If your budget is tight but you live for music, don't be discouraged by the high cost of new guitars. For a fraction of this price, you can buy a used guitar and keep well within your budget. While you might be tempted to look in the local classifieds, it's best to shop for used guitars at a local reputable retailer. Such stores will carry warranties on their used products and stand behind what they sell. As you begin the exciting process of browsing, it's important to carefully inspect each instrument to ensure that you buy the right one. Here are some points of focus.
You want to be sure that any used guitar you're looking at has a working truss rod so that you'll be able to get the instrument professionally set up and make minor adjustments to the tension of the neck over time. Don't be shy about asking a salesperson to provide you with a set of Allen wrenches so that you can remove the truss rod over on the headstock of the guitar and give the truss rod a partial turn. It's not enough to simply look at the truss rod; you need to adjust it to know it's working. The tension you feel while attempting to move it will indicate that it's in proper working order.
Some guitars on the used market have been broken and repaired. This doesn't mean that you should stay away from them, but it does mean that you should know if your prospective new instrument has gone through such work — just like you want to know when you're buying a used vehicle. Small dents and scratches on the body are simply a sign of wear, but look for any cracks at the base of the neck. This will indicate that the neck has been broken and repaired.
If you're buying an electric guitar, you'll want to plug it in to hear its sound quality. Don't simply focus on the tone itself. You should also listen carefully as you move the pickup selector switch and turn each of the tone and volume knobs from low to high. Listen for scratchiness that indicates an interruption in the electronics. Over time, wiring issues can arise that lead to a scratchy static sound. If you still like the guitar, you want to be sure that a technician at the store will address these issues before selling it to you.
For more information, contact The Horn Peddler or a similar company.