At Summerhays music we have a variety of acoustic, classical, and electric guitars for the beginner or the seasoned pro. We offer rent-to-own packages from as low as $20 per month and we are well stocked with all of the accessories you might need.
At Summerhays Music you can feel confident in your purchase. Every guitar that comes into our store is professionally set up by our guitar technicians to ensure optimum playability and intonation. This is especially important in our dry Utah climate where low humidity levels can have a harmful effect on the parts of the guitar, hurting sound quality and making it harder to play.
When you rent or purchase a guitar from Summerhays, we take this service even further by offering free neck adjustments for the life of your guitar. At Summerhays Music you can expect the highest levels of quality, value, and customer service.
The Acoustic Guitar is the result of many evolutions of the lute and other string instruments from the 15th century. Guitars were previously much smaller and had four pairs of strings. The larger-bodied six-string guitar as we know it today was brought about in the late 19th century, and had either gut or steel-strings.
The nylon strings of the classical guitar have a very mellow, intimate sound and are typically played only with the fingers. They are commonly heard in classical and flamenco music.
The electric guitar was developed in the 1940s as a means for the guitar to be heard in large concert halls and above drums and other louder instruments. The solid body guitar which reduced feedback from the newly incorporated electronics also saw its development at this time.
Since the 1950s, the electric bass has largely replaced the double bass in popular music. The bass is typically used to provide the low-pitched bassline(s) and bass runs in popular music and jazz. The electric bass is also used as a soloing instrument in jazz, fusion, Latin, and funk styles.
CHOOSING AN ACOUSTIC OR CLASSICAL GUITAR
When selecting an Acoustic guitar, you should first determine whether you are interested in a nylon or steel-string guitar. Nylon strings have a very mellow, intimate sound and are typically played only with the fingers. They are commonly heard in classical and flamenco music. Steel string guitars have a much louder, fuller sound and can be played with the fingers or a pick. These are the more popular guitars and can be heard in rock, country, bluegrass, and many more styles of music.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The most important part in giving the guitar its own individual sound is the top piece of wood, or the soundboard. A soundboard’s construction contributes greatly to the sound, playability, and ultimately the success of the guitarist.
- Beginner-level and inexpensive guitars from big-box retailers and some online catalogs often have soundboards made of a meshed particle board material. Such guitars typically don’t last as long, are hard to play, go out of tune more easily, and need more maintenance more often.
- Better guitars will use soundboards made of glued laminated tops. These guitars will be easier to play, stay in tune longer and have a truss rod for adjustments.
- Solid top guitars are the most desired. They sound and age better than the laminated guitars. Solid tops produce a fuller, thicker tone and are known for their resonance and sustain. A good quality solid top guitar starts around $250.
- Other qualities to look for in a guitar are a straight neck, strings that are easy to press down and do not buzz, a nice smooth comfortable neck with no jagged frets poking out, and good quality tuners that are made from die-cast metals.
WHAT TO AVOID
Try to avoid guitars that exhibit the following:
- bent or warped necks
- buzzing when a string is plucked
- jagged frets
- have hardware made of pot metals which don’t hold adjustments and easily break
A word of caution: inexpensive guitars made overseas are finding their way into the market. While the lower price is tempting, you should consider that poorly constructed instruments play poorly, hindering the student’s ability to learn. They are also difficult if not impossible to accurately adjust and keep in tune. Many repair shops won’t even touch them, or charge a premium to do so. Most teachers will agree that a poor instrument defeats the student even before he/she has begun.
CHOOSING AN ELECTRIC GUITAR
Electric guitars can vary considerably in price with some guitars priced from $50 to well into the thousands of dollars. The materials from which it is made, the electronic components, appearance, and where a guitar is made all contribute to the difference in cost.
LEVELS OF GUITAR
Beginner guitars are usually priced under $300 and are typically imported from China and Indonesia. While they are typically made of lesser quality woods, they can still be of decent enough quality to be a good start for the beginning player if purchased through a reputable music store.
A word of caution: guitars priced under $150 often are constructed of poor quality woods, use pot metal hardware which don’t hold adjustments and easily break, and suffer from noisy electronics. Such inexpensive guitars made overseas are finding their way into the market through big-box and other discount centers. While the lower price is tempting, you should consider that poorly constructed instruments play poorly, hindering the student’s ability to learn. They are also difficult if not impossible to accurately adjust and keep in tune. Many repair shops won’t even touch them, or charge a premium to do so. Most teachers will agree that a poor instrument defeats the student even before he/she has begun.
Guitars from $300 to $1000 are considered intermediate level instruments. These instruments aretypically made with much better materials and are commonly made in Korea and Canada. It is even possible to find guitars made in the U.S. at the higher end of this price range. These guitars offer the kind of quality and craftsmanship that could last the player many years or even a lifetime of enjoyment. This is the ideal instrument for the beginner as well, because they will be more comfortable to play and have a better sound. These are important features to consider because they will make the experience more enjoyable and increase the likelihood of success.
Advanced / Pro Guitars
Guitars priced from $1000 and up are considered to be advanced to pro-level instruments. These instruments are often hand-made from the very best woods and materials, use the very best electronics, and are typically made in the US and Canada. The best finishes and craftsmanship are found on these guitars.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Regardless of your skill or budget, some of the features to look for when shopping for an electric guitar include:
- A neck that is straight, not bent or warped
- Metal parts made of high quality alloys
- Smooth comfortable neck with no jagged edges on frets
- Strings that play cleanly with no buzzing (vibrating against the neck)
- Clean sounding electronics
WHAT TO AVOID
Avoid guitars that:
- Have bent or warped necks
- Use metal parts made of pot metals which don’t hold adjustments and easily break
- Have jagged edges on the neck and frets
- Have strings that buzz against the neck when played
- Have noisy electronics
Perhaps one of the best things you can do when shopping for a guitar is to plug in the guitar into an amplifier and test the electronics. While hearing the ideal qualities of a guitar can be much harder for the beginning guitar player to observe, an experienced employee of Summerhays Music will be happy to help you find an instrument of good quality in the price range you are looking for.