• How to buy a cheap beginner’s guitar
• How to buy kid’s guitar
• How to buy strings
• Recommended Music Stores and Shops in Portland Oregon: Where musicians in the know buy their instruments, get them repaired, and have them customized
How to Buy a Cheap Guitar For A Beginner
1 – Avoid High Action – but not so low that it buzzes. This is the most important issue for all guitars, but especially cheap ones.
- this photo is courtesy of frets.com – a fantastic guitar and lutherie site
High Action can be assessed relatively easily, visually. Play the guitar – if you like an electric guitar but it seems a bit hard to play, ask the store to adjust the action. If it’s an acoustic guitar, you’ll have to pay to have the action lowered. Don’t be overly picky in the store about action before purchasing; skill still matters. If the luthier tells you “it can’t get any lower without buzzing,” then believe them, and take a few lessons so you learn about how to avoid buzz.
2 – Don’t Buy at Guitar Center
A deal from Guitar Center is not a deal, it is a waste of time and money. If you’re buying a NEW guitar, you just spent $300 on something that would have cost $100 otherwise.
If you don’t play in bands, being in a music store may seem intimidating; but you won’t learn how to interact in a music store by going to Guitar Center. Go to the local shop first. Even if you don’t buy anything. You’ll save thousands in the long run.
3 – Great shops often have no sign
Unmarked recording studios and shops are a hallmark of music industry tradition. Nondescript, small shops are generally the higher quality, better reputation places for guitar purchase and repair.
4 – Great shops employ musicians, not “sales pros”
The best shops are the quieter, local shops. The quiet, local, cool shops attract quiet, cool people who know their stuff. They are there to build a good reputation.
5 – Salespeople on commission are more aggressive. Great shops are where you get left alone.
Don’t interpret a salesperson bothering you as “customer service.” They want to spend your money.
6 – Ask Your Guitar Teacher To Go With You
I offer this service for free to my students; owners of music shops love when I bring in customers who buy things. It’s symbiotic, there would be no reason for me to charge students in helping them buy guitars. Contact me to make an appointment. Good teachers generally accompany their students to guitar shops, because a teacher would rather spend an hour helping a student, instead of helping that student deal with a low quality instrument for years.
7 – Avoid A Heavy Guitar
This is a picture of an oak Telecaster. By the way – if you’re starting out, don’t buy a Telecaster.
Again, if you like it buy it, but try to avoid the Les Pauls and heavier guitars at first.
ONLY CAN HULK HAZ.
8 – If You’re Not Deliberately Seeking Obstruction, Don’t Buy A Telecaster
Keith Richards has attacked people onstage with his Telecasters, and won the fight. Jack White intentionally picks guitars that are hard to play – so he includes Teles in his arsenal. They’re cranky, tough guitars. Keef is a well known Tele person, but Muddy Waters, Jimmy Page, James Burton, Jack White, and Curtis Mayfield play(ed) Telecasters. I had a Tele for 15 years.
Almost anything else that you pick, will be easier to play than a Telecaster.
Recommended Music Stores & Repair Shops In Portland
There are a lot of great shops, here are the shops run by my good friends (they also happen to be the best). 🙂
Trade Up Music
oodles of great, cheap, mostly used gear, with some new – guitars, amps, basses, synthesizers, pedals, ukuleles, PA systems, drum parts, drum kits, melodicas, harmonicas… friendly service, right next door to Stumptown Coffee. >>websiteTrade Up Music 4701 SE Division St., Portland, OR 97206 *503-236-8800* 11:00 am – 7:00 pm daily Google Map Trade Up Music 1834 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR 97211 *503-335-8800* 11:00 am – 7:00 pm daily Google Map
12th Fret Custom Guitar Shop
nationally renowned lutherie and repairs of stringed instruments of all sorts, serving the general public and prominent artists since 1979… friendly service, wonderful people who really go the extra mile. >>website12th Fret Custom Guitar Shop 2402 SE Belmont St., Portland, OR 97214 *503-231-1912* 11:00 am – 6:00 pm Tue-Fri and 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Saturday Google Map
East Side Guitar Repair
Guitar repair, amplifier repair, custom instruments >>websiteEast Side Guitar Repair 3341 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR 97214 *503-232-0838* 11:00 am – 6:00 pm daily Google Map
Portland Custom Shop and Sour SoundGoogle Map Related Articles:• How to buy an inexpensive guitar
• How to buy a child a beginning guitar
• How to buy strings
squirrel at whirling squirrel dot com