The one thing to keep in mind while shopping for a guitar is that it must be fun! Far too many people are put off by the shopping experience in music stores, especially stores where the salesman has an “attitude” problem. It’s up to you, and whomever you may be shopping with to overcome this problem, and take charge of the situation. I used to enjoy walking into a music store where they had the attitude like “who’s this kid?” and literally turn it into a performance, where I would hold the entire store spellbound with guitar sounds they had never heard before! This is a great way to “humble” anyone who’s giving you a difficult time, but of course, we can’t all do this!
Still, the attitude you need to assume is one where “they have to come to me”, showing you literally, how much they need to sell you a guitar. A good and perceptive salesman is certainly very important in this process, which I learned the first time I bought a truly great guitar, my 1952 Les Paul, from Eddie Bell’s guitar shop in NYC! First of all, the guitar I had on special order from Manny’s, around the corner, busted the nut as soon as I bend a string! I went around the corner, and was not too impressed with what Eddie Bell’s had, but just as I was leaving, the salesman, thanks to “divine intervention”, said, oh, have you seen our 1952 Les Paul? Well, I had not seen it, as it was hanging in a glass cabinet that I missed, but boy, was he right to show me that guitar! I suddenly knew what a really fine guitar felt and sounded like, not to mention that it was $250 cheaper than the guitar I rejected at Manny’s!
I can remember the feeling of real triumph as me and my Dad left that store with this wonderful ’52 gold top. I went home, happily played that guitar all night, maybe even slept with it, and was never the same since. This is the kind of rewarding experience you should feel when you get that first, or subsequent guitar for sure. The Les Paul was not my first, but there was something about that experience that set it apart from the others that made it far more memorable to me.
So when you go to that store, know what you’re looking for, and also, leave yourself open to whatever in that store may captivate and charm you…..you never know just how rewarding that little shopping spree may turn out to be! Happy guitar hunting!