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Skywalker

1st Guitar choices

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Before I get too deep here, I know a first guitar should be a cheap one, but I also believe it should be something special to draw me to want to play more than a basic guitar would provide.

I have interest in the 2020 Epiphone Les Paul Modern as it has locking tuners, good pickups and good wood. I am also interested in Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster FMT HH. Both are priced similarly. I have a music background and been in a band in years past (piano and drums experience). I have fairly large hands. I have a good friend who will help me pick a guitar out who has a $6,000 Gibson Les Paul and has played for 40 years.

My problem is that I can't get to a store due to the pandemic and must wait until they reopen. What other guitars should I consider or specs that should be important to me?

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Skywalker, 

The maxim for young kids starting out on guitar is that the guitar should be a cheap one. 
A cheap one with decent low action (as not to frustrate young hands), and one that hopefully sounds good and stays in tune. 

You sound like a grown up adult who knows what they want, so I wouldn't paint myself into a corner with regard to price, if I were you. 

Go for the guitar that is attractive to you in all ways, and one that you would look forward to playing and making music with. 
Don't let the prospective price become an impediment  to your acquiring your first guitar, I guess that's what I am advising..
Go for quality, and go for a name brand that might offer you a slighter better resale price later on, should you decide that it's not for you. 

Of the two guitars you listed above, I would definitely advise the Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster FMT HH over the Epiphone. 
It's a more versatile guitar, and I believe it'll hold its value just a bit better. 
(And did I mention that I have been gazing at one and drooling over it for many months?)

I love the dark cherry coloured one, but the amber one is also lovely. 

Okay, I'm gonna shut up now. 
😐

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A cheap guitar can be hard to play, sound bad, and aggravate you and you will put the guitar down. A more expensive one is going to be easier to play, but obviously more expensive.

How much do you want to spend? Do you want an acoustic or electric? Or both? Looks like electric. Mex Fender can be had cheap, even new. Gibson does have some inexpensive models and used is probably the way to go. You can get a nicer guitar for less money. I've owned used, new, and built my own (not from scratch) but buying the body and neck and parting the rest out.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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Wait, Skywalker. 

Are you a large gentleman?

Because the body on that Fender Lead III (and Lead II) is comparatively small. 

You don't want to look like a 1970's Leslie West, hunkered over a small Christmas cowboy guitar. 

😐

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The Tele is a beauty. However the 2020 Epi Les Paul Modern Vintage red one is also spec’d impeccably. I agree on value retention, too. I’m task but not “large”.

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15 hours ago, Skywalker said:

$600 range electric 

I bought a Gibson SG Special for $600 it was killer.  I would buy used your dollar will go farther than with a new one.

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Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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I bought all the parts for this and assembled it myself for abut $450. The body is a California Series Fender Tele. You can get something that is used and real nice for $600.

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Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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Go for what excites you.

About ten or fifteen years ago, when I'd been an acoustic player for ages and wanted to get an electric guitar, I asked some guitar playing friends for advice, and based on what I could afford and the kinds of music I liked, they were pretty unanimous: get a Squier Stratocaster. So I did. It was a fine guitar, but I didn't really bond with it. It didn't draw me to it, I didn't play it enough, I didn't make much progress, and I ended up selling it.

Then I ran into an Epiphone Dot in a local music shop, and something drew me to it. I played it for a while, and decided to buy it. That guitar drew me to it, I played it lots, and I got much better. I started my band with it. I've since upgraded to a Gibson Les Paul, but I still have that Epiphone and I'm still fond of it.

So I would suggest you go with your gut. Pick the kind of guitar that you want, and buy the best guitar of that kind you can afford. If what you really want is a Les Paul, the Epiphone would be a good buy. If what you really want is a Telecaster, go for a Telecaster. If what you want is a pointy eighties neon heavy metal monstrosity, go for one of them. Whatever. But don't let well-meaning people persuade you to buy something sensible that you don't really want. 

Edited by paddybrown

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I started playing at age 43.  My first guitar was a new 2002 Gibson LP Faded Special with humbuckers.  The street price was $599.00.  I still own it and play it regularly.  I also considered the Gibson SG Faded Special, but they were out of stock and it was unclear when they would back in stock.

I have never owned/played an Epiphone or Fender so I can’t provide any first-hand advice on either.

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