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 immidiately 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 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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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.
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The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.


3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.


6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.


7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.


13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.


14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.


You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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The Breath of Solitude

A Poem With A Prologue // Polar Viewpoints.

mccall
mccall
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Prologue:


She smacks your parted lips,

sucking the dry,

open cracks to a seal.

Pumping energy into your chest

and sending a continuous shiver

from lung to navel.


You can't help but cough,

as your lungs tighten and twist.

Ringing the frosty sensation out –

slipping through your parted lips.


The same parted lips that

allowed her deliberate fingers

to crawl inside

where she can escape her own dimension

of solitude.




The Breath of Solitude


All I know

is solitude.


We chat

every day

in conversations that circulate

behind the backs

of the present.


Solitude grinds my coffee beans,

as we sit

with our legs crossed,

waiting for dawn

to explode over our opaque landscape.


Solitude runs my bath,

bubbling

as the Sun crashes

against the diminishing horizon.


But none of this is reality.

I am above

the dimension of reality.

Not theoretically,

but physically.

I am only a tool

to be used in the dimension

of your reality.

Drifting in and out,

twirling through your negative space.

My only purpose

is found through your breath;

but what do I do

when you stop breathing?


I wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.


I cannot see the blood

that sloshes through the veins

in your innocent hands.

The blood that energizes

those fingers

upon which I wait.


But I know

the blood is there.

It isn't

what you do.

It isn't

the way you move.

Simply put,

it is

the way

that you exist.


The sheer fact

that you have a bursting burgundy waterfall

streaming,

not only through your fingers,

but engulfing all of you

in its rich,

rooted,

energy.


The only waterfall

that I encompass

is the waterfall

that you imagine.

I have no blood;

I have no way to exist.


And so I

wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.


I wait for your fingers

to filter the heat

to a state of regulation,

a state of production,

a state in which I can exist.

The peach fuzz

that sleeps on the bridge of your nose

begins to rise

when your fingers initiate the flame.

The temperature reacts,

as would my heartbeat,

if I had a bursting burgundy waterfall,

or some type of life source

inhabiting my chest cavity.


As the heat

starts to melt

my metaphorical skin,

I become reality.

I don't have a face to smile,

or eyes to produce tears.

But I have thoughts.

I have words to say,

I have feelings to express.


I still can only drift,

in and out,

twirling through your negative space,

but now spiraling

into your positive space,

as well.


mccall
mccall

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