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Are You Due For A Guitar Upgrade?

Added 25 September 2019, 3:03 PM
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GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome) causes bass and guitar players feel that they never have enough instruments, gears, accessories, amplifiers, or even effects. That doesn’t mean that they don’t love their guitar or that they are not happy with their gears. Players all over the world often get this syndrome due to all the beautiful guitars out there; they want to acquire all of them. This obsession with purchase and trade can cause financial problems and affect other aspects of the player’s life badly. That’s why you must learn how to keep it under your control. You need to ask yourself if you really need a new guitar. The answer is almost always yes for players, but you need to suppress that voice and think about this question logically. This article will offer some help in concluding whether you need to buy a new guitar, upgrade your current one, or if it’s just GAS controlling your mind.

Do You Need A New Guitar?

The signs that you need a new guitar are often clear and can easily be read. For example, if fixing broken frets or something else will cost you near or more than getting a new one, then it’s a no brainer to go for buying a new guitar. Another reason might be that your guitar doesn’t have the features that allow you to bring out the best in you. Most of us usually buy a cheap guitar at first. It doesn’t make sense to spring out a few thousand bucks on a beginner’s guitar for several reasons. The main one is that you might not be into guitars like you have imagined yourself to be. You will find that the majority of people who enjoy music and decide on learning an instrument will almost always go for guitar as their first option. After a few months, you might realize that another instrument will be more suitable for you, or you might feel like string instruments altogether aren’t for you; some people even give up completely on the whole thing. That’s why it’s logical to go for a cheap guitar in the beginning. If you have outgrown your cheap guitar, then it’s time to pamper yourself with a new one that suits your skill level. Another reason behind getting a new guitar is finding comfort and convenience; it’s all about how it feels in your hand, and how it plays. You might have gotten your guitar without paying too much thought into how its neck is shaped. There are three main profiles that define the neck of the guitar.

The “C” Shape: This is the most common shape due to the comfort it provides to all players, regardless of the shape of their hand; players with larger hands might not feel very comfortable with the C profile. The size of the neck shape might vary from one guitar to the other. Fenders, for example, have fatter C-shaped guitars.

The “V” Shape: This shape was fairly common in the past between “old school” guitar players. Back in the day when they depended on finger picking for melodies and playing chords and holding their thumb over the fingerboard to hit bass notes. V-shaped guitars can be categorized mainly in two types: Rounded or soft V, and hard V. The hard “V” neck guitars are rare in modern guitars; you can only find it in old guitars or their re-issues.

The “U” Shape: This is the perfect type of necks for players with larger hands. This is the one for you if you prefer to place your thumb on the side or the back of the neck. The thickness of the U shape caters to different preferences; whether you like balance u shape or necks with one side thicker than the other. It all depends on your style and the shape of your hands.
How To Choose The Right Guitar For You?

There are so many considerations to take into account when buying a new guitar. The material, fret boards, necks, or whether you need an electric or an acoustic guitar. Many people prefer learning on acoustic guitar before they move to electric guitars. You don’t have to follow the same technique. Acoustic guitars might be easier if you considered how nylon strings are easier to hit and more comfortable to beginners’ hands. But if you are not interested in playing an acoustic guitar, your pace might end up being slower or you might lose interest in learning altogether. If you are looking for a good electric guitar, you need to pay attention to a lot of details. Choosing quality electric guitars to depend on their materials, pickups, and bridge type. That’s why research is key; you have to go through reviews, comments, and read different people’s opinions until you reach a conclusion on which guitar will suit you perfectly.

• The Material
The different woods that are used for electric guitars are often referred to as “tonewoods”. You will find lightweight woods such as alder which produces a balanced tone or poplar which is light hardwood, bright, and crisp or basswood. Medium to heavy woods is Korina, mahogany, and maple that comes with warm sounding and great sustain. The most common woods used are maple and mahogany. While maple produces dense and bright sounding with a great sustain, mahogany’s sound is fat and warm. The fast-playing fretboard woods are maple, rosewood, ebony, and Pau Ferro. Most of them have great sounding and sustain.

• Pickups
There are three main types of pickups that are featured in guitars. Single-coil pickups have only one coil of wire. They were commonly used in older electric guitars for the thin, clean, and transparent sound. You will find great guitar players that use single-coil pickups such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray. Electromagnetic pickups were then introduced by Gibson where he referred to them as the “bar”. Today, this bar is mostly referred to as “Charlie Christian” pickup because he was the one who made them popular back then. Humbucker pickups use to coils and two magnets or more. They produce a dense and profound sounding. This deep, smooth, and double-coil sound is preferably used in rock, pop, blues, and jazz. Many guitars combine between single-coil pickups and double-coil pickups; there is usually a switch to change between them.

• Body Style
Body styles vary between solid body, semi-hollow body, and hollow body. You need a solid body for loud amplification, sustain, and using a lot of effects. Due to their ability to be amplified at high volumes with little to no issues when it comes to feedback, they are considered to be the favorite choice for metal and rock guitar players. Hollow body guitars have warmer sounds which make them perfect for jazz guitar players. Semi-hollow Guitars, on the other hand, combine between the qualities of the formerly mentioned types. They can be used as an alternative to solid-bodied guitars with the right amp adjustments, however, they are ideally used for genres such as rock and roll, vintage country, and jazz.

• Quality and Reliability
Price tags can indicate the high-quality and craftsmanship put into making a guitar. While expensive doesn’t always mean better, some guitars can be overpriced just because they’re a big name, but that’s more like an exception. The higher the grade and quality of a guitar’s components, the more reliable it is. A high-quality guitar can mean less maintenance and better performance as they also stay in tune for longer durations. The electronic circuit of the guitar is one of the most sensitive and critical components in an electric guitar. Such sensitive components cannot be easily maintained or repaired if there is something wrong with them, which could cost you a lot in the long run if you decide to cheap out on an electric guitar. The smoothness and versatility of a high-quality guitar give you more headspace to be able to focus on playing music instead of repairing defects that pop out of nowhere. Acoustic guitars are heavily affected by the quality of the wood they are made of. The highest grade of the wood quality and the craftsmanship don’t only look good, but their acoustic feats are significantly better than their cheaper counterparts.
 
 
Upgrade Or Change?

Whether you have been struggling with GAS, or you have the itch to change your current guitar, you need to ask yourself a few questions to decide between buying a new guitar or upgrading your current one. Do you hate how your guitar looks? This might not be a strong motive behind buying a new guitar unless you have enough money to spare on a new one. If your budget allows you to buy a new guitar and you hate how your current guitar looks, then go for it. Are you okay to feel and playability? This is enough to win the argument of buying a new guitar. Playability is what matters the most in guitar, if you hate it, then you are due for a new guitar. However, you can change it with a few upgrades. You need to compare how much the upgrades would cost and the new guitar that you have been eyeing. There is a hazing test that can help you in deciding. Do you love your guitar too much? Would you still be mourning its lost after a few years? Then you need to only do some upgrades that will make you feel like you have gotten a new guitar.

Difficulty Playing Is A Serious Issue

This may sound odd, but beginner guitars sometimes can hold you back from being able to play easily. A cheap guitar can block your path to advance your skills while making you feel discouraged as you’re under the impression that beginner guitars should always be easy to play. What many do not notice until their hands are worn out is that higher action can make playing a very exhausting and tiring process. A lot of beginners are deterred from playing completely thanks to improperly-designed action that makes playing certain notes almost impossible. This is where you’ll have to spend a little extra to purchase a guitar of higher quality; not just to get better acoustics, but to be able to perform the technicalities associated with mid-tier or advanced moves.

A few tweaks can revive your dead guitar into a brand new fascinating one. Taking your guitar in for a complete setup can go either way; it depends on the tech you choose to go for. Changing your strings can restore your passion for playing your guitar, imagine what would happen if you take your guitar for a complete set-up. The technician can change the strings, fret leveling, action and intonation modification, and give your baby a thorough cleaning and polishing. Regular care and maintenance of your guitar makes all the difference; you shouldn’t neglect them.

Learning how to care and maintain your guitar is essential for being a good guitarist. If you don’t know how to change your strings, you will face many difficulties as a guitarist, especially if you play at gigs, or you are constantly jamming with a band. Re-fretting and re-crowning aren’t a beginner’s cup of tea; focus instead on learning how to restring your guitar as it’s relatively easier and important. You can also try to adjust the truss rod as long as you’re careful. If your board is getting a bit dusty, use lemon oil to clean it smoothly while leaving a good smell behind as well. The whole routine could be easily learned from online tutorials if you have enough time.

Deciding that you need a new guitar is one of the decisions any professional or beginner guitar players make. It’s an important step to take your skills or talents to the next level, and sometimes it’s done because people start getting bored of their current guitar and need fresh blood. Whatever reason you decide to upgrade the guitar too, make sure that you’re getting what you need for the new one.
 
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