Thinking about learning how to play the electric guitar

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by fernandovalente, May 9, 2011.

  1. fernandovalente macrumors 6502

    fernandovalente

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Location:
    Third world **** hole, I mean, Brazil
    #1
    Hey,

    I'm considering to learn how to play the electric guitar. I know nothing about music(but I love to listen to it :D). Does anyone knows a good and cheap electric guitar? I'm also looking for a good electric guitar for dummies-ish book.
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    Good and cheap? No.

    What's your budget? Even for a beginner's instrument, you should plan on spending at least $200-300, and more if you can. Just starting out, the guitar is more important than the amplifier.

    Check Musician's Friend and Guitar Center (and many others) online. You can find choices from Squier (Fender), Epiphone (Gibson), Ibanez, Laguna, and others in that price range.

    Books can be good, but there's no substitute for (1) a teacher, and (2) lots of practice. Look online for instructional videos (you can find several on YouTube, in fact).
     
  3. fernandovalente thread starter macrumors 6502

    fernandovalente

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Location:
    Third world **** hole, I mean, Brazil
    #3
    $200 for the guitar is just fine. Can I use my MacBook as an amplifier? I wish I could hire a teacher, but I have no time to do that and no money too. :(

    I found this one on Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Laguna-Ultima...8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1304955110&sr=1-4

    Is it safe to buy an used one?
     
  4. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #4
    A few random things ....

    I've been playing guitar for around 20 years now, but only as kind of a hobby these days. (I was in a band for a while, but that was a long time ago.)

    One thing you'll want to think about with an electric guitar purchase is; are you real interested in doing a lot of string bends/dives as part of your playing style, or not? I ask because basically, electric guitars come in two basic types --ones with a "fixed" bridge, or a "floating" one. The "floating" ones have the tremolo bar on them (often called a "whammy bar" as kind of a slang term) that you can push down on (or in some cases, also pull up on) while playing. Honestly? I'd recommend sticking with a fixed bridge model as a first guitar, because they're less hassle to tune/keep in tune. You can also usually save a little money that way, too, since the "double locking" floating tremolo guitars tend to cost a premium price for the various mechanisms out there (like "Floyd Rose" or "EDGE" or what-not) that make it work.

    As for brands, I've long been a fan of Ibanez for electrics. They make a wide variety of guitars, but their "bread and butter" staple items are lines of guitar with "EX" in the beginning of their model numbers, and lines with "RG" in the beginning. Any of them with an "RG" are better quality guitars, all the way around, but of course they tend to cost $200+ more than their "EX" equivalents too.

    All in all, electric guitars are like lots of items out there. You generally get what you pay for, up through a certain price-point, and then the really high dollar models are there where you're paying for the collector's value and/or the brand name. One school of thought for beginners is that they should start with something really cheap and basic, because if you practice on that and get good enough to make it sound good, you'll instantly sound way better when you move up to something nicer. (And if you decide you don't like it, you're not out much money.) But on the flip-side? I found that for me, I started losing interest when I had a really cheap setup. It just wasn't rewarding enough to play on a real inexpensive guitar, through a cheap little amp, where I couldn't ever reproduce the sounds I wanted to make with it. And then when I wanted to upgrade, I had practically NO resale value for the inexpensive "starter" quality gear, so it may as well have just been thrown away.

    So I think if I had to recommend something to a beginner I was friends with? I'd suggest considering something like a used Ibanez RG guitar, purchased from a reputable store. Ask if the store will do a "full setup" on it for you before you take it home, too. (Usually, this process only costs $75 or so for a guitar you bring in off the street for service, and they might even do it free or heavily discounted with your purchase.) During this process, a good shop will adjust the "truss rod" inside the neck and make sure the guitar has everything adjusted for proper intonation and string height over the frets. (If that's mis-adjusted, you'll get a "buzz" when you play certain notes - and it's something hard to adjust properly as a beginner, on your own, if you need to fix it.)


     
  5. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #5
    With the right cables and adapters, you can plug the guitar into your Audio In port on your Macbook and play guitar through Garageband.
     
  6. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Brunswick, MD
    #6
    re: GarageBand

    Yep... This is actually the best way to go for a beginning guitarist who is already an avid Mac user, IMO. Back when I was playing a lot in the 80's and early 90's, you pretty much had to spend money on various "stomp boxes" or more expensive effects processor boxes to get good distortion or delay or chorus sounds out of your electric guitar -- and after all that? It still didn't sound that great if you weren't playing it all through a really good amplifier that probably cost you $400+ (used).

    Now, you can avoid all the hassles of bad cables between all those boxes to an amp, or dead batteries in the stomp boxes, and get great sound quality by letting the computer do all the effects for you. Plus, the Mac can even RECORD what you play too.


     
  7. ActiveApp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #7
    For a beginner who wants to play a electric I always recommend a used mexican fendar strat. Great guitar for the money. You might want to also look into buying a practice amp with a a headphone jack.

    Since you can't afford lessons I would recommend this site http://www.justinguitar.com. He has a complete beginner course free online.
     
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #8
    Yes, you'll need a special 1/4" to USB cord, however. Try to invest in a small and inexpensive practice amp when you get a chance.

    I completely understand. Even the free online video lessons are better than a book - a book can't show you a technique, or what it should sound like.

    Yes, but I wouldn't buy a used one online. Pick it up, look at it, feel it, play it, etc. before you buy it. Used guitars can be found just about anywhere, from music stores to pawn shops.
     
  9. rheaseo25 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    #9
    my old guitar

    i play guitar..but not the electric guitar..i prefer the acoustic version..
     
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #10
    [​IMG]

    http://www.staggmusic.com/products/products_detail.php?langue=uk&oneid=452

    Can get that for around $200. Was my first guitar. I own an Epiphone Les Paul Custom now, but I swear my Stagg sounds just as good sometimes (nice thick fat tone - though I did replace the pickups).

    That is a 'heavy body' guitar - which gives a fatter, warmer tone - something like Gary Moore, Slash from Guns N' Roses etc. I dislike Strat 'thin/light body' guitars because they have a weaker/thin tone. Some love it - Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and many others use them - give a nice twang tone, but I think they feel cheap to play.

    As for learning, check out www.licklibrary.com - awesome tutorials. I really urge you to learn songs, rather than the "theory" first. That way you can enjoy it, and as you learn songs, you become more confident. Once you are at that stage, learn a few scales and chords and gradually build up your knowledge.

    Good thing with Lick Library is that they are video tutorials, as well as providing the music, so you can see where to put your fingers etc.

    Also, check out Guitar Pro (http://www.guitar-pro.com/) software. Get tabs from www.ultimate-guitar.com and Guitar Pro plays the tab as a MIDI track so you can hear how it is meant to sound. It also has every scale and chord, so you can learn them from within the software itself.
     
  11. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #12
    You can learn a ton from the internet on electric guitar and progress quickly.

    As for good and cheap, you can find some deals with well known brands like Ibanez, Epiphone, Fender, and LTD by ESP. My second guitar, pretty low cost, at $399 street is the Ibanez AS-73 and it kicks butt for the price.

    I got my midrange LTD Viper 301 ten years ago for around $550 with soft shell case, but for starters, you can find lots of stuff suitable for under $400 dollars.
     
  12. Nathaniell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #13
    My suggestion is to buy second hand. Playing a guitar is something that looks cool, but takes time and effort behind the scenes. Go cheap and then if you give up you haven't wasted money.

    Then you can tell your friends that the busted look of the guitar is because you played it so much, but gave it for a girl, or something cool like that.

    The Chinese have a saying, "Ten years off stage will get you five minutes on stage".
     
  13. macar0ni macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    #14
    good luck

    I started with an acoustic guitar but now recently learned how to play the electric. This is my guitar form Rollins Guitar model 971. I honestly bought it because of it's price and the awesome color. I recommend to find a local guitar store and look for one. I bought mine over the internet.

    maintains a good pitch and the fret board is very comfortable.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #15
    Can't really say how to buy a guitar in Brazil, but the US has these things called pawn shops that usually have a ton of guitars and amps. I'm sure there is an equivalent in SA.

    Dale

    Oops, suckered into an old thread...The OP probably has his own band by now..
     
  15. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #16

    There has been a surge in the number of spambot posts recently... weird.
     
  16. MasterHowl macrumors 65816

    MasterHowl

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Location:
    North of England
    #17
    Get a squire stratocaster or something :) they're good for beginners, and aren't too expensive.

    Personally, I'd just go into my local music shop and talk to someone who works there. They'll probably do you a deal with some sort of "starter pack" which includes a guitar, amp, guitar lead, tuner etc...

    As for learning to play, I'd just learn songs using tabs from ultimate-guitar. Do a YouTube video on how to read tabs, then you're away! It's what I did :)

    I've been playing for 5 years now and it's probably the best thing I ever did. It's so rewarding and fun!

    Good luck! If you ever need any advice, feel free to send me a personal message :)
     
  17. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #18
    I started on a Fender Squier Strat starter pack. It is a well built and served as a good starter guitar. I'm sure there are others as well, but from my perspective you might not be happy with the bottom of the line Fender Starcaster. Shoot I have my Fender Squier I'd be willing to sell except shipping most likely would be an issue. :(

    One that has always pissed me off is that my $200 Squier looks identical to a $1500 Fender Strat American Delux. You'd think they'd want to distinguish the higher dollar item somehow!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Aragornii macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #19
    This poster definitely knows what he's talking about. In addition I'd add:

    http://www.guitarnoise.com/topic/beginner-guitar-lessons/

    http://www.guitarnoise.com/easy/

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Playing-Guitar/dp/1592579639/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1
     
  19. UlsterApple macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #20
    As the other posters have said, you won't get both. Although I've gone acoustic now - I went from Fender Strat to Gibson SG2000 and my last electric was a Kawai - I still rely on amps and pickups for concerts, and played one Friday past in a small concert hall using an Avalon acoustic with Fishman pickup. The sound was awesome, beautifully clear and true, in contrast to a mandola I was using with cheap stick-on pickup which I eventually ended up playing through a mic.
    For a beginner, though, almost any cheap electric will do to give you a feel for the instrument, and basic knowledge of how to play. I learned on an old nylon-stringed acoustic to which I fitted steel strings; the neck bent like a banana and the action must have been an inch off the frets, but it toughened the fingers and I learned a lot on it, before shelling out on a better one that lasted 24 years until I gave it away to a beginner earlier this year.
    My first electric was total rubbish - it cost about £15 GBP back in the late 1970s - but again it did the job until I learned to play and decided I was good enough to warrant something better. I didn't have an amp, I played through the input of a hi-fi system.
    As for books, I bought a used copy of a BBC chord book and practiced by playing along with my record collection. incidentally I started teaching guitar in January of this year and it's amazingly difficult - the things you take for granted can be awfully confusing to beginners, and you just have to be sooo patient.
     
  20. mattbruun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #21
    I think the Fender Squiers and some of the Epiphones that are around $200 are totally fine for a beginner. If you want some help learning the basic open chords, I've made a series of short videos explaining how to play them for the complete beginner: http://www.youtube.com/user/mattbruun?feature=guide
     
  21. Pipper99 macrumors 68000

    Pipper99

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    Aug 14, 2010
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    Fort Worth, TX
  22. Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

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    Dec 12, 2007
    #23
    Old thread aside...

    I have a Peavey that brand new ran around $700 that I picked up for $200.

    Guitars are one thing where 99.99999% of the time, yes, you pay for what you get. Primarily due to stuff you have no control over (as opposed to simple hardware stuff): Wood, cut, and assemblage for starters.

    I don't think the thread resurrection is a spambot. :p
     
  23. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #24

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