buy a guitar Archives

Yamaha FG700s acoustic guitarPersonally I have purchased two , both Yamaha acoustic guitars and got an unbelievable deal. The first guitar I bought used was just $40.00 while the second was just $75.00. I sold the first one a year later for $300 and used the money to purchase the second one which I just love and still play regularly, ten years later.

Getting any kind of second hand acoustic guitar can be extremely enjoyable, especially if you realize you’re receiving a good deal. Generally there are plenty of bargains to be found in a variety of locations.

You should not restrict queries to only where you live. You need to search on the internet as well as in the real world.

I am one of those people who needs to see, touch and hear a guitar, whether it’s new or used. This is why I like to check both online as well as offline in order to get a great deal. I can sit in the comfort of my home and look at online listings like Kijiji, Craigslist and Ebay as well as guitar shops close to my home.

Some other places one can look, other than the local music store and pawnshops, are music schools, colleges, local night clubs. Band guitarists often buy and sell guitars or have leads on who might be selling one.

Is there a shop in your area that repairs guitars? People don’t always return to pay for their repair so you might be able to find a great deal on a guitar. So leave your name and number as well as email address so they can call you when they have a guitar that’s not been picked up. Give them a list of guitars you’re interested in.

It’s not likely you’ll find more than you will online. Once I find used guitars online that grab my interest I head to a local shop to try out that specific guitar, if possible. Be sure you also read all reviews on used guitars.

It’s a good idea to check on guitar sales in the recent past. Seeing what those guitars sold for will help you find a great deal. It’s even good to look at guitars that never sold. It’s an opportunity to locate the best deal you’ve ever had just because the ad sucked.

Guitar forums can be a great place to find guitars for sale, used and new. These may be deals you can’t find anywhere else.

Be ready to put in some time searching and you will be rewarded.

Acoustic Guitar Tablatures or Tabs

playing guitarI didn’t learn how to play acoustic guitar to impress others. Instead I saw guitar as a great way to entertain myself and enjoy my favourite songs, even when the radio wasn’t available. I could head to my bedroom, pick up my and play without bothering others in the family.

Today I play my acoustic guitar right in the living room while we’re watching TV and not really bother anyone. Note that I don’t bang on my guitar like some of my son’s friends do. That would bother anyone trying to do anything, in my opinion of course.

Learning From Tablatures AKA Tabs

When you look at a guitar tab you are looking at the neck of a six string guitar. If you look at the Happy Birthday tab below you’ll see that it’s marked on the left with the names of the six strings, E B G D A E.

happy birthday tabs

If you flip your guitar over so the strings are facing you it’s easier to see how they match.

acoustic guitar strings

I don’t read music very well but I do find it pretty easy to read guitar tabs.

Most tabs I find today look very similar to the one I’ve shown above but these don’t give any timing, however I have found many tablatures that are broken into measures so it’s easier to get the timing right. Usually I have the song playing in the background while I’m learning the tabs, just so I have the right timing.

Finding Tablatures For The Songs You Like

When I am looking for song tabs I will do a simple search using Google. If I am looking for Margaritaville tabs by Jimmy Buffett I will type the following:

Margaritaville Jimmy Buffett tabs

Note: You will find that a lot of people will use the word tabs when posting songs lyrics and chords, just to get more traffic but it doesn’t mean that they will all have the tablatures. Most will be likely to have only the chords, so you may have to look through a few of the links in the listings.

guitar tab for margaritaville

Like the tab above it most often gives you that distinctive melody that sticks in your head but isn’t always so easy to figure out. Usually when you play a riff like the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville everyone recognizes it immediately. So it’s nice to know them to give a bit of an intro to the song.

I don’t do so well at learning by ear. I can get some of the chords but then get so frustrated with it. So when I want to learn a new song quickly I look for the guitar chords and to learn the intros or riffs in the song I look for guitar tabs.

There are literally thousands upon thousands of guitar tabs available and I’m still finding them for songs I know that I had forgotten about for years. So much fun learning how to play guitar using tablatures.

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How to Select a Bass Acoustic Guitar

four string bass acoustic guitarOne of the most popular types of guitars is the , which has a hollow body made of wood that is similar to a bass guitar. The only difference is that it’s larger than an acoustic guitar with steel strings and produces a louder and brighter sound than a classical guitar. Normally, an acoustic bass guitar has a solid top, solid back, and solid sides.

Usually, guitar makers use cedar and spruce to construct the solid wood top while the back and sides are made from mahogany, maple, or rosewood. This is the same instrument used by most folk and country music artists. Nevertheless, even rock and pop stars are now using this type of guitar.

Like typical acoustic guitars, an is fretted. Frets are the raised metal strips you see on the fingerboard underneath the strings. What is the purpose of frets in a bass acoustic? Well, the frets divide the fingerboard into semitone divisions.

Unlike traditional acoustic guitars that have six strings, the bass acoustic only has four strings tuned to notes E, A, D, and G (these are an octave lower than the lowest four strings of the traditional acoustic guitar). Similar to the electric acoustic guitar, a bass acoustic has a pickup, which could be either magnetic or piezoelectric. This means an acoustic bass may be amplified if the guitarist so desires, although it’s much preferable that acoustic bass guitar players never go without amplifiers.

Before you finalize your decision to buy an acoustic bass guitar, it would be a good idea if you pored over several aspects that may have a bearing on your decision. For instance, you need to know that the sound that the bass acoustic guitar would produce would highly depend on the shape of its sound box and the wood used to create it. The guitar produces crispier tones when lightweight wood is used to make it compared to the moody, deep sounds produced when heavier woods are made to construct the guitar. Hence, if you’re buying a guitar with the intention of playing it along with other instruments, you need to choose carefully to ensure that it blends well with the sound of those instruments.

It’s important to be an intelligent buyer who chooses what he wants based on what he knows. One thing you need to keep in mind is that guitar makers choose woods according to the sound velocity properties of a particular wood. As an example, mahogany wood is known to bring out strong solid tones when used as the guitar top. It can also accommodate higher ends of the sound range. Conversely, tops made of rose wood are light; thus, clear and light sounds are produced. Furthermore, since rose wood has very high velocity sound index, it’s perfect for a wide variety of uses in creating a guitar. Guitar players have attested to the fact that a bass acoustic guitar with rose wood top is very playable.

Once you have chosen the perfect wood for your guitar, the next thing you need to consider is the number of frets. Bass guitars usually have 21, 22, or 24 frets. If you’ve been playing the guitar for a long time already, then you probably know the right number of frets that suit your playing style.

It would also be a good idea to hold the guitar just to see how it sits in your hand. This is important since the neck of an doesn’t have a standard shape. It could go from oval to round, with flat variations somewhere in between. The sound that guitars emit relies heavily on the tuning heads at the top of the neck. Therefore, you ought to check if the tuners are easy to turn, keeping in mind that good tuners always account for perfect pitch. It would also do you good to pay attention to the fingerboard, checking to see if it’s coated. A bass acoustic guitar with a coated fingerboard would allow you to get the maximum vibrating sounds as you work your hands up and down the neck.

These are some of the things you need to keep in mind when selecting the ideal acoustic bass guitar to  suit your needs.

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Acoustic Guitar for Beginners Buying Tips

acoustic guitarsI didn’t learn to play guitar the first time around, which was about 40 years ago but finally, once I was 47 I learned and the feeling of satisfaction was indescribable. Let me be the one to tell you that it’s a great feeling showing something about playing guitar to someone else.

I have never owned a new acoustic guitar but I have had two good Yamaha acoustic guitars and it takes a good guitar, not an expensive one, to get the quality sound you need to keep on learning. And that leads to a question:

What Do I Need In Good Acoustic Guitar

For me the number one thing I need to know about an is if the tone is quality. If it doesn’t sound good to me I look for something else. I also want a guitar that fits me, it needs to feel right in my hands and on my lap. I also want a guitar that looks good to me, so it needs to fit my taste.

While checking out the sound and appearance I have to think about staying within my budget. I have known too many people who end up selling their guitar for far less than they paid because it was too much.

The two Yamaha acoustic guitars I’ve owned were both at a really good  price and have served me well. I have certainly got my money’s worth as both cost me less than $100.

Note: All the time I was learning to play my used $40 guitar I figured I would be buying a new guitar but instead I bought a second Yamaha acoustic guitar from a friend buying a new guitar, for just $75 and still play it today, ten years later.

When Buying A New Guitar

The first thing you need to do is look for music stores in your neighbourhood that carries a good collection of acoustic guitars and make a list of the guitars that catch your interest. If possible, bring a friend or family member who have a good ear and who know something about acoustic guitars. For me that means Jason, Gary or Robert, my local guitar heroes.

If you have multiple guitar stores or even a pawn shop be sure to check them all out to see if there is a guitar that makes you happy, within your budget.

Where you knowledgeable friend comes in handy is checking the workmanship of the guitars you are looking at. A guitar with a price that’s too good to be true is likely too good to be true, don’t get sucked in.

Check Local As Well As Online Guitar Stores

I always prefer to buy local, when it’s within my budget. However, when buying a new it might be wise to check your local guitar shops to find the guitars that interest you and then compare prices and deliver costs online. Let your local guitar store owner know if you are going to buy online because they may bring their price down closer to the online price you’ve found.

Guitar Showcase’s Gary Wineroth and Jack van Breen let us hear and see the differences between the various types of acoustic Guitars and dispel some old myths about what’s best for beginners.

When buying the best for beginners, never settle for one made of very cheap materials. Surely, it would have lesser quality of workmanship and many defects on its finish. Worse, the sound would be greatly affected if the materials used for the guitar were subpar. Most importantly, never pick a guitar just because its color or design impresses you. Three features should be your main basis when choosing a guitar: the sound it makes, the way it fits in your hands, and its workmanship.

guitar strings (3)I know that sense of satisfaction one feels learning how to play a musical instrument. For me it was learning how to play . As a matter of fact I get that feeling a lot, even though I’ve been playing for about a decade now. it’s just so indescribable.

Just this past Friday night I was at a guitar jam with a few friends. There was a new couple there, both learning how to play guitar using a guitar they borrowed from my friend Peggy, the one hosting the jam. I could see that excitement in both of them.

They were asking me what acoustic guitar I think they should buy. My response was for them to check the pawn shops to buy their first acoustic guitar. I have known too many people who when out and spend too much money and gave up after just a few months of trying to learn how to play their guitar.

Do You Need The Best Acoustic Guitar?

It’s funny that I never hear people telling beginners to go to a pawn shop or to buy a used acoustic guitar but both my Yamaha guitars are used and have been great. My second Yamaha has been keeping me happy for a decade now and it only cost me $75.

If you know a good guitar player who has a great sounding acoustic guitar then you should ask them to come with you and help you evaluate used or even new acoustic guitars. Don’t take a friend who has a guitar that doesn’t sound good to you.

My first guitar was a used Yamaha acoustic guitar that sounded good to me and only cost me $40. A year later I bought a second, again a Yamaha acoustic guitar and only paid $75. After 10 years of playing it daily it does need a fret job to replace the top two frets but other than that and the few dings I’ve put in it that guitar is great.

But does one need the best acoustic guitar? Not in my humble opinion and here is why.

Not to mention names but a friend wanted to buy a new guitar. Rather than ask a seasoned player for help finding a quality acoustic she just bought the same one her friend had just bought and sold me her Yamaha for $75.

She paid $800 for her new guitar and I think the one I bought from her is better quality and sound better too. They bought their guitars based on appearance rather than quality of sound.

 

Personally my feelings about buying an acoustic guitar for beginners is to find a guitar that feels good in your hands and sound good to you because you are the one who will have to live with what you purchase.

Picking The Best Acoustic Guitar For Beginners

1. Look For Quality Tone.

If a guitar doesn’t sound good when I strum it why would I want to buy, even if someone tells me it’s the best acoustic guitar. Just doesn’t make sense. Let your ear guide you, although you still want quality construction of course.

I started with a really inexpensive I bought second hand for just $40. Two years later the opportunity presented itself and I upgraded to a better used guitar for just $75 while the owner bought a new $800 acoustic guitar that I think sounds cheap.

Unless you’re made of money I wouldn’t suggest you buy an expensive acoustic guitar as your first guitar. I have known far too many who wanted to learn to play guitar but didn’t last long before giving up and selling their expensive guitar for far less than they paid.

2. Get An Acoustic Guitar That Feels Good.

Both my second hand guitars are Yamaha acoustic guitars and both felt great when I played them. They sounded great and felt good to hold. Those were my first two requirements as I quickly became a bit of a fanatic and would play them up to 4 hours a day.

It’s more than a decade later and I still play my acoustic guitar at least 2 hours every day.

Should You Buy A New Acoustic Guitar

It’s one thing is you’ve been playing for some time and know you won’t be giving it up but if you are just learning to play guitar as a beginner I would think twice about getting a new guitar.

I have two friend who both bought $800 acoustic guitars and I don’t like how they sound at all. They sound cheap and hollow but they look great. One of them sold me her second hand Yamaha acoustic guitar, for just $75 and I feel I got the better deal, by a long shot. As a matter of fact I still have that Yamaha and play it every day.

Don’t look at the price tags of the guitars you try. Give the guitar the chance to impress you before you either accept the price because sometimes you’ll surprise yourself and find the perfect guitar at a really good price.

Personally I would check out the local pawn shops where you just might find a gem. I have a couple of friends who go to the pawn shops all the time and buy up the best guitars for themselves.

If a pawn shop guitar is not what you want then check out all the local guitar shops and take your time playing every guitar until you find the one that sounds great and fits your body.

When I am sitting in a room jammin’ with friends I can quickly pick out the poorest sound quality and they are not always the cheapest guitars in the room.

If you have a friend who has the ear for quality at a good price take them with you to help you make up your mind but ultimately it has to sound good to your ear because you’re the one who has to play it or give it up.

Having a knowledgeable friend with you is good as they will know what to look for in the quality of the guitar.

My first second hand guitar wasn’t setup properly so the strings were a bit high which meant I had to put more pressure on the strings to hold them down. That gave me a few blisters that might have stopped other from continuing and may have caused them to quit.

It also had a few dings that may have turned other off but they didn’t hurt my ego or the sound quality plus I got a really good deal on because of the dings. Works for me.

Guitar buddy Gary was the perfect one to have look at guitars because he would go over them with a fine toothed comb making sure they were no flaws that would affect the quality or sound. These were things I didn’t have a clue about 10 years ago.

Compare Prices

The reason you want to check out multiple guitar shops is so you can compare prices for those acoustic guitars you like so you get the best price you can get.

Don’t do what T & D did as they made their guitar choice based on the appearance and colour but didn’t both so much with the sound quality. These two people are far more educated than I am but they really just threw their money away.

Now that you’re ready to get a good sounding guitar to learn to play guitar as a beginner I would suggest you look at Jamorama.com and Jamplay.com to get the best guitar training around at an affordable price.

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acoustic electric guitarWhen you are deciding on which acoustic guitar to purchase you actually have a lot to choose from but you also have the option to go for a straight acoustic guitar or an .

I wasn’t aware of this when I purchased the two Yamaha guitars I’ve owned. Most of my guitar playing friends today have an electric acoustic and now I want one too.

What’s The Difference Between Them?

Well, with a traditional acoustic, you need to use a separate microphone or pickup to amplify the sound. On the other hand, with electric acoustic, pickups are already fitted in the body. These pickups are also referred to as piezoelectric pickups, which are the same as the under saddle pickups used in amplifying acoustic guitars. The pickups work by creating an electronic signal when you strum the steel strings of the guitar and these vibrate.

The thing is the electric acoustic guitars actually look pretty much the same as traditional ones. These are also made of wood and have six strings. Each guitar features a sound hole, just like normal acoustic guitars, which amplify the sound vibrations caused by the string.

However, with an you can plug it in an amplifier to produce sounds that resemble that coming from a traditional acoustic with the touch of an electric guitar. When you unplug it, it goes back to playing the same sound you can get from an acoustic guitar. In effect, it’s like getting two kinds of guitar in one instrument.

There are many electric acoustic guitars available in music stores and certain online stores. However I like to checkout eBay to find some great deals on used and new guitars. Here are a few samples you can checkout.

Be sure to checkout any reviews that are available online so that you have as much info as you need to make an educated choice and then get it and start jammin’.

I am no expert but through reading reviews and trying those owned by my friends I’d have to say some of the best brands of electric acoustic guitars are Gibson, Yamaha, Ibanez, and Squier.

You’re probably wondering why you should opt to invest on the best .

As I became better and better over time I started to realize my acoustic guitars didn’t give me everything I wanted in a guitar. Don’t get me wrong, they certainly served their purpose while I was learning but now it’s time to move up a little.

Indeed, there are many reasons why owning an is a good idea. I like the fact I can control the volume of playing so that it’s easier for those are our guitar jams to follow along.