#1
Despite having been 'playing' for about 4 years, I'm currently in a beginner guitar class so I can go back, properly learn everything from the start, and learn to slow things down as I couldn't cleanly play a damn thing for you even now. Also taking a theory class alongside class piano, as well.

Anyway, I was wondering what my road map should look like in terms of gear. My inventory, thus far:

- Dean ML AT3000
- Boss DS-1 distortion pedal
- Akai E2 Head Rush loop/delay pedal
- DOD FX86B Death Metal distortion pedal
- Vox Valvetronix VT15 amp
- Focusrite Sapphire 6 audio interface
- Trial version of Reaper DAW


Gear I would ultimately like to have:

- Acoustic guitar (regular old 6-string, nothing fancy - need this ASAP and will head over to Guitar Center to get a feel for different body sizes, neck profiles, etc)
- Classical guitar (again, a 'regular' nylon string one is more than OK)
- New amp (looking for versatility - have yet to fully grasp differences between heads and cabinets - would like to look into tube amps - have been told to look into the Mesa Mark V, Mesa Road King II, Sig:X by Fryette [VHT], and Peavey XXX II [JSX])
- Pedals (Tubescreamer, any sort of overdrive, chorus, delay, the list goes on)
- Acoustic-electric
- Electric baritone (currently looking at either the Schecter Blackjack SLS C-1 EX A or P - would definitely like to throw a Duncan JB SH-4 in the bridge - seems like it has a nice, tight low end)
- Something with a Floyd Rose (have never messed with whammy bars before)
- Bass
- Bass amp

Getting an acoustic should be my first step, but past that... No clue, really. Any help would be awesome, guys. If you need any more info I'll be sure to post that, as well.
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#2
acoustic/electric and then a decent tube combo amp would be my first steps. You wouldn't even need anything else to play gigs.

Before buying a baritone and a bass, wait quite a bit. Most people buy a bass and then stick it in the closet and forget about it.
#3
I'm going to go with the acoustic first, but I'm also going to question why you also want an acoustic-electric? Do you mean semi-acoustic?

Acoustic-electric is usually used for an acoustic guitar with electronics, semi-acoustic is for a hollow bodied electric.

Also going to agree with flexiblemile that you should wait before investing in a baritone & bass - unless they become vital to your playing you don't need one.

The amp should be your next major investment, but even that I'd recommend waiting for. You have a pretty good practice amp already, until you start gigging you don't need anything else. Keep reading up on different amps and learn the differences and intricacies of them. Read other people's "what amp?" threads on UG. Keep saving. That way when you're ready to start gigging, you'll know what you want and can make an informed purchase.

All pedals etc should wait until after you have upgraded your amp.
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#4
Just continue using the different amp emulations of your valvetronix until you find an amp tone that you really want. An amp emulator is fine until you have developed the ears to distinguish the tone of a real amp. When that time comes, you can buy the amp corresponding to your preferred amp emulation.

There is no need to buy pedals until you have mastered the basics of guitar playing.

An acoustic-electric guitar is also an acoustic guitar, unless you are referring to something else.
Last edited by royc at Feb 13, 2014,
#5
Don't sweat the order; you'll pick things up either as they become available at great deals or as they become necessary for something you're doing. Having a list is a good idea. It helps keep you on track and out of impulse buy territory.
#6
Thanks for all of the answers, guys. Some clarification and other questions:

- I did indeed mean an acoustic-electric (acoustic with onboard electronics) and not a hollow body (semi-acoustic).
- In hindsight, I believe you guys were thinking that an acoustic-electric is pointless because, if I needed to amplify an acoustic past a certain point, I'd just use a mic and PA system. Am I correct in that assumption?
- I don't understand the comments about getting a bass. How am I supposed to try it if I don't buy one? Also, what's the deal with playing a bass that, supposedly, so many give it up?
- The same can be said for the baritone guitar. It's between that and a 7-string and I'd much rather have the baritone, but why would it need to "...become vital to [my] playing" for me to get one? Singing and playing violin aren't necessary or vital, but I'm taking lessons for both


I never implied I was going out to buy pedals immediately (or anything that wasn't an acoustic guitar), but it looks like I'll get the acoustic as soon as possible, work on getting the classical/nylon-string guitar immediately after that, and then just monkey with my Vox until I can train my ear to noticeably hear differences between amp types.
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
#7
Quote by jhalterman
- I did indeed mean an acoustic-electric (acoustic with onboard electronics) and not a hollow body (semi-acoustic).
- In hindsight, I believe you guys were thinking that an acoustic-electric is pointless because, if I needed to amplify an acoustic past a certain point, I'd just use a mic and PA system. Am I correct in that assumption?

WRT this, actually if you're going to be playing live an electrocoustic is exactly what you want. Yes, you'd need the PA to get yourself up to gig volume, but it's more likely that you'd want to use the guitar's pickup to feed the PA.

Even if you end up mic'ing the guitar, it can't hurt to have the ability to plug it direct to the PA as well.

IMO, don't bother getting just an acoustic then spending money on an electrocoustic as well, just get the guitar you actually need i.e. an electrocoustic. Just because the electrics are there doesn't mean you have to use them all the time, but you'll have them when you need them and won't have spent money on 2 guitars when 1 would have done.
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#8
you could make a pretty decent case for starting with any of those- I'd hold off on the pedals until you have a better (tube) amp, though, and I'd probably put the floyd rose guitar at lower priority too (since you already have an electric).
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#9
Reading this back it sounds a bit preachey, but age gives us the benefit of hindsight. So if my experience hepls you then all to the good, if not, well there you go.

You have a comprehensive shopping list.

Slow down, it's better to get fewer high quality items than lots of average tat. Plus developing acoustic, electric and bass skills at the same time means something has to give unless you are a gifted deity.

Also buying an average guitar and later trading up and then trading up means you pay more in the end for what you really want, so "Buy once, Cry once". Research the best acoustic/electric or the best acoustic and fit the best pickup system you can afford. That way you get a beautiful acoustic guitar that sounds great, will last a lifetime and when plugged in to the PA provides the sound worthy of your efforts. Then do the same for your electric guitar amp, research/decide what you really need and spend wisely.
Some of the best musicians I know only own one guitar and amp but they are true quality and when played they sound musical.

Enjoy the journey.
Last edited by ESBlonde at Feb 19, 2014,
#10
Quote by ESBlonde
Reading this back it sounds a bit preachey, but age gives us the benefit of hindsight. So if my experience hepls you then all to the good, if not, well there you go.

You have a comprehensive shopping list.

Slow down, it's better to get fewer high quality items than lots of average tat. Plus developing acoustic, electric and bass skills at the same time means something has to give unless you are a gifted deity.

Also buying an average guitar and later trading up and then trading up means you pay more in the end for what you really want, so "Buy once, Cry once". Research the best acoustic/electric or the best acoustic and fit the best pickup system you can afford. That way you get a beautiful acoustic guitar that sounds great, will last a lifetime and when plugged in to the PA provides the sound worthy of your efforts. Then do the same for your electric guitar amp, research/decide what you really need and spend wisely.
Some of the best musicians I know only own one guitar and amp but they are true quality and when played they sound musical.

Enjoy the journey.

solid but not always practical advice. personally I agree with doing some homework in advance. I don't think without at least some trial and error (keeping the error to a minimum) you really learn what works best for you. sure you could go out and buy a nice LP and say a nice marshall amp. you might find out that you really are a fender guy and that an old ampeg amp is really your sound. point being that while many players want to find "the one" and be done it's often not realistic. it's taken me a lot of years to find out what works for me and that constantly evolves. sure I've narrowed the field but even then there have been a few suprises. for instance I currently use a BC Rich Eagle to serve my LP needs. geez bob why not just get a LP you ask, well they don't work for me. I agree it's a journey but don't end it to soon or waste a bunch of money on things you don't really need (pretty sure most would agree that they have though myself included)
#11
Quote by GaryBillington
...
Yea, I had that thought in the back of my mind (buying just the acoustic-electric over both guitars). I think I just have some irrational, unexplained bias against acoustics with electronics as if there's some sort of stigma surrounding them. Hey, what do I know Are there any differences between using a mic with a standard acoustic versus simply plugging into a PA system with an acoustic-electric, though?

I've also done a ton of research on these items, but I understand that there is still plenty more to be found out. I sure as hell don't have the cash to blindly purchase any of these things and even if I did I'd still put in the research time. I also didn't mean to make it look like I wanted to have all of this gear within the next few months so I hope you didn't read my comments as such. Music is one of the very few things I can be patient with
Quote by monwobobbo
...
Great post. Definitely an interesting perspective for me to view things from.

Revised list:

- Acoustic-electric (my first 'real'/non-beginner acoustic purchase - plan on buying ASAP)
- Classical/nylon-string guitar (hope to have one by the end of the year)
- Electric baritone (seems hard to find ones to mess around with, but this would make a nice [June] birthday present next year )
- Seymour Duncan JB SH-4 (only time I've ever heard a pickup and thought, "I must have one")
- New amp (a few years down the road, at the least - will continue to tweak settings on my Valvetronix)
- Bass/bass amp
- Pedals
- Floyd Rose electric

Thanks for all of the superb comments, guys.
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
#12
any time you just want something to mess around pretty much says not on my I really need list. sounds to me like you need to take a hard look at what you want and sort out what you might realistically need. what I see is someone really unsure of where they are heading playing wise and just wants to hedge their bets. being pulled in a bunch of directions usually means you end up nowhere. I'd suggest giving things more thought. as mentioned I've been playing for over 30 yrs and I've never owned a nylon string acoustic or a baritone guitar. I have one cheap acoustic and honestly am a sucky acoustic player. not where my heart is at playing wise. you don't need to be a jack of all trades. the only reason I have a bass is so that I can add it to my own recordings. I don't consider myself much of a bass player. both things I've mentioned require a certain amount of dedication to be really good at them.
#13
Quote by jhalterman

Anyway, I was wondering what my road map should look like in terms of gear.

Gear I would ultimately like to have:


There's no road map.
Right now, the list reads like random GAS.
Last edited by dspellman at Feb 20, 2014,
#14
Quote by monwobobbo
...
I'm going to focus on the instruments themselves and less on the gear (pedals, amps, etc). I'll try to clarify things as best I can:

- I believe you read my post incorrectly. When I said, "seems hard to fine ones to mess around with" I implied that I wasn't going to just purchase a guitar online without having even played more than a couple of other baritones to compare it to. That's an absolutely moronic decision.

- Forget owning either of them. Have you ever wanted to play a classical or baritone guitar in those 30 years? If not, therein lies a fundamental difference.

- There is no hedging of any bets. There is only me with a passion to, at the very least, try to learn these instruments to see how I take to them (and I don't mean going to Guitar Center a few times a week). I'd much rather save up the money for a bass guitar/amp, have at it for a few months, and learn that I actually don't like it that much than never bother to pick it up in the first place. I don't see that as money wasted especially if I decide to go back and start playing again.

- Am I unsure of where I'm headed, playing wise? Well that's a given. It would be a hell of a lot easier if I only listened to and played one style of music, but that isn't the case.

- I'm not aiming to become a jack-of-all-trades, in a sense. As of this moment, I consider guitar and piano my main instruments. If I wanted to get specific, I'd say I'm partial to six-string electric and steel-string acoustic playing while baritone, classical, and bass all take a backseat. But let's make it even more fun. I'm taking violin and vocal lessons in the upcoming school year. Ideally, I'd like to take percussion lessons after that. More recently, I've had the urge to take up the harmonica. I obviously don't plan to master every last one of them, but, considering my potential career, knowing a handful of instruments, even if it's just the basics, is a vital skill set to have.

It's hard to explain past that. I apologize if it seems absurd/stupid/etc from your point of view, but I really can't describe it any better right now. Being the frugal son of a gun that I am, I guess you can at least take solace in the fact that I won't be buying anything willy-nilly because 'it sounds cool'.
Quote by dspellman
There's no road map.
Right now, the list reads like random GAS.
Yay, more Internet acronyms to look up.

Not really sure what you're trying to say here. Are you implying that I don't know what I want or something? "Random GAS" sounds like buying a pedal and then a baritone and then a new amp. This, on the other hand, is a road map.
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
#15
Quote by jhalterman
I'm going to focus on the instruments themselves and less on the gear (pedals, amps, etc). I'll try to clarify things as best I can:

- I believe you read my post incorrectly. When I said, "seems hard to fine ones to mess around with" I implied that I wasn't going to just purchase a guitar online without having even played more than a couple of other baritones to compare it to. That's an absolutely moronic decision.

- Forget owning either of them. Have you ever wanted to play a classical or baritone guitar in those 30 years? If not, therein lies a fundamental difference.

- There is no hedging of any bets. There is only me with a passion to, at the very least, try to learn these instruments to see how I take to them (and I don't mean going to Guitar Center a few times a week). I'd much rather save up the money for a bass guitar/amp, have at it for a few months, and learn that I actually don't like it that much than never bother to pick it up in the first place. I don't see that as money wasted especially if I decide to go back and start playing again.

- Am I unsure of where I'm headed, playing wise? Well that's a given. It would be a hell of a lot easier if I only listened to and played one style of music, but that isn't the case.

- I'm not aiming to become a jack-of-all-trades, in a sense. As of this moment, I consider guitar and piano my main instruments. If I wanted to get specific, I'd say I'm partial to six-string electric and steel-string acoustic playing while baritone, classical, and bass all take a backseat. But let's make it even more fun. I'm taking violin and vocal lessons in the upcoming school year. Ideally, I'd like to take percussion lessons after that. More recently, I've had the urge to take up the harmonica. I obviously don't plan to master every last one of them, but, considering my potential career, knowing a handful of instruments, even if it's just the basics, is a vital skill set to have.

It's hard to explain past that. I apologize if it seems absurd/stupid/etc from your point of view, but I really can't describe it any better right now. Being the frugal son of a gun that I am, I guess you can at least take solace in the fact that I won't be buying anything willy-nilly because 'it sounds cool'.Yay, more Internet acronyms to look up.

Not really sure what you're trying to say here. Are you implying that I don't know what I want or something? "Random GAS" sounds like buying a pedal and then a baritone and then a new amp. This, on the other hand, is a road map.


GAS is a term describing just wanting something new (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) . I don't think it's our misunderstanding half as much as your presentation. as written you come across as a guy that just wants things with no clear plan as to why. have I considered playing classical guitar? yes. do I have the dedication needed to do so? no. kinda my point that style is very different from what I play and requires a huge amount of discipline to even get ok at. never saw the need for a baritone guitar so never investigated one. I choose my gear based on needs that are at this point carefully considered. that ability was gained over the years with experience. won't say I didn't piss away money on things I thought I wanted (GAS) I certainly did. now I'm pretty focused. what is lacking is the destination on your road map or at least a clear idea of where you are going.
Last edited by monwobobbo at Feb 21, 2014,