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Def Leppardís Phil Collen Shares 5 Tips For Buying Your First Guitar

When it comes to getting your first guitar youíre usually feverish to get a hold of something and make a sound so it doesnít really matter if itís a Ďcheapoí thing. You just want to get your ideas out. Itís about self-expression, artistic expression.

Thereís a lot more that comes with it because obviously you want it to look cool. My first guitar was a red Gibson SG, which I pestered my mum and dad for from the ages of 14 to 16. They went into debt to get me that guitar and I paid them back. I loved Fenders and Gibsons and Guilds and all these beautifully, amazingly American guitars. I wanted an electric guitar. It had a look. Itís almost like a Ferrari or something. It had these curves and great lines. I didnít realize it until much later that part of the appeal to me was that it was a piece of art but of course I didnít realize that at 14. I just wanted to play guitar. Itís escapism, like flying. For me it was like getting a jet plane or a rocket and I could fly. Thatís what it felt like. I still have my first guitar. And it still flies.

More Expensive Doesnít Always Mean Better
You donít have to spend tons of money on getting your first guitar. There are people who say you have to have all these bells and whistles on your guitar but no, you donít. Those are just options and all of that other stuff takes you away from the true purpose.

Pay Attention To The Set Up
You can get a really crappy guitar but set it up right Ė the intonation, the bridge, the neck, the frets and the pickups. A well set up cheap guitar can be way better than an expensive guitar thatís had no attention paid to its setup. Bear in in mind that itís better to spend a little money to get it flying.

Play What You Like
Play everyday and learn stuff that you like the sound of, not a thousand chords that youíre not crazy about. When I started I didnít even learn whole songs. I just learned parts of lead lines I liked and chord sequences that I thought were great. I should add that you should sing along to everything. It will just make your guitar playing better and it will also end up giving you more confidence. That way youíll be inspired all the time in different directions.

Try Self-Teaching
Itís so easy to Ďself-teachí especially with the internet. I used to put records on and play along to them. Now you can have the most amazing guitar players in the world show you anything you want just punching something in on YouTube. For example, I had a hand operation when my tendon tore off the knuckle bone. I couldnít play guitar straightaway so I went on YouTube and found a tutorial by Joe Walsh on how to play slide guitar. The result was a killer slide I ended up putting on Delta Deepís ĎBang The Lid.í

Be Yourself
Donít be purely karaoke. Learn to play music but donít be a carbon copy. Make sure itís about you and your expression.

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