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A Les Paul as a beginner's guitar?

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(@da-monkee)
Active Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

Ever since i've been interested in guitars, the Les Paul has always appealed to me, but I thought it would be out of my price range (I'm looking for a guitar for around £200 or preferably less). And so i'd been thinking about getting a bass guitar instead and thought about a Squier Affinity Precision Bass as i'd seen an advert for a beginner's package (guitar, amp, tuner, case) in a guitar magazine but it had no price to it.

Anyway, today I went into town and visited three guitar shops to see what guitars they had for sale. The first shop didn't have that many guitars but looked 'professional'. They had lesser known names, but they had the Squier Affinity Precision Bass guitar pack that i'd seen in the guitar magazine, but the price was £250 which put me off it. I kept looking and found a Les Paul lookalike - as in it wasn't an Epiphone or Gibson but looked just like one.

It was a starter kit, as in an amp and tuner came with it (I forget what make it was) and the price was only £129. I thought it'd be best to look in the other shops too, and so went to the next. The next shop was small, but had quite a large selection of guitars but didn't look too 'professional'. Anyway, immediately I noticed the more well known guitar names and soon found an extremely cheap Epiphone Les Paul priced at £199 which was amazing, and i'm pretty sure it was a Standard although it looked a bit like a custom (all black, with gold hardware).

This was the only guitar to really catch my eye, and so I moved on to the third and final shop which had a huge selection of guitars - and looked very professional as they were the only shop of the three offering 50th Anniversary Stratocasters and Gibson Les Pauls. Anyway, I soon found three Epiphone Les Paul Special II's which were around £180 each. Those being the main guitars to catch my eye, other than some telecasters out of my price range...

When I got home I checked some guitar magazines I have and found that the cheapest Epiphone Les Paul models were £400 - and so I thought that the guitar in the second shop I visited up for sale at £200 was a real bargain. I did some searching on the net for Les Pauls and found a Les Paul Special II beginner package which included amp, tuner, instructional dvd and carry bag. The price was $250 which comes out as £135 which is very good value.

So, after that long story (my apologies) I'd like to know what you guys think. Should I go for the Epiphone Les Paul i'd seen in the small shop (which i'm thinking might be second hand for the price) or should I order a Les Paul Special II on the net? Which wouldn't be of such a high quality and would be risky I feel since it'd be shipped from the U.S although it might be better for a beginner like myself :?


   
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(@stock28)
Estimable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 109
 

If you checked it out at the store and were happy with it, I would get that one. It should be plenty good for you to learn on. I'd rather buy a guitar any day that I had a chance to play rather than site unseen.


   
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(@pyaara_wala)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 37
 

I'm a n00b too. But a lespaul would be fine as long as you're pleased with it. But I am not for sure, but the guy at Sam Ash, told me not to get a Floyd Rose if you're a beginner. Yknow, the locked bridge. I'm not sure why maybe someone else here knows why.


   
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(@rum-runner)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 424
 

I've been playing for about four months, and two months ago I bought an Epi LP Standard as a first electric. I split my time between it and an old acoustic I've had. I have been happy with the Epi LP. Did have some problems with the electronics- the input jack came loose and the three-way switch went bad, but I took it back to where I bought it and they took care of the problems. Otherwise, it's been good.

Regards,

Mike

"Growing Older But Not UP!"


   
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(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

I'd go with that maybe used Epi LP with gold hardware. You get more value buying lightly used stuff than new. I just say those Epi LP starter packs are pretty good for the price. My buddy got one and still uses that amp today. He sold that guitar after he learned how to play. But I think they're nice on the wallet.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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(@rodya-s-thompson)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 207
 

Also a noob, also recently got my first electric (going on two months with my Epi Les Paul Standard), and also extremely happy with my choice. It'll be better for you in the long run if you get a solid guitar that sounds nice to start off (but not too expensive, obviously), rather than going for the El Cheapo Electric simply because you're "new to it".

While the time-honored "a good guitarist can make any guitar sound great" mantra applies to people who've had a lot of experience, it doesn't apply to us, and we obviously need something that makes us sound (and look) better. Besides, you'll be more inspired to practice on something that looks killer than something that looks like roadkill.

Talk it over with any of the shop guys there, see if you can find out why the Epi's priced so low, if there are any major defects with it, what their opinion is. I think it sounds almost too good to pass up, so do your homework and if everything checks out, write out that check and get yo'self that Les Paul!

Henry Garza, Saul Hudson, and Darrell Abbott could not be here tonight, but they all had sex and are proud to announce the birth of their two-headed baby, Rodya S. Thompson.

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(@metaellihead)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 653
 

That LP you saw was probably a studio. Look up on the front of the headstock. There will be a plate screwed on up there that will say if it's a standard, studio, or custom. Somtimes those are blank, so if in doubt ask sombody working at the store. The standard LP's are middle-range, the customs can have higher price tags, and studio LP's have similar equipment (pups, wiring, and hardware) to a standard, they just don't have a binding.

The binding is that white stripe that goes around the edges of the body.

And like others have said, if you get an Epi LP expect the toggle switch and jack to go out. In the future you might want to replaced the pickups and the tuners.

-Metaellihead


   
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(@stebob)
Active Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3
 

you can get an Epiphone Les Paul Special 2 from lots of web sites and ads in mags for around £120 - but the advantage of getting one from a shop is haveing the support and the guitar set up to your liking. I think it would be a great guitar to start with, good luck


   
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(@tucker)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 144
 

Not trying to troll or anything, but seriously, think EXTREMELY carefully before buying a Les Paul Special 2. I've heard playing them is comparable to playing six cheese-slicers on sandpaper.


   
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 Nils
(@nils)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Not trying to troll or anything, but seriously, think EXTREMELY carefully before buying a Les Paul Special 2. I've heard playing them is comparable to playing six cheese-slicers on sandpaper.
Actually, it plays pretty well just not out of the box so it needs a good setup immediately. So if you buy it online then automatically assume you will spend another $30 to $40 for new strings (Epi strings stink) and the setup at a shop unless you can do it yourself.

I just bought one just for the heck of it since it was cheap and I have enjoyed it as a practice guitar.

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(@da-monkee)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 9
Topic starter  

That LP you saw was probably a studio.
I hadn't thought it may have been a Studio at the time...which it probably is...but I couldn't see the headstock clear enough for the Studio 'logo' as it was quite high up on the wall.
Not trying to troll or anything, but seriously, think EXTREMELY carefully before buying a Les Paul Special 2. I've heard playing them is comparable to playing six cheese-slicers on sandpaper.
I've read a lot of reviews about the LP Special 2 and the majority have praised it, with the only problems being the carry bag being terrible. But thanks for the advice.

I'll be going back to the guitar shop (where the suspected LP Studio is) on Monday so i'll find some info about it (if it's still there).


   
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(@e-sherman)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 374
 

You didn't play the Les Paul?

The king of rock, some say lives
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(@tucker)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 144
 

If you can get a good one, great - as with all guitars in that price range, there's the amazing, worth-double-the-asking-price models (my Squier strat, Billy Joe Armstrong's nameless) and there's the not-worth-firewood models such as 90% of Stagg models (I say 90% because I met a left-handed person who bought a righty Stagg strat and swapped it over to look like Hendrix - upside down, Staggs rock, but for some reason ready-made lefties and righties suck).


   
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(@luvmytele)
Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 37
 

Les Pauls are great to learn on.

Look into the 'Indie' guitar range ... the quliaty is there.

Be careful buying EPI Les Pauls ... you must try them out 'cause there are a lot of rubbish ones out there!

Good luck ... 8)

... that noise you hear is my Signature Sound ... lovely ain't it?


   
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(@tucker)
Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 144
 

Seconded - if you can get them. There's only about 10 Indie dealers in the UK and one of them only stocks lefties (it's only 100 miles from my house, which is a bonus for me) so if you're after a righty Indie in the UK you've only got about 9 places to pick from and they're almost all in Northern England/Scotland I believe.


   
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