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Tips on Choosing the Correct Electric Guitar for Yourself

Sep 3, 2008
If you are, or wish to be, an electric guitarist, you would know that one of the most difficult tasks awaiting you is the selection of your electric guitar. No matter what your level of interest and your achieved expertise in the guitar, the art of choosing the right guitar for yourself remains complicated and challenging for the simple reason that it could play an integral role in producing the signature tone and style that you might hope to originate as your distinctive mark.

The fundamental design is more or less a constant in the various makes of electric guitars available in the market. The standard construction is along the lines of: a body, the neck, the head stock piece, electrical pickups and the bridge.

The crucial part in which the electric guitar differs from the acoustic version is in its use of the amplifier. The amplifier is a device required to broadcast the sound produced in the guitar: every pluck of the strings is captured by the pickups and routed through the amplifier at which point several differing sound effects can be introduced.

The two most important factors that you would have to consider at the time of buying the electric guitar for yourself are price and sound.

Electric guitars are available for a wide range of prices, from as low as 99 to as high as 20,000 dollars. Thus, having an idea of your budget limits is very useful. A beginner should preferably look for a starters kit which would include instruction manuals along with the guitar and the amplifier.

When it comes to determine the nature and quality of sound by which you could select your guitar within your price zone, it is handy to know the different types of electric guitars, the variations in their designs and the differences in their sound output.

Electric guitars are grouped under four broad divisions: we have the Acoustic-Electric, the Electric, the Hollow Body Electric and the Steel Electric guitar, and each category of guitar produces a distinct sound.

The acoustic-electric guitar is an acoustic guitar with in-built pickups which can be plugged up with an amplifier or a public address system. These are sturdy and durable, relatively uncomplicated in design and simple to maintain, and are among the most popular kinds of guitars for touring bands.

The electric guitar usually has a solid wood body which means that the sound is only produced through the pickup mechanism. Additionally the amplifier is used to increase or decrease volume and for generating sound effects. These are generally the most popular models among beginners and prices range from 99 dollars and upwards. Almost all the reputed guitar manufacturers like Fender and Gibson market their own electric guitar kits for beginners, comprising a guitar, an amplifier and how-to- get-started manuals.

The hollow body electric guitar follows the same lines of construction as the traditional electric guitar, except for one essential variation. The hollow-body guitar, as the name implies, has two chambers hollowed out of the wooden body. This enables the guitar to generate acoustic vibrations over and above the electric ones and thereby results in the delivery of a uniquely resonating sound. These types of guitars are generally used by Jazz musicians and come in several sizes and tones.

The other kind of electrical guitar is the steel guitar, and was popularized by Jeff Healey. These are so dissimilar in design to traditional guitars that many years of specialized practice is usually necessary to learn how to properly perform on them. Unlike the normal guitar which is played while being hung from the player's neck around his or her shoulders, the steel guitar, is played on its back while being laid out on a platform before the player. The guitar strings on this variety are usually raised above the fret board and require the use of a "tone bar". A tone bar is a cylindrical tube that is worn on the middle finger of the fret hand, and produces the characteristic "whine" of the steel guitar. This variety of guitar goes best with the genres of country and western style music.

Irrespective of the kind of guitar that you are seeking to buy, it is always advisable that you thoroughly research your options before finalizing your purchase. Take the opinions of experienced guitarists if possible. Otherwise you should at least try and talk to the employees at the local guitar store, and search the internet to get all the information that you need to help identify the exact make and model of guitar is suitable for you. And most importantly: always test the guitar before you buy it. Happy rocking!
About the Author
The author runs the Jackson Guitars store where you can buy a range of Jackson Guitars including Soloist, Dinky, Kelly, King V, Rhoads and many others at fantastic prices.
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