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Need Advice for First Guitar Purchase

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New Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Hello All;

I've been reading through these forums for about a week or so, and finally decided that this seems like a great guitar community and a good place to seek advice. I must say that this is a great site.

I've been a fan of music for my whole life, so much so that I now would like to learn to play guitar. I'm really looking for some suggestions or advice to help start me off in the right direction as far as what I need in a guitar so I can begin playing. I am a huge fan of rock music, mostly punk rock and some heavy rock. Some of my favorite bands are:
The Offspring

  • CKY
    In Flames
    Death by Stereo
  • This is generally the type of rock music that I'm interested in learning. With that said, I would like to find a guitar that is geared to play this type of music at a beginner's level. It doesn't have to be the cheapest guitar, as I would prefer a good quality guitar that I can continue to play on for several years.

    The brands that I have looked at are Ibanez, Gibson, Fender, and Dean. I really liked the Dean Vendetta XM, which was fairly cheap and seemed like a beginner guitar.

    What I'm wondering is what you feel is a good guitar to start out on, or even a good starter kit that includes an amp, and other accessories. Thanks for your help.

    Estimable Member
    Joined: 15 years ago
    Posts: 76

    Justin ( ) recommends some stuff here

    I've got my eye on the Epiphone Limited Edition SG Special!!

    Famed Member
    Joined: 16 years ago
    Posts: 3995

    Yes, it is a great site. You can learn a lot in the forums but check also the main site. There are many good lessons there. I remember several lessons and articles on gear for beginners or how to choose your first guitar.

    My two cents.

    The general recommendation is "go to the store and try as many guitars as you can." If you don't play, perhaps it is not the best advice, nevertheless, I'd go to the store. You can talk with the salesman and also pick the guitars and see if they are comfortable for you: the size, the weight, the shape of the neck, etc.

    You can play any style of music with any guitar but perhaps heavy rock requires humbuckers (probably you will need several months in order to distinguish the humbuckers and single-coils tones, I needed almost two years).

    Fender also uses humbuckers but the classic Strat or Tele are more appropriate for another styles. Gibson could be a good candidate but the guitars could be quite expensive. Ibanez are a great brand and they have very good entry level instruments and they are not expensive. One of my favorite bass guitars is an Ibanez and I also like very much the archtops for jazz. Sorry, no experience with Dean.

    On amp. Perhaps you could wait some weeks before to buy the amp. I'd buy a small, solid state amp with several builtin effects and even amp models. Perhaps you could investigate on the gear of your favorite bands, it could help you on the brands.

    You will need picks, a cable, perhaps a strap, a case or bag, instruction books... and I'd buy an electronic tuner and, perhaps, a metronome (there are some models with the two devices, I have a Korg).

    On books. Consider the book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing Rock Guitar" by David Hodge. It is for rock guitar and if you want to start with that genre could be a good help. It requires no previous experience. There was a link to Amazon in the main site... but I don't find it.

    And welcome to GN! :D

    Honorable Member
    Joined: 16 years ago
    Posts: 342

    The only thing I can add is if you have a friend who plays guitar ask them to come with you. It's hard to know what to look for and some sales personnel will take advantage of that.

    "In what, twisted universe does mastering Eddie Van Halen's two handed arpeggio technique count as ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?!" - Dr Gregory House

    Prominent Member
    Joined: 15 years ago
    Posts: 652

    And, following up Grungesunset's remarks-

    Some salespeople just stink. If you feel pressured, or devalued for not knowing how to play, or embarassed about not playing much but still wanting to try out a guitar, LEAVE.

    A good salesperson should be ready to help you, and should want you to make a good decision, so you'll keep coming back. And they should be used to newbies. Last guitar I bought, I went to the shop twice, played different guitars for more than an hour each time before I bought. If you don't feel comfortable with the shop, take your money elsewhere.



    Illustrious Member
    Joined: 19 years ago
    Posts: 5480

    Maybe I missed it. What's you budget? What's your practice space like?

    Apologies for length and typos. A med is making things really blurry this morning.

    I see you like the heavy stuff. No problemo. I'd start with th amp. a bit backwards, but this is what is getting you that noise. I own a Paul Allender sig guitar and a ESP LTD Metal guitar and they don't make noises with out the amps on their proper setting(s). Several modelling amps do the trick. I have owned a rolland Cube 30X and can verify that the windows shok on a setting with lots of thunk in it, and the guitar tuned poperly. (which is easy...stay with me here). I know a Line 6 will o thoe tones, too. I also hear that Vox, and the Peavey Vyper will get you there. If a 30w combo has a headphone jack, there you go. Perfect size for small gigs, a ltile loud for the bedroom, but solid states sound good with volume knobs tuned down. Poblem solved. Oh, and a 30 will likely come equipped with at minimum, a 10 inch speaker. Most likely a 12. either way, both push a lt of air.

    Guitar wise is easy and tough. first thing's first. Flexibility. The EMG syle pickups are cool lookinhg and all, buty I don't know how flexible it it. he epiphone Prophecy LP GX can do heavy and darkk, but that's a lot of guitar for a starter. I'd lean towards am Ibanez or the ESP/LTD line up. I'd get the H-S-H configuration. Others would suggest H-S-S or even H-H config But in all reality, moat guitars will do what you want. Kep in mind, though, that this guitar will be yur back up gigging guitar in a few years. showmanshiop is showmanship.

    My next point is one of the smallest cost things to do while simultaniously being the mods important. Get whatever you get professionally "set-up". This is a process where a lutheir pro type guy mamkes sure everrything in in specs. Making a long story short, they make it easier for you to fret your strings and play your guitar. I've got a nice $550 dollar epipone that I bought from a guy for 1/2 price (and he threw in abut $50s worth of candy) who mail ordered, never got it set up and quit because it as too hard. A pro can also tell you if you've got bad neck or frets, allowing you to work out getting the repair fixed with the seller or if you have to, returned. Npbody likes bad product.

    Next choice: Tremelo bar system. (Floyd Rose style bridge) I'm not scared of them. If you have a friend who isn't, I'd go for it if it has any interest to you what-so-ever. Remember,though, string changes are bit of a challenge. Tons of YouTube videos out ther that how you how. Pretty soon you be changing strings blind-folded.

    All that is quite a bit to chew on. David Hodge's book on playing electric Rock Guitar is awesome. Get it. This one has a Line 6 amp in it. A biy small, but what the heck. Most of these packs being sold come with only the most basic amp. In truth tha's that eyou need to start, but once you get to the point David's book where he covers power chords and chuncky rock tones, that little 6 inch speaker on the tiny amp....bah. You're likely yo not be pleased.

    Oh, one other thought if you want to wait on an amp and have limited space and harsh noise restrictions. Multi Effecs Pedals with headphones. Something like: or what I have

    "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

    New Member
    Joined: 12 years ago
    Posts: 2
    Topic starter  

    Thank you for all the replies and suggestions. I really appreciate them all. I already ordered the book by David Hodges as many of you have suggested. I still haven't picked out a guitar, mostly because my wife is insisting that I don't buy anything for myself until after Christmas :lol: .

    I'm sure I'll be posting around the beginners threads and spending a lot of time here when I have questions, so I'm really happy to see all the helpful people in the community. I'll post back what I end up getting as soon as I get it.

    Again, thanks for all the helpful responses.