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Good guitar for beginner

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Kenneth V.
(@kenneth-v)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

Hello everyone,

now that i've posted in the meeting section, i think it's best i fire away the questions i'm eager to ask!

First of all, i am a complete newbie, and i mean really completely...

I have an acoustic guitar, but it's an old guitar, from the days my father was 16.... So that's probably some 35 years ago...
So basically the first thing i want to know is:

1. Does the age of guitars matter?
2. How can i easily know if this guitar isn't fit to use anymore?

My second question is pretty much the same:

I'm interested in playing an electric guitar, but i don't know which ones are good for beginners(and aren't that expensive)...
I've searched the net a little bit and i've come across these 2 guitars:
*forgive me if the names aren't correct*

- Squier Affinity series telecaster
- and a squier standard stratocaster

I don't know much about them, would you like to give your comment on these guitars?

Thx alot!

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why we
call it the present!


   
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katmetal
(@katmetal)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 726
 

If the acoustic is in solid condition, plays well, sounds good to you, then I don't see why it wouldn't be just fine to keep on using.
- Squier Affinity series telecaster
- and a squier standard stratocaster
Both of those instruments have reviews posted by other players/purchasers at guitarcenter.com. They are considered entry level electrics. As far as a recommendation for you, that is pretty much an open ended question. There are so many variables; Budget, how long you intend to keep this particular instrument, style of music being played, type of sound you are looking for, just to name a few.

It looks like both of the instruments mentioned get good reviews. Fenders will have a bit of a "twangy" sound, if that is what you are after, that's fine.

Maybe a trip to your local music store would be helpful, especially if you can luck out & get a knowledgeable sales person that isn't just looking to make a sale. Play around with a few different models & see what you like, what feels good, what sounds good to you. I see both of those guitars go for anywhere from $150 - $200, so I assume that is your budget.

Do you have an amp? Guitar Center, Musicians Friend & others sell "Starter Kits" that include all you need to get your feet wet. I know other members here have purchased them & would probably recommend them. They will most likely chime in on this thread.

Hope that gets the ball rolling for you.

Cheers,
katmetal :)


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

What Katmetal said.

Plus,

As far as the accoustic, maybe have someone knowledgeable take a peak at it. A luthier or even a guitar store employee who knows what they're talking about. There's a chance that this guitar might need a set of strings and a set-up. Is it solid wood? Might be a real keeper. Know anything about it, ie make, model, original price, etc? Might be able to google it and find info. Heck, if the string height is a mile high and not worth fixing, stick it back in the closet for a while and pull it out later on to do some slide stuff on.

Can't go wrong with either of your electric choices. Starter kits are good too, like Kat said. Plenty of people around here have squires. I got one. Nothing top of the line about it, but it's been set up properly and is quite playable and sounds decent enough.

FWIW, my starter was an Ibanez GAX-70. It has as bit wider neck than other guitars, which meant I could fret chords more easily with my fat digits. It's also a short-scale, which means less finger stretching across frets. BUT, that was good for me. Some people are blessed with human fingers instead of Vienna Sausage shape ones. Jerks. (You know who you are....)

And then there's amps. Too many strategies and disagreements. What's your budget? That often narrows things down as far as amp types.

Welcome to GN!

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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JoeHempel
(@joehempel)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2415
 

Do you have an amp? Guitar Center, Musicians Friend & others sell "Starter Kits" that include all you need to get your feet wet. I know other members here have purchased them & would probably recommend them. They will most likely chime in on this thread.

CHIME!

If you are looking to get all that in one pack, I recommend the Epiphone Acoustic/Electric Starter Pack, it's right around $200, and you get a gig bag, picks, strings, a really nice (in my opinion) starter acoustic amp, and of course the PRE-4 Acoustic Electric guitar. I would however, ask the sales guy to let you try out a couple of them that are in those packs, they are a mixed bag sometimes in the quality. And if the sales guy is as good as mine was, he'll have you try out some stand alone guitars that cost the same so you can compare, and in my instance the guitar sounded much better than others of the same cost.

Good luck in your playing, and welcome to the forums, I'm sure we all are looking forward to seeing you progress!

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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Kenneth V.
(@kenneth-v)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

Thx alot for the advice everyone!

To answer on some questions that popped up on your answers:

First of all, my budget is actually way higher than 200 dollars, simply by the fact that i live in Europe, and unfortunately, it's way more expensive to get myself going over here :(
Just to give you an example:

The guitars of 200 dollars in the USA cost around 500 euros in Belgium... :(

As for my playing style, in long term (and i mean very long term) i'm focussing on playing songs of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns and Roses and Rolling Stones ( in fact, the rolling stones are way before i was born, but i think they sound awesome :) )

Actually, i have a few new questions:

- Do you think they sell starter kits over here in Belgium? Cause i've been adviced to go to a megastore (for music). It's alot cheaper over there, but i think they sell 100 of guitars separate, so i'll have to choose everything by hand...

- Everyone said i should try a few models to know which one sounds best...
but how do you know, or is it just more like "the right feeling" with a particular guitar?

- Like i said, i never played the guitar. However, I think i'm left handed for guitars,
so could it be possible that i'll play as good right handed if i start playing the guitar right handed?

Thx alot!

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why we
call it the present!


   
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JoeHempel
(@joehempel)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2415
 

Like i said, i never played the guitar. However, I think i'm left handed for guitars,
so could it be possible that i'll play as good right handed if i start playing the guitar right handed?

If you've never picked up a guitar before perhaps you can go that way, I would just see what's more comfortable when you try some out.
Do you think they sell starter kits over here in Belgium?
That I'm not sure, I wouldn't see why not.

Fender Squire makes a decent starter kit, so does Ibanez if you want to go the electric guitar route.
Everyone said i should try a few models to know which one sounds best...
but how do you know, or is it just more like "the right feeling" with a particular guitar?
For me it's the right feeling, how I am able to move my hands up and down the neck, is it comfortable to hold, tone, volume. When you start to play the guitar a bit then you can find something that fits what you are looking for, like tone, volume etc.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


   
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katmetal
(@katmetal)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 726
 

- Everyone said i should try a few models to know which one sounds best...
but how do you know, or is it just more like "the right feeling" with a particular guitar?

- Like i said, i never played the guitar. However, I think I'm left handed for guitars,
so could it be possible that i'll play as good right handed if i start playing the guitar right handed?

Ok, some more pieces of the puzzle fall into place. :mrgreen:

I believe I would suggest going to a local music teacher or knowledgeable music store where they could help you assess what you would really need. My dad, while left handed could play right handed but not left handed; my mom, who is left handed plays left only. I am right handed & play right handed. Before I would make an order & spend a lot of dough, I would want to sort that part out for sure.
First of all, my budget is actually way higher than 200 dollars, simply by the fact that i live in Europe, and unfortunately, it's way more expensive to get myself going over here I don't know anything about that part of it; I guess MF, GC, & other online retailers ship out of the states...& then there's ebay.

Being an absolute "beginner", it sounds like you need a bit of "hand holding", & there's nothing wrong with that, we all started out the same way. You are asking questions, & that is good. Best to be sure of what you want/need before rushing into something to find out later that it isn't right for you.

The bands that you listed all lean towards the purchase of a solid body guitar, so we got that one figured out. A Floyd trem system would sure be nice, but you can look at that for your next guitar, that would be too much hassle/maintenance for a beginning musician.

What music "chain" stores do you have in your area? Are there big names like Guitar Center?


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

- Everyone said i should try a few models to know which one sounds best...
but how do you know, or is it just more like "the right feeling" with a particular guitar?

Exactly. How do you know? Heck, how do you even know what feels good when you've never played a single note on a guitar? I always cringe when I hear people say that. It was said to me five years ago.

BUT, the key here is the word "Everyone". That implies that you know people that play? I don't know about over there, but over here, if you offered a friend a nice free lunch in exchange for him to help pick out gear, you'd have many volunteers. People love free lunches and they REALLY love to show off their expertise.

Do you have a website for this mega-store? I can see if they have starter packages. Given the music you want to play, I would go solid body electric as opposed to accoustic. Nothing wrong with Joe's suggestion when he made it, but given you music choice after he made that suggestion, I think you'll want to have electric. Besides, you might already have an accoustic. Bring it with you when shopping and have them have a look.

As far as starter kits vs piecing it together, a starter kit will get you up and running the quickest. However, piecing together a set of gear by hand provides a lot more options. Most starter kits provide you with the bare minimum quality with few bells and whistles. I'll talk US dollars because that's all I know, so bear with me. You can get a starter kit over here for say $230. I just picked the first one that appeared on a popular US site. http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Squier-Stop-Dreaming-SE-Special-Pack-With-Squier-SP10-Amp?sku=513287 All bare minimum stuff, but also all inclusive. You can step up and get better squire, an amp you won't outgrow in 6 months that will end up being a good practice amp, better cable and all the accessories individually for $400. To me, there's just so much difference between a 10 and 15 w amp. Speaker size, maybe? I dunno.

Another alternative, albeit risky, is going used. Have someone with you to examine the gear, but you can see ads everyday people over here selling their starter gear because they never picked it up after the 2nd lesson. You get more bang for the buck sometimes. Well, maybe same bang, but less buck, Whatever. :)

I see Katmetal posted before I got to. Some redundancy with mine, but that's how it goes, eh? :lol:

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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Kenneth V.
(@kenneth-v)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

I've searched a little bit and the nearest fairly large guitar shop is:

http://www.jnr.be/

There are also 2 large centres in Germany, unfortunetaly, it's all deutsch and i'm not good in deutsch...

http://www.beyers-music.de/beyers/seoc/index.php

and

http://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/

I'll probably go to the first one, since it's easier for me to ask questions, etc. ...

Kind regards,

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why we
call it the present!


   
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greybeard
(@greybeard)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

The 2 big European online suppliers are Thomann ( http://www.thomann.de/ and Music Store ( http://www.musicstore.com/en_EN/EUR ). Both have good prices and a 30 money back guarantee. I've used both and was satisfied with their prices, products and service.

Both offer sets/kits and have a selection of left-handed guitars (although maybe not as sets).

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


   
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rparker
(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

Well, there ya go. Greybeard's territory. He'll steer you straight.

I find that JnR store quite interesting if they are indeed convienient to you. They do repairs and such. Might not be a bad idea to establish yourself there as a customer. Never a bad thing to be recognized as a repeat customer when you walk through the door. They didn't list their gear though, so not sure about starter kits. I'm sure they can piece on together for you though and that it very well could be better quality geer.

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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Kenneth V.
(@kenneth-v)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 24
Topic starter  

Thx for the advice everyone!

I've followed Greybeard's advice and i've taken a look at music store...
Now what one would fit me best on the long run considering i'd like to play sort of music like Red hot chili peppers, rolling stones, guns and roses, ...
I've made a selection of some guitars to start with, here are the links:
Actually i think for some of them, only the colour is different, but there are some minor changes on some i think...

http://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/Fender-Squier-Standard-Fat-Strat-HSS-RW-Black-Metallic/art-GIT0000006-001

http://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/Fender-Squier-Standard-Strat-MN-Black-Metallic/art-GIT0000005-001

http://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/Fender-Squier-Standard-Strat-RW-Black-Metallic/art-GIT0000004-001

And should i be left handed, can you get them as easily left handed?

And if someone should see some suggestions on the site, you can post them also, my budget for guitar is around 300 euros!

Thx alot!

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why we
call it the present!


   
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fibaz
(@fibaz)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 38
 

"As for my playing style, in long term (and i mean very long term) i'm focussing on playing songs of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns and Roses and Rolling Stones ( in fact, the rolling stones are way before i was born, but i think they sound awesome :) )"

RCHP mostly used the 3 single coil variety strats, GNR used mostly Gibson Les Pauls and such, And the Stones used Teles mostly from what I understand. But you could play these on any guitar. If anything you can give it your own color. From the three links you shown, they all look good. Ultimately it's what you want. There are no rules to what types of guitars can play x type of music. For example, it has been said that Jimmy Page of Led Zep recorded most of their albums(electric parts) with a barebones Standard Telecaster while he performed them live with Gibsons.

"- Like i said, i never played the guitar. However, I think i'm left handed for guitars,
so could it be possible that i'll play as good right handed if i start playing the guitar right handed?"

My first go around at learning guitar I was learning left-handed. After putting it down a while I figured my fretting hand should be the one that I had broken less bones in, so I switch to being right handed. It worked out a bit for me, wasn't too different. Playing guitar is an unnatural skill. So find something you wouldn't mind looking at and practicing on for years.

Good luck and let us know which one you pick out. :)


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

So, I checked out a few prices (I'm in England, by the way!) in my local shop's website to see how they compare.... and my honest opinion is, you're paying over the odds in mainland Europe.

There really isn't that much difference between the Affinity series and the Standard series, when you look at Squier Strats... but take a look at this link.

http://www.dawsons.co.uk/acatalog/info_00060001.html

For a lot less than you'd pay for the Squier Strats, you could get a Squier SE Special Strat & amp & extras. Now I don't have any experience with the SE specials, so I'm not going to recommend that particular model.

In this next link, I DO have experience....

http://www.dawsons.co.uk/acatalog/squier_strat_pack_black.html

....because it's the same starter pack I bought around five years ago. The guitar was well set up out of the box, nice low action, very playable, plenty of tonal variety between pickups. The amp's small, but powerful and the overdrive's pretty decent. For the price, you couldn't go wrong with that or something similar, in my opinion. It'll get you started, and it's a good enough guitar to keep hold of should you feel the need to upgrade to something better.

And yes, I've moved on since - I upgraded to a Squier Telecaster, which I've still got, then a Fender MIM Tele. The Fender's my #1 guitar, the Squier's usually kept in open G for slide.

Now then - if you look to the right of the Dawson's Logo on either of those two links, you'll see a link to "EU shipping info" - you might like to follow that, and see if it's worthwhile having then shipped from England....I'd say it was, if you can get a guitar AND amp for the price you're willing to pay for just a guitar!

All the best with your search, Kenneth!

(Sheesh - another Ken - aren't there enough Ken's here already? There's KenRogers2, and there's at least another couple - Smokindog and CitiZenNoir - whose real names are Ken. We're going to be snowed under with Kens at this rate!)

Just joking - oh and welcome to Guitarnoise, Ken!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

I just realised - I still have some pics of that guitar and amp set. In this one, you can see the Squier Strat I got as part of the starter set....

and in this one, the Fender Frontman 15G amp is the one on the left.....

The picture on the website only shows the box everything comes in! And yes, I took the tremolo arm off - I don't like them. It also came with a cheap, but usable, strap and a fairly cheap cable which I got rid of soon as possible, and a plec - I think.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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