Bit of a long post, so directly below here I posted a question for those of you who do not wish to read my babble

Can you recommend a resource (web site, book, etc.) for getting the ins-outs of electric guitars, and most of all - amps. Brand new to electric guitars and amps -- thanks!

I took up guitar about 10 weeks ago. When I was first getting into it I decided on Acoustic as per local shop's recommendation. I learned a lot already, but the larger size of the acoustic causes me some neck/shoulder pain related to a pre-existing issue. I really like the sound of the acoustic, not to mention it's ready to go at a whim. But the size...and I didn't have a big dreadnought either. After a recent flare-up of shoulder pain I decided to pack it in

Yesterday I rented an electric and amp. My main goal with this rental is to see if the thinner body electric is less of an issue for my neck/shoulders. I tried it last night, probably for way too long after taking several days off due to a really sore shoulder. The good news is that I felt great playing, and still feel good the following day. BTW - I loved playing while standing, I could glance down and see the strings/frets for correct fingering, I couldn't do this as easy with the acoustic due to it's size. For me, standing and playing actually helps my neck/shoulders (less shrugging).

I did get a beginner Guitar (Squier Strat Affinity Series) and Amp (Line 6 - Spider 15W). I'll try it for a month and if I can play without pain, I'll look at buying...but after I learn a lot more about electrics/amps.

I've been messing around with the settings, trying to get a good, clean sound. It's ok, but I don't have any experience with electrics and amps so I don't know how to tweak it with purpose (other than turning dials while playing until I go "ah ha"...which hasn't happened yet). What I'll probably do is go back to the store and try the other guitars/amps they have ready to go, to see how they differ from my rental set-up.

So my question above is really about wanting to learn as much as I can in the next month, before I hopefully buy an electric and amp.
first of all what kind of music do you like?
usualy when trying to find a good sound from an amp you start with putting the controls(eq) at 12 o'clock and start from there
There's a ton of different amps all with their own sound, but as a beginner you'ld probably want to look for a cheap solidstate amp or a podHD500(instead of a real amp it plugs into your pc and had alot of effects and amp models).
same counts for guitars, you have guitars with different scale lengths, pick-ups(active/passive), different neck shapes,floyd rose or fixed bridge etc etc.
Youtube is a great wealth of resources and information. A lot of it is good, some of it not so good.

As for dialing in an amp it varies from amp to amp, and in the case of a Line 6, from amp model setting to amp model setting. It just takes time, little adjustments here and there. Even then, beginners amps tend not to sound all that great. You may never find a tone that you love from it. In some ways, it's better to spend a little more for better gear when starting out.

I realize you probably have a budget, and you're still early on in the process of learning. But, just bumping up a series to something like a Squier Vintage Modified and into an amp that is a bit better sounding is going to make you enjoy playing a lot more. Don't be afraid to buy used gear either. You can find used Squier Vintage Modified instruments for the price (or real close) of a new affinity model, and the VM series is significantly nicer in build, finish, and electronics.

There are also some very nice hollow-body electrics that aren't too terribly bulky that provide a nice compromise between both worlds of acoustic and electric. While not as deep and rich sounding as a dreadnought, they do give you the ability to just pick up and play without having to plug in an amp.

You have a world of options ahead of you as a new guitarist. Go to Youtube and search things like: how set up a guitar. You can find video reviews of different guitars and amps, so that you can recon before you buy.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
You might consider a lighter guitar if you have any pre-existing conditions. A lot of solid body electrics start in the 8 lb range (weigh that Squier) and can get up to 10 lbs and even more. There are some, like some Parkers, that can get down below six lbs. Those couple of pounds may make a difference to you if you start carrying it on your shoulder. You may also consider getting a much smaller guitar. Carvin makes the Holdsworth and Vader headless guitars (the latter under their new Keisel brand), which are headless and only about 31" in length as opposed to an average 41" guitar like your Squier. The scale (the actual fretboard length) is exactly the same as your Squier, but the whole design is far more compact. You may find that the lower polar moment of inertia is far more comfortable; and these guitars weigh in at between 5.1 and 5.8 lbs. That's about as light as you're going to go.

If you get a chance to look at thinner bodied but semi-hollow guitars like the hybrid Taylor T5 and its siblings, you may find that you have the best of both worlds; a lighter, thinner guitar that does very well acoustically (lower volume levels) but that does a great job as an electric as well.
^ good calls

there's some information in the info stickies. I wrote them (with a lot of help from other regulars) ages ago, so some of the info is out of date, and I didn't know as much about guitar then as i do now (and i still don't know anywhere near as much as a real pro), not to mention it's not quite in a finished state (been working on a new one, might be ready some time next century ) so bear that in mind. EDIT: also the 10 commandments are a bit tongue in cheek so don't worry too much about them.


I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
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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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Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jun 6, 2015,
All of the above is good advice.

Though follow your ears and expand you awareness of the style of music you would like to play. Now any guitar can do any job but some are more suited for certain music like heavy metal versus blues.

Be aware of body shapes. You got Les Paul, Stratocaster, Jackson Rhoads, King V, Kelly, soloist, Flying V, Explorer, Super strat, BC rich warlock and Telecaster + other but that is the most common shapes you see around.

Brands: Gibson, Fender, Jackson, BC rich, Schecter, Ibanez, ESP, Kramer, Hammer etc.

Start with looking at your heros and what they play then decide where you go with shape and brand.

There are no answer than where you feel the most at home with any choice and cost is as such irrelevant just that you find the one that will stick with you forever. This can take a lot of time and money in the long run.

As for amps get one that sounds great to your ears and loud enough for a drummer when you need him or her. You got tube amps and digital stuff with a lot of options. Try both and see where you feel at home.

Again look to you heros to see what amps they play for a starting point.

Do not be afraid of used stuff either. You can save a bundle by doing so and still get great amps and guitars.

Lastly look at the gain structure of any amp and see if it will fullfill your need. Sometimes amps are meant for certain gain and then you have to compromise with effects to get what you are looking for.
Fortunately there is a shop with a wide selection of guitars to try. Amps as well. I've literally only tried one, so I have lots to explore :-)

In terms of what music and bands I like, well, that's one thing but there is also what I want the guitar to sound like for me.

The first I know: Zeppelin, Hendrix, Metallica, GnR, Foo Fighters, Black Crowes Queen, Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, Mumford & Sons, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty. I love guitar solos like in some Zeppelin and Hendrix tunes, but I also like some of the 'twang' you get with GBS, Mumford and Black Crowes.

I also like the sound of Blues and Bluegrass, but I'm only starting to explore.

What I think I want out of a guitar and amp - is a clean sound, where both bass and treble are balanced, plug-and-play (if I were to find a sound I like, I'm not sure I would want to try all of the pre-sets, and play with the adjustments...just set it and forget it), comfort given the issue I posted about at the top, the ability to play with a low volume and headphones at times. No gigs, bands, just me in my basement. And most of all I want something to learn on, and then once I'm happy with my natural guitar skills, I can see what's next.