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Old 01-31-2013, 05:13 AM   #1
Elaiena
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Buying my first electric guitar.. plz help

I'm new to electric guitar and I need help. I'm thinking of purchasing a Fender standard strat. I need to know what things I should keep in mind while buying one. (Like, if the guitar is in perfect condition...) Also, will I need someone to set it up for me?
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:57 AM   #2
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http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...d.php?t=1497696

Answer these and we'll be able to help you out more.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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^ agreed. anything you don't understand, just ask (we realise you're a new player and not all those terms will be known to you), but certainly things like your budget, location (closest country will do, as prices and availability vary), what type of music you want to play would help a lot.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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The Fender strats are fine guitars to start out on. You can readily find them used. The code words you are looking for in the ad are "Made in Mexico". The made in America versions are substantially more expensive, and differ in ways that won't matter to a beginner. The differences are primarily in the quality of the stuff that is bolted on: the tuners, the tailpiece, and the pickups. All of these can be upgraded easily if you like, but the basic guitar will be fine to learn on and figure out if you like it. If you give up or upgrade, the guitar will be salable for close to what you paid for it.

If you can find one that someone bought and never played, you're likely to get a pretty good instrument for $250-300. If you can afford it, I would avoid the Fender Squiers, they are a lower end line. The Fender Standard is just exactly where you want to be, but not the Fender American Standard, which is more expensive.

I always have a shop set up a new guitar for me. Ideally, you would have them look at the guitar for you before you bought it, but Fenders seem to be pretty bulletproof, so I wouldn't worry about this excessively. You might google up how to buy a used guitar for things to look for. The set up should cost 40 to 70 dollars, depending on where you have it done.

People have asked what kind of music you want to play. This does affect ultimately where you want to be for a guitar, but my opinion is that it doesn't matter much to a beginner. You can approach all the tones you want with a Strat and a decent modeling amplifier, which is what you should get to start.

Which brings up the point, you'll need an amplifier with an electric guitar. If you're on the track of buying used, there are lots of deals where someone is selling both the guitar and the amp. This will be the cheapest way to get started. I wouldn't stress too much about what amp to get until you've been playing for a few months. If you get serious about playing, you'll ultimately want a better amp, probably sooner than you'll want a new guitar (if you buy a decent mexican strat). But it makes no sense to worry about this right now, in my opinion. Get your feet wet, and do so for as cheap as you can, subject to getting a decent instrument.

You will now see a series of posts that disagree with me.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:30 PM   #5
dannyalcatraz
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Actually, instead of an amp, I'd advise any beginner to get some decent headphones and something like one of these:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-...875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...554-i1124641.gc

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...715-i1387080.gc

Each of those portable devices simulate a wide variety of amps and pedals- meaning they are a lot of fun- and has useful features like tuners, metronomes & drum beats, USB ports or memory (removable or integrated) that will help you with your practice time.

I used a Px4 for a couple of years before buying an amp, and I still use it (and my Px5 and my GT-R1) frequently.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:55 PM   #6
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Dannyalcatraz above has a good point. ^

For a beginner you don't need a tube combo and vintage guitar. Digital technology has made massive strides in the last few years, I used a Line 6 Pod XT for half a year (Gear being halfway across the country) and found that I preferred the guitar tone for leads on it than to my stack back home (Marshall DSL50), shocker but don't let other people tell you what's better for you, use your ears to see what you like.

My advice would be to listen to some of the people on here to get a better scope of a few guitars you like that are in your budget then go into a guitar shop and try them out.

A big factor in looking is that it feels good in your hands, it doesn't restrict you from playing in any way, Find the right shape for you. A stratocaster style is a good place to start, I'd wager that 70% of the guitar players here have started on a strat stye or owned one at some point.

You won't go far wrong with the mexican made fenders either, very good guitars for the price point.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:16 PM   #7
dannyalcatraz
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Quote:
I'd wager that 70% of the guitar players here have started on a strat stye or owned one at some point.


I'd be one of the exceptions- I mean, I have a double cutaway, but it's more like an Ibanez than a Strat. When I was looking for my first electric, I found lots of gorgeous Strats to try- I'm in Texas, for gosh sakes, they're EVERYWHERE- but I couldn't find one that felt right in my hands. I just didn't know other companies made "Strats" or I'd have one right now. Because I DO plan to have a true Strat-style guitar at some point...just not a Fender, probably.

But yeah- the Strat (or Tele or LP) are classic solidbody designs that have stood the test of time. I bet 99% of electric guitar players own a guitar based on one of those 3 designs.

If you're an oddball like me, and you can't find a MiM Fender Strat you like, come back and ask for more guidance. People around here are happy to help you find a new axe!
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 01-31-2013 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:20 PM   #8
Arby911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Hilton
The Fender strats are fine guitars to start out on. You can readily find them used. The code words you are looking for in the ad are "Made in Mexico". The made in America versions are substantially more expensive, and differ in ways that won't matter to a beginner. The differences are primarily in the quality of the stuff that is bolted on: the tuners, the tailpiece, and the pickups. All of these can be upgraded easily if you like, but the basic guitar will be fine to learn on and figure out if you like it. If you give up or upgrade, the guitar will be salable for close to what you paid for it.

If you can find one that someone bought and never played, you're likely to get a pretty good instrument for $250-300. If you can afford it, I would avoid the Fender Squiers, they are a lower end line. The Fender Standard is just exactly where you want to be, but not the Fender American Standard, which is more expensive.

I always have a shop set up a new guitar for me. Ideally, you would have them look at the guitar for you before you bought it, but Fenders seem to be pretty bulletproof, so I wouldn't worry about this excessively. You might google up how to buy a used guitar for things to look for. The set up should cost 40 to 70 dollars, depending on where you have it done.

People have asked what kind of music you want to play. This does affect ultimately where you want to be for a guitar, but my opinion is that it doesn't matter much to a beginner. You can approach all the tones you want with a Strat and a decent modeling amplifier, which is what you should get to start.

Which brings up the point, you'll need an amplifier with an electric guitar. If you're on the track of buying used, there are lots of deals where someone is selling both the guitar and the amp. This will be the cheapest way to get started. I wouldn't stress too much about what amp to get until you've been playing for a few months. If you get serious about playing, you'll ultimately want a better amp, probably sooner than you'll want a new guitar (if you buy a decent mexican strat). But it makes no sense to worry about this right now, in my opinion. Get your feet wet, and do so for as cheap as you can, subject to getting a decent instrument.

You will now see a series of posts that disagree with me.


I see nothing to disagree with.

+1
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
davehail1092
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http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...speaker-cabinet

good little amps. also I would go with anything BUT a Line 6 Spider!

As for a guitar, it depends on the price range.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:21 PM   #10
Dave_Mc
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^ that's only a speaker cabinet
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:43 PM   #11
J...Out
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I guess maybe it depends on where you live.... I live in PA in a larger city. Here, you can just about NEVER find a used MIM strat below 350-400. A. There are not a lot of people trying to get rid of them. B. Apparently people feel if they bought something new for 500 its worth 400+ used.

The point im trying to get at is MIM are great beginner guitars. But don't let people convince you all squires are garbage. Simply NOT TRUE. I WOULD SUGGEST staying away from a Bullet or affinity. HOWEVER, the classic vibes are great guitars in the 300-350 price range that a beginner would be very happy with. Along with the classic vibes they also make vintage modified series. Between the different CV and VM configurations you will find a great starter guitar that wont break the bank and that you will enjoy for years.

Check out MusciansFriend.com and you find an abundance of them
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:52 PM   #12
dannyalcatraz
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Quote:
But don't let people convince you all squires are garbage. Simply NOT TRUE.


There was a New Orleans bluesman who made enough money to buy $10k guitars, a house, cars, eat, etc., largely because of his cheapass Squier and the amp it came with- it was the "one with the mojo" as he put it. It was his main gigging axe, and the one he missed most of his Katrina losses.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:35 PM   #13
Mephaphil
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Hey, Danny. Recommend me a pocket thingie from that list of yours. I need a good headphone thingie.

Sold my Lil' Night Train, need something good to play late at night with that's better than a Vox Amplug.
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Last edited by Mephaphil : 02-03-2013 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #14
dannyalcatraz
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Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-...875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...554-i1124641.gc

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...715-i1387080.gc

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player:



With the exception of the Tascam, none of the devices I pointed out has decent acoustic recording capacity. What they DO have are features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. The PX4 is discontinued, but it can still be easily found. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz : 02-03-2013 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:46 PM   #15
Mephaphil
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Cool. I'll check the POD and the Boss out I think. Thanks
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Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


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Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


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