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Old 11-05-2006, 09:40 PM   #1
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Wanting to get into guitar playing, never played before need some suggestions

I've never played a guitar more than fiddling around with ones lying around at friends' house or other places, but I'm wanting to start playing and practicing for real. I'm thinking I'll buy my first guitar later this year, but I have no idea what's good, what's not, what's easy for a total beginner and what I should steer clear of.

I was thinking about just self teaching, buying a few "Guitar for Beginners" chord books and the like and trying it out for myself, since I'm pretty good with self motivation and don't necassarily need some punk tutor looking for some extra cash.

Right now I'm just looking for beginner guitar recommends, I'll get into all the distortion, delay and more advanced stuff later on. I'm really in the dark right now so all and any help is great.

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Old 11-06-2006, 03:41 AM   #2
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Goin, get yourself a good, not to expensive, steel stringed acoustic. Ask someone you know to help or ask in the store, they'll certainly help you out. Or buy a second hand one...
It's harder to learn on an acoustic (harder to press the strings to the fretboard, an electric is softer in that way) but it' ll pay off later...
Learn basic open chords...do a search on google and you'll find all the info you need to get you busy for the next weeks. There lots of lessons for beginning to play too on the net.
Good luck and have fun

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Old 11-06-2006, 09:10 AM   #3
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Do you have a Guitar Center near you?
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:16 PM   #4
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I haven't seen one around, but there can't be one too far away.
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:27 PM   #5
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First step is deciding what you want to do. An accoustic guitar gets you through the initial learning but if it's your desire to be in a band it's useless. Also acoustic guitar and electric guitar are essentially two different instruments with different sounds and ways of playing.

If you are determined to play electric guitar the first step will be get yourself a good amp. The amp is the foundation of your sound. If you have a shit guitar but a good amp you'll still have a decent sound. A good guitar on a shit amp will still sound like shit. Now you don't have to get yourself a wall of Marshall stacks ( ) but getting a good combo is a good investment. It gets you a good sound and they tend to maintain their value infinitely better then cheap Chinese made crap. Note that various amps are geared towards specific sounds. Marshalls favor the heavier spectrum of music, while Fender has a killer clean tone. And Vox of course is Edge's brand of choice.

Next comes guitar cables. Bargain cables=crap sound. It pays to go for quality cables. Remember that a chain is only as good as its weakest link. Cables are often overlooked. A mate of mine bought several amps looking for the right guitar tone only to discover that the reason he could never get it right were crappy cables. Of course never ask a salesman as to what good quality cables are. If he senses you are a guitar n00b he's likely to foist you off with the most expensive ones instead.

IMHO a guitar comes last. If you only have a $1000 to spend I'd spend $800 on an amp, $50 on cables and only $150 on a guitar. The reason being what I said before, a crap guitar on a good amp will still sound decent, the reverse never. Of course, here also, it pays to go for quality. Although quality doesn't have to mean the most expensive. Like amps, what kind of guitar you need depends on the kind of music you want to play. While you can play heavy metal with a Fender Stratocaster, it will sound better with a Gibson Les Paul equiped with humbucker pickups. A good option is to go for a good jack of all trade guitar, reasonably priced and upgrade it over time with better hardware.

As for guitar effects, Boss makes decent and reasonably priced effects. There are certainly worse ones, (Behringer, AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!!), and better ones (also more expensive). The advantage of Boss effects is that they are build like a tank so they can last you a lifetime. And there exists tons of inexpensive mods for Boss pedals that you can apply with a little soldering that can turn them into world class effects. If you are not afraid of soldering http://www.buildyourownclone.com/ has an inexpensive series of DIY clone kits of high end effects.

Finally the cardinal rule, you can never try things out before you buy to much. Often you find that some things aren't what you are looking for and it's better if you do that before then after you buy. Since you are a guitar n00b get somebody who knows more to help you to try things out. Don't let salesmen pressure you into buying what they want. Check around in different shops and on the internet. Places like http://www.harmony-central.com/ contain tons of user reviews on amps, effects and guitars. And you may find that what the salesman whats you to buy is generally considered to be only average at best by other users.
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:37 AM   #6
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Grab a $200ish Yamaha acoustic, they're fairly good starter guitars and Yamaha has recently dropped the prices on most of them, as of a year ago I think.

I would really really NOT invest in a lot of equipment until you learn how to play a bit. Everyone knows the story of the parents who buy the kid the expensive violin that ends up sitting in the closet for 20 years.

The important thing is to learn basic open chords and learn to play some songs you like. I find that can really keep you motivated.

After you learn the basics then you can investigate bar chords, and then do some googling for scales and whatnot to get some theory.
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:15 AM   #7
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:58 PM   #8
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another thing, do not touch effects until you have a good knowledge of chords, shapes, scales ect and the techniques
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:19 PM   #9
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Yeah I was thinking about just jumping into electric from the get go, but I'm thinking I'll go acoustic first off and work my way up. I'll take a look at the Yamaha's, any other brand I should take a look at?
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:11 AM   #10
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fender and epiphone make some beautiful acoustics... (mine is a fender...i love it) or you can also go with a Martin or an Ibanez...Martin is world known for their acoustics, very good brand.

And like the others said, do not as well THINK the word "delay" "distortion" or "pedal" yet...just get your basic chord and technique down first and see how it goes...don't count your chickens before you have chickens
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:12 AM   #11
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oh and if you can...put out some money for lessons...you can never go wrong with someone demonstrating it for you
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:44 PM   #12
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A lot of 80's era U2 songs are really easy if you just want the chords. Pride is 4 chords repeating over and over, WOWY's the same, ISHFWILF is three chords for the entire song. Those are the first three songs I ever learned on guitar.

Try to pick some ridiculously easy songs to begin with. Trying to start by learning Stairway to Heaven will just frustrate you and lead you to quit.

Good luck, it's worth it. Chicks dig it, too.
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:43 PM   #13
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If you're going to go with a cheap acoustic, In addition to the Yamaha suggestion above, I'd check out a Jasmine by Takamine.

As a newbie, the most important thing is going to be how easy it plays and most of the ones I've seen are pretty well set up out of the factory. Avoid the ones where the strings are high above the fretboard at the nut (headstock) and get higher towards the bridge (just after the soundhole).

I also believe in getting the nicest guitar you can afford, the more you've invested in it the more motivated you'll be to learn. If you live in the US, there are some nice Canadian made solid top acoustic guitars that go for around $300, Seagull, Simon & Patrick, and Norman come to mind.

Good Luck.

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