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Guitar people question

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Trlsmn, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    I want to buy my son a used quality electric guitar in the $200 to $300 range, possibly on craigslist, what am I looking for?
     
  2. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    So:
    how old?
    are you thinking Electric or Acoustic?
    Has he played at all (Guitar hero doesn't count).
     
  3. rufus

    rufus State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Can't help with guitar recommendation, but once he has one he will NEED Rocksmith. I've heard nothing but great things about it. Where was something like this when I was learning to play in the 70's? Makes me want to start playing again.

    Might stroll through a few pawn shops, they always seem to have a good selection and you can look at guns too.
     
  4. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    Here's some options;
    Electric: Fender Squire Stratocaster. These are all over Craigslist. I wouldn't pay more that 100.00 for guitar alone. These were sold in guitar packs with everything you need to play (Amp, Cord, pick etc) for like $299 new. For a complete pack I'd look in the 125 to 150 range. Give one of these to a good guitar tech and they can make them play pretty good for $50-$75. This is because the guitars are assembled, not built. you can swap out parts quite easily.
    Acoustic: Yamaha or Epiphone. Yamaha has been putting out pretty good beginner steel string "D" style guitars. Epiphone as well. These sold new (like at guitar center or Costco) for $150 to $250. There plywood tops and have pretty good sound. Acoustics are more expensive to set up (Make play better) in the range of $80 to $120.

    For someone who has never played, Electrics are easier to form chords. With guitar, you have to learn how to make a note before you can play a note. this is tougher to do on an acoustic. I would stay away from classical guitars (Nylon strings) It may seem like a good idea starting out but these are abandoned because of the sound and the fact the strings roll around under your fingers. Drives me crazy.

    I've been playing for 30 years and have taught quite a few kids. The biggest inspiration is if their friends are playing (I've seen this a lot in youth group kids) It's amazing how fast they learn with a little competition.

    I always tell kids "5 years from now nobody will care you can get to level 10 of some X-box game that now resides in the trash. You will know how to pick up a guitar and play something for the rest of your life and guitars never become obsolete"
     
    Gunner3456, civilian75, g26 and 3 others like this.
  5. Grunwald

    Grunwald Out of that nut job colony of Seattle, WA Well-Known Member

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    Electric will be easier to learn on. The strings will be "softer" and lower to the frets. If you are looking for used, the first thing I would do is make sure that the neck is straight. Look at it long way across the fretboard like you would at a piece of lumber. If it is not straight, I would not buy it. Yes you can adjust but why start with an instrument that has that sort of a issue.
    The other thing I would do is the the intonation. For each string pick it open and then on the 12th fret - it better give the same note but an octave higher. Once again this is something that can be adjusted, but you don't want to try to start off with an instrument in this condition.

    As far as brands, I could not even begin to try to give a list and I have not looked at guitars in a very long time. However when I did there was one rule of thumb I would use - no matter what the brand was only buy American or Japanese. At that time the big cheap producer was Korea and even the major brands like Fender were making their beginner lines in Korea. They were outsourced and that $400 Fender was the same as a $200 Hondo, as both came from the same assembly line (a friend actually visited the factory).

    I would advise going to music stores instead of pawn shops. I have found that pawn shops are almost always overpriced when it comes to guitars and amps. I can tell you that Peavey made some fine guitars some 30 years ago, and they were always cheap. I still have a T-25, which was my first real guitar and would never sell it. The brand never had any prestige when it came to guitars, and yet at least at one point in time make some very fine instruments that were the same quality as those selling for twice the price.
     
  6. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    I agree with almost everything mikeli said except I lean towards starting with an acoustic because yes it is harder and will develop both strength and dexterity while noise levels are manageable. Transitioning to an electric should be easier later. Any real guitar player, should be able to play both, regardless what becomes his main instrument, later.

    But, the kid wants an electric, and that's what you should get him. Recommend getting headphones (or a phone jack adapter for his iPhone headset or whatever works best) and an amp with a headphone output. Rest of the family will appreciate it. :)

    Once you recon it is not a passing fad, get him the acoustic.
     
  7. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    I'd get him the best guitar you can afford. It's night and day for just a few hundred more. He'll go nuts with a cheap guitar--they won't stay in tune, if you can get them in tune, the electronics will go get spotty or just stop working. Plus an electric has a better 'cool' factor for a kid than an acoustic. If he takes to it, get him one later on.

    To make better sense of all this, consider guitars like guns: if you buy your son a classic, you know you're getting quality with a good company standing behind it. Go find him the pre-lock, blued Smith of guitars like a Fender Tele or Strat, rather than something you will both loathe, like a Raven 25 acp, if that makes any sense. If he's not into it, you can sell a quality guitar for what you paid for it, sometimes more.
     
  8. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    ROCKSMITH!!! Cool, I've never seen that before. I may just have to try that.

    However for a little more formal training check out guitarport.Line 6 - GuitarPort - Audio Interface for Guitar. for $99 and $7.99 a month you get some of the best instruction out there, great stuff to play along with, and tons of Tab to learn that favorite song. I've used this to learn some classic rock lics.

    Here's a typical off craigslist. Squire Stratocaster guitar and amp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I'd offer $150 cause theres tons of this same deal out there.
     
  9. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If you decide to go Electric & Acoustic please check out my ad from a year ago on this site. Search on "Jasmine Electric Acoustic" I didn't put much effort into selling it and I'm flexible. It's a really nice setup for someone who can play.
     
  10. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    I can't add much to what Mikeli, Grunwald, or Citizen75 have said other than that if you go with an electric, if it has a tremolo (whammy) bar, take it out of the case and hide it for at least a year. Too many kids when they first start learning get naturally frustrated when they aren't progressing as fast as they would like to (and it's never fast enough) and get into the habit of banging on the whammy bar just to make a cool (their opinion) noise.

    The other thing I will stress from my experience teaching guitar many moons ago, even if you don't buy a really expensive guitar, get one that is playable, i.e. the action is low enough where they don't have to crush the strings into the fretboard. When I took on a new student, the first thing I would do is inspect their guitar. If it was some piece of junk with a bowed neck and the strings so high off the fretboard that they could shoot arrows with it, I would have a conversation with the parent and tell them that if they didn't get their kid at least a playable instrument (it doesn't have to be a $1,200 Les Paul) they were wasting my time and their money.

    Lastly, I would never buy a Guitar off of Craigslist. Nothing wrong with buying there, but a guitar is just such a personal instrument. I can pick up 5 different guitars, the same make and model and there will usually be one of them that just has that extra "something", this is especially true in the less expensive guitars as the quality from instrument to instrument can vary widely. Just my opinion. YMMV.
     
    Grunwald and (deleted member) like this.
  11. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    Most guitar manufacturers now days (Samick in Korea builds for practically everyone) put out pretty consistent product. Even the $99 Epiphone Les Paul Jr's can be made quite playable. I've taken 2 Squires and made them play like $500-$1000 guitars. Most luthiers in town here can set one up properly, it's worth $75 trust me. They just don't come out of the box that way. If it has not sustained damage and the neck isn't twisted (Very rarely happens) the torsion can be set.

    Agree with Cougfan2. Hide the Whammy bar. or better yet lock down the tailpiece.

    I bought a 2006 Anniversary American made strat off cragslist for $450. Whoever set up this guitar knew what they were doing cause of all my guitars. this one stays in tune like you would not believe, even with the whammy!!!!
     
  12. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    check out ebay. if not to buy, but to research whats a sought after guitar. on search options choose auction only, then ;choose most bids,,you can see what everyone else is trying to win. or search by highest price first. to get a feel for whats expensive.
    also if your son is just going to play it for awhile and give up, get him a cheap one. if you think he is going to keep it for many years get him a high quality one that will hold its value for a long time. some good quality guitars in acoustic are; martin,taylor,gibson, breedlove,some takamines. some good quality guitars in electric are u.s.a. made fender, u.s.a. made gibson. a good source of free lessons is on youtube. there are many posts on how to learn songs of his choice on there. ( and its free).. heard that new rocksmith is pretty cool for learning. after you research all your options, then search on craigslist for the guitar you want.. theres alot of good deals out there cause people are hurting this year. almost forgot, need to make sure the neck is in good shape, make sure the neck is straight and frets are even, make sure the harmonics are correct, or can be adjusted to make them proper, make sure all the electronics are in good order, look for any cracks or damage to wood. if there is cosmetic damage, you should be able to get a better price than a perfect guitar, cosmetic damage doesnt nesessarily affect the playability of an instrument.
     
  13. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the advice thus far guys.

    I have a good offer from a friend, whatcha think?:

    "I have a nice used Ibanez Iceman IC300 with a Ibanez hard shell case and a loud nice sounding Randall 75 watt combo amp w 12" speaker . You can have it all for $250 cash . I have a new set of strings for the guitar and the ones that are on it are a few months old . I even have a good quality cord and some pics to toss in . I also put in a $100 DiMarzio DP100fbk pick up in the bridge slot . It's their super distortion pick up and it's great for hard rock Heavymetal . I even have a guitar stand too"
     
  14. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Trlsmn, I've been out of the business for a while, but Ibanez used to make a pretty good entry level guitar. Heck, back in the late 60's and early 70's when Gibson went to heII in a hand basket, Ibanez made a better Les Paul than Gibson did.

    As someone else said here, it's probably made in the same factory as several others with a different peg head and logo. Just take a good look at the neck to make sure it is straight and not twisted and play all the strings both open and all the way up to the twelfth fret to make sure the pitch is correct. Also listen to see if there are any buzzes on any notes up the neck. This would indicate possibly a problem with a neck or most likely a fret that needed work. Not sure it that model is a neck thru body or a bolt on, but for that price I would bet it's a bolt on so also look at where the neck bolts into the body to make sure there isn't a "hump" right there.

    All that being said, it sounds like a pretty decent deal.
     
  15. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    There ya go. Not a bad deal. Dad get some ear plugs. Time for some shreadin!
     
  16. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    He's in NY at Syracus University so I don't need the earplugs. :bluelaugh:
     
  17. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    I've been there, a lot! Syracuse Hancock Airport sucks. If it snows there like last year, he'll get plenty of practice time.
     
  18. Grunwald

    Grunwald Out of that nut job colony of Seattle, WA Well-Known Member

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    Randall makes some nice amps. I used to have a Randall head and really like it. I could get the Marshall sound out of it if I wanted it, or get an even "tighter" distortion. It was solid state so there was no need to worry about replacing tubes.
     
  19. WhyteCheddar

    WhyteCheddar East of Moscow by the Willamette Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to find a real nice conditioned Mexican made Fender Stratocaster. Much better quality than the squire model but not high bucks like the American made Strats.
    I sold my perfect condition Mexican made Stratocaster on craigs list for about $300 a few months ago.
     
  20. CAL30M1

    CAL30M1 Longview, WA Active Member

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    That deal for the Ibanez is a pretty good deal. I'd jump on it.