A Guide to Buying an Acoustic Guitar

Knowing how to choose the right guitar and how to identify a bad one, will save you from countless headaches, not to mention finger aches.

Acoustic guitar bodies come in basically the same hourglass shape, with some variations, but they do vary in size, color, wood-type, style, and extra features. You can even buy an acoustic guitar so small that fits into a hiking backpack.

Guitars come in a very wide range of prices, but when it comes to instruments, in general, you get what you pay for, especially when you buy new. There's a real difference between getting a bargain and buying cheap.

But whether you buy new or used may be determined by many personal factors including your budget, and each has their own pros and cons.

Buying new, gives you a warranty and, hopefully, a return period, if for some reason you're not totally satisfied with your purchase, or something goes wrong.

Under 'usual' circumstances, a used guitar can usually be purchased cheaper and has already gone through its "break-in" period.

Commercially built guitars are usually mass manufactured. "Custom-made" guitars are exactly that. They are custom built and tailored to your specifications by a highly skilled guitar maker.

Prices for a custom-built guitar vary considerably, depending on the skill level of the craftsperson you contract the job to, but, as a rule, they are generally quite higher than a commercially built guitar of "similar" quality. Each custom built guitar is unique and therefore hard to compare in price to a commercially built guitar.


Understanding some of the parts of a guitar will definitely help you when it comes to the Pre-Purchase Checklist.

BODY: This is the part with the sound hole in the front. It is where the strumming is done, and it can vary in size. The actual size, shape, type of wood, coating, and general build of the body also affects how the guitar will "sound", whether it's a rich and warm sound, or a thin and 'twangy' sound. The body tends to be the part that also gets scratched, damaged, and generally banged-up the most.

NECK: This is the long piece extending from the body and ends at the 'head' of the guitar where the 'Tuning Heads' are, also known as 'machine heads'. The strings travel from the 'Bridge' on the body, across the sound hole, along the 'Fret Board', which is attached to the front-side of the neck, and finally arriving at the tuning heads where they are wrapped around tuning posts. The tuning heads are then turned by hand, which then turns the posts, making the strings tighter or looser, thus affecting their 'tuning'. Necks tend to warp and twist if not looked after, or if the guitar is left propped against a heat source.

BRIDGE: The Bridge is normally located on the front of the body, by the sound hole, and on the side of the hole opposite to the neck. The strings are usually fed through the bridge first before they cross the hole and travel up the neck to the tuning heads. The bridge is like an anchor-point for the strings. Metal bridges are best, but on most acoustics they are either hard plastic or wood. Bridges have a tendency to crack and split over a long period of time.

FRET BOARD: The fret board is glued to the front of the neck. This is the part you press the strings onto to make chords or play individual notes. Because it's glued on separately, a fret board can be made of a wood that's different from the neck.

The strings travel over the fret board and the distance they are above the fret board makes a difference to the playability of the guitar. If the strings are too far above the fret board, then they will be hard to press down, making the guitar hard to play.

When a beginner plays a guitar, initially his or her fingertips are very soft and need to be hardened. A guitar with the strings too far above the fret board, also known as having a 'high action', will cause the player's fingers to hurt so much that they are likely to put the guitar away in discouragement and possibly stop playing altogether.

STRINGS: Acoustic guitar strings, come in a wide variety of 'flavors'. They can be made out of nylon, brass, steel, or a combination. Nylon strings are usually only found on Classical guitars and Student guitars, because they're easier on the fingertips. They have a rich, warm sound to them.

Strings sets come in different 'weights', or sizes. Strings that come from a package marked 'Heavy' are usually quite thick in size and sound "beefy". Strings that are light, or extra light, are very thin and usually have a brighter sound to them, but are also quieter sounding than heavy strings.

String choices are purely personal taste. Light strings are easier to press than heavy strings but also sound quite different. The more often strings are played, the dirtier they get. If a cloth isn't run over and under them, from time to time, the sound becomes very dull.




- Before you buy a used guitar, cost-compare against the price of a new one, unless the guitar is quite old. You could also compare its used price to other used prices by going to an online auction and either searching for the same or a similar guitar.
- Check the overall condition of the wood for cracks, scratches, splits, dents, chips, etc.
- Also check the lacquer finish for cracks and splits.
- Check the neck/fret board for warping and twisting. You can do this by holding the guitar flat on its back, with the sound hole facing upward. Bring the guitar up to eye-level, with the neck running away from you and the edge of the body almost touching your face. Let your eyesight skim across the front of the body and down the fret board. You should be able to see if the neck is twisted or bowing.
- Tune the guitar, or have the seller tune it for you.
- If you know how to play about five or six chords then play them. If you don't know how to play, ask the seller to play them for you. This check ensures that the neck of the guitar is not warped, even though you couldn't physically see it. If the neck is warped, and the guitar is properly tuned, then some of the chords will sound good, but others will sound as though the guitar is not tuned. If this happens, check the tuning again. If it persists, then don't buy the guitar.
- Check the bridge of the guitar. If it's made out of wood or plastic, make sure it's not cracked or splitting. The bridge needs to be rock-solid, as a lot of pressure is exerted on the bridge by the strings.
- Check the tuning heads. Do they turn easily, or are they very stiff and hard to turn. Even with the high tension of the strings, a quality guitar will have tuning heads that are fairly easy to turn.
- Check the 'action' of the guitar. Are the strings a fair distance from the fret board? Are they easy or hard to press down at various points on the fret board?
- If you are buying the guitar for yourself, and you know how to play, even if you're a beginner, then play the guitar.
- How does it feel?
- Is it easy or hard to play?
- Can you fit your hand around the neck/fret board comfortably to play chords?
- Is the guitar a comfortable size and shape for your body? Is it easy to hold?
- If you plan to play standing up, ask for a guitar strap.
- Do you like the sound, the color, etc?
- If you don't play, have someone else play it for you so that you can judge what it sounds like.



Buying a guitar from a physical retail music store allows you to 'test drive' the guitar and ask more questions up front. Buying online or from a catalog may bring you more cash savings.

No matter where you buy your guitar, if you know what to look for, and spend a little extra effort in your search for that 'perfect' guitar, not only will your fingers thank you, but also your ears, and all those who will come to join you around the campfire, or even go to see you in concert. Who knows?

How To Choose An Acoustic Guitar - The Ultimate Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

Taylor Guitars GS Mini

The Taylor Guitars GS Mini is excellent for everyone who is always on the go. As well as on the sofa. This GS Mini has been built to be the best musical partner, wherever you decide to go — or even stay.

Empowered from the major, vivid sound of the Taylor’s highest rated GS body shape, this GS Mini scales things lower with no skimping on the top quality sound, providing plenty of tone suitably relaxed, easily transportable size along with a guitar that is amazingly enjoyable to play.

Having Taylor’s patented NT® neck, you will continually enjoy the signature of the Taylor intonation plus playability. Therefore, no matter where you go, no matter if you are on a trip/tour or even on the porch, this GS Mini will be prepared to play.


  • 6-string miniature GSBack/sides
  • Sapele laminate Top
  • Mahogany Headstock
  • Overlay Lexan Finish
  • Satin Rosette
  • 3-ring Neck
  • Sapele Neck joint
  • NT design Purfling
  • black/white/blackFretboard
  • EbonyInlays
  • 5mm pearloid dots Nut/saddle
  • NuboneTuners
  • Chrome Bridge
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Pins Plastic Pickguard
  • Tortoise (GS mini shape) Strings
  • Elixir medium gauge strings with Nano web coating Includes gig bag

The actual GS Mini is really a fantastic small instrument. Due to Awesome Auditorium design, it does not appear like a toy ( like the infant Taylor). Intonation is actually spot-on and with the short scale, it feels much "faster" than a full-sized guitar.

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Yamaha FG700S Review

Yamaha FG700S a fantastic beginner's guitar and it is available on-line from Amazon for less then $200. It has got a good spruce top as well as the Yamaha top quality. For commencing guitar players, many tend to be lured to pick-up a guitar within the $100 array. I highly recommend against investing in a low-priced guitar.

Less than $100 guitars often have got terrible setup as well as quality, with either very low action, the strings will buzz from the frets once you try to play a note as well as very high action, will require super-human finger strength to keep the string down contrary to the fretboard.

Very high action could also lead to your fingertips getting tired very easily plus it can make playing not really enjoyable. Another advantage with a little higher priced beginner guitar will be the solid spruce top.

A lot of guitars below the $100 range have laminate tops plus the sound as well as tonal quality of the guitar that has a laminate will certainly suffer in comparison with a solid top guitar. This Yamaha FG700S is really a top quality beginner's guitar all of which will make an excellent 1st guitar.

The 6-string Yamaha FG700S is really an awesome entry-level acoustic guitar that gives you deluxe features which includes a solid sitka spruce top, die-cast tuners as well as a rosewood fingerboard.

Additional features include things like a tortoise pick-guard, black-and-white body binding plus a high-gloss natural finish which will look fantastic within the stage lights. It is insured by Yamaha's limited lifetime warrantee.

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Seagull S6 Acoustic Guitar

Seagull is probably not the 1st brand name of guitar that folks acknowledge yet they create superb acoustic guitars, that is certainly all that actually matters, and I have read many boasts that, this Seagull S6, is among the finest acoustic guitars for virtually every newbie at less than $500.

Would it be correct though?

The actual popular features of this Seagull S6 acoustic guitar contain a compelling top having a wild cherry back as well as sides, a rosewood finger-board plus bridge, tusq nut and also settled saddle. It is available in a semi gloss lacquer finish.

For an instrument which is ranked among the finest acoustic guitars for newbies you should be expecting an awesome sound, the Seagull S6 isn't going to disappoint.

The guitar releases a mellow and warm sound which is unbelievable for such a low price, also improving than many of guitars which cost 2 times more including those created by bigger brands.

It does not really match up the superior Taylor or maybe Martin guitars yet for that selling price it will appear nearer than you'd imagine.

The Seagul S6 is a little bit let down since it is actually not one of the prettiest acoustic guitars you'll find (this is my opinion though). Nevertheless, it should last just in case you are a newbie that would like to stay away from the need to upgrade within a few years time subsequently this S6 is a good option since you can last so long as you would like it to.

In conclusion, for anyone who is much more keen on appearance than quality of sound as well as build in that case the Seagull S6 is just not gonna suit your needs nonetheless I really recommend it.

The actual Washburn D10S are sometimes a bit less expensive plus more well-known however for this little excess I believe the Seagull S6 is a much better acoustic guitar to get a for any beginner.

  • Made in North America
  • Select Pressure Tested Top
  • Double Action Truss Rod
  • Tapered Headstock for precise and stable tuning and great for open tunings
  • Tusq nut and compensated saddle for better intonation

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Taylor 110e Acoustic Guitar For Sale

Should you be looking to get a guitar with great playability, a highly detailed plus well-defined sound, look absolutely no beyond the Taylor 110e Guitar. As a full sized dreadnought guitar, having a solid spruce top as well as sapele-body, the 110e absolutely stands on top and far outshines other guitars in its class.

The guitar has got a 25-1/2" scale length fingerboard, a great ebony bridge as well as a stunning mahogany neck. Currently being the actual acoustic electric model belonging to the Taylor 110, this kind of guitar has been given focused design and also the creator has given it exclusive attention to detail.

Below are a few of its special features:

* Utilizes a great Expression System Transducer (ES-T) pick-up for amplification. It has been created as an under saddle transducer along with specific elements for every string. Using its unique on-board pre-amp plus custom-voiced EQ, this guitar offers a sound that's really unforgettable.

* Neck action is actually fantastic because it enables comfortable playability; the actual fretboard offers the experience and also plays like the electrical, a sleek surface as well as strings with a wonderful clean grip to it.

What I like most about the guitar:

* As a result to its high quality sound this particular guitar axe fits to virtually any and many styles of music.

* The actual electronics are compact and also out of the way which makes it a no complicated instrument.

* Inexpensive for a higher standard of design, longevity as well as top quality of sound.

What I Don't Like:

* Very little to discuss here; the actual battery may be a little confusing for you to replace. It's child's play to be able to get out and also will take a little more time to insert it yet again, however it's actually not a big issue.

  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Sapele Back/Sides
  • Dreadnought
  • Gig Bag Included
  • ES-T Electronics

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Taylor 110e Review - Best Introduction to The Taylor Acoustic Guitars

Yamaha Gigmaker Standard Acoustic Guitar Package

Yamaha Gigmaker standard acoustic guitar package. For anyone who is seriously interested in music and you want to master the guitar or perhaps need to improve to a much better sound model in that case I counsel you to continue reading.

Guitars possess an amazing sexiness to them. They're just interesting and thus satisfying that you simply wish to continue playing it.

You can find a wide variety of areas to help playing a guitar, just like, hard rock rhythms, or slow plectrum picking for soft ballads, and then there is a big array of finger style tactics that translate musical rhythms across the world. As well as the flamenco and classical rhythms.

It is possible to play each one of these with the guitar , yet here's the forewarning, you will need to set an exercise time on a daily basis as well as make an effort to understand a couple of chords to have your fingertips in order for any various styles necessary to create music.

The actual sound which hails from your guitar has nothing at all to do with amplification. As more than likely you realize the amplifiers simply boost the audio levels and also have nothing at all related to the quality as well as melodic tone.

This specific melodic tone arises from the kind of timber that makes up the guitar. One of the most popular timber by brands like Yamaha, will be the strong sitka spruce wood for the body, next a rosewood hardwood for that fretboard plus bridge.

The selection of top suppliers to utilize such type of wood happens because it's rather tough wearing, plus provides an incredible melodic sound.

The whole guitar package was made to keep absolutely nothing to chance for any newbie. This is a renowned idea that a lot of guitarists tend to be self trained which is good, however when you desperately want to find out about many of the types of styles subsequently it's a good idea to invest some cash on lessons, soon after a couple of months taking lessons you will know your way around the fingerboard and then create your special music. Just like I mentioned before it is the sexxy part, composing songs as well as creating music.

Personally Music as well as the pleasure it provides can't be put in words. In case you are a music enthusiast and also desire to play a musical instrument in that case I recommend, This Yamaha FG700S Acoustic guitar is a wonderful entry level instrument to start with.

The actual background of Yamaha guitars commences with the FG distinct acoustic guitars. This is certainly an inexpensive route to own a new top quality instrument with out costing you a lot of money. Yamaha's status is popular for value plus top quality, its instruments tend to be prized as well as recognized by top guitarists worldwide.

  • Package includes guitar, gig bag, tuner, strap, strings, picks, and instructional DVD
  • Yamaha FD01S acoustic features spruce top and nato sides/back
  • Qwik Tune QT-11 guitar tuner with pitch pipe function
  • DVD covers basics such as tuning, picking, changing strings, and common chords
  • Everything you need to get started playing acoustic guitar

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Hyson Music's Yamaha Gigmaker Standard and Gigmaker Deluxe Review and Comparison

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