How to buy a guitar
Hints, suggestions, and considerations


Remember that you have the power of the buyer. Use that power fairly and judiciously.

Buy a reputable brand. You know the names. Gibson - yes, we know their financial difficulties -, Fender, Martin, Taylor, Ibanez, Epiphone, ESP, Gretch, PRS, Jackson and the list goes on. These will generally have decent tone, reasonable action, will retain proper tunings, and generally command a reasonable asking price should you ever sadly decide to abandon playing or - the far better choice - upgrade your instrument.

Buy the 'best' you can reasonably afford. 'Reasonably' being the word of focus.

Buy a guitar in good condition. Guitars are expensive to repair and sometimes those small defects are much larger than they originally appeared.

Be patient. Shop around and take your time. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

Talk with those that know.

Your local music store appreciates your business. They are generally fair and willing to work with you through the process of a purchase. You should always try and work with them first. There is an enormous value in a local music store. Help support them.

Shop around on-line. Almost all on-line retailers will offer you a deal if you call them as ask. You are strongly encouraged to contact them via phone and/or e-mail as opposed to simply clicking on their on-line catalog. They are generally more than willing to help save you some money. There are many very good on-line retailers.


Visit the Guitar Center and try 'em out. They clearly carry the largest assortment of guitars and are generally very helpful. Try and catch them early in the day.

Don't buy stolen equipment. Stolen equipment breaks hearts, and sometimes those hearts stay broken forever. Bad Karma.

Remember you have the power of the buyer. Use that power fairly and judiciously.



…and just because you should…



B.B. King Live at the Regal
Released January 1, 1965
One of the very best


Guitar string names, and the musical intervals between adjacent strings.


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Whole and half steps on the guitar fretboard.

A whole step on a single string on the guitar fretboard requires an interval that 'skips' a fret between tones. A half step on the guitar fretboard is found on adjacent frets. The traditional Major scale in western music always has the half steps between the 3rd and 4th tone and the 7th and 8v (octave tone). Please see the diagram below for a visual representation.

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