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Old 01-30-2019, 01:57 PM
PTony PTony is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,422

You did just fine Whitney. I understand the suggestions to look into Gretsch Electromatics. I own 2 of them. They’re great guitars indeed! But, what you’ve purchased will be fine to learn on.

My first guitar was a Harmony from the JcPenny’s catalogue. It came with a 5 watt trash amp, a pitch pipe, a pick, a cord, and a cardboard box to carry it in LOL. I wish I were kidding.

The strings sat a mile off the board/neck. But I was determined. My father said if I’d learn how to play on that “rig” he’d buy me the “next level” gear I’d been looking at.

Less than a year later I’d moved on to better quality gear. But honestly, it was another year or so before I got anywhere near the gear you have today. 35 years ago getting decent gear (amp AND guitar) for under $300-$400 wasn’t as easy as it is today.

Technology and CNC machines have afforded all players (especially new ones) the opportunity to own some very decent gear for not much money.

Enjoy the process. I’d encourage you to have your guitar setup by a professional (it’s actually fairly easy to setup an electric or acoustic, but for now I’d leave it to a professional). This will make learning far more enjoyable.

There will always be better gear. Focus on your technique and train your ear. I’ve seen some pretty amazing players make entry level gear sound fantastic. On the flip side...I’ve seen some pretty underwhelming musicians make great gear sound terrible.

Best of luck to you in your endeavors.


Last edited by PTony; 01-30-2019 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:33 PM
Whitey#1 Whitey#1 is offline
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Posts: 56

Thanks PTony, nice post.

For the time being, since I am a beginner, I have started going to the site and learning. His first lesson is the D Chord. I am having a hard time picking it up. I keep muting other strings, have a hard time holding the guitar, doesn't sound as good as his, etc, etc.

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Old 01-30-2019, 02:53 PM
PTony PTony is offline
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I’m sure there are numerous options as far as websites and guitar trainers go. I did have my Father teach me as he knew how to play. He taught me the E/A/B chords first. The E chord is key as it’s the chord that you use to tune the guitar to pitch.

Regardless of which chord you’ll take time. And your fingers may hurt. That’s why a good setup is crucial as it will make learning to play the guitar much easier.

Don’t get discouraged. You can do it. Stop when you get upset or discouraged. Take a break. But, make sure to come back to it. Once you get that first’ll encourage you to forge ahead!

Then it’s only a matter of time before you’re learning songs. You’ve got this! With all the resources online I’m sure you’ll be playing in no time.

FWIW, if you have any friends/family that know how to play they can be a huge help to you. It’s always better to have someone in person who can help.

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Old 01-30-2019, 03:23 PM
HOF dad HOF dad is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Ohio
Posts: 768

Good for you Whitey!
It's always tough to get started but we've all been there.
Justin is a good place to start and covers a lot of basic stuff really well.
Keep taking little bites and before you know it, you'll have some songs under your belt.
You can always come here for free (and mostly good) advice!
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:28 AM
radiofm74 radiofm74 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Italy and Switzerland
Posts: 32

Hi there!

Can’t comment on the Epi (I never tried one). If you like it, keep it, if not you may still be in the window to return it? I am partial to teles, especially as first guitars, but I’m sure you’ll do great with the one you got!

Re: the amp, I am a long-time Mustang I user and would say this:
1) It’s a stellar home practice amp: you get lots of very good sounds, with good onboard effects. You may think of acquiring a new one when you’ll be gigging, but for now it’s all you need and more.
2) About its being “complicated” – you can get lost, but needn’t. The presets are unfortunately not very good so you do have to mess around a bit. Two methods.

Method one: check this out, and just figure out how to download these awesome patches!

Method two: DYI and learn a bit about amps in the process.

A) Hook amp to computer, and choose an amp model (for very clean sounds a ’65 Twin is a good start; for a little more aggressive the ’65 Deluxe is good).
B) Put the master volume up … you need to hear the guitar well. Put all the knobs on the screen mid-way, and adjust from there. Add or subtract bass, mids and treble while listening (aka: set your controls with your ears, not your eyes).
C) When you have a good clean tone, just add a touch of reverb.

There! You’re 10 minutes in and you have a usable clean tone! If you really like it, save it (don’t worry, factory presets can be restored).

From here, you can
-- Just play! That’s the recommended thing!
-- Start again to see how a different “amp model” sounds (“Hey, what’s a tweed Twin??”).
-- Mess around with the Gain, Volume, and “Stompboxes” (boost, overdrive and distortion pedals) to get your dirty tones. A ’65 Deluxe with Gain and Volume cranked is great. Remember to re-adjust the tone controls… as gain goes up, treble should too, and bass should go down a bit!
-- Mess around with effects to see how you can enhance your sound further. Get to meet Mr. Tremolo and Mrs. Phaser!

You’ll likely end up with one or two “go to” sounds, but you’ll probably have learned a ton about electric guitar tone production in the process…
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:54 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Exeter, UK
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Yes, I know I'm late, but I'm amazed nobody suggested the Yamaha Pacifica 112V. It has been a consistent best-seller and 'best buy' poll-winner for decades, and for very good reasons. They are superbly well made, very easy to play, sound good out of the box and for around $200+/- really are a no-brainer. Here's a review (below), from 10 years ago. The guitar hasn't changed since. I would additionally have suggested the Boss Katana 50 modeller for its simplicity and great sounds at much less than $200. It's as simple to use as an analogue amp; no peering at screens, no useless presets, no scrolling through endless menus-just turn a knob and there's your sound. So, for $400 you can have a pro-sounding, well made and giggable little rig. Irrespective of all that I hope the OP is happy with his new guitar and amp and continues to enjoy making glorious noises with them! There's nothing quite as satisfying.
Faith Mercury Classic Burst
Faith Mars FRMG
Faith Neptune FKN
Cort Classic TC

Last edited by AndrewG; 02-05-2019 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:51 PM
C-ville Brent C-ville Brent is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 396

Whitey#1, late congratulations! Like many here, I've collected a bunch of guitars over the past few decades. I bought an Epiphone Special II last spring as a project guitar. In truth, the original pick ups sounded pretty good but it now has a Seymour Duncan Distortion (bridge) and DiMarzio Air Norton (neck). I really love it! Tuners are ok but I've got a set of Grovers to add when procrastination abates. The fretboard surface on mine was rough but some sand paper (to about 1500) smoothed it out.

Stick with your playing. It goes slow at first, but will get easier and truly enjoyable. I first learned on an Electra (1981) that I still have. A few yeas later bought a cheap acoustic and have been mostly an acoustic player since. If you like the guitar, you can upgrade parts as desired. You can learn to work on your guitars yourself. There's lots of information out there on how to do just about anything guitar.

Most of all...stay with it!
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