#1
Hi Everyone,

After 30+ years of always wanting to learn electric guitar, I'm finally taking the plunge. My daughter learning acoustic helped in the decision. I have a couple questions.

1) I started researching guitar models suited for hard rock/metal-type music (budget is $500). Because I have small hands, I've read that C necks and D slim-line necks could be good options. While at Guitar Center, I saw the new Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Traditional PRO 2. I've always admired strat-styled guitars, but this ELP in Ocean Blue really caught my attention. I also came across the Squier Jim Root Telecaster, but have been unable to find one in-store. I'm wondering if the ELP is too much guitar in terms of tone options, etc.

Any opinions about these two models for 1) a guitar newbie and 2) a player with smaller hands? I've included links to both models.

Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Traditional PRO 2
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphone/Limited-Edition-Les-Paul-Traditional-PRO-II-Electric-Guitar.gc

Squier Jim Root Telecaster
http://shop.fender.com/en-US/squier-electric-guitars/telecaster/jim-root-tele/0301020506.html#start=1


2) How did you start learning guitar? Instructor, books, app (e.g., Guitar Tricks), online videos, etc.?

Thank you everyone for your feedback. I appreciate it!
#2
Buy whatever calls out to you, you want something that you love the look and feel of. You want something that when you come home and see it you get a feeling of man i have to pick that thing up. SO buy something that rocks for you. Once you get a few years under you're belt you'll have a better idea of what you like and dislike about guitars.

I love the ELP, IMO its an amazing guitar for a beginner.
Gibson LP Standard T - Epiphone LP Standard (BCS wiring+pots, 57/57+ Gibson) - Fender FSR MIM Telecaster
Blackstar Series one 45 (v30's) - Jetcity JCA50h + 212cab (Eminence) - Orange Crush 35RT
#3
The Les Paul is certainly a very solid guitar for a beginner. I bought a Standard after about a year of playing and have never regretted it (I started playing at 48, btw). Two things to consider (things I wish I knew then).

First, the amp will make a big difference in your sound. I've gone through a succession of amps, each one "a little better" than the one it replaced until I finally wound up with a Fender tube amp (Fender Deluxe, used on Craigslist for $350). Money-wise, I would have been better off to bite the bullet and just buy the Deluxe from the start and skip the successive upgrades. While this may or may not be the amp for you, I would budget about the same money for the amp as the guitar right from the start. It will be cheaper in the long run.

I also went through three separate pickup replacements in my Les Paul because it always sounded muddy to me. In retrospect, there were three problems, none of which were the fault of the pickups. First, I was trying to strum a Les Paul like an acoustic guitar because that's what the lessons focus on at the beginning. While it's certainly possible to strum a Les Paul, you need a gentler technique and generally fewer strums in close succession. Better to practice fast strumming on open chords on an acoustic guitar when you're first learning. The second reason for my muddy sound was the crappy solid state amp I was using (see above). The final reason for the poor strummed sound on the Les Paul was that my pick was hitting strings it shouldn't have been hitting (low E on a D chord, low E on a C chord, etc.). Cleaning up my picking hand did wonders for my sound (and on acoustic guitar as well).

In terms of learning, I was a loyal follower of Justin Sandercoe (http://www.justinguitar.com). He has a very well thought-out sequence and is a very skilled teacher. I did the beginner course on my own over about 18 months, but around that time, I started playing with my church's praise team and had to learn some other things out of sequence because I needed to know them for our songs. Playing with other people is the best way to get better quickly and have an absolute blast. As a former band-mate put it, "there is nothing, NOTHING, like playing rock and roll in a band."
Last edited by jds2 at Oct 10, 2016,
#4
jds2 has some pretty good advice.

I don't believe in "beginner" instruments. Get a good piece from the get-go. Remember you're learning GUITAR, so make sure that the guitar is good quality. You can plug a good guitar into anything to mess with your "tone" at some point, but it's the guitar that's your interface between brain, fingers and music. Sometimes "beginner" instruments will simply hold you back. You're in good hands with a decent Epiphone (if you're a beginner, you're not allowed to use acronyms). It's an electric guitar; don't learn to play on it using acoustic guitar techniques. LET THE GUITAR DO THE WORK. Keep the action low and your touch light. Gorilla Grip the acoustic if you want to, but not the electric. Keep the strings light (9's or 10's are perfect).

Try not to pull something off the guitar store wall and run with it; chances are good it will have issues. Ignore the folks who tell you to try a whole lot of instruments and take the one that "talks to you." That simply means that guitar may have something close to a decent setup and new strings. If you can get something new in the box, you've usually got a better starting point. Here's another thing; budget for a *Really Good Initial Setup." Ask around and find out who the best guitar tech in your town might be and then see if he can set up the guitar for you. If you're standing in a Guitar Center and there's a guitar tech there, chances are extremely high that it's not your best choice. You need frets that are level, and a properly cut nut (Gibson's new guitars usually have a nut that's cut a bit too high). You don't want to hear buzz when you pick the guitar, but you don't want the action so high that you can't get your fingers to fret precisely (that is, without hitting an adjacent string). While you're at it, log onto Amazon and find a book called "How to make your electric guitar play great" by Dan Erlewine. Buy the physical book (not a Kindle edition). It will be the best $20 you'll spend on guitar accessories.

Ignore anyone telling you that you need a *tube* amp for "best tone." Feldercarb. The various modeling amps get a lot of crap from forum users, but they're versatile enough and have enough effects and other doo-dads built in that you won't get bored (and won't have to replace tubes, ever). Don't get one that's too small; it'll be like listening to an AM radio. But do get one that has a headphone output (tube amps usually don't) and check out the newer ones that will allow you to play MP3s and that have bluetooth setups for allowing your iPhone to control things, etc. There are some newer amps that have a built in receiver for cordless operation (you'll spend another $100 or so for the transmitter that plugs into your guitar, but you can always put that out there as a Birthday Gift Suggestion). Try to buy the newest version of a modeling amp that you can; these things are outdated within two or three years, just like laptop computers.

Buy some real picks, but consider buying a $25 Pick Punch (google is your friend) -- you can make a half dozen picks out of old Starbucks gift cards and your expired credit cards (and they have real pick materials available as well). Your daughter will steal all the picks you can make. Buy one (just one) Gravity Pick (google, again). It will cost you around $6. I use the 2mm Razer Standard, and if you use it and decide after about six months that you don't like it, I'll pay you $4 for it. Don't lose it. Actually, I still have the first one I bought; I don't lose $6 picks and I don't put them where guitar playing daughters can find them, either.

Keep your guitar in the case. Wipe it down after you practice with a microfiber cloth, but don't leave a sweaty cloth in the case with your guitar. Wash it frequently. Buy some guitar cleaning stuff (doesn't matter) and share it with your daughter. Do not put your guitar on a stand and leave it out so that you can get to it quickly. Keep your guitar In the case. Keep. Your. Guitar. In. The. Case. Lid closed, latched. Don't come crying to me. I told you.

You can learn guitar from a lot of different sources. Personal lessons will get you started, video lessons will carry you through, free youtube videos will teach you songs you always wanted to learn, tab music will help. Learn to read music. Please learn to read music. Do all the tedious scale things until your fingers hurt. Pick up one of those books with the CAGED method in it. Learn whatever your daughter learns. She'll hate that. Let her teach you stuff. She'll love that. For a while. Find some little band or group that you can join (church worship groups are perfect for this). You'll be pushed to get better faster and it'll be a lot more fun to play with other people.

Don't buy spandex and Aquanette just yet. If you're tempted, let your *daughter* do that, or try it just once for Halloween. Do not let your daughter play your guitar, under any circumstances. if she wants to bad enough, she'll sneak it. Just don't ever say it was okay. If she sneaks it, help her get her own electric. Note that I didn't say BUY her an electric, but that's all about your parenting, so do what you feel good doing.

Don't be surprised if she leaves you in the dust when it comes to learning and playing. They have the time and the focus for that. You have other responsibilities, like maintaining the baseball bat for when the boys discover she can play guitar, too.
#5
The ELP would be fine, I don't think there is such a thing as 'too much tone options" with a guitar. Basically any decent output humbucker will give you what you need for hard rock/metal. If you are in the states you might want to check out an Agile guitar from Rondomusic.com.

Since you mentioned small hands I would stay away from (not that you mentioned it) Ibanez guitars as they tend to have wider necks. If you do decide to go the LP style guitar route you might want to see if you could find a Hagstrom Ultra Swede (they can be found pretty cheap used). Iits a thin body LP style guitar but the neck is an ultra slim profile - I have one and it is very thin, more so than my Jackson and LTD guitars - and its not too wide either. The only thing I will say with mine is that I find the bridge pickup to be a little thin - I use my for P&W so its not a big deal - but you would probably want to include for a bridge pickup replacement for playing metal/rock.
#6
I wouldn't worry too much about your hands, unless you have really small hands (which is possible, of course, I'm not saying it's impossible) it's more likely to be a practice thing than anything to do with your hand size when it comes to necks "suitable for small hands".

not aware of there being anything wrong with the epi, it's a decent guitar in a nice colour. just some people find LPs heavy and they don't have the best upper-fret access, so that would be worth bearing in mind. If you can figure out some way to figure out whether you care or not about that without being able to play yet...
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#7
Quote by Dave_Mc
not aware of there being anything wrong with the epi, it's a decent guitar in a nice colour. just some people find LPs heavy and they don't have the best upper-fret access, so that would be worth bearing in mind. If you can figure out some way to figure out whether you care or not about that without being able to play yet...


I think this sums it up really well!
Gibson LP Standard T - Epiphone LP Standard (BCS wiring+pots, 57/57+ Gibson) - Fender FSR MIM Telecaster
Blackstar Series one 45 (v30's) - Jetcity JCA50h + 212cab (Eminence) - Orange Crush 35RT
#8
^
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#9
Quote by dspellman
Do not put your guitar on a stand and leave it out so that you can get to it quickly. Keep your guitar In the case. Keep. Your. Guitar. In. The. Case. Lid closed, latched. Don't come crying to me. I told you.

What's the reasoning behind this? I mean, assuming the guitar is left in a stand where it won't get knocked over, and isn't in a stupid location like where the sun would be shining on it for hours every day. And of course, assuming the stand wasn't a piece of crap that would damage the finish.
#10
Quote by dspellman
jds2 has some pretty good advice.


Keep your guitar in the case. Wipe it down after you practice with a microfiber cloth, but don't leave a sweaty cloth in the case with your guitar. Wash it frequently. Buy some guitar cleaning stuff (doesn't matter) and share it with your daughter. Do not put your guitar on a stand and leave it out so that you can get to it quickly. Keep your guitar In the case. Keep. Your. Guitar. In. The. Case. Lid closed, latched. Don't come crying to me. I told you.



Eh?

If you have a suitable room, keep your guitar on a stand where you can reach for it when the mood takes. I have all mine on stands except for one, for which I haven't got a space. My dog tippy-toes around them more carefully than I do, and my wife won't come with six feet of them.

EDIT. With my playing habits, the risks of taking them in and out or cases are probably about the same as leaving them on stands. - I got "latch bite" on one acoustic, and have come close several times.
Last edited by Tony Done at Oct 11, 2016,
#11
Quote by heterodox
What's the reasoning behind this? I mean, assuming the guitar is left in a stand where it won't get knocked over, and isn't in a stupid location like where the sun would be shining on it for hours every day. And of course, assuming the stand wasn't a piece of crap that would damage the finish.


"Where it won't get knocked over" is a misnomer. My reasons include salt air, earthquakes, three athletic cats, friends who like to play air guitar with the real thing and a wife who cleans aggressively. Just leaving your guitar out in the air will help it to corrode more quickly (particularly your strings). In any case (*ahem*), I'm just stating my case (*ahem*) based on 50+ current guitars and a lot of experience with other folks guitars hitting the deck, often thanks to their own big feet or getting tangled in a strap or their own inattention in setting the guitar down on the stand or a bit of drinking or a slight loss of balance or snagging the cable on something or.... I've seen guitars showered in beer and edibles; one was even hit with glue, another with some solvent. I've seen guitars on stands knocked over like bowling pins by tipsy women, nailed by a shot glass, snagged by a bartender carrying a box. It's your guitar, obviously, and you can do whatever you think is appropriate.

Everyone's absolutely sure that their guitars are just fine on a stand until they aren't.

As I said, don't come crying to me. I told you.
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 11, 2016,
#13
Thank you everyone for the great feedback! I'm excited about beginning my guitar-playing journey. The forum has been extremely helpful and I look forward to following it and contributing in the future.

Thank you!