Hello all,

I finally got around to start learning the guitar (after having it on my to-do list for literally decades). A couple of weeks ago I started teaching myself, armed with a cheap (read crappy) acoustic guitar and a stack of dvd's and books. All well so far, I'm learning and my fingertips are getting tougher. What I really want, of course, is an electric guitar. I have read the sticky's but I still need some help, and it would be much appreciated.

Goal: My aim is to play for my own enjoyment, and perhaps socially with friends (and to annoy my wife) but no more than that. I'm 46 yo, there are no gigs, tour-buses or groupies in my future.
Genres: Rock -> Hard Rock -> Heavy Metal. Nothing really heavy - let's say nothing heavier than Iron Maiden to give you an idea. I could imagine ending up playing some blues or 70s rock as well, but whatever it is it's likely to sound raw rather than sweet.

Now for my main question:
Do I buy an electric guitar as soon as possible or do I stick with the acoustic until I learn to play properly?
The ultimate goal is an electric. I know that many techniques pretty much requires an electric, but it seems I have a lot to learn before I get to bending, hammer-on, pull-off and what-not. The most rational argument I can think of for getting an electric guitar right now is that I WANT one.

If you think I should get a guitar sooner rather than later:
My current budget is rather modest, say 300 Euro (about US$ 400), so if I do buy an electric guitar and amp now they would also have to be modest. Waiting means I could spend a bit more.
My current thinking was to buy something like a Squier Bullet Strat and a Fender Mustang until I realized that the guitar have single coil pickups and that would seem unsuited for the stuff I want to play?

Suggestions to improve on these choices are much appreciated. Unless you all think I should just wait and keep hurting my fingers on the acoustic.

Thanks in advance.
Honestly you are best just getting an electric if that's the kinda genres you're wanting to play. No point wasting time starting on an acoustic since it won't give the sounds you're after from the get go and won't encourage you learn..

And yeah your best bet is going to be a wee amp modelling like a roland cube 30, peavey vypyr 15/30.

You're also going to want a guitar that has a bridge humbucker since its better for heavy rock distortion then a bridge single coil and gives more power.

I'd look at a Yamaha Pacifica 112 for a first guitar. Solid build usually, Humbucker - single - single pickup configuration which does many styles so you'd be pretty set for most situations..
Last edited by coolstoryangus at Dec 15, 2011,
Angus pretty much nailed it but I would learn legato and bending on your acoustic.
If you can pull off those techniques on an acoustic it will be 20x easier on electric.

Work on your basic techniques for a few months, then buy an electric.
it never hurts to buy an electric when the opportunity comes. my first guitar was electric and i learned to play acoustic and electric at the same time.

if you want that nice thick, 70s classic rock and blues sound. u cant go wrong with say, an esp ec-50, fender blacktop guitars (strats, jaguar), stuff like that.

as far as an amp goes. youre gonna want to get something decent. those starter practice amps aren't going to satisfy. Roland makes a great amp. The Roland Cube amps are awesome and come with many different sounds ranging from sparkling cleans to good ole rock and roll gain to even enough gain and punch for thrash (think slayer or metallica)
Used MIM HSS stratocaster and Vox VT+ series amp will do the job, when you've decided to move on to the e-guitar
As a 46 year old, id imagine you can be disciplined enough to lay down the foundation of good playing by sticking to acoustic until you've learned the fundamentals of guitar, which in my experience is far and away more beneficial to improvement than jumping straight into the world of electric guitar. Get to know some chords, some progressions, how they work, increase your finger, hand, and wrist dexterity. Know the guitar, as goofy as that may sound, so that your transition to electric goes smoothly and you can really take off in your playing.

As a teacher ive seen way more improvement in my students that played acoustic for 6 months to a year versus the ones that insist on learning electric right away. I dont really even want to take students like that anymore because much of my curriculum focuses on learning the fundamentals to build up the necessary skills that shape you into not just a great guitar player, but a great musician. It does take a healthy amount of discipline, but it pays out big time a year or two down the road. Delayed gratification, my friend.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

I would say if you want an electric, buy an electric, but don't forget to practice on the acoustic because that does help with alot of basic techniques and finger strength.

As for what type of guitar to buy, for that money, and the possible range of stuff you want to play, go for an epiphone nighthawk reissue. They look amazing, for the price they are really high quality guitars, and they have so many different options for tone. its only 399 USD.

Godin Icon Type 2 Classic
Vox SDC 33
Mesa Boogie Express 5:50 2x12
Roland Cube 80XL
Boss Tuner
BBE Boosta Grande
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
Amptweaker Tightmetal
ISP Decimator
Zoom G3
TC Electronic Flashback
Visual Sound H2O
If you live in Stockholm (as your name suggests ), I can recommend going to Deluxe Music at Fridhemsplan (http://dlxmusic.se) and tell them what you've told us and get a feel for electric guitars in your price range. They won't mind if you just come in to browse, talk and try out some models and there's plenty of room to sit around and noodle. I bought an accoustic there two weeks ago and felt they were really helpful and knowledgeable. If you're not near by, trying out guitars and talking to the clerks in any store is usually better than trying to decide from spec sheets and pictures on the interweb.

For €368 I bought an Ibanez RGA42 from Thomann almost a year ago, in order to learn and play (mostly rock/metal) electric guitar and I haven't regretted it one second. If you want to play electric guitar, definitely get one, and €300 will get you a nice instrument to start out with. I spent €150 on an external USB soundcard instead of an amp, it takes up way less space, doesn't annoy the neighbours/wife/dog as much and is more versatile than most amps at the same price range. Something to consider.

Hope it helps (and if you buy something, post pics!)!
I agree with the buy electric chorus. (I started acoustic, though, and don't regret it.)

When I finally did go electric, though, instead of buying an amp, I bought a Korg Px4*, which is a programmable portable multi-effect & amp modeling device that also has a tuner, metronome and even some rhythms built in. You plug in and listen via headphones. That means you can rock out virtually anywhere, which makes it much easier to find practice time.

I didn't buy an amp (a Fender HRD) until 3 years after I owned an electric guitar. In the meantime, the Korg let me get my practice time in, and also helped me figure out what kinds of pedals and amp I wanted. Then again, I wasn't trying to join or form a band right away.

* besides Korg, Line6, Tascam and others make similar devices. These kind of things run about $150-250. Some come equipped to record to things like chip drives digital cameras use, and others can directly connect to your computer.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 15, 2011,
If your acoustic guitar stays in tune, has good intonation, and the action is low (the strings are close to the neck and the guitar is playable), you may consider holding on to it for a bit longer and saving up for a nicer electric and amp. If your acoustic isn't in good shape, get an electric. It will be more motivating and enjoyable for you to play the kind of guitar you actually want to.

I think people generally start off on acoustic guitar is because you only need to purchase one thing (the acoustic guitar itself) whereas with an electric you would typically buy both an electric guitar and an amp too, and that costs more.

I think Epiphone makes some beginner electric guitars with humbuckers, and give you the sound you're looking for.

Thank you to everyone. All good answers and things for me to think about. Just what I needed.

Consensus seem to be to get an electric (and I'm always inclined to listen to advice when people tell me what I want to hear ) so I will do that when I've given some more thought to amps and guitar models. I have to wait for the x-mas feeding frenzy to stop anyway, can't stand it.

Thanks for the input!
Quote by kirigoe
If you live in Stockholm (as your name suggests ), I can recommend going to Deluxe Music at Fridhemsplan (http://dlxmusic.se) and tell them what you've told us and get a feel for electric guitars in your price range.

Thanks for the tips. Indeed I do, and I have heard good things about Deluxe, but I'm a bit cynical about advice from store clerks, to be honest. Sales-people tend to recommend what they want to sell rather than what you want to buy. There are exceptions of course, but I rather err on the side of caution when it comes to that. I'll go check them out though.
One more vote for get the guitar you want. I'm like you, a new guitarist at the age of too many years to admit to. I bought an acoustic, then an electric. I never touch the acoustic anymore. The electrics are so much more comfortable to play and enjoy. I know the instructor above cautioned you to stick with the acoustic and that is what a good guitarist friend of mine also recommends, but for crying out loud, you're doing this because you want to enjoy it. Get the electric and play them both.

The Squier guitar is fine for your budget. You'll end up spending more. I would recommend trying to get a made in mexico strat and the likes of a fender blues junior amplifier. Save up until you can get into that level of at least the guitar. You can live with a shitty amp for a while. But a crummy guitar will be painful. The MIM strats are quite good, and can be had used at least here in the States for quite reasonable amounts of cash.
Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster
Epiphone Sheraton II, Seymour Duncan Jazz and '59.
ESP Horizon NT II
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
Mesa 5:50 Express
Egnator Rebel 30
Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18
Last edited by Silver Hilton at Dec 16, 2011,
Definitely get an electric and start rocking your ass off. I've always liked the Ibanez RG series for entry to mid-level playability and versatility.

I'm also a big multi fx guy, too. If you are starting out, it makes no sense to go out and buy a sweet (read: expensive) killer tube amp that gives all of your buddies a big case of "amp envy". You probably haven't defined your sound, style, or tone, and multi fx allows you to experiment with different amp models and effects to see which ones you like. Treat your first year or two of playing like your first year or two of college: Don't box yourself in with expensive gear purchases that will piss off your wife until you've had a chance to test the waters and decide on your primary direction.

Personally, i like Digitech multi fx boxes. But PODs, BOSS's, etc. are available and their virtues are infinitely extolled in various threads in the "Gear" section of this forum.

I'm also in my 40's, and don't have time to patiently approach "the dream" like a 15 year old would. Get your electric, get amp/multi fx, get Guitar Pro, and start learning the tabs of your favorites!
Quote by SteveSthlm
Thanks for the tips. Indeed I do, and I have heard good things about Deluxe, but I'm a bit cynical about advice from store clerks, to be honest. Sales-people tend to recommend what they want to sell rather than what you want to buy. There are exceptions of course, but I rather err on the side of caution when it comes to that. I'll go check them out though.

Oh you should be cynical, I've been to 4Sound stores a lot lately and multiple times I've gotten answers that I know are downright wrong (High Pressure Laminate is not solid wood even if the guitar is a Martin...) and I'm an amateur at best. So if you find something nice at a store, go home and google it first and compare prices. UG has a whole lot of gear reviews that might be useful, and of course this forum.