How To Buy A Used Guitar?

How To Buy A Used Guitar?

Buying a used guitar has several advantages, the first being the price. Indeed, for a given budget, by buying a used guitar you will have access to much better quality guitars.

A higher-quality guitar is often easier to play and has a better sound. For a beginner, it is therefore an advantage because you will obtain a satisfactory result more quickly. When asked about which guitar to buy, a great guitarist used to say, “always buy the best instrument your budget allows”.

How To Choose A Used Guitar?

If you are a beginner, you don’t know anything about it, but you want to buy a used guitar my best advice is to have a more experienced guitarist friend accompany you to try it out.

Are there any scratches, dents, dings, cracks, or other chips on the used guitar?

Some are not serious, especially the small shocks that cause the paint to lose on electric guitars, for example. Similarly, the presence of scratches on the guitar is not a serious thing in itself.

However, some shocks can be more serious and lead to deformation of the body on a used classical or acoustic guitar.

As a rule of thumb, consider whether shocks will degrade the tonal or mechanical qualities of the guitar. If so, you have 2 choices:

  • You don’t take this guitar and look for another one
  • You negotiate the price of this used guitar downwards.

The Paint And Wood Of A Used Guitar

Each small minor degradation that does not affect the sound qualities of your instrument can be an argument to negotiate the price downwards. However, there is no point in driving the price too low either, otherwise, the seller will no longer want to sell you his guitar.

The Sound Qualities Of The Used Guitar

Once you’ve taken a good look at the guitar, it’s time to try it out to test playability, comfort, and sound.


  • Are you comfortable with your guitar? hold it, try to play strings, stand and sit.
  • Is the guitar balanced?

The Handle

  • Is the handle straight? check that it is not bent or twisted (if so, it is an eliminatory criterion)
  • Are the frets in good condition? check that they are not too worn
  • Do all the notes sound good? to check it do not hesitate to play all the notes of the neck (most often if there are problems, it is in the treble of the neck from the 15th fret)
  • Are the notes curling?

The Box

  • Is the crate in good condition? tap a little on it to listen to the sound of the body and hear any faults

The Sound

  • Is that sound good? Do you like it?

The Mechanics

  • Do the mechanics work well? try to move the mechanics, tune the guitar, …
  • Does the guitar keep tuning well? tune the guitar, play a little and check that it is still well-tuned and that it does not go out of tune too quickly.

When you buy a used guitar, you take the very little risk because they have already been tested by the seller. In addition, you can benefit from these tips and have an invoice in the event of a problem.

Finally, when choosing a guitar, there are many rational factors to consider, but in the end, you will choose the guitar that you will have the best feeling with.