Hi everyone. Thanks for your help.
I'm new to guitars and would like to purchase my first one and get learning. I know that a significant factor in sticking with learning any instrument is that the instrument itself needs to inspire you. Meaning, your more likely to stick with an instrument that you love and don't want to put down. In that context even though I want to learn guitar if the one I have doesn't have the look or feel that I like it will not inspire me to play it.
I'm a drummer and some early advice I was given was that even though a beginner drummer at the time I was ill advised to buy a cheap, beginners drum kit because it will not only not inspire you to play it but it will be difficult to tune, get decent sound out of and be difficult to sell once 'inevitably' you quickly grow out of it and want to buy what you should have bought in the first place. I that advice was spot on.
With that in mind, I am most inspired by the look and sound of a Gibson Les Paul (geez, who isn't :)). Luckily Epiphone makes several less inexpensive Gibson LP clones from sub $100 on up. After reading a gazillion posts/articles and videos on the apparently never ending Epiphone LP vs Gibson LP debate I have enveloped a dilemma of sorts.
I know what I like in terms of looks and sound but I'm a beginner looking for his 'first' guitar. I have the funds but realistically it seems to make no sense to buy an expensive Gib LP when there are inexpensive Epi LP's available. But, will I be setting myself up for an inevitable buyers remorse and wish I had just bought what really inspires me to begin with? Browsing CraigsList I noticed there a ton of used Epiphone LP's for sale but much fewer Gibson LP's for sale. Does that mean there are a ton of guitarists that have out grown their Epi LP's but very few Gibson LP owners that part with theirs? Also, the re-sale values of Epi LP's are much lower than Gib LP's that seem to hold their value. So does that mean investing in the more expensive Gibson LP is wiser than buying an Epiphone LP and taking a loss later if I outgrow it?
I want an instrument that inspires me, that I can grow into and not quickly grow out of.
Does it make sense to you guys for me to even consider buying a Gibson Les Paul at this early stage? My neighbor owns both an Epi and Gib and there seems to be a difference to me (maybe psychologically) in the way the Gib feels and sounds more to my liking. His advice is to invest in a Gib that I can easily get my money out of if need be.
I'm in no way meaning to put down Epiphone owners and I apologize if I come across that way. After all, I'm new to guitars and realistically have very little knowledge and experience to base my newbie opinions on but I would appreciate your advice.
get an Epiphone. look at tons of them and select the one that appeals to you both visually and by feel. specifically, the feel is vital. put a strap on it, stand and play it. if it feels great that's the one. be mindful of the quality of build. are the fret ends smooth or do they feel like a saw? do the tuners work smoothly? check all the controls.
Epiphones cost less because some components are used that do match the standards of high end guitars. The tone of the guitar is a huge factor. if the pickups are cheap the sound will suffer. pickups can always be changed. that's my two cents.
There are plenty of LP clones out there that look and to a novices ear, sound great. I'll look for those issues you mentioned, thanks. My main 'problem' is feeling if I buy a suitable (and more than capable for a beginner) clone that I'm just buying a temporary substitute for what I would like to end up with in the first place. Non-sensical for a newbie, I know, but silly as it is it has greatly influenced my train purchase of thought.
I would go for the Epiphone. There are some decent ones out there and I wouldn't put them in the category of a cheap beginners guitar so you could get some mileage out of one of those.
I would go for the Epiphone, too. In fact I already have an Epiphone and I love the tone I can get with it. It was my first electric guitar.
After a couple of years I bought a Strat. I had to convince myself that the Epi wasn't a good guitar for me. I found all kind of issues: the weight, the finish, the tone... Several years ago my playing improved and the Epi curiously also improved...
But I think you want to buy a Gibson. Go ahead! They are wonderful guitars. You could consider a LPJ. I didn't play the new 2014 models but the 2013 sounded pretty good.
I hear what you are saying about a starter guitar and why waste money because you know you will out grow it.
I tend to agree with that. I always wanted an American Strat and a Gib LP and said when I had those I wouldn't want another guitar.
If you stick with playing you fall into the trap that EVERYONE does and that is you will continue to buy guitars it's just part of the deal.
I own about 5 now and still don't have a MIA Strat or Gib LP but I do have a MIM Strat and an EPI LP.
You should be fine with the Gib or Epi although as mentioned you might want to upgrade the hardware/pickups possibly on the Epi.
I don't really think you'd be disappointed no matter which way you go.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!
Well, unless I come across an Epi LP that I can't stop staring at then it's going to be the 'entry level' Gibson LP Studio for me. I see a few used for $600-$900, not that it isn't allot of money to me but thats not too far from a top o the line Epi LP so I might as well get the real thing for a little more. A GC near me has a used Gib LP Studio in the gloss black I prefer for $750. Gibs website shows brand new Studios starting at $799 for the satins.
This might be of interest.
I tell ya, it will be a wile before you will eaven get close to knowing the difference between a epi, and a Gibson LP. Try a lot of different ones, and im sure you will find one. I was playing that game. But I was looking for a hollow body.. After trying a lot, and going back to this nice cherry LP on the shelf... I was drawn to the LP. It felt nice, and played nice, but had a big gouge out of the back. Well guitar center being guitar center, I asked for a discount and got turned down. I was about to walk out but asked if they had another one like it. After a half hour of searching for the one more they showed having they found it...new in box. I opened the box, picked it up, and knew it was the one for me!!! Felt and played great! Now a year after it got damanged in my basement after the dehumidifier broke, and warped the neck bad. I sent it out, had it fixed, and setup, and MAN its better then ever!!!! It may be 'just" a Epiphone, but I can see many guitars coming, and that LP will always have a place. Don't go by the headstock.... go by the feel, and sound.
IMHO the Epiphone is about 90% as good as the comparable Gibson model at a significantly lower price. I have a Gibson ES-330 and an Epiphone Casino - basically the same guitar - and that's my take anyway.
However, if you plan on reselling it down the road, the Gibson will hold more of it's value.
You might also try Agile at Rondo Music, I've never owned one but they have a huge following of happy owners.
If it were me, I'd get either the Epi or the Agile as a first guitar. You might find you really don't like Les Pauls once in your hand and desire something else. As a sax player who picked up guitar, I went through 5 guitars before finding the one I want to play for the rest of my life.
Now I have a Parker DF and I bought a second one (I gig so I need two) and I have no more GAS. The other guitars looked great, sounded great, but I just didn't bond with them. But without playing them, I didn't know enough about them to make the final decision.
As I learned by playing the others I found I liked the longer neck scale of the Kramer-faux-strat/Parker, the longer neck radius of the Gibson/Epi/Parker/LTD, the one volume one tone knob of the LTD, the light weight of the Gibson/Epi, the contours of the LTD, and the whammy of the Kramer.
As soon as I picked up the Parker, I knew it was the one for me. But the one for me may not be the one for the next person. That's why as you grow on the guitar, you will find out what you like and what you think you need.
Hopefully you'll luck out and the LP will be perfect for you.
I remember I wanted a Gib LP when I started but as soon as I picked it up and felt how heavy it was I didn't want it so bad.
I ended up with the MIM Strat which was much lighter and I really like the feel of the guitar, not sure if I'll ever buy an MIA one since this one does the job.
I also have an EPi LP that I don't play much, nothing wrong with it just doesn't feel as good as the Strat or a Jackson I have.
I'm kind of with Notes on this an Agile or Epi isn't going to set you back so much that you'd never afford an LP so I would say go that way. Better to find out you don't like the feel of a $500 guitar instead of a $2500 one.
"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!
You can't go wrong with an Epiphone Les Paul. My black Standard Plaintop is one of my favorite guitars. That said, my very favorite at present is a low end Gibson Les Paul. It's a Junior Special. Originally $950 but I got it on sale for $550. My Epiphone was $400. Check out the Gibson LPJ as well. They are entry level Les Paul's and the SGJ is the price of an Epiphone Les Paul. I have one of those as well. A Gibson SG for under $500!
"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
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