Guitar Advice: Apples & Oranges

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mac 2005, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. mac 2005 macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Apr 1, 2005
    I'm in the market for a guitar as I'm going to start lessons in a few weeks, and I need some advice.

    The two guitars I most want are quite different.

    The solid-body Fender Vintage Hot Rod 52 Telecaster

    The semi-hollowbody Rickenbacker 360 Jetglo

    I've played the Tele, and it's an amazing guitar. I also quite like the Ric, but I can't find a place in Chicago that sells new models so I can try one out. I mainly know the guitar from R.E.M.

    Both get great reviews, but I wonder if anyone has advice on which would be the better buy for a beginner.
  2. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    You're a beginner and you're spending that much?:eek:
  3. mac 2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Apr 1, 2005
    It's an investment. If I turn out to be a good player, I have a guitar for life. If I suck, I can sell it and recover most of my money.
  4. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Sep 7, 2006
    That's actually quite wise. I have many guitar playing friends and they say if you buy a cheap guitar, then upgrade that after a year or so etc. it will end up costing more in the long run.

    Having said that, I've just started learning myself and my guitar feels like it is made out of sand and toenail-clippings, so I can't really talk ;)
  5. floyde macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2005
    Monterrey, México
    Yup, the last thing you want is to slow down your progress with a crappy guitar. If you can afford it, then it's a good choice to start with a good guitar IMHO.

    As for the guitars... I think you can't go wrong with a Tele. Never tried a Rickenbacker... I'd say play both and go with whichever has the best feel, but since you don't know how to play, then you wouldn't know such things :p.

    The other criteria you could use to decide is the music style you wish to play. I'll assume that the Rickenbacker (since it was used by Peter Buck) is really good for arpeggiated stuff. The tele is a more universal, rocking guitar. So it depends on what style you want to learn or use the most.
  6. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Just my 2 cents. I've been playing guitar for a LONG time. Never pro, only casual, casual enough to play local city events with a band I had in high school. We hung out the music store and the owner let us use his equipment which actually turned out to be free advertising for him.

    My choice then was Gibson, Jackson, BC Rich (not in that order) I have always been fan of Ovation (for acoustic) and I bought one off eBay for around 300 bucks (good deal if you ask me) it was green flame, shallow bowl maple leaf finish. Very rich sounding but I digress.

    After a while, I kept my like for Gibson and Jackson/Charvel, but dropped BC Rich and went with Peavy. Peavy's were really nice and still are.

    Regardless of your play style (imo) a good acoustic is always a good investment and sometimes cheaper than good electrics (but not always the case, you really pay for quality, especially if you buy new) considering you normally buy the guitar with an amp. For learning and just starting out, you also might want to consider a nice acoustic instead.

    Unsure how your learning is going to go if your going to jump straight into power chords, etc, but learning acoustics was usually a first step.

    Currently all I have now is my ovation. I will be buying an electric soon so I can reminise a few chords of the songs I used to play but the investment of guitar + amp + pedals is a bit much for a fad I went through long ago.

    Between your 2 choices, I don't like either personally. That's just a personal choice I can't play comfortably on either. I've tried similar ones in the store and could not play with either. They're both nice guitars as far as quality goes, but quality means sheot if you can't play on them.

    You need to go through the guitars and find one that fits you, feels good, feels natural.

    Give you an example, I love Jackson flying V's but I'll never own one because I don't like playing on them. I can play on it, but for long times I can't stand it. I found a straight strato style peavey was the best choice (14 years ago) as the neck was the right width, it had the right amount of action, the thickness of the neck was comfortable, I can reach all the frets, I didn't strain my wrist while reaching for notes, the sound was phenominal and it played nice. A similar Jackson/Charvel with only a minor size in the neck caused strain.

    Play each one, try different ones. Chances are though, (my experience) you can buy a good quality guitar now, but as your skill progresses and you develop into a playing style, you may end up changing guitars anyway because the one you have doesn't suit or doesn't feel right anymore.

    With that in mind, I would also suggest, buy a good one now (not saying buying a walmart brand but a resonable quality one), buy a much better one when you've honed your skill enough to warrant getting a really good quality. One can say getting a crappy one now then buying a good one later would cause you to spend more money than if you bought a good one now, but the opposite of this is also true, buying a good one now then finding out you can't play on it later would prompt you to buy a better one later so your still paying a lot.

    Get a good one, just not a "Good" one until you're ready.
  7. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    My personal preference is the Telecaster.

    What kind of amp are you going to be playing this on? I hope you're not going to spend $1500+ on a guitar and then play it on some cheap amp.

    For a first guitar I would consider an acoustic. You could get a fairly nice one for $600 or so, not top of the line, but there are some nice Breedlove's, Takamine's, and Seagull's out there for that price.
  8. mac 2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Apr 1, 2005
    The amp is another story. I'm reasonably clear on what amp I want: I like the sound of the Vox AC30.

    With respect to an acoustic, I may ultimately go that route. I live in a condo, and I don't want to incur the wrath of my neighbors.

    If I buy an acoustic, though, I want solid-wood construction -- which seems to be putting me in the $800 + range.
  9. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2004
    If I were you I would start off with a good solid acoustic. That will help you with lessons and everything else. An acoustic will allow you to be portable. Then if you really like playing guitar you get addicted and start going to guitar shops every weekend and the next thing you know is you will be dropping major cash on a Gibson and marshall head and cabinet, or buying that mid seventies modle fender twin reverb and restoring it.

    Good luck with your decision and watch those salesmen at the guitar stores they will rip you off.
  10. yojitani macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    An octopus's garden
    It really depends on the style of music you want to play. Personally, I'd recommend the Fender because I think it's good to always have a solidbody on hand. That said, I've never played a Rickenbacker and the one you've selected looks like it's not your standard hollow/semi-hollow.

    What you are doing is a good idea, IMO.When I started playing I bought the cheapest of the cheap and while I learned a bit on it, it sounded like crap. Actually, most of my guitars sounded like crap because I was always buying the cheapest one available at the next level. I'm pretty happy now with my Hagstrom Super Swede though!:D
  11. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    Ricks have pretty unique tone. Are you sure that's what you're after? The best guitar for a beginner is a versatile one, and, IMO, neither the tele or rick is versatile.

    Ricks and custom teles are are expensive classics -- you'll rarely see them at a GuitarCenter. Stick to the brick and mortar/boutique types in Chicago and Evanston. (where I got my Rick/PRS/LesPaul DC)
    Chicago music exchange in Lakeview
    There is a Sam Ash somewhere deep in the suburbs (Burbank?)
    There are plenty more. Chicago has tons of musical instrument stores.

    P.S. these vintage classics will only sound as good as your amp permits. Don't buy one if you're going to plug it into a "practice amp" :)

    If you can't find one - I'll sell you mine... for your soul, or a mute hooker.
  12. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    IMO, thats an excellent amp choice. I have a friend that plays on one and loves it. I love it whenever he lets me play on it. I've even seen a few touring musicians dropping their full cabinet and heads to use that amp. I don't think you can go wrong with that amp.
  13. mac 2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

    Apr 1, 2005
    What do you suggest?

    So many of the bands I like -- from the Beatles to R.E.M. -- use Rics, so there seems to be a natural pull in this direction. Judging by this list, the Ric seems pretty versatile.

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