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Trying Out Guitars


(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306
Topic starter  

Well, I'm probably going to make a trip to a guitar store sometime this week(hurray for tax refunds!). Anyway, my guitar now is kind of unplayable. I can't use standard tuning, the bridge tilts up even with the spring claw all the way in. The action is too high, two pickups work at random and one doesn't work at all. So my options were, fix the old one, buy a new guitar now, or stick it out until I have enough for an Explorer *has new job lined up*

So about getting a new guitar now. What should I be checking for? I mean when I'm playing one. How do I go about checking these things?

I want to know this time around because the last time I didn't know what I was doing and let the salesman recommend something..........and that didn't turn out too well.

Note: I have no specific guitar in mind at this point and am not asking what guitars to check out. I just want to know what things I should be checking for.


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 Bish
(@bish)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3765
 

I'd say if you are planning on buying something in stock you will want to make sure it functions properly.
All controls work as expected. Play it through an amp to be sure you like the sound. Check the knobs, switches and tuners for tightness and solid movement. Obviously, look for finish flaws.

Mostly, it must play how you want it to. Maybe a setup can fix that. Get something comfortable and something that'll play the kind of music you are into.

And then there's the look. That must do right by you, as well.

Good luck OWA. Have fun!!!!

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


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(@smokindog)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5359
 

I had to PAY more taxes this year( no new axe) Make sure the guitar comes with a free set up ( most good music stores will do this) This is very important!!!!...We want a mp3 sample of your new axe of course Have a good time!!!--the dog

BTW Bish had a good idea... Keep your old axe and get it set up by a guitar tech, You can always use it for a slide guitar or alternate tuning ....just an idea

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(@michhill8)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 420
 

Hooray for tax refunds!!!!!, sorry smokindog....

Thanks Dudes!
Keep on Rockin'

Pat


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Good points made already. Will it do what you want? Does it look good? Workmanship issues? I think one of the biggest things is comfort. a LP is a great way to go, but some people don't like the feel of them. If something like this happens, go on to the next one.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@ivankaramazov)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 182
 

I had to PAY more taxes this year( no new axe) Make sure the guitar comes with a free set up ( most good music stores will do this) This is very important!!!!...We want a mp3 sample of your new axe of course Have a good time!!!--the dog

BTW Bish had a good idea... Keep your old axe and get it set up by a guitar tech, You can always use it for a slide guitar or alternate tuning ....just an idea
I got hit hard by the tax man as well despite fudging my paperwork all to hell to try and avoid it.

First time in my life that's happened, not a good feeling at all.


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(@gnease)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

You of course will play, play, play. But consider taking someone along who can play candidate gutars for you, so you can spend some time really listening instead of splitting your brain among playing, possible performance anxiety and listening. The point being to listen to the guitar. This is even more important for acoustics, as they sound different from audience and player positions. I have even asked salespersons to play so I can better assess guitars and amps.

Nobody will play a guitar exactly as you, but I find this helps.

-=tension & release=-


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(@artlutherie)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1161
 

I always play every note on the fretboard kind of tedious but I have found a few high end guitars with fret buzz! Fer shame

Chuck Norris invented Kentucky Fried Chicken's famous secret recipe, with eleven herbs and spices. But nobody ever mentions the twelfth ingredient: Fear!
ChuckNorrisFactsdotCom


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 vink
(@vink)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 722
 

Although I've only bought two guitars, but I've been trying some occassionally. This is what I do when I try a new guitar:
- Play something real easy for you, unplugged. Some basic chords, maybe some scales. See if the guitar feels good. I've looked at specs and gone and tried some guitars, but they just didn't feel right.
- If it passes the above test, then play all the notes, especially on the low E and A strings, to see if there is fret buzz and if the guitar sounds in tune on all the notes. This can all be fixed by a setup, but sometimes you have two copies of exactly the same guitar, one of them is set up better than the other.
- If you are still happy, then plug it in and play, make sure everything is working, and see if you still like it. Assuming you are going to keep your amp, see if you can play with the same amp. Usually, the sales guy wants to plug into the nearest amp, or wants to plug into a really nice amp ("You like clean? Here's a fender twin reverb deluxe, lets try that.." .. or a mesa boogie half stack for distortion). But, it may sound very different through your amp, and also you don't know the controls of this amp. I usually try to find a VOX AD30VT, which is the amp I use. Then, I can really try different settings and see how the guitar sounds different from my current guitar.
- Leave the store, wait till next morning. See if you still want to buy that guitar. If you do, then go back and give it another whirl, then make the deal :-) So far, after my first two guitars (one accoustic and one electric) I have not gone back to make the deal..(I am pretty happy with my MIM strat, so now I want to be real picky and buy the next one for the long haul, so I can be picky and I'm not in a hurry.)

Hope this helps..

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


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(@off-he-goes)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1274
 

A really big factor in trying out guitars is to play it unplugged, if it's an electric. Listen to the resonance of the notes, play chords, riffs, scales, and so on, see if they sound nice unplugged. Wood quality, and build quality it very important for seeing how the electric will sound plugged in.

Good luck!

Vacate is the word...Vengance has no place on me or her...Cannot find a comfort in this world.


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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306
Topic starter  

Thanks for your help all.

I still haven't gotten the money. Slow mail or something. But I have a new job, which I just started. So I may not bother with a cheapie to keep me busy until I get that Explorer. I'm also thinking of a Hamer to keep me busy. Plus I'd probably still play it after I get the Explorer. I wish I could try both guitars out when I go to shop but no one store carries them both and the two stores are an hour apart...........in opposite directions from where I live.......

Another question: Is there any way to make sure the guitar doesn't go out of tune easily?


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 Bish
(@bish)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3765
 

Thanks for your help all.

Another question: Is there any way to make sure the guitar doesn't go out of tune easily?

There are too many factors going against you on this one.

Just purchase a quality chromatic tuner and it won't matter how often it goes out of tune. 2 minutes and you're back to playing after a quick tune-up.

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


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(@greybeard)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

Another question: Is there any way to make sure the guitar doesn't go out of tune easily?
If the tuners are slipping, you can try to tighten them - there is usually a small screw in the end of the tuning handle.
You could, in any case, always buy some locking tuners.
You may be stringing in such a way that the string, itself, is slipping.
If you have a vibrato (tremelo, whammy, whatever you want to call it), they are always a good source of detuning. Locking tuners help as does a locking nut (one or the other, both is overkill). A floating bridge will not always settle back into tune, after use (particularly dive-bombs) - Floyd-Rose is better than most others. You can block it, so that it no longer works or you can try one of the devices, designed to ensure a return-to-zero (Black Box, etc.?)
You could also threaten it (loudly, if it makes you feel better).

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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