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Advice for a complete novice


GB8

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Hello all,

 

I know zip about playing a guitar. Acoustic or electric. But would love to learn how to play electric. My question is...should I start by learning how to play acoustic? Or can I start with an electric? I'm into blues rock. Considering a Les Paul Standard and possibly one of the Gibson amps or a Marshall. Or the B.B King Lucille. As I am a HUGE fan of his. Recommendations for a great electric guitar/amp combo assuming I'd like to start with either of the two guitars.

 

Or if you guys think it would be better for me to start with an acoustic how about the J-45? Willing to plunk down 3k max.

 

Thanks.

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I think learning on the acoustic is harder as in most cases you have to push down harder on the strings. Learning on the acoustic makes your fingers stronger than learning on an electric IMO... Remember Gibsons tend to have chunky necks which makes it feel like your playing an acoustic... so their not the easiest guitars to learn on.. As for your choice of guitar then thats a decision only you can make... Go to a shop and try out lots of models and pick out what feels comfortable for you...

 

And good luck...

 

Flight959

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I used to say Go acoustic first and then take up electric, cause it made sence to me. Kinda like a Boot camp for your fingers. I'd even say, get a cheap, hard to play acoustic and learn your chords on it. When you get a good guitar you'll be better than you realize you are.

 

But recently I was teaching my Girlfriend on a cheap Ibanez, that's pretty easy to play and doesn't sound bad for a Plywood guitar, and she wasn't getting into it. We were at band Practice and I showed her Godzilla on on my Stratocaster, and she picked it right up. Then it dawned on me, all the music she listened to was overdriven Electric. She'd rather play Angus Young than Neil Young. So now she's using a bullet Strat to practice on and my Guitars when I'm there.

 

Cliff Note's

 

I think it's important to learn with the sound you want to hear. If you want to hear overdrive, learn from there and clean up your tone later. If you want to play Acoustic Blues, get a Mahogony Dreadnaught and try out an electric later.

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Hey

 

IMO it shouldn't be an either/or: Playing guitar means playing electric AND acoustic.

 

And when buying, don't forget that you can get a lot more bang for the buck going with a used guitar. I'm not saying buy a collector's item, but rather look for something a few years old, so you're not not losing 30% right out of the store.

 

And as far as acoustics go, the Advanced Jumbo is hard to beat...

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Hey

 

IMO it shouldn't be an either/or: Playing guitar means playing electric AND acoustic.

 

And when buying, don't forget that you can get a lot more bang for the buck going with a used guitar. I'm not saying buy a collector's item, but rather look for something a few years old, so you're not not losing 30% right out of the store.

 

And as far as acoustics go, the Advanced Jumbo is hard to beat...

 

 

I'm kind of a germ nerd. I just couldn't handle someone else smearing their DNA all over my guitar. I never let anyone sing from my mic and very rarely let anyone play my LP. In fact only 4 people have ever played my LP; my son, our other guitarist (our band), the bands former bassist and our drummer. The drummer only played it once. My wife isn't even allowed to touch the LP. She's drops guitars, so it isn't a DNA thing with her.

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I'm kind of a germ nerd. I just couldn't handle someone else smearing their DNA all over my guitar. I never let anyone sing from my mic and very rarely let anyone play my LP.

 

I can see your point, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. Supposedly MOJO can also be transmitted through musical instruments... [-o<

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I'd start with an acoustic as they're tougher to play and you build up more strength in your hands. As for your choice of guitar and amp, you might want to consider something less expensive to start with until you're sure you're going to stick with it.

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If you can afford the Standard get it. I would wait on the amp, though. You may want to get a small practice amp to start because you are going to suck for many months and nobody will want to hear you play. Once you feel comfortable, then move up to a nice tube amp.

 

Most people in thisforum--myself included--started out on really cheap electrics or acoustics and then moved our way up to better guitars (it took me 20 years of playing before I could justify buying a Standard). If you can afford the Standard, why not get it? If you give up playing, you can always sell it without taking a huge loss.

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Get an electric. If that's what you listen to, it's what you'll want to play. Learning an instrument is very, very frustrating and you should do whatever you can to keep it interesting and enjoyable. I don't know if I would recommend a Les Paul from the get go, you can get a decent Telecaster for a fraction of a Les Paul. I might be wrong, but I think getting an acoustic would be discouraging for you.

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The only problem I see with offering the advice of get a guitar that will be difficult to play just to toughen up and strenghten your fingers is you run the risk of making the learning process more difficult than it already is and make the beginner frustrated and they may quit. I say get a easy to play guitar and make the learning process fun and easy that way they will not be tempted to say "this is to tough, why can't I play this thing" then quit.

For the 3k limit he has set he could easily get a Gibson Studio, a amp and an acoustic.

 

Learn to what you like to play to keep your interest and have fun.

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Hey guys,

 

Thanks for the advice. You all make good points. And I was thinking the same thing about starting with acoustics. That it would help make my fingers strong. But wondered if there wasn't any other reasons why some one would start with an acoustic over an electric.

 

And the problem for me in choosing either/or based on the type of music I usually listen to is that I listen to all types. Mostly blues rock but I also listen to a little metal (e.g. Black Sabbath or used to many years ago...started again when the movie Iron Man came out). And I also like pop and rock of the 50's to the 80's.

 

If I were to start with an electric...can you play any kind of music style with any electric? (novice question #999999999) I mean if I were to pickup the Lucille from Gibson...could I use it to play Iron Man later? Is it just a matter of dialing in some distortion or dialing that out? Had to ask. =D> Remember I'm a complete novice. Starting from ground zero.

 

And if I did start with either a LP Standard of Lucille and didn't want to annoy my neighbors (in the beginning...I live in a town home btw...so our homes are literally attached to one another) what amp would you guys recommend? Or could I get a good Marshall amp and just use headphones? This way during the day can practice late at night AND just annoy them only a little. :)

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You can play just about any style of music with any guitar but some are going to be better at some things than others. I'd say the best all-arounder for what you want to do is some sort of Les Paul; a semi hollowbody like the Lucille is going to be a little tougher to work with using heavily overdriven tones but that doesn't mean you can't do it either.

 

For an amp, look for something very low wattage - like no more than 5 watts if you go with a tube amp. I use a 5 watt Fender Champ (tube amp) at home and it's still too loud to crank up in an apartment.

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If you are serious and you are the kind of guy that finishes what you started my suggestion (if you want a commited answer) is buy a Les Paul Standard and a good low wattage amplifier with options.

 

Years ago I made the mistake of buying a cheapo Epiphone Special and a cheap amp. I played very little for like 3 years because it sounded like crap. I did not really start playing until I bought a good instrument. Now I wish I had those years back.

 

Remember this: "There is no better motivation than sounding good". Good gear is a must.

 

Also, there is kind of an unofficial and unwritten rule: "Never sell your first guitar" so if you buy a good guitar you can keep it around for more reasons than sentimental value.

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I have to say go with a good acoustic to begin. Like Rich said, you can play most any style music on any guitar but it will sound better with certain guitars. However, I recommend to those I teach to begin with a good acoustic. You can pick up a good Taylor for the price your talking about and it won't tire your fingers or arms much more if any than an electric; that is unless you put thin spider-web strings on the electric.

 

Yes it will build your strength, but whats not been mentioned is that you will hear and learn the dynamics of guitar better. With an amp if you want to sound louder you simply turn the volume up. With an acoustic you will learn to strum and pick with more attack and conversly the same when you need to sound/play more quietly.

 

Could you learn this with an electric? Yes, but honestly most people just adjust their volume knobs.

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Ok thanks RIchCI and "The Mick". Will look at the ES models. But I do like the look of the LP's. Like the Standards and Supremes. Incidentally what are the differences. And would it matter to me early on? Would I noticed the difference (assuming I had both) in 5 years?

 

No more than 5 watts. Gibson as you guys know has 2 tube amps that can be set to either 30/15W. Guess I'd have to keep the volume down with those. And I'll go see if Marshall has any 5W tube amps.

 

Tube vs solid-state amps. I suppose this would depend on the type of music we plan to play? (e.g. Jazz/Blues Rock = tube?).

 

And thanks Djroge1. That was the answer I was looking for in "acoustic vs electric first". =D> Will look again at what Gibson has to offer in acoustics at around 3k...though, I might still start with an electric...will see..or as some one said "get both". ](*,)

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