I've been playing for about 3 months now, and I feel like I'm getting pretty decent. I enjoy playing lead and doing a lot of improv, but doing so on an acoustic feels kind of empty. I was looking at an Ibanez Starlight Blue Artcore

They want only 399 for it. My main question is what does UG community think about this guitar in particular? Like I said, i'm relatively new to the guitar world so my experience only takes me so far, and I really don't want to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to a guitar.
To address your comment about playing lead on an acoustic... I've been playing for several years and started off with an electric guitar. After a couple of years, I decided it was time for an acoustic. After I bought it, I realized my fingers weren't strong enough and I couldn't play the acoustic for long periods of time. So, it went up on the wall and just kind of stayed there. After more electric playing, I decided it was time to conquer the acoustic, so I went back to it. I mostly played rhythm on it at first. As my hands and fingers strengthened, a couple of things happened. The first was, I decided that I preferred the sound/tone of an acoustic over an electric - they just sound more full, thanks to those thicker strings and resonating body. The second was, I started practicing all my lead work on an acoustic. The result? My fingers became even stronger.

Although I currently have 9 guitars, I play acoustic almost 100% of the time here at home. When I play out, I normally play an electric, since I'm a lead guitarist. The benefit of practicing with an acoustic is that your fingers will become amazingly strong. The side benefit is, you may decide that you prefer acoustic over electric. I do.

I recently bought a custom shop Taylor acoustic. The guitar was designed with 13s installed, instead of the usual 12s most acoustics have. I occasionally pick it up and practice lead on it.

Good luck!

Edit: To address your second question. It really doesn't matter what we think of the guitar you're looking at. It only matters what YOU think of it. You might get 25 responses saying the guitar sucks. However, you might stop in at a guitar store and play that guitar and really like it. Remember, opinions are subjective! When I'm getting ready to buy a new guitar, keyboard or piece of recording gear, I may look at the reviews to get a rough idea, but I really take them with a grain of salt. The only opinion that matters is mine - I'm the one spending the cash, so I have to like it. To that end, you'll never see me create a post on UG asking what someone else thinks of the Nord Stage 2, or whatever I'm looking at buying.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at Feb 15, 2014,
The entry-level Ibanez Artcores are fairly decent semihollow guitars. There are similar guitars that will sound better, but they will cost much more, and IMHO, those in the same price range won't sound as good.
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Just a quick note. Nearly every teacher will say that unless you intend to concentrate on folk or classical music, begin with an electric. Most will also recommend avoiding budget acoustics as they pretty much suck and are difficult to learn on as dannyalcatraz attested to above. The Yamaha Pacifica is a widely recommended beginner electric but I'll have to admit that I have no experience with them. Visit your local shop and try as many different instruments as you can within your budget. Looks mean a lot to every player regardless of skill level as you will feel better about it and want to play it more often (you can never get enough practice!) so begin looking at what appeals to you aesthetically.
Last edited by HotDan! at Feb 15, 2014,