Buying Tips


When buying your first guitar, you should distinguish whether you are going to purchase an electric or an acoustic guitar.

A beginning acoustic package could run from $250 - $500. A beginning electric package could run from $400 - $700.

If you plan on playing rock music, your learning progress would benefit most by purchasing an electric guitar and amplifier.

One of the most important parts of the electric guitars sound are the pickups. There are many different types but the two most popular styles of pickups are:

  1. Single Coil - Known for a thinner sound.
  2. Humbucker - Known for a fatter sound.

A factor in determining the quality of an electric guitar is the type of wood used for the body of the guitar. Less expensive guitars may use poplar, as opposed to a more expensive guitars which may use alder. The type of wood affects the tone and the look of the instrument.

Some electric guitars offer Tremelo systems or whammy bars. These systems can help the musician be very creative, yet some of the systems can be very complex and hinder the beginners ability to change guitar strings or tune the instrument.

Important factors in the sound of an acoustic guitar are the type of wood used and the body size. A larger body size will usually produce a more full tone. A small body acoustic will usually have a pick up and be intended to be used amplified through a speaker system.

Spruce is a common wood used for the top of an acoustic guitar. A solid top will age better than a laminate top (pieces of wood glued together to form a guitar top.). Common woods used for the back and sides are rosewood and mahogany. These are harder woods and help project the sound through the sound hole.

Probably the biggest difference between a $300.00 guitar and a $1,000.00 guitar, is craftsmanship. More time and care is taken to build a more expensive guitar. The playability, sound, and look, should reflect this.

Buy a guitar that feels comfortable, sitting and standing. The strings should not be too far off of the fretboard; Easy to play. The guitar should also be able to give you the sound of the music style you wish to play. This makes learning easier, more fun, and more rewarding.

By: Trevor Tetzlaff
Guitar Sales - Axe Edmonton

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Edmonton, AB  (403) 471-2001
Calgary, AB (403) 243-5200
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Last Updated: January 18, 1998

©1998 Axe Music Inc.