Electric Guitar Buyers Guide!

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Electric Guitar Buyers Guide

Electric guitars are so named because in order to hear the music they make you need to plug them into an amplifier, they do not need to be plugged into the mains themselves though! Unplugged, they do make some sound as the strings vibrate when plucked or strummed but it is not very loud because there are no hollow or resonating structures to amplify the sound. The small sound that the strings make is 'picked up' by the guitar's pickups, magnetic coils, and then transmitted via wires through a cable to an amplifier which boosts the signal to drive a speaker, making the sound much louder, and electric sounding. Because the sound waves are being converted into electrical signals and then back to sound out of the speaker, you can make all kinds of interesting tones and noises by changing the electrical signal using various effects boxes, tone and volume controls. This ability to make such an amazing array of sounds out of one instrument is why the electric guitar has become the most popular instrument in modern music. It is also the reason why they are so much fun to play!

So its obvious why you want to get started on your way to becoming a rock star but a lot more difficult to work out where to start! The following descriptions of different styles of guitars should help you figure out what choices you have, and also what you can get for your money. First of all think about what kind of music you would eventually like to play, and what style of guitars your favorite musicians use. There are many beginners guitar packages that are based on well known styles of guitars and these are a great way of getting started to play the music that you want. 

Ok, so you have an idea of what music you'd like to play? In any case you will need a guitar, a cable and an amplifier in order to make any noise at all! And there are other various bits and pieces that although are not essential, will come in very handy - such as a guitar tuner, strap or spare strings.

Although there may seem to be an enormous army of different makes, models (and colours!) of guitars to choose from, after a while it becomes apparent that you can start to divide them up into a few general groups which will make it much easier to choose the one for you. In fact there are really only four different styles to choose from, based on original designs from guitar makers Fender and Gibson. These styles have been adapted and copied over the years but the four basic styles still remain:

1:) Stratocaster. Typically these have a neck that is bolted to the body, double cutaway sides (the curved pointy bits of the body), three single-coil pickups, 22 frets and a tremolo system (the wammy bar!).

Originally designed by Fender back in the early 50's, these nice, light guitars make great beginners instruments. Stratocasters have a bright twangy sound with the ability to make cool noises by bending the wammy bar, played by loads bands from The Arctic Monkeys to Iron Maiden.

Most guitar packages come with Stratocasters, but we have a few other quality ones to look at, try the Vintage V6 from £119, the Aria STG Range at just £79 (a complete bargain) or the Cort G250 at £219.

2: ) Telecaster: Similar construction to the Stratocaster but with a single cutaway body, no tremolo unit and two different, single-coil pickups. Simple design makes them very easy to get to grips with and sounds are bright and twangy, played by modern bands like Bloc Party, Snow Patrol and  Franz Ferdinand.

For a good quality budget Telecaster, take a look at the Vintage TC200 at £119 or the Aria TEG003 at £129.

3:) Les Paul: Designed by Gibson, with a set neck construction (no bolt on joint), a single cutaway and a larger rounded body making these quite bulky, heavy instruments, two humbucker pickups and a raised scratchplate. The set neck and solid body make for great sustain and full bodied tones. Humbuckers are powerful pickups and really great for playing with distortion as they make less hiss than Stratocasters. Probably the most popular guitars at the moment, favored by rockers Slash, Kirk Hamnett and Zakk Wylde, Noel Gallagher and Eric Clapton.

We have a huge range of these, including the Vintage V100 at £169, Samick Avion at £235, the award winning Aria PE Elite at £175 and a broad selection of official copies by Epiphone.

4.) SG: Set neck construction with double cutaway 'horns', two humbuckers and tone controls similar to the Les Paul, these are much lighter though, with slim bodies but longer protruding necks. Same powerful tones as a Les Paul but the lighter body makes them a bit easier to play. Currently played by Angus Young of AC/DC, Pete Townsend of The Who and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.

For some good examples of these guitars, check out the Vintage VS6 at £139, Epiphone G400 at £239 and the Samick Torino at £219.

There are a myriad of guitars that come in-between each of these categories, such as 'super Strats' with humbucker pickups, but if you can choose which of these styles suits you best then you are making good progress! In any case it is a good idea to choose a guitar that you really like the look of as you are more likely to pick it up and practice more often.

I hope that you have enjoyed the guide and it has inspired you to make the right choice! If you enjoyed the guide and/or found it usefull then please click the yes link bellow. Thank you for your time and have a nice day :)

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