Why to buy a good instrument?
I have been playing music of some sort for 15 years, from when I first started playing violin in 4th grade to my latest instrument, the banjo. It took me a lot longer than it probably should have but it is worth it to buy good instruments. There is a saying buy the best that you can afford and I can certainly say I agree. I own three instruments that I am absolutely in love with. I don’t think I would ever sell them; these are the Telecaster, the Taylor and my new banjo for those who are new to the blog.
One of the reasons I bring this up is because I have been down the cheap guitar road too many times. The most recent time was last year when I bought a Steinberger Spirit. This is the entry level model for Steinberger. This company is very innovative and interesting. However, their guitars are a sort of acquired taste type. I would not recommend them to everyone. I bought it because I thought I would want to play guitar on the road and when I travel. This was true to some extent but I don’t think I played it enough to really make it worth it. The other reason was that I wanted to have some humbucker pickups. So I thought I’ll kill two birds with one stone (for those who don’t know this is another saying). So I got it and thankfully I didn’t pay too much for it but it was not the guitar I really wanted. The frets needed work, the fingerboard had some glue on it and you could see the top plywood veneer through the switch hole. I knew to myself, this is not the guitar I really wanted or really enjoyed playing. Personally the nut width was too wide so when I played or soloed I felt like everything was too far apart. It was frustrating. Also it’s a light guitar. My girlfriend said it looked like I was playing a video game. I know now that I should be putting as much into the guitar as I expect to get out of it. Since, I play every day. That is a lot. If I were playing live at all it would be essential to have good gear. With this post I am not trying to push expensive gear on anyone and there are definitely good deals out there. This has just been my experience. One more thing, don’t buy a guitar that doesn’t feel comfortable in your lap. The Steinberger was weird feeling and I once had a Jackson flying V that was awful. I don’t recommend anyone do this, but if you really like Alexi Laiho or Megadeth you will probably be playing a flying V at some point.
Guitar Player Magazine recent ran an article on the 34 best guitars for under $500.
Here is a Guitar World article on the subject