If the unmistakable sound that runs through rock, jazz, and blues is what you crave, you need the 411 on how to get it.
Step 1: Choose style Choose from the four basic styles of electric guitars: solid body, hollow body, semi-hollow body, and chambered. Each has a unique sound, so match the style to the type of music you'll be playing.
Step 2: Set a budget Set your budget. If you are a beginner, look for guitars in the $300 or less range. Experienced players should buy the highest-quality guitar they can afford.
Step 3: Know makers Know that two of the top manufacturers of electric guitars are Fender and Gibson, used by professional musicians. Gibson's lesser-priced line is Epiphone and Fender's is Squier, which produce copies of their popular main line models. Ibanez is another affordable option.
TIP: Find out what type of guitar your favorite artists play to use as a jumping off point.
Step 4: Compare Compare reviews by manufacturer and model online and in guitar magazines. Look for comments regarding sound, construction, and price.
Step 5: Look at style Choose the look that appeals to you. There are many body designs, sizes, colors, and types of wood, which are a matter of personal preference as well as indicators of sound quality.
Step 6: Head to the store Head to a reputable guitar store to test out your picks. Pay attention to the quality of the sound, the size, and the feel of the strings and neck. Have adjustments made before you take it home. Rock on!
FACT: Radio repairman Leo Fender was the first to successfully mass-produce and market a Spanish-style solid-body electric guitar, eventually called the Telecaster, in 1951.