PDA

View Full Version : Beginner elec guitar advice


NSXBill
10-01-2007, 02:00 PM
1. I am a cheap bastard
2. My kids play too many instruments
3. My 8 yr old left-handed boy needs an electric guitar
4. He has never played guitar
5. We want to start him on a right-handed guitar
6. If I'm buying a guitar, I want a Gibson LP, SG or Fender Strat
7. I am a cheap bastard
8. If I'm buying an amp/cabinet, I want a Marshall
9. Mexican Strats are $200 used to $400 new. SG's more. Cheap LPs more
10. 30w Marshalls are less than $250
11. Did I mention the cheap bastard part?

Are we wrong forcing the RH guitar? Music teacher said its better if he's never played yet.

Are cheap Fenders and Gibsons much worse than other brands? Same for Marshall.

Music teacher said electric better than acoustic to start. This seems strange to me..

All advice appreciated, I know I've come to the right place.

Thanks, Bill

east tx skier
10-01-2007, 02:29 PM
I had a couple of Japanese telecasters and squires before ultimately trading up to the real thing. The bodies and necks are pretty similar, but for whatever reason, the electronics never seemed to hold up as well.

I'd say electric is easier because the action is lower. So probably.

As for amps, if you can pick up a thirty to forty year old tube amp, they are the best value and can usually be resold if need be. Silver faced Fender amps are underrated, widely available, and sound great although all things equal or close, the stuff from the mid 60s is king.

I horse traded guitar gear for years and realized one thing somewhere in the middle of it all. You will lose money buying the cheap stuff. You may not lose money buying nice vintage stuff.

rektek
10-01-2007, 02:41 PM
seem to work for him pretty well except for the heroin usage part, lefty guitar players are rare, don't take it away from him.
for a kids guitar I'd buy a used RH mexican strat and string it upside down, this can be done with a nut change. or find a lefty strat on ebay etc.

notable lefty guitar players:

* Kurt Cobain
* Elizabeth Cotten
* Jimi Hendrix
* Dick Dale
* Danny Gatton
* Albert King
* Mark Knopfler
* Paul McCartney
* Otis Rush
* Bobby Womack

Maristar210
10-01-2007, 02:45 PM
Hendrix was left handed and miles away from anyone.

Having said that Bill, seriously, you sound like a cheap bastard :D

east tx skier
10-01-2007, 03:11 PM
seem to work for him pretty well except for the heroin usage part, lefty guitar players are rare, don't take it away from him.
for a kids guitar I'd buy a used RH mexican strat and string it upside down, this can be done with a nut change. or find a lefty strat on ebay etc.

notable lefty guitar players:

* Kurt Cobain
* Elizabeth Cotten
* Jimi Hendrix
* Dick Dale
* Danny Gatton
* Albert King
* Mark Knopfler
* Paul McCartney
* Otis Rush
* Bobby Womack

Dick Dale leaves it strung upside-down, too. I've seen him twice and he doesn't disappoint.

Upper Michigan Prostar190
10-01-2007, 03:56 PM
1. I am a cheap bastard
2. My kids play too many instruments
3. My 8 yr old left-handed boy needs an electric guitar
4. He has never played guitar
5. We want to start him on a right-handed guitar
6. If I'm buying a guitar, I want a Gibson LP, SG or Fender Strat
7. I am a cheap bastard
8. If I'm buying an amp/cabinet, I want a Marshall
9. Mexican Strats are $200 used to $400 new. SG's more. Cheap LPs more
10. 30w Marshalls are less than $250
11. Did I mention the cheap bastard part?

Are we wrong forcing the RH guitar? Music teacher said its better if he's never played yet.

Are cheap Fenders and Gibsons much worse than other brands? Same for Marshall.

Music teacher said electric better than acoustic to start. This seems strange to me..

All advice appreciated, I know I've come to the right place.

Thanks, Bill

1.You cheap bastage!

2.Try every mean spossible to encourage him to learn to paly guitar right handed. it will make his life much easier. I know left handed guys that play guitar right handed. he dont know the difference, so teach him righty!!!!

3. Stay away from expensive instruments for beginners, that way if they dont stick with it, your not out the big $$$$. if you really want to get the most bang for your buck, stay away from the Fender imports. They are junk. Stay away from Gibson USA, the prices are totally outrageous and the quality is very poor for the price they charge. Consider the Ephiphone line, which is gibson's import line. Also consider Jackson's import line. Great guitars and good value. both are really good value for the dollar. You can land a new one for $500 and really decent qaulity. look for a used one, maybe someone that stepped up to a USA model traded it in.

4. stay away from acoustics. two reasons, 1. the are difficult to play, thicker strings, wider necks, pain in the arse..... 2. it will be more inspiring to play an electric. I started on acoustic, and then upgraded. my learning curve improve amazingly when I got the electric. I wanted to play it more.

5. Marshall's valvestate line or AVT line are supposed to be VERY good replications of tube marshalls. I have never played one, so I cant tell you personal opinion, only what I have read. But I have read many good things about them. Tube amps are way more money. probably a good idea to stay away from tube amps for beginners just for the dollar reasons. also consider a personal amp system, that he can use headphones with. great ideas!!! especially for beginners! look into ZOOM, Digitech, Line6, there are a ton of those type of units out there now.

6. you cheap bastage!

7. Good luck and let us know how it goes!:) :wavey:

ProTour X9
10-01-2007, 04:24 PM
I'm trying to think of the Gibson/Epiphone I saw that was only a left-hander.........

tex
10-01-2007, 04:28 PM
1.You cheap bastage!

2.Try every mean spossible to encourage him to learn to paly guitar right handed. it will make his life much easier. I know left handed guys that play guitar right handed. he dont know the difference, so teach him righty!!!!

3. Stay away from expensive instruments for beginners, that way if they dont stick with it, your not out the big $$$$. if you really want to get the most bang for your buck, stay away from the Fender imports. They are junk. Stay away from Gibson USA, the prices are totally outrageous and the quality is very poor for the price they charge. Consider the Ephiphone line, which is gibson's import line. Also consider Jackson's import line. Great guitars and good value. both are really good value for the dollar. You can land a new one for $500 and really decent qaulity. look for a used one, maybe someone that stepped up to a USA model traded it in.

4. stay away from acoustics. two reasons, 1. the are difficult to play, thicker strings, wider necks, pain in the arse..... 2. it will be more inspiring to play an electric. I started on acoustic, and then upgraded. my learning curve improve amazingly when I got the electric. I wanted to play it more.

5. Marshall's valvestate line or AVT line are supposed to be VERY good replications of tube marshalls. I have never played one, so I cant tell you personal opinion, only what I have read. But I have read many good things about them. Tube amps are way more money. probably a good idea to stay away from tube amps for beginners just for the dollar reasons. also consider a personal amp system, that he can use headphones with. great ideas!!! especially for beginners! look into ZOOM, Digitech, Line6, there are a ton of those type of units out there now.

6. you cheap bastage!

7. Good luck and let us know how it goes!:) :wavey:
Ump,

Does he need to go with real leather pants or buy the fake mexican stuff?

Upper Michigan Prostar190
10-01-2007, 04:31 PM
seem to work for him pretty well except for the heroin usage part, lefty guitar players are rare, don't take it away from him.
for a kids guitar I'd buy a used RH mexican strat and string it upside down, this can be done with a nut change. or find a lefty strat on ebay etc.

notable lefty guitar players:

* Kurt Cobain
* Elizabeth Cotten
* Jimi Hendrix
* Dick Dale
* Danny Gatton
* Albert King
* Mark Knopfler
* Paul McCartney
* Otis Rush
* Bobby Womack

since when did Mark Knopfler play guitar left handed??? :confused:

Upper Michigan Prostar190
10-01-2007, 04:33 PM
Ump,

Does he need to go with real leather pants or buy the fake mexican stuff?
I highly recommend the real leather ones. Rock groupies know the difference. you wont get any tail with the fake stuff. its just how it goes.....

M-Funf
10-01-2007, 04:37 PM
Dick Dale leaves it strung upside-down, too. I've seen him twice and he doesn't disappoint.

Tru Dat :cool:

http://www.wreckingpit.com/pictures/N171-31A.jpg

X2M
10-01-2007, 04:40 PM
Speaking only as a left-hander myself and the mom of a 10 year old left-hander....

If it were my child I would not force her to play either left or right handed. I would let her choose which side is more comfortable. Some lefties are dominant lefties, while others can use both hands pretty well. Forcing a child to use the other hand will just cause alot of frustration. And take away the joy the child found playing in the first place. :twocents:

puck_11
10-01-2007, 04:49 PM
I bought a mexican strat when I was 16, its all I could afford. I still think its the best $350 i have spent on any toy. I still use it and it still sounds good. Pick up a cheap used one on ebay. Those epiphone les pauls are nice too. But then again I'm not a guitar snob, and neither is your son.

ski_king
10-01-2007, 04:57 PM
Speaking only as a left-hander myself and the mom of a 10 year old left-hander....

If it were my child I would not force her to play either left or right handed. I would let her choose which side is more comfortable. Some lefties are dominant lefties, while others can use both hands pretty well. Forcing a child to use the other hand will just cause alot of frustration. And take away the joy the child found playing in the first place. :twocents:
I would get him a right hand guitar. If he has a problem, restring it or trade it in on a lefty. Let him decide he needs a left hand guitar.

Lennyp04
10-01-2007, 05:18 PM
Ok so here is my story. In 2nd grade i got off the bus and my mom told me that she just signed me up for piano lessons. At the time I really didnt want to do them but didnt have a choice. Then summer going into 4th grade I started clarinet to get me ready for the alto sax which i started playing in 4th grade. I got myself an electric guitar off samash music and truthfully can say that I havent played it as much as i could be. I write this to you as about a half hour i just finished a piano lesson. Music is one of the greatest things that you can do for a kid.

I still play all those insturments except clarinet, i like the sax better. Im in the marching band, concert band and jazz band at my shcool. I can tell you from my own experience if your high school is anything like mine with 800 kids graduating from my class in 09 and about 3000-4000 in the whole building band is a really great way to meet people.


So to answer your question. I got my guitar off samashmusic.com or samash.com, not sure which one it is but its a really simple low key beginner one and it came with an amp. I suggest you check out there web site because mine was only $130 for the amp and guitar!

Good luck and have fun!

Muttley
10-01-2007, 05:35 PM
IMHO, you should stay away from the Fender Mexistuff. Better off with anything Japanese. The Yamaha Pacifica is a really good bang for the buck. The Japanese Squires are excellent, but still pricy for a beginner.

The Gibson Epiphones are pretty good. You might consider an Epiphone SG.

Oh, and Cheap Bastidge + Marshall Amp does not compute. Since he's a beginner, you may want to consider a Peavy 112 Bandit. If he sticks with it, he can move up.

JimN
10-01-2007, 05:46 PM
rektek- Danny Gatton wasn't a lefty and neither is Mark Knopfler.

Gill
10-01-2007, 05:58 PM
As far as amps go I would recommend a practice amp that you can use headphones with. Something like the Peavey Bandit is way overkill for a young beginner. I would recommend something like the Roland MicroCube it will save you money and your ears plus it has built in effects.
For guitars I would also recommend the Squire Strat. I know many people who have started with one, myself included, and in my opinion you get pretty good bang for your buck.
Good luck with your search. I am very thankful that my parents got me into playing guitar.

Upper Michigan Prostar190
10-01-2007, 06:14 PM
rektek- Danny Gatton wasn't a lefty and neither is Mark Knopfler.
TRU DAT! :)

JimN
10-01-2007, 06:15 PM
"4. stay away from acoustics. two reasons, 1. the are difficult to play, thicker strings, wider necks, pain in the arse..... 2. it will be more inspiring to play an electric. I started on acoustic, and then upgraded. my learning curve improve amazingly when I got the electric. I wanted to play it more."

If the music he likes is acoustic (Dave Matthews, etc), he's not going to want to play electric. Chances are, it's not but forcing him to play electric when he wants to play acoustic won't make him want to stick with it. Ac acoustic can be strung with light gauge but the action will need to be set up specifically for those. Going to heavier gauge strings won't work easily.

Learning to play on a badly set up instrument with ropes for strings is not a great way to start but many, many thousands of people started that way, including me. I still have a slight limp but it's getting better.

Before buying anything, find out what he wants to play, not just what he listens to. There can be a difference. Also, start by renting, take a few lessons and if right or left handed isn't right, it'll become apparent quickly and nothing will be lost by having the wrong instrument. Re-stringing a RH Les Paul so a lefty can play it will hardly be the best thing to do. A Strat, Tele or some version of that will also be a lot lighter than a Les Paul. That will make a difference.

As Doug said, used amps are a good way to go. If an amp has a buttload of gadgets on it, expect it to break about fifteen minutes after the warranty expires. Get a simple amp and if it doesn't have reverb or distortion, a couple of stomp boxes can get a decent sound. Boss are a safe bet. DOD/DigiTech are decent and if you go to a bunch of guitar shops, you'll always find used effects. ebay has a ton of them, too. The effects should be secondary to actually learning to play, however. Solid state amps are harsh, nasty things. Tube amps have a more mellow sound, tubes are cheap and easy to find.

Finding a good teacher will take a little searching- not all music stores have good ones, regardless of what they tell you. The fact that someone is playing regularly in a band does not mean they'll be a good teacher. Another thing that nobody really likes is practicing. Don't force him to do that- if he hates practicing, being forced to practice before he is allowed to play what he wants will make him hate playing, at all. There are a lot of good guitar books out there. Mel Bay used to be the big one but Hal Leonard is the biggest in the world now. A lot of their books come with a CD or DVD, which lets the student hear and see how it's supposed to be done. If he likes Blues and Blues/Rock, the Hal Leonard books will definitely be a good start. Their basic guitar books are excellent and have recently been updated/re-written. There's always some lame stuff but there's a reason for including it, not just to annoy the student. Trust me, playing "Swingin' Shepherd Blues" at 9 years old did not thrill me at all. OTOH, I heard Django Reinhardt at the same time and I really didn't want to play that, either. He likes what he likes and he'll want to play something, just what is unclear now.

If you notice that he improves really fast and can easily learn songs by ear as well as by reading the music, talk to the teacher immediately. Get a metronome or some kind of teaching aid, like Planet Waves, Line Six, etc. That will help him learn to keep time better than just tapping his foot- playing and tapping isn't really the easiest thing to do at first. Hearing it and playing is much easier and eventually, tapping and playing will be easier.

JimN
10-01-2007, 06:19 PM
As far as amps go I would recommend a practice amp that you can use headphones with. Something like the Peavey Bandit is way overkill for a young beginner. I would recommend something like the Roland MicroCube it will save you money and your ears plus it has built in effects.
For guitars I would also recommend the Squire Strat. I know many people who have started with one, myself included, and in my opinion you get pretty good bang for your buck.
Good luck with your search. I am very thankful that my parents got me into playing guitar.

********One thing I will warn about right now- wearing headphones and listening to anything that's really loud will cause permanent hearing damage. Yeah, I sound like an old parent but it's very easy to do a lot of damage in a short time and it will never come back. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. A hearing threshold shift may come back partially, but never completely. Also, young ears are damaged more easily than older, fully developed ears.

Gill
10-01-2007, 06:26 PM
By recommending an amp with headphones I am not saying that he should be using headphones all the time. I still use my practice amp only because of the headphone feature, sometimes i wanna play late at night when people are sleeping or when people are around a don't want to listen to me jam on the guitar. I agree that headphones can cause ear damage, but having the option on an amp is convenient.

JimN
10-01-2007, 06:33 PM
I should have said that I agree, which I do. Nothing like hearing a beginning music student strangling a cat.

atlfootr
10-01-2007, 06:43 PM
1. I am a cheap bastard
2. My kids play too many instruments
All advice appreciated, I know I've come to the right place.

Thanks, BillSpend less time at home and more time on LANIER :twocents:

puck_11
10-01-2007, 07:02 PM
IMHO, you should stay away from the Fender Mexistuff. Better off with anything Japanese..

I've heard that before, whats the reasoning behind that. I've got 8 years out of mine, with no problems whatsoever and I love mine.

X2M
10-01-2007, 07:07 PM
I would get him a right hand guitar. If he has a problem, restring it or trade it in on a lefty. Let him decide he needs a left hand guitar.

Are you a lefty Ski King?

ProTour X9
10-01-2007, 07:41 PM
My electric guitars are the archtop, semi acoustic ones with the "f" holes in them, the vintage look. They still have good sound w/o an amp and are even better with one. Just as easy to play.

Upper Michigan Prostar190
10-01-2007, 07:51 PM
I've heard that before, whats the reasoning behind that. I've got 8 years out of mine, with no problems whatsoever and I love mine.
From the guitars I have played the quality of the korean and Japanese stuff is very good considering its price range. I dont know why, but the quality of guitars from those places is really great considering what you pay for them vs. USA made models. The mexican built stuff has always been very shoddy. To me, the quality and fit and finish of the neck of a guitar is everything. The rest is not nearly as important. HOW does it play? how does the neck feel? is there any "humps" in the guitar neck or is it straight? how are the frets finished? any fret buzz? this is the "backbone" of the guitar, the nerve center. it just needs to be right. The mexican guitars I have played have either or several of the above conditions. poorly seated frets, and poor fret finishing is the most common. The Japanese builders just have better quality control. Now you can ask 100 people about this and get 100 different opinions, but I think it stems back from Grover Jackson. Grover bought out Wayne Charvel (of Charvel/Jackson guitars) back in the late 80's. Grover wanted to build a more affordable line of guitars to accompany the pricey USA built Jackson (built in San Dimas CA) guitars that we extremely popular in the guitars. Grover went to Japan, met with sublet shops that he contracted with to built guitar parts and taught them proper manufacturing techniques & quality control. the result was the Jackson "Professional" line of guitars, and the re-introduced "Charvel" line (which used to be USA built but the name was retired in the mid 80's because of the overwhelming popularity of the Jackson name). This was a two edge sword for Grover Jackson. the sales of the import line took off like wildfire......but the sales he was cutting into were his own, the USA line. Thats right. the qaulity on the Japanese model Jacksons were so dang good, that people bought them instead of the USA models because of the attractive price tag accompanied by outstanding quality. Grover ended up scrapping the project as it was only hurting himself. He then sold Jackson/charvel and the next company eventually brought back the import line. they also have an Indian line which is even less expensive than the Japanese models. Nut the Indian models are not the best quality. Yes, I am a guitar snob and I have USA model Jacksons, but I do own two of the late 80's Japanese Jackson/Charvel models and the quality is top notch on them. Nothing short of perfect.

Those Japanese sub shops then built guitars for other manufactures and had various contracts, but employed those same quality Mfg techniques producing high quality instruments for the price range they were sold in. Thats how alot of the quality came to be in those imports. I dont know what the deal is anymore, but Samick used to make about 70% of the worlds guitars, just marketed under many "Big" name companies. Those Big names just contracted with Samick to build thier import models. Interesting stuff.

skihard111
10-01-2007, 08:07 PM
I play bass....but I can tell you acoustic electric will be a good start because it will teach the discipline better. It will start the kid without bad habits. The most important thing to know is the kid REALLY interested? If so....it will be about 60 days of frustrating HARD work in order to start getting anything out of it. Then if he really gets it.....sky is the limit. It requires ALOT of persistance so I'd make the better US made Strat a REWARD for later....and yes a decent amp too. Get like a $200-300ish acoustic to start. Find a teacher that makes it fun but with a little intimidation to actually do the initial work.

JimN
10-01-2007, 10:07 PM
UMP- you say Jackson went to Japan in the late '80s and taught them to build guitars the right way but by the mid-'70s, Ibanez and their parent company, Hoshino, had been sued by Gibson and Fender because their copies were cutting into US sales so much. Ever played an Ibanez Artist Series guitar? Ever seen or played the Roland guitar synth with the dark mahogany double cutaway body form the '80s? Same people and they made all of the Roland synth guitars.

He may have shown them what he wanted but they already knew how to make a really good guitar. Ironically, both Gibson and fender later had Hoshino make their imported models.

Pat Metheny and George Benson have been playing Ibanez arch-top models for at least twenty years. Metheny never even asked them to make one but one day, there was a Japanese man at his door with two new guitars that hadn't been offered publicly. Bob Weir has played an Artist model since about '75 and still uses the same one. Those are sweet guitars. If you get the chance, play one.

I worked at a music store in the '70s and never heard of Samick until about 15 years ago. There was a lot of really bad, cheap Korean stuff back then, like Hondo, Memphis, etc. They have gotten better but the Japanese and now, Chinese make the better imports. Yeah, I said Chinese. Thanks, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton!

JimN
10-01-2007, 10:07 PM
ProTour- what do you have for guitars?

Upper Michigan Prostar190
10-01-2007, 10:24 PM
UMP- you say Jackson went to Japan in the late '80s and taught them to build guitars the right way but by the mid-'70s, Ibanez and their parent company, Hoshino, had been sued by Gibson and Fender because their copies were cutting into US sales so much. Ever played an Ibanez Artist Series guitar? Ever seen or played the Roland guitar synth with the dark mahogany double cutaway body form the '80s? Same people and they made all of the Roland synth guitars.

He may have shown them what he wanted but they already knew how to make a really good guitar. Ironically, both Gibson and fender later had Hoshino make their imported models.

Pat Metheny and George Benson have been playing Ibanez arch-top models for at least twenty years. Metheny never even asked them to make one but one day, there was a Japanese man at his door with two new guitars that hadn't been offered publicly. Bob Weir has played an Artist model since about '75 and still uses the same one. Those are sweet guitars. If you get the chance, play one.

I worked at a music store in the '70s and never heard of Samick until about 15 years ago. There was a lot of really bad, cheap Korean stuff back then, like Hondo, Memphis, etc. They have gotten better but the Japanese and now, Chinese make the better imports. Yeah, I said Chinese. Thanks, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton!

I am not saying that the imports in the 70's were bad, just that I think Grover really ended up kickin the quality up with his stuff and the stuff that came after by them using the same techniques those sub shops learned from him. Tokai supposedly had GREAT strat copies that landed them with a lawsuit from CBS. But Those 1989 to 1991 model Charvel guitars were amazing. I mean just crazy high quality for non USA built guitars. Grover was a pretty smart cat. You and I seem to differ on our guitar stuff, and thats cool. I admit, I am an 80's Rocker and have a hard time appreciating instruments like you mentioned. I am probaly the odd duck that you will find that dont like Les Pauls or ANY Gibson for that matter. I think they are ugly and cumbersome. Very uncomfortable to play. Fenders.....I dont know....quality is so-so and I dont like the cheesy bridges they use on strats. I have a USA strat, but its just "ok". I cant really get into that either. I keep trying to. But its only good for certain things. constantly goes out of tune if you even LOOK at the tremolo bar. I just dont play that style of music I guess is meant for those axes. Those Ibanez guitars you mentioned certainly have a great repuatation for quality. Their "Rock" style guitars I cant say the same for. I have owned 3 Ibanez guitars and sold them all. I cant get into them. Cheap arse necks. poor fret work. Cheesy body woods. NO tone. I just cant get into them. I am a product of the "superstrat" generation. Modded strats with performance in mind. Jumbo frets, Neck thru construction, dual Humbuckers, double locking Original Floyd Rose. The neck profiles on those guitars just lend themselves well to the style I play. I love Jumbo frets, bigger the better! Jackson's neck profile with the conical shape is awesome IMO. I just grew up playing music that was made for those guitars......well. actually the guitars were born out of the music really.......Wayne and Grove used to custom build for each "star" back in the day and tailor make the guitars like they wanted em'. Hence the "superstrat". the Jackson Soloist is my weapon of choice. for me, its a perfectly tailored instrument. sound, playability. the whole package.

tex
10-01-2007, 10:54 PM
Try these.

http://www.driskillguitars.com/

An old friend builds them. I have not seen him in about 10 years. Great guy! I hear his guitars rock! His pick ups are great too.

NSXBill
10-02-2007, 02:34 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the input. I know I can always count on this group. Kinda split tho on left vs right and whether MexStrats are good or bad.

First of all, he is 8 and doesn't really have a favorite kind of music.

Background: He is taking alto sax lessons (they're all right hand ;) ) and in a beginner band. He can read music Ok and plays a little piano. Daughter plays flute, piccolo, in homeschool band and homeschool marching band, some piano and is taking violin. She is 11. There is a drumset in our living room (right hand) for all-comers (next to the piano and cheap bastard electric keyboard). We're thinking of selling the diningroom table to make room for more music stuff. Music is something we encourage and they seem to reasonalby enjoy.

Guitar lessons are offered by the homeschool band and he seems interested. This is how they have learned to play so far. Teacher is fixed for now and suggested RH electric. So the guitar search is on.

Being a cheap bastard, I figured the mexstrat or something would hold value better than really cheap new no-name, so thinking ahead. If he doesn't like, I'll just sell. Still don't want to pay a lot. Used MexStrat, Epiphone, Squire and other suggestions are sounding good. Also used amp, although didn't think you could get tubes cheap. Will surely consider other than Marshall, since many used in this pricerange come with amp.

I'm looking on Craigs and e-bay now...

More inputs invited please.

thanks,

Bill

NSXBill
10-02-2007, 02:35 PM
I've heard that before, whats the reasoning behind that. I've got 8 years out of mine, with no problems whatsoever and I love mine.
Wondering the same thing. Will avoid trem bar tho to save on tuning headaches?

NSXBill
10-02-2007, 02:38 PM
Spend less time at home and more time on LANIER :twocents:
Boating isn't cheap.

The local news alarmists say Lanier is dry:rolleyes:

If you Lanier guys want to see dry, come over to dirty ol' Allatoona during any Sept-May :(

east tx skier
10-02-2007, 02:40 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the input. I know I can always count on this group. Kinda split tho on left vs right and whether MexStrats are good or bad.

First of all, he is 8 and doesn't really have a favorite kind of music.

Background: He is taking alto sax lessons (they're all right hand ;) ) and in a beginner band. He can read music Ok and plays a little piano. Daughter plays flute, piccolo, in homeschool band and homeschool marching band, some piano and is taking violin. She is 11. There is a drumset in our living room (right hand) for all-comers (next to the piano and cheap bastard electric keyboard). We're thinking of selling the diningroom table to make room for more music stuff. Music is something we encourage and they seem to reasonalby enjoy.

Guitar lessons are offered by the homeschool band and he seems interested. This is how they have learned to play so far. Teacher is fixed for now and suggested RH electric. So the guitar search is on.

Being a cheap bastard, I figured the mexstrat or something would hold value better than really cheap new no-name, so thinking ahead. If he doesn't like, I'll just sell. Still don't want to pay a lot. Used MexStrat, Epiphone, Squire and other suggestions are sounding good. Also used amp, although didn't think you could get tubes cheap. Will surely consider other than Marshall, since many used in this pricerange come with amp.

I'm looking on Craigs and e-bay now...

More inputs invited please.

thanks,

Bill

The mexistrat will be fine, but the mexitele would be cooler. Again, the bodies and necks aren't all so different, but the electronics tended to flake out. No substitute for the real thing, but he's 8. When he gets good and starts pulling in that club gig money, he can buy whatever he wants.

NSXBill
10-02-2007, 02:56 PM
Hey, How about the FretLight guitar. I've heard this makes learning very easy...thoughts?

http://fretlight.com/

east tx skier
10-02-2007, 03:06 PM
I learned on a 62 Gibson folk guitar. I think there's something to be said for starting on an acoustic personally. Yes, it's a little harder, but when you get the basics down and they turn you lose on an electric, it seems so much easier. I don't know if I'd feel that way if I hadn't stretched my hands out on an acoustic first.

rick s.
10-02-2007, 03:08 PM
I have a mex strat that I really like. I think I bought it four or five years ago. But I'm a "hacker" so what do I know. A friend of mine, with a lifetime of guitar experience (and owns 25 guitars) helped me pick out a good one.

So my advise would be to get someone with a lot of experience to help pick out a good one, and get a right handed guitar.

JimN
10-02-2007, 03:17 PM
A wang bar doesn't have to be a problem- all it needs is proper setup. I can tell you how if it proves to be an issue. If it's floating (doesn't contact the body when pressure is removed), it will tend to be more of a problem but if it returns to the front of the body, it'll basically be in tune all of the time if it's a decent mechanism.

Playing the notes should be the first goal, with effects.....blah, blah, blah. A used Squire is a good bet. If you can find a small decent used tube amp of almost any vintage other then the newest ones, it should be very reliable. They're very simple and if it blows up, it shouldn't cost much to repair. Speaking of which, tubes are just a music store away. Most carry them but if you look online, Parts Express has a good selection for good prices. That's where I buy mine and I have my guitar amp and stereo amp that use them. Guitar schematics vary and if a part fails, it's not that complex to fix. Parts are easy to find and they're not necessarily expensive.

If you end up looking at Strats and they have pickups called Lace Sensor, get the Gold ones. The Red, Blue and Silver ones are really harsh when played through some amps.

Another resource for lessons is just about any major guitar manufacturer's website. Go to www.fender.com or www.gibson.com and look for lessons. They go from absolute beginner to advanced. Go to www.gregkoch.com if you want to see what's in some of the Hal Leonard book/CD/DVD sets. You can also hear some of the tracks, IIRC and he's one of the people who re-wrote some of the guitar method books. If you want to hear more, go to Greg's MySpace page and he has four tracks on that.

ProTour X9
10-02-2007, 03:22 PM
ProTour- what do you have for guitars?
1969 Epiphone Casino, 2005 Hagstrom Viking:guitar:

JimN
10-02-2007, 03:27 PM
Doug- "I learned on a 62 Gibson folk guitar. I think there's something to be said for starting on an acoustic personally."

Not a bad way to start- paying your dues, as it were. My first was an old Stella that my uncle in PHX sent because he was bedridden with rheumatoid arthritis and couldn't do much with his hands. That thing was a beast! Bowed neck, old, nasty strings and one of the first things I did was try to play slide after my mom said he used a pocket knife for that when he was a miner in Leadville. I kind of wish I still had it.

OTOH, a guy in high school got a Martin D-28 from his parents for getting his hair cut. He was pretty good though, and it was something he really wanted. Ended up working at Bad Animals studio in Seattle (Heart's studio) and was an assistant engineer on REM's Automatic for the people.

Muttley
10-02-2007, 03:39 PM
I've heard that before, whats the reasoning behind that. I've got 8 years out of mine, with no problems whatsoever and I love mine.

I had a Mexican Fender Jazz Bass and the truss rod broke. Cheaply wound electronics meant that I couldn't get a decent sound out of it. And they're plywood, which means they lack reasonance.

The Mexican stuff seems to be not much better than the Chinese or Indonesian stuff. There's so much decent used Japanese stuff that is underrated. The Japanese Yamahas, Ibanezs, Fender Squires... they're all really nice quality. Solid wood, electronics that don't fall apart when you plug them in, and they sound better.

Now, if it's only about price for a total beginner, those "Strat Pacs" (Chinese guitar) might get you by, but anyone who's serious will be moving up really quick. Better of to buy used Jap stuff, IMO.

east tx skier
10-02-2007, 04:20 PM
I had a Mexican Fender Jazz Bass and the truss rod broke. Cheaply wound electronics meant that I couldn't get a decent sound out of it. And they're plywood, which means they lack reasonance.

The Mexican stuff seems to be not much better than the Chinese or Indonesian stuff. There's so much decent used Japanese stuff that is underrated. The Japanese Yamahas, Ibanezs, Fender Squires... they're all really nice quality. Solid wood, electronics that don't fall apart when you plug them in, and they sound better.

Now, if it's only about price for a total beginner, those "Strat Pacs" (Chinese guitar) might get you by, but anyone who's serious will be moving up really quick. Better of to buy used Jap stuff, IMO.

Come to think of it, my two non American Fenders were both Japanese. Sorry for the confusion above. Had a black Japanese Squire and a Japanese repro 72 Tele Thinline.

Upper Michigan Prostar190
10-02-2007, 05:07 PM
A wang bar doesn't have to be a problem- all it needs is proper setup. I can tell you how if it proves to be an issue. If it's floating (doesn't contact the body when pressure is removed), it will tend to be more of a problem but if it returns to the front of the body, it'll basically be in tune all of the time if it's a decent mechanism.

If you end up looking at Strats and they have pickups called Lace Sensor, get the Gold ones. The Red, Blue and Silver ones are really harsh when played through some amps.

Another resource for lessons is just about any major guitar manufacturer's website. Go to www.fender.com or www.gibson.com and look for lessons. They go from absolute beginner to advanced. Go to www.gregkoch.com if you want to see what's in some of the Hal Leonard book/CD/DVD sets. You can also hear some of the tracks, IIRC and he's one of the people who re-wrote some of the guitar method books. If you want to hear more, go to Greg's MySpace page and he has four tracks on that.

Your point on the floating bridges is excellent, as you say, "IF ITS A DECENT MECHANISM". I havent seen many that are decent mechanisms outside Floyd Rose as far as tuning goes. But again that probably depends on playing style. The Kahler models werent very good. no locking mechanisms, or only one lock at the nut. No good. The funny part is, those old Fender 6 screw bridges taht the strats had were terrible, but I have seen live footage of Uli Roth and also of Yngwie Malmsteen, and those guys could wail on those vintage strat bars and NEVER go out of tune! that always bewildered me. I even look at my 2 pin floating Fender with the roller nut and locking tuners and it goes out of tune ever so slightly. thats why I just stuck with Floyd. Never any tuning issues. Set and forget. I have a factory installed "Trem-setter" on my 93 strat. It supposed to help keep it in tune.....I dont know if its Snake oil or not......

I see you mentioned problems with the red, blue, silver sensors......I never experienced that with mine on my strat. they sound fine. Interesting though! :)

NSXBill
10-25-2007, 03:29 PM
OK, now thinking Fender Mex Strat.

Question: Standard or HSS - Standard is the normal 3 single pole pickup and HSS has 2 single pole plus a bridge humbucking. I've heard the HSS can get more of a Les Paul sound. Is that instead of the Strat sound or as well as the Strat sound?

Both are the cheapest Fender branded Strat ~$400 or $435 w/ Sunburst. I would still probably try to find used and the HSS is probably more rare.

Also, comment on choice of vintage tremolo or Floyd Rose locking tremolo please.

Thanks,

Bill

JimN
10-25-2007, 04:09 PM
Ump- You had/have a Strat Plus Ultra, right? I just found out about this site (www.xhefriguitars.com/page2.html" last night in a forum about Fender stuff. Turns out that mine is a Strat Plus but the whammy is the same. I don't do insanely wild whammy bar stuff (not that there's anything wrong with that) but I'm realistic enough to know that, without replacing my bridge, etc, it's not going to stay in tune 100.000000000% of the time. I have set it for floating and it was pretty good but that Trem-Set was just too much like a Band Aid, to me. I may tinker with it again but I have mine set up to go down, not up. This way, when I hammer on it, it comes back in tune.

I did like the feel of the Kahler and tried some out at NAMM, right after they came out. They were set up right next to the Tom Scholz Rockman booth and had a whole rack of guitars, each with its own Rockman. It was pretty cool. He seemed like a pretty decent guy, too. I haven't played a Kahler since, though.

Again, it's mainly setup for a whammy bar, coupled with how it's played. Used a bit, but not the main focus, stock should be fine. Dive-bombs up the ying-yang, not so much. A guitar will go out of tune sometimes- that's an absolute. Fresh or old strings, things not tight enough, big whammy action- they all contribute.

Re: the pickups being harsh, or not- could easily be the difference in amps, tubes, cables, effects, room, distance to the rig, etc. My ears physically hurt when I was done and they were very fatigued but I have never had the same thing happen with the Gold Lace Sensors.

I just saw Greg do a Hal Leonard clinic on Saturday and one of the guitars he played is his own Fender Classic Player Baja Telecaster, which is MIM but designed by Chris Fleming, formerly of the Fender Custom Shop. Nice, chunky neck, sounds great and usually sells for about $800.

JimN
10-25-2007, 04:13 PM
NSX- HSS vs SSS- again, personal taste. OTOH, SSS can be wired so any two p/ups are humbucking. Humbuckers on a Strat will sound different from 'buckers on a LP- two different guitars, mechanically. Single coils on a LP don't sound exactly the same as when used on a Strat, either. IIRC, the humbucker on the Strat is wired so it can be a single coil, too, via the S-1 volume control/switch. If not as an OEM option, probably by re-wiring.

I just saw photos of a Strat with P-90 pickups. So many choices, so little time.

Bruce
10-25-2007, 04:31 PM
Don't suppose you would be intrested in a 1959 Les Paul Sunburst. Naw a 59 is probably to old!

JimN
10-25-2007, 06:18 PM
Too old? Nahhh, My amp and I are both older than that. You have an original? I'm sure they would play nice together and they could care less that one's a Gibson and the other is a Fender.

Bruce
10-25-2007, 11:43 PM
Too old? Nahhh, My amp and I are both older than that. You have an original? I'm sure they would play nice together and they could care less that one's a Gibson and the other is a Fender.

Just yanking his chain. Wish I did have an original. They are bring about a half million. I gave my grand son my 50 yr. old Fender classical acoustic. I had an uncle who had a collection of Martins going back to at least the the 40's.

JimN
10-26-2007, 08:21 AM
I worked at a music store and we somehow got a '27 Gibson L-5, signed by Lloyd Loar himself, and a '58 Korina wood Flying V. The L-5 is probably worth $25K but the same V is shown in the book most dealers use for placing a value on vintage gear and in '05 was shown at 119K. We had a hard time getting $1500 for it and it was immaculate when we finished cleaning it up and tweaking it.

Go to www.davesguitar.com/ and check out his '59 LP.

Bruce
10-26-2007, 10:52 AM
I was going by an article that had just run in the newspaper here. Wished I had saved it. It also said a colored disc (like a washer) for this inst. just went for $1900.00 on e-bay. If I remember it also stated there were only 14 of this particular model made. I'm certainly out of my element here and I was only going by the two page article.

NSXBill
10-26-2007, 01:34 PM
What do you guys hear about Line 6 Spider III practice amps? Seems like a lot of effects for the $. Heard a guy play almost every sound today on one with a Mex Strat...

88 PS190
10-26-2007, 03:30 PM
not gonna help, but i always suggest starting with an acoustic guitar. and almost always suggest the Martin DX-1.

I feel those who learn on acoustics tend to progress to a higher point, and well, the lack of terrible awful sounds tend to make those around them happier.

NSXBill
12-10-2007, 03:51 PM
Update: Bought '98 Metalic blue Mexistrat with SKB hard case from Craigslist for $250 (yeah, I know, $150 was a little hard to find). Had the guitar teacher check it out first. Had his shop install new strings and full setup ($30). They said it looked like it had hardly been used. Bought Line 6 Spider II 15 watt on black Friday at Guitar Center for $80 plus tax. Got new cord free from guy I bought the Yamaha PA from (for daughter-another story), and picked up a stand ($5.95), some new pickguard screws ($4.99), and pics ($2.99) on line. Santa's total, $379. Retail, with tax, not on sale, and if they didn't throw anything in including the hard case would be over $600.

Ho Ho Ho