When I was learning to play guitar, about 10 years ago, I bought a used guitar from a friend buying a new guitar. She learned on a used and was ready for that new one giving me the opportunity to get a good guitar, although used, for just $75.00.
Then it was a matter of money for me but even my second guitar was a used one and at that time I didn’t have money issues. I have been more than happy with them.
So, here are some reasons why a used guitar might turn out to be a better option that a new one in some cases.
Reason #1 – Really the design of the guitar hasn’t changed much over the past few decades so unlike computers or electronics which seem to be updated yearly.
Reason #2 – For The Price. This is probably the biggest and best difference. A used guitar be as much as 50% cheaper than the same model new and there are many used guitars that show so little wear or marks that you’d swear it was brand new.
Reason #3 – Guitars are made of wood and wood ages over time changing the sound. This is especially true with acoustic guitars if you offered me a 30 year old Martin or Gibson acoustic in good condition or said I could have a brand new one for the same price, I’d take the old used guitar every time.
Now I’m not saying that ALL old acoustic guitars are a great buy. The aging of the wood causes changes in the humidity. If the guitar has been subject to drastic changes in humidity and/or temperature it could crack.
Reason #4 – Bringing a used guitar to life and making it your own is very rewarding. You bring the guitar home, remove the strings, clean the fretboard and vacuum the inside of the body out (if it’s acoustic), oil the neck, restring it and polish it and now it’s as good as new and it has some of your personality added to it.
Reason #5 – Many used guitars have actually seen very little use in the first place. They get bought and then strummed every now and then before the owner decides they don’t use it enough and wants to sell it off. This is where you swoop in and get a great guitar for a great price.
Reason #6 – Some older guitars are built from woods that either do not get used as much anymore or simply cost a lot more. Wood such as Brazilian rosewood and bubinga are beautiful woods that create a rich and full sound but they are more rare these days so your best bet of getting a guitar built with them is to buy used.
Reason #7 – Construction techniques have become automated. Some older guitars were handmade and there was a lot more attention to detail. That’s not to say that there aren’t companies today using automation and building great instruments, it just that your chances of getting something unique are very low.
The days of a luthier hand selecting each guitar top based on the one it produced when he tapped it and listened to the wood are over for production line guitars and reserved only for the high and or custom handmade guitars.
In conclusion I really feel buying a used guitar is the way to go for those of us on budgets. I learned to play guitar from friends, Youtube and Jamorama and Jamplay. Take a look at them if you want to learn to play guitar.