A good Guitar for a Beginner

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gnaw, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Gnaw

    Gnaw Banned

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    Just wanted to know which Guitar, or Guitar company, is good for beginners to playing. Nothing to expensive, but nothing cheap. And should I start off with an acoustic and work my way to Electric, or just pick whichever I am interested in?
     
  2. Numlock

    Numlock Starving Artist

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    welcome to the world of guitar playing if you're just beginning!

    to answer your question, you need to get the guitar that SOUNDS and FEELS right to YOUR ears and hands... there is no one best company/guitar/etc.

    Depending on what kind of music you want to go with, and style you want to play you'll like different things...

    I'd say most commonly Ibanez is good for metal/aggressive players because of the thin/fast necks which are great for power chords and shredding, ands Strat/Fenders for alternative/rock because the fatter fret board allows for more grip for complex chords. That's just my opinion though... there are plenty of other brands out there and things people like for different reasons.

    My first guitar was an Ibanez GRX-70 (sitting right next to me at work), and I learned on Metallica/Pantera/Pennywise/Bad Religion, so it was a perfect fit for my style... it was $209 when I got it.

    So all in all, yeh... get what you're interested in hearing every day, looking at all the time, and very importantly feels right in your hands.

    Goodluck!
     
  3. Destroyer

    Destroyer Destruction to all

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    I disagree

    He is right about what feels right.But a good stater would be a fender so you can get acustomed to playing.I always thought the low frets and wide er neck was alot easier to learn chords on.But I totally disagree about Ibenez.Those guitars are crap in my book.I can get plenty of speed out of a fender and if you want that metal sound just install a semour duncan stack in the back pick up slot bam!Some of the best lead guitar have played fender.
     
  4. godsenddeath

    godsenddeath . TFW2005 Supporter

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    If you want to play Electric guitar then that's what you should get.




    ....and Ib*a*nez have more than a few decent players in their stable too. It doesn't mean much though; Signature series guitars and the guitars that endorsers are supplied with aren't always the same model.
     
  5. Sixshot

    Sixshot Jeff Goldbluman Group

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    Fender, eh, in my opinion, is not hot shit.

    Ernie Ball Music Man guitars, however, are the shit, but not practically priced for a beginner. I would recommend Ibanez. Ibanez does pretty decent with their factory made guitars. 500 dollars can go a long way: you can have a quality instrument that won't frustrate you.

    Don't let anyone tell you to either get an electric or acoustic. Get what you want to play.
     
  6. Turtle Boy

    Turtle Boy LORD, of nothing.

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    While we are one the subject, i was wondering how meny people actualy play the guitar here on the board.

    i myself play an Epiphone GS, with a Marshall MG 100 DFX i also use an Ashton GA 100 stack. both amps are good IMO but i prefer the marshall.
     
  7. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Brand wars are hideous in the guitar world.

    For years I played Carvin, and recommended them heartily. They make great guitars, but I wouldn't wish dealing with them on my worst enemy at this point.

    I've also played Epiphones, genuine Gibsons, Fenders, Jacksons, Charvels, BC Rich, ESP and now, finally, Ibanez. What can you say about any one brand? A lot of good and a lot of not so good. On any of them.

    Don't buy a guitar based on the name on the headstock. Down that path madness lies. For your first guitar, find one that looks sexy to you. Actually, find a bunch that look sexy to you, then get a feel for each of them. Even if you don't know how to play right, just pick them up and hold them as if you were playing them. Press the strings and see if it feels OK. Some people like high action, heavy strings. Some people like low action, light strings. Some people like thick necks, some thin. Some like wide, some like skinny. Until you actually know how to play, the only way to judge is just by taking a hold of it and seeing if it makes you feel anything. All of them will be awkward to some degree at first. Which is why you don't throw a thousand bucks at your first guitar. You simply don't know what you prefer yet.

    Grab yourself something affordable, which is again subjective based on how much you're willing to invest. But don't buy that "dream guitar" level axe just yet. My reccomendation is something in the three to four hundred dollar range. That's sort of a sweet spot for low to mid-range instruments. Don't worry about brand. Don't worry about what some schlep on a message board tells you is good. Try multiple instruments at multiple stores. That also will give you a feel for how different stores treat newbs to the guitar world. You'll want someone you can trust to help you with setups and such for those first few months. A few minutes can tell you a lot about how a store treats its customers, both long-termers, and new people.

    You don't need the perfect guitar to start. You just need something that doesn't disgust you enough to prevent you from playing. I started on a sixties era Sears Spectrum Four guitar. I grew to hate it as I actually started to learn how to play, but I owe a lot to that instrument. It still holds a special place in my musical heart.

    Basically, the only advice that really matters for a first time guitar buyer is, try what looks good to you first. It needs to appeal to you on that level so that you want to pick it up. The feel is going to be tough to judge until you know what you're capable of playing, but you'll still have a sense of "this feels right" when you pick up the right guitar for you.

    Good luck. You're headed down a fun path with this. It can get expensive, but be oh so much fun.
     
  8. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    Ebay:
    Spend at least a couple hundred dollars on your first instrument, and get it at a guitar store--don't buy one of those "value packs" from Walmart or Target where you get a guitar, amp, and strap for like $75 (or whatever they cost). Going too cheap means you run the risk of 'outgrowing' your instrument really quick. I recommend a Strat or Strat copy to start out with... Fender makes those "Squier" strats that play well and are fairly inexpensive.

    Sadly, I fall into the realm of 'collector' far more than 'player' these days, as I haven't played with anyone in over ten years.

    My instruments include the following... if you don't see a brand represented here, it's because I played it and didn't like it. :lol 

    Paul Reed Smith Custom 22, Carvin DC400, Rickenbacker 360, Rickenbacker 360 (12), Gibson ES-175, Les Paul Classic, Les Paul Custom, Les Paul Goldtop, Epiphone Les Paul Junior, Fender Am. Std. Strat, Fender Am. Std. Strat w/ Roland Synth electronics, Gibson 335, Gibson SG, Carvin Bolt (one of the kits you put together)

    Half a dozen "throw around" guitars, various Strat and Gibson copies, six acoustics, all various Ovation models, & a couple of basses.

    For amplification, Marshall & Peavey.
     
  9. Brandon

    Brandon This is important work.

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    *raises hand*

    Been playing for about 10 years or so. Don't get to play as often nowadays. But I like to pick up my first strat every now and again and mess around with stuff.
     
  10. Ktulu

    Ktulu Whoosh TFW2005 Supporter

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    In my opinion - You DO want something relatively cheap at first. A TON of people buy guitars, try to play it a few times, decide it's too hard and they never touch em again. Don't invest too much right out of the gate. Guitar might not be for you in the long run, so you never know.

    And if you're wanting to play electric, I do actually suggest starting on an acoustic. A lot of acoustic guitars are a bit more difficult to play in various ways, thus, if you cut your teeth on those, when you switch to electrics, after you adjust, you'll have better than average finger dexterity and stamina for someone just starting out on an electric.

    I have no specific brand advice. For a beginner you don't need to go after the cream of the crop. If you do want to start with acoustic and switch to electric though, try to get an acoustic with a cut away body like electrics have so you can get used to that feel, and try to get one with a slim body.

    My primary advice for when you start playing is USE ALL YOUR FINGERS. For years I really neglected using my ring and pinky fingers while playing and it's hurt me big time on finger dexterity and finger speed, I can't play really really complex solos cleanly yet because all of my fingers aren't on par with each other in terms of strength and speed. If you start off using them all, down the road you'll be able to handle more complex fingering patterns with greater ease.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
  11. pscoop

    pscoop Dead inside

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    I agree with Ktulu. I think it is much easier to move to electric from a steel string acoustic than the other way around. Don't get discouraged because it will be hard on your hands and fingers but they will get used to it. And if you can get good at playing acoustic you will be much more diverse and swithing to electric will be a lot easier.
     
  12. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Let me add a little something to this. You want inexpensive, not cheap. The difference is about a hundred bucks, give or take, but those hundred bucks can make a HUGE difference. The difference between a $150 guitar and a $250 guitar is almost bigger than the difference between a $250 guitar and a $1,000 guitar. And a beginner won't appreciate the differences between $250 and $1,000 until they've been playing a while.

    And I'm not on-board the "start acoustic and move over" method. I've known people that love electric, start acoustic, and can never make the adjustment needed to get used to lighter playing styles. Of course, I've also known people that couldn't adjust the other way, so it's all about figuring where you want to be and heading that way.
     
  13. DestronGenerals

    DestronGenerals Well-Known Member

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    seeing as it is my day job to sell guitars i felt obligated to respond to this thread. (not that my opinion means more than anyone elses).

    To adress Ibanez: I wouldn't get anything cheaper than a G Series, they're not worth it and you're better off springing for a better Ibanez or some sort of Standard or Deluxe Fender. Schecter's are also in the same boat as Ibanez, you don't want the cheapest model but they are pretty nicely constructed and I think the C series especially have a very comfortable contoured body for a beginner and their necks are also comfortable where I feel the Wizard necks on RGs are very uncomfortable.

    So I may have come off seeming a little biased towards Fender, but my first guitar (an acoustic) was an Ibanez PF-6 (now they make PF-5s with electronics and cutaways).

    To address the acoustic v. electric question, I think the most important thing is to do what you want, but Ktulu makes a point about having increased finger strength and dexterity when moving from acoustic to electric but you can also apply too much pressure on an electric after having played an acoustic for awhile, and this will result in bending notes only slightly out of tune. Maybe not a big deal for a beginner but you'll hate it later. The point I'm trying to get at here is to get what you think you'll be playing most often based on what style of music you think you'll be playing the most, especially if guitar is only going to be a casual hobby. Just be aware there is a slight adjustment from acoustic to electric and back, I play both everyday so I don't really notice.

    A bonus of starting with an acoustic is that you don't have to buy an amp and therefore put more money into a nicer guitar. If you do decide on electric I strongly reccommend the Fender GDEC, it has different musical genre loops that you can play along to in any key or tempo and that will help you tremendously when you want to learn how to solo, they are relatively inexpensive as well for how nice they are.

    If you want to go the acoustic route, Yamaha, Takamine, and Ibanez are very popular. The difference between a (US Dollars) $150 Yamaha and $500 Yamaha is miles. Ibanez V series are one of the most popular starter acoustics out there, but for $100 more the PF series are worth it. Takamine are nice as well, not as cheap though. Just try everything within your price range and pick what you think feels and sounds the best.

    One last word: When budgeting, keep in mind that most inexpensive guitars do not come with cases and many don't come with gig bags. Bags will run you about (again US dollars sorry) $29.99 and cases $79.99 to $119.99. I like Roadrunners polyfoam cases. They're in the middle. Soft on the outside and molded on the inside: $59.99. Also any salesman is going to try to pile accessories on your purchase (I'm guilty of this) but don't feel obligated to buy anything you don't think you really need immediately, a stand, a strap, etc. A case however is a must I think.

    And for all of you fellow guitar players. My acoustic isn't very nice like I said earlier, Ibanez PF-6NT and I have an old Japanese 1960's-70's Kent that I found gutted and had it restored just for fun.
    Now for my babies: A Mexican Fender Deluxe Powerhouse Strat. My first electric guitar (second overall) and still one of the best I've ever played. I think it lists at about $860 now but I got mine for somewhere between $250 and $350 about 5-6
    years ago. My new guitar I feel in love with the first time I picked it up: A 1980 Gibson 335-S Firebrand. Pretty much it's a natural Walnut finish ES335 but it's a solidbody. It's got replacement DiMarzio's in it. It's great.
    I play out of a Marshall DSL401 in my room. My gigging rig is a Marshall VS100R Head and Fender M80 Cab. Not very expensive but it definetly sounded great and got the job done.
     
  14. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    This is something I hear from people these days whereas back in the eighties all I heard was that Fender and Gibson necks were uncomfortable. Sometimes from the same players telling me RG necks are nearly unplayable today.

    It seriously boils down to preference and hand size. Fender necks are comfortable to some, Gibson to others, and super-thin RG Wizards to still others. I haven't changed preferences since I started playing. However, I'll add the caveat that I actually started on violin as my first serious instrument, so the thinner, smaller necks have ALWAYS appealed to me.

    But lets not make the mistake of telling the new guy which neck is going to be comfortable for him. Only he will know that. And, sadly, he might not know until he's been playing a while.

    Which is why it's best to go for midline inexpensive first. You just won't know your preferences until you know how to play a few things and can run through the stores and play a few different guitars. It's really too bad there aren't guitar rental places like there are violin, brass and woodwind rentals. I know some people think that'd be like doing wife rentals, but hey, it'd beat sending newbs out to buy a guitar they'll either love or hate once they learn how to play, and have no way of knowing until well after the purchase.
     
  15. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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  16. DestronGenerals

    DestronGenerals Well-Known Member

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    Right, I felt like the the phrase "I feel" qualified it clearly as my opinion, but if it didn't, I certainly agree with you.
    I personally feel that RG necks are uncomfortable
    Gnaw should see what feels right to him
     
  17. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    I swear by my squire stratocaster - it looks like garbage but it sounds great.
     

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