For this article a few short pointers what to look out for when buying another guitar.
Buying On Line:
Usually hard to try before you buy. Once your guitar has arrived put some new strings on it, especially when it is a used guitar. New strings should bring out the tone much better than old, dead strings.
Play a few chords, if the guitar is electric, first play without using amp. Look for resonant woods. Usually you will find out very soon how well the guitar resonates. If guitar does not ring out that well it may still soud fine when using it through the amp. Hopefully pick-ups are not too bad.
Once you amplify, and guitar still does not ring out that well, time to pass the guitar on, unless you really like it.
Usally a guitar will speak to you in the first few minutes. One chord is all it takes usually (similar with amps).
Buying from a Shop:
When you looking for an electric, bring your own amp to the shop, and try out the guitar with your own amp. Better would be to take the guitar home and try in your own environment without any pressure. Some retail-outlets may let you do that, you may have to pay a bit extra, but it may be worth it.
If you are new to guitars, bring a friend, who knows about guitars, along with you and let him/her try out the guitar of your choice.
If you are a beginner, you cannot really make many mistakes, all you need is a guitar to play with, and hopefully it is something you can grow with for a little while until you get better.
Experienced players may find it easier what to look for. Any person will have his/her own opinion. Sometimes this can be useful, but the bottom line is: “Do I like the sound of this guitar or not?”
Why you like a certain guitar may be related to issues you are not aware of:
Make of Pick-ups, kind of woods, the set-up for the guitar etc. All issues you can educate yourself on, but they are also things you probably will get better with over the years to come.
This is the last thing to worry about. I know, we all have our own personal preferences what we like in terms of what is pleasing for the eye. Find someting you like the look of, and see how it sounds. If it does not sound good, try another one of similar looks, or something completely different.
The looks of a guitar are not really that important, the guitar should feel good in terms of weight and balance. Some guitars are better with this compared than others.
Stratocasters are usually very well-balanced guitars to play, but this does not mean other types of guitars are no good. See what feels good to you and go with your instinct.
New or Used?
Depends on your character. I do know people who do not like the sound of the phrase “second-hand” personally I have no issues with that. Used guitars may be played in a bit, may feel better, but new ones can also feel very good right out of the box. Make sure if there is any back-up serice if you are dealing with a retail shop: Guitar may need some simple maintenance work and a set-up to come alive. Any good retailer will help you with these basic kind of issues as they are happy to keep you as a customer. Just ask before you buy.
Happy shopping and hope to see you here soon again,