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(@hanging-chord)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 87
Topic starter  

I always struggle to come up with a Christmas list for my family (especially the in-laws). Since I just started playing guitar a few months ago, and don't have much in the way of accessories yet (a 2w practice amp, a capo, strap lock, gig bag, tuner, music stand, and guitar stand, along with a few books, picks, and spare strings), I thought that might be a nice source for filling the list. Problem is, I don't know enough about the subject to know what's worth putting on the list, especially stuff like effects/pedals/etc. :? So I thought I'd mosey over here to get some ideas from the experts.

A bit of relevant background. Generally, I like rock music of all kinds, especially the 70s/80s AOR/melodic rock-metal area. I like guitarists ranging from Steve Howe to Richie Sambora (99 in the Shade is my fave guitar rock song of all time). I like clean tones as well as moderate distortion, but not a big fan of really fuzzy/muddy tones that bleed together. I don't see myself performing in a band or in front of many people for quite awhile yet; I play mostly for my own satisfaction right now. I composed some fairly simple music some years ago from a keyboard standpoint, and I'm finding myself becoming interested in composing from a guitar perspective (so guitar composition software is definitely on the board). I lean towards the lead (melody, solos) over the rhythm, though I'm working on both.

Probably I need to keep the items <$150. Any and all suggestions welcome (as well as what to avoid -- poorly-made or less-than-advertised items, for example).

Yeah, it's early, but you don't know my family...


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(@big-lar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 165
 

You haven't mentioned any recording gear. I'd recommend this:

Line6 TonePort UX1

It is, among other things, a really good USB interface, and comes bundled with decent recording software. This will allow you to use your computer to record yourself. This has really helped me improve (or get a sense for my improvement).

Also, the included GearBox software is fun to play with. It offers a ton of amp and effect models that you can experiment with. It's a great value for under $100.


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

Perhaps a metronome, it is very useful. Or even a small rhythm box. It is funnier than a simple tic-tic-tic...

If you don't have any pedal, it could be also a multi-fx. You can play with different effects and then try to improve your favorite... the next year


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

if you haven't any stomp boxes (effects pedals) get an overdrive. that way you will have some dirty tone for some songs.
any will be fine as a gift. cords, picks, CD's are always nice to get.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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(@hanging-chord)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 87
Topic starter  

Thanks all, somehow I knew I would get some really quick responses here.

The TonePort looks very interesting. I had never heard of such a thing before, but it will definitely make the list.

I looked at a couple of cheap effects boxes (or processors -- not sure if there's a distinction). There's a Behringer Virtualizer Pro model http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-DSP20024P-Virtualizer-Pro?sku=182473 , and an Alesis Nanoverb Processor http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alesis-NanoVerb-18Bit-Digital-Effects-Processor?sku=182508 that are within the price range. Would either of these be useful stand-alone items with just an amp, or do you need more "stuff" to make them work properly?

There are lots of brands of inexpensive pedals out there...Boss, Ibanez, Danelectro, Digitech, Line 6, etc. Anyone have good (or bad) experiences with any of these?


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

That's part of the 'tone quest'! Some of us prefer one brand over other or we will never buy some brands (each one has his/her own preferences). It depends on the tone you are looking for and the amount of money you want spend. All are good brands and there are many more.

I have a cheap Zoom multi-effects with lots of different digital effects and modelers and a Mac with a couple of software programs for 'normal' effects and testing. I also have a couple of good and expensive standalone pedals that I always use. One of them it is an overdrive (Dogbite already recommend an overdrive as the first pedal) and the other is a chorus (simply I like that effect).


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(@davidhodge)
Member Moderator
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

This is incredibly self-serving, but I'd like to suggest that if you are indeed planning on buying something musical, such as equipment, and you were already planning on buying online through Musicians' Friend, then take a moment and also give to Guitar Noise as a Christmas gift by purchasing through our affiliate program. Likewise if you were planning on using Amazon or Sheetmusicplus.com (an excellent source of books and DVDs, by the way). There's a link at the top of each forum page, just like this one:

https://www.guitarnoise.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=41321

It's a great way to shop for your friends and also to say "thank you" to Paul.

Okay, commercial over. Back to your regularly scheduled thread.

Peace


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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

for a good starter pedal get a Boss overdrive. keep it simple.
those multi effect boards have tons of sounds on them that are basically distracting and easy to get lost woith.
keep it simple. listen to the effect then add more as you understand.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1225
 

There's a Mel Bay spiral-bound book called "Chord Cycles". No instruction in it...just page after page of cycles.

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@hanging-chord)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 87
Topic starter  

Hmm, that reminds me...I need a new mountain bike for Christmas, too. :D

I do shop at both Amazon and Musician's Friend; thanks for pointing out the link. How does that work, exactly? Some cookie get set somewhere that tells them you came from GN?

A straight Overdrive pedal sounds like a good starting point, since it won't muddy up the chords so much. I think I may also get a cheap book on guitar pedals and effects so I have a better understanding of what I'm dealing with.


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

I would look at getting a little better amp. Here's a Behringer under $150 that has some nice features.

Behringer V-Tone GMX-110

Nice thing about this amp is it has quite a few models of classic Rock tones, effects and a tuner. It gets very good review ratings as well.

If you are really into classic Rock tones, Crate has a fantastic deal going on their 18 watt amp.

Crate V18-112

This price for an all tube amp is outstanding. Plus, it has a 12" speaker, so it's the real deal. In a few years you could use it to gig. It won't have the modeling or effects of the other amp I showed, but you can get real tube amp tone.

Heck, I'm tempted to buy one of these Crates just because of the price myself. :D

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@davidhodge)
Member Moderator
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

I do shop at both Amazon and Musician's Friend; thanks for pointing out the link. How does that work, exactly? Some cookie get set somewhere that tells them you came from GN?

I believe that's how it works. Paul's the computer guy, so he'll know for certain, but basically these sites gave us specific links and that's why you want to use the links that Paul has posted. They will let Amazon, Musician's Friend, etc., know that you came from here.

Thanks for doing so. Every little bit does matter.

Peace


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(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

Just make it a rule to yourself to use the links Paul provided us each time you go to putchase something as the starting point. Some sites keep that link in your cookie for a number of days that identifies the affilite getting the credit. Some don't, cookies get destroyed, etc. Just use the best practice and you'll not have question.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@rahul)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2764
 

Best of luck for the christmas shopping and tonequest !


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(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1283
 

on the question of christmas presents where can i buy myself a new set of guitar fingers - mine dont seem to work properly

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


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