11 Things To Consider Before Buying A Guitar

11 Things To Consider Before Buying A Guitar

Set your stage.
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Music helps define us. Music defines our culture and our heritage. Many of us aspire to be great musicians or to make it big in the music industry. Although most of us will never achieve the latter, it will not stop us from trying. I am a musician who plays guitar, and I am going to share a few things you need to know before purchasing one.

1. Play the guitar, before you buy it.

Although that guitar may look cool online, you may hate the way it feels in your hands. I have had that experience plenty of times and it is a terrible feeling to spend a great deal of money on a guitar that depreciates as soon as the purchase is completed. Although the guitar may look cool, it may not play that way. I personally made this mistake by purchasing a BC Rich Warlock. I loved the way it looked, but as soon as I got the guitar, I hated the way it played and immediately tried to get rid of it.

2. Research the guitar.

Research is key. Guitars vary greatly and only you know the type of tone that you want to have. I would not recommend buying a guitar with active EMG pickups if you hate playing with the distortion on.

3. Step outside of the box.

Nothing is more bothersome than to see musicians following the pack. Blaze your own path; this is your guitar! This will be the crafter of your sound, so avoid selling yourself short by following the crowd. Don't sound like everyone else! When you follow the crowd, nothing will distinguish you from the rest of the pack.

4. Know your neck.

There is enormous variation in the neck of guitars. (The major shapes for the necks are the C-shape, which is more rounded; the V-shape, which is more pointed; and the U-shape which is more squared.) Beyond the basic shape of the neck, there are many other things to consider! The fretboard is the next major item I want to draw attention to. The type of wood for the fingerboard is the first item for consideration. Some woods play faster, while others provide a thicker sound. Like everything else about buying a guitar, it is all about your taste and the tone you are trying to get out of the guitar. Fret size and fret count are also major factors. Most guitars range from 22 - 24 frets, but the size of the frets is the real key. For those of you with larger hands (or those who simply want a little more room), I would recommend jumbo frets.

5. Know your price range.

This could be a "make or break" point for some of us. I would love to have a huge budget for my next purchase, but sadly that is not the case (college student, anyone?). This point gets overlooked more often than it should. Try to avoid falling in love with a guitar that you know cannot fit into your budget.

6. Used or new?

Trust me, I love a good deal as much as the next guy, but think about buying a used guitar like buying a used car: only get it if you know what you are looking for. There are heaps of problems that can stem from both purchases if you end up with a lemon. A couple of questions I would ask when buying a new guitar: "Does it function properly (i.e., pickups and electronics)?, Is the neck warped?, and How does it look cosmetically?"

7. Electric or acoustic?

At this point in the shopping process, you should already have an idea of what you are wanting. However, this question is still important. Ask yourself: "What do I need?" and "Which option will benefit my collection better in the long run?". You may have fallen in love with that new electric guitar, but why would you want another electric when you are in need of an acoustic?

8. Know what you are looking for.

I recommend not stepping foot into a music store until you have a short list of guitars you want to play. Go into the music store with a purpose, because if you have done your research, you already know more than most of the customer service personnel. It is the employee's job to sell you something, so if you go into that store unprepared, you may just walk out with a guitar that you never even wanted.

9. Age is important.

Your age can play a big role in what guitar you want to buy. When I was younger, I dreamed of sounding like the 1980s era rock music and that reflected the kinds of guitars I bought. As I grew and matured, so did my taste in music. Instead of buying a guitar that is only going to sound good playing one type of music, think about your future goals and intentions for the guitar. Doing that might save you some money in the future, if you choose a versatile instrument.

10. What else do you need?

Buying the guitar is only one piece of the puzzle. You will need a few other things to accompany it. First, buy your guitar a hardshell case. A hardshell case will protect your guitar during transport, and makes it easier to carry from place to place. Softshell cases work too, but they do not offer the same protection that the hardshell cases offer. So, do yourself a favor and buy a hardshell case. The next item to buy is a pack of spare strings. Strings make a world of difference. Who wants to have a jam session ended abruptly by a broken string? You will thank yourself for having that extra pair of strings. If you bought an electric guitar, you are now in the market for an amplifier for it. Amplifier selections are just as diverse as guitar selections and require just as much research.


11. Now what?

This last point is mostly for new players who are looking to purchase their first guitar, however this point may apply to not-so-new players, too. Get yourself some lessons. Learn how to play the instrument properly. Having someone mentor you through the process of learning how to play will help you from getting frustrated and you will be less likely to quit when the going gets tough (sore, callused fingers and all). By having a teacher, you have someone who is skilled in their craft that you can ask questions to and can vent your frustrations to. Also, they can be someone who can help you overcome those frustrations, because it is highly probable that they went through the same issue.

Remember these tips when you step into the music store to start or add to your collection! Play on.

Cover Image Credit: McKenzie River Music

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43 SpongeBob Quotes To Use In Everyday Conversation

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SpongeBob quotes are so universal that they never get old. That's because "SpongeBob SquarePants" is the one TV show that we are all guilty of watching and have absolutely no regrets every time we turn it on.

Most of us are no longer children, which is why our parents sometimes get that confused look on their faces when they see us watching "SpongeBob SquarePants." But you know what? "SpongeBob" is by far one of the funniest shows of our generation and the characters are some of the greatest. The best part about "SpongeBob," without a doubt, is the iconic quotes that we all still use in our daily language. With too many to count, here are some favorite "SpongeBob" quotes, from ones that all fans should know, to ones we use every day.

1. “Firmly grasp it in your hand.”

2. “Ha ha ha ha, it’s a giraffe.”

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8. “Is Mayonnaise an instrument?”

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10. “You don’t need a license to drive a sandwich.”

11. “The best time to wear a striped sweater…is all the time.”

12. “Once there was an ugly barnacle. He was so ugly that everyone died… the end.”

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14. “It took three days to make that potato salad…three days!!!”


15. “Can I be excused for the rest of my life?”

16. "Can I get some extra salt?"

“We're all out.”

Could you check?”

“…No.”

17. "Patrick, you're a genius!"

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18. "Oh, these aren't homemade. They were made in a factory... a bomb factory. They're bombs."


19. “You just CAN'T WAIT for me to die, can you?”

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41. “HAHAHAHA THAT GUY GOT HIT IN THE HEAD WITH A COCONUT HAHAHA.”

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43. “Too bad that didn’t kill me.”








Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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The Final Season of 'Game Of Thrones'

I'm excited and sad all at the same time.

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***** SPOILER ALERT*****


Now that it's upon us I don't know if I'm ready.

Does everyone remember what happened last season or are you like me and doing the GOT binge before the series finale?

I just finished season 1 and I'm starting in season 2 because if I'm going to binge it I'm going to do it the right way it's going to be from the beginning, besides who gets tired of watching Joffrey die?

My burning question that I'm sure EVERYONE wants to know is who will be on the throne in the end? Will it be Daenerys or Jon? I have my speculations or who I would rather see win.

Jon should rule. He was born of Fire and Ice. His father being Rheagar Targaryen and his mother Lyanna Stark. Fire and Ice. Then again, there are the stories that were told to Cersei when she was a young girl by the witch that there would be a girl prettier than her to rule. Does that mean Dani (AKA Daenerys)?

Or will she rule beside Jon? Will the two of them be a couple and rule the Kingdoms together? I'm dying to know! But these two characters are not my only focus at the end of the Final Season.

Where will Bran wind up with his abilities? What about Arya? Will she remain in Winterfell to be Sansa's executioner? Will she leave and go to King's landing if Jon takes the throne?

My time with Game of Thrones has been brief because I came in late on the show, probably season 4, I'm not sure, but I've poured over so much research, reading through the wiki pages online to reading actual books printed after the series began. It's a vast and intriguing subject.

What am I going to with my life once the season ends? There will be a hole in my heart were GOT once was. The fans of this show no matter who they root for will be crying at the end because someone's favorite is more likely to die than to live through the whole show.

If I could choose to put anyone on the Throne it would be Jon. He is honest and just like Eddard Stark raised all his children to be. He would technically be the ruler that all the faithful Targaryen supporters have been looking for. A Dragon to sit on the throne again. but, so would Dani.

Some wonder if she would go mad like her father because she can learn that way in some of her rulings. Like at Veas Dothrak, she killed all the men and took the women for her followers. Was that really necessary? She's a strong woman like Cersei but when compared there is a huge line that divides the two.

Both are loved and hated but honestly, I don't think that either of them belongs on the Throne. As for the rest, I am looking forward to seeing the way that it plays out. I have heard a rumor that George R. R. Martin has given the answer to who sits on the Throne of Iron.

Games of Thrones will truly be mourned in my house after it ends but I'm excited, to say the least for the Final Season.

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