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9/5/07

Best beginner electric guitar

With the proliferation of eastern companies entering the musical instrument manufacturing market, the number of choices when looking for a best beginner electric guitar can become a problem.
Well established professional music instrument manufacturers have become hard pressed to compete at the lower price range, and with the added input of the internet and user reviews, they can't afford to compromise too much on value for money.
Here are my tips for finding a decent beginners electric guitar
1. Look primarily at brand names that have been around for a good while.
2. Read user reviews on unbiased review sites
3. Look for what kind of wood is being used on the body and neck of the guitar. The most common decent woods for the neck are maple and mahogany, and for the body Alder, mahogany, basswood and maple. Occasionally woods like Korina or Limba, Nato (Eastern mahogany)and agathis are used. These are also good.
4. If a company describes a guitars body wood as hardwood, but won't tell you what it is, then don't trust the particular product, even though they may be a reputable company.
5. Look for brand names on other parts of the guitar, for example the tuners or pickups. This generally denotes a higher quality guitar. Good examples of this are Grover or Gotoh tuners, and DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan pickups. Sometimes these will say designed by that company, but that is also reasonable.
6. Often when buying a cheaper guitar from a less known company, or a company that specializes in cheap guitars, the wood that is used is of lower quality, even though it is a decent type of wood, it can be that it hasn't dried properly or is just not well selected.
Again I must recommend that one looks for a reputable company.
7. For a beginner electric guitar I would look for something with a hardtail bridge as opposed to some kind of floating tremelo. A beginner guitarist is highly unlikely to master the art of using these things correctly in any short space of time, so they would be superfluous.
An exception to this would be the standard tremelo as found on the stratocaster as these won't add extra price onto the guitar or become a distraction.
8. Look at guitar packages, as these provide you with an amplifier, tuner, bag and cable. They are the basic essentials for learning to play electric guitar. This is provided you don't want to go ahead and buy a full size amplifier. In either case, a small little practice amp can still come in handy.
The downside of this though, is that the packages may not have the best possible beginners electric guitar, albeit still fairly decent.
9. When buying a beginner electric guitar for someone else, something that might help you to make a decision as to what to look for, find out who their favorite band or musician is and see what guitar they're playing.
Usually guitar companies will have a cheaper look-alike guitar designed to emulate the more expensive version. Again, look at the components that make up the guitar for quality, and try to aim for a reputable company whilst also reading user reviews on the internet from places like www.harmony-central.com
10. The kind of pickup configuration I personally prefer for the greatest tonal flexibility in an electric guitar is the humbucker - single coil - single coil configuration, also written as HSS
Ultimately, finding the best beginner electric guitar has more to do with what really grabs your attention looks wise, and knowing by following the above guidelines, reading reviews (preferably user reviews) and how much you can afford to spend.
I would look in the 100 to 250 dollar price range, although there may be some bargains and specials below 100 dollars

Thank you to Andrew Webber

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