Dear Emily: What Do You Consider When Purchasing A Guitar

Posted by cfmartinguitar

Dear Emily,

I'm considering purchasing a new guitar. What do the professionals thinks about when adding a new guitar to their collection? --On The Hunt

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Custom Shop Administrator-Emily

Dear On The Hunt,

I seem to fall in love with a different guitar each year. I'm a polygamist like that - which is totally legal with guitars! Here's my secret formula for picking the perfect guitar-find one you can't put down. That's it! It either brings songs out of you or it doesn't.

If I was on a deserted island and I had to pick one guitar to play for the rest of my life it would be a Rosewood OM. Rosewood works so well in an OM body size and makes a super balanced but powerful sound. That was the first guitar I bought and I'll own it forever. But I'm not on a deserted island and I can have more than one guitar!

A good question to ask yourself is what are you getting the guitar for? Playing out with a band, couch picking, or a song-writing tool? For playing out with my band, I have a sapele GP with a Matrix Infinity pickup. It's satin finish, no pearl, no frills. I purposely got a plain-Jane guitar for playing out so that I wouldn't cry if beer got spilt on it or it got dinged. I'm actually looking forward to putting wear and tear into that thing. There's something irreplaceable about guitar that people have played the hell out of.

And although I put sound first and foremost, I'm a sucker for an aesthetically beautiful guitar. I absolutely love figured wood, the funkier and more dramatic the better. Enjoy some of these photos I've snapped of the coolest woods I've seen. Good luck in your guitar journey which you can start by finding an Authorized Martin Dealer here!

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Premium Madagascar Rosewood

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Cocobolo

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Guatemalan Rosewood


Emily has worked at Martin Guitar for 9 years. She has been cross-trained in every aspect of guitar building and currently serves as the Martin Guitar Custom Shop Administrator. Dear Emily is an advice column that will appear bi-monthly on the Martin Guitar Blog.

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