First off I am making a disclaimer that I tried to search for this topic and didn't find what I wanted, so its probably out there I just didn't see it. So if you've all seen this 10,000 times sorry.

I'm looking to buy my first electric guitar after about 3.5 years of only acoustic and kind of need some help knowing what style/quality/sound I want.

I don't want to crappy beginner guitar, i'm looking to spend 500-700 hundred and I'll probably buy used so here are my questions

1) What type of guitar will be versatile and fit most types of music (I want to solo, play rythym in an Alt. Rock/Classic rock mix of styles.

2) What are some flags when buying a used guitar to watch out for?

3) What are some features the guitar should have for that kind of music(i really don't know anything about electrics)?

4) This is a stupid question but can you plug all electrics into headphones and play w/out an amp for my small apartment?

Thanks for the help, sorry for the novel-like post
I'm the brains behind Jesse and the Rippers
You can't just connect the phones to the guitar, cause there is no amplifier inbetween. Some headphone amps can however be bought for some 30-40$.
Get a used Strat. It fits every style, i think it is very comfortable to play, and if you can find a reputable store you can find a very good strat for your price range, you will also be able to stay away from the mexican/korean/japanese fenders. When buying used make sure that you are buying from someone who's knowledgeable. For instance, when i bought my two fenders(both used) i bought them from an excellent guitar tech whom i trusted. I knew that he had taken good care of them, and had checked them out thoroughly. You will want to make sure that there are no neck problems and that the electronics work out well. Play the guitar at the store and make sure that there are no pops and cracks when switching from pickup to pickup. Make sure that the selector switch is in good condition, make sure that volume and tone pots are working and that the jack is good. As far as features, the only thing that the strat doesn't have is a floyd style trem(which i find to be more a pain in the a** than anything) And finally, no you cant just plug headphones in and play away. You will need something to play through. This does not mean that you have to get some ****ty practice amp, you could get a Pandora(by Korg) or the Guitar trainer by Tascam. Both allow you to plug in your guitar and listen to your playing through headphones. BOth also have some good effects however the Pandora is far superior to the Guitar trainer. YOu should check both out. HOpe this helps.
1) The Statocaster can fit almost any type of music, and is a quality instrument. Gibson Les Paul is also a very commonly used and quite versatile guitar that is common among alt. rock and classic rock.

2) I think that you should go to stores to check out used guitars, that way it is easier to see the flaws, and usually the store will let you plug them in to check the electronics on it, and how it sounds the way you would play it (through your amp of choice). And if they don't then you should probably shop elsewhere. I think that the things you should check with an electric are pretty much the same as when looking for an acoustic (action, sound...etc.). Make sure to play the guitar unplugged to see if there are any strange noises.

3)The guitar probably does not need any special features, what comes on most guitars is basically the same (sometimes variations on the bridge or minor differences). The features that make a lot of different sounds are mostly pedals, or amps.

4)I have honestly never even thought of that, or heard of it, but I know that a lot of amps have headphone outputs on them, especially practice amps.
Just another small point: if you're buying used, think about why the guitar you're looking at has been sold back to the store. That might give you an idea of what to look for. For example, some guitars are resold because the owner wants to trade up...in which case, the guitar is probably in good condition. Some people bought a crappy guitar to begin with, and just want to get rid of it. You should go through all the same 'testing' stuff with an electric than you would if you were buying an acoustic (intonation, warping, neck speed, whatever) as well as looking at the electronics. Ask a tech or salseperson, as long as they know what they're doing, you should get some good advice.
Best thing is to play it in store. If it sounds good and there are no major problems, it's probably fine to play in your apartment. You probably don't need a top of the line product.

And just to play devil's advocate, I'll suggest you go for an Epi Les Paul. You could get a quality instrument for that price range, and they're just as versitile as a strat...but with a different sound. But that's just me, I'm an LP guy
"He has a woman's name and wears makeup. How original."
--Alice Cooper, on Marilyn Manson.
Quote by Carpmuncher
4)I have honestly never even thought of that, or heard of it, but I know that a lot of amps have headphone outputs on them, especially practice amps.

Or just play through your computer....
Go to radio shack and get a cord with a male 1/8" and a male 1/4". Plug from guitar to the line in jack or microphone jack on your computer. Make sure that the volume is up (this will act like an amp as it will amplify / power your guitar) and plug in some headphones.

If that doesn't work..... download audacity. Open it and adjust the line in settings and then insert headphones. Good luck with your guitar hunt.....

I would also like to recommend a telecaster because they are very versitile and very nice.

All this info is awesome, thanks for your help

What would a good amp run you, could i get a good quality guitar and a good amp for $1,000? or would at least one of them take a hit?
I'm the brains behind Jesse and the Rippers
Last edited by taylo365 at Sep 8, 2006,
You definately can. I'm in Canada, so pricing is a bit different, but the guitar/amp I've got my eye on will come to a bit more than $800...an Epic Les Paul Standard and a VoxAD15 amp. The guitar is a good one (I like it, anyway,) but basic, nothing special but it does the job.
The amp has tons of features, ancd Vox is a quality brand. Look it up on their website. It's a small practise amp, has a headphone jack, and two 'preset' tone settings so you can build a tone you like and save it. It also has some built in effects, but I don't imagine they're terriffic, though it'll save you from buying pedals right away (until you decide on what you want). In my opinion, it's a good amp.
For a thousand bucks, you can even get a decent guitar and a decent tube amp, just go to your local shop and look at prices. But, research is your friend, take down names and model numbers of products you like and look them up on the net later...this site has tons of great reviews for guitars and amps, too.
"He has a woman's name and wears makeup. How original."
--Alice Cooper, on Marilyn Manson.