Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How To Buy A Guitar

There are lots of videos and magazines and articles advising how to buy a guitar. Take your time and read and watch and learn but it won’t matter.
A guitar is made from wood. Go out and hug a tree to get the feeling. The sound is made from constructing a plank or a box and running wires over it. If correctly built, it will make a sound when the wire is plunked.
Since before time began, our species want to annoy our neighbors by making some noise. The guitar was the perfect instrument for this because not only could it make a sound it could be easily carried to the next location to disturb.
Scholarly approaches to the guitar would be to study tone wood; shape patterns fret width and thickness, bridge and neck material, bracing and an assortment of other features that could make your purchase an informed decision. Watching or listening to the craftsmen who construct these instruments is fascinating, but the same is true for auto manufacturers or furniture makers or weaving artisans.
With mass production of everything, the skilled workmanship quality is scrutinized by experts in the field who review past and present and recommend choices from the thousands available. Plus all the different manufacturers sponsor the reviews.
Back in the day there were few options. The music stores sold pianos. That was the instrument of the wealthy while the guitar was assigned to the parlor for small family occasions.
Mountain and folk and blues and jazz were all starting to find interest in the guitar so more manufacturers provided them to the music stores and the public bought them. When the folk era of the 60’s appeared the demand blossomed.
The groups that appeared on black and white television all had this guitar slung over their shoulders and it quickly became apparent that every boy and girl had to have a guitar.
Some manufacturers could craft enough guitars to promote their brand and others tried to become popular enough to be profitable. The market had changed from skilled musicians to kids.
While guitars came out of the backroom and were presented in glorious wonder, the price was above what most could afford. Luckily like any other trend more and more companies got on the bandwagon and started producing guitars of various quality and prices.
Now you got the history, you are ready to buy a guitar.
Oh my golly, look at all the choices. In today’s music stores there are racks and racks of guitars in all shapes and colors and sizes and price ranges. With rudimental knowledge and a few dollars in your pocket anyone can walk out with an instrument that will make some kind of sound.
With electronics there is a need for amplification and neighbors and parent’s tolerance while acoustics can be practiced in bedrooms with little disturbance. The practice is the same until accompaniment by others with different skills.
Now with all that confusion I relay this thought. A guitar is like your dancing partner. You hold a guitar as close to you as your lover.
You will know her when you pick her up. All the specs and stats mean nothing until you run your fingers over her and she feels right.
Don’t bother on all those alternations that can be made to make her perfect, she just feels right. She will be by your side and travel with you without asking for anything but to be played.
Price will be your restriction, but be sure to check out the back alleys and pawnshops for there are treasures to be found. Settle for what you can easily afford now for others will be available later.  Learn how to set-up and re-string and ask advice on wood conditions. She will serve you well if you take care.
If you decide to buy by brand there are various choices constructed in many parts of the world to discerning quality for detail. If you do your homework you can find a treasure.
Through the many years I’ve had the pleasure to accompany many ladies to the dance. Some fit well and others not so much. I’ve learned and became familiar with what I prefer and had the opportunity to find ladies I had lusted after at an early age.
 My advice is to go out and pick up every guitar you can find and strum it. Play it as long as the music store will allow then come back the next day and play it again. Get to know what draws you into this particular guitar. Compare similar models and then go back. 
If she continues to excite you, this is the one.  

No comments: