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starter electric guitar

Old 08-29-2009, 01:11 PM
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Default starter electric guitar

I know there are some musicians here who might be able to help me.

I'm looking to get my13year old son an electric guitar. Don't want to spend more than $300 on the guitar.

Any suggestions?

I'm looking at these...

http://thesoundodyssey.com/store/ind...&filter_id=122

http://www.godinguitars.com/godinredlineseriesp.htm

I hear good things about the GOdin...but they seem to be over my price range.

Is there any other guitar I should be looking at?
I plan to go to Sam Ash and Guitar Center next week to look around...not sure what I should be looking for.

I have a Yamaha acoustic that I play but I never played around with an electric, so any info would be greatly appreciated.


TIA Joe
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:18 PM
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the one this kid is using sounds like it works ok. Maybe you can get that one or one that works just as well?

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Old 08-29-2009, 01:57 PM
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I think the Fender Squier series is pretty hard to beat. They can come bundled with an amp. I would get an amp with some degree of effects, at least reverb. The cheap amps just sound too dry without it. I think one of their packages comes with a DSP amp, which would keep him entertained for years.

Obviously alot of great deals on ebay. That Gold LP linked on your post looks pretty good, set neck and all. You also might want to bring him along when you look, after all, he'll be playing it, and you know how youngsters are...

Assuming I had an amp, if I were looking I'd get a used Mexican Fender Telecaster; figure $250 + shipping for a "like new". If he wants a wammy bar, get the strat. This is really something that he should have a say in...

Last edited by Ranger88; 08-29-2009 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:01 PM
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I saw a Fender Starcaster [made by Fender to look like a Stratocaster] at Costco for a couple hundred bucks. I picked it up and was amazed at how good the action was and the tunning was remarkably good, too.

You can also pick up a used Stratocaster on ebay for a couple hundred, too. Of course, these aren't the US made ones but they play very well for a student.
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Old 08-29-2009, 04:21 PM
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I am partial to the Telecaster for a beginner electric guitar. You can get a low end Fender Tele for your price range.
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Old 08-29-2009, 04:52 PM
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If it helps let him bust his fingers on the acustic you've got for awhile. That's what my dad did and when I got to pick up my electric it was all the easier.

If your boy is independant minded he may want to pick out his own sound/style, but can't think of getting made at my dad for bringing home a fender. Just make sure you get him a gig bag thrown in for the price.

Last time I bought a guitar I went to competing stores and they price matched and I got the bag on top of it.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:20 PM
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the squire strat bundles are cheap enough guitar gig bag and baby amp. only other thing he'll need is practice.

looks like the canon in d video kid is playin a jackson soloist. {damn nice guitar, too pricey for me back in the day)
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:22 PM
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I'm not a guitar player, but am a musician (keyboards). From what I understand, it may make sense to stay with the fender style guitars for kids as the Les Paul style guitars are heavier.

Since there are probably musicians looking at this thread, I figured that I'd throw in a "shameless plug" for my band. We are playing at a car show on Sunday September 13th in Somerset, NJ. It is a fundraiser for a local church. Here is a video from last years car show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1GrRblR26g

David

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Old 08-29-2009, 07:12 PM
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Joe,

I sent you a detailed PM with some recommendations. Let me know if you have any additional questions. I'd be happy to answer them.

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Old 08-29-2009, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 08087 View Post
If it helps let him bust his fingers on the acustic you've got for awhile.



The advantage of an electric guitar is that it can be played under headphones, otherwise, acoustic is the way to start for a lot of other reasons.
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:36 PM
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Some good points already made .....

FENDER would be the way I'd go based on your info - the "Strat"/Squier series being the least expensive/best bang for the buck with the 3 single pickups. GREAT beginner guitar and has very good sound qualities.

The "Les Paul" and "Telecaster" series - being solid bodies - are pretty heavy, even when seated and using a strap.

The "Strats" are a nice weight and can usually be had with either a Rosewood or Maple neck (frets) - I prefer the Rosewood, as it's easier to "see" your finger work, and the "action" seems smoother than Maple.

I have a Strat Squier and a "Made in Mexico" Telecaster - cheapest "Made in USA" of either (Strat w/a Humbucker & 2 singles) runs about $650 and UP. My Squier was about $150 new (no amp, gig bag or anything else with it) and my Tele was about $369. Tele's usually come with "larger" (diameter) strings than Strats - I play my Strat 90% of the time.

Bought my Strat at Guitar Center, but not as a "package". They - as well as Sam Ash - DO have very good packages with everything you need to get started! That may be the best way to go - probably with a 10 or 15W amp included. A 15W is MORE than enough to run folks out of the house - ask my wife! But DO get one that has the "basic" effects that your son will enjoy - reverb, tremelo, overdrive, etc..

Ibanez makes some NICE stuff (guitars), too, but not usually as much "packaged" stuff as Fender.

And DON'T forget to line your son up with some LESSONS - I waited until I was almost 60 to start the lessons. I take them every Wednesday.

P.S. - I've always heard it's easier to learn on an electric than an acoustic - smaller strings and narrower neck on the electrics.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DarthBaiter View Post
I know there are some musicians here who might be able to help me.

I'm looking to get my13year old son an electric guitar. Don't want to spend more than $300 on the guitar.

Any suggestions?

I'm looking at these...

http://thesoundodyssey.com/store/ind...&filter_id=122

http://www.godinguitars.com/godinredlineseriesp.htm

I hear good things about the GOdin...but they seem to be over my price range.

Is there any other guitar I should be looking at?
I plan to go to Sam Ash and Guitar Center next week to look around...not sure what I should be looking for.

I have a Yamaha acoustic that I play but I never played around with an electric, so any info would be greatly appreciated.


TIA Joe
I got my son his at the Guitar Store. Whatever they recommended. He used the heck out of it and he and his friends eventually wrecked it. My son is irresponsible.

I think the recommendations so far are very good. Expect the guitar to be essentially worthless when your son gives it up. If he doesn't give it up, then the most priceless thing has happened. He's learned music, he's grown and developed a livelong skill he may return to at any time. The inital price is worth many times what you paid for it.

If you can talk to a teacher in your area, they will tell you what their students use. Be careful of a second hand or pawn shop guitar. They've likely been handled like my kid handled his.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:41 AM
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Thanks for a wealth of info guys.

I will keep all of this in mind when we go to the guitar stores.
He has been fooling around with my acoustic but it is old and needed a lot of work and kept going out of tune, frustrating him more than he needed to be.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:42 AM
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I'm assuming that he has no playing experience and you want to encourage him.

I would go to the local music shop as well as Guitar Center, Sam ash, or the like with him and let him try to finger some notes on some different makes to see if he finds one that feels more comfortable than another - a neck that fits his hand, a weight that he is comfortable with, and comfortable with how the body of the instrument sits on/against his body - and do not worry about the cost at first. You want to encourage him and find one that he physically comfortable playing without fighting the instrument.

I started playing bass in my teens and made the mistake of letting price be the biggest determination in what I played. This winter, I seriously picked it up again after about a five year hiatis, and bought some new/used basses of much better quality than I had been playing. I was amazed at the difference between axes. To quote myself, my fingers were finally able to do exactly what I wanted them to do versus fighting the instrument. I never would have put it down had I had these ones originally.

After finding what brand and model are a good fit, look to pick it up used from a store vs the ebay thing. You can get some good stuff off ebay, but it is a big gamble with musical instruments. Also when you get it from the store, any legit store should be able to set it up for you, and negotiate with them to do it for free, ($30 to $100 depending on the shop and guitar type) rather than haggle the price. You might get lucky and he may be most comfortable with something like the fender squire series, which offers excellent beginner packages and looks like the instruments most pros use.

Any guitar you buy will/should need to be set up before played regardless of whether it is new or used. Go to the fender site and download their manual that instructs you exactly how to set it up yourself. You need a few special tools so it would be better to have the shop do it; it is simple but needs to be precise.

I agree with the benefits of playing acoustic, but at 13 he will want more instant gratification than challenges, so I think you are better off going electric. If he loves it, he will eventually pick up and acoustic.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:07 PM
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Don't forget that along with the electric comes the need for an amp. I learned on an acoustic and while it is tougher on the fingers it will build dexterity and strength faster than an electric.

Check out www.musiciansfriend.com or www.worldmusicsupply.com I've bought a lot of stuff from both places over the years due to no local suppliers in my area. Good service and prices from both.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:23 AM
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chrisjb is on the money. If the guitar is not comfortable for the player to play, it leads quickly to frustration and dis-interest. Spending some time and maybe a little more money up front will go a long way in keeping his interest piqued. Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:38 AM
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Fender Squire strats or epiphones to start... Ive had some really nice Ibanez guitars that were less than 300. Yamaha also makes a couple of nice ones in that range too. I would get 5-6 good quality choices in your price range together and then let the kid choose which one he likes.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:24 AM
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Anyone familiar with Michael Kelly guitars? We're looking at the Decree for $400. String-thru constuction, mahogony, tune-o-matic bridge, etc. Son is interested in finding a Peavey Predator Plus EXP for $219 to try out. because it comes with a Floyd Rose Tremola. I've been told the Ibanze ART100 should be on the short list. Not posing as an expert by any means, my son is the player and has been on acoustic up until now; we've just started looking at electrics.

BTW, if anyone is ever looking for an entry level acoustic, I highly recommend the Canadian made Seagull Entourage Mini-jumbo. Really nice sound and not made in China like most entry level. My son loves his.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by SweetD View Post

If the guitar is not comfortable for the player to play, it leads quickly to frustration and dis-interest.

So where does that leave guitar synthesized programing?

Anyone that "wants" to play a guitar will play a guitar, whatever that guitar happens to be. Reference one Carlos Santana.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by itwonder View Post
Anyone familiar with Michael Kelly guitars? We're looking at the Decree for $400. String-thru constuction, mahogony, tune-o-matic bridge, etc. Son is interested in finding a Peavey Predator Plus EXP for $219 to try out. because it comes with a Floyd Rose Tremola. I've been told the Ibanze ART100 should be on the short list. Not posing as an expert by any means, my son is the player and has been on acoustic up until now; we've just started looking at electrics.

BTW, if anyone is ever looking for an entry level acoustic, I highly recommend the Canadian made Seagull Entourage Mini-jumbo. Really nice sound and not made in China like most entry level. My son loves his.
Michael Kelly makes a good guitar; I have a 335 knockoff that is well made and setup. The only thing I hate is the cheap jack, and you know what they're like to replace on a 335.
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