Today we will investigate key variables in choosing your first electric guitar. From basic electronics, to shape, neck configuration, and more.
Pros: Brighter Sound // More Dynamic Range // Clarity
Cons: Hums (Especially w/ Distortion)
Pros: Bigger Sound // Tight Low & Mid Ranges // No Humming
Cons: Compressed Sound // Lack of Brightness
*** FOR A SOUND TEST ***
Each guitar is shaped differently. As your body is different from mine, so too are guitars (this is why there is no "ONE GUITAR TO RULE THEM ALL"). Finding a guitar that fits your body and your hands is a critical factor and can only be done by you.
Some Les Paul models and Epiphone imitations tend to run heavier and have more weight towards the back of the guitar whereas Fender and Squire Strats tend to have a lighter and more balanced feel. Once again, this is a matter of personal preference when playing (both standing and sitting down) and should involve you physically holding the guitar.
The two most common fretboard materials are Maple and Rosewood. Rosewood doesn’t show as much dirt, while maple is a softer wood. Each has a different level of resistance / friction.
Is the fretboard lacquered? This will affect the feel of the neck and plays a significant factor in comfortability. Try them all out to find your preference!
What is most important to you? How would you rank these in matters of personal importance? Only you can answer this!!
For some, the paint job and a wider neck may be of a greater importance, and in which case an Ibanez may be a more preferred match.
Prioritize the shape, tone, feel, etc. so that when you do go in, it will be easier to limit your options.
P E R S O N A L N O T E S
In my experience, guitars under the price point of a Squire Affinity Series model (currently U.S. $199) tend to sacrifice integrity on their parts. The knobs, wiring, tuners, ect. tend to be of a significantly lesser value leading to continued problems with tuning, electrical issues, and more over time. While the increase in price doesn’t dictate an increase in value, please be cautious.
Budget With Prudence
Remember to consider: an amp, cables, case, picks, and a stand when allotting money for an electric guitar. These things can add up and may affect what you’re able to look at.
How To Test Play
Practice playing both sitting down in a chair and standing up with a strap on. Some guitars will have severely different comfortability levels between the two. Take these into consideration, chances are you will be playing this guitar for several years.