#1
1st, I am a total noob.

I ordered a Squire Bullet off of Amazon for my son.
(Wife says he has to learn an instrument, I say he should at least enjoy it.)

It arrives looking fine but where the neck joins the body there are two cracks in the body. Looks like the neck might have been tightened down too much. These are not surface and I can only see them spreading, but I don't know.

Is this typical in any way?

I plan on returning the Guitar but figured I might as well ask.

This is his first instrument, and we are trying the Rocksmith thing to help him develop the basic skills and muscle memory needed to play.

2nd, I have an initial budget of around $200 or so for the guitar. If this is anything like mountain biking then spending a lot of money before you know how to ride and know what you want is a waste.

Is staying with the Squire a good idea or does it really matter too much at this level?

Would it be helpful to move up to a $180-200 instrument or would that be better invested down the line?

My son is 10, the Squire does not seem too large for him at all. I live in Columbus, OH. He has no special preference in music at this point, he is a very laid back kid.

I know the noob threads are annoying as hell so sorry but I appreciate anyone who has gotten this far and is willing to offer some advice.
#2
If there are cracks in a brand new instrument, I'd definitely return it.

Squier are definitely good first instruments. What sort of amp have you purchased to use with it?

Personally I prefer to think it's better to start on an acoustic rather than an electric, but UG's forums appear to be split about 50/50 on that one.

One thing is for sure though, Rocksmith isn't really a way to learn how to play guitar. All he will learn is how to play a game using a guitar as the controller. It's probably OK to incorporate this into a practice routine, but you would be better off actually getting him some proper lessons so he learns to play properly.
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#3
Cracks at the neck joint are bad. I'd return it.
As long as the bullet keeps tune I see no reason to spend more $$ at the moment.
#4
Squier is a fine first guitar, but cracks are not typical in any way. Return it.

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#5
Squire is a perfect instrument to start out on, I would not invest any more money considering your son is only 10. If he sticks with it, trust me a few years down the road he's going to be wanting something 5 times the price, better start saving now.

I would defiantly send it back, Squire's don't normally have these kind of problems, although they are lower end guitars, its not right, you deserve your money back
#6
If it arrived that way, then I'd return it. As for the guitar itself, the cheaper Squiers have a bit of a bad reputation, but I find that with a good, well done setup they're playable. They won't sound very good, but it's as you said - a beginner won't, most likely, notice the difference. As the one playing the guitar is still quite young, it's also a good idea to pay attention to the size of the guitar, and if it's not too large for him, then it's all good. Note that as far as I know, all Fender and Squier stratocasters have the same, standard body dimensions. The bullet, however, as far as I know, is somewhat lighter than a regular stratocaster, or so I remember.

So, yeah, in conclusion, I'd say that a Squier Bullet strat is a decent guitar for a 10-year old beginner.
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#7
You guys are great. I appreciate the help.

We have a Guitar Center in town and they are on target with Amazon in pricing so I think I will drop by there with him and not have to worry about having to send anything else back.

As far as the Rocksmith thing goes, If it encourages him to play and it helps develop the basic skills then it is a win. Getting a ten year old to focus on anything besides video games and TV is a constant challenge. Tricking him into developing some skills so he can move to sheet music, (the wife's whole intent) saves me a lot of frustration. Once he figures out it is fun and the chic's dig it then I will worry about lessons and expensive guitars.

Until then I will keep bugging you guys.
#8
Yup. Return. Cracks at the neck or headstock are death for guitars.

Hope your son gets into playing. Ive been trying to coax my ten year old to learn for the past year, but hes only interested in playing Wii, 3DS, and watching Dragonball Z......
#9
You paid for a new guitar so if it isn't in top showroom condition and that's what you paid for then I would send it back no question for a replacement.
#10
Cracks near the neck pocket aren't always bad, but on a new instrument I'd say it's unacceptable. I've got an older Ibanez that has the small crack right at the neck pocket. It's a fairly common thing for the older RG guitars and mine hasn't gotten worse or even affected anything. Headstock cracks are usually repairable, expensive, but doable anyway. I've had that issue with a Jackson, it fell off the stand and took out the high E tuning machine. It was fixed and you could never even tell it broke. But that cost a bit to repair it right.
#11
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If there are cracks in a brand new instrument, I'd definitely return it.


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#12
The bullets aren't known for being the highest quality to begin with, so if it showed up with a crack at the neck joint, send it back.

As far as rocksmith goes, I don't see why so many people look down their noses at it. It's not like guitar hero. You use a real guitar, you play the real notes, you learn real scales and chords... how is this a bad thing? I'd still recommend lessons for him if he sticks with it though. Nothing will help him more than having someone sit down with him and show him real technique.
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#13
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2nd, I have an initial budget of around $200 or so for the guitar. If this is anything like mountain biking then spending a lot of money before you know how to ride and know what you want is a waste.


This is somewhat true. But playing guitar is a subjective business. Unlike sport, which is objective.

I'll tell you a bit of a story.

Before i took up guitar playing, i used to do karting. I used to own and compete in a 2- stroke kart formula called TKM.

In my experience with that sort of commitment, you'll win if you're rich. You'll lose if you're poor. That's just the way things were. We didn't have enough money to have a reliable kart. We couldn't afford to replace a whole chassis if i twisted it in an incident during a race meeting for example. I'm sure that mountain biking is not too dissimilar. A rider is an athlete and being able to afford for the best will always benefit an athlete. In karting, having a fast and reliable kart was necessary in order to be competitive, but that costs a ludicrous amount of money.

Unlike mountain biking, were you're striding for an objective goal. To be the fastest and have the most endurance. In guitar playing, what you want to play is entirely up to you. There's no single objective goal in music. The only real thing that's important is that your son has fun. and is able to express himself through music. If he can do that, he's a always going to be a winner.

You're right in how its not worth spending a lot of money if you don't know what you want out of a guitar. But that will come when you play different guitars and listen to different kinds of music. Hopefully, your son will find out what he wants all by himself. Having money helps to get the gear you want. But being the guitar player that you want to be is the ultimate goal. And that only comes through practice. That is something you will never achieve with money alone.

Thats part of the beauty with taking up an instrument. It doesn't so much reward you with what gear you have, but with what you can play. And you son feeling as though he can express himself through music. If your son loves to play guitar, he'll be fine.


Quote by sar8777
Squire is a perfect instrument to start out on, I would not invest any more money considering your son is only 10. If he sticks with it, trust me a few years down the road he's going to be wanting something 5 times the price, better start saving now.

I would defiantly send it back, Squire's don't normally have these kind of problems, although they are lower end guitars, its not right, you deserve your money back


This. Your son's desire for expensive gear will grow very rapidly. I've only been playing for 4 years and i have about £2500 worth of gear currently.
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#14
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As far as rocksmith goes, I don't see why so many people look down their noses at it. It's not like guitar hero. You use a real guitar, you play the real notes, you learn real scales and chords... how is this a bad thing? I'd still recommend lessons for him if he sticks with it though. Nothing will help him more than having someone sit down with him and show him real technique.


Agreed. The drawbacks of RockSmith are almost exactly the same as the drawbacks of books, DVDs, etc. (although I do think they should include more introductory videos with the game).
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#15
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Agreed. The drawbacks of RockSmith are almost exactly the same as the drawbacks of books, DVDs, etc. (although I do think they should include more introductory videos with the game).


It's all irrelevant because it's geared more towards a gamer who has never picked up a *real* guitar.
When I demo'd it at GC, the only thing an experienced player would benefit from would be the songs, and its alot easier reading tab than having notes flung at you on a screen.
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#16
$200 budget for first guitar??? My first guitar budget+amp+gigbag+cords was $100!
I'd return it, go to my local music store and have them recommend something. Ibanez makes stuff under 200, so does Jackson. Since you bought on amazon, I'm assuming you'd be buying online? RondoMusic and GFS make nice stuff under $200. If you're planning to stay with the Squier Bullet it's like $120, anything higher is a rip off. Affinity Series Squier is $180 and a huge improvement IMO.

Edit: I think your son might go through the punk and metal phase. I am still going through it, I'm only 14 so I can very much relate. I think you should get Squier Affinity HSS strat for him, just so there's a humbucker there, and it's a fine guitar, very good for modifying IMO. It costs $180 and you could probably use the sounds on Rocksmith (I personally don't have it).
Last edited by dragonkidkoga at Jan 29, 2012,