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September 29, 2013

How to Buy a Guitar

Purchasing a guitar is an important and very satisfying experience, particularly when the selection process is done with full knowledge of all available options. At GSI, it is our pleasure and duty to ensure that all relevant information about the instruments we represent is made readily available to our customers. There are a couple of simple steps that can be taken to help reduce the number of options to a manageable quantity.

Does it fit the Budget? – First off, what price range are you comfortable with? What are the limits you’ve set – low and high – for your ideal instrument, and how much are you willing (or not) to stretch those limits if the instrument of your preference falls under a different price range? Whatever your choice, be sure you feel comfortable with the dollar amount you are about to invest in your instrument.

Type of “Sound” – The great thing about the world of fine instruments is that they all sound and play differently from one another. Many luthiers build instruments with tonal characteristics that are uniquely their own. Many players looking to buy a guitar have a particular quality of sound in mind – oftentimes because they have been inspired by the sounds they’ve heard in a recording done by a favorite artist, or because they need an instrument with certain performance qualities (for example an instrument that projects clearly in ensemble settings without getting ‘lost’ in the mix). Some basic categories to think about that are always helpful are: Bright vs dark/warm? Clear vs. full? Dry vs. ‘wet’? Rich/complex vs. focused/clear? The list goes on, but having a sense of what you’re looking for will be very helpful in the narrowing down process of selecting the right guitar for your tastes and needs.

Guitars are built with a variety of materials, bracing patterns, thicknesses, body shapes and sizes, and these all affect the way they sound in the end. Our sales staff are trained and experienced in knowing how to traverse this complex terrain of tonal possibilities, and we are here to help you make the selection process of your next guitar an easy and enjoyable experience.

We’ll continue to update this post with more details and advice, but in the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions. It’s what we’re here for!

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