Becoming a “professional musician” is a funny thing. There’s no set marker to indicate when you’ve officially moved up to professional level. But if you’ve mastered countless songs, written a few of your own, and tend to gig regularly, those are pretty good indications that you’re a professional.

After a short time as a professional musician, you’ll likely be fantasizing about that guitar. You know, the expensive one you definitely couldn’t afford before, but have always kept in the back of your mind. You’ll think—maybe, just maybe, with how much you’ve been playing over the past few years, you can justify the cost. And you’re probably right.

Buying a professional acoustic guitar is not something you do in one shot. It takes weeks, if not months of hefty research. It’s precipitated by a solid knowledge of yourself as a musician, a confidence in your abilities, and an undying love of the instrument. Finding the perfect professional acoustic guitar is not something to take lightly, but when done meticulously, it is incredibly rewarding. It not only boosts your mood, but it has a very positive effect on your playing.

Tips for Getting the Right Professional Acoustic

How Professional are we Talking Here?

A big part of analyzing what professional-caliber acoustic would suit you is deciding what price range you’re comfortable with. When you get past the intermediate level, the sky is the limit. And let’s be clear here, we’re talking a bit over a thousand dollars at a minimum. But if you play daily, gig consistently, and know you’ll have a guitar in your hand until they shut your coffin, a few thousand dollars is well worth it.

Find your Acoustic Character

Your “acoustic character” i.e. what you do with your instrument, should inform what type of acoustic you buy. If you want a limited edition artistic masterpiece which you can show off in your living room, there’s a guitar out there that’s perfect for you. If you make a living playing acoustic covers 5 nights a week, there’s also a guitar out there that’s perfect for you.

The tonewoods, body design, and appointments all coalesce to create significant differences in acoustic guitar style and, of course, price. Some will be better for your purposes than others. With that in mind, you should be attuned to the differences in playability, aesthetics, and whether or not the guitar has onboard electronics.

How to Choose Your Instrument

  1. Get on the internet. You’ve heard of it by now, I’m sure. Before you make any moves, it’s important to search high and low to identify specific makes and models that you are interested in. There is so much in the professional acoustic sphere that without having a good idea of price ranges, features, and the instrument’s practical applications, you won’t be able to make educated decisions going forward. You might even go down the custom road, if you’re feeling generous (to yourself that is).
  2. Go to the store and play. It’s always important to hold a guitar in your hands before you buy it, especially in this price range. Obviously, you will have to visit a well-known and reputable instrument retailer to find high-priced instruments like this. You will definitely want the knowledge and experience that their employees wield. Yet, some of these beautiful professional models may not be in stores. If that’s the case, try to find a guitar of similar size, made with similar tonewoods, to get an idea of how it plays.
  3. Sit on it a bit longer. You want to be very confident in a purchase like this. Go home and watch more YouTube videos. Read some more reviews. Ask your musician buddies about the guitar you’re thinking of. If you’re fixated on it, you’ve double checked your budget, and you still feel like this is the right decision, it’s time.

Now That You Have a Professional Acoustic, You Can Safely Call Yourself a Professional Musician

Hey, you don’t have to make a living from music to be a pro. You’ve got the experience, the wealth of knowledge, and now, the equipment, to say you are at the top of your game. Enjoy the feel and sound of a professional acoustic, in whatever way you decide to use it.

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Anthony Chiofalo has been entranced by music for most of his life. As a young kid, he was inspired by the variety of artists he heard on the radio. In his early teens, he began delving into alternative rock and heavy metal. At age 13, he discovered an old acoustic guitar in his grandparents' basement and became enamored with emulating the music he loved. Since then, Anthony's been playing in bands, writing music, and continuously searching for new experiences as a musician. He joined the Sam Ash team as a copywriter in 2018, happily engaging in both his passions for music and writing simultaneously.