Where to Buy your first Guitar

Your first guitar is going to have a story. What's yours going to be?

Storytellers: The "You" Edition

Your first guitar is going to have a story.

What's it going to be?

Some tell the story of the guitar the fell apart in their hands. Broke trying to play a B.

Some tell the story of the piece of gold they found. Flea market maybe. A going out of business sale perhaps.

Every first guitar has a story. What's yours going to be?

Try this for a second: It'd kinda suck to start out with a craptastic first guitar, right? Like imagine a real clunker -- barely plays, bad action, hurts your fingers, even your mom won't watch you play (even after you've gone through our super-awesome StringNinja Course and you're a guitar-playing bada**!!)

You've probably had people offer you all sorts of suggestions.

Some say, GO ONLINE, there's a million guitars there. Cheap, too. But, you never know what you're gonna get online.

Some say, go to the BIG stores. Tons of selection. All kinds of guitars. But, they may not have the guitar expertise you need.

So how can you find THE BEST PLACE TO BUY your guitar?

You've come to us and we're here to help. Take a deep breath. We didn't mean to scare ya. Just wanted to give you a heads up.


Don't Walk. Don't Run. Stay Close.

Alright, let's start here. Like right here. Right where you are. What better place to start, right?

I sound crazy, don't I? Sorry. What I mean to say is, don't go too far when thinking about buying.

For your first step, Go Local.

If your town is blessed with a great music shop, don't take it for granted. Too few rockers get the pleasure. Go there, talk shop.

The advantages of going local are huge. First, they should know their shit. If they're dedicating their life, career and future to a local music store, they best have the chops and know-how.

Ask 'em some questions. They've heard them before. You're not the first kid to look for an ax there.

And the owner's been around the block. Even if he's an old roadie named Apollo, he'll know his stuff.

No, you know what - especially if he's an old roadie named Apollo! Also, they're more likely to set your guitar up for you. When you buy a new guitar, it's all whacked out from just sitting there. It needs some adjusting.

Apollo can handle it. He tuned Ozzie's guitar once in 1981. And that's good enough for me.


The Far-Out Options That Ain't So Far Out

GuitarCenter and those big chains are not to be left out of the equation though. They're probably cheaper than the local place. They'll have a bigger selection for sure. Take a gander around. Test some out.

Problem is - GuitarCenter workers aren't always the best. Maybe their drum people filling in for the day. Maybe it's Dean, the older kid who lives around the block that needed a job to pay off his tattoo parlor tab. Dean's never gonna know what Apollo knows, ya dig?


Dean vs Apollo. You want to buy from Apollo.

And then there's always online. Good for price-checking and exploring. Bad for confidence in the product. You really never know what you're gonna get. Let's call this the "Forrest Gump Handicap". Be cautious of it.


Don't end up with some manufacturing issue!

Buying from friends or family can be much the same bag. You may be able to score a great price. But your cousin Bernie (isn't his real name Steve? haha) may have stripped those pick-ups off and handed the rest down to you. Don't be afraid to tell him you wanna add a new guitar to the family.


Cousin Bernie isn't to be trusted.

Also, remember when I said your guitar is going to need some adjusting? Well, you can't really know you're gonna get it when you buy offline.

Just one more risk to bite your nails over, ya know?


Learn From Those Who Rocked Before You

So that's a quick tutorial. There's more you can do, too.

You'll want to learn what to ask Apollo to learn more about guitars. What to ask Dean so you know he doesn't know guitars. How to avoid The Forest Gump Handicap. All of it.

Well, we've bought guitars before. And we're ready to hand over the details.

You want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - check out our How To Buy Your First Guitar Ebook. It's got everything you need to know about buying that first ax. Don't pass it up!

Video Guitar Tips

Fret Hand Technique

Alternate picking is essential to practice early! More info on String Ninja...

Recommended Articles