5 things to check when buying a vintage guitar

1958 Hofner Senator
(Image credit: Future)

”Old stuff can be good – but you’ve got to remember that just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s great. It can still be absolutely toilet-grade” says Matt Gleeson of Monty’s Guitars, who has set up and repaired a huge spectrum of old and new guitars during his 20-plus years as a pro guitar tech. 

“So try as many as you can get your hands on. One will be different to another example and one might speak to you more than another. Sometimes the ones that are a little cosmetically ropey are actually the better ones – but you won’t know till you check them over and play them,” he advises, adding that the most important thing is that the guitar connects with you in an easy and natural way. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.