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Beginners guide to
Buying your First Electric Guitar.
Congratulations!! You’ve taken the decision to play the electric guitar. Very cool. Now before you go out there and buy your first guitar, take a look at these pointers, they should help you choose the perfect guitar for you.
First of all, take a few minutes to think about what sort of music you listen to and what you want to play. This will have a big say in what sort of guitar is right for you. For instance, if you’re into folk-country music and this is what you want to play, it’s no good purchasing a guitar that’s geared towards playing heavy metal. Now keep this point in mind as you read on and all will be revealed. Certain styles of music usually require a certain type of guitar.
Now, I’m going to keep this relatively simple, as I will add a full guide to pickups another time. For now, though, there are two main pickup types you’ll probably want to take into consideration.
Single Coil: A single coil pickup is usually a slim pickup with six magnetic poles running along the length of the pickup. Single coil pickups create pronounced treble and presence in their sound and are usually associated with Fender Stratocasters and Telecaster or guitars of similar design. They sound bright and sparkling, often twangy. Single coil pickups are massively versatile, often being used for country, blues, funk even rock music.
Humbuckers: Humbuckers are basically two single coil pickups joined together. Humbuckers are larger than single coil pickups and often come with a nickel cover. They produce a higher output than single coil pickups and are more powerful. Humbuckers are usually found on Gibson guitars and guitars of similar design. They are often used to play rock, heavy metal and even jazz music.
There are a myriad of different woods which manufacturers make their instruments out of, but again I’ll keep this simple and go for two extremely common types.
Alder: Alder wood is often allied with single coil pickups and gives you a broad spectrum of tones. It sounds bright and crisp, but can also be made to sound round and low and is used throughout most musical genres.
Mahogany: Mahogany is often allied with humbucking pickups and has a warm, round sound with plenty of sustain; perfect for that rock tone.
Now there are literally multitudes of electric guitars out there to choose from, all with their own benefits. I personally think that if you’re looking for a good, but not too expensive guitar, to cut your teeth on and like the single coil sound, the Yamaha Pacifica is an extremely sensible option. It’s incredibly versatile and very well made. If you want that rocking humbucking sound I’d recommend something like a Tokai Love Rock or a Washburn Idol. These guitars give you that typical rock style pedigree which, if that’s what you want, will be perfect for you and they won’t break the bank. Style is also something to think about. Pick a guitar you like to look at, if it fits the bill consider it. But most of all take your time; look around and get the style and sound you want.
Keep putting the hours of practice in and who knows where your first electric guitar will take you.