#1
I've been playing guitar for about a year, and I've been considering upgrading. I've been considering upgrading to a Fender Strat or Squier. However, I'm hesitant to upgrade, since I don't want to buy am expensive guitar just to suck at playing. For the past year I've been playing on a 25-year old Yamaha classical guitar (practicing everyday), with ridiculously high action. I think my playing could improve with a new guitar, but I also always hear people say that a new guitar won't make you sound any better, the only way to sound better is to get better. I like to think I'm decent at guitar, the most difficult songs I can play (well) are Wish You Were Here and Anybody Out There by Pink Floyd (if that gives you a reference for my skill level. I can play all my basic chords (I tend to avoid bars, since they're a nightmare with my high action, but I can play them), I also can do a variety of basic plucking patterns, and I can read rhythms and play them well. Up until a week ago I was fully confident that I should upgrade, but someone mentioned to me that I should get better before buying a nicer guitar.

The other thing I want to ask is (in the case I upgrade), what all do i need to buy (please be detailed)? I mostly want to play Pink Floyd (stuff from the album Wish You Were Here and Meddle), Classic Rock (Kansas) and Alternative (Arctic Monkeys). What pedals would I need to play that stuff?

Thanks for your guys' feedback, it's greatly appreciated.
#2
Buy the best guitar you can afford. A good ax will actually help you play better and develop your playing.
I have never understood why people torture themselves on a crap guitar if they can afford better.
Your skills will probably improve by 75% if you can actually fret the guitar comfortably.
#3
Buy the best guitar you can afford and feel comfortable buying. There is nothing wrong spending money on a hobby.

I got a Gibson Les Paul Standard when I could barely play a few riffs and solo licks well enough. Basically, I wasn't very good at all. Did the new guitar make me play better? Not sure, but it made me play a lot more because it just made everything much more fun. Today I own 15 guitars and get compliments for my guitarplaying pretty much every time I play in front of someone.

I am still very much a hobbyist, but it is a hobby I enjoy immensely and which is a very big part of my life so I don't see why anyone would hinder themselves from exploring it to the best of their ability.

Hope this helps you decide.

For advice on gear, there really is so much available that you have to decide on a budget as well as present and future use to even start to dig into options that are manageable. I'll leave you with this for now - what do you want? Don't buy anything because someone else says it is good, but by all means research what you are looking at so that you can make a good decision and avoid buying something that does not fit you or is of bad quality.
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Last edited by HomerSGR at Sep 14, 2014,
#4
I would say get a guitar.
A Squier classic vibe or vintage modern would work very well and be a little cheaper, but you can get a used Fender strat for $300 also. so if you don't mind used, get the fender
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#5
A bad action is the worst handicap for a beginner, and a classical isn't the most suitable for your interests. Get an inexpensive electric and a decent amp (eg Roland Cube for starters) and have a set up done on the guitar. FWIW, it took me about 30 years of acoustic playing before I got into electric. The reason was I paid far too much attention to the guitar and not enough to the amp. I still think the electric guitar is just a fancy lump of wood that can be done just as well by a CNC router in China as it can by a CNC router in the US. The important bits are the amp and the pickups, but you still have to like how the guitar looks.
#6
It's gonna be a big difference to go to an electric(or even a steel string acoustic) from a classical guitar. I'd have to agree with the other posters and say get the best guitar and amp you can afford. It's always best and cheapest in the long run to buy once instead of multiple times and you're already thinking about a higher end guitar. You've played for a year so it sounds like you're pretty dedicated to the hobby. It doesn't matter how good you are as long as you are having fun. I've been playing 9 months and I still suck compared to people that have played for years but I love it. When I play in front of others, they seem pretty impressed and give me compliments. I know I have a long way to go to even get half decent but people that don't play think I'm good. LOL
#7
Welcome to G.A.S. We all have it to some degree and for some of us it will be a terminal disease. If you want to own a Strat and you have the scratch go pick out a nice one. While you are in there, ask about a good guitar tech to do a nice setup on your acoustic.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#8
I would upgrade whenever your skills improve and you're sure that you want guitar to be your thing, which for you I'm assuming that's now, I don't see any harm in upgrading now, to perhaps a Mexico Strat or something around there, just don't break the bank for your first good guitar (that's like paying $4000 for a Gibson Custom and all you can play is Smoke on the Water).
#9
Quote by ghihatepsn
The other thing I want to ask is (in the case I upgrade), what all do i need to buy (please be detailed)? I mostly want to play Pink Floyd (stuff from the album Wish You Were Here and Meddle), Classic Rock (Kansas) and Alternative (Arctic Monkeys). What pedals would I need to play that stuff?


If I were trying to ape David Gilmour's sound in a budget, I'd start off with some kind of Strat, an amp that does cleans well, and decent pedals covering things like chorus, phaser, echo, fuzz and rotary pedal (for his Leslie amp tinged stuff). Add a wah and a distortion pedal and you'll have most of classic rock pedal territory covered. Buy used or on sale, of you can.

The toughest thing to find on that list would be a good rotary pedal, but the Boss RT-20 might be your best bet. I have one: they sound good, they're rugged and dependable. And because they're made by Boss, you might catch a good deal on one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QrXsrPAFIc&sns=em

Beyond that, the options depend on your budget, but an EHX Big Muff for fuzz, a Catalinbread Echorec for echo and a MXR Phase 90 would be good options.

DG is a big fan of the Strat, and a MIM Fender or G&L Tribute would be excellent choices. However, Fernandes makes a guitar specifically designed to emulate his Red Strat, and they're currently having a sale on it:
www.fernandesguitarshop.com/retrorocket/75-retrorocket-deluxe-dg.html

A clean amp from Fender, Vox or Carvin would be good, and if you're in the USA, the Carvins may deliver the best clean sound for the money.
www.carvinguitars.com/guitaramps/vintageseries.php

Beyond, DG, though, a lot of Classic and Alt rock guitarists use guitars with HBs- sometimes with coil splitting- miniHBs or P90s. You should be able to find a good guitar with those kinds of pickups for under $600.

There are also online resources like these:
www.gilmourish.com

http://equipboard.com/pros/alex-turner-arctic-monkeys
http://equipboard.com/pros/jamie-cook
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#10
i would recommend something like a squire strat and get a small bedroom style tube amp like a vox ac4, fender champion 600 5watt, or a vox lil night train 2 watt. perhaps on the cheap, bugera V5.. about 200 bucks.

first off, the amp is a majority of your tone and you will benefit from tube goodness at realtively low cost.

second, a small tube amp like that will respond to overdrives etc VERY well, making any fuzz pedal or overdrive you throw at it awesome in your bedroom at low volumes. solid state amps dont react to overdrives like tube amps do. its science. they just dont.

im not sure what your budget is, but if your serious then i would spend about 150 on the guitar and about 250 on the amp. perhaps get a good cheap tuner like a GFS pedal tuner (40 bucks) and a decent cheaper end overdrive with a good reputation and for about 500 have a fairly decent bedroom starter setup.

if you cant swing 200-250 for a small tube amp, a roland cube is a solid little solid state bedroom amp. however, it still isnt going to take pedals that well.

the benefit with small amps is that you have no foot switching, etc. so when you want to go from clean to dirty like Incubus typical does A LOT, when you will like to click on the overdrive and get a dirty sound. with amps this small, you can crank em and work the volume knob for clean/ dirty, but its still the same.
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#11
Quote by ghihatepsn
I've been playing guitar for about a year, and I've been considering upgrading. I've been considering upgrading to a Fender Strat or Squier. However, I'm hesitant to upgrade, since I don't want to buy am expensive guitar just to suck at playing. For the past year I've been playing on a 25-year old Yamaha classical guitar (practicing everyday), with ridiculously high action. I think my playing could improve with a new guitar, but I also always hear people say that a new guitar won't make you sound any better, the only way to sound better is to get better. I like to think I'm decent at guitar, the most difficult songs I can play (well) are Wish You Were Here and Anybody Out There by Pink Floyd (if that gives you a reference for my skill level. I can play all my basic chords (I tend to avoid bars, since they're a nightmare with my high action, but I can play them), I also can do a variety of basic plucking patterns, and I can read rhythms and play them well. Up until a week ago I was fully confident that I should upgrade, but someone mentioned to me that I should get better before buying a nicer guitar.

The other thing I want to ask is (in the case I upgrade), what all do i need to buy (please be detailed)? I mostly want to play Pink Floyd (stuff from the album Wish You Were Here and Meddle), Classic Rock (Kansas) and Alternative (Arctic Monkeys). What pedals would I need to play that stuff?

Thanks for your guys' feedback, it's greatly appreciated.


When to upgrade? When it feels right!

As there is a world difference between what you got and what you want in terms of what guitar to play it makes the most sense to go with your growing desires.

I can recall only having my Jasmine S60 acustic steel string and not being that interested but when I heard a proper electric guitar that sold me and so I got into it.

But go for a Stratocaster and a tube amp. Do not be afraid of second hand stuff as long as it works.
#12
Like some others said, I'd recommend getting a used MIM strat, you can get something quite nice for around $300. But for amps, personally I'd go with a used POD X3. I'd think by now you could get one for not that much, which would get you more than enough amp and stomboxes models to be entertained for a long, long time. It sounds very good, you can plug it to your computer, have fun with backing tracks (very helpful to improve IMO unless you can play in a band), have fun with a friend if one comes along since it's got dual tone paths and inputs, and best of all if you want to practice, a nice headphone jack (although by now I'm sure a lot of amps will have that feature as well). I know that being able to use headphones to practice did me a ton of good...