Rocking All Over The World: How to Choose an Electric Guitar

Knowledge Base

Electric guitars are the stairway to heaven for many. The iconic sound that powered an entire generation of music is still considered by many to be the fundamental instrument of a modern band. Although laptop-music and EDM has grown, the electric guitar still stands at the pinnacle of frontline music and their classic sound means for many it is the ultimate instrument to learn.

This guide will go over the basics and give you some ideas on how to choose a cheap yet awesome electric guitar.

What Is an Electric Guitar

An electric guitar is created from a wooden body that is equipped with pickup and steel strings. When played without amplification, the sound volume is low, thus an electronic device is used to amplify the sound. Normally, the body finish appears metal or plastic and often colorful. The sound an electric guitar produces varies depending on the body material.

Electric guitars come with pickups in their bodies to convert the string vibrations into electric signal that is transmitted to an amplifier in a shielded cable. When practicing, it may be unnecessary to connect it to an amplifier; however, to fully use the capabilities of an electric guitar, an amplifier is necessary.

Types of Electric Guitars

Electric guitars come in 3 basic body types. These are solid body, hollow body and semi-hollow body.

The most common body type is the solid body that is constructed from solid wood. Solid body guitars range from simple, single-pickup models to ornately decorated and figured, multi-pickup models with several electronic options.

Hollow body guitars have hollow bodies and usually have an archtop. The semi-hollow body guitars are designed using solid center wood block, which adds stability and helps decrease feedback.

Things to Consider in an Electric Guitar

Budget

As with purchasing any quality instrument, buying the best electric guitar will cost a decent amount of money. Price is an important factor as you decide the electric guitar you want to buy. There are electric guitars that fit every budget. Thus, you don’t have to break the bank to purchase an electric guitar.

Skill Level

As you buy an electric guitar for a beginner, consider a guitar that is proper size, sounds great and meets the up-and-coming player’s musical aspirations and tastes. Find out the guitar they lust after and their guitar heroes. Selecting an electric guitar that speaks to these preferences will help guarantee that new players stay motivated to continue learning. For a beginner, consider an easy to play guitar that stays in tune. However, aesthetics, electronics, tone and body style matter. As you buy an electric guitar, keep in mind that quality usually comes with a matching price tag. Consider spending a little more on the right guitar.

Body Shape

Usually, solid guitars provide an awesome platform for builders, which allow them to create any shape. You can opt for a guitar that has a single-cutaway Les Paul or Telecaster style shape, or double cutaway shape such as Stratocaster, Ibanez’s RG or Yamaha Pacifica. However, extroverted beginner can look out for some eye-catching styles such as Z or V shaped guitars or anything with captivating paint job.

Body Wood

Even though this is a minor issue as you choose your first guitar, the tone the guitar produces relies on the quality of material used to create the guitar. The most common tonewoods for budget guitars are alder, poplar, paulownia and basswood, while expensive guitars are built using swamp ash, pine and mahogany. However, today, mahogany can be found in budget guitars while basswood is used in premium guitar models.

The different woods have diverse tonal qualities. For instance, swamp ash is brighter, mahogany is usually provides a warmer sound, while alder and basswood have balanced tones.

Necks

Most guitar have either a mahogany or maple neck equipped with ebony, maple or rosewood fretboard. Although neck wood may not sway your decision, ensure you select something that feels comfortable to play. Neck come in various shapes and profiles to cater for playing style and personal preference. C-shape neck is a safe option since most players feel comfortable using and the U-shape is fantastic for faster players.

Pickups

For a beginner, there are 2 main types of pickups i.e. humbucker pickup and single-coil pickup. The classic single-coil pickup usually provides a sparkly and bright sound. Humbuckers generate full, meaty sounds common in metal and rock music and are good for rhythm and lead guitar.

Usually, there are 2 or 3 pickups on an electric guitar, even though some models only provide one pickup. Guitars with more than one pickup are equipped with a pickup selector switch for quick selection.

Frets

Frets are the thin metal bars running across the neck and act as note separators to allow you play individual chord and notes. Most guitars are equipped with 22 frets, although metal or rock inclined guitars come with 24 frets that allow you to reach higher notes. The number of frets ranging from 21 to 24 should not be a bother for a beginner. As you grow you will find whatever works for you.

Bridge

Bridges come in different forms, but keep things simple by finding either a tremolo bridge or a fixed bridge. These have their advantages and disadvantages. Although a tremolo bridge allows you to test everything from vibrato effect to full-on divebombs, tremolo bridges may affect tuning unless they have locking nuts. As well, a fixed bridge provides excellent tuning stability and sustain, but does not have vibrato. It all boils down to preferences. Now that you know more about the parts of a guitar that may assist you as you shop around, check out this video that covers everything.

Outro

Most electric guitars under $500 are for beginners, and they are a great starting point. The more expensive electric guitars under $1000 offer more features and are durable.

Ultimately, your purchase should be the best while sticking to your budget. As recommended in the beginning, have an idea of what you want and establish your style. Also, looks are essential. Having the right guitar and color can make a lot of difference.