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good beginner guitar under $100 or $150?

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(@whitneyzeldow)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 95
Topic starter  

I've researched info on buying my first guitar, and it seems that most people consider decent guitars to be ones above $300 (even for beginners). This is very discouraging considering I was hoping to get a decent one for something around the $150 or less category (though I'd really prefer it to be under $100). I'm looking for a steel string acoustic that is good enough to learn on, but won't kill me if I accidently break it (I'm going to college, which means a lot of moving in a short period of time). Anyway, please give me your opinion as to if this is an unrealistic goal or excedingly difficult. Also, I live in Orange County, CA if you have any tips on where to look. Thanks!


   
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 Nils
(@nils)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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You can find a decent guitar in that price range. Something like an Ibanez, Washburn, Yamaha or Epiphone. Take a look at some at

http://www.music123.com/Acoustic-Guitars-6-String-q16d2454.music

The key is not necessarily in the brand but how it feels and sounds to you so the best bet is to hit as many music stores as you can and pick them up and see how they feel. Even try the expensive ones so you have something to compare to. There is more than likely a Guitar Center in your area and is a decent place to start and their prices are good and probably close to Music123 online prices.

Welcome to GN

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(@primeta)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 836
 

lol I was just looking there, I see some C stock options that look good on that site. Look at used also
Make sure you have the guitar checked and 'set-up' by a good local store (probably not the Guitar Center). There must be one of each in Orange County. :)

"Things may get a whole lot worse/ Before suddenly falling apart"
Steely Dan
"Look at me coyote, don't let a little road dust put you off" Knopfler


   
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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

I have 2 acoustics myself, a Dean and a Crafter. I paid around $200 each for them and they are both good quality guitars that sound and play great. (the Crafter even has a solid cedar top) so I guess that blows any $300 theory. I have 2 friends that both bought Yamaha guitars. one was about $100 new the other was $130 used. They both seem to be good guitars.
Just make sure you stay away from Estaban. Nothing but junk there.
When you start looking at Guitars you can read users reviews here:
http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4/
and get an idea of what others think of that model.


   
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(@smokindog)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5345
 

Johnson makes a good guitar in the $100-$150 range, infact you may find a beginner kit with a tunner, strap and gig case in that price range, you will need a tunner :D

My Youtube Page
http://www.youtube.com/user/smokindog
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http://www.soundclick.com/guitarforumjams


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Get a Dean EVO XM. Really is a great guitar for starting out, no flaws at all, costs $99.


   
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(@yoyo286)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Get a Dean EVO XM. Really is a great guitar for starting out, no flaws at all, costs $99.

I think she said acoustic...

Check out: http://www.rondomusic.net/index.html

They make pretty good electrics, and I don't know about the acoustics, but if you buy one, and then get a good setup by a luthier (You could probably find one in your local music shop), so it's not too hard to play...

Good luck buying! :)

Stairway to Freebird!


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Darn, thanks Yoyo. As for steelstring, there are so many good choices and brands. I've got a $150 solidtop Ibanez PF60. Yamaha, Dean and others make fine westerns as well.


   
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(@backtothefuture)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 81
 

If you have a friend or a friend of a friend that plays guitar...go together to a music shop or repair shop and look for a nice used guitar. This way you will see what you are getting and your friend can test it out. When you get to college, there HAS to be someone there that knows something about guitars there. :) If the college has a music department, someone there would be able to help for sure. When I was going to college....half the people there were walking around with guitars...whether they could PLAY them....I don't know...but it looked cool. :wink:

Dennis


   
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(@josephlefty)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 373
 

I am sorry to say that even though trying out guitars sounds like the right thing to do and definitely is for someone who can already play....

...our first guitar, even holding one is very awkward and we cannot tell the difference between a 100 dollar guitar and a 500 dollar guitar, other than the more expensive one might be prettier.

I have been through a bunch of guitars, electric and acoustic.......

The best advice I can give you if you are going to try one is make sure it is not too big and push down on the strings with your fingertips when comparing similarly priced guitars and choose the one that is easier on the fingers. Some acoustic guitars are difficult to play. I sold my Hohner less than a month after I had it for that reason. My Dean, although an expensive model is also harder to play than the cheapest model Fender I have, and the Fender I got used for around $100 on ebay is the easiest guitar I have owned for playing.

Also many people (I don't want to step on toes or challenge anyone here) say you turn out to be a better player with acoustic because they are less forgiving for mistakes. I went that route but practiced less for hurting fingers and much frustration (especially with any type of bar chords).

I went back to electric, a cheap Jay Turser telecaster. It is very easy to play and I master new and desired skills on that first and then it makes doing it on the acoustic so much easier with only some fine tuning practice to correct little buzzing mistakes.

I get so much more practice time in using the electric first. I get better faster at what I am working on, even if it is the wrong guitar for the type of music I am acquiring skills for...that doesn't matter to me, the skills are what is important and it is diffiuclt to get a lot of practice time in with an acoustic in the beginning, your fingers get too beat up with the shape of the strings embedded in them, preventing them from being able to fret strings. Some folks may disagree with me but that is ok.

Just my opinion and experience with learning.

If it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing.


   
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(@dcarroll)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 216
 

try to find a used guitar man,

look for a used mexican strat. I got a used one a while back for around $150. These are nice guitar and very upgradable.

I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix


   
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(@dan-t)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044
 

Musician's Friend has the Epiphone AJ-1 on sale for $89.99. I'm actually going to be ordering one to just mess around on at the park & what not. Sounds like a nice guitar for the $, spruce top & mahogony back & sides. Check it out: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/fg=141/g=guitar/search/detail/base_pid/518681/?c_bg=1

BTW, welcome to GN! :D

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@nicktorres)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

check out http://www.craigslist.org and click on your town.

Always a good resource for used musical equipment.


   
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(@whitneyzeldow)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 95
Topic starter  

Thanks guys! I'll definitely look into all this stuff. In fact, I went to a used store that I used to take drum lessons at and found that my price range was reasonable. As for buying stuff off the internet, let's just say I'm waiting for my refund right now.


   
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(@redpoint)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 210
 

I recommend craigslist as well. I got my Seagull S6+ for a low price. Though sold as used, its owner had only played the guitar a few times, as he'd bought it to learn but never followed through.


   
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