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Any guitar players out there - need some advice as a beginner

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Just bought myself what I believe is a pretty decent entry level acoustic guitar(Godin Seagull S6) a couple of months ago and love it but I also want to self teach with an electric as well.

 

I'm no stranger to music in general since growing up in an italian household, my parents had me take accordion lessons and I've learned music theory as well. I still kick myself of not picking up guitar in my younger years. The music theory has come back to me and has helped with reading music. Many decades later now, I want to learn both acoustic and electric guitar.

 

My question to the guitar players out there is that I have been eying a Les Paul (love the sound). Ideally, I want to get a Gibson that is made in the US but they also have the Epiphone Les Paul copies (owned by Gibson) that I think is made overseas and not sure of the quality. I don't want to get something entry level now that I won't appreciate later as I get better but if I go with the Gibson, they are up there in price, as well as the many models to choose from, Standard, Traditional, Studio, etc (not to mention the many different humbucker pickups available).

 

I'm interested in learning blues and rock and maybe branch out to other genres and what I've heard so far, Les Paul seems like a good fit for rock and blues. This is for my own enjoyment, playing at home.

 

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Any interest in Fender? I highly recommend the american made stratocaster although I know you seem partial to gibson.

 

I've played guitars since I was in middle school and somehow always stuck with fender guitars and combo amps (40w tube driven deluxe is my fav)

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Hey man ...been playing all my life. I'm in a band "NFN - Not For Nothing". We're kind of fizzling out. We've been around 8 years. Played a LOT of the top clubs in Jersey (not bragging ...just letting you know I'm for real). PM me and I'll help you out finding something to get started. The FIRST thing I'm going to tell you is buy used. Don't spend a ton of money (unless money is no object and you don't care) until you have been playing a while and know what you want. Go to guitar center and play as many different styles/brands as you can and see what feels comfortable and sounds and looks good to you. That is your first goal. Then check Craigslist -> Musical Instruments section and check guitar center's online "used gear" section to find something along the lines of what you liked. You might right out of the gate like one style/make a LOT. But then you get into playing all the time and don't like a certain pickup, wood, fretboard, bridge, etc. But if you're like me you will end up with a whole collection of guitars anyway LOL

 

 

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I build custom guitars as a hobby. Epiphone is a reasonable starting point. The materials are good quality, although you may have to make some adjustments to make it "fit" you. . As you grow into the guitar, you can upgrade the pickups/electronics for much less than the cost of a new Gibson (you can also spend waaayyyy more on pickups). The type of music you play can also make a difference. If you play mostly rock, I would suggest getting something with Humbuckers. If country is your thing, and you're going with a Les Paul, I would suggest finding one with P90 pickups. Double coils can give you more "crunch" while single coils, especially the P90, offers more "Twang" for country (notice that Brad Paisley & Brent Mason both favor Telecasters with various configurations of single coils).

 

If you prefer Blues or Rockabilly, then you'll probably like the Gretsch Filtertron pickups. This could go on and on...guitars are like guns, you can't have just one because they all have different uses.

 

I built one on commission several years ago that filled most of those needs. Semi-Hollow Tele body, Gibson scale fretboard with LP neck, HB @ bridge/P90 @ neck/Filtertron in the middle, 5-way switch with push/pull tone switch to cut out all pickups and activate the Ghost Bridge (allows for acoustic sound from an electric via piezo pickups in the saddles). It was an expensive guitar but he's a professional musician who makes his living from his guitars.

 

 

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Cold shot - 

 

i have been playing for over 20 years now and have been in numerous bands and currently play out now.   Have always been a Gibson LP guy and havea had 3 of them.   Epiphone is a great starting point for a les paul type, but you will need to play a few of them to find a good one.  If you really want to get into a LP type for under 400 look into Rondo music and check out the Agile AL series;  mainly the 3000's or above.  they are stellar.  i have a goldtop that is amazing.  they run from 300-600.  build quality is above epiphones and rivals US made LP's.  i have the les paul type and a SG type and they are great.  i gig with them and they sound great.  good luck in the search!  

 

http://www.rondomusic.com/

 

 

- AM 

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I'm a big fan of Line 6 amplifiers. The Line 6 Spider gives you a huge range of sounds from clean to heavy crunch. A lot of guitarists prefer tube amps over digital, but for my price range the Spider was the way to go. I do have to agree with everyone above. Go to Guitar Center and start playing. It's expected, so don't feel funny about doing it. :)

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Ok, I'm going to give you something else to think about, LOL

I was in the market a couple of years ago for a decent Gibson or Epiphone  Les Paul style guitar but I didn't want to spend a ton of money.  I had come across this brand during a pretty extensive internet search  http://www.rondomusic.com/index.html 

 

These guitars are very well made for their price point, although they have been creeping up in price the past 2 years.  I ended up purchasing one and couldn't be happier with the quality.  Are they equivalent to a $2000+ Les Paul?  No, but I would put the one I have up against one of the $1000 Les Paul models any day of the week. I spent $400. for mine (a neck thru body AL 3200).  I already have a few brand named guitars and this guitar is better than all except for my custom Jackson Soloist that I had purchased back in the mid 80's. Do some internet searching about these and read up on them, you might change your mind like I did.  Just something else for you to consider.

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It's like guns or anything else, you are probably not going to know what you want until you've been through a couple of them. So I agree with buying used. It doesn't have to be crap, but don't spend top dollar until you know what you want.

 

You like the sound of Les Paul, and you like blues. There may be an advantage to starting out on that type of guitar with that type of music. Tone. Tone is in the hands more than in the instrument or pickups. I would consider that more of a "timber." But I'm just an old hack. My point is, getting music out of a Les Paul style guitar will help you develop a tone because of the way it plays, sounds, and lack of tremolo bar. With blues, you are going to be focusing more on rhythm, tone, and style than notes. It should prove an excellent education at becoming a guitarist vs. becoming a musician (which you already are in large part).

 

It's not the way I did it. But in consideration of your desire to do it that way, and the fact that it matches with your preliminary goals, I say it sounds like a good fit. And don't get me wrong, there's nothing contrarian about it. Les Pauls/copies are very popular. I was just explaining how I came to agree with your intentions.

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Epiphone is not a bad guitar at all. I have played several that were excellent. I have also played a lot of real Les Pauls that felt like a piece of crap. Go out and find a guitar that speaks to you.

I have had all of the major electric guitars plus some oddballs...sold my collection and just have a few that play well and hold up under "working" conditions. On deciding what you want a good place to start is who are your favorite guitarists and what do they play? For amps, the modeling amps are great if you're going to be home playing or with a few friends in the garage. But for playing out they don't hold up. I played Line6 Flextones for years and went through 4 of them in about 9 years. One day they just shit the bed.

Tube amps sound great and hold up, but the trouble with tube amps is that they are often difficult to play at volumes that work for you in your home. It's hard to get a good sound unless they are hummin' at a volume the AMP is happy with.

 

I play a strat almost exclusively anymore- they just feel like they're a part of me. If you go to the website below you can hear a lot of different tones and all but just a few are strats....maybe a fender tele in there once or twice, but I can only think of one song that I used an  Epiphone Sheraton. Everything else is strat, and you can do anything you want with them.

 

If you really love the slab feel of the LP you might also look into some of the old Ibanez AR models. I used to have a double cutaway that sounded more like a LP than the LPs I"ve played.

 

Having said all that, whatever makes you run in the house after work and plug in is the guitar you want.

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Go play alot of guitars at different music stores. Look at new and used. Try to determine which `feels best ` in your hands. Then plug them in to hear the electronics. As others have mentioned, more money doesn't mean more better.

 

 

 

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk

 

 

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A lot of great advice, thanks !

 

I always thought I had to spend at least 2K on a Gibson LP Traditional/Standard but it appears that there are some good copies out there with Epiphone and Agile and maybe others. So I now have some trying and playing to do at GC. I also heard a Gibson ES-335 that sounded wonderful for blues but am not prepared to pay 3K. I had no idea copies of most high end guitars were made and of course it would be nice to have a Gibson name on the neck (not to mention resale value) but don't think I would be selling it anyways.

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A lot of great advice, thanks !

 

I always thought I had to spend at least 2K on a Gibson LP Traditional/Standard but it appears that there are some good copies out there with Epiphone and Agile and maybe others. So I now have some trying and playing to do at GC. I also heard a Gibson ES-335 that sounded wonderful for blues but am not prepared to pay 3K. I had no idea copies of most high end guitars were made and of course it would be nice to have a Gibson name on the neck (not to mention resale value) but don't think I would be selling it anyways.

I'm a gibson fan, but I do think for the LP, anything less than a historic has always been uninspiring for me. And I'm not opposed to cheaper guitars even though most of mind are on the more expensive side. I only have one gibson. A new firebird V 2010. I think it was like $1400. The problem I always see with the epiphones are consistency. You may find a good one but most aren't. Agiles biggest drawback is hardware and electronics and if you upgrade that, which almost everyone eventually does, you double the cost of the guitar.

 

I think their are standouts in every price range. And I tend to suggest not trying to get a LP for $500. I only suggest this because I wouldn't be happy with the results.

 

For the $500ish range. The PRS SE line is hard to beat.

 

For really cheap the squier classic vibe telecasters have a great following.

 

I'd personally be ok with many of the higher end Mexican fenders. And I limit to that only because I like 7.25" radius and 21 frets. Any will do actually

 

For around $1100 used you can get a fender american vintage reissue. They are all great guitars. They also have the hot rods which are similar guitars but slightly "modernized".

 

I have a PRS Santana Brazilian, a fender custom shop strat, another strat I put together from all fender parts, the gibson firebird, a danelectro dc-59 modified. So they range from $197 to $6000 and they are all great to me. I just tend to not try to get something that's goal is trying to be something it's not instead of trying to be something good.

 

If you decide to go with a les paul copy like epiphone, please buy locally and preferably bring a seasoned player to test a bunch out to find a winner. They are not all winners. From any company. I just find gibson the least forgiving.

 

I don't even know where to start on amps other than to tell you you want a 50-100 watt marshall style Amp and 2 4x12 cAbs.

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Just my 2 cents:

 

One of my first guitars was an Epiphone LP-100 ~$300.  I loved the thing starting out, but it had some quirky issues with the tuners slipping on me.  My buddy had an Epiphone SG that he paid somewhere around $700 for (maybe a little more or less) and he still plays the thing today.  I think the key is to go mid-high end on the Epiphone vs. low end Gibson.  If you're wiling to spend $500-700, you can get something that you'll play forever.  If you go on the very cheap end like I did, you'll always wish you spent $200 more.  The upper end Epiphones are sometimes better than the low end Gibsons that cost way more because you're then just paying for the name.  Like one of the other guys mentioned in an earlier post, you can always upgrade the electronics (pickups) down the line. 

 

One thing I recommend is looking for a used electric.  You can normally find a good one at nearly half price.  Too many guys get married, have kids, and get into financial trouble and then have to dump all of their gear.  You can probalby pick up a very good used ax AND a decent combo amp for $500 or so.  I ended up scoring a used Carvin SG-style for $200 from a recently married doctor whose new wife didn't want him playing anymore.  He literally just wanted to give it away to get it out of the house since money wasn't an issue for him.

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I've been playing the club seen since the early 80's, had many guitars and amp, but I always find myself going back to my Les Paul Special. Its a cheaper Les Paul, but with the right set-up it plays great. Lots of great advice here to take in. I agree with buying used, you can find some great deals out there, and you dont need a huge amp. I play through a Mesa Studio 22, a little single 12" combo amp, and it cuts through with no problem. Good luck.

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wsaraceni - I always thought that great sounding blues guitars usually came from a Les Paul but I am probably completely wrong after doing some more research.

 

The other guitar that I thought had an amazing sound was a Gibson ES335 which I think is a semi-hollow that BB King and Clapton played - this was more the sound that I was looking for and very expensive(and I understand that the player has much to do with it as well). Wondering if there is a good copy of this out there.

 

Mind you, I also love Stevie Ray Vaughan and I know he played a Fender Stratocaster (next on the list) so I may end up going with a Strat, too many choices !

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wsaraceni - I always thought that great sounding blues guitars usually came from a Les Paul but I am probably completely wrong after doing some more research.

 

The other guitar that I thought had an amazing sound was a Gibson ES335 which I think is a semi-hollow that BB King and Clapton played - this was more the sound that I was looking for and very expensive(and I understand that the player has much to do with it as well). Wondering if there is a good copy of this out there.

 

Mind you, I also love Stevie Ray Vaughan and I know he played a Fender Stratocaster (next on the list) so I may end up going with a Strat, too many choices !

Great sounding blues guitar has been played on everything. My favorite album ever (the beano album) is a les paul. A lot of great zeppelin is a telecaster. Rory Gallagher sounded amazing with a strat. Warren haynes sounds amazing and he plays everything. Clapton played everything over the years. It's all good. I'm not trying to talk you out of a les paul. I just think that for a cheaper price point you can do better. I bought and sold a lot. If I had gotten a real nice fender strat for $1000 to start Id probably have saved a lot of money. Instead I always was looking for something better before realizing that something better (for me) was not available for the price range.

 

I guess it's relative to guns here. If someone was looking to spend $400, and posted they loved 1911s, and they have only shot a few 22 rifles before. you'd have some people say, well for $200 more you can get a slightly used Springfield. I'm the one saying, if your price is $400 get a glock. Don't spend $600 on a Springfield in hopes of getting a wilson combat.

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You'll probably acquire more guitars over time. And guitars are not limited to a specific style. Joe Bonamassa is incredible on a LP. Find the LP you like. Play the heck out of it.

 

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk

 

 

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I'm going to offer a little different slant on things. I've been playing for 41 years, have taught guitar, and opened for many well established artists. FOR ME, it is ALL about the neck. Pickups and electronics can be changed ad infiunitim, but the neck carve and scale length are the things that scream "Play Me!" I've had 20+ Les Pauls, God only knows how many Strats and Teles, and at one time had 13 Paul Reed Smith guitars in the collection, not to mention all the other brands that have come and gone. The main thing is to see how comfortable it is in your hand, there's a BIG difference between a 50's vs. 60's neck carve on the different LP models. Good luck on the search!

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The main thing is to see how comfortable it is in your hand,

This is exactly why I built my own...every one I found that was comfortable in my hands was waaaayyyyy out of my price range. I prefer the feel of pre-war Martins, when they had pretty fat necks, and all I could find was $3000 and up pre-war Martins. I bought a kit from Stew-Mac and shaped the neck to fit my hand. It's wider and thicker than anything I could find commercially...but it fits ME.

 

 

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