#1
Now, pay attention to the title!

I've always been off and on w/ guitar. Thing is, I've had no gear. By on and off, I mean that I'm interested in it for a few months, I research many different setups and ask many questions, and watch lots of videos on the internet, buuut, I'm 14, and because of that, its still tough to get a job and some money, especially w/ labor laws and this recession...

And so, I leave guitar alone for a few months, and then when it piques my interest, I return once again. My interest returned when my friend was playing his Squire Strat and then, when I got home, I logged on into UltimateGuitar after months of not using my account..

Now, the thing is, that I'm very concerned w/ starting off right (whenever that may be). And so, I'm always making carts on Musician's Friend with the gear I would want, and always come up with a setup of about $750. Now, I know that guitar is an expensive hobby, but I'm nervous.

If I do eventually get this money, I'm scared that I will not continue on with guitar, as I have quit before because of discouragement after playing an extremely low quality guitar, a Toys R US acoustic.

Now whether or not that was because it was acoustic (electric is more appealing), I was young and had a short attention span and knowledge, or that I had no proper teaching, its in the past.

But, from past experiences, I'm still concerned w/ spending that money, eventually.

Now as for that cart, it consisted of a Fender HSS MIM, a Roland Microcube/Vypr/Valetronix along with a lot of accessories (tuner, strings, case, etc.)

Now call me in over my head, but I'm so mixed on my feelings especially with all the different recommendations on UltimateGuitar which include Squire Strats or MIM Strats, so its really tough for me.

Sooo, after all that, my questions.

1. Is the setup I have in mind too much for a newbie? If so, what do you recommend?

2. Any advice or tips about the nervous feelings I have about discouragement or giving up guitar?

3. Any other tips/advice/thoughts I should know about concerning starting up guitar?

I know this is a looong post, and I thank anyone who read it all and provides a thoughtful answer.

Thanks!


BTW, as for playing genres, I hope to play some classic rock at most.

P.S. I know this is a very big theory...and I'm sorry if its in the wrong forums.
#2
Actually, thats about as good a setup as you could want as a newbie, but go for the MIM Fender though.

/thread (unless someone has a different guitar recommendation)

Let me add that I'm very impressed someone as inexperienced in guitar as you has already made a pretty smart choice gear wise. Good job.

As for the getting a cheap kit thing in case he quits, I think thats a bad idea, the crappy gear may MAKE him quit!
[quote="'[VictorinoX"]']
There are people in this world who don't feel it necessary to vomit sunshine 24 hours a day. I'm one of them.

Current Gear
Yamaha EG 112
Esteban American Legacy
Jay Turser JTB-400M
Fender Frontman 212R
Effects
DigitTech RP50
Last edited by TehMasterSword at Jan 24, 2009,
#3
I'd say find a cheap kit of some sort, like a squier strat boxed with an amp and play it for a while to see if you even want to get more in depth with guitar.
That way you can at least play a halfway decent instrument while you save for something that is awesome and you arent spending anymore than 2-250 bucks.

$750 to start off a hobby that you might not even commit to is a bit of a gamble.
#4
playing guitar to a great standard simply takes practice...
it's true that gear motivates you (well, it motivates me anyway)...
and a good instrument through an amp which produces a good sound will make you want to play more...
but without practice you won't improve...

i'd upgrade the toys-r-us acoustic...
you're looking at the right practice amps...
you should look around for guitars and see what else you might like...
Ibanez, Vintage, Epiphone, Jackson, and LTD make good entry level guitars...

a Fender Strat is quite an investment into a guitar you may later grow out of...
Last edited by heminder at Jan 24, 2009,
#5
Get a schecter omen 6. It was my first guitar and I still play it today. As for an amp I'd get anything besides a line-6.
#6
The MIM Fender is good, as stated above. I would definitely go for the Vypyr, probably a 30watt, if you can afford it. You can get some real good classic rock, blues, clean, and even metal tones out of it. And it has like 22 effects on it, most of which sound pretty good.


EDIT: This is all assuming you're going to stick with guitar. But like someone said above, it's a gamble if you're not sure if you will stick with it.

If you really want to stick with it, make sure you give yourself at least 30 minutes to an hour of practice a day, and I would definitely get lessons.
Last edited by TatarSalad2 at Jan 24, 2009,
#7
the MIM is a good quality instrument. you can use it for a long time, and by the time you outgrow it as a musician you'll know what you want. ive got a MIM tele ive had for 3 years, gigged with it over 50 times, practice with it every day im not gigging, holds up against my buddies MIA strat, not the same, but hold its own. i love it and probably wont get rid of it when i make my next guitar investment.
#8
If you can't get the MIM because of money, get the Yamaha Pacifica with a humbucker in the bridge. The MIM is better than a Pacifica or a Squier, but I feel they are all good guitars for a beginner or intermediate player.
Gear:
Squier Strat
Cordoba 20TM-CE Acoustic Electric Tenor Uke
Bugera V22
#9
Thanks for the answers. I think, that at this point, whenever I do shell out the cash, and learn to play guitar, I'm probably going to go w/ the HSS Strat and the Vypr or something along those lines.

I've read and learned so much about guitars that at this point, if I do play a Squier or something similar to that, I'll psychologically feel discouraged because I'm going to feel inferior for having such a crappy-ish guitar.

Any thoughts?

At this point, I just feel that without having a quality guitar (consists of a MIM Strat to me), I'll probably not stick w/ guitar because I've had such a bad experience, granted it was a $60 Toys-R-Us acoustic.
Last edited by gtwosaints at Jan 25, 2009,
#10
There would be a big difference between a Yamaha Pacifica 112v or a squire classic vibe than a toys r us acoustic. The way you are thinking at the moment it sounds like you are setting yourself up to fail. You seem to be thinking that learning to play the guitar is all about what gear you have and it is not. With a classic vibe squire and a micro cube there would be no reason why you could not develop and become a excelent player. If you can afford the mex fender and you really think it will encourage you to play then get it but I can't help but feel you are worring about the name and internet forums more than anything else.
Last edited by stujomo at Jan 25, 2009,
#11
Quote by stujomo
There would be a big difference between a Yamaha Pacifica 112v or a squire classic vibe than a toys r us acoustic. The way you are thinking at the moment it sounds like you are setting yourself up to fail. You seem to be thinking that learning to play the guitar is all about what gear you have and it is not. With a classic vibe squire and a micro cube there would be no reason why you could not develop and become a excelent player. If you can afford the mex fender and you really think it will encourage you to play then get it but I can't help but feel you are worring about the name and internet forums more than anything else.


Thank you very much for the answer. And I don't mean that sarcastically...

What you said, is what I've been thinking about. I'm not sure if I would be happy with a Squire/Yamaha Pacifica or if I would be disappointed.

I'd like to believe that I would be happy with them, but I don't want to ruin my guitar experience by getting low-end items.

I know I sound like a whining brat, but I just want my guitar learning experience to run smoothly, and while there will be problems, I just want to go through it...without worrying too much about my gear.

Name brands have never really been that big a deal for me, neither have forum reputation.

I know that playing guitar isnt all about gear, its about determination, hard work, etc. At this point, I think I'm just gonna say "**** it" and whenever I have the money, just purchase a Yamaha Pacifica 112J/Squire Strat, a Roland Microcube, some accesories, and go from there.

I think, now, that with my knowledge and more maturity since I was 10-ish, I'll be content with those choices. Maybe a couple of go's at my friends Squire Strat well help clear some things in my head xD

Thanks everyone.

Soo, when I do purchase the beginner gear, what do you guys think I should buy? This is what i have in mind.

-Squier Stratocaster/Yamaha Pacfica
-Roland Microcube
-Picks
-Tuner
-Strings
-Maybe a book or dvd to learn.

Any recommendations or advice on gear/lessons/etc.?
#12
Why don't you buy some used gear? My first setup was a Cort VS for $150 and a Vox VR15 for $75. I think I paid $10 for the cable that day. The pick was free. So for $235 I had everything a beginner needs. Living in New Jersey you can't be more than 30 minutes from a pawn shop or used guitar dealer.
#13
Lessons are probably a good thing if you can afford them. I taught myself to play just from the internet and a little advice from a friend, and really i havent developed any real bad habits. Nor did i find it very difficult.
Id say if you wanted to teach yourself just check out the lessons on this site as well as cyberfret and youtube.
And whenever you learn be sure to alternate pick! Its a definite good skill that can be ruined by bad habit.
Your gear list sounds like a good place to start.
#14
Important that you try the guitars you are going to buy. Play your friends guitars, play as many as you can. Don't buy anything you don't like the feel of. Even two guitars that should be the same can feel quite different when you play them. Take your time finding the guitar that is right for you buy the actual guitar that you have played. If the store offers to get you an unplayed one from the store room ask them to tune and then play it if it does not feel as good as the one on display don't buy it tell then why it does not feel so nice.
#15
the following is my recommendation assuming that a) you will continue playing guitar in the future or b) you have the means to sell gear (i.e. ebay, craigslist, on here).

first, you have to look used.

guitar: check ebay right now for a "godin freeway classic" theres a black one going for $180 at the moment. this will give you the tonal versatility as well as quality of an american made strat at less than 1/3 the price. made in canada, assembled in the US or something. with all due respect to squier and yamaha, they are beginners instruments no matter how you slice it.

amp: epiphone valve jr. for no more than $150 you can get authentic tube tone. this is the perfect amplifier for those looking at their first tube experience. it's ideal for learning how amps work and while I never went down that road I had always been intending to. i recommend the head and cab as opposed to the combo. it seems like you'd be into the more technical aspects of guitar. this is a professional-grade amplifier and for a $150 piece of gear it gets a surprising amount of studio time (at least according to the guy who bought mine)

effects: korg toneworks AX3g. why? as a beginner, you'd probably want to experience as many sounds as possible. however building this into an amp almost always decreases the quality of tone in general in exchange for offering so many different sounds. you would grow out of the modeling amp. eventually this could be used simply for its tuner, which nearly every guitarist needs. and lastly, it'll get you comfortable with using your feet. some players arent into pedals as much as others but it'd be good to get acquainted.

so what do these add up to? about $450, for decent, lasting non-beginner equipment.

i'm not saying the above options arent good, merely that if you're willing to spend $750, wouldnt you rather drop the $450 on quality stuff than $300 on "meh" equipment? it will retain its resale value far better, seeing as it's already used gear. selling things you bought new at retail price generally results in a net loss of 25 - 50%. and not everything you see on ebay is used.
within you lay everything
every key
every secret

untouched and in plain sight
Last edited by staticoverdub at Jan 25, 2009,
#16
Thanks everyone.

Used gear sounds like a good idea, but I don't know what to test for to see if the guitar sounds good, will last me, is in good shape, etc.

I definitely am gonna want to have some sort of lessons. If I do go w/ new gear though, I'm afraid I'm sort of restricted to Guitar Center and the sort. There's not any real guitar shops/pawn shops in my town, and most of them are 30 minutes away. And while that may not be that much, it can be taxing for the 'rents to drive, especially after I disappointed them before by giving up on that acoustic guitar....but, if I'm willing to pay (whenever I have the money), they shouldn't complain! xD

Guitar Shop/Lessons

Now, this is a website for a guitar shop I found somewhat near me. They have some used/new gear and offer lessons. Though $30 for 30 minutes does sound pricy.

Anyone got any tips for testing out guitars? Or any solid guitars at that website?

BTW, I'm probably not gonna pick up a guitar within the next month, or the next few/couple months. I gotta get a job (if I can, only 14) within the months to come as the weather warms up.

Probably gonna talk to my guidance counselor at school on the job thing.

Thanks!
#17
Quote by gtwosaints

Anyone got any tips for testing out guitars?


When I bought my first guitar, I explained to the guy at the shop that I had never played before, and didn't know if I would stick with it. I explained that I didn't want a big investment, but I also didn't want junk. He showed me a number of different guitars, and told me the good and bad about all of them. Then he played all of them for me. Then he let me play them, even though all I could do at that point was strum open strings. But I did find the one that was comfortable. I don't regret the purchase either. Even though I've upgraded all of my gear, I still have and play with that first Cort. My daughter now has the Vox to use with her Squier Mini.
#18
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-IJX121Metal-Guitar-Jumpstart-Package?sku=518877

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-RG7321-7String-Electric-Guitar?sku=518876

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Squier-Stop-Dreaming-SE-Special-Pack-With-Squier-SP10-Amp?sku=513287

There you go, 2 ibanez and 1 fender to choose from, dont have to worry about buying expensive stuff and thinking its a waist of money cause you get basic stuff with all three for a good budget price.
Crank your rig on 12, let it feedback wide-open for a good two minutes, freak your neighbors out and ENJOY THE POWER OF THE GUITAR! 'Oh, what a feeling,' and it ain't no damned Toyota!" ----Dimebag Darrell
#19
I have seen lots of MIM Strats on Craigslist and ebay that fall in the $250 range. If you want lots of sounds to play with and some good built in fx, you could check out one of the Peavey Vypyr amps. The 15w amp with run you about $99.
#21
Quote by guitar-godfrey
have you considered renting a good guitar for a while?

That's a possibility I haven't thought of. I just wonder the costs of renting, and also, what are the policies (generally) for any damages to the guitar.
#22
if its definitly a squire strat your looking for pawn shops pawn shops pawn shops. i know of 3 or 4 in my area that have at least 3 in great shape for around $100 or so. strings no big deal thats like 5 to 12 dollars for some ernie ball strings. a case im not sure i dont own a case because my guitar never leaves the house hardly. and a amp, Peavey makes some pretty sweet practice amps for around 80 dollars or so. so if you add that up that comes out pretty good for starting out. i highly suggest you start out this way to peak your intrest in playing. tone is important but learning how to play is more important at first. ive been playing my same setup for about a year and a half (out of 2) and friends that have never heard me play are astounded. but yeah go the cheap route at first because it will pay off better in the end
#23
Alrighty, so at this point, I'm sold on the "cheap guitar" route. I'm pretty certain I'm going for a Squier Strat/Yamaha Pacifica/some other guitar that I find cheap and good, may be used.

As for amp, I'm leaning towards the Peavy Vypyr 15. Thoughts?

And as for accesories, what should I be looking at when I purchase the guitar and amp?

Any sweet tips to get some free accesories or to lower the price?

And as for lessons, what prices should I be looking for?
#24
I have that amp. I think it is great for the price. You can get lots of different sounds out of it.
#25
Im impressed you made a good choice of amp/guitar with little experince you picked alot better setup than me
Ibanez RG7321
Jackson Randy Rhoads V with Floyd Rose
Peavey Valveking 112
Digitech RP70 Guitar Processor
#26
Quote by Lethal Dosage
Im impressed you made a good choice of amp/guitar with little experince you picked alot better setup than me

LOL. I do a loooooot of research before buying anything, or anytime I'm interested in buying something.
#27
don't buy all of this stuff new from guitar center, that's a bad idea. buy a used guitar and amp off craigslist or from a pawnshop and use the assload of money you save for guitar lessons. honestly. you could probably get everything you need for 400 or less, if you find a reasonably good deal. and if you lose interest, you won't be losing as much money when you go to resell the stuff, considering what you will have paid for it.
Jimi Hendrix > All

Fender MIM Strat
Epiphone Les Paul (SD JB + 59)
Epiphone Dot (Dirty Fingers + 57 Classic)
Yamaha FG700S Acoustic

Crate V-18 212

Dunlop Original Crybaby
EHX Sovtek Big Muff
Boss DS-1
Boss BD-2
Boss BF-2
#28
Alrighty, so the general flow of things in my mind are:

-Pawn Shops
-Used gear
-read above two again..

Thing is, I don't know how to test this gear to see if its quality, plays well, no fakes, etc.

any tips?
#29
when you're talking squier, you're honestly probably better off with a fake. if you buy ebay, just check the seller's feedback as well as the auction page. you should be able to get a sense whether it's a shop of if's its just some guy selling his guitar. there's a little more security in buying from a store.

and squiers and other such guitars are essentially produced via the cookie cutter method. i haven't found there to be much difference between one squier and the next, assuming everything works as it should. quality is pretty standard from one guitar to the next.

it would, however, be a good idea to get to you local store and just get a feel for a few guitars. you might find something we haven't mentioned that you must have. it happens occasionally.
within you lay everything
every key
every secret

untouched and in plain sight
#30
First off go to a shop and try out the guitar you're thinking of buying, plus a bunch of others, to see if that is what you really want. If you can't play yet take a friend that can - try them out yourself for what feels right, and get your friend to play them so you can see what they sound like. Then tell them you need to think about it and leave.

Then you can look around and see if you can find a second hand guitar of the make and model you liked. If you are concerned you don't know enough to know if its a fake/decent condition etc then again - take a friend that will know.

I'd say you'll be pretty lucky to find what you want in a pawn shop, but craigslist and ebay are generally good bets for second hand.

And I think its a good plan to use what you save for lessons - its a whole lot easier having someone to teach you than doing it all by yourself.
#31
you can easily find a mexi strat and an amp within your price range....don't get a squier. you'll be much better off with a mexi strat, which you can find used for 250. get a fender 15 watt practice amp for like 50 bucks, then you're set for a while, and you'll at least have a decent guitar when you actually get good, and it'll be more important to get a new amp at that point.

on the other hand if you get a squier, you'll be forced to upgrade both items, because they suck so much. (unless you're planning on getting like a classic vibe tele or something)
Jimi Hendrix > All

Fender MIM Strat
Epiphone Les Paul (SD JB + 59)
Epiphone Dot (Dirty Fingers + 57 Classic)
Yamaha FG700S Acoustic

Crate V-18 212

Dunlop Original Crybaby
EHX Sovtek Big Muff
Boss DS-1
Boss BD-2
Boss BF-2