Buying a New Instrument

Students often ask me for advice on buying a new instrument. Here are a few points that hopefully will help you find a guitar that lasts you and makes practicing ad playing as pleasurable as possible.

1) There is a popular misconception that having a more expensive instrument doesn't make you a better player, and this is true to a point. However, In my opinion a student who really loves their instrument will pick it up more often and improve as a player as a result. . Compare this scenario to the student who desperately wants to play guitar but has an instrument that is hard to play. This is eventually going to lead to frustration and the belief that playing guitar is too difficult. 

2) Some new instruments are completely unplayable. There are many excellent student instruments in guitar shops that are within reasonable budgets and are fun to play. Sadly there are also a large number of instruments in some music shops and many charity shops that whilst they may look similar to more expensive instruments, are built so poorly as to be difficult to play.

3) Buy a second hand instrument. For all but the lucky few, budget is a large factor when buying an instrument and there are a large number of good quality second hand instruments available and buying second hand can result in a much better quality instrument for the price. New strings and a clean can often transform a preowned instrument. I am always happy to be sent links before you make a purchase if you would like specific advice.

4) There are so many guitar companies as to be impossible to give advice, however  many of the larger companies that have been building instruments for a long time such as Fender, Epiphone and Yamaha make consistently good quality guitars and hold their value better should you sell your instrument to upgrade later. 

5)  Go into your local guitar shop and play as many guitars as you possibly can in order to see what is comfortable to you or ask a friend or the assistant to play so you can hear the differences and don't be afraid to ask questions. I regularly demonstrate for local guitar shops and invite students  to come along so i can demonstrate the differences between instruments. 

Finally, my life is made much easier as a teacher if my students are playing fully working, quality instruments and from time to time i may have instruments available. Please email if you have any questions on the above or need further information.