How to Choose an Electric Guitar: A Guide

Do you want to buy an electric guitar but feel confused about what qualities to look for?

It’s exciting to get an electric guitar. Whether you’re learning to play or are already an experienced musician transitioning from acoustic to electric, it can feel overwhelming when you’re shopping for a new instrument. You might regret your purchase decision if you don’t know what to look for.

If you want to know what to look for when shopping for an electric guitar, read on, and we’ll tell you what you need to know.

Know Who You’re Purchasing For

If you’re just starting with the guitar, you should look for an instrument with the right size, great sound, and well-suited for your particular needs.

Most beginners like to play guitars that are easy to play and stay in tune. If you have a favorite guitarist to listen to, consider finding out what kind of guitar they play. You can then find a similar guitar to buy for yourself.

If you’re an experienced guitar player, you’re probably already familiar with the different kinds of guitars and have an idea of what you want to buy. Remember that you’ll need to pay more for the best electric guitar.

Some music shops, such as Boothe Music Electric Guitars, have a diverse selection of musical instruments. You can probably find it at their shop, no matter what kind of electric guitar you’re looking for.

Choose the Right Tonewoods

Instruments can only sound as good as the woods they’re made from, whether it’s a guitar, a mandolin, or a stand-up base. This is why you should try to find a guitar made from high-quality wood.

Electric guitars are made from materials that are known as tonewoods. Depending on what part of a guitar a tonewood is used for, the wood might have different characteristics.

If your guitar has a balanced tone, consider getting one made from alder or ash. Mahogany and maple both have a long sustain. Korina is an ideal tonewood for those who want their guitar to have a warm sound.

One of the best fretboard woods is ebony. This hardwood plays fast and creates bright sounds.

Finding the Right Guitar Pickup

All of the first guitars used single-coil pickups. They only have one coil pickup and one string of wire. Single-coil pickups have one major downside since they often create electric signals from vibrating magnetic fields.

They also tend to “pluck” electromagnetic radiation from fluorescent lighting and wires inside buildings. This means that they tend to have a hum.

Single-coiled pickups play sounds that are light and clear. You’ll commonly find them on guitars musicians use to play rock, country and pop. Many famous musicians have used single-coil pickups, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

In an attempt to get rid of the humming sound that single-coil pickups so often make, the humbucker was created. This pickup uses two coils and two magnets (or sets of magnets). Each coil has two different signals: string vibration and noise signals.

Choosing the Right Guitar Neck

There are three important things to pay attention to if you want to find the right guitar neck for your needs. Take notice of what kind of wood it’s made from (and the number of pieces), the neck joint, and the profile.

If you want a strong neck on your guitar, look for one made from several pieces of wood that have been laminated together. You should also pay attention to the hardness of the wood. Tight-grained and heavy woods like rosewood have smooth surfaces that guitar players love.

When you assess an electric guitar’s neck, remember to look at the neck joint. As the place where the neck connects to the rest of the instrument, it needs to be strong enough to withstand stress from daily use.

Electric Guitar and Electric Acoustic Guitar Body Styles

There are three basic body styles that you’ll find on electric guitars: solidbodies, semihollow, and hollowbodies.

If you’re doing lots of load amplification and creating effects, you’ll probably want to have a solidbody. If you want to bring out the acoustics from your guitar, consider getting a guitar with a semi-hollow. Jazz musicians are big fans of hollowbody guitars, but many people choose not to use them because they often have lots of feedback.

Scale Length

The scale length influences the tonal quality of the notes you play. It also influences the tension of strings when they’re played at particular pitches. When people talk about scale length, they’re referring to the string’s vibrating length. The scale length is determined by the length between the “nut” and the bridge “saddle.”

You’ll most likely find two different scale lengths: 24.75″ (known as the Gibson scale) and 25.5″ (known as the Fender scale).

Used Guitars vs. New Guitars

If you’re just learning to play guitar, it might make sense for you to buy a used guitar. This will allow you to find out if you actually like to play. If you decide that you want to continue learning, you can always sell your used guitar and buy a new one that suits your evolving needs.

Keep in mind that new guitars aren’t always better than used guitars. You need to research and test a guitar before you know how good it is.

Find the Electric Guitar of Your Dreams

If you are still learning how to play the electric guitar, consider buying a less expensive model that is easy to play. Once you are a more experienced musician, it’s a good idea to invest in the best model you can afford.

If you want to learn more about playing music, don’t forget to check out the Hobbies section of our website. Here we publish many important articles on this subject.

Oscar Rojas
Oscar Rojas

I'm primarily a dad and a husband, then I live. I've been a freelance writer and editor since 2014, specializing in finance, casino, sports, and esports niches. I'm an expert in checking the small print on any T&C site. You can trust me as an expert, especially when it comes to financing and gambling products.