Guitar Players

Messages
25,100
Location
PNW
I'm thinking of trying to learn electric guitar. My brother started a few months ago and I played around with his for a bit and thought it could be fun to learn ... always had it in the back of my mind to try someday. He says it's pretty hard to get good, but there's only one way to find out. So are there any electric guitar players here? What would you recommend for a good starter guitar? There's a Guitar Center near me, so I'll probably go there and look around. Don't want to spend a ton in case I lose interest. Plan on getting a small amp too, probably just 20 watts. Is something like this decent enough for a leaner? https://www.guitarcenter.com/Squier...Guitar-2-Color-Sunburst-1500000215657.gc
 
Messages
25,179
Location
Upstate NY
Learn on an acoustic until you get decent. The strings are easier on your fingers. When you have callous on your fingers then consider an electric. You can learn chords pretty easily. But it will be years before your as good a Clapton. Most likely never.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,985
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I've been playing electric guitar since 1984, one of my first guitars was a Fender Squier Stratocaster (and I still have it) Another alternative instead of buying a cheap new guitar is to see if any local music stores have used guitars for sale as you could end up getting a gently used guitar for the same price, and one that is an even better model. About 11 or 12 years ago I picked up a used Ibanez SA series guitar for $250 that was worth about $1000 new. I find it's much more comfortable to play than my Strat (and it sounds better for the type of music I like to play, metal that is)
 
Messages
7,247
Location
The Midwest
I took guitar lessons in middle school. Played a nylon string guitar and never got good at it. I bought a Yamaha electric guitar and a Line 6 amp years ago wanting to get into it. I use my guitar and amp mainly as art deco now. DON'T buy a cheap Line 6 amp. They sound like garbage and every employee at a Guitar Center store probably agrees with me. If I was buying a cheap first electric, I'd get a Fender Squier Affinity Jazzmaster HH, if $200 isn't stretching your budget.
 
Messages
2,188
Location
WY
If you do go the acoustic route I would find a steel stringed one with a narrow neck to learn on. Those wide necked nylon string beginner guitars are tough to master. The pressure required to seat the strings behind the frets along with the need to stretch your fingers farther to make chords is a pain. I don't disagree with you getting an electric and small amp. Look for a guitar that has nice action and is easy to play. Bring along someone that does play. Give yourself a few days and this can be you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dMrE9pyupQ
 
Messages
9,679
Location
Central Coast, Calif.
If you buy a guitar (especially a budget model) I recommend you have a tech adjust it correctly. It is physically more different to play an improperly set up guitar. One of the ways the factory saves money is assembling without adjusting everything.
 
Messages
4,259
Location
SW Ohio
As already suggested, look at used guitars vs low-cost (cheap), new guitars. A Fender Squire made in Mexico, for example, are considered [censored] good guitars. Ibanez and other models made in Korea are also real good options. With guitars, as long as they're taken care of and not abused, aren't affected by age that much so don't be afraid of a 15-20 year old guitar. I had a Charvel Model 5 (1987) that I had to sell in my younger days ([censored] bills !!) that I would buy in a heartbeat if I ever found it again. When it comes to guitar playing or musical abilities, it comes naturally for some people, for others they can learn and do well, and lastly, for some people, no matter how hard they try, well, it just ain't gonna happen !
 
Messages
1,739
Location
Michigan
I began playing guitar as an adult. I wish I would have started younger. To this day, it remains one of the most challenging and rewarding things I do. I wish younger me would have had that challenge. My best advice is that a big part of learning how to play the guitar is learning how to practice. Sitting down and noodling around isn't really learning how to play. To learn how to play, you have to practice. Actual, efficient, structured practice every single day, even if it's just for 10 minutes doing chord changes or scales. Pick the guitar up, set a timer, and practice. You playing will progress as far as your commitment will take you. I'm a supporter of actually taking lessons. Playing music is a social thing and human connection is a big part of it. They can get a bit pricey though. I'm also a big fan of JustinGuitar.com. As far as the foundations go, I think Justin does it as well as anyone. His beginner course book is like $20 and there is a YouTube video for nearly every section of the book. Take each lesson and spend two weeks with it, practicing it, and playing the accompanying songs (videos of these are also on YouTube and he also has a songbook). This and practice will take you a long way. For equipment: Buy what you want to play. If you want to play electric, buy an electric. There is nothing wrong with the Squire Strat you posted. So many people started out on a similar guitar. My first guitar was a Strat. Even today, playing it is like putting on your favorite pair of jeans. Nice for beginners too, since Strats are typically strung with light, beginner-friendly .009-.042 strings. I've always found Fender necks, no matter what shape, to be quite comfortable as well. It's always difficult walking into a Guitar Center when you're just starting out. Honestly, manufacturing and QC has come such a long way that a lot of the trash-can beginner guitars are history. Stick with a known name, even if it's a lower price version like a Squire or Epiphone, and you're most of the way there. As mentioned above, paying a tech to do a setup is money well spent. Also, I am never afraid of buying online from Sweetwater. Great company, great customer service, and their techs go over every single guitar they sell with a full inspection and setup. Here is a video Philip McKnight (another good source for gear info) did comparing a Squire Strat shipped direct from Fender and one from Sweetwater: https://youtu.be/uk9R-aHpY8c You'll hear all kinds of opinions on amps. If you can swing it, some of the more recent modeling amps are really good. Boss Katana, Fender Mustang GT, and Marshall Code can all be had for $200-250 and will stick with you for a long time. Nothing wrong with a good 'ol Fender Champion 20 for $100 either. Avoid any "micro" amps. On top of that, get yourself a clip-on tuner, some picks (this is always a personal preference, but I'd recommend starting with a lighter/thinner pick), and an instrument cable.
 

CT8

Messages
15,404
Location
Idaho
Squires are nice! As Patman mentioned if you search the used equipment for a nice high end Guitar , no cracks in the head stock, tuners work, electrics work, the frets are not worn out and level. You can get a nice higher end guitar for not much more than a Squire and the resale would be better. Electric guitars are more fun and are quite wen played with out an amp. My son is the guitar player . a metal head and does a great Yngwie Malmsteen style. I can barely play House of the Rising Sun and Gloria.. I mastered Walk Don't run [not really] , I have -99 on the music talent scale. 3 times a year for the past 15 years pick up a guitar and realize I suck but i enjoy it.
 
Messages
4,259
Location
SW Ohio
Speaking of Fender Squires, we bought a Fender Squire Strat Wayne's World model (made in Japan at the famous Fujigen guitar factory) many years ago. I don't care about the Wayne's World part of it, it's the MIJ part that most appealed to me.
 

ZeeOSix

Thread starter
Messages
25,100
Location
PNW
Originally Posted by MrHorspwer
Nothing wrong with a good 'ol Fender Champion 20 for $100 either.
I was looking at that very amp on-line at Guitar Center. I'd think 20 watts would be plenty for in the house, and the Fender Champion has some effects settings also, and is $100 at Guitar Center. Thanks to all here for the comments so far.
 

ZeeOSix

Thread starter
Messages
25,100
Location
PNW
Originally Posted by sloinker
Give yourself a few days and this can be you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dMrE9pyupQ
LOL ... I wish. After playing around with my brothers Fender for 20 min I was doing basic scales following along using Rocksmith basic lessons. Only way to see is to invest in some equipment and putting is some time to start learning.
 
Messages
10,000
Location
Waco, TX
I guess I'll get flamed for this..... but I HATE the Squire. The pickups sound thin, it's a cheap plywood body, etc.etc. I hate the shape & feel of the neck. Get a Korean made G&L S-500 for only $100 more, and it feels and plays like a guitar that costs $300-$400 more. The "solid color" bodies are Basswood, and I like their lighter weight over Swamp Ash... but the "clear" finish bodies (swamp ash) will have the better tone (but more $$) Most practice amps sound like garbage, But I am very pleased with the the Vox Valvetronix AD15VT 15W combo amp, and the "Orange Crush" combo amps are also pretty decent. If you MUST have a "Les Paul" style guitar, get an Agile AL-2000 or AL2500.
 
Messages
2,169
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Like you, there are more people interested in playing guitar than the number who actually play, so good used guitars, and especially "starter" guitars, are always available. Don't buy one new from a Music Store if you are not already a player. Pawn Shops everywhere are always full of guitars, shop there. 50 to 80% off MSRP. Plenty of decent examples for $100. I just bought a nice Epiphone acoustic for $C 110 [$US 84] from a Pawn Shop. Have someone who plays go with you when shopping for a guitar. There is too much to know for someone to bring you up to speed , let them play and examine whatever you are looking to buy. I second the comment that you are probably going to play an acoustic guitar more than an electric, as they are easier to learn on. Plus you can pick it up and play anywhere, indoors or out. That works to your advantage as a beginner because playing time is the No1 most important part of learning an instrument. Get a stand-up guitar stand and have your guitar nearby wherever you sit in the house most often so that it's handy and easy to pick up, if only for 15 minutes a day, the most important part of that isn't the 15 minutes, it's the every day. If you insist on an electric, I recommend one of the Fender Squirer series Telecasters, which are well made and inexpensive. But there are many others that are just as suitable for a beginner.
 

ZeeOSix

Thread starter
Messages
25,100
Location
PNW
Now looking at the following. And through tomorrow Guitar Center is giving 15% off of total purchase if $199 or more. Talked to someone at Guitar Center on the phone and he recommended the following after telling him know what I'm looking for. Not much more than what I was initially looking at. He said he's played the Yamaha Pacifica quite a bit and says it's pretty nice. Yamaha Pacifica Guitar https://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha/PAC012DLX-Pacifica-Series-HSS-Deluxe-Electric-Guitar.gc Fender Mustang Amp - has a bit more effects options. https://www.guitarcenter.com/Fender/Mustang-I-V2-20W-1x8-Guitar-Combo-Amp.gc
 
Messages
43,650
Location
'Stralia
I've had a nylon acoustic since I was 12...took lessons, hated them, gave up lessons....still have it. Finished Uni and bought a Hondo Stratocaster copy and Marshall amp for $200 package (1990 dollars I might add - was less than my HP 15C calculator)...still have that too. I set it up by ensuring that the 12th fret harmonic and 12th fret note were the same, then adjusted the neck to just get rid of "buzzy" frets...for a mechanical engineer it was pretty easy to get that far (But also made a couple of wind chimes tuned to the pentatonic scale using engineering first principals). Lessons never worked for me...scales and old songs... Scales and riffs, powerchords...halped me learn a lot...e.g. "favourite things", played fast on the 5th fret, using the scales...couple of bagpipe tunes played fast...tears of the dragon, classical gas...(Stairway) obviously. Don't pick it up much, not serious...but it DOES feel good to be able to play a few things recongisable, decently well for people to recognise.
 
Messages
962
Location
San Antonio, Texas
I may have skimmed over it but I didn't see anyone mention comfort. Go grab a strap off the rack then go strap on some different guitars and see how comfortable they feel to you. If you buy something that isn't comfortable for you then you will never play it, no matter how nice it is. Do you prefer an arm relief in the top? How does the neck feel to you? You need the neck to fit your hands.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,985
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Originally Posted by MrHorspwer
You'll hear all kinds of opinions on amps. If you can swing it, some of the more recent modeling amps are really good. Boss Katana, Fender Mustang GT, and Marshall Code can all be had for $200-250 and will stick with you for a long time. Nothing wrong with a good 'ol Fender Champion 20 for $100 either. Avoid any "micro" amps.
I just picked up a Fender Champion 20 a couple of weeks ago actually! I already have a Peavey Backstage Plus (I think it's around 50 watts) that I've had since around 1985 or 86, but that sucker is heavy and I wanted a smaller and lighter amp I could move around the house if I wanted to play in different areas (plus it has an input to connect my phone to it for playing along with songs) I'm very impressed with the sound from this small amp too, plus it has some built in effects as well which are nice.
 
Top