#1
Hi,

I'm thinking of moving to an electric guitar, I currently play the acoustic and classical.

Had a look around a local music store and was recommended the Vintage Modified Surf Stratocaster.

I also liked the feel of the Standard Stratocaster.

Which of these would be suitable for a beginner? Or are there any other recommendations? I would like to be able to play all genres of music.

Will appreciate your reply.

Thank you.
#3
Did you like the sound of the Stratocaster?You firstly need to decide what kind of sound you like best,A cleaner snappy sounding single coil pickup like a Stratocaster or a thicker humbucker pickup like a Les Paul.I found this vid YT which might help you if you don't already know
http://youtu.be/yudXHR6agaM
#4
Play some guitars with humbucking pickups and some with single coil pickups and decide which you like best. Personally I love my Strat - it's extremely versatile and the single coil pickups give it a ton of character.

So you've got your Strats for your single coil sound, and the Epiphone guitars like the Les Paul for the humbucker sound. And then all your foreign manufacturers like Ibanez, ESP, etc. I'd recommend going to the store, playing the guitars in your price range, using an amp that gives you the sort of distortion (or lack of it) that you're looking for, and just deciding which one catches your fancy. The only ones I'd stay away from would be guitars with really high output pickups, as they're mostly for heavily distorted music and it's awfully hard to get a good clean or mildly distorted sound out of them, which makes them not so versatile.
#5
i like the single coil pickup more to be honest. my budget is about less than $1000.
#6
Since you already have two that you like, which of the two did you like playing more? At the end of the day, your first guitar, first and foremost, should be one that makes you want to play. Preferences come later, right now it's about getting something that makes playing fun instead of a chore.
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Last edited by necrosis1193 at Jun 25, 2014,
#7
Quote by kpb
i like the single coil pickup more to be honest. my budget is about less than $1000.


MIM Strat and Epi Les Paul

Best of both worlds

Bosh
#8
The main thing I would recommend is to try as many guitars as possible. Stay away from the chain music stores like Guitar Center or Sam Ash or whatever. Go to a smaller mom and pop kind of store, where the instruments will be better taken care of, and go about their selection.

I can't tell you how many times I've picked up a guitar in a chain store and it left me underwhelmed, and then I try someone else's guitar that is the same or the same exact guitar in a smaller store and it played and sounded way better.

Once you get there, try as many guitars as possible. Different body styles, different brands, different pickup configurations, and then boil it down to about 3 options.

Once you've done that, list the pros and cons of each, then come to a final verdict, and wallah!

As far as amps go, I would follow the same process. Maybe you can get away with trying the amps at a chain store, but as far as guitars go, get to a place that actually takes care of the instruments so that you get the best representation of that instrument.
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#9
If you want to play all styles of music i'd seriously suggest an HSS superstrat (HSS since you said you preferred single coils, rather than HSH) of some description (doesn't necessarily have to be fender, tons of companies make superstrats).

It's up to you, though- if you prefer single coils, by all means get single coils, it's your guitar and you're the one who has to play it and live with the purchase Just humbuckers do tend to make the heavier stuff a fair bit easier.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#11
Quote by kpb
i like the single coil pickup more to be honest. my budget is about less than $1000.



You can't just watch one video or try one pair of guitars and think "Oh I like single coil more". I recommend trying out many different guitars and then making up your mind about which one you generally prefer, single coil or humbucker.
#12
Quote by paul.housley.7
Don't forget to budget a decent amount for the amp too.



^YES.

The amp is more important than the guitar, and in the price ranges we are talkng about here I would allocate more cash and a lot more research effort for the amp than the guitar.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jun 25, 2014,
#13
The simplest (not necessarily best) solution to the amp question is a modeling amp.

You can get a solid-state fender mustang 1 for about a hundred bucks, but it probably won't please you for long.
You can get a slightly more powerful solid-state modelling amp for anywhere from 200-400 dollars and some of these are pretty well-liked.

I like one particular hybrid amp that fits nicely within your budget. It's the Super Champ x2 from Fender. I've seen it at about 350 new. It has amp models in the pre-amp section and a tube power stage. It doesn't sound like a full-on tube amp but I think it sounds a heck of a lot better than solid-state.

You can get real tube amps too. Epiphone Valve Standard or Valve Jr. Fender Blues Jr. Many others as well.

The amp will determine more of your sound than the type of pickups on your guitar.
#14
I vote for the Standard Strat in HSS configuration.

But know that you don't have to buy new. If I knew this when I was first staring with guitars - I would've saved myself tons of money, lol. When you think about it - unless you mail-order or custom-build, there is no such thing as new guitar, especially when it comes to the popular less-expensive ones like Strats - a bunch of people have already played that guitar, so only the price is new
And even the mom and pop music stores don't bother setting up their new guitars - what came in the box is what's hung up on the wall. They want you more than anything to come back and pay the $100 to have the guitar all set up. When you buy used - there is a chance someone already took the time or spent the money to set it up properly. Or you can end up buying a piece of garbage

Bottom line, for the price of a new Std. Strat you can get a used Strat with an used all-tube amp (or even a new one, like Laney Cub12R).
#15
I spent a lot of money on my first electric guitar...because I bought 2- a moderately priced LP clone and a high end guitar. New. My results were good, but I would not advise anyone else do that.

Instead, I would advise that you find something that feels good in your hands and stopped to your body. Also consider the brand and the particular guitar's reputation for quality construction. If you can find something that is comfy, well made, and either deeply discounted or used, jump on it.

Personally, were I starting out today with your budget, and knowing what I know now, I'd look for Ibanez, Fernandes, Godin, G&L, PRS, Electra, or Reverend guitars. (There is nothing wrong with Fender, Gibson or their subsidiaries' products, but I don't like the way they feel. That's MY issue, not theirs.)

Because I spent so much money on my guitars, I had virtually nothing left so spend for something to plug into. So I bought a Korg Px4 and some good headphones. Over the next few years, I used that setup exclusively until I figured out what I wanted for an amp. So I would totally recommend that you consider a portable digital modeling device like one of these (some are discontinued, can still be easily found):

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.bossus.com/gear/productdetails.php?ProductId=818

Boss Micro-BR 80
http://www.bossus.com/gear/productdetails.php?ProductId=1167

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-Pocket-POD-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104391875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://tascam.com/product/gt-r1/

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-Mini-PXMINI-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-H70754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvaXhaTW-B8&sns=em

Korg Pandora Stomp
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PandoraSTOr/

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pandora-PX5D-Guitar-Multi-Effects-Processor-104821715-i1387080.gc

Here is a visual comparison of (left to right) Tascam, my PX-5 and one of my Px4s to my old Aiwa cassette player:



Only the Tascam has decent acoustic recording capacity. All DO have features like tuners, metronomes, drum synthesizers, and digital amp & pedal modeling.

So with decent headphones, you can rock out like you were playing Texas Stadium. And yes, they are all about the size of an old Walkman.

The ones I own: the Tascam has the external mics, a phrase trainer (loop & slow down stuff for practicing), and takes SD cards. Both it and the PX5 can connect directly to your computer via a USB port. It is less powerful than the PX5, but, oddly, the PX5 does not have a belt/strap hook.

The ones I don't own: The Line6 PocketPOD is, I believe, the most popular device like this; the Boss might be the most powerful (and priciest); the Pandora Mini is the smallest (its about the size of a stack of business cards), cheapest, and least powerful.
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Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#16
thanks everyone for your replies.
i tried ibanez guitars earlier today and really liked the sa/s standard series.

would these be suitable for all genres of music?
#17
Quote by kpb


Had a look around a local music store and was recommended the Vintage Modified Surf Stratocaster.

I also liked the feel of the Standard Stratocaster.

Which of these would be suitable for a beginner? Or are there any other recommendations? I would like to be able to play all genres of music.


Both guitars entirely suitable for a beginner. They are, in fact, suitable for a professional at any level.

Budget for a really good initial setup from a very good tech. That's unlikely to be the random tech at the guitar store, but it might be. Do your due diligence (and that's unlikely to be online) in your area. The quality of the initial setup of the guitar is more important than the guitar itself.

Don't sweat the "amp" portion of things. As a beginner, you're not on a "quest for toan."
You want something that will work with headphones (neighbors showing up with torches and pickforks at midnight can be unnerving, as can a spousal unit slinging crockery past your head because you woke the baby, etc.), and a GOOD set of over-ear headphones with studio-quality sound will run you $100 - $200 (Sony 7506, AKG 240, Sennheiser 280, BeyerDynamic 770, but NOT a set of Dre "Beats"). The small modeling amps are fine, if uninspiring. If you've got more of a budget, take a look at the new Line 6 "Amplifi" products. Not only can you play guitar through them (they have headphone output as well), but because of a unique speaker/amplification setup and the joys of Bluetooth, you can also stream computer/iPhone/iPad sound to them. In addition, if you have an iPhone/iPad, you can also control the entire system remotely (yeah, "there's an app for that"). No Android support for that yet, but it'll be coming Real Soon Now (right).

You can buy a tuner if you want, but there are enough free tuners for your smartphone that it shouldn't be a priority. There are also metronomes for your smartphone. Well, for that matter, you can even adapt your smartphone to running amps, effects, cabinet simulations and recording. And, of course, you can use headphones with your iPhone while it's running all of that.

The Korg Pandora mentioned previously does all that AND it adds practice things, like a phrase trainer (plays the same bit of music over and over again as you practice with it), a Slower-Downer (maintains the pitch of a song, but slows it way down so that you can practice at a slow speed and speed it up as you learn it), a Pitch changer (so that you can learn a song in a key that relates to how you sing, as opposed to one of the castrati), drum machines, rhythm tracks, bass tracks and much more. Works off AA batteries or AC power
#18
Quote by kpb
thanks everyone for your replies.
i tried ibanez guitars earlier today and really liked the sa/s standard series.

would these be suitable for all genres of music?


yeah I reckon so. they're basically superstrats. I'm biased because I really like superstrats, but if you ask me it's hard to beat a superstrat for versatility. the sa might be closer to what you want, since you said you liked single coils (especially the 360 with the true duo humbucker). but if you like the s more then go for the s... you can overthink these things, too, as dspellman implied.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?