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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » General Discussion
Advice for First Ever Electric Guitar
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Mashea



Joined: Feb 11, 2019
Posts: 1
Location: Clifton, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:13 am    Post subject: Advice for First Ever Electric Guitar Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi there,

I'm brand new to these forums so don't be harsh on me. I'm 20 years old and I've been playing the acoustic guitar for 4 years, it took me ages to properly get into it but after learning a few basics i've really got into my stride and love it. And now i'm looking for an electric!

Having gone round to friend's houses it's clear that you need the amp to match the guitar. However the problem is I have limited knowledge about either; limited = no knowledge. I appreciate that there are several fundamentals; go to a shop and try the guitars out, don't buy a beginners package etc. but what else should I know?

What should I look for in an amp/guitar? I have literally no idea so any basic advice would be massively appreciated. For what its worth I am just finishing university so I am flat broke - the total cost cannot be more than £200 i'm afraid. I appreciate your help in advance!
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JovianPyx



Joined: Nov 20, 2007
Posts: 1768
Location: West Red Spot, Jupiter
Audio files: 212

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello and Welcome to the Electro-Music.com forum. We endeavor to be friendly, so please do not be afraid to ask any questions you have.

I am 65 years old and have played guitar since I was 15. I too, like you, love it. It started when mom bought me a Sears Silvertone acoustic guitar which at the time cost $25. It is, however, not the piece of crap one might imagine. My cousin (a professional studio guitarist, composer and song writer) saw the guitar and immediately told me to replace the steel strings with nylon because it's neck is not reinforced. Because of his advice, that guitar still works today and I still use it.

Since then I bought a Gibson Dove (acoustic) and a Les Paul. Most recently, I was in Hawaii and purchased a Mele ukulele (4 string tenor) and when I got back to Los Angeles I purchased a Kala 8 string baritone ukulele.

I always have played instruments in music shops before purchase. First, I need to know that I will like the sound, but just as important is how the neck feels in my left hand. I agree with you that you should not buy a beginner's kit. Interest in the instrument can be lost by purchasing an instrument that is cheaply built which can result in poor sound quality, buzzing and difficulty fingering due to poor action. Bad intonation can make it impossible to get it to sound "sweet" on all chords (so do play all the chords you know when testing and use the whole neck). A poorly made instrument won't have a sound that will "draw you in" when you practice. All of my instruments do that - draw me in - I'll pick one up and start to fiddle about and all of a sudden I see it's half or full hour later. That will keep you practicing and I'm sure you know that you just get better as you practice.

In my opinion, the guitar's quality is more important than the amplifier. Amplifier price is determined by it's features, such as lots of watts, special effects, big speakers, etc. Power itself is pretty inconsequential, lots of power doesn't make it sound better (cleaner or whatever you like), it just makes it louder. I've had 35 watt amplifiers that can shake the room. And an amplifier can always be sold and replaced by one you like better. So at the music shops, plug a "test" guitar into a good amplifier to hear it, they should have several amps. Choose the guitar that makes your hands and ears happy. Quite honestly, both my Dove and my Les Paul were more expensive than I wanted to pay at the time, but I saved and put the money together and I'm happy I sacrificed back then because I still have and play them. The same is true of my ukes. The tenor 4 string had a price of $500, the Kala 8 string had a price of about $330. I then took them both to a luthier to have them intonated, actioned and internal mics installed. I spent another $200 on each for that (and the tenor had neck warp due to moving it from high humidity on Maui to the low humidity of Los Angeles - so the luthier fixed the warp as well). The easiest way to lose interest in guitar is to have one that doesn't sound good or doesn't play well (such as bad intonation or high action). I did action and intonation on the Les Paul myself - electrics are easier than acoustics for that.

I hope I've helped, I think music should be fun and I think you're on the right track for that.

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