Good entry-level electric guitar?

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Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:43 am
  • I've thought about buying an electric guitar off and on over the past couple of years to try and learn how to play with. I've now decided to do it. However, I am 100% new to musical instruments. The last musical instrument of any kind I ever touched was the recorder in like, sixth grade; ha.

    I know we have a good number of serious music buffs around here, so I'm hoping to get some recommendations. If I end up liking it and sticking with it, I can always buy a better one down the road. I have no idea what to look for in a guitar, though. Anybody care to throw out some hints in regards to what I should look for?
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    RolandDeschain
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:14 am
  • Squire and Epiphone make some nice stuff for 200-300 bones. I really like the low end SGs Epiphone makes for use starting out, same with the Squire version Telecasters. Schecter makes some really solid guitars that have nice tone to boot in this same price range as well.

    Squire Telecaster
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/squier-vintage-modified-telecaster-custom-electric-guitar

    Epiphone SG
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/epiphone-vintage-g-400-electric-guitar

    Schecter
    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/schecter-guitar-research-omen-6-active-electric-guitar/h79842000001000

    The best thing about these guitars is that you can use them to play just about anything. The SG might be more for the Rock and Roll musicians, but the Fender and Schecter are more versatile. I've used an SG and a Fender in bands growing up, and I was really happy with the results. My buddy played a Schecter for years, and I was amazed at the tone he was able to draw out of it.

    To be entirely honest though, you can make a POS guitar sound good with the right pick-ups and a good amp. I say invest in something for around 300 bones (give or take), and upgrade the pick-ups. You'd be surprised how much of a difference good pick-ups can make.

    The amp is also going to make a huge difference in sound quality (the pricier the better, most of the time). You can get a nice personal size/traveler model amp for a decent price, and if you know a thing or two about speakers put a new speaker in it to make it sound even better. My bass amp blew a speaker, I put a 90's surround sound speaker in it for a replacement and it never sounded better (it did add a crap load of weight though, big ass 90's magnets). If you just want something you can plug into and play, Fender's travel amps are great, you can never go wrong with Marshall amps, and Orange makes the best sounding ampliphiers bar none.

    Hope that's a good jumping off point, Party on dude.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:58 am
  • TBH Roland, I wouldn't buy some low end guitar. The action is typically bad enough to frustrate. The last thing you want when starting out is frustration. You will get a 100 different answers on this, but my advice would be to spend a grand on a an American guitar, doesn't matter new or used. Learn on it and you will never have the luxury of blaming the guitar for your mistakes. That matters. If all goes well, you will love it, die with it, then pass it onto your kids.

    With a low end 300-400 guitar, if you don't like it (you won't), you might as well throw it away. Nobody wants it. With a Strat or Les Paul (etc), you can resell it for probably what you paid for it. That's my approach and let us know what you get into, we can help get you dialed in with stuff to make matters easier.

    Another tip: Keep your expectations realistic or you will end up like me. Frustrated that I will never play like Al DiMeola. I've got rid of prized guitars (59 LP Custom) because I felt unworthy. Truthfully, after many years of playing, I suck.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:13 am
  • OTOH, this is kinda cool. I just picked one of these up for the airports. I think it was like $500 bucks. What's cool about it is you are more apt to play it than a full size guitar. Whether sitting, lying, on a plane, in your car, whatever...you can grab this thing with ease and without bashing your partner.

    The neck is very similar to my Strat. Unbelievable. I bought it to be treated like a toy, I now play it a ton. I did have to replace the tuners, though. The factory ones are beyond bad...but very easy to replace. I also replaced the bridge and will likely replace the pick up with a Gibson PAF. But even now, it just screams and is very fast. It also has a built in amp, a tuner, a headphone jack and an input for your IPOD (so you can jam to tunes). It has something of a distortion built in and you may like that, but clean sounds better. I can't say enough about this little ax. Check it out.


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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:46 am
  • I would check out a thrift shop honestly. I got a nice guitar for 50.00 so I could play rocksmith. Works like a gem.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:01 am
  • yep pawn shops, thrift stores, craigslist and ebay are your friend. Sometimes you can get the best of both worlds and get a really nice guitar cheap but you have to act quick. I personally like buying cheap guitars and tweaking them.

    Until you really figure out if you want to play I see no point in dropping a grand on a guitar (unless you are going to sell it to me cheap) I would avoid any with a tremolo bar initially as nothing pisses you off faster then a guitar that wont stay in tune.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:25 am

Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:17 am
  • Ibanez makes a decent cheap guitar, also the Fender Squire.

    I bought a Carvin T-Bolt kit guitar and put all kinds of cool options on it.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:09 am
  • m0ng0 wrote:yep pawn shops, thrift stores, craigslist and ebay are your friend. Sometimes you can get the best of both worlds and get a really nice guitar cheap but you have to act quick. I personally like buying cheap guitars and tweaking them.

    Until you really figure out if you want to play I see no point in dropping a grand on a guitar (unless you are going to sell it to me cheap) I would avoid any with a tremolo bar initially as nothing pisses you off faster then a guitar that wont stay in tune.


    There's no deals (anymore) in pawn shops and you don't get "really nice guitars cheap". That's like saying you know a place where you can buy gold really cheap.

    The adage "buy the best and you will never be disappointed" couldn't be more true with guitars. Same with "you get what you pay for" in reference to the CL guitars you thoughtfully displayed above.

    If you "see no point in dropping a grand on a guitar"? You don't understand money, guitars or the principles of investing...or you didn't understand my post before contradicting it.

    Roland...You can buy a great, used AMERICAN Strat, Tele (etc), mint condition for like $800-1000 (perhaps cheaper over there). Play it and keep it or play it and sell it for the same $800-1000. That is "the point in dropping a grand on a guitar". Beats the hell out of dropping it off a bridge.

    Someone mentioned Ibanez. Made in Japan but several models (I have a 1980 Artist) are as good, or better, than anything American. But they also make some crap, too. Like I said, you're going to get 100 answers with this thread. I wish you well with your decision.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:57 am
  • I'll put in another vote for Epiphone's SG-400. Been playing about twenty-five years, and my SG400 was one of my faves. Never noticed any problems with the action... The body style can be a little prone to neck diving, but I'm guessing you're not used to lugging around a Les Paul and your body won't know any better.

    Maybe I just got lucky with mine.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:22 pm
  • Spend at least 600-700 on something made in the USA, Canada, or Japan. Look into Godin guitars if you want some good bang for your buck. Spending less than this on some Chinese piece of shit will hinder your learning process, possibly causing you to develop bad habits.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:30 pm
  • For his first electric guitar I bought my son new Fender Squire Bullet Strat with dual humbuckers, a Rocktron V-10 amp, strap, soft case, cables, picks and an electronic tuner for under $250. It sounds great, is well constructed and he can get any sound he wants out of it with the right tuning and size strings. No need to drop a grand on a first guitar. Jeff Healey, George Harrison and others have rocked the humble Squire on stage.

    Once you've played for a while and know better what you want in a guitar (pickups, solid body/hollow body etc.) you can invest in an axe you'll be happy with long term. My son's next guitar will be a Pettrucci Music Man 7 string, and he'll be the one buying it.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:48 pm
  • c_hawkbob wrote:For his first electric guitar I bought my son new Fender Squire Bullet Strat with dual humbuckers, a Rocktron V-10 amp, strap, soft case, cables, picks and an electronic tuner for under $250. It sounds great, is well constructed and he can get any sound he wants out of it with the right tuning and size strings. No need to drop a grand on a first guitar. Jeff Healey, George Harrison and others have rocked the humble Squire on stage.

    Once you've played for a while and know better what you want in a guitar (pickups, solid body/hollow body etc.) you can invest in an axe you'll be happy with long term. My son's next guitar will be a Pettrucci Music Man 7 string, and he'll be the one buying it.


    In the days when Healey and Harrison rocked the Squier on stage, it was made in Japan, on the same quality components and electronics as the guitars made in the USA. Those old Squier guitars are legendary for having superior quality craftsmanship than the entry level American made products. Unfortunately, this has not been true of Squier guitars for the better part of 20 years. Their instruments are playable, sure, but musical instruments are just like anything else that costs a lot of money - you nearly always get what you pay for. I can't recommend Squier or Epiphone instruments due to their notoriously cheap build quality and poor factory setup.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:54 pm
  • SmokinHawk wrote:Spend at least 600-700 on something made in the USA, Canada, or Japan. Look into Godin guitars if you want some good bang for your buck. Spending less than this on some Chinese piece of shit will hinder your learning process, possibly causing you to develop bad habits.


    A voice of reason.

    Can't understand why I can't get this concept across, of spending more $$ to save $$...but I will try one last time.

    Roland goes to the car lot. The salesperson says "I have a 2010 Honda accord (Gibson), runs like a dream. It's $10,000. I also have a 1972 Pinto (Squire). It's drives pretty bumpy and will require maintenance (neck adjustments etc). It's $3,000".

    Salesman continues: " Do understand, If you buy the Honda, I will give you in writing, that I will give you your $10,000 back next year, or 10 years from now. If you buy the Pinto, I never want to see it again".

    Which is the better deal?

    Another good thing about buying a guitar, that plays like a dream and will forever retain it's value....is that feeling of guilt when you don't play it. You will want every edge and bit of motivation you can get. Trust me on this and I will say no more unless you ask.

    Before buying an amp, let me know and I will dial you in on something I just got. You will never want a traditional amp or pedals again.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:03 pm
  • SmokinHawk wrote:
    c_hawkbob wrote:For his first electric guitar I bought my son new Fender Squire Bullet Strat with dual humbuckers, a Rocktron V-10 amp, strap, soft case, cables, picks and an electronic tuner for under $250. It sounds great, is well constructed and he can get any sound he wants out of it with the right tuning and size strings. No need to drop a grand on a first guitar. Jeff Healey, George Harrison and others have rocked the humble Squire on stage.

    Once you've played for a while and know better what you want in a guitar (pickups, solid body/hollow body etc.) you can invest in an axe you'll be happy with long term. My son's next guitar will be a Pettrucci Music Man 7 string, and he'll be the one buying it.


    In the days when Healey and Harrison rocked the Squier on stage, it was made in Japan, on the same quality components and electronics as the guitars made in the USA. Those old Squier guitars are legendary for having superior quality craftsmanship than the entry level American made products. Unfortunately, this has not been true of Squier guitars for the better part of 20 years. Their instruments are playable, sure, but musical instruments are just like anything else that costs a lot of money - you nearly always get what you pay for. I can't recommend Squier or Epiphone instruments due to their notoriously cheap build quality and poor factory setup.


    You know your stuff bro. The Japanese at one point, were hellbent on taking over the industry. Their Yokohama shops and (?) shops were legendary. I've owned both the Gibson ES-335 and still own the Ibanez Artist. The Artist was/is so good, that Gibson freaked and put the squeeze on Ibanez. Real happy I got this...it's either an '80 or '81, I'd have to look. I believe this is referred to as the "pre-lawsuit" model. I couldn't ask for a better ax. It's way better than I am. But the Squires and Epiphones are too, lol.

    Have you toyed with the Boss-JS10? This thing is a riot and I would encourage both newbies and pros to check it out. Had I had this 20 years ago, well, I would be 20x better.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:52 pm
  • The video game rock smith "guarantees" you will be good at guitar in 60 days

    After i finish school i might give this a try.

    i tried learning guitar before for a few months and was able to play songs like sweet child o mine and "plush" by stp but damn it does take some commitment
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:18 pm
  • HawkWow wrote:
    m0ng0 wrote:yep pawn shops, thrift stores, craigslist and ebay are your friend. Sometimes you can get the best of both worlds and get a really nice guitar cheap but you have to act quick. I personally like buying cheap guitars and tweaking them.

    Until you really figure out if you want to play I see no point in dropping a grand on a guitar (unless you are going to sell it to me cheap) I would avoid any with a tremolo bar initially as nothing pisses you off faster then a guitar that wont stay in tune.


    There's no deals (anymore) in pawn shops and you don't get "really nice guitars cheap". That's like saying you know a place where you can buy gold really cheap.

    The adage "buy the best and you will never be disappointed" couldn't be more true with guitars. Same with "you get what you pay for" in reference to the CL guitars you thoughtfully displayed above.

    If you "see no point in dropping a grand on a guitar"? You don't understand money, guitars or the principles of investing...or you didn't understand my post before contradicting it.



    Roland did not ask for an investment, he asked about a decent entry level guitar. I "thoughtfully" posted some decent guitars for under 500$ A Fender (not a squire) Telecaster for 360, a Schecter with EMG pickups for 400? an old jackson for 200? I do understand guitars a bit and am not above saying someones Hondo might actually be a good playing guitar. Why the attitude boss?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:28 pm
  • Whoa bro...sorry if my post read that way. Midnite last night in a storm that blew half the roof tile off and rattled the house, I apologize if I came off in a way unattended. But I did take (slight) exception to your contradiction that buying a top end guitar made no sense. Buying top end anything always makes sense. No, he didn't ask for an investment...he didn't ask for a money loser either. Like I said, Roland will get 100 answers to this question. I'm trying to offer him the best guitar possible, that he can resell for the same price if he bails on playing.

    Musical instruments, guitars in particular, are very personal to every individual. With that, this thread could get uglier than a Harvin thread, LOL. Again I apologize for my tone if it offended you. Nice comment on the "Hondo", LOL, I've not heard that name in ages.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:13 pm
  • No worries, I was hoping I was wrong :D you made mention of "Before buying an amp, let me know and I will dial you in on something I just got. You will never want a traditional amp or pedals again" do tell !
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:39 pm
  • m0ng0 wrote:No worries, I was hoping I was wrong :D you made mention of "Before buying an amp, let me know and I will dial you in on something I just got. You will never want a traditional amp or pedals again" do tell !


    Cool bro. I've only had this thing for a bit and haven't got deep into it. It's very hard to go deep into it because once plugged in, and you select your amp (crazy how you can get a Fender tube sound with this thing) and your effects (they are limitless), it's hard to not just play. It records and you can put your own rhythm down, then play over the top f it. It also has like 300 pre-recorded rhythms all recorded by actual artists on actual instruments. The sound? It's not much bigger than a clock radio. I worried abut the sound quality, though it can be plugged into an amp. By itself...it's awesome. I have no idea how they squeezed so much technology into this little package. Also has a tuner and on and on...frikin' crazy.

    Check it out here:
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:50 pm

Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:58 pm
  • I've only put maybe 20 hrs on it thus far but I've not had a single complaint. Living in the tropics (with storms blowing my roof off) I am obviously concerned about the effect of humidity on the electronics, but so far all is good. So good, that if something did go wrong, I'd buy another tomorrow. A buddy of mine has a hard time keeping support and has asked me to play lead at some nightly gig he does (for tourists). That ain't me (and I am not that good). I turned him onto this little box and he hasn't invited me since, lol.

    I think there are other models, probably cheaper (JS8?), but this one has the bells and whistles. Unsure how long they've been on the market, so unsure if one can be purchased used. I doubt it, though. Can't imagine anyone parting with it.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:14 pm
  • Fender american standard stratocaster gets my vote. Versatile, easy to play/learn on, will hold it's value if taken care of (no belt buckle scratches etc).

    A couple of years ago I bought one off the wall at a music store. I wasn't even shopping for a new axe, I was just hanging out and noodling around. The white american strat I pulled down, it was sweet! great build quality, super sweet neck, electronics weren't everything they could be but the instrument itself was a great value at the price point so I walked out with it. Today I could sell it for what I paid for it no problem.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:44 pm
  • Man that's a beautiful guitar, SH. Congratulations on the purchase/ investment.

    The Mrs bought me my first Strat (ever) last Xmas. I was always an LP guy and the Gibson / Fender people are like Chevy vs. Ford people, so I never owned one before. It's from Fender's custom shop in Cali. The best burst finish I've ever seen. It's loaded with the EMG actives (like David Gilmore's rig) and it just screams. I'm sure my neighbors are very excited about it. ; )Like my LPs, I am unworthy of such a fine guitar. As you stated, you can't go wrong with an American Strat (or LP).

    Thinking about it, I'm gonna' say that overall, I like it better than the Paul (certainly lighter) and with today's new rigs, you can make it sound like an LP, anyway. No longer is all that excessive weight necessary for that famous LP sustain. I'm gonna' pull it out now.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:11 pm
  • Great post hw. Enjoyed it.

    I'm a les paul guy. I have a sparkle top les paul standard that is the apple of my eye. Can you hear the sustain? Haha. It just sounds so amazing, incredible guitar.

    But, it's heavy and not super easy to play. I wouldn't recommend it as a student instrument.

    I also have a 90's custom shop floyd rose equipped ibanez. Plays butter smooth, super low action, but the floyd rode is a pita to deal with, too much hassle for a student.

    Cheap guitars are not good to learn on imo. Typically they have issues with action, intonation, and tuning stability. and those things are going to be discouraging to anyone much less a beginner. Something easy to play and change the strings on that stays in tune is the way to go I reckon. Also as i mentioned quality instruments hold their value if cared for so the dollar cost of using them is ultimately less than a cheap guitar and you get the enjoyment of having a nice thing to boot.
    RIP Les. We will miss you.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:30 pm
  • Thanks for wording that all so much more eloquently than I was able to do, SH. I fear I gave the impression I was being snobbish about lesser guitars. There may be some truth to that, I suppose, but it wasn't my intent (at all). My dad bought me...I don't know what it was...when I was like 7. It was so hard to play that...well, I don't know what happened to it but I didn't start playing again until my early 20s.. How valuable those missing years would be now.

    You sound like you know what you're doing and that LP must be handsome as a mofo. But even still, I'm sure you recall being green and the misery, frustration and self hate (lol) that went with that. I always advise people to get the best they can because when struggling, it don't take much to slide the guitar under the bed. A sh*tty guitar provides that excuse: "If I only had a a better guitar....".

    I'm so over the plateaus (and valleys). I've actually digressed over the past few months, I get pissed and try not to even look at my guitars. Sometimes for weeks at a time. That's why I got rid of the '59. I would look at it and just loathe my playing. I seriously wanted it to have a better home. Probably sound like a psycho, but that's me. Any advice you can offer to get thru these difficult times, SH? Don't let my guitar retardation scare you off, Roland!
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:56 pm
  • as I was soaking in the bathtub with a fine beverage reading a book about William the Conquerer, i started thinking about the need for a fine quality guitar and amp with these new modelling systems like this boss js 10 you were just showing us? The guitar almost becomes a midi controller and it seems to eliminate so many quirks in the signal chain like a single coil strat played thru a tube screamer with a fresh 9 volt into a vox ac30 with celestian greenbacks? tone is something some work a lifetime to achieve and now in a sense it can all be dialed in with a punch of buttons on any old guitar.

    its almost sad technology has taken such a leap?
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:17 pm
  • So true, Mongo. My amps and pedals are..well, somewhere (?). I think in our warehouse. Don't need them at all anymore. May never even see them again. And it really has become that simple and the support the Sweetwater people give just makes it all that much easier. I call the dude up (he has one)...ask him if he knows how to get that Morello sound and he'll call me back with some settings that gets me close. I hope you can find a place to demo one. But bring your wallet. Even as a purist, you will probably have to have it.

    And hey bro...I re-read my post that that chapped you a bit. I saw that you put "thoughtfully" in quotes. I really did mean it as thoughtfully...no sarcasm at all. But TBH, yes, I was saying I didn't care for those guitars, but wanted to add that it was very thoughtful of you to research then post actual links. That was very cool of you and while I know we are good, I wanted to explain. So now we're really good, right? Aloha.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:29 pm
  • yeah absolutely! its just frustrating as I run into this in the photography world as well as music in that your gear defines what you are, a 3000$ PRS does not write killer songs just like a 3000$ nikon does not capture an amazing image, its the mind and imagination regardless of what tools you employ. better tools obviously help but its not required.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:39 pm
  • Wow. Your mention of photography made me notice your link / work. Remarkable! I couldn't pick a favorite...though I got a bit lost in the beach scene with (what appeared to be) a river running into the ocean. Beautiful.

    It's also a hobby for my wife and she will love your work. If you ever get our way (Hawaii) , let me know and I'll direct you to some beaches less frequented and I presume, less photographed.

    BTW if "your gear defines what you are"... I should sell off and buy the Hondo. ; )
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:59 pm
  • Hw,

    When I was young I took it very seriously. Practicing for 5 hours a day and all that. And I got burnt out. I took something enjoyable and made myself miserable doing it.

    I think it was maybe a year after I quit playing, I picked up an acoustic guitar at a party and started struming a few chords. I found a corner and started playing some simple songs and quietly sining the words. It felt really good, effortless. I looked up and there was a room full of people watching me. I was dumbfounded. It was at that moment I realized i needed to serve the music, bring the music to life. playing the instrument as a means of gratfiying my ego was what made it suck.

    I go through phases of being active, playing in bands and writing and recording music, and sometimes I'll go for months without touching the guitar. That's just how it works for me.

    And btw, love the lp standard precisely for how it interacts with a tube amp (lots of sustain with minimal gain). I can do quite a number of things that really aren't feasible using solid state electronics, even the latest and greatest gadgets. One important facet is that vacumm tubes respond to resistance from the speakers, and you can use that in conjunction with the relationship of the pickup to the speaker, the way you attack the strings, and the volume tone and gain controls to do quite a lot of neat stuff. I'm done with the marshall stack though. The little 20 watt units like the orange are great and they aren't a pain in the ass to move around.

    These days i mostly play the acoustic out on the back porch. I'll probably get the itch to do the electric thing again one day.
    RIP Les. We will miss you.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:22 pm
  • "playing the instrument as a means of gratfiying my ego was what made it suck".

    Hmm, that sounds familiar. Really hit home. I'm the type that wants to run when I should be walking. I even bought the 59 because it was exactly the same as Dimeola's. Friends think I sound good, the wife more critical (and why I love 'er). She gets frustrated because I will never play a complete song (anymore). She will exclaim "that sounded so good, why did you stop"?. I guess the answer is.. if I can already play it, I am already bored with it (?).

    I mentioned earlier, doing radio may have messed up the way I listen to music. I don't feel like I really feel it anymore. It's just there and I don't dedicate myself to it like I do my other pre-occupations. I wish I had your focus and resolve. You also seem to have a good idea of when it's time to take a break and I feel like I am forcing everything. Earlier I said I was going to pull out the Strat..I did, played it for 5 minutes, got bored and it's now just sitting there giving me the evil eye, lol.

    You mention that you enjoy singing along with your acoustic. I don't sing but wonder if that would help. A buddy told me he can't do one or the other with the same degree of success. Do you feel it necessary to max your potential on the guitar? Damn....Roland is probably out shopping for a saxophone by now, lol.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:34 pm
  • Singing will help.

    Yes when you do both at once you have to accept that your playing may be a little less precise, but the tradeoff is it gets your mind off the mechanics and mental dialog of playing the instrument and gets you locked into the melody and the overall feel of the material. I suspect it might make it fresh and fun for you.
    RIP Les. We will miss you.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:54 pm
  • enjoyin this thread :)
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:08 pm
  • sadhappy wrote:Singing will help.

    Yes when you do both at once you have to accept that your playing may be a little less precise, but the tradeoff is it gets your mind off the mechanics and mental dialog of playing the instrument and gets you locked into the melody and the overall feel of the material. I suspect it might make it fresh and fun for you.


    I'm gonna' try it...hope it doesn't end in divorce, lol. That ultimateguitar.com site has a ton of songs with lyrics. Maybe tomorrow night in the 4th, bored from watching TJack hand the ball to CM, I'll will get to work. Ha! ; ) Nice chatting with you today. Quite educational.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:11 pm
  • Enjoyed the discussion as well. Fun stuff to talk about. :)
    RIP Les. We will miss you.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:30 pm

Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:34 pm
  • I've definitely gotten some good info from this thread, M0ng0. Thanks to everyone for chiming in. I've got some decisions to make and additional research to do. :) (I'm not in any big rush to make my purchase, for the record.)
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:38 am
  • I've played Mexi-strats and telecasters that have played just as nice if not nicer than American made ones, although it is the exception more than the rule. Buying a guitar depends on which style/sound you want and what your budget is, Epiphone, MIM Fenders or even something like a Gretsch Pro Jet would make for good starters guitars without breaking the bank.

    On a side note, I learned to play on an acoustic and when I made the transition over to electric it was much easier. Just as much research, if not more, needs to go into buying an amplifier for an electric guitar. I would just peruse all of your options.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:04 am
  • +1 for Ibanez and Epiphone for a lower price range.

    Fender makes good guitars but you generally have to pay close to the $1,000+ range to get something good. Their mexican guitars are not very good IMO (come out of tune a lot, etc).
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:08 am
  • One last point I wanted to explore.

    (I do recognize this analogy runs the risk of taking things off-topic, and I'm depending on people's better nature's with this) From a strictly financial perspective I think guitars are a lot like guns. This is how I see an entry level purchase.

    Budget shopper: If you're on a tight budget you can get something that's reliable and reasonably accurate at a budget price, understanding that the fit finish and build quality aren't going to be all that. Because of variations and lesser quality control you really have to do your homework and evaluate the item on an individual basis to make sure you're getting a good one. If you have more time than money and aren't a collector type personality this a good strategy. I'm thinking tarus or ruger

    Value shopper: A value shopper has less of a hard financial constraint, but because they're not an expert user, quality and ease of use at a fair price point is the strategy. Something that comes to mind would be a smith and Wesson revolver. If you're looking at glass case display, those revolvers are going to have a bigger price tag than most of the surrounding products. But the build quality/fit and finish is to a good spec so you know what you're getting, and if you look at the resale value, it's usually not much off the retail cost and because it's a desirable item it's easy to find a buyer if you want to sell it later.

    I do think once you get past that value level you're in enthusiast territory and there's sharply diminishing returns. A PRS custom costs several times what an american standard strat costs and the differences would not be meaningful to a beginner. The cost difference between epiphone/squire level instruments and fender usa instrument is not huge, but the difference in quality is apparent even to a novice. But if you don't have the money you don't have the money and you can be patient and find yourself a good bargain without ending up with a piece of crap that you wish you hadn't tried to save a few bucks by buying.

    Ok, that's all I got.

    ha! :)

    -s
    RIP Les. We will miss you.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:37 am
  • Pick up multiple guitars while shopping and play what you can, and buy the one that feels most comfortable playing. This tip will save you a lot of time. The neck feel is very important.

    Then remember, you GET what you pay for.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:52 am
  • Largent80 wrote:Pick up multiple guitars while shopping and play what you can, and buy the one that feels most comfortable playing. This tip will save you a lot of time. The neck feel is very important.

    Then remember, you GET what you pay for.


    I'm glad someone mentioned this. Each guitar's going to feel different depending on the size of your hand and your fingers. For me, Fender was the most comfortable, so I ended up going with a Telecaster.

    I also chose the Telecaster instead of the Stratocaster because I play more chords than soloing and the Tele's a bit wider for that purpose. So, you'll want to know what kind of music you're planning on playing, as well, because that'll influence your choice.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:07 am
  • I appreciate all the tips. It sounds like I'm going to be spending $600-$700 or perhaps more. I didn't realize there was no such thing as a good entry-level guitar, lol. Part of why I made the thread - I am a TOTAL noob to this.

    Another noob question. Do I even need an amp for anything right now? I am going to start learning using Rocksmith. I have a decent pair of headphones (http://en-us.sennheiser.com/gamer-heads ... one-pc-360) I can use. I certainly don't have any interest in anyone hearing me play until I become good at it, haha.

    Also, can I expect reasonably good advice in terms of finding the right fit (regardless of where I buy from) if I go to a Guitar Center store? There's one right near me in Kirkland, and I don't know if that's like going to Best Buy to ask about electronics which is a bad idea because their sales associates don't know crap, or if I can expect the employees at Guitar Center to actually have some knowledge.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:47 am
  • 600 - 700 dollars will get you a pretty solid guitar. I've heard that guitar center doesn't keep their products well stored, but you could almost make that argument for any store I suppose. Their staff is probably going to be more knowledgeable than Best Buy, but really it's going to come down to what you want anyway and how it feels. If you are worried about how the guitar will sound in various amps as well as it's long-term durability and things like staying in tune, I would check out Harmony Central's review database. There are lots of reviews for almost every single electric guitar you can buy. There is really not "fit" for somebody as pretty much all guitars are the same size with slight variations in the neck width and depth. If it's your first guitar, probably all of them are going to seem a bit uncomfortable as you get used to it.

    http://www.harmonycentral.com/t5/Electr ... -p/rr-1601


    As for an amp...yes you will need an amp, unless Rocksmith comes with one (i'm not familiar with the product). I have an audio interface plugged into my computer that has 1/4" inputs that I can plug an electric guitar into and use PC software for an amplifier, although IMO it's not as good as a nice amp.



    I know you didn't ask about practicing/playing, but IMO if you want to get good as fast as possible, make sure you are really pushing your fingers to the point where they hurt.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:38 pm
  • I'm not in any rush to become good as fast as possible; and I certainly don't want to overdo it and burn out. Rocksmith doesn't need an amp, it comes with a 1/4" to USB cable you plug in to your computer and the sound goes through there. Even if you have poor speakers or headphones, (which I don't) the software will recognize exactly what you're really playing even if you can't hear the proper nuances.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:46 pm
  • RolandDeschain wrote:I'm not in any rush to become good as fast as possible; and I certainly don't want to overdo it and burn out. Rocksmith doesn't need an amp, it comes with a 1/4" to USB cable you plug in to your computer and the sound goes through there. Even if you have poor speakers or headphones, (which I don't) the software will recognize exactly what you're really playing even if you can't hear the proper nuances.


    Did you look at the JS10 youtube thing I posted? Unless you're hitting the stage, amps are now obsolete. As are pedals. You should also look at the traveler guitar I posted. . Right in your price range and a (full scale) neck you will play more frequently than a full size guitar. ..and you don't need an amp. As stated, I have a sizable collection, I now play it more than any other. Just so convenient and fits in an overhead, too.

    Another thing, Roland...why not buy an acoustic for now? A few hundred bucks will get you a damn good, used acoustic and you don't need to purchase anything else. Should you stay playing, you're ultimately going to end up getting one anyway.

    To all you guitar whizzes...I would really encourage you too to demo both the Traveler and JS10. The Traveler needs new tuners, bridge and pick-up, but you have a tiny, hot rod (with full scale neck) when you're done. Love this thing.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:50 pm
  • sadhappy wrote:One last point I wanted to explore.

    (I do recognize this analogy runs the risk of taking things off-topic, and I'm depending on people's better nature's with this) From a strictly financial perspective I think guitars are a lot like guns. This is how I see an entry level purchase.

    Budget shopper: If you're on a tight budget you can get something that's reliable and reasonably accurate at a budget price, understanding that the fit finish and build quality aren't going to be all that. Because of variations and lesser quality control you really have to do your homework and evaluate the item on an individual basis to make sure you're getting a good one. If you have more time than money and aren't a collector type personality this a good strategy. I'm thinking tarus or ruger

    Value shopper: A value shopper has less of a hard financial constraint, but because they're not an expert user, quality and ease of use at a fair price point is the strategy. Something that comes to mind would be a smith and Wesson revolver. If you're looking at glass case display, those revolvers are going to have a bigger price tag than most of the surrounding products. But the build quality/fit and finish is to a good spec so you know what you're getting, and if you look at the resale value, it's usually not much off the retail cost and because it's a desirable item it's easy to find a buyer if you want to sell it later.

    I do think once you get past that value level you're in enthusiast territory and there's sharply diminishing returns. A PRS custom costs several times what an american standard strat costs and the differences would not be meaningful to a beginner. The cost difference between epiphone/squire level instruments and fender usa instrument is not huge, but the difference in quality is apparent even to a novice. But if you don't have the money you don't have the money and you can be patient and find yourself a good bargain without ending up with a piece of crap that you wish you hadn't tried to save a few bucks by buying.

    Ok, that's all I got.

    ha! :)

    -s


    That's the guitar shoppers bible right there. Great insight / contribution. (again I thank you, SH, for the sage advice yesterday...I'm formulating a new, plateau conquering approach right now). Aloha.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:50 am
  • The rocksmith should work fine roland.

    As far as getting 3d help in instrument selection, the attendant at a chain store is probably going to steer you to whatever's most beneficial to him unfortunately. My suggestion would be to find out where the local pros take their guitars for work, it'll typically be a small shop run by some old rocker. I think you would enjoy that a lot, they always have lots of war stories to tell from their glory days and they love to share knowledge.


    Hawkwow: aloha to you too. I might be a mainlander, but I am not without breath. ;)
    RIP Les. We will miss you.
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Re: Good entry-level electric guitar?
Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:57 am
  • First, I agree that a guitar is $600+ or not at all.

    Second, some local stores will actually rent musical instruments for a term of months. This might be a good way to go as you learn and figure out what you like. It's how I got my start.

    Finally, although this topic is about electric, you should know that it's no problem to go from acoustic to electric, but the reverse is not true. I think the more holistic approach is generally to learn acoustic first.
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