So I've picked out that I want an American Stratocaster of some kind. I played one at guitar center and it was great. I can't play very much past some simple chords and a song intro or riff or two so I kinda feel stupid sitting in guitar center trying out a guitar with all these guys around me shredding and pulling off nice solo licks and staring at me wondering when I am going to give up the tiny amp im using so they can try out another axe. I've also discovered that I can sit in guitar center for hours and never have an employee come and talk to me. Every other night this week I've been in there for at least an hour just kinda staring at a wall of guitars, lots of questions about like what all the numbers mean on the tags and all that, why one is more expensive than another, that kinda thing. And no one ever talks to me. So I'm not sure I want to purchase from guitar center. Also I am confused... when you buy from guitar center are you getting this axe off the wall that a million other fools have already finger f***ed? Or do they have boxes in the back, you choose one and they bring out a new one for you? This is so much different than buying a sax... sax you go in, browse the models behind the counter, request to see one, maybe take it in a practice room and give it a whirl... if you like it you make a purchase and typically I have a brand new one sent and test that one out too. The floor model is just for me to check action, intonation, brightness, etc. The real one I will own comes in from the factory with me and they guy that tested it at the factory as they only people to play it...

How does this all work in buying a guitar? I would have bought this really nice HSS Strat tonight at guitar center but no one talked to me... is this typical? Do I need to make some noise or poke someone in the eye and say "Hey, I want this one!" ??

Thanks for any advice... (total newb and feeling very silly about all this). I have the confidence when it comes to picking and buying my saxes but I'm so new at guitar I'm not up on how it all works yet. Kinda like buying a car is different than buying a house in many ways... big purchase on both my guitar and sax but its a way different experience.

Guitar Center is like 5 mintutes from my house, as is Guitar Trader. There is several other local places here... I've heard I can order from the internet, have it shipped to guitar center, and then they go over it once before they release it to me, make sure it all works right. If GC is good at setup then this would seem the ideal method to me, though I would like to play a guitar I purchase before I commit to the purchase... again... how does this all work??

Thanks for the help! These forums have been awesome and have totally accelerated my interest in a purchase and learning how to play better!
how long have you been playing?
if you jsut started out i dont think an american strat is good
but anyways
yea tehy gave you the one thats finger ****ed
but for me they checked in the back for one in a box and got a new one
Send me off to bed forevermore.
First of all props on sax, I play too but I'm the opposite of you, I've played guitar way longer than sax. But anyways I don't actually live IN the U.S. but I've heard a lot about how the employees at GC are really bad and unreliable. All those questions you have for those employees you can ask people on the forum because they could definitely help you out. As for where to buy I always buy from a store as opposed to online because there's a better warranty, return policy, and I can get it serviced at the shop I bought it at. I don't know about the rules at GC but I got my guitar brand new never been played by a consumer, all plastic coverings still on and everything. So any of those questions you could ask right now and I'm sure a lot of people can answer you.
Well there is the numbers that GC puts on its tags... without taking a pencil/paper in with me I can't remember them all but I've looked and its not serial numbers or anything I can see... maybe its Fender's product ID numbers? There seems to be no consistency in the pattern, like a 4 digit and a 3 digit with 2 letters or something... seems really random except they all have it, and some numbers repeat.

>>as for the type of guitar its taken me a while to decide on the American Strat. I'm not a big Gibson fan... the necks of the Gibson seem more narrow. The Strat I can play comfortably (thick fingers that dont narrow much at the tip makes playing "A" chord really hard). I've also looked close at Schecter and I like the C-1 Classic but I want to see the blue one in person and no one has it... I can't stand the gold hardware that comes on the other two C-1 Classic color schemes.
>> I like the sound of the Strat better than the classic though, and its just as easy for me to play. I had also looked at Ibanez and Jackson but I'm not so into Heavy Metal or thrashing around and those guitars seem more geared to that.
>> Any thoughts or advice on that I would greatly appreciated!
>>(the cost on the American Strat doesn't bother me... basic one for just under $1000 is OK... the one I really liked tonight was over $1000 and my goal really is to not break the $1k mark)
Oh and thanks for the props on the sax! I've played since I was in 6th grade, I'm 32 now... its been a long fun road on the sax. Now I want to write more and be able to play my own guitar parts into my 4track so I can play sax over... I prefer to write over play other people's music. Its fun to learn other songs too though. Hotel California has been fun with my cheesy yamaha student acoustic (the real reason i want a new guitar... its fret board is WAY narrow and i cant play it really at all).

Thanks for the help already!
i had that same issue with people ignoring me at guitar center, usually if i needed help i would find someone walking across the way and got their attention..

or you could play really really loud and make it sound really bad, that usually got their attention too lol..

but in the end i worked 20 hours overtime two weeks in a row to save up $300 for my squier strat pack, and on my day off guitar center didnt open till 11am but a local store that sold mostly pianos was also selling the same pack and they opened at 8am so i went there and they ended up trading out the guitar in the pack for a white squier, which they didnt even have at GC, and im thinking they wouldnt have helped me out like my local store did.

The picture is of the guitar I played at Guitar Center... only the one I played came with a rosewood fret board (black?) and the one in the pic is Maple I think.

So if I wanted this guitar in a 3-color Sunburst Rosewood can I have Guitar Center order one and get it that way? Would mean my guitar wasn't on the wall... does that change the price at GC?

Thanks for the help, you guys rock!
I wish Ratm had posted a reason why the american strat is a poor choice for a beginner... beyond the obvious issue of cost vs. experience level...
Although it is the most popular guitar out there because of its reliability/versatility/playabilty/price, you may want to gain a bit more experience mainly because in a few months you may find that you want to play metal and nothing but metal, and although the strat can do passable metal tones it isn't exactly a guitar that is geared towards metal at all really. So stick with what you've got or if you want to upgrade maby go with a mim strat, very nice guitars for the price and it won't be as great a loss if you decide to get into heavier styles.

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