To buy a guitar, follow these steps:
#1 Know your budget. As a beginner, try to keep your budget low. Around $200-$300 for any guitar. Used guitars are great as well, so check your local pawn shops and used dealers. Just because the guitar is expensive does not mean it is a good guitar, but also beware of guitars that are under $150, as some may be cheaply made.
#2 Research on the internet. Find someone close to you that has played guitar for a while. Ask them what brands and types of guitars to look for and which to avoid. For example, Fender, Martin and Gibson are very well-known high quality brands.
#3 Know if you are going to play an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar. It depends on the style you play.
#4 Go into the guitar stores and play a few guitars. Have your guitar-playing friend go with you to several shops and stores to help you. As a beginner, your ear may not recognize subtle tone qualities that your friend will pick up and help you.
#5 Ask the salesman. Get a pick and a strap from the sales representative and ask him to show you guitars at the higher end of your price range.
#6 Have the clerk tune the guitar to the concert pitch or standard tuning. This will allow you to better compare this guitar with others.
#7 Get giggy with the one you love. Try several guitars sitting and standing. If they don't seem natural to you, even slightly, they might be wrong for you. Try several guitars until you find one that feels good in your hands and on your body.
#8 Place your index finger directly behind the first fret on the fattest string (E6). The fret is the raised metal "line". Pluck the string with a decent amount of force. Listen for buzzes, pops, or odd noises. Check behind each fret on each string using a hard pressure. If you notice even the slightest bit of "non musical" noise, ask the salesman to adjust and re-tune the guitar. Check the guitar again, if the problem persists, don't get that guitar.