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#1
Hello all, happy holidays.

Came across this site looking for reviews for a 'First Act' guitar I bought my daughter for Xmas. Last thread about 1st act is a few years old..... Anyway.

This is the guitar I bought her:
First Act Guitar

I'm looking for an honest opinion. I don't play (I have a banjo collecting dust I was trying to learn
It was a hundred bucks with a beginner amp.

I just wanna know if she'll be able to play this thing, or if it'll fall to pieces on her 1st strum.

And please, no 'that guitar is a piece of sh*t' comments, I know that already.
She's 8 years old, has never played and doesn't know that she's getting a guitar. I just want to get her something to see if I can light a spark in her. If she takes to it, then I'll buy her a real guitar.

So..... Did I waste $100? Or will she be able to at least play this for a few months?

Thanks for replies, and Merry Xmas.
#2
She'll be able to play for a few months. Now, you might suffer (if the amp is as bad as it sounds like it will be, then it'll be causing YOU physical pain), but she'll probably be far too happy to notice bad tone. It'll last long enough if she decides to stick with it, and if not, you're not out much money.

And Merry Christmas! Congrats on picking a rockin' kinda gift! If she sticks to it, just come back, and we'll all love to bicker over what would be best to get her next!
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#3
i suppose for the purpose You/she needs it for it will be just fine but if she gets serious with it down the road an upgrade will be needed
#5
I think it should be fine as a tool to see if she will get into guitar playing. I'd probably change the strings on it. It probably wont sound amazing but i'm sure that it will serve it's purpose. Better do that than spend like $200-$300 only to find out that later she might loose interest.
#6
Quote by flyingcheckmark
In retrospect I kinda just said what he said lol damn my timing


Lol it happens. Quick, before it's too late, extoll the virtues on an Agile guitar! Before THEY Arri-- OH GOD *Agile fanboys crowd into father of new guitarist*
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#7
If she's never played before, then it will be good. It won't see road wear or anything since it's going to be played at home, it will suit her just fine. There's not much reason to spend any more money until you know she's serious about it and would enjoy an upgrade. Great to hear that you're getting her started on playing, I'm glad my parents did.
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#8
I'd say it's a pretty smart thing to do, especially since she probably won't notice the difference in tone or anything that much anyways. If she sticks with it, awesome. If not, it's better to find that out with a $100 guitar than something 2x-3x as much.
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#9
Quote by Phantom123
(if the amp is as bad as it sounds like it will be, then it'll be causing YOU physical pain)

Can you even hear a 10-watt amp? Again, I have no idea. (Yeah, I suck)

Quote by Phantom123
If she sticks to it, just come back, and we'll all love to bicker over what would be best to get her next!

Hopefully, this will happen.
#10
Quote by JasminMehinagic
I'd probably change the strings on it.


Good call. Didn't think about this.
#11
Quote by RockingDaddy
Can you even hear a 10-watt amp? Again, I have no idea. (Yeah, I suck)


Hopefully, this will happen.


10 watts, in a house, will get pretty loud. However, it can easily go to reasonable levels (unless she develops the rock-star mentality, and wants all the knobs at 10. Then you're in for it!). The odds are, she'll stick with it if she even slightly wants to. Guitar is a very forgiving instrument, and it helps that pop culture marketing to kids in her age tends to claim guitars are much cooler than they really are!
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#12
Quote by RockingDaddy
Can you even hear a 10-watt amp? Again, I have no idea. (Yeah, I suck)


Hopefully, this will happen.


a 10 watt can get pretty loud, but volume wise its perfect
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#14
Wow one of the most brutal looking guitars I have ever seen....
When an adult has one imaginary friend it's called insanity. When lots of adults have the same imaginary friend it's called religion.
Gear
Hamer Slammer PAC 3-RM
Fender Sidekick 25 Reverb
Ibanez SR406

GAS
Peavey Tour TKO 115 400W
#15
One more question, again from someone who's clueless....

Can I get a pedal for this? Just goes between the guitar and amp, right?

The more tricks I can toss into this, the better chance I have of getting her into it.
And if it's possible, what's a good cheap pedal (sound-wise) an 8yo girl would like to play with?
#16
Quote by In_Black_Flames
Wow, I didn't know FirstAct made guitars that look like that. She'll be a metalhead in no time.


UFO forever! Yeah, I'm old.
That's why I picked that guitar. Hopefully will break the Taylor Swift curse in my home.
#17
I just want to throw in that I too think this is a great idea. You learn the most as a kid, and playing an instrument will overall make you smarter. You never want to force a kid to play an instrument, they'll hate it, but a guitar is one that most people will have an easy time getting into. Also, it's cheap, so if she doesn't take it seriously then oh well.
I wish my parents would have given me an instrument as a kid.
#18
Definatly a great starting point. I started late (11-12 years old.) I got this REALLY crappy guitar, I did enjoy playing for a little while and then lost interest. I got myself a new guitar out of nowhere, and became interested. ONCE AGAIN, I lost interest, but then I got another new piece of equipment and became interested again. This is just the experience I had.

So this may happen with your daughter, just to let you know. If she enjoys it, expect her to want a new guitar real quick. But then again, 8 may be a little young to know the difference between guitars. I'm not sure though.
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#19
I can't possibly say anything more that hasn't already been mentioned. So might i add, welcome to the UG community and good job on getting your daughter an awesome gift. Although just as a fair warning don't talk about your 8 year old soon-to-be guitar-playing daughter in the Pit. That's just something you don't do.

Anyways, i wish you and your daughter the best of luck with the musical endeavors and whatnot. Have fun with it!

John
CALL ME JOHN

MARSHALL JCM 2000 Amp head/Cab
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Rest of my rig on my profile!


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#20
Pedal? That's a toughie.

What you want most is a distortion pedal; if she runs the amp clean, she can plug it in, get a relatively good (to you) tone for distortion, and have a pedal. However, distortion is one button, and some tiny knobs. Not exactly fun. And since the amp "technically has distortion" (And I use the term sparingly) it'd be tough to convince an 8yro that it's really useful. A multi-fx pedal would be the most interesting, but those are like 200 something dollars, and more expensive than your set-up in the first place!

Maybe a Wah? You'd have to get at least a decent one, but it would entertain her.
Gear
---------
JS20S Satriani signature
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG Classic
Randall RM100 Combo w/ Plexi, JTM, Ultra, Recto, and Brown Modules
#21
For an 8 year old just starting to play guitar, this will definitely work. I'm with the others on getting new strings, as for the amp, 10w is plenty. For a while, you'll probably think even that is too loud
#22
Danelectro makes some pretty cheap pedals. You should try one if you're looking for a pedal.
#23
Okay, I asked a couple musician friends on facebook about this, and one just came back asking me if it had a truss rod in the neck?

Is that a valid question, or should I slap him?
Last edited by RockingDaddy at Dec 7, 2009,
#24
nothing wrong with that thing for a first guitar man. I believe that all guitarists should start out on something really crappy. the struggle brings out the best in a player and really helps them develop more, at least that was the case for me. If she likes it, fantastic, if she doesnt, well you will only have lost $100. some parents go out and buy $3000 Gibson Les Pauls for their kids who end up putting them in the closet.

Quote by RockingDaddy
Okay, I asked a couple musician friends on facebook about this, and one just came back asking me if it had a truss rod in the neck?

Is that a valid question, or should I slap him?



slap him hahaha. im almost 100% sure every guitar in production has the most basic of necessities such as a truss rod. without a truss rod a warped neck is unfixable... all guitars have them lol.
Last edited by Lt. Shinysides at Dec 7, 2009,
#25
Quote by Daus06
Danelectro makes some pretty cheap pedals. You should try one if you're looking for a pedal.

Yeah, $19.00 I can get into.

Distortion, Metal, Overdrive, Echo, Flage, Chorus.

I think I'm going with distortion?


I'm done cluttering your forum for the evening. Thanks for all the replies !!
#26
Quote by RockingDaddy
One more question, again from someone who's clueless....

Can I get a pedal for this? Just goes between the guitar and amp, right?

The more tricks I can toss into this, the better chance I have of getting her into it.
And if it's possible, what's a good cheap pedal (sound-wise) an 8yo girl would like to play with?


i dont know if theres even really a point to be honest. the amp has a distortion channel on its own, but then again if its just to sort of "encourage" playing, then ill have to back up the danelectro pedals
#27
Throw on thinner strings. I would think that 10s would be painful for an 8 year old. If there's less resistance while playing it, it might promote more play time
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#28
Personally I wouldn't worry about a pedal - she's probably gonna have plenty of fun with the guitar anyway. But if you do get one I'd go for Echo or Flange, so she can make weird noises. The amp will have distortion anyway, although it may sound a bit like a box of bees

10w is plenty - my main amp in the week is 2.5W and I never even have that close to full volume. And the neighbours have still complained once

I would consider getting her lessons - while she'll have fun just messing around with it for a while she's likely to get bored after a while if she can't play anything. I'd see if they do lessons at her school or if there is a local group class she can join.

Edit: yeah, 9 gauge strings would be better - 8 gauge would be perfect if you can find any!
Last edited by zhilla at Dec 7, 2009,
#29
I think you picked a decent started pack. First Act makes inexpensive decent starter guitars. If your daughter sticks with it you can get a better set up later. I would suggest finding a place that offers lessons. I was lucky to have the Boys and Girls Club right up the street that offered free lessons to members so I sent my kid there. Once he completed that I paid for lessons which can get expensive. The average here in Boston was 20 bucks per half hour 20 lessons cost $400.00. I would have taught my son myself but I just don't have the patience to teach.

John
#30
Haha you seem like an awsome dad!
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because I ain't ever going to no other side,
there ain't no heaven and there ain't no hell,
but I am a sinner so it's all just as well
#31
yeah it seems ok
wow she'll turn into a metalhead with that
as for a pedal i wouldnt get one now, wait a while...theres nothing like getting something new to really want to make you play

you can buy it now but wit a couple of weeks then surprise her with it
#32
guys, dont trip about string size and pedals just yet. she's 8...i doubt she's gonna be like "omg dad, why didnt you get me the eddie van halen phaser instead of this boss metal zone...and 9'? what a n00b"
ok really...i dont think thats gonna happen. i think at eight, if you can get her something that is playable and an amp that is loud enough to get over a tv, thats fine. now, honestly its easier to learn on a good guitar. its pretty tough to learn to play a guitar, on a guitar that misses notes on the frets and plays bad. BUT, he is just trying to see if she would be remotely interested in playing guitar; therefore, he is taking the correct steps and doing the right thing for right now.
merry Christmas; I hope your daughter becomes the next orianthi
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#33
Quote by bi-ah!
guys, dont trip about string size and pedals just yet. she's 8...i doubt she's gonna be like "omg dad, why didnt you get me the eddie van halen phaser instead of this boss metal zone...and 9'? what a n00b"
ok really...i dont think thats gonna happen. i think at eight, if you can get her something that is playable and an amp that is loud enough to get over a tv, thats fine. now, honestly its easier to learn on a good guitar. its pretty tough to learn to play a guitar, on a guitar that misses notes on the frets and plays bad. BUT, he is just trying to see if she would be remotely interested in playing guitar; therefore, he is taking the correct steps and doing the right thing for right now.
merry Christmas; I hope your daughter becomes the next orianthi


String size is important. I know kids that stop playing initially because it hurt their hands to play it. Using thinner strings would be better as she can decide whether or not she likes playing guitar without the 'ouch my fingers hurt' factor.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#34
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
String size is important. I know kids that stop playing initially because it hurt their hands to play it. Using thinner strings would be better as she can decide whether or not she likes playing guitar without the 'ouch my fingers hurt' factor.

when i started, i just downtuned my guitar a halfstep and that took a lot of the pain out of it
Quote by Jack Off Jill
Better than hooked on crack, I suppose. I'd rather know my kids are safe at home beating their meat than out in the world robbing old women for their crack fix.

Quote by *sigh*
What a huge coincidence. I have a butthole also.
#35
Quote by zhilla
10w is plenty - my main amp in the week is 2.5W and I never even have that close to full volume. And the neighbours have still complained once


2.5W tube amp I presume? There's a big difference in volume between a tube and solid state.
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#36
Quote by bi-ah!
when i started, i just downtuned my guitar a halfstep and that took a lot of the pain out of it


Don't think an 8 year old is gonna have the foresight to do that... I agree with whoever said lower gauge strings, I think the fingers hurting is gonna be a major factor in a 8 year olds mind.
#37
there are a couple of problems with it that i can see right off.

the body might make it harder for her to hold and balance on her knee.

small scale guitars are usually impossible to intonate and
the guitars i've tried at toys r us. (yes i've tried them)
have problems staying in tune, and are usually a little pricey.

they try to work on first time parents trying to pick a guitar wt no info.

lastly, i think as mentioned the amps and cables that come with starter packs are pretty shoddy.

if you want alternatives then post back.

if you already bought it then, that's cool too, merry christmas.
Jenneh

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#38
bullet strat?

EDIT: I take it back. This is no where near metal enough.
Last edited by Laslow at Dec 7, 2009,
#39
Make sure it's set up half decently, cheap models just out of the box won't be. You said you had musician friends?, maybe they'll do it for free (it's not like its a huge time consuming job).

The reason I say this is that if your daughter starts hitting dead-notes all over the place she'll soon get a bit frustrated. I know this because I have a 9 year old sister who sometimes messes around on my first starter guitar, which has loads of dead-notes due to me wearing down the frets from playing it too much.

Another thing that might spike her interest is a program for the computer called TuxGuitar, don't worry it's free. This program lets you input notes so they can be played back to you, so she can "attempt" to write a song (my 9yo sister thinks its great).

Now obviously, regarding TuxGuitar, you will both, no doubt be lost at the start (unless you know some music theory) but there are some features in Tux that will make your song sound listenable (the show scale feature). Perhaps you could even read-up a bit on the theory side, the musictheory.net link in my sig gives very short and compact lessons on the basics.


TuxGuitar website.
http://tuxguitar.herac.com.ar/


The best idea for a pedal is something like a delay or flanger, as these will let her make weird noises.

Edit: Dont worry too much about the notes on the staff lesson. Just get an idea of what your doing.


Also, another good thing about TuxGuitar is that you can download already written songs (from this site. they are called "guitarpro" and "powertab" tabs, and you will find them by using the search function on the main page) and see where your fingers go on the fretboard to play them (though they will probably need some major simplifications for you daughter).
Last edited by MapOfYourHead at Dec 7, 2009,
#40
Yamaha FG Junior gets my vote here.

And a tuner.

*runs to hide in realization that this is EG*

Very cool dad,
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