Guitar Guide

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Choose the Right Guitar for You

Five factors will help you decide what type of guitar to buy: Musical preference, performance location, size, price, and branding.
Musical preference
Different guitars produce different sounds. Before you start shopping for a guitar, decide what type of music you want to play.
    •    Bass: bass guitars

    •    Bluegrass: lap steel guitars, mandolin, acoustic bass guitars 

    •    Blues: electric guitars

    •    Classical: classical guitars

    •    Country: electric guitars, pedal steel guitars, lap steel guitars

    •    Folk: Nylon or steel-string acoustic guitars

    •    Jazz: archtop steel-string acoustic guitars, jazz guitars 

    •    Metal: electric guitars 

    •    Rock: electric guitars

    •    Unplugged rock: flat-top-steel-string acoustic guitars

Guitar size

Guitars come in different shapes and sizes. For example, children will find 1/2 size and 3/4 size guitars more comfortable to play than full-size guitars. A guitarist who travels a lot may prefer a ligher-weight guitar. Compare weight and overall dimensions while you shop.


Most guitarists, from beginners to live performers, should invest in a quality guitar. Well-constructed guitars made of good tonewoods retain their resale value and many even appreciate over time. They also produce rich sounds that improve with age and use. Low-quality woods don't have the same tonal qualities and a guitar with inexpensive construction may not last as long.


You'll find a lot of popular brands on eBay, including Fender, Gibson, Paul Reed Smith, Rickenbacker, Martin and Taylor as well as private label guitars. When you buy a name brand guitar you buy peace of mind. You'll easily find replacement parts and advice if you need them. If you choose to buy a private label guitar, ask the seller specific questions about its construction. Some are carefully built by professional luthiers while others are mass-produced in factories. Ask questions about a guitar's construction, especially its bracing and neck assembly, and the types of woods used for its body, neck, and fretboard, before you buy.

How to store your guitar when not in use.

You should keep your guitar hanging on a proper rack or in its case. The strings should be loosened so as not to bow the guitar neck or wear the strings too soon. It should be kept in a dry place at room temperature not near any heating or cooling vents. It should not be exposed to direct light for long periods.

How to properly clean your guitar.

To clean your guitar correctly this should be done when you are replacing all of the guitar strings. With the strings off and out of the way you can polish the entire guitar thoroughly. Use polish made for guitars specifically and follow the instructions exactly. If there is a polish or cleaning method recommended by your manufacturer, use this. In the absence of this, very small amounts of Murphy's Oil Soap and water can be used with a non-abrasive cloth to clean your "axe" or guitar.
To polish it you can get away with a good, old fashioned, non-aerosol furniture polish. Use it sparingly with a different cloth than used to clean your instrument with. Don't use enough to create residue. This last rule should be followed as well with the cleaning.
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