How long do you give it?


Senior Stratmaster
Dec 14, 2018
I think "how long do I have to play it" would be more accurate, for example I bought an LP and touched it once or twice because I was enjoying the strat.
But the more I played the LP the more the strat sat.

Currently I only play the LP, so while the LP sat in a case for months with me not thinking about, after only 15 to 20 hours of playing on it did I fall in love again.

So I could say "it took months for me to like that guitar" or I could say I played it for 20 hours and fell in love.


Senior Stratmaster
May 31, 2017
Oxnard, CA
How long do you give it before you know whether you connect with a guitar or not? A couple days, a month, longer? Or do you just fight it and deal with it?
I can tell the first 30 minutes. If it’s got issues I start planning the mods then. This one got a lot of mods but it was $89.00 so it had some crappy hardware and electronics. I love her now!


Feb 10, 2018
Nottingham, UK
How long do you give it before you know whether you connect with a guitar or not? A couple days, a month, longer? Or do you just fight it and deal with it?

A mate of mine lent me his strat recently. 8s. Sky high action. Massive frets. Every note I played sharp and wouldn't stay in tune at all.
I said, "dude wtf" and he said, "It's just whatever you are used too isn't it.. " and took it off me and played Master of Puppets perfectly. :)

It really is hehe.

Bernie kind of says it how it is here:

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Jul 19, 2019
It took me a good 9 months before I decided my LP was a keeper. I had mainly played Fenders before, and it took some getting used to it, but now I love it and play it as much as my Strat.


Feb 10, 2018
Nottingham, UK
It took me a good 9 months before I decided my LP was a keeper. I had mainly played Fenders before, and it took some getting used to it, but now I love it and play it as much as my Strat.

This ^. I also think everyone should plug straight in to their amp and turn it the hell up to 12 before they decide a guitar or its pickups or the amp aren't for them. It really shouldn't be, given what we know about how tube amps work, but it very frequently is... surprising.


Dr. Stratster
Dec 4, 2013
in a few seconds. if i like a guitar after a few strums, i check the truss rod adjustment and if it is out i know i will like the guitar even better when i correct it.

same with the string heights / nut slots, if i like the guitar and they are off which is almost always the case - i know i will like it more when i fix it.

almost every guitar i have picked up is so far out of adjustment i do not know how they get sold.

sit with the guitar how you normally would.

without bending the neck , press down a string at the first and last fret.

look at the distance between the top of the 7th fret and the bottom of the string.

it should be the same as the thickness of a 7, 8, 9 or a 10 gauge string. be extremely accurate while looking and adjust to correct do not need extra hands or feeler gauges, just look at the thin string on the guitar and the space a few inches from it, it should be obvious when you compare.

then fret a string at the 3rd fret and with your free hand then press that string down towards the top of the 1st fret. if it is not just barely above the top of the fret and only requires a tiny effort to make it touch the top of the fret it is WAY off. the thicker strings need a micro amount more than the thinner strings but this is the concept.

i do not care who made the guitar or how much it cost, if these things are out you got nothing and will have no idea how easy the guitar could be to play.


Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
State of Disbelief
Sometimes I know right away. Other times a guitar might sit for a while until I see or hear something that makes me want to pick it up and use it's particular tones/features.

Once I do pick it up it goes on the stand at my left and I start exploring it and playing it until I get a definite feeling one way or the other.

Other times that just never happens and I never find a place to make what it does work for me.


Perfecting time travel since 2525
Aug 8, 2011
All over the place!
It takes me a few seconds.
It doesn't matter how it's set up or even if it has no strings, I'll know if it's for me or not.
Sound wise isn't so important because it can be worked on, new pups etc, but it has to feel right in my hands.

chicago slim

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 23, 2010
Bowling Green, KY
About 5 minutes, in a guitar shop. I have arthritis (as well as other health issues). Sometimes a thin neck shape or flat fret board will cause me pain, after playing several hours. That's partly why I don't like to buy without playing in person. I have mail ordered guitars that were identical to a guitar that I already owned. I can rate the same model guitars, from best to worst. I usually sell the guitars bought over the internet, even though I might like the new color, better.


Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 5, 2016
Denver, CO
I don't believe there's a set time because it depends on the specific guitar and whether it's about playability or tonality.

If it's only tonality that can be modified to work and it plays well I'll eventually get around to making the mods that are needed.

If it's about playability caused by things I can't fix like a neck profile I can't live with and can't swap it'll have short life span.

But I really do try to research things very well in advance and as thoroughly as I can so I don't make boneheaded mistakes.


Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
Murfreesboro, TN
It has been my experience that when you connect to a guitar you know it--it's hard to put it down. The better question is how long do you keep a guitar you don't connect with. Ideally, you know you connect before you buy. But that's not always possible, and inapplicable to gifts or inherited guitars or partscaster builds, or if you buy a neglected guitar with rusty or missing strings.

Many guitars are sold with lousy setups, and setup issues can definitely impair your enjoyment of a guitar . When I get a guitar I assume I'll have to make an adjustment or two to get it playing at its best. I generally don't give up on a guitar until I've fixed what's broken, set it up the best I can, tried it out with different amp settings, adjusted pickup heights, and maybe even tried a couple different string sets on it. Getting the right setup and the right strings on a guitar can be the difference between "meh" and "wow."

Sometimes there's an issue that can't be fixed. If a neck is causing hand cramps, if the weight or the general ergonomics are causing you spine or shoulder'll know within a few minutes of picking it up in the first place.


Senior Stratmaster
Jan 5, 2015
Pine Belt of MS
Back in the day I ordered a Gibson authorized Epi LP with a slim taper neck which I liked on my Gibson LPDC & Epi SG's. The guitar came, was beautiful but the neck didn't feel quiet right. I played it about 20 minutes until my fret hand thumb started to hurt really bad. I contacted the store and they said it was suppose to be a slim taper neck but I could return it if I wasn't happy.

It happened the wife's nephew, who is a Gibson LP collector, came up that weekend, played it and said it was more like a 50's rounded neck but not. He adjusted the string action even lower for me just to the point they didn't buzz but after 15 - 20 minutes my thumb was killing me again so I said it was going back. He really liked the color, the neck and gave me my money back on the spot saying that was his 1st EPI.
Long story short about 15 - 20 minutes for me to decide.


Senior Stratmaster
Nov 5, 2018
United Kingdom
I find that I almost immediately know whether a guitar has the potential to be a keeper or not, but it's not until I get everything dialled in and the guitar playing and sounding right that I really bond with it. That can take anything from a few days to a few months.