IF your child believes they’re the next Keith Urban, it’s likely they are angling for an electric guitar. Used electric guitars can be found under Musical Equipment in Weekend Shopper and can range anywhere from $50 upwards depending on the quality.
To determine the pros and cons of buying a secondhand electric guitar, Shopper spoke to renowned Brisbane guitarist, Asa Broomhall.
A veteran guitarist of more than 20 years, Asa also works at The Guitar Shop in Latrobe Tce, Paddington.
In terms of what to look out for when buying a secondhand electric guitar, Asa says it’s important to look for structural damage.
“Because guitars are timber you need to check for any cracks or warping,” he said.
“You should also try and see whether the neck is twisted. If it’s bowed it can be adjusted, but if it’s twisted it can’t be fixed.
“It’s quite difficult to spot, but where the neck meets the body should be in line.”
Asa also advises checking the frets for wear and tear.
“Check the condition of the frets, they can be re-fretted but it’s an expensive job. Have a look at the G and B frets in particular, if they have dips in them they are worn. They can be fret dressed but this will only work for a while.”
While many believe a beginner should learn on an acoustic guitar, Asa says this is not always the case.
“Many of your older readers, like me, would have learnt on whatever guitar was around the house. Or whatever their uncle had,” Asa said.
“These days because of Chinese manufacturing you can buy a fantastic quality guitar a lot more cheaply than you could 20 years ago.
“Because of their thicker, nylon strings, acoustic, or classical guitars are easier for kids to play. But most contemporary music is played on electric guitars so if your child has their heart set on it then start them on an electric.
“Electric guitars have steel strings and they are lighter and afford better playability.”
Guitars, like cars should have regular services or setups as they are called.
“Basically because they’re made of timber and glue guitars change shape over time so if you continue to play without having a setup your guitar will be harder to play,” Asa said.
In addition to the electric guitar, shoppers will need to buy amps and headphones for obvious reasons.
“Children will always want to play the most parent-unfriendly sounds on their guitars and typically it will be an amazing amount of hideous distortion,’’ Asa said.
“I know because I did.”
ROCK ON: Guitar technician Rohan Staples (left) and guitarist Asa Broomhall at The Guitar Shop.