How to Pick Your First Electric Guitar

By Paolo Carboni (aka Biopresto) – own photo, I have taken the picture!, Public Domain,

Electric guitars have been enjoying increased demand and popularity around the world. For example, more than 1.12 million of these instruments were purchased in the United States in 2017. In fact, that number has remained steady since 2005. Guitarists who buy these instruments know what to look for. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t feel worried if you struggle to pick the right one. Learn how to pick your first electric guitar from this article. 


Are looks important? Yes, they are. There is nothing wrong with buying an electric guitar using its appearance as one of the determinants. However, looks have little – if anything – to do with the quality of sound the guitar releases. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make the instrument’s looks any less important. You are more likely to play the guitar more frequently if it looks aesthetically pleasing. An ugly-looking one may not inspire such dedication in you.


Now, it’s normal for beginners to lack critical knowledge and information that could help them to make better decisions and choices. For that reason, you may need to go with a friend who is capable of playing it to test how it sounds. With time, you should be able to base your selection on sound without any assistance. In the meantime, train yourself to listen carefully to the incredible sounds the guitar produces. 

And be sure to check out the best electric guitars here. 

Test it unplugged

Electric guitars possess some fantastic acoustic properties. Before doing this, you have to know the properties worth checking out. For example, veteran guitarists will recommend testing barre chords and open chords. Additionally, you would also need to test single-line notes. If the guitar is of relatively good quality, it should be loud, sparkly and lively. Anything other than this would be a disappointment after a few sessions in your hands.


They’re mostly made from wood. However, not all wood is suitable for these types of instruments; thus it would be good for you to know the different types of woods that are in the market. The type of wood used affects the guitar’s tonal characteristics. Most times, the types of woods used include mahogany, maple, basswood or swamp ash. Each type produces a specific caliber of sound. For example:

• Maple offers bright tones
• Mahogany is renowned for its warm and smooth sound and sustains respectively
• Basswood and swamp ash have a reputation for providing lively acoustic properties

Heavy Necking

The leading brands boast of incredible necking. This quality is not limited to the major brands alone. All guitars should have the best necking. Therefore, take time to run your fingers through the guitar’s frets. If all is well, you will notice that the guitar’s frets are not only smooth but also lack rough edges. The edges should never be sharp, and nothing should be protruding from them.

Lastly, remember to check the electric guitar’s hardware too. Confirm that all the parts in the instrument are correctly aligned. The screws should not be inserted in some funny angles. Always remember to plug and play the guitar before leaving the store with it. As you may have noticed by now, it’s difficult to confirm any of these attributes if you opt to buy the guitar online. In short, know your electric guitars!