buying 1st electric guitar

Discussion in 'BBG Questions' started by bobbymac, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. bobbymac

    bobbymac Blues Newbie

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    Hello All

    I need some advise...wanting to buy my 1st electric guitar. Seeing ads for Guitar Center's Epiphone less Paul Player Pack and Squire Affinity Stratocaster electric guitar pack. Money is a little "tight" and I thought these might be a good entry point. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. Momantai

    Momantai Red nose, red guitar

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    I started with the Squier Strat pack. I sold the amp, but I still have the guitar. Which is one of the best I have (I have nine).

    And welcome to the forum ! :Beer:
     
  3. artyman

    artyman Fareham UK

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    If money is tight I would also consider buying secondhand, you should be able to get some better quality kit for the same money. I got a MIM Strat and a a Vox Valvtronix amp for £250 a couple of years ago.
     
  4. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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    Welcome to the forum Bob!!

    The first thing I would determine in your first electric guitar is what kind of music do you like and most important what kind of music do you want to play? If you want to play Stevie Ray Vaughan you will not be happy with a Les Paul or a humbucker kind of guitar. If you like Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa, Billy Gibbons you will want a Les Paul design. Keep in mind, although I've never seen SRV play a humbucker guitar (somewhere there is probably a video that he did) I have seen countless videos of both JB and GM playing strat and tele single coils. A lot of Texas Blues is with single coils, a lot of Chicago Blues is with humbuckers. Sure sure, there are lots of exceptions. So what is it all about? It's your choice!!! But what is your first thought of what "your" electric guitar should be? If you buy the other kind? You will want the other sooner than later and probably before you feel comfortable enough with your play to spend a bit more money to get a better guitar. I've bought many "starter" guitars and have sold them all. Starter amps loose value like a car pulling out of the dealership. So? be careful of these "starter packages".

    When you decide on the guitar there are probably a few more things to consider. The amp. For me inexpensive SS amps just sound like crap with a single coil guitar and vise verse. Many folks on this forum swear by SS modeling amps, those are not the inexpensive SS starter amps we are talking about here. And ultimately, it is your fingers "feeling" the guitar and going through the amp. I get my inspiration from my feeling playing the guitar going through a tube amp with those tubes cooking and blistering out that analog OD. When I play? no 1's or 0's are harmed. My fingers might be digits but they are not digital. So, If you buy an inexpensive SS amp? Look closer at a humbucker guitar. They just work better with SS. If you get an inexpensive tube amp? You can get either single coil or humbucker and have great fun!! Yesterdays Musicians Friend Stupid Deal of the Day would have been a perfect starter tube amp that you would keep forever. I just bought one and believe me, I've got a line-up of really great amps. But none of them do what this little Vox tube amp does. Yesterday it was $139. Today it's back to $199. Still a good price for the amp. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/ampl...ini-4w-tube-guitar-combo-amp?source=3TEM5KTBK You might also consider the Monoprice tube amp. It's cheap and very popular with the forum. http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=115&cp_id=11501&cs_id=1150102&p_id=611705&seq=1&format=2 or consider the 15 watt amp as well. Just so you know, they sell these amps out and then a few weeks later get another stock and they go on sale!! So if it's not available give it a few weeks............

    Figure out your budget, use some information to narrow things down, and then use your gut. o_O
     
    #4 mountain man, Apr 17, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  5. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

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    What is your budget? That will make it easier for people to make suggestions. "Money is a little 'tight'" means different things to different people.

    But the "packs" that Momatai suggested above are not a bad starting point. My guitar learning journey started a few years ago when Santa brought me this Yamaha Pacifica Pack. After a while I knew the reason that I was not progressing was because of the cheap guitar. So, of course, I went and bought a Les Paul and Fender Blues Jr. But a few months later I picked up the Pacifica and guess what? It played fine! It has cheap pick-ups but it's a fine guitar.

    Starting with a pack you will at some point want to change out the amp. But don't be afraid of a Pacifica or Squire pack.
     
  6. Momantai

    Momantai Red nose, red guitar

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    Ok, Matonanjin, I must admit.... You're right. The original pickups are not the best. I swapped them for Fender noiseless pups. But that made this particular Affinity Strat a really fine guitar. (y)
     
  7. WindInTrees

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    Welcome to the forum Bob !

    One nice thing about the electric guitar starter packs is getting all the accessories you need at one time - picks, strap, amplifier and amp cable, sometimes even a dustcover for the guitar.

    We usually suggest that you play a guitar and/or amp before you buy it, but you are probably safe getting a name brand starter pack from a reputable retailer.

    If you want to buy a la carte - you can get a guitar, amp and accessories from www.monoprice.com for about the same price as a starter pack. i have personally played the monoprice stratocaster and telecaster models and would recommend both as similar quality to Squire Affinity guitars i've played.. They have a Les Paul style model also which is reasonably priced. I've never played one and cannot vouch for it. Their monoprice tube amplifiers are highly praised by those who have them. Your choice of amplifiers might be influenced by whether your situation requires you to play at low volume, or if you can play as loud as you want any time you want.

    If you get over the initial guitar learning curve, you will probably augment your collection later.

    Hope this helps. En-JOY learning to play !
     
    mountain man likes this.
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    Either of those packs would be fine, but be sure to do two things.
    - Play (or bring someone that can play) the exact one that you will be walking out of the store with.
    - It will in all likely hood need a set up. To avoid frustration and dissatisfaction, have it done before you take it home.
     
  9. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

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    I am thinking about swapping out the pickups on my Pacifica. Partially to make it sound better and make it a nicer guitar. Primarily as a project to learn how to do it.
     
  10. kmonroe99

    kmonroe99 Blues Newbie

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    If you're not familiar, Griff has got a couple of videos comparing a Strat-type vs a Les Paul-type. I'm sure there's others on You-tube.
     
  11. mountain man

    mountain man Still got the Blues!

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  12. TerryH

    TerryH Blues Newbie

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    You haven’t told us whether you are a complete beginner or you have been playing an acoustic for many years. I hope this isn’t stating the obvious, but learning to play can be slow and frustrating so take your time and buy a guitar that you really want to pick up and play. Youtube isn’t perfect but you can at least get an idea of the differences. There are a lot of bargains out there, but don’t just grab the first one you find. When you do decide, make nuisance of yourself in the guitar shop and try everything in your price range. If you can’t play, then get the somebody in the shop to play them for you.
     
  13. Terry B

    Terry B Humble student of the blues

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    If money is tight I can't think of a better place to start than Monoprice. I have the 5 watt tube amp, acoustic-electric guitar, Les Paul copy (guitars bought for my adult kids) and several pedals, all very good quality for the $. As mentioned above if you watch for their sales you can get a guitar, small tube amp and even a decent blues overdrive pedal all for well below 300 dollars with free shipping as long as you're in the US.