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#1
A little while ago I asked about what kind of guitar I should get next. I have a really cheap one right now (got it and the amp for $200) and someone said it's probably holding me back because it's crappy. I'm just wondering how it could be, because I can't think of why.
#2
gear can't hold you back. ever.

good, bad or otherwise.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#4
cheap guitars usually arent mde that well
dont sustain as good
dont sound as well
and have bad set ups

not sayuing your guitar is like this it might be but if you have a well made and set up guiatr itll be more enjoyable and easier to play than one with shitty frets or neck or whatever

but dont use a sihtty guitar to explain shitty playing
Last edited by supersac at Sep 29, 2011,
#5
Sad but true, a bad player will sound bad no matter how nice the equipment he uses is. I do suppose that if your guitar was going out of tune every 10 minutes then it would be holding you back, but other then that everything is based on skill.

But crappy sound gear will sound bad regardless of how well you play it
#6
Everybody plays better on some guitars than others. Yes, you're guitar can hold your back. I see you joined about a year ago, so if you've been playing for about a year (and taking it seriously. I mean like, daily practice) then I'd say you're ready to move past a beginner guitar.
#7
I'm hoping a better guitar will be able to get lower action than mine without buzzing. The good guitars I've seen look like the strings are pretty close to the fretboard
#8
And do all guitars have the same distance between frets? Because a shorter neck with smaller frets would help
#9
A better guitar will help you slightly. If you pick one that feels good to your hands, in terms of body shape and neck, then you'll be able to get around the fretboard a little smoother and press down on the strings a little easier. Essentially it will just "feel" better and in turn make playing the guitar more enjoyable. It will also do some good for your tone.

It will feel and sound a bit better, but if your only able to plat blink-182 currently, then don't except to become a shredmaster simply by getting a new guitar. (No offence to blink fans, I love them too )
Gear:
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#10
You mean a guitar shaped toy, yes it can hold you back. Don't get me wrong a bad player would sound shitty on a PRS custom shop guitar, but an instrument with sharp frets, poor sustain, and crappy tuners that don't keep it in tune will not help you.
#11
Quote by LeeAlacoque
I'm hoping a better guitar will be able to get lower action than mine without buzzing. The good guitars I've seen look like the strings are pretty close to the fretboard


My Squier Affinity Strat was like that, too. Then I got a pro setup (cost $100) and that made it play the same as my MIA Strat (which he set up and made better, too). The Squier needed the neck shimmed.

A couple of years later, after breaking 2 of the tuning machine housings on the Squier, I swapped them out for locking tuners like they put on MIA Deluxe Strats, and now it plays better than my MIA--although I do miss the extra fret. The humbuckers I added make it more fun to play than the SSS MIA, too. Another great upgrade was a $5 DiMarzio input jack--the cable doesn't ever slip out anymore.

Anyway another $100 - $200 into your guitar might make a world of difference.
#12
No, not all guitars have the same distance between frets, Gibson/Epiphone are know for their shorted scale lengths. When checking out guitars, the "normal" many is 25.5", while Gibson uses 24.75", and many baritones using 27". As for a guitar, holding you back, it can. When I first started learning to play on some acoustic and then my Dean, it alright till a point. Then I pickup up a new guitar, and the playing vastly different as you could tell the difference. Then come the times when you go back to playing your original guitar, and it becomes great again.
...
#13
I only play metal. I can do most of the riffs to Down From The Sky by Trivium and I'm trying to get good at tremolo picking. I might want to buy a new one soon or I might weight a few more months and get my parents to buy me one for christmas
#14
It's the tool of your trade. A low-quality tool will hold you back eventually. There's a reason good photographers don't use cheap cameras... It's sad that guitarists find it a point of pride to elevate shittiness as a goal.

As to whether your guitar is holding you back for now, I don't know enough to say. Is it hard to play? Does it break strings often? Does it sound crap? All of these things can hold you back. For example, I have a cheap keyboard which is good for a beginner, but it's just holding me back now that my skills are far better.

It's up to you to decide whether a better guitar will be for you. Play higher-quality guitars. I used to think my $200 starter was great, but then I got a better one. And then I got an even better one... I can say from experience that a better-quality instrument will improve your playing.
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#15
Quote by LeeAlacoque
And do all guitars have the same distance between frets? Because a shorter neck with smaller frets would help
Generally speaking yes. However, there is a range of scale lengths, usually it's somewhere between 24 1/2" and 25 1/2" inches for adult instruments. Shorter scale equals closer spaced frets. However, the difference isn't all that dramatic. A player should be able to jump from a short scale to a longer scale instrument without much difficulty.

Here's an Ibanez ART electric: http://www.ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/model-ART320 With an average scale length, 24.75 inches
And here's an Ibanez "AEL" body acoustic electric with a very long scale, almost 25.6 inches! http://www.ibanez.com/AcousticGuitars/model-AEL30SEBK

The only way you would be able to find a truly short scale is on a "3/4 size guitar", such as this: http://www.ibanez.com/AcousticGuitars/model-IJV30

These are intended for children, but the scale is very short at only 22.04 inches. I think step up models would be very hard to find in this format.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 29, 2011,
#16
Depends how bad it is.

If its truly shitty like a bronze series warlock which goes out of tune easy, very cheap pickups that have zero versatility and sound bad in the first place, and cheap wood. Then yes it would be holding you back. If its just something like my jackson JS-1 then no.
#17
Quote by Dayn
It's the tool of your trade. A low-quality tool will hold you back eventually. There's a reason good photographers don't use cheap cameras... It's sad that guitarists find it a point of pride to elevate shittiness as a goal.

As to whether your guitar is holding you back for now, I don't know enough to say. Is it hard to play? Does it break strings often? Does it sound crap? All of these things can hold you back. For example, I have a cheap keyboard which is good for a beginner, but it's just holding me back now that my skills are far better.

It's up to you to decide whether a better guitar will be for you. Play higher-quality guitars. I used to think my $200 starter was great, but then I got a better one. And then I got an even better one... I can say from experience that a better-quality instrument will improve your playing.


There's some good points here, but it's not the whole story.

I could have my MIA Strat or my Ibanez Prestige on my lap right now, but they're not. It just happens to be my Squier right now. Of course it's a million times better now than it was out of the box (and I invested more than 2.5 times its original cost in upgrades) but I got much more return on that investment than if I did that with any of my other guitars, especially those with street prices of $900 - $1,200. Yes, I know those are lower mid-level guitars.

BTW, I know plenty of pro photographers who use $500 cameras. The $50,000 cameras have certain applications where they're useful, but usually it's not worth it, and the guys that have those only use them when they need to. After a certain point with guitars the money goes to luxuries, cosmetics, and customizations that don't affect playability much beyond what you'd get out of reasonably priced upgrades.

Sure, if you have a 21 fret neck and want to play songs that use 24 frets, then you'll be held back a bit. But a $200 Dean would solve that. For a little more, you can get one with a Floyd Rose trem--lots of things require that, although there's always a workaround:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXprhM5qfT0&feature=related

Larger frets and a larger radius neck make it a little easier to play single notes faster and to bend notes, but they make it harder to play bar chords.

I'd recommend investing a little in the guitar to get your action decent, and then save up for a good all tube amp (none of that hybrid stuff).
#18
As for scale lengths, Squier makes several affordable 24" scale models. My only short scale guitar is a Fender Mustang re-issue, and it is a little easier for me to learn new songs on it; especially if there's long reaches involved. Once I have it down with the Stand, it usually transfers over to the other guitars (all 25.5") pretty quickly.
#19
Quote by gregs1020
gear can't hold you back. ever.

good, bad or otherwise.

While I want to agree with you, I've always progressed much faster with higher quality gear. Better guitars are so much easier to play to me, and a better tone means I know if what I'm playing sounds good or not.

I'm not saying you need a $2000 PRS to play and sound good, or to learn faster, but the difference between a starter pack guitar and a mid-level Korean guitar can be very noticeable.
#20
i may be buzzed, but i am not that drunk but, i still dont think i saw him say what guitar he had.

how did this thread get so long without anybody asking the OP what brand/model guitar he has?
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#21
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i may be buzzed, but i am not that drunk but, i still dont think i saw him say what guitar he had.

how did this thread get so long without anybody asking the OP what brand/model guitar he has?


It's a starter pack for under $200. What's the best case scenario?

Regardless, the guitar can be improved dramatically for under $200 and the amp should be replaced.
#22
Quote by LeeAlacoque
So a better one wouldn't be any easier to play?

i didn't say that.

i've had guitars that cost me $200 that i could set up to play very well. it comes down to the individual guitar in every case. the same goes for the expensive ones.

don't expect the same fret work you can get on a $3000 PRS. but there exist very good inexpensive guitars and expensive ones that are complete turds.

i know, i had a $3000 turd.

conversely i bought my g/f son a used EPI G-400 i would put up against guitars that cost $1000 and more, in playability.

if the guitar you have is set up right, it won't hold you back.

also, too low of action won't help you play better. it can be just as bad as mile high action in my experience.

Quote by W4RP1G
While I want to agree with you, I've always progressed much faster with higher quality gear. Better guitars are so much easier to play to me, and a better tone means I know if what I'm playing sounds good or not.

I'm not saying you need a $2000 PRS to play and sound good, or to learn faster, but the difference between a starter pack guitar and a mid-level Korean guitar can be very noticeable.

i won't argue with you on that.

the washburn W-64 i had was a bad ass cheap guitar. MIK, great neck, very good build etc. cost me around $240 used iirc.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Sep 29, 2011,
#23
Quote by gregs1020
...also, too low of action won't help you play better. it can be just as bad as mile high action in my experience.


Especially if you want to use a slide.
#24
Quote by jetwash69
Especially if you want to use a slide.

or be able to mute with either hand during bends and releases.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#25
Why are there replies past the first one? This question has already been answered.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#26
Guiatrs CAN hold people back. I don't know why, but I had a very hard time learning the acoustic solo of sidewalks by Story of the Year. than I enter the store, grab a 400$ Takamine and my hands played the solo by themselves. I don't know why, but as soon as I have the money, i replace my epiphone with the Takamine (the very one i used, hopefully).
#27
Quote by JustRooster
Why are there replies past the first one? This question has already been answered.


Because the first reply was wrong.
#28
i think a better guitar would help you progress faster
the action can be easily adjusted on the bridge side but usually cheap guitars come with badly cut nuts and thats difficult to change without getting a pro to set up your guitar
even more so with the frets
also, if a guitars sounds(or even looks) better it makes you want to play more, and if you play more you will become better faster
#29
A guitar can't hold somebody back just because it's cheap, but it can be so badly set up to the point of being unplayable.

See if you can find someone to set your guitar up for you. If it still doesn't play well, then it's you who needs to improve. I have a $99 Washburn that plays well when set up right (although it sounds like shit).
#30
When I walk into a store and pick up a crappy 100$ starter guitar I play like shit. I am not a shitty player. Thusly a crappy guitar would hold me back. Just like a photographer doesn't use a shitty camera, and a NASCAR driver doesn't drive a shitty car, and a fireman doesn't use a garden hose.
#31
Its all about comfort.

Find one you like the feel of and sits comfortably for you and you will progress faster and play better. But then when you go back to a shitty guitar you'll be worse.
#32
Define "hold back".

Is it a comfort issue where you physically can't get your hands to do what you know they can due to the way your guitar is built? Is it a tonal issue where you can't produce the sounds you want due to your guitar / amp / board setup? What are the actual limitations of your gear in relation to what you can do and what you want to do?

Of course - if you own a pointy shred abomination then your ****ed no matter what
#33
A better guitar may allow you to be better at the things you already know how to do. But it won't give you the ability to do new things. For that you'll still have to learn and practice.
#34
if you can id say try to save 400-600 for a better guitar if you really are serious about it.

my second guitar it cost me 300$ and its one of my favoutie guitars, it gets more play time than my gibson, and is only beaten out by my PRS.

my point is that as mentioned before, you dont need to buy a 2000$ guitar to play well. if you want a new guitar go to a store, find guitars in your price range and judge by what iot feels like, not by its looks.
#35
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
Because the first reply was wrong.


orly?


i can't wait to hear how NOT having any gear WON'T hold you back then.





so?


good luck with that one.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#36
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
When I walk into a store and pick up a crappy 100$ starter guitar I play like shit. I am not a shitty player. Thusly a crappy guitar would hold me back. Just like a photographer doesn't use a shitty camera, and a NASCAR driver doesn't drive a shitty car, and a fireman doesn't use a garden hose.


Using a crappy camera doesn't make the photographer a worse photographer. Driving a Prius doesn't make Dale Earnhardt Jr. a worse driver. Your logic is flawed. Also:

Quote by Macabre_Turtle
When I walk into a store and pick up a crappy 100$ starter guitar I play like shit. I am not a shitty player. Thusly a crappy guitar would hold me back. Just like a photographer doesn't use a shitty camera, and a NASCAR driver doesn't drive a shitty car, and a fireman doesn't use a garden hose.


Really? Upload something. We'll be the judges.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#37
Quote by JustRooster
Driving a Prius doesn't make Dale Earnhardt Jr. a worse driver.


Perhaps not, but it makes him go slower.
#38
I used a fm15b for the acoustic tones in the clip on my profile. The zoom h2 was on top of that amp when it recorded it.

Feel free to judge that tone. For what it is, its not horrid by any means.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#39
Quote by BigHeadClan
But crappy sound gear will sound bad regardless of how well you play it


I'm definitely not buying that. A good guitar player can make a bad guitar sound good.
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#40
i think it can. I wanted to play metal when i first started out and my parents bought me a tele copy for 100. Obviously i knew nothing about hardware so i didnt know why my guitar didnt sound like the recordings. After a couple years I got a Gibson Faded Flying V and i was blew away by the difference after just a couple palm mutes. Even my parents realized it sounded infintily better. It was also SO much easier to play. So yes, a bad guitar can hold you back
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