No matter your skill level shredding the guitar, there are always affordable options at your local pawnshop. If you’ve never taken advantage of our great selection at affordable prices, here three helpful tips select the right fit for you:

Budget for a Bit More Guitar Than You Need

Guitars come in all shapes, sizes, types and price ranges. For example, low-end acoustic and electric guitars could range from around $50 to $300 with high-end guitars range from $1,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. You could find a great deal on a well-known guitar in the low end, but don’t count on it.

If you’re a beginner at laying down the licks on the guitar, it would seem that looking at guitars on the cheaper end of the spectrum would be the ideal situation. You think you will still be able to find a guitar that will fit your needs as a guitar player and even help your wallet stay nice and fat in the process.

However, cheaper guitars won’t last as long and won’t hold their value. If you plan your budget between $200 to $500, you will get you a great brand of guitar that is affordable and will be ready to play for years to come. And on the plus side, if you end up losing interest in covering your favorite band’s songs, you have something of value and could sell it back. Seems like a win-win.

Understand That Each Guitar Is an Individual

Have you spent some time playing your friend’s Telecaster or your brother’s Martin acoustic? Did you feel like Rivers Cuomo of Weezer or Ed Sheeran with these guitars? Maybe not, but just because these are the battle-axes of certain musicians, it doesn’t mean that you will sound like them either.

For instance, the Fender or Martin you buy may sound substantially different from the ones your rock star heroes have. Each guitar is made from wood, composites, and metal components that are unique to that guitar. The slightest variations in wood species, tuning heads, sound pickups, and joinery methods can make two identical guitars sound completely different.

If you’re looking for a great and unique sound for your guitar, a used guitar is probably the better option for you. In fact, many professional and experienced players often prefer older, well-played instruments for this very reason.

Bring Someone Along Who Knows Guitars

If you’re as green as they come in terms of playing the guitar, bring someone in that knows their stuff. This experienced player will able to strum and play some well-known riffs to hear the sounds of the guitar you’re looking for. They should be able to see how well the strings respond, the loudness produced by the guitar and any problems a beginner doesn’t need.

Many pawnshop guitars have old strings that sound dull or buzz when played. An experienced player looks past that minor issue and knows a new set of strings will transform the tones of the instrument.

A knowledgeable player notices fatal flaws in unsuitable guitars and helps you find the best deals. You’ll also get valuable advice about the best strings, amps and other accessories you need to get the best start to your playing career.

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