Beginner rock guitar lessons for n00bs and rusty rockers
Guitar kits? Yea, that's right, that's exactly what I said. After you've been playing for a while, you may decide you want to learn the "ins and outs" of guitar design and hardware. What better way than to build one yourself. Who knows, maybe you're the next Paul Reed Smith (PRS Guitars)…?
You could try and go the woodshop route and cut the body out, use a router to cut your holes in the body, hunt down all the different parts you need (if you know what you need).
Heck, you could spend a bunch of money on just a guitar neck, let alone the wood, electronics and other hardware you need. There is another option, though.
Maybe for the first project you should just get a guitar kit. This way everything is ready to go and you can get a feel for assembling a guitar. You know, see if you like it…
If you decide you really enjoy it, you can "get down witchya bad self" and build one from scratch. You'll want to know about tonewoods, so head on over to my tonewood page. You'll get the rundown there on the best woods to get and use.
But if you take my advice and start out with a kit, there are a number of places you can find them.
The kits come with everything you need except for the finish. You get all the hardware - pickups, bridges, machine heads and even scratch guards.
If you think about it, it's a cool proposition to build your own custom guitar. Here's an example of the components you'll receive.
Obviously, depending on the supplier, there will be different body shapes and neck styles for each guiitar kit.
Ed Roman also offers guitar kits in addition to guitars from nearly every major guitar manaufacturer. His website is worth visiting just for the history of his store in Las Vegas.
Guitar Fetish offers a nice selection of body styles. As you can see, you receive all the hardware as well, but you may want to upgrade to a better grade of hardware depending on what they send you. It's wise to talk with customer service before you place your order to make sure you'll be happy with your purchase.
You couls even take a less extreme approach and replace parts on a guitar that is otherwise okay. For example, Keisel guitars makes some of the nicest electric guitars and basses available, but they also sell guitar and bass parts so you can mod an existing instrument with professional hardware at direct pricing (rather than retail).