If you’re new to playing the electric guitar and want to learn how to play country music, the process of buying a suitable instrument can feel overwhelming. With so many brands, models, and accessories available, it’s natural to feel perplexed about where to start. However, don’t let the options scare you off, as finding the right electric guitar for playing country music can be a rewarding experience. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of buying an electric guitar tailored towards country music, including the essential accessories you’ll need to start strumming your favorite country tunes. We’ll also cover maintenance and care tips to keep your guitar in top shape. Whether you’re a seasoned musician or a beginner, this guide will help you find the right electric guitar and accessories to meet your needs.
Electric Guitars for Country Music
When it comes to playing country music, choosing the right electric guitar can make all the difference in achieving that distinctive twang and sound. Electric guitars have revolutionized country music, creating new opportunities for guitarists to showcase their skills and provide a unique sound to the genre. From the influential guitars used by legendary country musicians to the controversies and criticisms of electric guitars in country music, there is a rich history to explore. So, let’s take a closer look at what makes an electric guitar good for country music, popular electric guitars for country music, and factors to consider when choosing an electric guitar for the country.
What Makes an Electric Guitar Good for Country Music?
To be an excellent electric guitar for playing country music, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the qualities that make a guitar great for country music:
- Tone: A bright and crisp tone is necessary for country music. The twangy sound created by the electric guitar revolutionized country music and became a signature sound. From Keith Urban to Brad Paisley, famous country guitarists rely on the electric guitar’s tone to convey a classic country sound.
- Playability: A guitar’s playability refers to its ease of use. A guitar that’s effortless to play is a huge advantage, particularly for beginners. A guitar with a comfortable neck, easy-to-press strings, and a reasonable weight could be preferable. This is particularly useful when playing songs that call for intricate lead work or rapid rhythm playing.
- Style: Country music wouldn’t be as well-known today if it weren’t for the notable country guitars that created it. These guitars vary from traditional acoustic and semi-hollow electric guitars to contemporary, solid-body guitars with sharp edges and various colors. Vintage instruments like Fender Telecasters and Gibson Les Pauls are still popular among country guitarists.
- Sturdiness: Country guitarists often travel extensively, from tour buses and airplanes to various venues. As a result, the guitar should be sturdy enough to withstand such frequent use. A guitar that appears and feels well-built may provide that extra ease of mind when traveling regularly.
- Brand: Country music has numerous guitar manufacturers who specialize in producing quality instruments that suit the genre. Famous manufacturers like Fender, Gibson, and Martin have a long history in creating country music’s electric and acoustic guitars. These brands are typically recommended and trusted by country guitarists, even for beginners.
Country guitarists frequently use effects pedals to alter their tone and creatively play their music. Pedals like distortion, delay, and reverb can enhance a country guitarist’s sound, particularly when performing live. However, effects pedals should be used moderately, as overusing them can negatively impact the overall sound quality.
An electric guitar with an excellent tone, playability, style, sturdiness, and brand is crucial for playing country music. Additionally, effects pedals can assist in enhancing a country guitarist’s sound. However, be wary of overusing them.
Popular Electric Guitars for Country Music
When it comes to electric guitars for playing country music, there are several popular options to consider. Here are some of the most recommended electric guitars for country music:
- Fender Telecaster: The Fender Telecaster is a classic electric guitar that has been used by many country music legends such as Keith Urban and Brad Paisley. Its bright and twangy tone, along with its versatile sound, is perfect for playing country music. It’s also known for its durability and reliability, making it a great option for both beginners and professionals.
- Gibson Les Paul: Although commonly associated with rock music, the Gibson Les Paul has also been used by many country music icons including Emmylou Harris and Keith Richards. Its warm and fat tone, along with its sustain, make it a great option for playing country ballads.
- Gretsch White Falcon: The Gretsch White Falcon has a striking appearance and a bright, jangly tone that makes it a favorite among country music players. It has been used by artists like Duane Eddy and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
- Rickenbacker 360: The Rickenbacker 360 is a classic guitar with a unique look and sound. It’s been used by The Beatles, The Byrds, and many other influential musicians. Its bright and clear tone make it a great option for playing country music.
Of course, these are just a few examples of popular electric guitars for playing country music. It’s important to remember that ultimately, the best guitar for you is the one that feels comfortable in your hands and produces the sound that you want to hear. Use this information as a starting point and try out different guitars to find the one that fits your specific needs.
If you’re curious about the evolution of electric guitars and country music, check out our article on the electric guitar’s impact on country music. Or, if you want to learn about some of the most influential guitars in country music history, check out our dedicated article on country guitar icons.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electric Guitar for Country Music
When choosing an electric guitar for playing country music, there are several factors to consider. You want a guitar that not only sounds good but also fits your personal preferences and style. Here are some important factors to keep in mind when making your decision:
- Body Style: Consider the body style of the guitar. A solid body guitar, such as a Fender Telecaster or Gibson Les Paul, is a popular choice for country music as it produces a bright, articulate tone and provides good sustain. On the other hand, a semi-hollow body guitar, like a Gretsch, can offer a warm, mellow sound with a bit of added resonance.
- Number of Frets: The number of frets on a guitar can affect the range of notes you can play. Country music often involves playing high on the fretboard, so a guitar with at least 21 frets is recommended. However, if you’re new to playing, you may not need as many frets yet.
- Pickups: Pickups are responsible for capturing the sound of the guitar and sending it to the amplifier. There are two main types of pickups: single-coil and humbucker. Single-coil pickups, found on guitars like the Fender Stratocaster, are great for bright, clear tones, while humbuckers, found on guitars like the Gibson SG, offer a thicker, more powerful sound. Some guitars have a combination of both types of pickups, allowing for more versatility in your sound.
- Neck: Consider the neck of the guitar, which can be made of different materials and have different shapes. A maple neck is known for producing bright, twangy tones, while a mahogany neck can offer a warm, full-bodied sound. The shape of the neck is also important; some prefer a thin, fast neck, while others prefer a thicker, more substantial feel.
- Brand: Finally, consider the brand of the guitar. There are many famous guitar manufacturers that make high-quality instruments suitable for country music. Some popular brands include Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, and Martin. It’s a good idea to do some research on the different brands and models available to find the best guitar for your needs and budget.
By considering these factors, you can find an electric guitar that not only looks great but suits your playing style and produces the sound you’re looking for. For more information on the history and evolution of electric guitars in country music, check out our article on the evolution of electric guitars in country music. And if you’re interested in learning more about country guitar effects pedals, be sure to check out our guide on country guitar effects pedals.
The Right Guitar Accessories for a Country Musician
As any experienced musician will tell you, having the right accessories can make all the difference in your playing experience. For country music lovers who have just purchased their first electric guitar, finding the right accessories may seem like a daunting task. But fear not! We have compiled a list of essential and optional guitar accessories to help you get started on your country music journey with your new electric guitar. From guitar straps to picks, we’ve got you covered. Before we delve into the accessories, let’s take a moment to discuss what makes an electric guitar good for country music and explore some popular electric guitars used by country music icons. For more information on the best electric guitars for country music, check out our article on Country Music Solid Body Guitar and Country Icons Electric Guitars.
Essential Accessories for Playing Country Music with an Electric Guitar
To fully enjoy playing country music with an electric guitar, there are some essential accessories you need to have. Here are some of them you should consider:
- Amp: An amplifier is a must-have accessory for any electric guitar player. It’s what amplifies the sound produced by your guitar and gives it a full, rich tone. When shopping for an amp, look for one that’s suitable for country music. Some recommended brands include Fender, Roland, and Vox.
- Guitar Picks: Guitar picks come in different sizes and thicknesses. It’s good to have a variety of picks as this will help you determine which works best for you. You can also use picks of different thicknesses for different playing styles or techniques.
- Guitar Strap: Playing a guitar can be tiresome especially if you have to hold it up for long periods of time. Investing in a comfortable guitar strap will help you ease the weight of the guitar and allow you to play for longer.
- Tuner: A guitar tuner will help you keep your instrument in tune. It’ll save you the time and effort of constantly having to tune it yourself.
- Capo: A capo will help you change the key of your guitar without having to retune it. This is especially useful when playing with other musicians as it allows you to adjust to their key.
- Extra Strings: It’s always a good idea to have an extra set of strings handy in case one breaks while playing. Keeping extra strings in your gig bag ensures you won’t have to stop playing or run out to get new strings in the middle of a performance.
- Cables: Cables connect your guitar to an amp or other sound equipment. It’s important to have durable cables that can withstand constant use and movement.
By investing in these essential accessories, you’ll be better equipped to play country music with your electric guitar. Make sure to also check out some of the famous guitar manufacturers in country music to get the best quality accessories that will enhance your playing experience.
Optional Accessories to Enhance Your Country Music Playing Experience
While it’s essential to have the necessary accessories for your electric guitar, there are also optional accessories that can enhance your country music playing experience. These accessories include everything from effects pedals to straps and capos.
Delay Pedals – These devices create an echo effect, which can add depth and fullness to your sound. They work by repeating the original sound signal at adjustable intervals.
Compressor Pedals – Compressors balance the volume of your playing, creating a more consistent and clear sound.
Reverb Pedals – Reverb adds a sense of space or ambience to your sound. It simulates the sound of playing in different environments, from a small practice room to a large arena.
Straps and Capos
Guitar Straps – Straps attach to the guitar’s body and allow you to hold the instrument while standing. They come in various materials and designs, from leather to cloth, and can be adjusted to different lengths.
Capos – Capos clamp onto the guitar neck and essentially act as movable nut, changing the key of the instrument. They can help you play songs in different keys without having to re-tune the guitar.
Tuners – Tuners help you ensure your guitar is in tune, which is critical for good sound quality.
Slides – Slides are small tubes that fit over your finger and allow you to slide up and down the strings. They’re particularly useful when playing slide guitar.
Picks – Picks are small pointed plastic or nylon devices that you hold between your fingers and use to pluck the strings. They come in various thicknesses and materials and can change the overall sound of your playing.
Incorporating some of these accessories into your playing can help you create a more unique and polished sound. Remember, though, that not all accessories are necessary, and it’s best to start with the basics before investing in optional accessories.
If you want to learn more about the controversies and criticisms surrounding electric guitars in country music, check out our article on “Controversies and Criticisms of Electric Guitars in Country Music“.
Discover Top 3 Electric Guitar Bestsellers
- Offers nearly everything of its higher-end cousin, the ESP KH-2, at a price that more musicians can afford
- Features neck-thru-body construction, a comfortable alder body, and a 3 pc. extra-thin U-shaped maple neck
- The pau ferro fingerboard features 24 extra-jumbo frets and Kirk Hammett's skull-and-bones inlays
- Components include a Floyd Rose bridge and a set of EMG Kirk Hammett Bone Breaker Signature pickups
- A powerful guitar designed for professional recording and performance, perfect for any serious player of intense music
- Designed for James Hetfield, frontman of Metallica and one of the most highly respected rhtyhm guitarists
- Based on James' custom design, with set-neck construction for stability and smooth access to the highest frets
- Features a mahogany body with maple cap, a 3 pc. mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard and 22 XJ frets with an Iron Cross inlay
- Powered by James' own EMG JH SET active pickups, and includes a TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece
- Includes an ESP EC form-fit guitar hard case to safely transport your new instrument
- Designed to offer the tone, feel, looks, and quality that professional musicians need, while still being affordable
- Consistently one of ESP's most popular guitars due to its combination of incredible looks and great performance
- Offers a vintage looking body/neck/headstock binding and gold hardware and includes premier components
- Includes LTD locking tuners, Tonepros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, and the aggression of active EMG 81/60 pickups
- Also offers set-thru construction with a mahogany body, 3 pc. mahogany neck, and 24-fret Macassar ebony fingerboard
Where to Buy Your Electric Guitar and Accessories
As a beginner looking to purchase an electric guitar for country music, you may feel overwhelmed when it comes to deciding where to buy your instrument and accessories. With so many options available, it can be difficult to make a decision. However, with a little research and knowledge, you can make an informed choice that will lead to a satisfying and successful playing experience. In this section, we’ll explore different options for purchasing your electric guitar and accessories and provide tips on how to navigate the process with confidence.
Local Music Stores vs. Online Retailers
When it comes to buying an electric guitar for playing country music, many beginner musicians are faced with the decision of where to purchase their instrument and accessories. There are two main options: local music stores and online retailers. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to weigh them carefully before making a decision.
Local Music Stores: These stores offer the opportunity for you to see and hold the guitar before you buy it. This can be especially helpful for beginners who may not know exactly what they are looking for. Local music stores often employ knowledgeable staff who can answer questions and provide guidance on choosing the right guitar and accessories. Another benefit of shopping locally is the opportunity to support small businesses in your community.
However, local music stores may have a limited selection of guitars and accessories, especially if they specialize in a specific genre of music like classical or jazz. Prices at local stores may also be higher due to the overhead costs of running a physical storefront.
Online Retailers: Online retailers offer the convenience of shopping from home and having a wider selection of guitars and accessories to choose from. Online retailers often have lower prices due to the lower overhead costs of running an online business. This means that you may be able to find a better deal on the guitar you want.
However, when shopping online, you cannot physically inspect the guitar before purchase which increases the risk of the guitar being damaged during shipment or not meeting your expectations once you hold it in your hands. You also may not have the benefit of knowledgeable staff to answer your questions and provide guidance.
To help you decide which option is best for you, the table below compares the advantages and disadvantages of local music stores vs. online retailers:
|Local Music Stores||Online Retailers|
|Advantages||Opportunity to see and hold the guitar before purchasing
Knowledgeable staff to provide guidance
Supports local business
|Convenient shopping from home
Wide selection of guitars and accessories
Lower prices due to lower overhead costs
|Disadvantages||Limited selection of guitars and accessories
Higher prices due to overhead costs
|Cannot physically inspect the guitar before purchase
No personal guidance from staff
Ultimately, the decision between local music stores and online retailers comes down to personal preference and needs. If you value the ability to physically inspect the guitar before purchasing and want the guidance of knowledgeable staff, a local music store may be the best option. If you prefer the convenience of shopping from home and want access to a wider selection of guitars and accessories at lower prices, an online retailer may be the way to go. Whatever your choice, make sure to do your research, read reviews, and purchase from a reputable seller with good warranties, return policies, and customer service.
Top Electric Guitar Brands for Beginners on a Budget
When you’re just starting out in playing country music on the electric guitar, finding a good quality instrument that won’t break the bank can be a real challenge. Here are some of the top electric guitar brands for beginners on a budget that you may want to consider:
|Fender||Player Telecaster||$649 – $749||Fender is a legendary brand in the world of electric guitars, and their Player Telecaster model is a great option for beginners. It has a classic country sound and a comfortable, easy-to-play neck.|
|Squier||Affinity Telecaster||$199 – $229||Squier is Fender’s more affordable line of guitars, and the Affinity Telecaster is a great value for beginners. It has a similar style and sound to the Fender Player Telecaster, but at a much lower price point.|
|Epiphone||Les Paul Studio LT||$199 – $249||The Les Paul is a classic guitar beloved by country guitarists like Brad Paisley. The Epiphone Les Paul Studio LT is an affordable option for beginners, with a traditional Les Paul sound and feel.|
|Yamaha||PAC112V||$299 – $349||Yamaha is known for producing high-quality instruments at a reasonable price, and the PAC112V is no exception. It has a versatile sound and comfortable, easy-to-play neck.|
|Ibanez||GRX20Z||$149 – $199||Ibanez is a popular brand for rock and metal guitarists, but their GRX20Z model is also a great choice for country beginners. It has a bright, twangy sound and a comfortable, fast-playing neck.|
These electric guitar brands for beginners on a budget all offer great value for the price, with solid construction and good sound quality. Of course, there are other brands and models out there to consider, so be sure to do your own research and try out different guitars yourself to find the one that feels and sounds right to you.
Warranties, Return Policies and Customer Service
When buying an electric guitar, it’s important to understand the warranties and return policies offered by the manufacturer or retailer. Additionally, customer service can be a crucial factor in ensuring a positive experience with your purchase. Here are some important things to consider:
- Warranties: Most electric guitars come with a manufacturer’s warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship. The length and terms of the warranty can vary depending on the brand and model. Make sure to read the warranty carefully and understand exactly what is covered and for how long. Some warranties may also require you to register your guitar or provide proof of purchase.
- Return Policies: In the event that you’re not satisfied with your electric guitar purchase, it’s important to understand the retailer’s return policy. Can you return the guitar for a full refund, or will you be charged a restocking fee? How long do you have to make the return? Make sure to read the return policy carefully before making your purchase.
- Customer Service: It’s always a good idea to research the customer service reputation of the manufacturer or retailer before making your purchase. Look for reviews from other customers, and consider reaching out to customer service with any questions or concerns you may have. Good customer service can be invaluable if you encounter any issues with your electric guitar down the line.
Keep these factors in mind when choosing where to buy your electric guitar and accessories. A little bit of research up front can ensure that you have a positive experience and can enjoy your new electric guitar worry-free.
Maintenance and Care for Your Electric Guitar
While owning an electric guitar for playing country music can be exciting and inspirational, it also requires maintenance and care to keep it functioning properly. Neglecting to maintain your guitar could result in damage or even costly repairs. It’s important to learn basic cleaning and maintenance routines as well as how to troubleshoot common problems that may arise. In this section, we will explore the various steps you can take to properly care for your instrument and ensure its longevity. So grab your guitar and let’s get started on this journey towards proper maintenance and care!
Basic Cleaning and Maintenance Routine
As a beginner electric guitarist, it’s important to learn the basic cleaning and maintenance routine for your instrument. Regular cleaning and maintenance will not only keep your guitar looking good but also ensure that it stays in top playing condition. Here is a step-by-step guide:
|Step 1||Clean the Body
Remove any fingerprints, dust or smudges from the body of the guitar using a soft, lint-free cloth. If there are any stubborn marks, you can use a damp cloth with a mild detergent solution.
|Step 2||Clean the Fretboard
Use a soft cloth to wipe down the fretboard. If there is any grime or dirt build-up, use a clean toothbrush to gently scrub the fretboard. Be sure to avoid getting any water or cleaning solutions on the frets.
|Step 3||Clean the Strings
Wipe down the strings after each use with a dry cloth to remove any sweat or oils from your fingertips. For a deeper clean, you can use a specialized string cleaner or rubbing alcohol on a cloth to clean the strings.
|Step 4||Tune the Guitar
Make sure to tune your guitar before and after each use to keep it in proper playing condition. Use an electronic tuner or a tuning app on your phone for the most accurate tune.
It’s important to note that you should not use any harsh chemicals on your guitar as it can damage the finish or affect the sound quality. Additionally, be sure to store your guitar in a proper case or stand when not in use to avoid any accidental damage.
Regularly following this basic cleaning and maintenance routine will keep your electric guitar looking great and playing even better. With proper care, your guitar will last for years to come.
Common Problems and How to Fix Them
As a beginner, it’s important to know that electric guitars require regular maintenance to ensure they stay in good condition and function properly. Here are some common problems you may encounter with your electric guitar and how to fix them:
|Strings Breaking||Strings breaking can be caused by many factors such as old age, excessive bending, and temperature changes. Make sure to change your strings regularly and keep your guitar stored in a stable temperature.|
|Fret Buzz||Fret buzz occurs when the strings hit against the frets, causing a buzzing sound. This can be caused by a variety of factors such as low string height or uneven frets. Adjusting the string height or taking your guitar to a professional for a fret leveling can help solve this issue.|
|Tuning Stability||Electric guitars can sometimes struggle to stay in tune, especially if the strings are new or the guitar has undergone temperature changes. Make sure to stretch your strings before playing, use a good quality tuner, and check your guitar’s intonation periodically.|
|Crackling or Noisy Output||If you hear unusual crackling or noise when playing your guitar, it could be caused by dirty connections or a malfunctioning pickup. Clean the connections and/or take your guitar to a professional for pickup replacement.|
|Bridge Problems||The bridge is an important component that transfers the string vibration to the guitar body. If the bridge is loose, too high, too low, or unbalanced, it can cause issues with intonation and string sustain. Adjusting the bridge height or taking your guitar to a professional can help solve this problem.|
These are just a few examples of common problems you may encounter with your electric guitar, but don’t let them discourage you. With some basic knowledge and regular maintenance, you can keep your guitar playing and sounding great for years to come.
After reading this beginner’s guide to buying an electric guitar for playing country music, you should now have a better understanding of what makes a great electric guitar for this genre, the popular guitars on the market, and factors to consider when choosing your own. It’s important to remember that every musician is different and choosing an electric guitar that fits you perfectly is crucial to your success.
When it comes to purchasing your electric guitar, it’s important to remember that accessories play a key role in enhancing your playing experience. Essential accessories such as a strap, picks, and a tuner can improve your sound, while optional accessories like pedals and capos can provide additional soundscapes to explore.
There are many places to purchase your electric guitar and accessories but weighing the benefits and drawbacks of local music stores versus online retailers can make the process easier. Top electric guitar brands for beginners on a budget include Fender and Epiphone, but be sure to research warranties, return policies, and customer service before making a final decision.
Maintenance and care are critical for keeping your electric guitar in tip-top shape. Establishing a basic cleaning and maintenance routine while knowing how to troubleshoot common problems can keep your guitar sounding great for years to come.
In conclusion, purchasing an electric guitar for playing country music may seem overwhelming, but with careful consideration of your needs and research into the best options for your budget, you can find the perfect electric guitar and accessories to match your style. Remember to take care of your guitar to ensure it stays in great condition and enjoy exploring the vast possibilities of country music on your new instrument.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an acoustic and an electric guitar?
An acoustic guitar is played acoustically and produces sound using its body’s resonance, while an electric guitar requires an amplifier to produce sound.
Do I need a specific type of electric guitar to play country music?
No, any type of electric guitar can be used to play country music, but certain features such as single-coil pickups are more popular in this genre.
What type of pickups should I look for in an electric guitar for country music?
Single-coil pickups are a popular choice for country music as they produce a bright and twangy sound that is ideal for the genre.
What type of guitar accessories do I need to play country music?
Some essential accessories for playing country music with an electric guitar include a tuner, a capo, and good quality guitar cables.
Can I buy my electric guitar and accessories online or should I visit a local music store?
Both options are available, but it’s recommended to visit a local music store to test out guitars before making a purchase. Online retailers may offer more variety and prices may be lower.
How often should I clean and maintain my electric guitar?
You should clean your electric guitar after every use and take it for a professional setup and maintenance checkup once a year.
What are some common problems I may encounter with my electric guitar?
Common problems include fret buzzing, intonation issues, and loose or worn out hardware. These issues can usually be fixed by a professional.
What are some optional guitar accessories that can enhance my country music playing experience?
Optional accessories include a slide, a distortion pedal, and a compressor pedal. These can help create a unique sound for your country music playing.
What is the typical warranty for an electric guitar?
Warranties vary by brand and can range from one to three years. It’s important to read the details of the warranty before making a purchase.
Do I need any prior guitar playing experience to purchase an electric guitar for playing country music?
No, you don’t need prior experience to purchase an electric guitar. However, taking lessons or practicing regularly can help improve your skills and enhance your playing experience.