There are many factors to consider when choosing an electric guitar and each factor will impact your choice of guitars available for you to buy in the marketplace.
Perhaps one of the first things to consider is whether you are looking for a famous brand, such as a fender electric guitar, an Ibanez electric guitar, a Gibson electric guitar or you may not have a preference regarding the brand of guitar that you are looking to purchase.
You then need to consider whether or not you want an acoustic electric guitar. Once you've deciphered that, even if you do choose a specific guitar maker, the following list of factors will need to be considered.
There are three basic body styles of electric guitars - solid body, semi hollow/semi solid and hollow body.
Guitar Body Shape
There are various different guitar shapes to choose from and you should try a few different ones for comfort and feel before making a decision when buying your electric guitar. Shapes available include the Strat shape designed by Fender, the telecaster shape, again designed by Fender, and also the Les Paul and SG shape designed by Gibson guitars.
The Fender strat and Telecaster shape guitars are favoured by famous guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bonnie Raitt. Guitar heroes such as Joe Perry and Slash prefer the Gibson Les Paul shape of guitar. Guitar shape does not have a direct effect on sound when played.
The style and type of neck for your guitar is dependent upon your hand size and what is most comfortable for you to play with. There are a variety of shapes including wide, thin and C-shaped.
The scale length impacts the tone quality of the notes and the string tension at a particular pitch. The scale length is determined by the distance between the bridge saddle and the nut. There are most often two common scale lengths to choose from - the Gibson scale and the Fender scale. There is a third scale as well, which is used by Paul Reed Smith as well as others, which produce a different sound from the two most common scale lengths.
Intonation is the term used to describe if the notes are in tune as you move up the neck of your guitar. Intonation can be affected by different factors such as playing style. Pressing harder on the strings can create a bow and this in time can affect guitar intonation.
Set neck/Bolt on neck
The choice between these two may leave you with less choices of the instrument you choose - Stratocaster electric guitars are bolt on necks, while the Gibson Les Paul is a set neck.
Number of frets
Most electric guitars have 22 frets, however you may choose a 24 fret as well that will give you another octave.
Even if you are looking for a pink electric guitar, the finish on the guitar doesn't impact the sound as it does with acoustic guitars.
The choice between tremolo bridge and stop tail bridge.
Most electric guitars have two pick ups. A 3-position switch allows you to choose between these pick ups, while others have a 5-position switch.
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