How To Buy A Good Used Guitar

Used GuitarsYes, you can get a good used guitar, but you need to know what to look for. First... what type of guitar do you want to buy? Do you want a steel string guitar, electric guitar or classical guitar? What style of music do you want to play? This article will help you buy an acoustic steel string or nylon string guitar.

It's a very good idea to know what you are looking for before you start looking for used guitars. Visit a few music stores to try out different types and makes of guitars. You might like Gibson guitars better than Taylor or perhaps you'll appreciate how easy it is to play a classical guitar with nylon strings and decide to go that route.

Going to music stores will also give you a ballpark idea how much guitars are selling for. The prices have come down significantly over the years. Once you have decided on the type of instrument you want to buy and you have seen the price ranges, then check out garage sales, classified ads, pawn shops, etc, to find your guitar.

Things To Watch For Before Buying A Used Guitar

Here are 4 areas to check out before handing over your cash.

  1. What is the overall condition of the instrument? Are there cracks in the wood? Is the wood rotting? There are 'used' guitars that should probably be thrown in a trash can. Is it playable?
  2. Is the neck of the guitar straight? There can be a very slight bow, but if it's really warped, that instrument will never play in tune. I've actually heard of a man who purchased a $5000 used concert guitar. Later he discovered that the neck was WARPED and would never play in tune. That's not a smart investment for someone who wants to use the guitar to perform professionally!
  3. How secure is the bridge? The bridge is that little piece of wood on the body of the guitar where you connect the strings. If it's coming up you will be able to slide a business card under it. Not only will it cost around $150 to fix, that may be a sign that the bracing inside the guitar may be detaching too. Don't buy it.
  4. How secure is the heel? The heel of a guitar is where the neck attaches to the body. In Spain, they assemble the guitar with a portion of the neck inside the guitar. It's called a Spanish foot. These guitars do not fall apart. Assembly line guitars glue the neck to the body and they can fall apart. If the heel is coming off, again that a sign that there may be problems with the bracing and it's best to pass it up.
  5. Do any of the frets buzz? Play every note on the guitar and check for buzzes. If it buzzes the frets may be out of place. It's going to cost a lot to redress the frets and could be cheaper just to have purchased a new guitar. I have walked away from several guitar looking and sounding guitars because they had frets that buzzed.
I hope this article has given you some good advice for finding a nice guitar without getting burned. If you don't already play, it's a good idea to take a guitar playing friend along for another opinion.