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empty toronto streetLockdown scenarios are becoming a norm and may continue for some time. This is a real challenge, especially for the beginner guitarists. The general trend for many is to buy online to avoid contact with people. While this is great for many purchases, choosing a guitar that is right for you is difficult to do without some personal direction from an experienced guitarist or sales person. Also, we at the Toronto Guitar School believe it is essential to support local vendors in our community. Doing this is good for the economy and the overall spirit and morale of the people and businesses living within our area. The motto “Buy Local or Bye Bye Local” is a quick way to sum up the consequences of diluting your spending power if you support only large corporations that have no connection to your home base.

Another factor is that it’s common for music stores to offer a free “setup” (making adjustments to the guitar to make it easier to play and to make it sound better in some cases) after you purchase your guitar, which is something not available through online purchases. And usually the quality control is better. We’ve had many students purchase guitars online and because the guitar was stored in a huge warehouse or big box store with little or no humidification, many more of these guitars are defective and in some cases have to be returned. In the event that returning a guitar becomes necessary, with a local music store returns are easier.

Once you have decided you want to go ahead with guitar studies, you can then decide whether you want to buy or rent a guitar. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

1. Renting is a great option if you would like to try some different guitars without making a large financial or time commitment (3 to 6 months or so). While you use your rental guitar you can learn more about guitars through your teacher to make the best choice when you choose to buy. If you rent for 6 months or more, you might end up spending what a starter guitar you could keep would cost. These are very general guidelines and subject to change so make sure to investigate the details with the vendor.

2. Buying a guitar is more common and recommended if you feel confident about your choice of instrument and your commitment to practice consistently. But don’t be in a rush to buy the cheapest guitar out there. There are good reasons some guitars cost more than others – they sound better! It’s important to keep in mind that the quality of your guitar will have an impact on your learning. Higher quality instruments can be more expensive but are worth the investment if you are serious about your sound and the quality of your lesson experience.

We would suggest familiarizing yourself with the different categories of guitars to get a better understanding of how they sound. But if you are a beginner and just want to get started, we recommend getting an acoustic guitar that will match your musical tastes. Many beginners find that nylon strings are easier to play on, but steel string guitars are far more commonly used for a wider variety of styles. When you feel well established in your progress, you can make a move to a new guitar and by that time you will probably have a much better idea of what you really want!

If you are thinking of taking guitar lessons at the Toronto Guitar School and want to get some unbiased advice on your next guitar purchase feel free to email us or phone us at 416-707-1077 and we’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

Music Stores Located in Downtown Toronto:

Long & McQuade – various locations Buy or Rent
Steve’s Music – Queen Street Buy
Remenyi House of Music – Bloor West Buy
12th Fret – Danforth Buy
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