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We all know that cheap guitars are usually more difficult to play and do not have the same sound quality as an expensive guitar, but is there a way to make a cheap guitar sound good? What do you have to do?
In this guide, we’ll go over some of the best tips and tricks to make your cheap electric guitar sound better.
The inevitable disadvantages of having a cheap electric guitar
Cheap guitars have clear disadvantages, including being more difficult to play, more unreliable, going out of tune frequently, and having a bad sound. They are also more challenging to set up and might not look as good as premium models.
However, when it comes to the instrument’s playability, there is very little you can do. The looks can be improved, but that is a matter of personal taste. The sound quality is one of the easiest things to fix on a cheap guitar, and you would be seriously impressed with the tones you can get out of a cheap electric guitar once you start messing with it.
How to make a cheap guitar sound better
While there are plenty of tips and tricks, you can use to make a cheap electric guitar sound better. There are just a few options that will make a big difference and move the needle. Let’s look at them:
The higher the quality of your pickups, the better your sound will be. There is no way around it, and replacing the pickups can be a hassle and requires a luthier to help you, but it is worth it. If you are on a budget or want to avoid spending $200 on pickups to put them on a $200 guitar, just go online and search for some used pickups.
You’ll find that a set of great pickups can be had for a low price used, and they are usually in excellent condition.
While pickups are an essential component of the sound, there is a better way to improve the sound of your guitar, and that is with a high-quality amp. A great tube amp will make any guitar sound outstanding, and it is undoubtedly the best way to improve the sound of your cheap electric guitar.
Now bear in mind that tube amps and amps, in general, can be expensive, but if you are willing to spend $300 to $500, you can get a great used amp that will last you a long time. If you do get a tube amp, make sure you prepare yourself for having to replace the tubes down the road, which can be a bit costly.
3. Improve your playing
Lastly, whether you want to hear it or not, your playing determines how great you sound, no matter if you have an expensive or a cheap guitar. Any great guitar player can make a cheap guitar sound amazing, and while there will always be differences in the sound with low and high-quality guitars and equipment, the sound is always at your fingertips.
Are cheap guitars harder to play?
One of the downsides of cheap guitars is that they are usually harder to play and set up. This makes it more difficult to perform certain complex music arrangements, and it is one of the most significant differences between expensive and cheap guitars.
You will notice this, especially on the guitar neck, the frets, and how the hardware affects the whole playability of the instrument. While most cheap guitars will often be harder to play, certain guitars have good playability even if they are cheap.
When it comes to the sound of a cheap electric guitar, it is possible to improve it with the tips we gave you. However, the playability is difficult to improve in a guitar, and it depends a lot on the quality of the materials used and the manufacturing and quality control.
Why the guitar sound is in your hands
If you have a cheap guitar and you do not have a budget to improve it or replace it, you may be a little disappointed reading this article, but you shouldn’t be. The reality is that the sound is in your hands, and while some improvements here and there can give you a better-sounding instrument, they will never be able to replace what your fingers can do completely.
Every expert guitar player will be able to achieve their own sound and create beautiful music even without the best guitar and the best amp. Therefore you should not be discouraged if right now you do not have the money to make all of these changes or even switch guitars.
Just keep practicing and improving your technique, and trust the process. You’ll notice that your playing will improve, and your sound will reflect that, even if you do not have an expensive guitar and amp.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.