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StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#1
Hey all!

Been lurking for a bit, but thought I'd finally register and actually introduce myself.

I've "noodled" around on guitars since I was a kid, but never really got proficient at it (sadly, as my guitar teacher told me at a tender age that I had a "natural gift" for the instrument, but I never cultivated it.)

Anywho, I'll be hitting "The Big 5-0" in a couple weeks, and figured this may be my last shot at actually learning how to play. I have moderate arthritis in my hands, and was looking for something to keep them (relatively) limber, so I'm doing it as much for physical therapy as for personal enrichment. I have a couple of el-cheapo acoustics here, but the action on them is really jacked up and it's painful to play them for any amount of time. I was advised by a couple of guitar-playing friends to switch to electric, so that's the route I'm pursuing.

Don't have a huge budget for this, but am looking pretty intently at the Epiphone SG Limited "Goth" performance pack. A few reasons I've zeroed in on this one: it meets my budget criteria, it looks pretty badass, it's got decent reviews, and I didn't want to have to deal with a whammy bar on a starter instrument and worry about keeping the thing in tune constantly.

At this stage in life, I'm not entertaining any aspirations or illusions of rock stardom. Just looking for something to play at home, or maybe on occasion to jam with a couple of buddies once I get my proficiency up a bit.

Should things gel in a few months, I'd like to consider one of the modeling amps I've seen. I'm really kind of bummed Fender discontinued the GDEC line (mostly for the backing track ability to practice to), so have been trying to figure out options around that particular need.

Well, that's about it. Great to be on board, hope to see you around the forums.

Now get off my lawn...darned kids these days. LOL
ethan_hanus
The BKP Guy
Join date: Nov 2008
391 IQ
#2
Welcome to UG Tim. My first advice to you is to stay out of the pit if you wanna keep your sanity, and dignity.

Electric guitar would prolly be best if you have arthritis since it's alot less string tension and the action is lower. As for an amp, easiest way to do it is to get the guitar you like, and take it with you to test drive some amps. As for backing tracks, I had a nice stereo system hooked up to my computer, and I would play music while looking at tabs on UG and playing my guitar in sync to it. Really helps you learn faster.
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#3
Hi and thanks for the welcome, Ethan. Thanks also for the heads-up on The Pit...I'll keep that in mind. LOL

I'm pretty excited about the SG Performance Pack. Has all I should need to at least get off the ground: guitar, amp, tuner, gig bag, etc. It'll take a while I'm sure to get my fingers somewhat back in shape, but I'm looking forward to it. As far as amps, I've considered perhaps going with one of the newer Fender Mustangs, and have also looked at Peavey Vypyrs and Line 6 Spiders. Problem is, most of these are modeling amps, and the thing I'm primarily looking for is something that will generate/play backing tracks. I'm sure there's probably a number of good options; in fact, that's been part of the problem--there are so many choices out there, it's an embarrassment of riches trying to find the exact fit to my particular need, which is one of the main reasons I've dropped by UG here.

Thanks again, and see you soon.
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#4
Welcome Tim, I playing on the Fender Mustang v2 Amp which is pretty decent, It does have the effects features that I occasionally fool around with, However I turn those off majority of the time an just jam on sound setting I like. Other than that its a good little practice amp; also at a good price point as well.

Good luck an happy jamming.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#5
Hi shogunai. I thought I replied once to this, but it appears to have gotten lost in the ether. I've had my eyes on the Mustang, and if I can get around the BT issues it's definitely on my short-list of practice amps.
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#6
When I started playing I originally brought an Epiphone Les Paul 100 from my local music store, I found that I didn't like it very much, it had a real nice tone but it was something about it that just didn't quite fit. I ended up returning it an brought a Fender Stratocaster (Mexican) Arctic White finish an its a great guitar, great tone, versatile which was what I was looking for.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#8
Yeap still do, play on it everyday, I try to give it at least 30 minutes a day afterwork but on weekends practice all day. That was the first time I came across the white Strat. The Sam Ash & Guitar Center in my area carries heavy on the Sunburst finish w/ Rosewood neck.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#9
Noice! I've already promised myself if I manage to stick this out and get any decent measurable proficiency, I'm grabbing an ax with a tiger-striped maple top. That just looks smexy to me.
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#10
I'm too in the entry level phases, just got to find a way to stay self motivated. I've grew up around music, I've played a variety of instruments an when things don't sound quite right you get frustrated an ponder quitting, then you turn on the radio and you hear this awesome riff an then you want to learn how to play it. One thing I keep telling myself that all musicians are humans if they can do it, you can too, I know it sounds corny but it works.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#11
I hear ya, sho. In my "young-and-dumb" days, I was a roadie/soundman, who would occasionally fill in on drums, percussion, bass, that sort of thing. I could do passably well on keyboard, but just rhythm stuff, didn't have the chops for lead/solo. Guitar always eluded me for some reason, although it was the one instrument I really wanted to excel at.

Of course, all that was about 25 years ago...lot of water over that particular dam! LOL I entertain no dream of being the next big thing, I'd just like to be able to riff without sounding like I just threw a cat into the wood chipper. Heheh!

That's kind of why I want to nail down the whole thing with backing tracks. I think it's much easier to learn and to keep at it if you're making progress playing actual music and not just scales, chords, etc.
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#12
Yeah I can understand that; that's actually how I been learning. Figuring out where the notes are on the fret board an learning all my scales, however I figure it would actually pay off later knowing all that stuff especially after I'm about to move through the fret board with a decent pace an accurate picking.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#13
Might have a slight change in trajectory...looking at a couple of used pieces that, while they are more expensive upfront, may be better in the long run. Found a black "goth" Epiphone G-400 in great condition, and a Peavey Vypyr 75W amp that's also in great condition. Would be about $350 for the both of them. That's definitely doable. Whatcha think?
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
Last edited by StarGeezerTim at Jun 11, 2014,
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#14
I've read a couple review on that particular guitar, an I haven't found any bad reviews on it. For the combo of the two sounds to be a pretty good deal. I would check an make sure all the electronics work on the guitar. I've actually come across a few used Epiphone's with broken eletronics an this was from a legit guitar store. So I would check that out first.

Do you have a Guitar Center or Sam Ash in your area, I would recommend trying some of the guitars that so you can get a real feel for the guitars to see which feels best to you. It just so happened for myself the Fender Strats was my best match but it took me months of research an testing before making my initial purchased which was an Epiphone Les Paul 100 which just so happen to have broken electronics on it which at the time I couldn't tell before I brought it. Then I returned it an brought another Epiphone Les Paul Pro something an I ending up returning it because it didn't feel quite right. Finally brought my Fender Strat an its been a perfect match since.

Like I said it appears to be a good deal, however if its used I would check all the electronics an get it professionally set up too if possible.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#15
Outstanding advice, sho! I just got off the phone with both stores. As it turns out, both are Guitar Centers and both are in Western New York (I'm in Central New York). I had the sales folks actually go grab the items, eyeball them, give me a description of any dings, defects, anything extra included like cables, manuals, etc. They of course have to plug in any electronics before they list them for sale, so any issues with knobs, switches, cords/cables, etc. have to be disclosed then. If there's any problem with either of them that wasn't disclosed upfront, I can just take them back to the Syracuse GC for a refund/exchange.

The bonus is, the guy at the Cheektowaga store (suburb of Buffalo btw) used to work at the Syracuse GC, so he knows this area pretty well so we had a nice chat and managed to work out a pretty decent deal on the amp.

Soooo...I'll have a new (to me, anyway) guitar and amp probably by the weekend. It's gonna kill me not being able to play with them for over a week, but...I'm a patient man. LOL

Now I gotta get on Amazon and order a stand, some cables, a strap, extra strings...man, this is already getting expensive. ROFL!
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
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Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#16
Maybe they can work in some cables so you can at least practice, even if its a pair of store used cables. A lot of music stores have some overflow of that stuff in the back plus it never hurts to ask I hope that the stock strings that are already on the guitar are at least in somewhat decent shape too. Other than that, sounds like everything is starting to shape up quite nicely. The initial purchase is probably one of the most expensive out of pocket at least until you start getting up to the more expensive guitars.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#17
Yeah, the guy I talked to about the guitar said the action is near perfect, which is exactly what I was looking for. Now I just have to figure out where I'm going to put everything: I live in a little shoebox apartment, and while that 75W amp isn't ginormous, anything is going to take up some space here. Might need to rearrange here a little bit. Awww man, more work! LOL

I'm thinking right by the big, blue comfy chair by the window. Yeeeeah...that's the ticket. Hehehe!
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#18
Lol .. Or you can put it buy the T.V. stand. I have mines sitting right beside my T.V. Its the first thing I see when I walk in from work.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#19
I was thinking by the TV, but right now I have the TV stand and computer desk on the same wall, and there is literally no room to put anything else. As it stands, if I need to plug the amp into the computer to fiddle with its presets, I'm going to have to move it over temporarily to plug it into the USB.

I have a small chess table that I may be able to put the amp on, it's by the window right next to the afore-mentioned big blue comfy chair (or BBCC if you prefer.) That may be my best bet, but I'll mull it over and see what I can come up with.

BTW, already got the confirmation email that the guitar has shipped. The amp should ship this afternoon as well. I'm stoked!
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#20
Heck yea man, once it comes in you'll be in tip top shape. Are you going to be taking classes or just going at it on your own?
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#21
Probably mostly on my own for now, although I'm not adverse to some lessons at some point. I'm turning 50, and am retired due to disability (spine issues, arthritis, and respiratory issues.) So getting out isn't the easiest thing these days. That's kind of why I've been looking into different methods of getting some backing tracks going: figured it would be far easier to practice to actual music especially since I'll be doing it largely...if not exclusively...on my own.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#22
I been using Youtube a lot lately an it really seems to be helping. I'm currently mainly focused on learning all of my scales which will help with moving up and down the neck as well as learning the sounds of each note which should help with blending later on.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#23
I have no doubt I'll be relying on YouTube a lot to get up to speed, and have already been using it quite a bit to research my decisions. There are a ton of guides, lessons, and the like already posted so I think there will be plenty of material to draw on.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#24
Yeah, I been looking at guitarjamzdotcom & Martyzsongs channel on Youtube .. Its been pretty informative so far.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#26
Not a bad place to be stuck, Bill.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
Mack888
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2007
120 IQ
#27
Definitely recommend a Fender MIM Strat. If you shop about right second hand you can pick up a nice one for a very good price.

In any case, nice to meet ya Tim!
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#28
Hey Mack, thanks for the welcome. A Strat or Strat-like is definitely on my list for some day. There's just a legacy surrounding the Strat that makes it hard NOT to have one eventually.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#29
Quote by Mack888
Definitely recommend a Fender MIM Strat. If you shop about right second hand you can pick up a nice one for a very good price.

In any case, nice to meet ya Tim!


Hey Mack, I love my MIM Strat such a pure sound an easy to handling. Also not to bad of a price point either. Huge addition to the mix is that the versatility of a strat is unmatchable.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#30
Here's a silly (newb) question: aside from price, is there a visual or other distinction to identify American vs Mexican Strats? How do you know you have a MIM I guess would be my question. Thanks guys.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#31
There no visual differences unless you includes the stickers that come on the American Strat, an some of the newer models have larger headstocks but other than that there no visual differences. There is one thing that is visually different but you really have to be looking at, there is a small gap where the body an neck connect on the MIM Strats, but that doesn't make much of a difference. The pickups are different in the American Strats. Those are the only difference that I can think of off top of my head.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#32
Cool, thanks sho..will keep that in mind when I eventually go Strat-shopping.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#33
Yeah no problem ... I'm definitely looking into an American Strat later on in my guitar journey
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
Mack888
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2007
120 IQ
#34
Like shogunai says, no real visual differences. The important thing though is always to try before you buy. I just think I got really lucky with my guitar cos it's been such a joy to play over the years.

Would definitely love to pick up an American made Strat but then again I'm also thinking should I just customise my current baby with new pickups and wiring...?

Decisions you yourself may soon have to make
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
30 IQ
#35
Don't you love having to be in those sorts of decision-making positions?

I've even eyeballed some of the higher end Squires which don't look too bad, but a gently used MIM would definitely be in my price range too. In fact, I didn't realize just how affordable they could be until you mentioned it. Will have to keep this in mind, who knows...maybe around Christmastime?
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#36
Quote by Mack888
Like shogunai says, no real visual differences. The important thing though is always to try before you buy. I just think I got really lucky with my guitar cos it's been such a joy to play over the years.

Would definitely love to pick up an American made Strat but then again I'm also thinking should I just customise my current baby with new pickups and wiring...?

Decisions you yourself may soon have to make


I've thought about changing the pickups in my Strat to maybe some 50's customs, which ones would you put in yours?
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#37
Quote by StarGeezerTim
Don't you love having to be in those sorts of decision-making positions?

I've even eyeballed some of the higher end Squires which don't look too bad, but a gently used MIM would definitely be in my price range too. In fact, I didn't realize just how affordable they could be until you mentioned it. Will have to keep this in mind, who knows...maybe around Christmastime?


The Squires are pretty sweet as well, my Bass guitar at the time was a Squire P bass that held together really well
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
Mack888
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2007
120 IQ
#38
Always fancied popping in the pickup and wiring set that David Gilmour uses that allows him to completely alter the tone of his guitar and give the Strat some oomph when needed.

Haha, it's a great position to be in but, as with everything, money stands in the way


My first electric guitar was a really basic, nasty Squire strat, but I do know there're some nice Squire models out there. I guess there's a lot of things you can't discount in the world of gear...I just found out the Steve Howe uses a Line 6 HD500 multi effects unit nowadays and that's his rig haha
shogunai
Registered User
Join date: May 2014
10 IQ
#39
Money is always a factor. What would this world be if there was no such thing as currency.
Fender Standard Stratocaster
Fender Mustang II V2 Amp
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