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First Electric Guitar Help

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New Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

New to the forum hello all,

So a little background, i have a Ibanez Acoustic that i bought 2 years ago (not sure the model # but it cost me about $200). My first year of playing i learned a little but then stopped playing completely once school and other things became involved needless to say the first year was moot and i forgot everything.

This past summer i picked it up again, used the internet, books, help from others who played and any resource i could to start learning again. Now its only been 6 months or so but i can at least do some basics (know most of the basic chords, can bar now, know a few songs but only a few that i can play all the way through). It's become a beloved hobby these past few months and one that i definately want to continue now, i don't want to be like that first year and lose focus just because other obligations come up.

Having said that, i'm ready to explore an electric guitar and what it has to offer. My brother is a much more experienced player (has been playing for 10 yrs or so) so i kind of look up to him as far as advice goes. We went to the shop the other day and i narrowed it down to three selections:

Yamaha Pacifica 012 ($169)
Ibanez SA120 ($299)
Paul Reed Smith SE Singlecut ($591)

We tried many other models and well to be honest it was a little intimidating because 1) i didn't really know what to play in the store and well i wasn't as good as my brother and my knowledge of what makes a guitar "good" was limited. My main idea was to start with a basic electric then in the future advance to a high end acoustic or electric depending on which i liked better.

My initial impression of electrics are great though, a lot easier to play, lots of flexibility, and much easier to hold and jump around the neck. I was generally happy with the 3 models i posted above but i have to say the PRS felt by far above the rest. I don't have much technical knowledge to justify it but it felt comfortable, sounded nice, and looked great. I did my share of research on all three and they all seem to be reviewed positively, the Pacifica seems to be an obvious starter but a good one to begin on considering the price, Ibanez seems to be more for hard rock metal?, and the PRS seems to be the highest and best reviewed and versatile.

My problem now is which one to go with. I love the PRS model the best but my brother has a good point in saying that since i can't tell too much between the high and low ends right now it might be better to buy a low end and decide on a high end as i get better. On the other hand the PRS seems to be versatile enough and durable enough to last and suit any style i think i become adapted to. The price difference is quite large and a little higher than initially i was expected to look for.

Stylistically im open to playing lots of different genres, since i began on acoustic i played more mellow softer tunes (which made it a little odd to play electrics in the store with those songs). Favorite artists would be John Mayer and Jason Mraz, but i like alternative, blues, and rock. Don't really care to play much metal.

Any thoughts would be helpful

Reputable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 356

Everyone has their own brand preference, and here is mine:


You will not find a better guitar for the money. They have a lot of different styles... mine is an "SG" style (double cutaway, "pointy".

Depending on model, they are a lot less than the PRS and just as good. I don't recommend cheaping out, but at the same time, there is no need to spend $600. Somewhere between 3-400 is probably the max you will need to spend.

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480

I don't own a PRS. My single cut style is an Epi LP custom which I happened to luck out and find a very, very good one. One day a couple uyears ago, I was shopping for amps and was over at Sam Ash. They didn't sell Epi's at the time, so I grabbed this PRS thing off the wall. I don't remember a whole lot of specifics, but I do remember being impressed.

I've got a different model Ibanez. A cheaper one. The GAX-70. It's a double cut, but not like the SG style. It's my starter guitar (long story) and has some wide frets on it, which really helped me to learn to play even basic chords. To this day, it's used right up there with the rest of them. Still one of the easiest to play with. I did have to do a couple set-ups on it, tighten the neck bolts, tuners, etc, etc. I changed the pickups too for whatever reason that I don't remember right this second. I think it might have been because they lacked a certain growl that I was looking for. At any rate, I would not sell this guitar.

I've got no experience with any real Yamahas. That peice of junk, kill me now kit I purchased at the wholesale club was one, but it was posessesed. (sp?) If this is similar to that one, and at that price it might be, I'd stay away from it with a 10 foot pole.

I'd go with the Ibanez if money is an issue. If the extra few hundred ain't gonna hurt you, go with the PRS. The flip side to your brother's argument is that you learn on a good guitar and one that very well might be your go to guitar for years and years. That particular PRS is actually quite a value from what I understand, btw.

"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

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1882

I think you would be happy with either the Ibanez or the PRS.

One thing, though... What type of trem does that Ibanez have? If it's a Floyd Rose type, I'd avoid recommending it for a beginner. They can be quite frustrating to tune and re-srting.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep

Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1224

We tried many other models and well to be honest it was a little intimidating because 1) i didn't really know what to play in the store and well i wasn't as good as my brother and my knowledge of what makes a guitar "good" was limited.

Try the SAME models in different stores...well, have your brother try 'em, Matey. You gotta shop for a guitar the way my wife shops for shoes. They most definitely vary from axe to axe. My guess is to look over the cheaper Ibanez models.

Hope this helps!


"Feel what you what you feel!"

Reputable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 334

My opinion about beginner's guitars is that you buy the best you can afford, simply that a better instrument will make learning easier and provide an incentive and joy to play. Generally, the best will also be the most expensive, but there are exceptions to that rule. The only way to find out is to try out as many different instruments as you can, and after a while you'll notice the differences, especially around weight, feel of neck and string action/height. Don't worry so much about playing in the shop, it's often enough to pick an instrument up, strum a bit, use your fingers on the fretboard etc. Can't help you with the guitar choice unfortunately, I play a Tele (and would recommend that). If the PRS feels right and you can afford it, go with it.

Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 38

have you thought about how often you would play actually plugged into an amp? And also what kind of songs you want to play? My first guitars were electrics and ive only lately begun to really try to learn to play and im pretty much never plugged in. I wish I would have gotten an acoustic now :(