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  1. #1
    Good Enough Hack's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 10:21 AM
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    Default Buying my son his first guitar, need advice

    my wife picked up an $90.00 ish guitar and amp from Toys r Us for our almost 9 yr old for Xmas. it's already having some pieces breaking. took it to best buy, they fixed it. i asked them to tell me the truth; they said it's really just a toy. $140 - $200 i could actually get him a real guitar. epiphone was one, already forgot the other one in that price range. one epiphone was like $180.00 with a small amp. anyway, we're gonna take the toys r us one back and get him something decent. any advice from you guitar guys on starter guitars? i love guitar and great guitar players, but i know nothing of how to buy or how to play.

    thanks in advance.
    ...AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY, GOD CREATED VAN HALEN

    VAN HALEN IS A LIFESTYLE

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    12.14.17 @ 12:39 PM
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    Mexican strats are a great starter guitar, even a good guitar for a more experienced player. If you get your son a crap instrument to start with it will make it even harder for him to improve and enjoy the experience of learning to play. A Mexican strat should be under $500 last time I looked. Your local Craiglist should have some nice used guitars in good shape . I picked up a very nice Yamaha electric for only a couple of hundred and it's a great guitar, looked new when I went to check it out. Buy the best you can afford, you can always sell a good instrument without much loss if he were to lose interest down the road.

    If you are looking for an amp, take a look at the Fender Mustang I...less than $100 and it sounds terrific. I picked one up and was surprised at how good it could sound with just a bit of knob twisting. Great for around the house without disturbing the peace, or your wife.

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium
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    Hey Hack.

    I think it's great your son is getting into guitar.

    I'm sure people will give you some good suggestions.

    Here are a few I looked up quickly online that imo are in the right ballpark for a beginner wanting a solid electric guitar. Something solid to get started on.


    Guitar/Amp combo packages for beginners

    Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack Vintage Sunburst$199.00


    Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Pack$199.00

    Squier Affinity Stratocaster Electric Guitar Pack w/ 10G Amplifier Brown Sunburst$174.99

    Ibanez IJM21M Jumpstart Mikro Electric Guitar Package$199.99


    Beginner electric Guitars
    Epiphone Les Paul Special II Electric Guitar $149.00

    Epiphone Les Paul 100 Electric Guitar $249.00


    The quality can vary. I've heard good things about the Fender, Ibanez and Epiphone starter guitars. Look around those links, they have other guitar packages online as well. A telecaster, a SG style etc etc.

    If it was me I'd visit a local store with my son, try things out and check things out on my own..maybe get a great used guitar of higher quality but I know guitars. If you know someone you can trust in a local music/guitar shop ask them about it. Either way I think the links I provided are pretty solid beginner choices. Won't break the bank and if he sticks with it and is into it you can get him a better electric and amp down the road.

    Good luck!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  4. #4
    Good Enough
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    12.10.17 @ 12:26 PM
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    Buy him a couple hundred dollar used acoustic and see how much he plays it and how dedicated he is to learning. If he becomes dedicated to actually learning, in a year or two spring for a starter electric with a decent amp. Mexican Strat and a couple hundred dollar amp perhaps. Musicians Friends magazine, craigslist, ebay are excellent sources for new and used guitars.
    "People say Cream gave birth to Heavy Metal," says Baker. "If that's so, we should have had an abortion."

  5. #5
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
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    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
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    Hack,

    Everyone has their own opinion on the beginning guitar purchase. Here are a couple of mine...

    (1) Buy the best electric you can your budget can afford. If it's $50.00, get the best one out there. Don't play the $1000.00 guitars if you're budget doesn't allow for a $1000.00 purchase.

    (2) Buy electric over acoustic. This is coming from a guitar instructor's standpoint. I lose more students to cheap acoustic guitars and their lack of playability. I know this goes against some of the others advice already given, but I win alot of students back with an easy playing electric. I equate it to running track...You can run in boots or running shoes. The concept of running is the same, it's just easier to start out in running shoes.

    (3) Shop around. You've already seen the Toy's R Us guitar is not what you're looking for. Yes guitar center has lots of guitars. So do other independent stores, as well as Craig's list. Look for a guitar that will hold tune. This will help greatly!

    (4) Encouragement...No not the type from the Couples Retreat movie! If you're son/daughter has an interest, encourage them. Encourage them to PRACTICE!!!! Even when they're whining, crying, fussing, etc. Encourage (MAKE) them practice. They're not mature enough to see the benefit of practicing now, but it will payoff later. Don't let them wear you down.


    I'm not trying to sell you something, but I'll be glad to offer advice on anything you're looking at. I'm an hour north of STL, but am available by phone if you need something.
    Scott Eivins
    A&Z Guitar Repair

  6. #6
    Hot For Teacher PassingBy's Avatar
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    10.10.17 @ 06:08 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by A&Z Guitar Repair View Post
    (2) Buy electric over acoustic.
    Yes. Acoustic was bulky and no fun for me. I gave up.
    Later in life I bought an electric and have been playing ever since.
    Thanks for paying my rent. -- EVH

  7. #7
    Eruption
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    12.16.17 @ 09:42 AM
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    I can vouch for the Ibanez Mikro. It's a well-built 3/4 size guitar. Even though it didn't necessarily need it, I took it to a music store to have them lower the strings to the neck to make it even easier for my son to play (he was eight when I bought it for him 2 years ago). I find myself picking at his Mikro quite a bit when he's not around.

    Couple of other tips if you can't help him with playing...

    Encourage him to get familiar fast with tuning it with the packaged tuner. When guitars go out of tune and they're not sure how to tune 'em up, the interest level fades fast.

    Like At0mic and A&Z said, the advice you find here or at a music store is invaluable. Don't be afraid to ask questions to get great free advice.

    If he progresses and shows an interest, you're going to be tempted to "upgrade" very soon. With the package deals your considering, the guitars are better quality than the amps in those packages. It's a bit like a car stereo. Often the speakers are just as or even more important than the stereo itself.

  8. #8
    Good Enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by A&Z Guitar Repair View Post
    Hack,

    (2) Buy electric over acoustic. This is coming from a guitar instructor's standpoint. I lose more students to cheap acoustic guitars and their lack of playability. I know this goes against some of the others advice already given, but I win alot of students back with an easy playing electric. I equate it to running track...You can run in boots or running shoes. The concept of running is the same, it's just easier to start out in running shoes.

    (3) Shop around. You've already seen the Toy's R Us guitar is not what you're looking for. Yes guitar center has lots of guitars. So do other independent stores, as well as Craig's list. Look for a guitar that will hold tune. This will help greatly!

    (4) Encouragement...No not the type from the Couples Retreat movie! If you're son/daughter has an interest, encourage them. Encourage them to PRACTICE!!!! Even when they're whining, crying, fussing, etc. Encourage (MAKE) them practice. They're not mature enough to see the benefit of practicing now, but it will payoff later. Don't let them wear you down.
    THIS. +1000000.

    Spot on.

    As for brand recommendations, these are the best "cheap" guitars I've ever played. In fact, I have a few myself right along side my $1500+ custom instruments, and they hold up quite nicely. I also use parts from this same vendor (the same parts used on their completed guitars) on many of my "higher end" custom builds for clients.

    http://guitarfetish.com/Xaviere-Elec...ars_c_116.html
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 12.28.12 at 11:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Good Enough Hack's Avatar
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    Default ..

    thank you guys. we were on craigslist and ebay all night, the search continues. appreciate all the advice.
    ...AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY, GOD CREATED VAN HALEN

    VAN HALEN IS A LIFESTYLE

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 06:36 AM
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    I would like to concur one piece of advice on getting an electric over an acoustic.

    More forgiving and in their eyes more fun. Also, at that age they still want to be like dad, and if you are playing an electric with a stack, they look at their little acoustic like it's a kids toy.

    At least that was I came to realize. The starter guitar sets are usually pretty good. The strap and the amp usually suck, but the guitars themselves are usually pretty good.
    Last edited by Dave's Dreidel; 12.30.12 at 06:49 AM. Reason: Spelling
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  11. #11
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    Another thing I had to find out the hard way about was that acoustic guitars necks are wider and as a kid it wasn't easy for me to really chord anything. Once I got my first electric I was set. Truthfully I still can't play acoustics well. I have small hands. Helps with blazing the fretboard though.

  12. #12
    Baluchitherium
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    Have a look at the ESP/LTD Viper range. My son is obsessed with AC/DC and the Viper is the same shape as an SG. I picked him one up for under 200 new and he's not stopped playing it for 6 months. Not a bad guitar at all...
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

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  13. #13
    Good Enough Hack's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 10:21 AM
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    Default ..

    well, the search is over boys. we got the young man his guitar finally. ended up with a Fender Starcaster. looks like a Fender Stratocaster knock off/kids version. my wife found it on ebay as a 'buy it know'. guitar, amp, carrying bag, pics, stand. i believe it was $160.00 or so. got him his first lesson also. very cool watching an 8 yr old get into. now if he actually stays into it is a different story. time will tell. thank you guys for all your help. it was a fun search for sure.
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    ...AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY, GOD CREATED VAN HALEN

    VAN HALEN IS A LIFESTYLE

 

 

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