#1
Hey, I've been playing electric/acoustic guitar for about 7-8 years now.

Here's my dilemma:

I think my "gear" is holding me back.

I own an Ibanez Gio (Yeah, the starter pack one) and a Fender squire acoustic (Yeah, the $&^% one).

When I first got the guitar, it was a gift and I did not really see myself going anywhere as a musician. Now I find myself playing a good 2-5 hours a day.

Okay, well I've noticed that I've started to plateau in my abilities...

I don't seem to be getting much better than I am now and I am struggling to learn new techniques. (Sweep picking, "advanced" tapping, various blues/rock riffs, etc) I think this may be because my guitar is holding me back.

What do you guys think? Is it me or the guitar? Or both? It's such a cheap guitar.

I've been thinking about going all out and buying a nice SG Standard with a good half-stack, do you think a guitar of that quality would be "easier" to excel on? Like, would I learn and master techniques more quickly on the Gibson than on the Ibanez?
#2
It will make playing a little easier and sound better, but overall ability to play wont be much affected. You might be progressing without realizing it
Quote by freddaahh
I just head-desked so hard I went through the floor and came out in Mongolia.
#3
Well you've been playing for awhile now and if you love playing then i think you should get some new gear.

An SG and a combo though i think, a halfstack isnt really worth it, unless your playing large un-mic'd gigs alot.

If i were you i'd look for a nice tube combo amp and maybe one or two effects pedals to mess around with and try new things.
Black Knight CF-60F Semi-Acoustic.

Black Knight CP200 (Red flamed maple).

Neck-thru 4 string bass.

Acoustic 6 string.
#4
I dont think that a $1300 guitar is gonna help you learn. It sometimes stimulates people to play more if they have a new guitar, but you already said that you play a lot. Get the guitar if you want, i am a big GAS guy, but you might look into instructional literature based on your style or genre of interest instead.
"Love doesn't exist and I'm not picking on love, because I don't think friendship exists either"


GEAR:
Caparison PLM-3
ESP/LTD Viper 400
Gretch A/E G3700
Soldano SLO 50w clone
#5
No, you isnt holding you back. Its just a matter of sheer practice. A higher quality guitar will be more comfortable making it a bit easier to play. Plus, with a nice high quality guitar, you may enjoy playing more and become more motivated.
"Good and evil lay side by side as electric love penetrates the sky"
#6
If your good enough at something you can perform your task well on anything at your disposal.

Basuically when you get good enough you should be able to rock out with the crappiest First Act they got at target.
#9
Ill just add this....

I know i should edit, but it's just so you dont miss it.

I agree with the above, but at the same time.. if you invest in a nice qaulity guitar and an amp, with which you can get nice sounds out of, i mean really nice tones, im not sure what amp your using, but if it's still the practice amp then upgrading will actaully really improve your learning, because when doing hammer on/ pull offs, vibratos, bends and various other things on a guitar i find that cheap amps really sound quite low qaulity and tend to muddy up the playing, were as a qaulity guitar/ amp really brings out the best playing/ sound. which in turn will help you progress becuase you'll probably end up spending alot more time playing guitar and messing about, finding new techniques etc etc.

Also venturing into diffrent styles really helps aswell.

/rant.
Black Knight CF-60F Semi-Acoustic.

Black Knight CP200 (Red flamed maple).

Neck-thru 4 string bass.

Acoustic 6 string.
#10
Quote by Scopic
Wow, thanks for the quick replies!



Just for future reference, that "thanks" crap might work here, but you go into the pit and show weakness they will be drinking your tears. Call us pussies or something, thats what youre supposed to do.
"Love doesn't exist and I'm not picking on love, because I don't think friendship exists either"


GEAR:
Caparison PLM-3
ESP/LTD Viper 400
Gretch A/E G3700
Soldano SLO 50w clone
#11
Ibanez Geos are pretty ****ty as a qualaty guitar. But its not really the guitar that holds you back. Its how you set your guitar up. This has to do with the action and stuff. if you want to be more progressive with shredding and soloing (like learning how to do cooler taps and learn to sweep) then your gonna need to lower the action (the distance the strings are from the fretboard) so that its easyer to hit each note.

the realy only thing that you shuld look for in a new guitar is a change in tone, change in tuning stability (90% of guitars over 400 bux have perfect tuning stability), change in neck comfort, change of body weight, and change of playing comfort in general.

really, it dosent matter what kind of guitar you own. it wont effect your playing ability unless it actualy sucks to play it. which shuldnt be a problem. guitars over 400 bux really dont have a difference between eachother besides tone and SMALL comfort changes, because bodys and necks are cut with a lot more qualaty than a squier, ibanez, or cheap epiphone.

recommendation...
if your guitar FEELS as tho it is affecting your playing, then try out a few new ones at the 400+ range and if you find a huge difference in playing comfort and fun, then you shuld try to get a new guitar. But try out a lot of guitars because the one you pick is the one that you will keep for a few years, dont get it because it looks cool to you for a week. get one that feels good, and apeals to you if your gonna get one.

with amps, you dont really need to worry about it unless your amp just sounds like crap. if you were to get a new one, then just post a thread about getting a new amp, and specify your price range, your genres, your playing ability, etc.

If your gonna get new gear, then get a new guitar first, comfort is more important than tone.
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GAS list...
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#12
Hahaha, gotcha

Tha...

Good work, assholes.

(Did I do good?)
#13
it'll be more comfortable, it'll sound better, but the fact about advanced techniques is that they're advanced for a reason. it takes a ridiculous amount of practice to become proficient with them.
so, a couple questions.
1) are you self taught, or are you taking lessons? if you've been playing for a long time and your tapping or sweeping isn't where you want it to be, it's possible you've developed a couple bad habits. a good teacher will help you find and correct them.
2) have you played through the equipment you plan on buying? have you noticed that you can perform these techniques properly on better equipment?
3) where do you live? if you're in an apartment building, a half stack will be nice to look at or play shows with, but no good for practice.
4) are you in a band? do you plan on starting one? if so, you need an amp that will be audible over your drummer.
maybe a nice 50-100 watt tube combo for band practice and small gigs (or large gigs with a pa), and a little five watt tube like the blackhearts or a fender blues jr (15 watts, i think) to practice at home.
good gear won't make you a better player. a new guitar won't automatically give you good technique. but it'll make practice and playing feel more like fun and less like work.
#14
Quote by Scopic
Hahaha, gotcha

Tha...

Good work, assholes.

(Did I do good?)



wonderful, keep it up kid and one day you'll be a star
"Love doesn't exist and I'm not picking on love, because I don't think friendship exists either"


GEAR:
Caparison PLM-3
ESP/LTD Viper 400
Gretch A/E G3700
Soldano SLO 50w clone
#15
Definately holding you back. A good instrument is essential for advancing your technique.
#16
Quote by xFinnellx


If your gonna get new gear, then get a new guitar first, comfort is more important than tone.


i agree with most of your post, but that last part is entirely up to the individual. it's remotely possible that he's playing properly, but it sounds muddy and unresponsive enough that he thinks he's doing it wrong.
especially with tapping, the right eq and pickups, along with a little compression make a huge difference.
#17
Quote by dandy4
Just for future reference, that "thanks" crap might work here, but you go into the pit and show weakness they will be drinking your tears. Call us pussies or something, thats what youre supposed to do.


No you still say thanks. And lets be honest, its only because of anonymity that people talk this nonsense.
Gibson 58 RI VOS Custombuckers
Mesa Lonestar Special 2x12
#18
Quote by Snapple
No you still say thanks. And lets be honest, its only because of anonymity that people talk this nonsense.


It was an attempt at sarcasm. The dude that wrote the thread got it... but thanks.
"Love doesn't exist and I'm not picking on love, because I don't think friendship exists either"


GEAR:
Caparison PLM-3
ESP/LTD Viper 400
Gretch A/E G3700
Soldano SLO 50w clone
#19
It'll be a little easier. Go ahead and get it if you want it.

I'm sure he wants it....I think we'd all like an SG n Half Stack...how bout u guys buy me one...I mean convince Santa.
#20
i had an epipwn(ed) SG g400, and played that for a good 11 months, hours every day, yearning for a new guitar or a new amp, cos it sounded great sometimes, and like balls other times. kept having to take it back to the shop because it had dodgy fretwork and it buzzed alot, making legato over certain parts of the neck sound very unclean. Changing p/ups to high output ones and they made this more obvious, because each note was raunchier with more character.

Long story short, I bought a Schecter Blackjack C-1 ATX FR and never looked back. I liked it so much, and it was such a big step up in so many ways that I ended up getting another Schecter (Hellraiser Avenger), and now my SG is at the girls' house who paid for my new guitars, as collateral =)

It sat around and looked pretty for awhile, but with two Schecters, it wasn't played at all. I realised how much harder it was to use advanced techniques with it (sweeping, tapping, legato etc) and how much harder i needed to press down notes in the higher frets (luthier went crazy on the fall-away).

Cheap first guitars are just that. They are good to get you into it initially, but if you progress far enough you'll need better gear. I tell stuff like this to my friends, who are looking for the perfect first $200 guitar, and now they want to spend over $1k, but they're missing the point. A good guitar will help an advancing player, but if a person isn't dedicated enough to play consistently with a strong drive to improve, it doesn't matter what guitar they have.
#21
Quote by dandy4
Just for future reference, that "thanks" crap might work here, but you go into the pit and show weakness they will be drinking your tears. Call us pussies or something, thats what youre supposed to do.

you have just been sigged
#23
I can't agree with most of this thread.

I went through the same ordeal and maybe I'm just weird but when I got my first real guitar my playing was near instantly and significantly improved. I played a little faster, a TON cleaner, and all of the sudden tapping and quick hammer ons and pull offs worked and made sense.

It also, as people have said, made me feel better about myself and I was feeling more motivated. Having the pro gear made me feel pro; just having more confidence can make your playing better in minutes.

I say go ahead and get what you want.
#24
Quote by RockAddict311
I'm sure he wants it....I think we'd all like an SG n Half Stack...how bout u guys buy me one...I mean convince Santa.


I just had to graduate high school. I got a Gibson SG Standard as a graduation gift. I already had my halfstack, though. (valvekings rock!)
#25
I agree with Vlasco 2 some extent. I had the a G-400 and hated it (neck heavy, finished neck, and rough fret edges could chafe my hand when I slid). So I went with the American Deluxe Strat, loved it, saw instant improvement in my playing, but still couldn't do advanced techniques like sweeping. Played an RG prestige and my sweeping was 10 times better because of the neck and frets, so I bought it. But now I realized what really I need in a guitar. The main thing for me is a 25.5 inch scale and an unfinished neck. I can play better on a cheap 25.5 than on Gibson custom any day of the week. It's not about price, it's about what you want/need. Don't look at name brands or how much it costs. Look at the specs and try them out. Just because a guitar works for everyone else in the world, it may not work for you. Try everything out and see what works for you. I recommend trying them out for at least an hour because different guitars take time to get used to. You can hate a guitar upon 1st inspection, but it could be perfect once you spend some time with it.