Buying a Guitar
Purchasing a Guitar is one of the things I enjoy doing the most. I have 7 Guitars: A Fender Tele, Fender Strat, Fender P-Bass, A Danelectro Hodad Baritone Guitar, a Gibson Nylon String Guitar, a Regal Square Neck Dobro and an Ovation Acoustic Steel String with a neck that is exactly like a Classical Neck, joining the body at the 12th fret, and wide like a Classical Guitar Neck. I Played A classical Guitar Exclusively for quite a few years and wanted a Steel String Guitar with exactly the same kind of neck.
I enjoyed purchasing all 7 Guitars, and I'd loved to purchase a few more Guitars. In my life time I have owned 28 Guitars, I wish I had them all. But in the early years of my Guitar Playing, I always traded in my Guitars on the New ones I purchased, a big mistake, but we live and learn.
Why do I have 7 Guitars, instead of one? Well each Guitar has it's own distinct personality and depending on what music I am playing I will select the Guitar Best for the song, or music.
When I record my songs, sometimes I will start out with the Strat, then move to the Tele, and sometimes I add the sound of the Ovation Acoustic, and if the song has a place for it, I will play the Square Neck Regal Dobro. So it's great having many Guitars with their different personalities so I can put just the right sound that I hear in my mind.
I know that many Guitar Players have purchased a number of Guitars for on the MP3 Forum Board I once asked the Question, 'What kind of Guitar do you own?' I got some interesting answers. And no one ever answered by just naming one Guitar. Some of the players had as many as 15 Guitars. I heard that Chet Atkins had 16 Guitars. Guitar Players love Guitars, there can be no doubt about that.
One can get started with a cheap Guitar, and they are really good for the money, and they are in reality good Guitars. You can get a Tele Squier for as low as $125.00. And many Good Acoustic Guitars don't cost that much. So getting started is really easy.
I'd recommend some lesson along with the new first Guitar, just to get you started. I took Lessons, off and on for about 5 years, so I can read music, but not enough to hurt my pickin, as the Nashville Studio Musicians say.
I studied from some very good teachers, quite a few in fact, with each teacher giving me a different view of things, and different music. I think it was beneficial studying from many Guitar Teachers.
I did not take Guitar Lessons for 5 continuos years. I had breaks for as long as two years in between teachers. So I developed in between studying with different teachers. The teachers with their theory, caused me to develop even more.
When you play long enough to really call yourself a Guitar Player, you are much more qualified to purchase a Guitar. You develop to the point of each Guitar Playing and Sounding different, even if it is the same model Guitar. Guitars are truly individual works of art, with every single Guitar having it's own distinct Personality, even though they might be the same model of the same brand. There are variables in woods, even if the woods are supposed to be the same. And there are many more variables that cause every Guitar Made to be truly an individual work of art.
A Guitar Player should look for the Guitar that fits his hand, where his fingers fly to the right frets and he finds himself/herself, playing some great music when he/she are trying out the Guitar. So take time, try out as many Guitars as you want, until you find one that is just right for you; don't accept anything less. If you go into a store and don't find a Guitar that is perfect for you, then just wait, more Guitars will come in, and you will find the one that is made for your hand. And don't let a salesman talk you into purchasing a Guitar that is not perfect for you. You will know the Guitar when you find it.
The Guitar Center has an incredible selection of Guitars. And at the Guitar Center you can play the Guitar for as long as you want to play it. They will not stop you, they want you to play the Guitars, for the Founders of the Guitar Center know that when you find a Guitar you really like, you will buy it, so they let the Guitars Sell themselves. This is intelligent marketing, to say the least.
Before I had years of experience on Guitar, I did not know what I know now, so I purchased a few Guitars that were not right for me. In my early years of Guitar Playing, I would read the Stats, read and pick out a Guitar from what I had read about it. This is the wrong way to purchase a Guitar. And I regretted some of my Guitar Purchases. What I thought was right for me, was not the Guitar that fit my hand. I should have gone by my perception, not by name brand, or woods, or pickups, or anything else. I should have gone solely on my perception of the Guitar when I was playing it. We live and hopefully learn. It actually took me quite a few years to discover how to purchase the Guitar that is right for me.
The Great Guitars are out there. Find one that Plays right, and sounds right for you. Accept nothing less, and you will love the Guitars you purchase. As you become a very experienced Guitar Player you will most likely want more than one Electric Guitar, plus an Acoustic Guitar, Maybe a Bass too. And the 7 string Guitar has become quite popular. Perhaps you might want a Baritone Guitar, they are very Unique in their Sound.
The Danelectro Hodad Baritone had sales that were great from the word go, when it hit the market. The Hodad is much better sounding than the lesser Danelectro Guitar, to my ears. It has just an incredible sound, for some of the things I do on Guitar. And I have recorded more than one song with My Danelectro Hodad Baritone Guitar that has made the Charts pretty high online, in Both Country Blues and Western Swing. I put some Slide Dobro Parts in that song using my Regal Square Neck Dobro, and the two Guitars Blended Quite Well. But the point is that the Baritone Guitar has a Good Sound, a Unique Sound, that most Guitar Players could use for many songs.
The Danelectro Hodad Baritone Guitar took off like a Bullet when it was first released. The sales on the Guitar have been phenomenal. Now Fender is marketing a Baritone Guitar. I haven't seen A Fender Baritone Guitar in the Store yet, but a salesman at ProSound in Denver showed me in a Fender Catalog that the Guitar is available. Of course the Fender Baritone is big bucks, where the Danelectro Hodad is only $400.00 at the Guitar Center.
The Guitars are there. If you can afford to, pickup a new Guitar, and be on a natural High. Remember one thing, to be a great Guitar Player, you have to play the Guitar a lot. All The Really Great Guitar Players I know played at 20 hours a week. You may not be able to play 20 hours a week, but play as much as possible if you want to be good on that Guitar you love.
This article was originally published 11 years ago in Edition #127 of Guitar News Weekly
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From impressive standard sized, to small and parlor-sized acoustics, there are plenty of quality guitars and well known brands to choose from in the sub $300 price range, but only a few meet our standards of excellence.