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I've decided to learn guitar.


aeon

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I have decided to learn guitar for the purposes of fun, challenge, self-development and exploration. That said, I have a general question related to purchasing a guitar.

 

Should a beginner purchase a modest instrument and perhaps upgrade later as their skills improve, or should that player purchase the finest instrument they can reasonably afford at the outset?

 

Based on my experience with buying a mountain bike and my later use of it, I would lean toward the latter. The feel and quality of the bike encouraged me to ride more, and the performance of the bike allowed me to be a better rider. I believe some of the same would apply to a guitar.

 

What say ye on this? Thanks in advance...this is a brave new world for me.

Go tell someone you love that you love them.
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IMHO get the best that you can afford. A nice axe will give you more satisfaction. It will become part of your family. I have had a few modestly priced guitars (out of necessity ) in the past, and although they served their purpose( you can get something very playable for around $200) , a quality instrument will just give you a feeling you can't get with a cheaper model. Also on the plus side, a better guitar will hold it's value if you decide to sell later.

 

Now for something completely off topic.

 

GET A TEACHER ! ! ! I always post this message for new guitarists. Nothing makes learning music more frustrating than trying to figure it all out yourself. With a fundamental knowledge of chord structure, scales and proper hand technique the sky's the limit. Hope this helps.

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I believe you should buy a fairly expensive new guitar or a used one in good condition. If you end up not liking playing guitar, the instrument will hold it's value and you can pretty much sell it for what you paid for it. A cheap instrument will lose it's value quickly.

 

However, not being a guitar player you might not buy the instrument that "speaks" to you. Guitar is such a personal instrument. The way it feels in your hands, the tone, the look. All very, very personal stuff. Those are the same reasons you SHOULD get a guitar. It's an amazing instrument and it can reward you in so many ways.

 

I don't want to recommend anything too specific because I don't know your budjet and the style of music you want to play.

 

Gibson, Hamer, and Fender all make good stuff. Go to the stores and shop around.

 

I still play the guitar I started with in 1976, a Gibson Les Paul Standard, and it still plays like a dream today. They can last a long, long time.

 

If you buy a cheap one you will trade it in on another in a couple of years. That's not a bad thing but keep that in mind. The advantage is that by then you might know exactly what model of guitar appeals to you.

 

Tough decisions. Good luck.

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Another thing to consider...

 

Do you want an acoustic or electric. Generally acoustics have the advantage of being "self-contained" meaning you don't need an amp... But they're a little harder on the fingers due to heavier strings. But they're great for beginners and fine for learning all the basic "cowboy chords" and playing simple songs.

 

On the other hand, electrics are slightly easier to play, typically are a little less expensive, and are a little lighter and easier to throw around.

 

Anyway, don't forget to consider both electrics and acoustics in your search...

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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One more thing to keep in mind.

 

A cheap guitar will not play well, it's harder to chord, doesn't hold tuning well and any other number of things that will put you off playing it.

 

A more expensive guitar will play better, hold it's tuning better (in most cases), and just be a better guitar to play all around. If the guitar plays well you will practice more and get more out of your practice. If you're pretty sure you want to do this than get the best instrument you can, you won't regret it.

 

and GET A TEACHER!!!!!!! As stated previously it can become VERY frustrating trying to learn this stuff on your own, to the point that you won't want to do it in some cases. Taking lessons from the right teacher will make a world of difference. Just remember, all teachers are not created equally, if you do run into a bad teacher and don't enjoy taking your lessons anymore don't give up on playing. Just keep searching till you find a good teacher that you enjoy learning from. Best of luck.

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Whatever you decide, especially with an

acoustic guitar, get a knowledgeable friend

or capable guitar tech to check the setup

of the instrument. I've seen some real high-

priced acoustics improperly set up that were

almost unplayable due to the strings being

too high off the fretboard. Again, with

acoustics primarily, start with light guage

strings and keep them clean. It will take

a while (weeks, perhaps) until your finger-

tips get toughened up and conditioned. Then

go to heavier strings if you prefer. Ditto

the others above re: buy a quality instrument

that "speaks" to you. Good luck...Bob Wood

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>>Based on my experience with buying a mountain bike and my later use of it, I would lean toward the latter. The feel and quality of the bike encouraged me to ride more, and the performance of the bike allowed me to be a better rider. I believe some of the same would apply to a guitar

 

You've got it. I wouldn't necessarily go out and buy a Les Paul for three grand and a Marshall stack to start, but I DON'T buy a pawnshop cheapie, either. Make sure you have someone knowledgeable check out the rig you want before you plunk down the cash. Make sure the neck is okay, it plays in tune (of course intonation can be adjusted)...and that whatever amp you buy sounds the way you want. Model your guitar after your heroes, in other words, if you want that Tennessee twang, I'd lean towards the Tele sound, if you're a shred head, consider like a Charvel or Ibanez or something. If you're a Stevie and Jimi nut, grab a Strat. All these guitars can be had, or have model varieties that come at a relatively low cost (especially if you're used to laying out a couple of grand for a titanium mountain bike). You don't have to go hog wild, but don't go into a pawn shop and lay out 75 bucks for a guitar with a neck like the Golden Gate Bridge, either.

 

For an amp, I'd consider at least 30 watts or so, something bigger than a practice amp, so if you hook up with some buddies that play other instruments, like bass and drums as you start to grow, you'll be able to keep up with them.

 

And, if you've got a buddy that is knowledgeable (and only if that's the case) you may want to consider a good quality used instrument. More bang for the buck, but you've GOT to know what you're looking for...

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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>>I believe you should buy a fairly expensive new guitar or a used one in good condition. If you end up not liking playing guitar, the instrument will hold it's value and you can pretty much sell it for what you paid for it. A cheap instrument will lose it's value quickly.

 

I'll say "moderately priced" rather than "fairly expensive"...something mid range, I'd be looking at, say, between 400 and 500 on average. But the bit about a better instrument holding its value if you do decide to sell it is right on. That's one advantage of buying a good used instrument. If you sell it you can probably match your outlay dollars...

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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