Which Guitar Is Right For You?
- 3rd March 2018
Want to get yourself a great guitar without the need to spend thousands of pounds? Don't really know which sound you want? We've got your back. Here is a step by step guide to choosing your new guitar.
Electric? Acoustic? Somewhere in between?
First things first. What kind of music do you want to play? If you’re into your country or pop, maybe acoustic is the way forward. If you want to strut about on stage and crank out solos left and right, pick an electric. But what if you want something that fits between the two? A semi acoustic hollow body guitar might catch you eye. A hollow body is basically an electric guitar that utilises a hollow body, which gives the guitar a naturally deeper, more resonating sound. This allows for acoustic sounds plus a nice, full sound for distorted, electric sounds. This however means that the guitar isn’t quite as good as acoustic sounds as an acoustic, and not quite as good at electric sounds as an electric. Also, lower end hollow bodies can have a tendency to feedback in live environments.
Who Do I Want To Sound Like?
A common mistake that some people make when buying guitars, is not taking note of what sounds you want from a guitar. Guitars all have different sounds, regardless of amps and effects, due to the composition of the guitar itself. The thickness, structure and shape of the guitar, along with the pick ups and wiring all affect the sound. For instance, Stratocasters are quite a thin guitar, that usually sport single coil pickups. Both of these features give the guitar a twangy sound, making them very popular with punk and indie guitarists.
Telecasters and Jaguars are largely similar, but with a slightly fuller sound. Les Pauls and SG’s are both suited for heavy rock, due to the thickness of the body and necks, and the humbucker pickups. A lot of Les Pauls and SG’s are made from one solid piece of wood, not having separation between the neck and body, which gives it a much fuller, more powerful sound, more suited for heavier music, but also raises the price. Certain other guitars form a happy medium, as Ibanez have been known to make high quality guitars that are great all-rounders. So ask yourself exactly what sound do you want, and take that into account when you are buying.
That being said, it’s also important to remember that buying the same guitar as Eddie Van Halen will not necessarily make you sound like Eddie van Halen.
What Brand Should I Go For?
Don’t fall into the trap of buying for the name. Don’t buy an expensive Gibson Les Paul if it’s not right for you. Generally speaking, Fender / Squier are both great brands for indie and punk sounding guitars, while Gibson / Epiphone are good for hard rock. However, it is down the shape of the guitar and the electronics that go into it. You might find a Telecaster that suits your metal band more than a Les Paul. The best thing to do is to find your budget, and then go and try out some guitars. But please, take into account what you will be using the guitar for.
If you are playing in an indie band, maybe a BC Rich Black Metal Warlock isn’t ideal, even if you do just love deathcore.
Of course, everyone will have their own opinions as to what guitar you should be buying. There will be people who insist upon spending nothing over £300 and there will be elitists that won’t even breathe the same air as you for buying anything other than a certain brand. But you need to decide for yourself. Just take these pointers into account, try some guitars and buy one that you love! Playing guitar is supposed to be fun, but if you’re too busy weighing up the pros and cons of two guitars that you don’t even like but have been told “these are the ones you must buy”, that’s not so fun.
We hope this helped you make somewhat of an informed decision as to what guitar will be best for you, but when all is said and done, just go and try some out. You may discover that what you wanted in theory isn’t actually what suits your playing style. You never know!