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By Rhys Lett

Buying a Guitar – Electric

Buying a guitar? So many guitars to chose from? So which one is for you. Mistakes are made when buying a guitar that do not suit the style of music you intend to play. It is important you understand what each different guitar model will sound like. Understand what music you will want to play and which guitar will best recreate that style. Research what guitar your favourites play. This will clue you into how they achieve their guitar sound.

Our article today is focusing on electric guitars. Here is a guide to help you make an informed choice when buying a guitar based on music styles. Click the links to learn more about each guitar.

Pop – Buying a Guitar

Guitar tones in pop songs are often clean and funky. Buying a Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster style guitar would be suitable.

BeginnerFender Squire Strat Pack.

ValueIbanez SA series.

ProfessionalFender USA Standard Stratocaster.

Rock – Buying a Guitar

As distortion is used more in rock music a guitar with humbuckers is the preferred option. A humbucking pickup can handle higher distorted sound better than the single coil pickups found in Fender guitars. Gibson Les Paul as used by Slash and SG as used by AC/DC are models typically played in rock music.

BeginnerEpiphone SG.

ValueIbanez Steve Vai JEM Junior.

ProfessionalGibson Les Paul.

Metal – Buying a Guitar

Due to the high level distortions used in this style guitars with humbuckers are a must. Often bands will also use active pickups to help with clarity of tone which handle the highly distorted sound.

BeginnerIbanez Gio.

ValueESP LTD Kirk Hammett.

Professional –  Paul Reed Smith Custom 24.

Blues – Buying a Guitar

A wide variety of guitars are suitable with Eric Clapton famously playing a Les Paul in the 60s. Since the 1980s and the influence of Stevie Ray Vaughan on modern blues guitar playing a Fender Stratocaster has been the guitar of choice. The blues tone relies on low level distortion so any guitar with a good neck pickup sound will work.

BeginnerFender Squire Strat Pack.

ValueEphiphone Les Paul.

ProfessionalEric Clapton Signature Fender Stratocaster.

Country – Buying a Guitar

The Fender Telecaster is the trademark guitar of country because of its penchant for twang. The traditional two pickup system features a neck pickup known as a lipstick due to its casing. Check out these guitars that will give you the tones found in country songs of Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.

BeginnerDanelectro 59M.

ValueGretsch Pro Jet.

ProfessionalFender American ’52 Vintage Telecaster.

Jazz – Buying a Guitar

With the rounded woody tones required to make a traditional jazz guitar sound, a semi hollow or archtop electric guitar is needed. Epiphone makes many good semi hollow guitars for reasonable prices. Japanese company Ibanez has also been a favourite of many of jazz guitar’s modern day heroes like George Benson and Pat Metheny.

For the rock sounds heard in jazz fusion see the rock section of this article.

BeginnerIbanez Artmore series.

ValueEpiphone Joe Pass.

ProfessionalD’Angelico 1942 Master Builder.

We hope this helped you gain an understanding what brands of electric guitars are used by your favourite players. Get them off the shelf in your local store and start playing.

Need a guitar? Instruments can be purchased from KC’s Rock Shop for students attending the Boronia location, or Guitars and Things in Frankston for those attending the Carrum Downs premises.

We thank these businesses for being loyal supporters of the Eastern Suburbs School of Music.