Whether you are just beginning to learn how to play guitar, or you are professional looking for an affordable addition to your collection of instruments, there are important considerations to make when buying a cheap guitar.
Electric Guitar Buying Guide
Guitars are one of those instruments that vary widely in price. You can find unique, custom models that go for thousands of dollars or you can find a whole kit with a guitar, strap, amp, and cables for under a hundred dollars. Brands and models are priced differently based on materials, where the instrument is manufactured, and special editions. For clarity, let’s assume a cheap guitar is anything under 300 dollars for the instrument alone.
The musical world is filled with stories of rock legends picking up brandless guitars at pawnshops and making it famous. Do not get hung up on big brands, custom designs, or what your bandmates will think. The best electric guitar under three hundred dollars is the one that you feel great playing.
The most important thing to know is that just because you do not plan to spend a fortune on a new guitar doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. Several respected brands manufacture budget versions of their premium instruments. There are also several guitar lines that come with top-notch hardware and electronics without extra features that may drive up the cost. If you are willing to do your homework, you can walk out of your local dealer with a quality instrument for an affordable price.
Begin by deciding what your essentials are. Do you care more about appearance or sound? Do you have a particular pickup arrangement in mind? Are you willing to buy a guitar with a unique shape or finish as long as it plays like a dream? Even with a small budget, you will have options, so it is important to know what you want.
Types of music
Consider what types of music you will play most often. Into metal? Find something with double humbuckers and a nasty look. Jazz or blues more your thing? Go for a more classic setup like a Stratocaster-style body and an H-S-S arrangement.
Next, find a local dealer and go play. If you are just learning, try out the neck and the bridge to make sure they are comfortable as you play. If you have more experience and your own equipment, bring an amp to the store so you can compare several different models of guitars to match your sound. Even an instrument that is cheap in price is an investment, so do everything you can to ensure you will be happy with your purchase.
Your local music shop will be a great source of advice, too. Ask what their most popular starter guitars are. Watch which guitars the store associates pick up when they are killing time. Talk to other musicians in the store to see if they have suggestions. Musicians are part of a community and are usually happy to share their opinions.
Make sure you do some research online, as well. Your local store may not have a massive selection of affordable guitar, so you may want to think about buying off the Internet. A quick search for the top 10 best electric guitar under 300 dollars will reveal a range of excellent options. You should see brands like Squire by Fender, Gretsch, Epiphone, and Ibanez. Check out will brands your favorite musicians play to get ideas.
Even though you may be starting out with a pared-down model, if you like the sound, you can make improvements later. Plastic hardware like pegs and tuning machine heads can be swapped out for metal. Pickups can be upgraded for an affordable price, especially if you can handle the electronics work yourself. Quality strings will make all the difference in the world.
At the end of the day, you should not worry that a cheap guitar will make you any less of a musician. The best guitarist in the world can make a toy sound beautiful, and the worst musician would sound terrible even on an axe that costs thousands of dollars. By saving your money with a guitar that costs less than 300 bucks, you can put that money toward better equipment elsewhere, or maybe even replace that rusty tour van.