How to buy an electric guitar

Guitar Tricks Forum > Gear Discussion > How to buy an electric guitar

yogijules

Full Access

Joined: 08/26/19

Posts: 3

I want to get an electric guitar but don't know where to start:

What determines a great one vs. a cheap one?

If I'm just practicing at home, can I use headphones instead of an amp?

I'm thinking of getting the POD in lieu of a bunch of pedals . . . thoughts?

I'm almost an intermediate acoustic guitar player; just got my membership here. Should I wait until I've played more, to know what I want?

I live in LA, so I've got access to whatever gear I want on Craigslist.

#1

I want to get an electric guitar but don't know where to start:

What determines a great one vs. a cheap one?

If I'm just practicing at home, can I use headphones instead of an amp?

I'm thinking of getting the POD in lieu of a bunch of pedals . . . thoughts?

I'm almost an intermediate acoustic guitar player; just got my membership here. Should I wait until I've played more, to know what I want?

I live in LA, so I've got access to whatever gear I want on Craigslist.

manXcat

"It's getting better all the time"♪♪

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 740

Here's how I'd approach your situation were I there again. Your personality type may prefer a different approach.

Rules of thumb.

Check the depth of the water, then dive in. I wouldn't "wait" beyond that. But that's me. That first electric guitar doesn't have to be THE perfect guitar. You won't know what that is for you until you have put the hours and laps in the surf, pool, lake.

Have you ever played electric before? If not, the necks and action are quite different from acoustic, sharing in common only that they are both fitted with steel strings. Electric strings generally fitted as standard are lighter gauge 9s or 10s vs acoustic's 12s.

Electric guitar necks differ more widely than acoustic necks IME. By neck here, I am referring to all the characteristics of a neck, not just profile.

What styles of music do you like/intend to play? Electric pickups, configs, and guitars are very much orientated to genres.

Fit, by that I mean physical fit.

The fit and feel varies considerably. It is most important to have a neck which fits you, and which has features suited to what you want to do with it. e.g. shred, play metal, rhythm, blues, etc.

e.g. you can possibly relate to fit better in acoustic analogy by comparing the body shapes more than anything. For instance, I detest Dreads much as I'd like to like them. They are just a poor body fit for me. I'll go with a Concert or e-acoustic Slimline Cutaway every time. In electrics, the body shape is less of an issue than weight, centre of gravity or neck.

Buy that first electric guitar on fit and its suitability to intended genre, NOT how cool it looks in your or anyone elses' eyes, which is invariably a deciding factor to many a regret.

For me, brand doesn't matter, but I'm an analytical guy. And unless you're 'money is no object' loaded in which case "knock yourself out!", it foolish to buy too much guitar as a first as guitars depreciate faster than a new car the moment you drive it off the showroom floor.

As an electric noob, buy new unless you know guitars, or have someone with you who does, not just says s/he does. That way you don't get someone else's cast off problems unless lucky, and know what to look for other than a preferred colour and shape.

There's nothing wrong with Fender's Squier segment. I haven't owned an Epiphone, but from reports of those who do, it's more of the same segment marketing in Gibson flavour. Ibanez look pretty at the cheap end, but I wouldn't buy one there. Their higher end segment with better bodies, fingerboards and electronics is relatively expensive. They've become a name in a niche, for those to whom that is important and prepared to pay for it. A long time now my first electric was an Ibanez, so I'm not agin the brand per se. Just I wouldn't pay what I'd have to today to get in an Ibanez of the quality I did back then before they were a name. Lots of good kit also available from Cort, Yamaha that punch way above their price point weight. Then there are the prestige brands like Suhr & Jackson along with lots more who'd like your money, and niche like G&L. Very nice, but at a price. In the US, choice abounds. e.g. Gretsch, Rickenbacker, et al.

As a general guide, for an all rounder, it's very hard to beat a Strat style guitar. I like Teles too. A lot. Both are good physical fits for me. I like the tones I can get from both of them. Les Pauls look cool, but do try first, and if going there, avoid the brand names targeting wannabes. Not knocking LPs per se, just that the whole Les Paul look is a bit of a minefield unless you know what you're about. And anything Les Paul I'd want to own or play is heavy, and remember, I as I said I'm not a brand snob, nor trad luddite.

Along with four acoustics, I own and play all three of those electric styles Tele, Strat, LP in various configs with alternative PUP and or bridge configs, and also had an (Ibanez) SG once. My next explorative adventure will probably be to a ES-335 (electric Spanish) style semi acoustic with Mahogany sustain block, but with contemporary design features and appointments.


GL, enjoy your journey.

manXcat

PS. Trust me, unless you live in a shoebox where the neighbours are beating on your walls when you play your acoustic, once you have an electric, you will want an amp. And arguably, need one to explore tonality. How much or little is up to you. It can be as humble and efficient for in home use as a Boss Katana Mini or Blackstar Fly 3, or Yamaha THR 10 Fender Champion 20 etc. All of those have a headphone out jack and MP3 in for backing tracks for quiet play or practice. Another alternative is a VOX AmPlug or similar available in an increasing number of brands.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

#2

Here's how I'd approach your situation were I there again. Your personality type may prefer a different approach.

Rules of thumb.

Check the depth of the water, then dive in. I wouldn't "wait" beyond that. But that's me. That first electric guitar doesn't have to be THE perfect guitar. You won't know what that is for you until you have put the hours and laps in the surf, pool, lake.

Have you ever played electric before? If not, the necks and action are quite different from acoustic, sharing in common only that they are both fitted with steel strings. Electric strings generally fitted as standard are lighter gauge 9s or 10s vs acoustic's 12s.

Electric guitar necks differ more widely than acoustic necks IME. By neck here, I am referring to all the characteristics of a neck, not just profile.

What styles of music do you like/intend to play? Electric pickups, configs, and guitars are very much orientated to genres.

Fit, by that I mean physical fit.

The fit and feel varies considerably. It is most important to have a neck which fits you, and which has features suited to what you want to do with it. e.g. shred, play metal, rhythm, blues, etc.

e.g. you can possibly relate to fit better in acoustic analogy by comparing the body shapes more than anything. For instance, I detest Dreads much as I'd like to like them. They are just a poor body fit for me. I'll go with a Concert or e-acoustic Slimline Cutaway every time. In electrics, the body shape is less of an issue than weight, centre of gravity or neck.

Buy that first electric guitar on fit and its suitability to intended genre, NOT how cool it looks in your or anyone elses' eyes, which is invariably a deciding factor to many a regret.

For me, brand doesn't matter, but I'm an analytical guy. And unless you're 'money is no object' loaded in which case "knock yourself out!", it foolish to buy too much guitar as a first as guitars depreciate faster than a new car the moment you drive it off the showroom floor.

As an electric noob, buy new unless you know guitars, or have someone with you who does, not just says s/he does. That way you don't get someone else's cast off problems unless lucky, and know what to look for other than a preferred colour and shape.

There's nothing wrong with Fender's Squier segment. I haven't owned an Epiphone, but from reports of those who do, it's more of the same segment marketing in Gibson flavour. Ibanez look pretty at the cheap end, but I wouldn't buy one there. Their higher end segment with better bodies, fingerboards and electronics is relatively expensive. They've become a name in a niche, for those to whom that is important and prepared to pay for it. A long time now my first electric was an Ibanez, so I'm not agin the brand per se. Just I wouldn't pay what I'd have to today to get in an Ibanez of the quality I did back then before they were a name. Lots of good kit also available from Cort, Yamaha that punch way above their price point weight. Then there are the prestige brands like Suhr & Jackson along with lots more who'd like your money, and niche like G&L. Very nice, but at a price. In the US, choice abounds. e.g. Gretsch, Rickenbacker, et al.

As a general guide, for an all rounder, it's very hard to beat a Strat style guitar. I like Teles too. A lot. Both are good physical fits for me. I like the tones I can get from both of them. Les Pauls look cool, but do try first, and if going there, avoid the brand names targeting wannabes. Not knocking LPs per se, just that the whole Les Paul look is a bit of a minefield unless you know what you're about. And anything Les Paul I'd want to own or play is heavy, and remember, I as I said I'm not a brand snob, nor trad luddite.

Along with four acoustics, I own and play all three of those electric styles Tele, Strat, LP in various configs with alternative PUP and or bridge configs, and also had an (Ibanez) SG once. My next explorative adventure will probably be to a ES-335 (electric Spanish) style semi acoustic with Mahogany sustain block, but with contemporary design features and appointments.


GL, enjoy your journey.

manXcat

PS. Trust me, unless you live in a shoebox where the neighbours are beating on your walls when you play your acoustic, once you have an electric, you will want an amp. And arguably, need one to explore tonality. How much or little is up to you. It can be as humble and efficient for in home use as a Boss Katana Mini or Blackstar Fly 3, or Yamaha THR 10 Fender Champion 20 etc. All of those have a headphone out jack and MP3 in for backing tracks for quiet play or practice. Another alternative is a VOX AmPlug or similar available in an increasing number of brands.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

William MG

Full Access

Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 294

Hi,

The great news is you live in LA. I can just imagine the availability of equipment available on the used market, and of course it won't take long to sell off what you don't want to keep.

Frankly I wouldn't put a great deal of thought into what guitar. I always go with what turns me on at the time. Mistakes can be quickly sorted out especially in your market. You already play so you will know if the guitar is playable once you pick it up.

I would suggest an effects board like a G3N or similar. Dirt cheap these days and no need for a bunch of pedals kicking around. I would almost take a stab at $100 in your market would get you a good used effects board. And as you mentioned you can run headphones from them. But as manX suggest, I would still get an amp.

Any small modeling amp like the ones manX describes are great and again available really cheap. In my office I keep a Roland Cube bought off our local music swap for $80. My guess in LA is $200 for a good used board and small practise amp.

I do suggest headphones. There are times I want to play along to a jam track and it's just not possible to turn the amp up to where I want to hear it without effecting others so I plug the jam track into my amp or them through my board and out to my headphones. Which does remind me, you may want to ensure the amp you buy has an aux input. Pretty common these days but if you are going used there will be older amps on the market that don't have it. Instead they used RCA type jacks. Very inconvenient these days. If you have an iPhone with no earphone output you can still run it into an amp or board by getting a Bluetooth receiver that will plug into the aux input. $20ish new.

Good luck.

Repertoire:

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Made Easy)

Link to the lesson here - very good for a beginner

Wild Horses (Made Easy)

Link to lesson here

Highway To Hell

Link to lesson here

Honky Tonk Women (Made Easy)

Lesson here - very easy for beginners

Breaking the Law - fun, fast paced song.

Lesson here

Honky Tonk Women - (Not Made Easy!) I will lick this song someday

Lesson here

#3

Hi,

The great news is you live in LA. I can just imagine the availability of equipment available on the used market, and of course it won't take long to sell off what you don't want to keep.

Frankly I wouldn't put a great deal of thought into what guitar. I always go with what turns me on at the time. Mistakes can be quickly sorted out especially in your market. You already play so you will know if the guitar is playable once you pick it up.

I would suggest an effects board like a G3N or similar. Dirt cheap these days and no need for a bunch of pedals kicking around. I would almost take a stab at $100 in your market would get you a good used effects board. And as you mentioned you can run headphones from them. But as manX suggest, I would still get an amp.

Any small modeling amp like the ones manX describes are great and again available really cheap. In my office I keep a Roland Cube bought off our local music swap for $80. My guess in LA is $200 for a good used board and small practise amp.

I do suggest headphones. There are times I want to play along to a jam track and it's just not possible to turn the amp up to where I want to hear it without effecting others so I plug the jam track into my amp or them through my board and out to my headphones. Which does remind me, you may want to ensure the amp you buy has an aux input. Pretty common these days but if you are going used there will be older amps on the market that don't have it. Instead they used RCA type jacks. Very inconvenient these days. If you have an iPhone with no earphone output you can still run it into an amp or board by getting a Bluetooth receiver that will plug into the aux input. $20ish new.

Good luck.

Repertoire:

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Made Easy)

Link to the lesson here - very good for a beginner

Wild Horses (Made Easy)

Link to lesson here

Highway To Hell

Link to lesson here

Honky Tonk Women (Made Easy)

Lesson here - very easy for beginners

Breaking the Law - fun, fast paced song.

Lesson here

Honky Tonk Women - (Not Made Easy!) I will lick this song someday

Lesson here

matonanjin2

Full Access

Joined: 08/11/17

Posts: 53

@yogijules, you, fortunately, already received a couple very thoughtful, intelligent responses so I won't add much. Just a couple points. First, I would consider the type of music you enjoy and want to play and look at the instruments your favorite players use. manxcat, touched on this. This is a gross oversimplification, but there are two broad "categories" of guitars, the Gibson Les Paul humbucker tone type and the Fender Stratocaster single coil tone type. This is only directional decision you have to make up front. Look at what your idols play and that is a direction to start. If you're like most of us down the road you'll own guitars from both categories to fill the need!

You mentioned getting the POD in lieu of a bunch of pedals and this is very logical reasoning and a multi-effects board will save the expense of many pedals. I use a POD and haven't fired up my Fender Blues Jr. and pedals in months. But the POD has huge learning curve and unless you are retired or stay at home or otherwise have a LOT of time I would hold off. It is fun and fun is our goal. But the "rabbit hole" of chasing tone and pedals (or multi-effects board) is perhaps best left for later. Get one of the cheaper practice amps, or a cheaper amp with effects for now. That will serve you very well to get started.

Have fun shopping. And let us know what you end up with.

#4

@yogijules, you, fortunately, already received a couple very thoughtful, intelligent responses so I won't add much. Just a couple points. First, I would consider the type of music you enjoy and want to play and look at the instruments your favorite players use. manxcat, touched on this. This is a gross oversimplification, but there are two broad "categories" of guitars, the Gibson Les Paul humbucker tone type and the Fender Stratocaster single coil tone type. This is only directional decision you have to make up front. Look at what your idols play and that is a direction to start. If you're like most of us down the road you'll own guitars from both categories to fill the need!

You mentioned getting the POD in lieu of a bunch of pedals and this is very logical reasoning and a multi-effects board will save the expense of many pedals. I use a POD and haven't fired up my Fender Blues Jr. and pedals in months. But the POD has huge learning curve and unless you are retired or stay at home or otherwise have a LOT of time I would hold off. It is fun and fun is our goal. But the "rabbit hole" of chasing tone and pedals (or multi-effects board) is perhaps best left for later. Get one of the cheaper practice amps, or a cheaper amp with effects for now. That will serve you very well to get started.

Have fun shopping. And let us know what you end up with.

hobinlobo

Full Access

Joined: 07/19/16

Posts: 47

I wouldn't disagree with much of the above (though I've read good reviews of Ibanez, and have liked the couple I have tried). But some additional thoughts:

Even if you plan to buy second hand, definitely go to a shop and try a few out to see what you like.

For example, I generally hear good things about Epiphone, but personally I have never liked any I played. In contrast (in terms of necks) I have liked pretty much all the Fender and Squier guitars I have played. But you might have the opposite experience. A lot of it is personal preference.

As suggested above, look at the style of guitar played by people you like - and use that as your starting point. And then play some to see which feel right to you.

In terms of amps, I really like the Vox AV15 and AV30. Not a modelling amp, but does have a good range of sounds from clean to Marshall style distortion. (Though apparently not so good for metal.) And they are not expensive. I had a much more expensive Roland Blues cube, but in the end sold it to buy another Vox. (I wanted 2 amps.)

I don't know the POD, but I think it does make sense to try a multi-effects unit, to experiment with. If you are happy with it, you can keep it. If you decide you want pedals later, playing with the multi-effects will help identify the pedals you want. (And if you don't want to buy loads of pedals, you can continue using the multi-effects for some of the lesser-used sounds.)

I have a few pedals, but also have a line 6 M9, which I find quite easy to use.

You ask about great guitars versus cheap guitars. I should say I don't have much experience of expensive guitars. But I'm not (yet) convinced of the need to get a very expensive guitar. I once played a £3000 Fender custom shop strat, and honestly did not prefer it to my mexican Fender, or my Squier vintage modified strat. (And indeed, I prefer my Squier to my Fender.) That said, I did have a Squier affinity, but sold that as I wasn't happy with the sound.

Ultimately though, if you buy second hand, don't worry about making a mistake. If you don't like it, you should be able to sell it for more or less what you bought it for and try again.

#5

I wouldn't disagree with much of the above (though I've read good reviews of Ibanez, and have liked the couple I have tried). But some additional thoughts:

Even if you plan to buy second hand, definitely go to a shop and try a few out to see what you like.

For example, I generally hear good things about Epiphone, but personally I have never liked any I played. In contrast (in terms of necks) I have liked pretty much all the Fender and Squier guitars I have played. But you might have the opposite experience. A lot of it is personal preference.

As suggested above, look at the style of guitar played by people you like - and use that as your starting point. And then play some to see which feel right to you.

In terms of amps, I really like the Vox AV15 and AV30. Not a modelling amp, but does have a good range of sounds from clean to Marshall style distortion. (Though apparently not so good for metal.) And they are not expensive. I had a much more expensive Roland Blues cube, but in the end sold it to buy another Vox. (I wanted 2 amps.)

I don't know the POD, but I think it does make sense to try a multi-effects unit, to experiment with. If you are happy with it, you can keep it. If you decide you want pedals later, playing with the multi-effects will help identify the pedals you want. (And if you don't want to buy loads of pedals, you can continue using the multi-effects for some of the lesser-used sounds.)

I have a few pedals, but also have a line 6 M9, which I find quite easy to use.

You ask about great guitars versus cheap guitars. I should say I don't have much experience of expensive guitars. But I'm not (yet) convinced of the need to get a very expensive guitar. I once played a £3000 Fender custom shop strat, and honestly did not prefer it to my mexican Fender, or my Squier vintage modified strat. (And indeed, I prefer my Squier to my Fender.) That said, I did have a Squier affinity, but sold that as I wasn't happy with the sound.

Ultimately though, if you buy second hand, don't worry about making a mistake. If you don't like it, you should be able to sell it for more or less what you bought it for and try again.

William MG

Full Access

Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 294

So I think she is adequately confused.

Yogi, just go buy something, play with it, keep or sell it

Its not that complicatated.

Have FUN

Repertoire:

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Made Easy)

Link to the lesson here - very good for a beginner

Wild Horses (Made Easy)

Link to lesson here

Highway To Hell

Link to lesson here

Honky Tonk Women (Made Easy)

Lesson here - very easy for beginners

Breaking the Law - fun, fast paced song.

Lesson here

Honky Tonk Women - (Not Made Easy!) I will lick this song someday

Lesson here

#6

So I think she is adequately confused.

Yogi, just go buy something, play with it, keep or sell it

Its not that complicatated.

Have FUN

Repertoire:

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Made Easy)

Link to the lesson here - very good for a beginner

Wild Horses (Made Easy)

Link to lesson here

Highway To Hell

Link to lesson here

Honky Tonk Women (Made Easy)

Lesson here - very easy for beginners

Breaking the Law - fun, fast paced song.

Lesson here

Honky Tonk Women - (Not Made Easy!) I will lick this song someday

Lesson here

manXcat

"It's getting better all the time"♪♪

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 740

Originally Posted by: hobinlobo

I did have a Squier affinity, but sold that as I wasn't happy with the sound.


Hi hobinlobo


Realise this is rather closing the gate after that horse has bolted, but for others reading who may be in or find themselves in the same predicament, this would've fixed that - inexpensively. I paid a lot less (under half that) for mine than the price listed here domestically. Or if preferred, same brand quality ceramic PUPs with an induction plate on the bridge PUP to get that closer to 50's vintage sound can be had for a considerably less. In the US you have so many inexpensive options, not so much in other countries, so this is more for those readers in ROW.


I think the key point is probably A. as long as the owner is a technically adept hands on person, and B. the Squier Affinity Tele's contemporary neck profile, nut width and fingerboard radius works for them. It does for me.

That single PUP mod turns an inexpensive guitar into truly solid unit where no way is it the weak link, setup notwithstanding. There are numerous other minor tweaks which can be made to them to change/improve overall tone and enhance playability, or even the cosmetic, all just parts fitting really simplist of which is to swap over the pickguard for three ply. Although in my country l think even though the Affinity Tele is locally overpriced, they're a (Fender) Squier branded Tele if the name on the headstock is important to the buyer, and remain affordable to most.

I like their slimmer but still Alder body, and the top loading bridge works just fine. (I have a through load as well). They can be quickly and easily transformed too with three double barrel saddles in any material one might like including brass if preferring a different or Tele tone. The fret ends are usable out of the box, but clean up even better with a little polish work IME. A no frills inexpensive workhorse. I like 'em.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

#7

Originally Posted by: hobinlobo

I did have a Squier affinity, but sold that as I wasn't happy with the sound.


Hi hobinlobo


Realise this is rather closing the gate after that horse has bolted, but for others reading who may be in or find themselves in the same predicament, this would've fixed that - inexpensively. I paid a lot less (under half that) for mine than the price listed here domestically. Or if preferred, same brand quality ceramic PUPs with an induction plate on the bridge PUP to get that closer to 50's vintage sound can be had for a considerably less. In the US you have so many inexpensive options, not so much in other countries, so this is more for those readers in ROW.


I think the key point is probably A. as long as the owner is a technically adept hands on person, and B. the Squier Affinity Tele's contemporary neck profile, nut width and fingerboard radius works for them. It does for me.

That single PUP mod turns an inexpensive guitar into truly solid unit where no way is it the weak link, setup notwithstanding. There are numerous other minor tweaks which can be made to them to change/improve overall tone and enhance playability, or even the cosmetic, all just parts fitting really simplist of which is to swap over the pickguard for three ply. Although in my country l think even though the Affinity Tele is locally overpriced, they're a (Fender) Squier branded Tele if the name on the headstock is important to the buyer, and remain affordable to most.

I like their slimmer but still Alder body, and the top loading bridge works just fine. (I have a through load as well). They can be quickly and easily transformed too with three double barrel saddles in any material one might like including brass if preferring a different or Tele tone. The fret ends are usable out of the box, but clean up even better with a little polish work IME. A no frills inexpensive workhorse. I like 'em.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

yogijules

Full Access

Joined: 08/26/19

Posts: 3

This is suuper-helpful! Thanks so much!

I'm going to think about what sound/vibe I want, look at the guitars my favorite musicians play, and go to a music store to try several. Probably Craigslist from there.

Are there issues I should know about when buying used (manXcat, you mentioned "cast-off problems")?

What's an aux input?

Sounds like it's mostly about getting something comfortable to play, as tone is determined more by amps and pedals than the guitar?

#8

This is suuper-helpful! Thanks so much!

I'm going to think about what sound/vibe I want, look at the guitars my favorite musicians play, and go to a music store to try several. Probably Craigslist from there.

Are there issues I should know about when buying used (manXcat, you mentioned "cast-off problems")?

What's an aux input?

Sounds like it's mostly about getting something comfortable to play, as tone is determined more by amps and pedals than the guitar?

manXcat

"It's getting better all the time"♪♪

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 740

Originally Posted by: yogijules

I'm going to think about what sound/vibe I want, look at the guitars my favorite musicians play, and go to a music store to try several. Probably Craigslist from there.

Sound plan, except for the Craigslist bit. But I've already made my personal preference position clear on that previously.

Originally Posted by: yogijules
Are there issues I should know about when buying used (manXcat, you mentioned "cast-off problems")?

By "cast-off" what I meant was that frequently, the least frustrating smartest way to fix a difficult to fix, seemingly impossible to detect or expensive to fix problem is to just get rid of it and replace it with something else. Decent people wouldn't onsell a problem anything deceptively inflicting it upon someone else. Not everyone is either decent nor honest. You can figure out the rest.

So no disrespect intended, yogijules, but if you have to ask, you're probably not really equipped to discern a dud unless it's something cosmetically readily apparent, and I couldn't explain all you need not only to know here without turning this into the equivalent of an additional volume to "War & Peace". Nothing to do with intelligence per se, but with an aptitude for the technical coupled with assimilation of knowledge acquired from exposure to hands on.

I think the primary thing to remember is that buying second hand is caveat emptor, and the owner may, or may not, be tellin' you porkies about why s/he's unloading it. New, you know everything is as it should be, and if not, you have a dealer to take it back to with factory warranty to back you up. I like a bargain as much as the next guy, but in the end, it's not just a price thing, but an pleasurable experience = minimal frustration thing.

Better a new Squier Affinity Tele or Strat that at most needs a neck relief and intonation adjustment OOTB. They play surprisingly well. Don't let their price point fool you. Watch this from that timed link. And that's just a humble fixed bridge Squier Bullet Strat. Set up propertly, any of the myriad of new guitars at low pricepoints in the US won't be a limiting factor on either your play or tone initially. Pickups and strings do matter, as does everything which will hold a guitar in tune. Tuner mechs, nut, bridge. But most important is fit. Like I said earlier, buy new, go comfort, and just dive in. Don't be concerned about it being the perfect guitar. If you're a committed guitarist and find you enjoy electric, it won't be long before your collection starts growing.


This girl has some anecdotal advice to share stemming from her own journey over the past three years which you might be able to relate to. Rachel started with a Squier Strat, but moved to an expensive (& very nice) Ibanez once she knew the direction she was headed because that was and is a good fit for her figuratively and literally. OTOH, drop dead gorgeous a guitar that it is, I wouldn't buy what she has because it's a shred neck really orientated to metal which is what she's into. It's a personal thing. i.e. I'd rather chew my own arm off and club myself to death with it than play or ever inflict the agony of listening to metal upon myself. YMMV

Personally, my favourite axe is the Tele, although I use all three of the common tools in the electric toolbox. Here using one playing one of my fav rock songs, is a gal who thinks so too.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

#9

Originally Posted by: yogijules

I'm going to think about what sound/vibe I want, look at the guitars my favorite musicians play, and go to a music store to try several. Probably Craigslist from there.

Sound plan, except for the Craigslist bit. But I've already made my personal preference position clear on that previously.

Originally Posted by: yogijules
Are there issues I should know about when buying used (manXcat, you mentioned "cast-off problems")?

By "cast-off" what I meant was that frequently, the least frustrating smartest way to fix a difficult to fix, seemingly impossible to detect or expensive to fix problem is to just get rid of it and replace it with something else. Decent people wouldn't onsell a problem anything deceptively inflicting it upon someone else. Not everyone is either decent nor honest. You can figure out the rest.

So no disrespect intended, yogijules, but if you have to ask, you're probably not really equipped to discern a dud unless it's something cosmetically readily apparent, and I couldn't explain all you need not only to know here without turning this into the equivalent of an additional volume to "War & Peace". Nothing to do with intelligence per se, but with an aptitude for the technical coupled with assimilation of knowledge acquired from exposure to hands on.

I think the primary thing to remember is that buying second hand is caveat emptor, and the owner may, or may not, be tellin' you porkies about why s/he's unloading it. New, you know everything is as it should be, and if not, you have a dealer to take it back to with factory warranty to back you up. I like a bargain as much as the next guy, but in the end, it's not just a price thing, but an pleasurable experience = minimal frustration thing.

Better a new Squier Affinity Tele or Strat that at most needs a neck relief and intonation adjustment OOTB. They play surprisingly well. Don't let their price point fool you. Watch this from that timed link. And that's just a humble fixed bridge Squier Bullet Strat. Set up propertly, any of the myriad of new guitars at low pricepoints in the US won't be a limiting factor on either your play or tone initially. Pickups and strings do matter, as does everything which will hold a guitar in tune. Tuner mechs, nut, bridge. But most important is fit. Like I said earlier, buy new, go comfort, and just dive in. Don't be concerned about it being the perfect guitar. If you're a committed guitarist and find you enjoy electric, it won't be long before your collection starts growing.


This girl has some anecdotal advice to share stemming from her own journey over the past three years which you might be able to relate to. Rachel started with a Squier Strat, but moved to an expensive (& very nice) Ibanez once she knew the direction she was headed because that was and is a good fit for her figuratively and literally. OTOH, drop dead gorgeous a guitar that it is, I wouldn't buy what she has because it's a shred neck really orientated to metal which is what she's into. It's a personal thing. i.e. I'd rather chew my own arm off and club myself to death with it than play or ever inflict the agony of listening to metal upon myself. YMMV

Personally, my favourite axe is the Tele, although I use all three of the common tools in the electric toolbox. Here using one playing one of my fav rock songs, is a gal who thinks so too.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

William MG

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Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 294

This might help Yogi

Whats an aux input?

Repertoire:

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Made Easy)

Link to the lesson here - very good for a beginner

Wild Horses (Made Easy)

Link to lesson here

Highway To Hell

Link to lesson here

Honky Tonk Women (Made Easy)

Lesson here - very easy for beginners

Breaking the Law - fun, fast paced song.

Lesson here

Honky Tonk Women - (Not Made Easy!) I will lick this song someday

Lesson here

#10

This might help Yogi

Whats an aux input?

Repertoire:

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Made Easy)

Link to the lesson here - very good for a beginner

Wild Horses (Made Easy)

Link to lesson here

Highway To Hell

Link to lesson here

Honky Tonk Women (Made Easy)

Lesson here - very easy for beginners

Breaking the Law - fun, fast paced song.

Lesson here

Honky Tonk Women - (Not Made Easy!) I will lick this song someday

Lesson here