Paul Asbell, whom we recently interviewed (See Paul’s interview), was kind enough to send us his thoughts about buying an acoustic guitar, and, if you’re thinking about purchasing your first acoustic guitar, we invite you to take advantage of Paul’s real world experience in such matters by reading what he has to say.
Buying an Acoustic Guitar: New vs Used
When it comes to purchasing an acoustic guitar, I generally recommend buying “used”, if possible.
That’s not necessarily the best idea for everyone, however. As with buying a used car, there are all sorts of non-cosmetic condition issues which a pro can look for and spot, which a less experienced buyer would likely miss. OTOH, if one has a trusted, experienced pro guitar instructor to assess those issues, then buying used can certainly improve the bang/buck ratio.
The used-guitar/used-car analogy is not a good one, however, once the used guitar is purchased.
Aging Adds Value to a Good Acoustic Guitar
As everyone knows, a car’s value starts depreciating the minute you drive it off the lot, and continues depreciating with every mile driven, until it’s eventually worth nothing. A quality used acoustic guitar doesn’t do that. In fact, most everyone agrees that a certain amount of aging and “break-in” results in a guitar sounding better and better, as time goes on; and any structural problems that may occur, relating to wood warping, etc, generally show up in the first year or two. After that first year or two, reasonable care to ensure against heat and humidity extremes is all that’s required to maintain the instrument’s value over many decades.
Guidance From Your Guitar Teacher About Buying a Guitar
Long story short… if you were to buy a well-chosen used guitar, (inspected by someone you trust) at a reasonable price, and if you maintained it properly, the guitar will likely be sellable down the road for close to what you paid.
Don’t you wish we could say the same about cars, washing machines, or computers!