Guitars – To Buy Or Not To Buy?

Hey Rockstars,

Steve (aka VØID) here and today I want to share some thoughts on buying a guitar when you’re first starting out.

I get asked the question “Should I Buy A Guitar?” a lot from clients, I thought it would be helpful to write about it and set the record straight once and for all. 😉

 

To buy or not to buy?…that is the question!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients come in with their brand spanking new guitar that just cost them more than their last European vacation.

I have a feeling I know why they do this….well a few reasons at least:

 

1) They think that the expensive guitars are the only guitars that sound good.

2) They are looking for a trophy and not a hobby.

3) They think that buying an expensive guitar will force them to practice/care!

 

The last one especially is not true…it’s not how the mind works at all.

You can’t guilt your way into caring about something. For example, how many expensive things do you own, but rarely ever use? On the other hand, when you’re passionate about something, does it really matter about using the most expensive equipment for the activity, or just doing the activity itself?

I think you get my point.

Now don’t get me wrong…a high quality guitar that is set up just right will play like a dream, but since the beginning of any new skill is such a fragile thing, I would hate it if the dream quickly becomes a nightmare!

I hope you gain comfort knowing that at this stage, it’s not the cost of the guitar that’s important, it’s that you allow yourself to relax your mind and take in the right information, so you can start playing guitar ASAP…

…and having to pay a beefy VISA bill wouldn’t be the first way most people choose to do that! 😛

I would say that after you have a few skills under your belt and can play something that sounds like music (which is very easy), then you can start to look at some mid-range to high-end options.

At that point, you will actually be able to test out the guitars and know what sounds/feels good to you.

 

“But what does that mean for me now?”

Oh yeah, good point….you need a guitar!

 

Ok, here is what I usually recommend to new clients who are just starting out:

Option 1) Borrow a guitar from a friend/family member for one or two weeks – (this is how I did it and it gave me the confidence to know what I was listening for when I bought my first guitar….a $50 Quest from Costco! LOL)

Option 2) Rent a guitar – most local music stores will have a rental section and you can rent decent guitars for about 20 or 30 bucks a month!

That’s plenty of time to get your chops up to speed and know what kind of guitar you like. The beauty of renting is that you can rent a few different guitars before you actually buy one and a lot of the stores will put the money you’ve spent towards the purchase.

Option 3) Buy a guitar for less than $300 – you will be able to get something that will do the trick at this price. This price point will get you a decent guitar at a music store, however if you are willing to hunt a bit, then I highly recommend craigslist and Kijiji because you will find a cash deal that will get you a $500-1000 guitar for about $300. The only downside is that your inexperience may not let you see any flaws in the guitar you’re about to buy.

You can always send me an email at rockstarter@rockstarmind.com if you need advice on a guitar you see in an ad.

If you decide to go the online route to take advantage of the great deals, then here are a couple of affordable options for acoustic and electric that I recommend:

Acoustic

  • [easyazon_link asin=”B0002KMTVQ” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rockmind-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Fender DG-8S Acoustic Guitar Value Pack[/easyazon_link]
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B000FIZISQ” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rockmind-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar[/easyazon_link]

Electric

  • [easyazon_link asin=”B008F4URXI” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rockmind-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Squier by Fender “Stop Dreaming, Start Playing” Set: SE Special Guitar with Squier SP-10 Amp, Tuner, Instructional DVD, Gig Bag, Cable, Strap, and Picks – Brown Sunburst[/easyazon_link] (for a Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton style guitar)
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B00A6D50L0″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rockmind-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Epiphone Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar Player Pack – Vintage Sunburst[/easyazon_link] (for a Jimmy Page and Slash style guitar)

With that said, I don’t usually recommend my clients buy from a Web Store only because you’re buying Blind, that is, you can’t actually play the guitar to make sure it sounds/feels good. Not to mention the risk of damage during shipping. Let’s just say I’ve heard some horror stories. :S

 

So go with whatever option you feel is best and remember that there’s NO NEED to buy expensive (or at all) in the first few weeks of your guitar journey. The most important things are your skills!

You will probably rotate or keep adding to your collection once you become hooked, so the first guitar you buy isn’t the be all end all.

I should also mention that some of my clients who come to see me at my Toronto studio didn’t even own a guitar until a few months in! I even taught one person how to play for two weeks over Skype WITHOUT A GUITAR before she went out and bought one!

Hopefully that shows you how powerful your mind is as well as having the right information.

You take care of getting the guitar in your hands and I’ll take care of getting you up and running in the next 30 minutes. At least that way, you’ll know whether or not you like playing and will have something cool to play when you go back to the music store and test out guitars.

A much better approach in my opinion. 😉

RockStarter

CLICK HERE TO START PLAYING GUITAR TODAY!

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About Steve (aka VØID)

Steve (aka VØID) is the owner and head Guitar Coach at Rockstar Mind. He is a self-taught guitarist for 20 years and a professional guitarist & Major label recording artist for 10 years (touring the world opening for and performing with big name acts such as KISS, Hinder, Finger Eleven, and Our Lady Peace). Most importantly, he has been coaching struggling guitarists for over 15 years to quickly overcome their playing obstacles and play their favourite songs on guitar. After his father was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer, Steve put his music career on hold to become his primary caregiver. He created a fundraising initiative called VØID Cancer where he uses proceeds from every sale to create new programs for patients and caregiver. All in his father's honour. Connect with Steve (aka VØID) on Facebook.
About The Author

Steve (aka VØID)

Steve (aka VØID) is the owner and head Guitar Coach at Rockstar Mind. He is a self-taught guitarist for 20 years and a professional guitarist & Major label recording artist for 10 years (touring the world opening for and performing with big name acts such as KISS, Hinder, Finger Eleven, and Our Lady Peace). Most importantly, he has been coaching struggling guitarists for over 15 years to quickly overcome their playing obstacles and play their favourite songs on guitar. After his father was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer, Steve put his music career on hold to become his primary caregiver. He created a fundraising initiative called VØID Cancer where he uses proceeds from every sale to create new programs for patients and caregiver. All in his father's honour. Connect with Steve (aka VØID) on Facebook.