When you read this title, you may have asked yourself: am I in the right place? Is this a question on luthiers’ or manufacturers’ website? The answers are: YES!
If you’ve already asked yourself this question you’re in the right place. Mainly because it seems that you can analyze (the) things, and because maybe you’re on the way to a new custom guitar.
So how does one choose a guitar? Usually, people make some criteria, a list with pros and cons. You may also ask, but how does one establish these criteria? And the answer is, that mostly by emotional bond.
Just think about it, how do most guitar players choose their first instrument? They listen to some music, they decide they want to play this song, they check out the guitarist of the band, check his gear out, etc. Or when the idea is in their mind for a longer time, they go into a music store, check out the guitars that fit their budget, and grab the one calling their name!
Sadly, this is not what usually happens…. the novice usually grabs the nicest guitar (beauty, of course, is a subjective matter) with the lowest price tag in the store. He takes it home, starts using it… and since he does not have any real comparison, he starts to fantasize… and unconsciously fabricates “lies” or half-facts about his guitar:
- That this or that frontman uses a guitar like his, so his instrument should be great as well (yes, but the frontman’s guitar is 10x more expensive and 5x higher in quality),
- His friend told him that these are the best guitars in this price range. Basically, there are some eastern brands that produce a higher number of good instruments than others (this is mainly because of the very different quality requirements of various brands, as there is high probability that these instruments are made in the very same factory),
- The pickups in it are totally dope ( after he got the guitar, and started to search the web, what the hell are those… and then find a thread in a forgotten forum from some years ago with 2 good comments about the pickups).
At this point you may start to get what we’re talking about… or you are totally misled. To properly answer the question in the headline, the most important thing that a guitarist has to have is : Experience
You may ask: so a rookie can’t have a custom or a pricey guitar? Yes, he can, but he’ll never be able to tell what makes a good guitar good and a bad guitar bad. Also, he’ll probably never appreciate the uniqueness of his custom-made instrument. So would we make a custom guitar for a total beginner? In most cases: hell no.
Apart from these, how does experience help? Well, it helps you to tell apart actual need from desire. Do I only want this guitar because it’s dope, or do I want it because I like the look, but also the… (here comes any real argument which one can make).
Another thing experience can help with is the sound. An experienced player knows what sound he’s looking for. The more you play, the more idols you have, the more bands you’re in, the more techniques you need to use, the more unique or precise sounds you need for your new album or studio… To put it simply, you know what you really need and what are the main arcs of the properties you want
Still do not believe that emotional bondage exists?!
Watch the FULL video please.
Experience also means that you’ve already tried a few guitars (we would say at least three) for a longer period of time (probably half a year per guitar). Almost every guitar player has a phase when they wants to play, for example, a Dimebag style guitar. He buys it, plays it, realizes that it doesn’t suit them, but still they start to make arguments which support that they have done good (again, emotional bond). But as time goes by, they slowly realize it’s a big no. It’s too big, it’s too heavy, or it’s totally uncomfortable (especially when sitting down), and they get rid of it (same with the thunderbird shapes – I’m looking at you, fellow bass players 😉 ). After all this, they realize that comfort isn’t just a word, it’s a must for convenient playing. So, with experience, one should already know what they finds comfy and what they must avoid
After this “philosophical essay”, we can finally sum up the answer for our question:
Does one need a custom guitar?
Only people with sufficient experience can answer this. Experience enables them to establish some criteria for and against a custom guitar:
- Can I buy factory guitar with the sound I need?
- Can I buy factory guitar that I find extremely comfy?
- Can I buy a factory guitar which looks this good? (look out: emotional bond)
- Can I buy a factory guitar that’s unique? (look out: emotional bond)
- Can I buy a factory guitar that’s made to fit my requirements?
- Can I buy a factory guitar that combines at least 3 of the above?
If your answer to at least 3 of these questions is a no (and only one of those is due to an emotional bond), then you DEFINITELY NEEDS A CUSTOM-MADE GUITAR. 🙂
If 2 of those “no”-s could be emotional, then we would advise you to get a custom- made instrument only if you can afford it.
With thinking about these , one has also already defined what their custom guitar needs to be like.
Hope you like this little blog article about our personal view on buying a (custom) guitar, and we also hope you managed to learn something new. 🙂