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Old 11-18-03, 10:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electric guitar for a beginner... whats a good one?

Nope I'm not planning on becoming a rock star but I know that a few of you on here play guitar and a friend of mine wants to learn how to play the electric guitar. Anyway, I was wondering what would be a good starter guitar for her that would be affordable but something that will last her a while.

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Old 11-18-03, 11:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i dunno but make sure you get something used...way cheaper and youll get a better guitar
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Old 11-18-03, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't recommend used guitars at all. Most of them have warped necks, and can't carry a tune worth *****.

I recommend starting with Acoustic. Acoustic guitars are much harder on the fingers, don't hold notes as well, and thus are perfect for beginners. It's like learning to drive in the winter time - if you can learn on that, driving in the summer will be nothing. Same goes with guitars. If you learn on electric, you'll NEVER be able to play an acoustic. If you learn on acoustic, picking up an electric guitar will be easy as pie.

But, if your friend insists on starting out with an electric, I highly recommend a brand called Epiphone. It's basically a Fender Stratocaster clone for about half the price. They are very well made, generally run in the $300 - $400 range, have a tight, slightly curved neck for good neck action, and generally stay in tune longer than the flat-necked guitars. They are great for people with smaller hands as well.

If your friend has long fingers, or is quite tall, my personal favorite guitars are the Jackson Charvel series. Those are expensive as hell though - anywhere from $700 for a piece of crap up to $2500 for a dream guitar.

But, if she likes the feel of an Epiphone, and can afford the genuine Fender, go for the Fender.

If possible, tell your friend to shop around for a 24-fret guitar instead of the standard 22. I have a crappy Yamaha, but it's a 24 fret, so I refuse to get rid of it.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-18-03, 04:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Actually, I think Epiphone is Gibson's cheap line, they make cheap versions of Gibson's line of guitars. Squire makes cheap Fenders in Asia if I am not mistaken.

I agree about learning to play on accoustic, but many people never want to play on accoustics - so an accoustic is a waste of money. Some kids will "stick with it longer" if it is an electric guitar, and won't end up with a $250 accoustic in the closet beside the tennis rackets and golf clubs.

Either Epiphone (Gibson) or Squire (Fender) are good cheap guitars. I'm sure there are others good ones, but I can recomend both of the above.

If money is not an option, I'd go with a Gibson. I've got a 67' Gibson SG reissue ('92), it is now worth 3 times what I paid for it (an investment) - and sounds better each time I bang it around a bit.

Also, if I ever decide to go as Angus Young for Halloween, I've got a really good costume prop!

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Old 11-18-03, 05:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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DO NOT BUY A USED ONE, unless from a reputable dealer -as my stupid EX husband , bought one off of ebay with my 16 year old son's money, when he got it home it lasted may be a week, the inputs on it are Screwed, I was not happy, so now it is up toME to get it fixed.
Be careful where you buy.
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Old 11-18-03, 05:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Epiphones are good starter guitars..as well as being the cheaper version of Gibsons. My guitar now is an SG replica Epiphone with original SG pick-ups, a bit used yet funtional guitar. BUT, not only will you need the guitar, but an amplifier is nessesary as well, and this is what needs a bit of importance laid upon. Your electric guitar will only sound as good as the amp it goes through.

An accoustic would be the best bet to learn on. Only need the guitar to hear whats played. How to play chords, building strong fingers to hold those chords and getting a better "ear" on what the guitar is producing sound wise are only a few things better picked up on an accoustic. After this, slapping on an electric is going to work out better results. You can always trade the accoustic in for an electric model down the road as well.

By the way, the Gibson SG freggin rocks, choice of Tony Iommi, Dave Murray and Andrian Smith, Angus Young....(and many others). It is hard to find a better guitar IMO. They sound great.
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Old 11-18-03, 05:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was totally thinking of Squire, not Epiphone. Squire (or is it Esquire???) is the Fender clone. I've been getting the two confused for decades.

Personally, I hate Gibson guitars with a passion. Never liked the way they handle, the way they sound, or the neck action. And yes, I have tried different guitars on the same amp, and every guitar does sound different. If you don't believe me, play a flying V. They sound like a guitar with a friggin sinus cold.

Anyone ever played a BC Rich Virgin? *droooooooooool* Now THAT is a guitar worth the money.
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Old 11-18-03, 05:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i like gibsons my friend has an epiphone its sweet, epiphone isn't as cheap as squires either....he got his epiphone used and has on problems and its great too, just make sure you get it from a reputable dealer
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Old 11-18-03, 05:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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also i would recommend an accoustic first, more difficult but if your friend switches to a electric after he will be able to play things way harder then he could on his accoustic
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Old 11-18-03, 05:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i'd go with Epiphone SG's.. sound great.. affordable.. good quality.. .
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Old 11-18-03, 07:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Believe it or not....Epiphone actually owns Gibson and not the other way around. Epiphone is one of the oldest guitar mfgs around...if memory serves me correct...buying Gibson many many moons ago. Alot of the guitars are produced on the same lines, but use different woods and obviously different pick ups etc.

If i was going to start all over again, i would have shopped around more. Go to different stores and see what guitar sits and feels well in your hand. If your not comfortable, you will probably be discouraged. I started on electric then switched to acoustic and never really found much difficulty in doing so, but the majority rules and yes acoustic will strenghten your hands. Another thing as invictus said was that different guitars have different sounds....that couldn't be more dead on....decide what sort of music you like and match your guitar by not only feel...but by the way it sounds with your amp as well. I do admit it takes a bit of experience to notice the suttle differences in each instrument but with time your ears will be the judge. Ive bought guitars from pawn shops etc used lots of times and never had a problem. As long as there is someone who knows how to play checking it out for you...making sure the intonation isnt messed up, the neck isnt out of whack, and the tones and keys all work, i would say save a couple bucks....who knows..you may hate it and never end up playing. Another good route is the package deals for starters. Often they come with guitar, amp, picks, tuner, learning books, case etc etc...kind of a nice package...for the money, Yamaha makes a great package deal with Pevey amps...i believe for under $400-500.
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Old 11-18-03, 07:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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i agree with invicutus in getting new, and an Epiphone made by Gibson is a great starter. That actually was my starter!

However, I much prefer acoustic. I love my 12 string acoustic, but Definetely NOT as a starter!
cheers, and good luck
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Old 11-18-03, 07:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Invictus, you may not like Gibson because they aren't quite as forgiving as the other wussy brands you mentioned. You mess up on a gibson, you hear it.

I've heard you sing, you must have an ear - so I am thinking you must be joking about the sound from a gibson.

But the person who made the point about learning on an accoustic to get a better ear for what is going on made the best point. I would suggest starting on an accoustic, you have to be a better player to be good.

When I got my first electric - I was like "wow, I sound just as good as.........".

One other thing about second hand guitars, pawn shops, truss bars and intonation - Truss bars and bridges can always be fixed - if you find a sweet classic gibson for a good price, you can pretty much get anything fixed on it for $500, and it very might well be worth more than 10 times that amount.

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Old 11-18-03, 07:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ryan, almost every Gibson I've ever played has been a Les Paul, and yes, I do have a good ear, and yes, I hated the sound of the Les Paul. And if you think a Jackson Charvel is forgiving, you've never played one of those. You mess up even slightly on one of those, you hear it.

As for not liking the sound, it's like Shane said... different guitars for different types of music. The classic rock and hard rock guitarists tend to like Gibson, Ibanez, and the like. But the super heavy bands almost invariably play Jackson, ESP, and BC Rich. There must be a reason for that. I think Jackson and ESP have a much cleaner resonance that lends itself well to high distortion. The Gibbys that I've played all sounded hollow... a bit too much treble, even with the treble switch off. But, like I said, I've mostly only played the Les Paul.

What about Ibanez? Anyone ever played one of those? I hate their 6 strings, but their bass guitars are the best on earth.

Shane - You're right about the Yamaha/Peavey combo. That can be pretty deadly, and Peavey makes great amps. They are no Mesa Boogie or Marshall, but for the price, they're fabulous.
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Old 11-18-03, 08:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My bass player has an ibanez bass..and i second your thought on them! Im not a big ibanez guitar fan..but for the seven string players..i think they are top notch...but then again..who really needs a low b? LOL!
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