Buying a guitar online can be tricky. Unlike a lot of online shopping – guitars are usually something you want to play ahead of time to get a feel for them.
So what do we do?
Here are the main tips:
- Don’t spend any more than$500 unless you know what you’re doing.
- Buy through reputable sellers like Amazon, or MusiciansFriend.
- Buy new (you don’t know what you’re getting with used)
- Make sure you can return it (with no questions asked).
- Avoid ebay or other used sites.
Once you get it:
- Inspect it for cracks and blemishes
- Tune it up and try it out
- Change the strings
- Get it setup
If you want more details and guidance, keep reading…
Decide what Kind of Guitar?
First decide what kind of guitar you want to buy? Do you want to buy an acoustic or electric guitar?
If you’re not sure what kind you want, my advice would be to consider the kind of music you want play (or at least the kind of music you enjoy listening to).
Contrary to what a lot of people think, it doesn’t really matter which kind of guitar you start with. Just pick a style you like.
What’s Your Budget?
How much are you looking to spend on a guitar (and how much can you afford)?
Keep in mind – a more expensive guitar doesn’t mean it’s a better guitar.
There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re buying a new guitar. All guitars are not created equal.
So pick your budget and then go from there.
Guitars for Less than $100
It used to be that you had to get an old used guitar if you wanted to spend less than $100 for an acoustic.
I’ve personally owned one of these (got it off of craigslist and gave it away to a friend). It’s not super big, which makes it great for beginners.
You’ll probably want to throw some new strings on it once you buy it.
You may even want to take it to your local guitar store and have it set-up (usually costs about $50-$70). This can make a $100 guitar play like a $400 guitar.
You can check out the Amazon reviews for it – they’re all pretty good.
The Jasmine S34C is my preference for a cheap acoustic guitar.
It’s exactly the same as the Jasmine S35, but it has a cutaway which allows for better access to notes further down the fretboard (if that kind of thing matters to you).
I prefer this body style – but it’s truly just a personal preference based on the style of music I play.
It’s also about $20 more… still less that $100.
I’m not going to lie…. don’t buy a new electric guitar online for less than $100.
For another $20-$30 you can get a better guitar from a more reputable brand.
There are some available.
The reviews are actually okay on this one. I’d be wary of the pickups and electronics used.
Clearly at this price point we’re not looking for the best guitar in the world… but the jury is out.
I’ll continue to update and add guitars and prices as they change.
If you have specific questions, drop me a comment below.