Getting an Electric Guitar

Christmas is coming up. I've been thinking hard about what I want. I was originally looking at either a Japanese 3DS or a Playstation Vita so I can play one of those Japanese games with girls with bouncy boobs fighting each other that seem to offend you puritan escapists so much for some reason.

(Seriously, when did this happen? I can't help what I find attractive. I didn't choose this. But apparently my totally harmless sexual attraction for some reason makes me a gross sicko who's kind isn't welcome here. I'm a terrible, evil, sexist person simply because I find bouncy unrealistic boobs attractive. I thought we all agreed being tolerant and non-judgmental was the way to go. So what ever happened to that?)

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh right. So anyway, I WAS going to ask for one of those for Christmas, but then I got to thinking, "Gosh, I really like rock, don't I? I wish I could play electric guitar!" I love stuff like this, this, this, this, and yes, even this. (Don't judge!) And recently, I got back into Puffy AmiYumi. (Don't judge!) So honestly, I'd really like to be able to play stuff like this on electric guitar at home. I'm tired of rocking out to an air guitar. I want the real thing.

But I don't know the first thing about electric guitars. Are there different types that sound different? Would I need a different one to play Green Day than I would to play Guns N' Roses? I'm 21. Am I too old to learn how to play an electric guitar this far in my life, or can even someone at my age get good? What's the difference between those electric guitars that are shaped like guitars, and the ones that are shaped like whacky triangles? What kind of price range am I looking at? I really have no clue at all. So I'm looking for advice. If I want to embrace the electric guitar, how do I do it?

Belated:
snip

What you find attractive or not is none of my business, so I'll choose to ignore the first two paragraphs.

Though many times you say "don't judge." A litle insecure aren't we?

Anyway, I'm an ex-guitar teacher and dabbling guitarist and I know my gear, however, as a starting point my advice is simply not to worry to much.

Price range? Are you English? American? Nigerian?

In English Sterling I would say for a starter guitar 150 is more than enough. You only need a 10 watt amp as well. Don't worry about brand and what sounds better yet, guitars are expensive even if you don't think too much about it. See if you actually like it, before splashing out on the newest Fender, Ibanez or Gibson.

Yamaha is a reliable and often affortable brand. Set yourself a strict limit though, If a Yamaha doesn't fall into the 150-200 range, look for a lesser known brand.

Single pickups should be enough for now, you won't have a good recording ready guitar but it will suffice until you fully commit to the shred.

Slinky stings are good and find someone who knows something about guitars to give you a run down on how to take good care of your guitar and tune it. Decent tuners are expensive for what they are. Youtube has some good material that can help you I'm sure.

Also, before you start trying to play your favourite killer riffs, pick up some basic scales and chords. If you can learn the language of the guitar it will help nail those bloodletting rock riffs in the future.

don't worry too much at this stage is my main advice.

Belated:
I don't know the first thing about electric guitars. Are there different types that sound different? Would I need a different one to play Green Day than I would to play Guns N' Roses? I'm 21. Am I too old to learn how to play an electric guitar this far in my life, or can even someone at my age get good? What's the difference between those electric guitars that are shaped like guitars, and the ones that are shaped like whacky triangles? What kind of price range am I looking at? I really have no clue at all. So I'm looking for advice. If I want to embrace the electric guitar, how do I do it?

First of all, you're only too old when you can't position your fingers properly anymore. At 21 you shouldn't have a problem. The main determining factor in the sound of a electric guitar is the pickups. They are what detects the string moving and sends it as a signal to the amplifier. The shape of a guitar matters mostly for aesthetics and what catches your eye. The most common types of pickups are single coils, humbuckers and p90s. If you want to be playing with medium-high gain, like your examples, then you will probably want a guitar with humbuckers or p90s since they'll handle it better. For reference humbuckers are what is in Slash' Les Paul and a P90 is what is in Mr. Armstrong's Les Paul Junior.

When it comes to price there are different tiers. First is the starter pack, costs about 100-150 and includes a terrible guitar and a terrible amp. It's best to avoid these. One step up at the 200-350 you can get some great guitars that you'll enjoy playing. This is the range I'd suggest looking in. As the tiers of go up the quality and price go up until it becomes eye wateringly expensive.

For brands I'd suggest starting with Epiphone guitars. They do licensed copies of the Les Paul and LP Junior I mentioned earlier.
Squier are putting out some great budget guitars which are worth checking out.

You'll also need an amp, but that's a whole other thing I can go into if you want.

Belated:
Christmas is coming up. I've been thinking hard about what I want. I was originally looking at either a Japanese 3DS or a Playstation Vita so I can play one of those Japanese games with girls with bouncy boobs fighting each other that seem to offend you puritan escapists so much for some reason.

(Seriously, when did this happen? I can't help what I find attractive. I didn't choose this. But apparently my totally harmless sexual attraction for some reason makes me a gross sicko who's kind isn't welcome here. I'm a terrible, evil, sexist person simply because I find bouncy unrealistic boobs attractive. I thought we all agreed being tolerant and non-judgmental was the way to go. So what ever happened to that?)

Wait, what was I talking about? Oh right. So anyway, I WAS going to ask for one of those for Christmas, but then I got to thinking, "Gosh, I really like rock, don't I? I wish I could play electric guitar!" I love stuff like this, this, this, this, and yes, even this. (Don't judge!) And recently, I got back into Puffy AmiYumi. (Don't judge!) So honestly, I'd really like to be able to play stuff like this on electric guitar at home. I'm tired of rocking out to an air guitar. I want the real thing.

But I don't know the first thing about electric guitars. Are there different types that sound different? Would I need a different one to play Green Day than I would to play Guns N' Roses? I'm 21. Am I too old to learn how to play an electric guitar this far in my life, or can even someone at my age get good? What's the difference between those electric guitars that are shaped like guitars, and the ones that are shaped like whacky triangles? What kind of price range am I looking at? I really have no clue at all. So I'm looking for advice. If I want to embrace the electric guitar, how do I do it?

uhh not to sure your first two paragraphs are that accurate as I've found people on here to be pretty reasonable :s

anyway I'd advise you to get something cheap, because a lot of people that buy a guitar end up getting bored or find it hard and quit.
also you have to learn to play the thing, no use in having a flash guitar if you can't play anything on it.
the third thing is once you get good enough and make the step up to something better you will feel and hear the rise in quality. I found this a valuable lesson personally as it helped me find my preference to style and tone.

Beldaros:
snip

fuzz:
snap

carlsberg export:
snorp

Those opening two paragraphs were just my aggravation with the immature way sexuality in games is approached on this site. I often feel unwelcome on here because of what I find attractive. And my insecurity about my music tastes comes from years of being bullied because of the music I like, and the fact that it's totally popular to pick on people who like Nickelback right now. Maybe you guys are really nice and neutral about other people's music tastes. Perhaps it was silly of me to be so guarded. But comments about how terrible my taste is are the kind of responses I've gotten in the past when I've written topics about music on other forums. Maybe I was just in the wrong place.

Anyway, a few things:
I'm American. So we're talking US dollars. Now, the cheapest guitars I've seen listed online seem to go in the $600-$800 range, while something like a Gibson Les Paul Junior P90 seems to go for twice that. One of you suggested going cheap, but I can't even find something that cheap listed online. Something in the $500 range might be alright, but we're probably looking at $600 at least. But I gotta ask, if I have long-term plans to get really good, wouldn't it be a wiser investment to just get a really awesome guitar in the $1000 range so I don't have to buy more than one?

And if I practice with a cheap guitar that doesn't sound great, how will I know if I'm getting any good?

Don't get an electric get an acoustic because they better also if you lern of an acoustic you can play any kind of gurtar.

Belated:

Anyway, a few things:
I'm American. So we're talking US dollars. Now, the cheapest guitars I've seen listed online seem to go in the $600-$800 range, while something like a Gibson Les Paul Junior P90 seems to go for twice that. One of you suggested going cheap, but I can't even find something that cheap listed online. Something in the $500 range might be alright, but we're probably looking at $600 at least. But I gotta ask, if I have long-term plans to get really good, wouldn't it be a wiser investment to just get a really awesome guitar in the $1000 range so I don't have to buy more than one?

And if I practice with a cheap guitar that doesn't sound great, how will I know if I'm getting any good?

I would suggest visiting your local music store instead of going online, you'll probably be able to get a better deal and also you'll find a cheaper standard quality guitar. You're also looking at a Gibson website, so yes, the cheapest you're going to find will be in that price range... I don't know the exact exchange rate for sterling to dollar right now, but normally i's about 60p-$1 so... I gues $300-$400 is what you're looking for.

Being realistic, somtimes plans change, and I've seen a lot of people say they really want to play the guitar, realise it's pretty hard at first and give up later down the line. I disagree that cheap guitars are worthless. Ok you won't ever record with one, maybe not even play live but it's fine for getting the basics down, so you can get a year out of it before considering a bigger investment at least.

Also, I don't know a single real guitarist in the world who only has one guitar. No matter how much you spend on your first purchase, you're going to want to upgrade and create a varied stock for performing, recording or party purposes. I own nine guitars.

To a beginner, the sound quality isn't that noticeable, you'll hear, and you'll feel that you're getting better.

... I'll leave it there for now.

Belated:

I'm American. So we're talking US dollars. Now, the cheapest guitars I've seen listed online seem to go in the $600-$800 range, while something like a Gibson Les Paul Junior P90 seems to go for twice that. One of you suggested going cheap, but I can't even find something that cheap listed online. Something in the $500 range might be alright, but we're probably looking at $600 at least. But I gotta ask, if I have long-term plans to get really good, wouldn't it be a wiser investment to just get a really awesome guitar in the $1000 range so I don't have to buy more than one?

And if I practice with a cheap guitar that doesn't sound great, how will I know if I'm getting any good?

Guitars are generally cheaper to buy in the US than in the UK so I don't think you need to spend that much to get something decent to learn on. Gibson guitars, whilst being great quality tend to be quite expensive. Which is why I suggested Epiphone, Gibson's student brand. One exeption you might want to check out is the Gibson Melody Maker. American made with LP Junior sort of stylings and a hot single coil. Also don't trust the rrp on the manufacturers website, online stores especially will often have them cheaper.
http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Melody-Maker/Gibson-USA/Melody-Maker.aspx
I've heard Rondo make decent student guitars too, and they won't break the bank.
http://www.rondomusic.com/electricguitar-ss5.html

Like I said in my post I wouldn't advise you buy a really cheap but quite shit guitar because you'll quickly outgrow it and realise what a piece of shit it is. But Epiphones and other student/budget brands of the larger more expensive companies tend to provide good bang for your buck and get you a sound close to that of the real deal.

As for buying an expensive guitar and having it go the distance, if you've got the money then go for it. I've never been so lucky haha. If you shell out for a real Gibson then even if you end up hating the instrument they have good resale value.

Last thing, ignore the darkness abyss' advice. Many things you play on an electric won't sound right on an acoustic and an acoustic won't aid you in learning techniques used in playing an electric either. The only reason to start on an acoustic if you want to play electric is to make your fingers stronger since acoustics have thicker strings.

Firstly, if you like the unrealistic jiggly boob thing then you continue to enjoy it. I've been here long enough to know that the most vehement critics of such things are usually bored teens hating for the sake of hating and pretending that they're better then the rest of the world because of it. Or to put it more succinctly: Scumbags.

Anyway on to business. I would take the advice of this chap fuzz here. Epiphone are a good brand to start off with. They make good quality stuff that is perfect for beginners and won't feel like a cheap piece of rubbish by the time you've found your musical feet. Don't buy an acoustic if you want to play electric music. It won't sound the same and it doesn't feel anything like the same.

Only get a really good guitar if you are certain you want to go long term with it. It's an expensive piece of wall art if you don't keep it up, though I suppose you could always sell it.

Fuzz knows what he's talking about.

Belated:
But I don't know the first thing about electric guitars. Are there different types that sound different?

Yes. The sound varies based on the wood, pickups, bridge type, strings, the pick you use, and (some people say) the neck joint. There are hollow bodies, semi-hollow, and solid, all of which sound different. Amps are very important, too. If you can name some players you like, I can maybe tell you how they're getting their sound.

When it comes to pickups, you've got dual single coils. You can get stacked dual coils in single coil covers, and you can install a coil tap to switch between dual a singe. Dual coils reduce that nasty hum, and they generally have higher outputs, so you can push an amp harder if you want to. Single and dual coil pickups have different sounds. Listen to a Stratocaster for a typical single coil sound, a Les Paul or SG for dual coils. You've also got P90s, piezoelectric pickups, and speciality pickups for archtops. P90s are a single coil pickup, brighter and snappier than your average humbucker, but warmer and tubbier than your average single coil. Don't worry about piezos. When it comes to hum, you can always buy a noise gate later on, so go with the sound you prefer.

Archtops (hollow, see Gibson L5) are used mainly for jazz. Semi-hollow bodies (see Gibson 335) and solids can both do rock, pop, and the blues, but the semi is better for jazz, due the way it resonates, and the solid is better for metal or punk, since feedback is less of an issue.

With strings, flatwound for jazz, roundwound for pretty much everything else.

Belated:
I'm 21. Am I too old to learn how to play an electric guitar this far in my life, or can even someone at my age get good?

No worries! You'll be surprised how quickly you become serviceable. You'll be good, so long as you put the work in. You might want a few lessons, just to make sure you're not teaching yourself any bad habits.

Belated:
What's the difference between those electric guitars that are shaped like guitars, and the ones that are shaped like whacky triangles?

The shape, mostly. Some have better access to the highest frets, some balance better on a strap. Some have worse access, and awful balance. Certain shapes are frowned upon in some genres, too.

Belated:
If I want to embrace the electric guitar, how do I do it?

Give it a hug?

the darknees abyss:
Don't get an electric get an acoustic because they better also if you lern of an acoustic you can play any kind of gurtar.

Don't listen to this guy.

Belated:
Anyway, a few things:
I'm American. So we're talking US dollars. Now, the cheapest guitars I've seen listed online seem to go in the $600-$800 range, while something like a Gibson Les Paul Junior P90 seems to go for twice that. One of you suggested going cheap, but I can't even find something that cheap listed online. Something in the $500 range might be alright, but we're probably looking at $600 at least. But I gotta ask, if I have long-term plans to get really good, wouldn't it be a wiser investment to just get a really awesome guitar in the $1000 range so I don't have to buy more than one?

You might also want to look used if that's a bit much. Bring a guitarist friend when you check the instrument out, to make sure there's nothing wrong with it. You'll want to make sure you know what you're looking for before you get something expensive, though. Nothing worse than putting down a thick wad of cash, then realising a month later that there are a bunch of things you don't like about the instrument.

Belated:
And if I practice with a cheap guitar that doesn't sound great, how will I know if I'm getting any good?

As long as the thing is in tune, and set up properly, you'll be able to tell. It doesn't have to have a godly tone or play like butter. Entry level instruments have enough problems that I'd recommend you stay away from them, though. I got a mid-range Yamaha guitar a decade ago, and it's still useful.

Belated:

Beldaros:
snip

fuzz:
snap

carlsberg export:
snorp

Those opening two paragraphs were just my aggravation with the immature way sexuality in games is approached on this site. I often feel unwelcome on here because of what I find attractive. And my insecurity about my music tastes comes from years of being bullied because of the music I like, and the fact that it's totally popular to pick on people who like Nickelback right now. Maybe you guys are really nice and neutral about other people's music tastes. Perhaps it was silly of me to be so guarded. But comments about how terrible my taste is are the kind of responses I've gotten in the past when I've written topics about music on other forums. Maybe I was just in the wrong place.

Anyway, a few things:
I'm American. So we're talking US dollars. Now, the cheapest guitars I've seen listed online seem to go in the $600-$800 range, while something like a Gibson Les Paul Junior P90 seems to go for twice that. One of you suggested going cheap, but I can't even find something that cheap listed online. Something in the $500 range might be alright, but we're probably looking at $600 at least. But I gotta ask, if I have long-term plans to get really good, wouldn't it be a wiser investment to just get a really awesome guitar in the $1000 range so I don't have to buy more than one?

And if I practice with a cheap guitar that doesn't sound great, how will I know if I'm getting any good?

I wouldn't pay attention to the haters, especially the ones on the interweb!!!
and If people are hating on one of your fave bands so what? I'm sure nickelback with their fame and riches are not going to care so why should you?

good luck with the guitar and have fun rocking out.

Reginald:
Yes. The sound varies based on the wood, pickups, bridge type, strings, the pick you use, and (some people say) the neck joint. There are hollow bodies, semi-hollow, and solid, all of which sound different. Amps are very important, too. If you can name some players you like, I can maybe tell you how they're getting their sound.

When it comes to pickups, you've got dual single coils. You can get stacked dual coils in single coil covers, and you can install a coil tap to switch between dual a singe. Dual coils reduce that nasty hum, and they generally have higher outputs, so you can push an amp harder if you want to. Single and dual coil pickups have different sounds. Listen to a Stratocaster for a typical single coil sound, a Les Paul or SG for dual coils. You've also got P90s, piezoelectric pickups, and speciality pickups for archtops. P90s are a single coil pickup, brighter and snappier than your average humbucker, but warmer and tubbier than your average single coil. Don't worry about piezos. When it comes to hum, you can always buy a noise gate later on, so go with the sound you prefer.

Mainly I like how Green Day sounds. My favorite band by far. The guitar portions are done by two or three different men, but Billie Joe Armstrong is the most well known, so I guess I wanna know how he gets his sound. As for the second paragraph, I honestly don't know what any of that meant. I guess, let's start from the basics. What exactly is a pickup? And what is a coil?

Belated:

Reginald:
Yes. The sound varies based on the wood, pickups, bridge type, strings, the pick you use, and (some people say) the neck joint. There are hollow bodies, semi-hollow, and solid, all of which sound different. Amps are very important, too. If you can name some players you like, I can maybe tell you how they're getting their sound.

When it comes to pickups, you've got dual single coils. You can get stacked dual coils in single coil covers, and you can install a coil tap to switch between dual a singe. Dual coils reduce that nasty hum, and they generally have higher outputs, so you can push an amp harder if you want to. Single and dual coil pickups have different sounds. Listen to a Stratocaster for a typical single coil sound, a Les Paul or SG for dual coils. You've also got P90s, piezoelectric pickups, and speciality pickups for archtops. P90s are a single coil pickup, brighter and snappier than your average humbucker, but warmer and tubbier than your average single coil. Don't worry about piezos. When it comes to hum, you can always buy a noise gate later on, so go with the sound you prefer.

Mainly I like how Green Day sounds. My favorite band by far. The guitar portions are done by two or three different men, but Billie Joe Armstrong is the most well known, so I guess I wanna know how he gets his sound. As for the second paragraph, I honestly don't know what any of that meant. I guess, let's start from the basics. What exactly is a pickup? And what is a coil?

Thanks.

The pickups are the rectangular things under the strings on the body. They use magnets to detect the vibrations of the strings, and they send that signal to the guitar's output jack, which goes into your effects or your amp. The pickup is essentially made from wire wrapped around some poles. Each row of poles is a coil, or bobbin. So a dual coil is twice as big as a single coil. With dual coils, or humbuckers, thee polarity neutralises humming that the pickups attract from different sources, such as televisions. There are a wide variety of pickups avaliable, some give a stronger signal, some sound clearer than others.

It looks like Billy leans towards the Les Paul Jr more than anything else. Stock, it comes with a P90 in the bridge position. Mahogany body, mahogany neck. Warm sounding, but with a good amount of bite. Running that into a Marshall JCM 800, via an Ibanez Tubscreamer. The Marshall has a nice, crunchy sound, and the Tubscreamer pushes the amplifier's tubes, so they break up, causing that tight, saturated distortion. He's had it modified, probably for more gain, which makes the distortion more intense. He's also using an ISP Decimator. It's a noise gate, a device that reduces and removes unwanted hum.

He's got a lot of gear, but you could get the sound pretty well with a Les Paul -> Tubscreamer -> JCM 800
A regular LP would probably work. If you also wanted to play something like G'n'R, I'd say get an LP with two humbuckers, it'll be able to do Greenday more than well enough, and the extra grunt from the pickup might push the amp harder. In the earlier days, Billy cranked his gain way up, though it's more subdued now. He's got the treble up high, the mids are boosted a little, and the bass is cut. Gives the sound a sharp shape.

There are some more sources here, if you want to know about the rest of the gear.

http://www.uberproaudio.com/who-plays-what/130-green-day-billie-joe-armstrongs-guitar-gear-rig-and-equipment
http://www.greendayauthority.com/band/equipment.php

Billy plays really hard, too. He picks with the shoulder, rather than the wrist, and he puts his thumb into it, too.

I'd say, if you really want that sound, get a mid-priced Les Paul, or a Les Paul copy, and put more money into the amp. My high end guitar sound as bad as my mid level guitar when I run it through a 50 watt solid state amp, but both guitars sound great though my 100 watt tube head.

fuzz:

Belated:

Snip

Reginald:
Fuzz knows what he's talking about.

Belated:
snip

These two guys know what they're talking about, I agree, but at the same time they are using terms that mean nothing to an absolute beginner.

All the stuff they are talking about is really not a big deal at the early stages of learning, pick up the basics on a cheap guitar and then worry about getting your ultimate sound when you're certain you want to continue with guitar. That's when you can start taking this advice, when you are more interested in the quality of sound as opposed to just playing.

[quote="Belated" post="538.395387.16069371"][quote="Reginald" post="538.395387.16068382"]snip

Mainly I like how Green Day sounds.

Well, Greenday are a fender/Gibson based band, so I would suggest looking for a good Fender or Gibson copy. I have a fairly reliable "Encore" at home, it was cheap and I've never had a problem with it, I wouldn't record or perform with it though. "Epiphone" is a great brand too. A guitar like this will get you used to the basic shape and neck of your potential future purchase.

Really, don't worry about pickups, coils, picks anything like that at the moment. It isn't so important. What's important at the moment is you feel comfortable with your guitar and the pick you're using. "Slinky strings" are the only thing I would suggest as "intermediate jargon" that you need to focus on.

Learning what's what on a guitar is a good first step, but worrying about what you have and whether or not it's going to produce the perfect sound is not. Feel comfortable first, then you can worry about the intricate sound details of a guitar.

If you have a friend who plays guitar, see what they say. You can trust them more than three experienced guitarists online who have different opinions.

Also, don't get an acoustic, that won't help you.

the darknees abyss:
Don't get an electric get an acoustic because they better also if you lern of an acoustic you can play any kind of gurtar.

Don't listen to this guy.

i not a guy i second do lesson to me i been play guitar for 6 years how long have you been playing

the darknees abyss:

the darknees abyss:
Don't get an electric get an acoustic because they better also if you lern of an acoustic you can play any kind of gurtar.

Don't listen to this guy.

i not a guy i second do lesson to me i been play guitar for 6 years how long have you been playing

13 years. I taught for four years.... Do you really want to play this game? I think the others are going to give you similar answers.

 

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