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Choosing A Guitar: Essential Factors to Consider When Buying Your Next Instrument


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People often ask us what the most important factors to consider are when purchasing a guitar.  As straightforward of a question as that is, it’s not the most straightforward answer.  There are many factors that go into what makes an instrument worth adding into your arsenal.  We’ve narrowed it down to the most common groups of artists we work with and what matters most to them.  Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned player, finding the perfect instrument is crucial for your musical journey. In this guide, we'll delve into the key factors you should consider when purchasing a guitar and why they're essential for your performance.


Essentials for New to Intermediate Players


Comfort and Playability:

First things first, let's talk about comfort and playability. When trying out guitars, pay attention to how it feels in your hands. Is the neck easy to grip? Does the body sit comfortably against you during long practice sessions? Additionally, consider the scale length.  A longer neck has certain tonal characteristics that many find appealing, however smaller individuals might have more difficulty reaching the lower frets.  Finding the right scale length can greatly impact your playing experience.


Quality vs. Budget:

Now, let's tackle the age-old debate of quality versus budget. While it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, investing in a quality instrument can make all the difference. Not only will it keep you motivated to practice, but it can make practicing easier.  If your guitar is constantly going out of tune because of cheap hardware or the playability is off due to a poor setup, the guitar is far more likely to find its place in the corner of your room and remain untouched for months. Remember, a well-made guitar will reward you with years of enjoyment.


Versatility:

As you progress on your musical journey, you'll likely want to explore different styles and genres. That's where versatility comes into play. Look for a guitar that can handle a variety of music styles, from blues to rock to jazz. After all, your instrument should be as diverse as your musical tastes.


Must-Haves for Studio Guitarists


Fills the Gap in Your Current Guitars:

For studio musicians, adding to your guitar collection requires careful consideration. Take stock of your current guitar portfolio and identify any gaps in your lineup. Whether it's a specific tone or playing style you're missing, choose a guitar that complements your existing instruments.  I find that one guitar for pristine cleans, one for some crunchy overdrive, and a third for my high gain tones makes a great trio.  There are many flavors of each so put some thought into exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with a new guitar.


Pickups and Electronics:

In the studio, precision is key. Look for guitars with pickups and electronics that capture your desired tone with clarity and accuracy. Whether you prefer the warmth of vintage single-coils or the punch of high-output humbuckers, choose pickups that inspire creativity and innovation.  When tracking (especially for higher gain tones) I often recommend aiming for more clarity over higher output.  As you layer guitar tracks, that clarity will become crucial in how the guitar is perceived in the final product.


Consistency and Reliability:

When you're recording, equipment reliability is essential. Opt for a guitar that delivers consistent performance, from tuning stability to build quality. Choose a reliable instrument that you can count on to deliver top-notch sound every time you hit the studio.


Essentials for Gigging Musicians


Durability and Resilience:

As a gigging musician, your guitar needs to withstand the demands of the road. Look for a durable instrument constructed from high-quality materials and hardware. Whether you're playing small venues or large stages, choose a guitar that can handle the rigors of live performance.  


Playability and Comfort:

Comfort is paramount when you're performing night after night. Choose a guitar with a neck profile and fretboard radius that feels comfortable and natural in your hands. Whether you prefer a slim neck for fast playing or a chunkier profile for added stability, find an instrument that suits your playing style.


Tuning Stability and Construction:

Few things are more frustrating than a guitar that won't stay in tune, especially mid-set. Look for features like a straight pull headstock, locking tuners, and a well-cut graphite nut to ensure tuning stability, even during the most intense performances. Invest in a guitar that stays in tune so you can focus on delivering an unforgettable performance.


Finding Your Perfect Match


Finding the right guitar is a personal journey that requires careful consideration. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned professional, choosing the right instrument can greatly impact your playing experience. By prioritizing factors such as comfort, playability, and reliability, you can find the perfect guitar that inspires you to create, perform, and excel.


Ready to find your dream guitar? Check out our Current Inventory or Contact Us for assistance in finding the perfect instrument to elevate your playing to new heights. Let's embark on this musical journey together!


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