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How to Buy an Acoustic Guitar

If you have rock and roll dreams but a shoestring budget, this guide will get you started towards stardom without breaking the bank.


  • Step 1: Visit a guitar dealer Visit a guitar dealer rather than a music shop as they usually have a better selection and staff to guide you through your purchase.
  • TIP: Acoustic guitars are best for beginners, as well as for people who live in a confined space, since they don't require loud and expensive amplifiers.
  • Step 2: Avoid cheap guitars Avoid cheap guitars that use plywood. Instead, look for spruce or cedar for the top, mahogany for the sides and bottom, and ebony for the fretboard.
  • TIP: If you're not satisfied or find your musical aspirations shifting, most guitars have excellent resale value.
  • Step 3: Test everything Hold every guitar you can. Feel the guitar's weight and strum it. Keep trying until you find an instrument that sounds good to you.
  • Step 4: Reserve brand judgment Reserve your brand judgment as name brands are not always the best and just because you haven't heard of it doesn't make it the worst.
  • Step 5: Try a used guitar Try purchasing a used guitar. Not only are they cheaper, but their aged and worn condition often sounds and feels better.
  • Step 6: Decide on steel or nylon strings Decide between steel strings, which offer a smoother sound, or nylon strings, which don't bruise the fingertips as much.
  • Step 7: Take care of your guitar Take care of your guitar by purchasing a hard-shell case and a strap. Don't forget the pick. Now you're ready to strum away.
  • FACT: The Guqin is China's oldest stringed instrument, dating back almost 3,000 years. Unlike the guitar, the Gugin is placed on the lap and played horizontally.

You Will Need

  • Time
  • Patience
  • Good ear

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