Beginners Guide: What to Look for While Buying an Electric Guitar

By Kailash Pate September 11, 2022

For most people, buying a new guitar is an exciting prospect. After all, there are so many different instruments out there to choose from! But if you're buying your first electric guitar, it can be confusing and overwhelming. There are so many options available—from the body shape of the instrument to the pickups (which determine what kind of sound you'll get) and everything in between. Luckily, we've put together this guide that will help you understand what makes up an electric guitar and how to pick out the one that's right for you.

Know Your Style of Music

If you have a band and want to know what your options are, ask them what they play and recommend. If you're on a budget and can't afford an entire new rig, ask them if they have any spare equipment that could be useful. If you're just starting out with guitars and aren't sure where to start, it's best not to buy anything yet because there are so many great online resources that will help guide you in the right direction!

Let’s first take a look at how we can determine our style of music:

What genres of music do I like? Do I prefer clean tones or overdriven ones? Are there any artists who inspire me? What type of sound do those artists use?

The Body of the Guitar

The body of the guitar is the main part you hold when playing. It's where most of the weight comes from and where your sound comes from as well. The body can have many different shapes, though there are a few that are more popular than others. For example, if you want a fast-playing guitar with lots of sustain (called "vintage" or "classic"), then consider buying one that has a narrow waist like Ibanez, Cort or Fender Stratocaster guitars. If you're looking for something more modern and aggressive sounding (called "modern"), then try out some Vault or Jackson Guitars.

The Electric Guitar Neck

A guitar neck is one of the main part of an electric guitar. It connects the body to the headstock and is made of wood, which can be solid. The neck is usually bolted on to the body of the guitar, though some types are glued together.

A good quality electric guitar will have a solid neck that has been shaped properly and has minimal excess relief (the degree by which it bows down or curves away from you). This ensures that it is as straight as possible without being too stiff to bend notes easily with your fingers when playing chords on it.

The wood used for making necks should not warp over time, especially since they're under constant stress during use due to their weight being partially supported by your arms while resting against them while holding onto various parts like frets while playing chords etc...

Electric Guitar Pickups

Electric guitar pickups are the most important part of any electric guitar. There are many different types, but not all of them will work with your playing style and sound preferences.

The following sections will help you get a grasp on what each type of pickup is, how they work, and what kind of music they're best suited for.

Single coil pickups have been a staple in rock music since the 1950s and remain popular today as well as humbuckers that were developed in 1957 to reduce background noise when using two single coils together. Single coil pickups produce more surface noise than their humbucker counterparts because there is less shielding around each individual coil. On the other hand, humbuckers tend towards darker tones which may not suit certain genres such as jazz fusion but are great for rock players looking for clarity without sacrificing power in their tone.

The Number of Strings and Scale Lengths

The next thing you will have to consider is the number of strings and their scale length. A longer scale length means that each string is tuned higher, which gives you a wider variety of sounds. This is great for beginners and advanced players who want to be able to play complex chords as well as solo over them.

Electric Guitar Bridge/Tremolo System

The bridge is the piece that holds the strings in place. The tremolo system is a device that allows you to change the pitch of the strings, such as by moving it up and down. This can be useful when playing to create vibrato effects, or to make chords sound richer and fuller. If your guitar has a tremolo system on it, it will typically have an additional set of controls for adjusting its function—but these are not essential for basic usage and don't require any special knowledge to use them properly.

Control Knobs and Push/Pull Pots

Control knobs are used to control the volume, tone and pickup selector. The first thing you will notice on an electric guitar is three control knobs. These include bass, middle, treble and sometimes reverb level. The first two controls are used to adjust the volume of your guitar while the last one can be used to adjust other parameters such as reverb or tremolo speed.

Push/pull pots can activate coil splitting and phase switching which I won't get into detail here but essentially allow you access extra sounds under certain conditions such as selecting between single coil mode vs parallel mode at higher frequencies etc...


  • Pick, capo, and strap. You'll want to be sure that your guitar comes with these accessories, if not they can be purchased separately.
  • Cleaning supplies. Every once in a while it's a good idea to clean your guitar with a soft cloth and cleaning supplies specifically manufactured for cleaning guitars.
  • Setting up your instrument properly is essential for getting optimal sound quality out of it. It's important not just because it will make playing easier but also because doing so prevents damage caused by poor setup methods such as bad string tension among other things!

After reading this you should be able to buy your first guitar

You can always upgrade later, but it is good to invest in a good instrument from the beginning. You will get better at playing the more you play, so it’s not a bad idea to spend a little extra on something that will last you for years. Guitars are expensive, but they are worth it if you plan on making music for many years to come.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s no better place than with an electric guitar. With so many options out there, it can be hard to know where to begin. We hope that this guide has given you some insight into what makes for a great instrument, as well as the different styles of guitars available on the market today. Now all that remains is for you to find one that fits your budget and playing style! Good luck!

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