Electric Guitar Choosing

PLAN on paying at least $100 for a used electric guitar and at least $150 or $200 for a brand-new one. Try out as many as you can in the store, choosing the ones that are easier to play...in many cases, the cheaper the guitar the higher the strings are off the neck and the harder it will be to play...this will usually discourage many beginning guitar players who will think that playing the guitar is harder than it really is.

YOU'RE still in the store trying out some guitars and you might think a few of the used ones are easier to play and you're right. Used guitars can be easier to play because like a new pair of shoes they get better with use most of the time and are usually less expensive than new guitars.

CHECK for buzzing notes and fret spaces that don't make any sounds...
Start from the the bottom of the neck, with the thickest E string, and pluck it in its' open -not pressing anything down - position. Then press each fret down and pluck as you go up the neck. Check the rest of the strings in the same way...the second thickest A string, the
4th D string, the 3rd G string, the 2nd B string, and the 1st E string.

BEFORE you're out the door, you need a fresh set of strings or 2, a few picks, and a guitar strap. If you like the strings that are on the guitar you picked out ask a store person for the same brand and the same thickness, or get them a little thicker or thinner, whatever feels best to you. I think most of the time you'll find roundwound strings on guitars because they play louder and give out more TWANG. Flatwound strings have a smoother sound and they sound quieter going up and down the neck. Again, it all depends on what you feel is best for you. Picks usually come in soft, medium, and hard and have triangular or water-drop shapes. Brightly-colored picks are less likely to get lost than clear or dark ones.

Recording Guitar Practice Sessions

Whether you use a cassette recorder or something more advanced, recording your own practice sessions enables you to go back and listen to everything you've done, especially those times when you say to yourself "That was good...how did I do that?" If you didn't record it that great, original guitar lick or progression may be lost forever...or an exact version of it anyway. So think of the tape or memory space as a paper notebook-you can get things down, refer to them again and again, or erase them. Keeping that in mind, if you practice for an hour, that's a 1-hour tape or 600 MBs of memory space in wav file format on the computer.