Guitar Buying Guide

Although there are many variables that can influence your decision, the most important thing is that you find a guitar that sounds good, looks good, and plays well for you.

Whether you are new to guitar or already know your way around the fretboard, if you want to really rock, you need to get an electric guitar. However, choosing the right guitar for beginners can be a daunting task, especially since there are so many options to choose from. Not to mention the fact that you are buying your first electric guitar and do not have a good reference point. Buying your first instrument should be the first step in a lifelong journey of learning and inspiration.

It can also be confusing because there are so many different makes and models of musical instruments. When buying your first guitar, you are faced with the question of which size to choose, whether to go with an acoustic or an electric, or whether to invest in a new or used instrument. Although there are many variables that can influence your decision, the most important thing is that you find a guitar that sounds good, looks good, and plays well for you.

Choose the Type of Guitar

There are a few general categories of popular guitars. These styles have very different sound and playing characteristics. Deciding in advance which style of guitar you want to buy can narrow the choice considerably.

Acoustic Guitar

The acoustic or Spanish guitar is the most common type of guitar found in music stores. It usually has a hollow wooden body with steel strings and a bright sound. The thickness of the body and wood material is an important factor that determines the difference in sound between guitars. If you choose this guitar as your first guitar, it will be very difficult to play for hours and keep the notes. Steel strings hurt the fingers and indirectly discourage playing.

Electric Guitar

Unless you have been living with penguins in Antarctica for the past 70 years, you know what an electric guitar is. The electric guitar is as present in contemporary musical styles as in the heavy metal giants of the 1960s-80s and is probably the most popular instrument in the world. The best way to describe this instrument is one word: cool.

However, their versatility may also fall short. Although they are associated with heavy distortion, strident solos and aggressive riffs, electric guitars can be equipped for all kinds of applications and genres. For example, the post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor created terrifying soundscapes by scratching the strings of an electric guitar with a screwdriver.

Classical Guitar

The “original Spanish guitar.” This guitar is one of the earliest forms of acoustic guitar and has been with us since the 18th century. The most famous guitarists are Francesco Tarrega, Paco De Lucia and many others. The strings are made of nylon or sheep gut, the fingerboard is much wider so there is more space between the strings to be able to play chords correctly, and it is the most comfortable of all three guitars.

Guitar Accessories

When it comes to deciding how to buy a guitar, it’s important to look at guitar accessories so you can play in no time. Basic guitar accessories include:

Guitar Amps

An amplifier is a necessary accessory for an electric guitar. In most cases, a small “practice amp” is sufficient for beginners. Students interested in rock, pop, and blues may want a “two-channel” amplifier, i.e., one that can produce both a clean and distorted tone.

Guitar Tuner

A tuner is a necessary accessory for any type of guitar. Acoustic guitars need a tuner with a built-in microphone, while electric guitars need a tuner that can be plugged into the wall outlet. Alternatively, headstock tuners work by vibration and are suitable for any type of guitar. Most tuner models are relatively inexpensive.


Many amplifiers have headphone jacks, which are useful for making practice volume inaudible to family members, neighbors, pets, etc.

Guitar Picks

Guitar picks are plastic picks used to strum the strings. They come in different strengths – “medium” picks are good for beginners until students develop a preference.

Instrument Cable

The instrument cable connects the electric guitar to the amplifier. The cable should be long enough to reach from the amplifier to the student’s chair or stool. A cable at least 10 feet long should be sufficient.

Guitar Straps

All electric guitars and most acoustic guitars are designed to use a strap. Most straps are adjustable in size, but try them before you buy to make sure they fit comfortably.

Guitar Case

A guitar case is a must for protecting the instrument while traveling. Soft cases (“gig bags”) are inexpensive and are sufficient for car trips and general use. Hard cases offer better protection for higher-end instruments or for taking the guitar on a plane.

Extra Strings for Your Guitar

Guitar strings occasionally break with regular use, so an extra set of strings is a good investment. Be sure to buy strings that are compatible with either an electric or acoustic guitar.

What to look for when buying a guitar ?

How Far are the Strings from the Fretboard?

Try to take a scale with you to measure the limit distance of the guitar strings. Put the guitar in a straight position and then place the scale at the 12th fret. At the 12th fret, each string should have a distance of 3 mm to 4 mm. If the distance is more than 5 mm, you should neglect this choice, and it is more advantageous to choose the guitar yourself and not rely on the choice of a seller.

Check for the Belt Notch

If you want to hang the guitar with a strap, you should buy a strap recess on the bottom of the guitar. However, if you are thinking of drilling a hole in it, you should discard that thought as it may cause a crack in the guitar. So always pay attention to the belt notch on the guitar.

Check for the Serial Number

If you buy a branded guitar, it must have a serial number on the end of the neck or on the side of the sound hole.

The Guitar’s Neck should be Straight

Check the neck of the guitar for curvatures or bends. Your guitar should have a straight neck and not let the strings hit the frets when you play. If the guitar has a bend or curve in the back, playing the guitar will be more complicated, especially for newbies. If you are unsure how to check the neck relief of your guitar, ask a professional. He should check and identify all possible problems with the guitar neck and make corrections if needed.

If you buy a branded guitar, you should first check the name/logo on the head of the guitar (with the tuning pegs) and secondly under the sound hole.

Check for the Good Echo Sound

While strumming, check the echo sound of the strum; if it sounds for more than 4 seconds, the guitar has perfect sound quality.

Check for the Bridge

Most often beginners make the mistake of buying a guitar with an aluminum bridge. If you buy a guitar under a price of ₹2000-₹3000 that has an aluminum bridge (suspension bridge), then you will not be able to play it for more than 1-2 years. So if you need a better guitar, then it should have a fixed bridge.

Are the Tuning Pecks Tight or Loose?

The tuning peg of a guitar is sensitive in terms of appearance. Therefore, you should check the condition of the tuning pegs from the back side, whether they are loose or tight. The gear of the tuning pegs should always be closed/tight.

Finishing of the Guitar

The finish of the guitar is an important factor, especially if you are looking for a cheap guitar in the entry-level segment. It should not have any scratches or cracks. Often guitars are kept in the store for a long time, which means that many people who have just started learning guitar have already tried them. So before buying, check the instrument carefully and make sure it doesn’t have any scratches, especially near the sound hole and the fingerboard. The guitar should not have any cracks and all joints must be neatly glued to ensure a strong and stable grip.

Check for the Cracks

First, check if the guitar has cracks everywhere. Most often, a guitar has a crack on the neck platform (stocking tip). Second, put the guitar in a flat position and check for cracks on the chamber (wood side) by tapping on it. If you hear a strange sound when tapping on the chamber, it means that the guitar has a crack.

Select the Right Size Guitar

Good starter guitars come in many shapes and sizes, and finding an instrument that feels good and “fits” is super important for any aspiring student – especially younger students who are not yet fully grown. Incorrect guitar sizes can affect your ability to play, and young students can struggle with full-size guitars due to the width of the guitar neck, heavier weight, the wider spacing of the frets, and may be unable to play all the notes.

While it may be tempting to buy a full size model that a student can “grow into,” the reality is that a student will likely become frustrated trying to play an instrument that is too large for their body and hands. Several guitar manufacturers make small scale guitars, and these can be great options for young students who are just starting out.

Important Factors to Consider while Buying a Guitar

Sound level

When you first learn an instrument, you know how awful it can sound. You spend ten minutes playing a one-octave scale, you’re unable to tune the strings by ear, and barre chords result in terrible buzzing and feedback. Acoustic guitars are easier for everyone in the house. With an electric guitar, you can always buy a pair of studio headphones to plug into the amplifier to save the household from the dangers of a novice guitarist.


Acoustic guitars are played immediately. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can make all the difference whether you practice every day or just once a week. An electric guitar needs to be set up – the cables and amp take up space you may not have, whereas with an acoustic guitar you can just get started.


Electric guitars are heavier than acoustic guitars and require more parts to transport from A to B (amps and cables, not to mention pedals if you can get further).


An acoustic guitar is just an acoustic guitar. While you can splurge on capos, sliders and the like, electric guitars are overloaded with peripherals that significantly affect the sound you play with. Pedals and amps are a subject in themselves and are just as important (if not more so) to the sound of an electric guitar. Pedals can completely change the sound of a guitar, whether by adding reverb, delay, distortion, or all sorts of crazy effects that can be turned on and off with your foot (that’s why they’re called pedals).


The guitar is a six-string musical instrument. It is usually held flat against the performer’s body and is played by strumming or plucking the strings with the dominant hand while simultaneously pressing selected strings against the frets with the fingers of the opposite hand.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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