Recomend me a Guitar


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Trip SkyWay
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Help me Nekotcha! What should I be looking for? I need to escape the screens, and fancy giving the guitar a crack.

I've not seen a guitar shop since I've lived here, but there has to be one nearby.
#1 at 09:37:58 - 09/02/2009
Salaman
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Get something that looks cool.
:-)

Are you after an acoustic/electirc/...
#2 at 09:42:26 - 09/02/2009
Trip SkyWay
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Acoustic I reckon, better for my wife and the neighbours' ears.
#3 at 09:56:42 - 09/02/2009
HairyArse
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I'd start with a cheap 30 quid Classical guitar.

The reasoning being that if you get bored and give up then you've not wasted any money. But if on the other hand you get into it then you can upgrade to a nicer one.

Starting on Classical (if you go for lessons) will also mean you learn the proper techniques early on and won't pick up on so many bad habits which will ultimately be really hard to get out of.

I got my first Classical from the Sue Ryder charity shop for 29.99.

:)
#4 at 09:58:00 - 09/02/2009
Trip SkyWay
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Sounds like a plan :)
#5 at 10:02:44 - 09/02/2009
peej
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Hairy's right. Go for something that's got a nice low bridge (nylon stringed if poss, nice and easy to press the strings down on the frets).

Should be able to pick one up cheaply just about anywhere (even our local charity shop seems to sell quite a good range of cheapo guitars).

From there, if you're ready to progress to a leccy, again pick something cheap, low travel, light strings and a cheapo praccy (or headphone) amp.

Then you'll be hooked. Currently I've got 5 guitars at home (3 leccys, one big semi acoustic 12 string that's gorgeously jangly and a steinberg which is a mental guitar for a bit of fretwanking) and really need to get back into playing again
#6 at 10:43:02 - 09/02/2009
eviltobz
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and you really need to let me have a go on your steiny too.

what sort of music are you wanting to play trip? if you're a rocker, then getting a nylon string jobby aint going to let you play a lot of stuff that you probably want to. the starting prices of classical guitars are a definite plus point, but to extoll a few virtues of the electric:

*the necks tend to be a lot slimmer, so they're easier to get your hands around

*action tends to be lower (distance between string and fret) so, again, easier

*they are quieter to play. an utterly huuuuuge chunk of my guitar playing has been an unplugged electric. especially good when you're learning stuff and you don't want others hearing how bad it sounds to begin with. also great for practicing in front of the tv. even when plugged in you can turn the amp down, or use headphones. an acoustic/classical will always be a lot louder than an unplugged leccy.

*when plugged in, you can crank up the distortion and rock out :)

* a lot of cool techniques require amplification (and maybe effects) pinched harmonics (sqealing high notes in a lot of metal type stuff) require plenty of distortion, legato (just playing notes with your fretting hand, not picking em. easier to play stuff fast this way) benefits from distorion or compression. u2 style riffing requires delay effects etc.

like hairy says, you can get in with classical stuff really cheaply which is good if you don't stick to it, but if it's not what you want to be playing then it could put you off.
#7 at 12:25:56 - 09/02/2009
nekotcha
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Yeah, TSW, first up it'd be useful to know what sort of music you want to play and whether you've got any price limit in mind?
#8 at 12:40:25 - 09/02/2009
peej
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My steiny is lovely but something about it just looks "wrong" when you play gigs etc. Too many people think it's just a midi controller at gigs. Dunno why though, it's such a nice guitar to play.

#9 at 13:04:52 - 09/02/2009
Salaman
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When I bought one I didn't realise there were different sorts of non electric, classic (nylon strings) and accoustic (metal strings).

So I ended up with metal strings which is great. I like the sound of it.

As I travel lotsfor work and it meant I couldn't practise a lot, I bought a travel guitar. The shop didn't have any with metal strings available but the guy said he had nylons in stock. High tension nylons were pretty similar anyway he claimed.

I tried playing it for 2 weeks and just coudn't get on with it. When pressing down on the nylon strings, my finger would helf slip off to one side of the string because they were slippery.
I sold it on and re-bought the same with the strings I originally wanted.

One last thing to consider. A 30 starter is great to see if you're likely to get anywhere with it or just practise 3 times and stop playing.
But a 200 guitar will sound a lot nicer and somethign that sounds decent may give you more motivation to practise and learn than a cheapo one.

It's yoru call in the end whether you think you're likely to stick with it and how much you want to sink into it in order to find out. ;-)
#10 at 13:10:21 - 09/02/2009
Trip SkyWay
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So is price the main way to gauge quality?

I think I used my mates metal stringed guitar before so I might go that route.
#11 at 13:20:15 - 09/02/2009
peej
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Yeah definitely you get what you pay for. My cheapest guitar is a Tokai fender strat rip-off but it's a very nice play (and I customised it with a paint job). Most expensive was probably my Gibson LP Gold top - and the difference in quality between the two is incredible really.
#12 at 13:29:44 - 09/02/2009
JimJam
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peej said:Yeah definitely you get what you pay for. My cheapest guitar is a Tokai fender strat rip-off but it's a very nice play (and I customised it with a paint job). Most expensive was probably my Gibson LP Gold top - and the difference in quality between the two is incredible really.


There are some good halfway houses too Trip. Epiphone are the Korean arm of Gibson and most of the models are a third of the price of the Gibson versions. You get a good guitar for your money, although the pickups and switches aren't the same as the Gibson equivalents. They now also do an Epiphone 'elite' type range which do use Gibson pickups and switches for a 3/4-way house.

ESP also have a very good cheaper range called LTD.

I would actually recommend (if you're looking for an electric) one of the Yamaha Pacifica range though. They're incredibly good for the money.
#13 at 13:51:35 - 09/02/2009
peej
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+1 on the yammies, they're very nice. Not always that into their designs but they're lovely to play.
#14 at 13:52:43 - 09/02/2009
nekotcha
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Yeah, the Pacifica range is fantastic, if you can stretch to 2-300 quid you can get yourself and excellent starters guitar. Although you can get guitars as cheap as 50 quid, stretching to a little bit more expensive can make a real difference in terms of how nice it is to play, something you might not appreciate when you first start playing but will make a difference to how much you want to pick it up and play it each evening.

My personal recommendation would be a Fender Telecaster; although the US built models tend to be quite pricey, you can get ones built in Japan and Mexico that are cheaper. Naturally they're not quite as good but the design of the guitar is a classic and they're always lovely to play. I learnt to play guitar mostly on a Japanese Telecaster and I absolutely loved it. These days I have a US Tele and while it was more expensive than you'd want to pay for a starter's guitar (600 quid), it was absolutely fantastic value for money in my view - although generally folks are right that guitars get better the more you pay for them, I paid more than twice that for my Gibson ES335 and I don't like playing that nearly as much as my Tele.

You also need to consider what amp to get - which is almost as important as the guitar itself. But you should only need a small practice amp so there should be some decent amps in your pricerange.

Edit: Bugger, I only just spotted you said you'd prefer an acoustic. I'll post again later, bit busy at the moment, sorry!
#15 at 14:05:12 - 09/02/2009
peej
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Dunno if you can still get 'em but I still have (and use) a little Pignose praccy amp for a bit of twiddling. Great look, and not bad sound quality.

#16 at 14:07:40 - 09/02/2009
eviltobz
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Trip SkyWay said:So is price the main way to gauge quality?

the thing about the quality of a guitar is there are a variety of different meanings to the word. a guitar can sound nice, play nice, or be made out of nice stuff. obviously as you pay more for a guitar, the quality of everything will tend to improve to a certain extent, but as an example, the wood that a guitar is made from can vary hugely in price, with no real effect on anything other than appearance, because us guitarist often want beauty along with everything else. a few of my guitar necks are made of highly figured birdseye maple, which sounds no different to normal maple, but looks lovely, i've got guitars with flame and quilt maple tops, which again would sound basically identical if it were plain maple. another has a body made from a single piece of mahogony making it look great unpainted, but most solid body electrics are made from a few pieces of wood glued together under the finish, which makes getting hold of suitable bits of wood cheaper and easier. this stuff makes hundreds of pounds of difference to the cost of the guitars and is ultimately about little more than pretties.

as with anything else in the commercial world, you can pay for name brands as well. gibson and fender are reknowned as the companies who shaped what an electric guitar is meant to be, and so often cost a bit more than other company's guitars of equivalent quality.

as a few people mentioned, paying a little extra up front can make a big difference and get you something that you could be happy with for a long time. the law of dimishing returns will definitely apply here, especially as a beginner, but if you can stretch to a 2-300 guitar it'll be much better than a 100 jobby from argos. look out for bargains though, my first guitar was 310 rrp, but because there was a slight crack in the paint i got it for 180, brand new, and to all intents and purposes in perfect nick.

obviously, when spending a few ton on a guitar, it's more important to get something that feels good to you than a 30 job to just test the water, so try and get to a few guitar shops and have a fiddle with some (maybe after a few weeks plauying a beater, so you don't feel like a complete useless tit in the shop) and pay attention to how the neck feels in your hands, how wide the fingerboard is, whether the body digs into you in uncomfortable places, or slides of your leg when sitting down to play and stuff like that.
#17 at 15:09:38 - 09/02/2009
HairyArse
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AATG in being helpful and educational shocker!

:P
#18 at 15:24:39 - 09/02/2009
Rhythm
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When I bought one for the missus a couple of years back we had the choice between Yamaha and a weird brand called Stagg at the 100 end of the market. The Stagg was phenomenal for the price! Nice low action, very bright, extremely easy to play... 2 thumbs up!
#19 at 19:21:17 - 09/02/2009
Salaman
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The acoustic I have is a "made in China" Stagg.
Sounds lovely though! Not that I'd be able to tell the difference but a few people that can play properly had a strum on it and thought it sounded decent enough.

I think you'd want to find yourself a guitar which isn't so cheap that all the material is crap and it sounds meh. But once you're in decent build quality material territory, I wouldn't bother with bridseye maple, mahogany and whatnot. That's something to look for in your second guitar a year or two down the line.

So yeah. Basically go find yourself a guitar shop or two. Look at what's to be had for 200 new or go to a cash converter or some sort of second hand jobby and get a really pricey one cheap.
=)

#20 at 07:30:34 - 10/02/2009
Trip SkyWay
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Thanks for all the advice :) I'll go check some out when I get a chance.
#21 at 08:53:50 - 10/02/2009
eviltobz
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i was mucking around with a drum set for a while a few years back and stagg were pretty new to the scene, selling handmade cymbals for a budget price that were considered to rival kit worth 2 or 3 times their cost made by more established brands.
#22 at 10:46:13 - 10/02/2009

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