You have played around with your first beginner or student-level electric guitar. After all the lessons and hours you spent bending notes and fingering frets, you are ready to step up to a substantially better instrument. How can you be sure the one you are considering will stand the test of time? These guitar-selection notes will help you determine whether the sounds of the guitar you are considering will remain music to your ears through the years to come.
The earliest working electric guitars began to sing in the late 1920s, while progressively making their mark into the next decade. Guitars were given pickups and hooked up to amplification so they could be heard above drums and growing big-bands. The sound of guitars from those eras is deep and fat yet clean, producing defined notes at the expense of sustain. These cherished sounds can be difficult to replicate unless the guitar manufacturer, like B&G guitars, crafts individual instruments with that goal in mind. Those who like this voice will ascertain quickly that their prospective instrument can produce it.
Debates fly in the opinionated world of guitarists as to whether or not the wood used in the guitar’s body and neck affects the sound. This argument stems from the notion that unlike with an acoustic guitar, the wood and body are not the primary vibrating sound amplification sources. However, unintended vibration will negatively affect the sound as it does with a loudspeaker. A solid piece of tonewood such as maple may positively enhance the sound, so research what the guitar is made of and compare it to similar ones made from different woods.
A guitar’s pickups, the piece with wiring wound around magnets, reads the strings vibration and converts them to electric signals to be amplified. These, along with volume pots and other electric wiring in the body, are the heart of the sound source. Some pickups are assembly-line produced while others are handmade; and no two models sound exactly alike. Here, price does have affect quality; however, tones and styles vary from deep and rough to pure and piercing, so listen to as many different ones as you can.
Many variables go into choosing a new guitar when it is time to upgrade. One final consideration is that you spend time determining whether your choice fits your hands and feels comfortable on your body. Then you can be sure you will enjoy bending notes on your new instrument.