New Guitar - Cheap or Expensive?

There are some really great cheap Guitars on the market today. For as low as $200 you can get a Guitar that plays and sounds fine, until you compare it to a Really Great Guitar. Then you hear the difference.

I have purchased two inexpensive electric Guitars in the last year. They played great, they sounded good. However, I was never totally happy with them. When I played Melody using Chords, I could hear a sound that did not ring true. The Harmonics, the overtones, were not right. The inexpensive Guitar sounded muddy on the Chords. It wasn't bad, and a person who does not have a highly developed Musical Ear might not even notice that the harmonics did not ring true. But if you have played enough to have developed a good musical ear, and have perfect relative pitch, you will hear the overtones are not ringing true, and this does something to your Guitar Playing; not anything really bad, but it does affect your playing.

I tried many Guitars, after going back to playing an electric Guitar. If I found a Guitar that rang true, true overtones, true harmonics, the Guitar always cost more than $600. The less expensive Guitars never rang completely true, clear.

On the Guitars that had true harmonics, overtones, the sound rang clear as a bell. When I played melody using Chords, and doing accompaniment work while playing my lead line, only the more expensive Guitars rang true and clear. The melody was totally separate to the accompaniment notes. When playing the inexpensive Guitars, the clarity was never there.

It is inspirational to hear the tones rang clear as a bell, no muddy overtones; It is for me anyway. The personality of any Guitar affects what I play on the instrument. The better Guitars with their clear tones, the perfect, or incredibly close to perfect, overtones, inspires me to do things I would never do on a Guitar that has muddy overtones.

An inexpensive Guitar is fine for someone who has not yet reached the stage in their playing where their music ear is highly developed. In fact a person who has not yet developed a good musical ear probably would not hear much difference between the inexpensive and the higher quality Guitar that cost more money. Once you reach the stage where your ear for music is highly developed, you can never be satisfied with an inexpensive Guitar which does not have true harmonics.

A high quality Guitar cost more money to build. The Woods are better, the pickups are better, all the electronics are of higher quality. It takes this to get the best sound in an electric Guitar. So to have a Guitar that sounds really great, that rings completely true, costs more money. But to the person who has developed their musical ear and Skills on the Guitar, the higher quality Guitars are certainly worth the money.


electric guitars If you have $500 or less to buy an Electric Guitar then you'll want to see this report.

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Guitar improvement

A guitar can be improved by changing the pickups. I had a cheap Squier 51 guitar, around $110 when I bought it. Nice but nothing special. T he neck was very good. A friend suggested suggested trying good pickups. I looked at several boutique brands. I called Vintage Vibe Guitar pickups ( Pete Biltoft answered his own phone and was very precise in how he explained what his pickups could do. We traded a dozen emails til Pete was sure exactly what I wanted. I ordered two pickups he recommended. The change in the Squier 51 was amazing. The difference in clarity was night and day. I have played a number of guitars that are in the $1000-1500 range and my Squier outplays them all hands down. Pete's pickups have interchangeable magnets - Alnico 2, 3 and 5, and ceramic magnets are available. He includes two kinds of magnets with every pickup, great for experimenting. I'm not an employee or even acquainted with Pete - just a very satisfied customer.

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