BUYING A USED ACOUSTIC GUITAR – PLAYING GUITAR WITHOUT BREAKING THE BUDGET
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned guitarist, you’ll need to select what kind of guitar you want to acquire at some point. The first choice is between an acoustic and an electric guitar. After you’ve made this selection, the following step is to decide whether to buy a new or used guitar.
Choosing between a brand new instrument straight off the shelf and one that has been owned and loved comes down to personal preference and price. Buying a Used Acoustic Guitar is almost always cheaper than buying a new one—as long as you know what to look for and avoid.
Some guidelines for buying a used guitar are as follows:
Inquire about the guitar’s make and model.
This way, you may do some research and get feedback from others on the instrument you intend to buy. You can also determine whether the asking price is reasonable. Buying a used guitar is much easier if you have some knowledge of the guitar type being sold.
Inquire about the guitar’s age and condition.
Inquire about the seller’s ownership of the guitar and any repairs or maintenance it has had. If the vendor is being completely honest with you, which they should be, they will also inform you of any difficulties, scratches, or other issues that may arise in the future.
If at all possible, try out the guitar in person.
Used guitars were once exclusively available from music stores, flea markets, or from the hands of friends looking for a quick buck. We now have the Internet, as well as websites like eBay and Craigslist. While most guitars in a respectable music store have been checked out by the shop’s in-house repair staff and are offered at a reasonable price, this isn’t always the case with instruments purchased without seeing them first. If at all possible, inspect a guitar in person before purchasing it.
Examine the guitar thoroughly.
What do you think about the guitar? Does it appear to have been taken care of? Does it have that worn-in look yet is still in good condition? Guitars are prone to wear and tear, and if the damage is limited to minor scrapes and scratches, the instrument should be alright. It is obvious if a guitar has been carefully cared for.
Now play it
Try playing the instrument. If you bend strings, bend them and check out the sound. Play the whole spectrum of sounds you normally make on guitar. Pay attention to all of the frets, not just the ones you play. Pay special attention to the ones at the soundhole end of the fretboard. Try to disregard the strings. Chances are they’re older than you. Start playing all frets from top to bottom string and listen for strings ringing or rattling. If you hear rattling, make sure it’s a string with broken windings. If the problem isn’t a broken winding on a string, it’s an incorrectly placed fret (metal lines that go across the guitar neck). It could also be an incorrectly placed bridge, which is located at the bottom of the guitar.
Make sure the guitar feels comfortable in your hands
Guitars come in a variety of sizes and shapes, as well as different depths and neck lengths. Each arm and hand should be able to make the needed movements correctly and comfortably while holding the guitar. Check to see if the guitar “fits” you. As you try it out, keep an eye out for indicators of hand weariness and finger strain. Some fretboards may be excessively wide for your hand, requiring more stretching and possibly causing tendinitis. Comfort is crucial.
Dealing with dings and cracks
Check for any scratches, cracks, and chips coming off the guitar at any place. Little cracks are not a problem, but be on the lookout for cracks that go through the finish right down to the wood. A deep crack in the finish can be a sign of separating seams in the body, whether it’s a solid, semi-hollow, or hollow instrument. Structural damage can be an expensive fix.
Check for rust, not so much on the strings and fret bars, which can be easily remedied, but on the hardware that is holding the strings and the pickups. If there is any rust in these places, reconsider your purchase.
Check the action
The “action” of a guitar refers to how near the strings are to the fretboard from the guitar’s head to the bridge. A guitar with a higher action will feel more difficult to play, yet a guitar with a lower action, which is normally easier on the hands, may not sound substantial enough. The distance between the strings and the fretboard on a guitar with good action will be beautiful and consistent. If the action on your guitar is off, you can have it changed at your local music store.
Examine the frets with care. String wear can generate dents or divots that are costly to repair or replace. It’s a positive sign if the neck is consistent from the start to the final fret and the truss rod can be adjusted. However, if you look down the neck and see a roller coaster track, it will take a lot of labor to fix. Excessive forward or backward bowing indicates that the truss rod is out of alignment at the very least, but it could even indicate that the truss rod is stripped or fractured. A big operation is replacing a broken truss rod.
Always check the headstock completely (the top or “head” of the guitar where the tuning pegs are located). If the instrument is dropped or hit in this place, the area where the headstock transitions into the neck are subject to damage. On and around the headstock, look for wrinkles or ridges, which are obvious evidence of a headstock repair. A guitar with a damaged headstock is only worth half of one that has never been broken, even if it is fully fixed.
The neck of a guitar is crucial for maintaining the tension required for the guitar strings to play in tune. Visually evaluating the neck is the initial stage in the process. Look down the neck with the headstock in front of you and the instrument body away from you. Although a little bending is permissible, a guitar neck should be nearly straight. The neck joint, which connects the guitar to the body, should be flush. Other elements of a guitar, particularly the saddle and bridge, can sometimes show signs of a damaged guitar neck. If the saddle and bridge have been lowered as far as they can go, the guitar’s neck will almost certainly need to be reset.
Many used guitars will require some maintenance or setup. Buying a guitar that requires some effort isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you end up with a profit. After thoroughly inspecting a secondhand guitar, you may want to receive an estimate for any anticipated repair expenses from a skilled repair tech or luthier. Although price is an important consideration when purchasing a secondhand guitar, don’t be fooled by the word “cheap.” The cheapest option should not be chosen. It’s been said that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s critical to understand what to look for when Buying a Used Acoustic Guitar, or any instrument for that matter. Your first guitar does not have to cost thousands of dollars or be brand new. I hope you found this essay useful!