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Ultimate Garage Band

Electric Guitars

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So, you’ve decided to play electric guitar, great! The kind of music you'll want to play on it the most will determine what's best for you. Identify bands or players who's songs you want to learn. When you know what they play, that'll give you a better idea of what guitar to get.

Essentially, there's 2 camps of electric guitars with some sub groups; single coils, ala the Strat and Tele and humbuckers, ala the Les Paul, PRS, etc. You can get Strats w/humbuckers and you can get Les Pauls w/single coils, but a different type of single coil than a Strat pickup. A Strat and Tele sound the way they do because:

1. The scale length is 25.5" and requires more tension to tune than a shorter scale w/the same gauge string.

2. The single coil pickups.

3. Where the single coil pickups are placed under the strings.

4. Construction materials/methods; typically the necks are maple and bolted to the alder bodies.

Les Pauls/SG's sound the way they do because:

1. The scale length is 24.75" meaning the strings are not under as much tension.

2. The humbucker pickups.

3. Where the humbucker pickups are placed under the strings.

4. Construction materials/methods; typically the necks are mahogany and glued or 'set' into a mahogany body and often with a maple cap/top surface.

Most electric guitars are ‘solid body’ guitars meaning that the body of the guitar is solid wood; there is no acoustic chamber inside the body. Popular models of solid body electrics include:

The Stratocaster

The Les Paul

The Telecaster

The SG

The Flying V

The Explorer

And many, MANY others including copies and variations of the above mentioned models. Solid body guitars are predominately used in Rock, especially hard Rock and Metal. Because they don’t feature an acoustic chamber they resist feedback at much higher volume levels. They are also commonly found in Country and Blues.

Another type of electric guitar is the ‘semi-hollow body’. These guitars do feature a small acoustic chamber. Popular models include:

The Telecaster

ES 335

ES 137

And many, MANY others including copies and variations of the above mentioned models. Semi hollow body guitar are used quite often in Rock, Country, Blues, and Jazz.

A final type of guitar, for this discussion, is the ‘hollow body’. As the name would suggest, these electric guitars feature a large acoustic chamber. Popular models include:

The L5

ES 175

Several models by Gretch including the White Falcon

And many, MANY others including copies and variations of the above mentioned. Hollow body guitars are used quite often in Jazz as they are the most prone to feedback in high volume situations, however, some Rock guitar players are known for this using this body style such as Brian Setzer and George Thorogood.

There are obviously many variables to the electric guitar: scale length, pickups, materials/methods of construction, body styles, etc. The more you move away from a clean tone the less any of these factors is apparent. Ultimately, w/pedals, amps, and processors you can make any guitar sound like anything BUT a guitar.

For the sake of this discussion, I'm not going to cover active electronics.

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I'm currently hoping to get my Epiphone Les Paul Custom guitar but I heard some negative comments on that guitar. I hope you can help me in this.

zzounds.com>Epiphone>Epiphone Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar

This is the website that talks about the Epiphone guitar

Pickups: 2 Humbuckers

Hardware: Gold

Scale: 24.75 in.

Nut Width: 1.68 in.

Neck Joint: Set

Neck Material: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Rosewood/Block

Binding: Body/Neck/Headstock

Body Material: Mahogany/Alder

Top: Mahogany/Alder

Finishes: Alpine White, Ebony

The classic "tuxedo" look and world famous features that have made the Les Paul Custom a hit since 1954 are now available in a great price range with the Epiphone Les Paul Custom. Multiple bound body with arched top and gold hardware, a quick mahogany neck for great action and feel and a solid, glued neck joint for stability and a great sustain all come together to make this guitar one of the best values on the market today.case.

Technical Info

Pickups: 2 Humbuckers

Hardware: Gold

Scale: 24.75 in.

Nut Width: 1.68 in.

Neck Joint: Set

Neck Material: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Rosewood/Block

Binding: Body/Neck/Headstock

Body Material: Mahogany/Alder

Top: Mahogany/Alder

Finishes: Alpine White, Ebony

Here are some info on the guitar.

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Epiphone began as Gibson's biggest rival in the market for archtop guitars, and had a similar reputation for quality. In 1957, Gibson brought an end to the competition by buying the Epiphone company. Epiphone's reputation was not hurt by the acquisition, quality remained on a par with Gibson for some time.

In the early 1970s, Gibson decided to partially change Epiphone into their budget line; in addition to Epiphone's own models, less expensive versions of Gibson-based designs started playing a big role. And with this, manufacturing changed as well. First they moved production to Japan, then in the 1980s they began having other companies manufacture Epiphones under license. And that is where it gets messy. You can find Epiphones which were made by Gibson in Japan or China, or made under license by any of 6 or 8 different contractors in 4 different countries (Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia).

There will always be variation between individual instruments, no matter what. No Guarneri violin is exactly like any other, even though they were all made by the same person. When you're talking about a situation like the one Epiphone has been in for the last 20 years, there is obviously going to be a lot of variation. Gibson has also released a bewildering number of (for example) Epiphone Les Paul and Les Paul Junior versions, which ranged from budget basement ($99 special, with amp, strap and so on thrown in) to virtual clones of Gibsons which cost several hundred dollars. On the nicer ones, you will find Grover tuners, just like Gibson uses. On the cheaper ones, you find cheaper tuners. And so on.

So when you see someone talking about an Epiphone Les Paul, you should remember that they're talking about an isolated example of one version which may be designed very differently from the one you're considering buying, which may not have been made in the same country or by the same company. If you have a chance to play it before you buy, you can be sure that you like the one you're getting. If you can't try it first, here are some things to consider.

You're looking at one of the pricier ones; it comes with premium tuners and so forth. Overall quality is likely to be significantly better than on a cheaper model. And when you do hear someone complaining about an Epiphone, it is not entirely predictable what the complaint will be. "It doesn't stay in tune," "the pickups sound less clear than Gibsons," "some frets had rough edges," "the factory setup (adjustment) wasn't at all to my liking" are the sorts of things you'll hear from time to time, especially when it comes to the cheap ones. Fortunately, these are all correctable, and in even the worst case (hate the pickups), your cost to get it exactly as you want will still be far lower than if you'd bought a Gibson. And many Epiphones (especially the pricier ones) will be dandy right out of the box.

Once in a blue moon someone complains that they encountered an Epiphone which was so bad that it was really beyond redemption, but neither I or anyone I know has ever encountered such a guitar, so I can't say for sure whether grossly defective ones really exist. I suppose a few probably do, especially in the lowest price ranges. People with totally unrealistic expectations also definitely exist, as do people who select instruments which are totally wrong for the sound they're after. Take extreme reviews with a grain of salt.

Speaking of reviews, you might take a look at harmony-central's equipment review section. (Sorry, I'm not allowed to post URLs yet.) There are 168 reviews of the Epiphone LP Custom there, as I write this. At least 3/4 of the reviewers were quite content with the quality of their guitar, and most of the remainder complain only about things which can be fixed without great difficulty or expense. From what I've seen, that's nearly as uniformly positive as anything you're likely to see when it comes to reviews of guitars under $1000.

Some comments on the specifications of the particular model:

Gold hardware: looks great initially, but the gold plating will start wearing off eventually. It's something to think about.

Set, mahogony neck: set necks sound a trifle different than bolted on ones, and cannot easily be replaced in the event of disaster. Mahagony necks will sound a bit richer and darker than maple, and weigh somewhat less.

Humbucking pickups: They tend to sound rich and have high output, as opposed to single coils like P-90s or Fender pickups, which are lower output, brighter, more detailed, with a bit more primal sort of edge, and occasional problems with picking up hum from power lines. What's ideal for you depends on the sort of sound you're after. If you play death metal, you'll probably want humbuckers or active pickups. If you play surf, you'd be better off with a light-sounding single-coil like on a Telecaster or Danelectro. For everyone else, it's a matter of taste.

Two pickup design: With single-coil pickups, three (as in a Strat) can be nice because using both the middle pickup and one of the others at once is naturally noise-cancelling, and single-coils are otherwise prone to hum. With humbuckers, this is not an issue, and two pickups offers you good flexibility in terms of available sounds.

Body design and wood: Les Pauls are pretty hefty solid-bodies, and this gives them good sustain, with resistance to uncontrollable feedback at high volumes. Mahagony is a fairly heavy wood with a dark, rich sound. Alder is a lighter-sounding wood, as well as being physically lighter. The combination of the two will probably satisfy most players who don't have back problems.

All of the statements above are my personal opinions, no offense to anyone who disagrees with anything or everything I've said.

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heyy guyss.

ive been playing acoustic guitar for almost a year now. and im thinking of upgrading to an electric (yay, finally!). but being a beginner, i dont know much bout guitars and all > need :helpsmili choosing my first electric

so i went to this local shop, and they suggested me buying one of these ibanez;

-RGR321EX

-RGA42

along with washburn baddog 10watts and a Boss DS1 distortion pedal < metal play

im just not sure which one to get > one of those? or should i get the jumpstart package? or is there better starter guitars out there?

guysss, advice needed :brickwall:

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You forgot the "Superstrat" category. They're used mostly in heavy metal especially shredding parts.

Jess if u have never played bfore how do u know what to get? Im 55 would like to learn the blued have bout 500 for the guitar and was given a crate amp. Do i rely on the salesman? I dont know anybody who plays. Have any ideas or opinions? Or sinc this is my 1sr forum should i look somewhere else.It sucks being a newbie at 55! Thanks Jess if u resond Al

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Hey guys, I have a opportu,ity to buy a Washburg solid body, double cutout, beginners model 150 which is excellent shape and comes with a good case. Can anyone give me an idea what a general price would be . It is a 1995 and never played more than a few months.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me.

-Ken

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First of all, to UGB and P-90, really great info! That should help a lot of folks out there on why guitars sound like they do.

To Melrose Al, Blues? Whoo! That can go in almost any direction. Clapton was playing a Gibson Les Paul when he played with John Mayall and the Blues breakers. Then he moved around from that to a Gibson Es-335, to a Gibson SG, to a Gibson Firebird ( I think it was a Firebird). He then moved to Strats and has played those mostly, but still changes for a particular song.

Blues, as in Buddy guy? A strat, plain and simple. BB King, a Gibson ES-355. Roy Buchanan was a Telecaster devotee. Stevie Ray Vaughn? Strats!

I guess, if you want to try to get close to the sounds of a particular artist, you need to check into what they play.....but, there is a saying... the tone is in the fingers. A person could pick up the same guitar that Buddy Guy plays and play it through the same amp, but it won't sound like Buddy Guy!.

One thing I would do, if you don't have someone you can bounce ideas off of, is go to a music store and tell them a few artists you listen to and admire. Knowing the tone is in the fingers, remember , that could put you in just about any style of guitar. For 500 (dollars?) you can get some very nice guitars! Fender makes some nice Strats at that range. Epiphone (as mentioned above) makes some very nice Les Pauls and 335 style guitars.

You should hold the guitar, play a few chords, play a few single notes higher up on the neck. How does it feel in your hand? To skinny? Too fat, does it feel like you're holding a baseball bat? Is it heavy? Is it light weight? These are things that, besides tone, one has to think about. And if the sales rep keeps bugging you. Smile at him, hand him the guitar and walk out. Tell them you want some time to just get used to the feel and sound. Most places will do that. A few will just hang around real close and keep talking and try to get you to buy something.

And if the guy pulls the guitar off the wall (rack) and plays just a little bit, then hands it to ya, that's not a bad sign. If the guy pulls it down and plays a bunch of stuff and tries to be flashy, ignore him (at least that's my thoughts, he's more interested in showing off and not in helping you make a good decision.)

best of luck !!

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Guitar brand to buy in germany?

Hi,

I have been learning guitar from the past one year, and moved to germany recently for my studies. I have decided to buy an electric guitar but am not able to decide which brand or so to take.

The "yamaha" brand guitars cost around 300 euro, and are out from my list. I have been seeing several guitars from ebay and amazon.de; and they are around 90 euro (MSA-Vision brand,it comes with the amplifier too) and 120 euro (Clinton brand, only guitar) and 100 euro (DiMavery brand, guitar only). I am left handed, and all these guitars are too.

Please suggest me what I can buy, I live in hannover at the moment. Thanks..

Links,

http://www.ebay.de/itm/E-Gitarre-linksha…

http://www.ebay.de/itm/DiMavery-E-Gitarr…

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Hi, does anyone have experience with the Gibson SGJ? I just purchased one online, so unfortuneately I didn't get to check it out personally, but I've read a lot of positive reviews about them, and I liked what I saw of them on you tube. Anyway, I am totally new to guitar, and this will be my first guitar, so I'm hoping it will work out well for me. Thanks :)

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Hi all, not only have I relatively recently started playing guitar but I am the rhythm guitarist/lead singer of a band. I am in desperate need of an electric guitar that can handle all spectrums of the indie genre, from vibing hooks to thrashing chord sequences and should also look very sexy. Preferably avoiding strats aswell.  My budget is about £200-£300 but the quality to price ratio is paramount to me. I could also do with a couple of suggestions for an overdrive pedal and singing equipment. Cheers fellers, Rob xx

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On 4/17/2017 at 10:58 AM, Robert Branch said:

Hi all, not only have I relatively recently started playing guitar but I am the rhythm guitarist/lead singer of a band. I am in desperate need of an electric guitar that can handle all spectrums of the indie genre, from vibing hooks to thrashing chord sequences and should also look very sexy. Preferably avoiding strats aswell.  My budget is about £200-£300 but the quality to price ratio is paramount to me. I could also do with a couple of suggestions for an overdrive pedal and singing equipment. Cheers fellers, Rob xx

 

Over the years I have had most of the well known electric guitars from, Gibson, Fender, Vox, and Electro, Rickenbacker, Gretsch, and a few I can't remember.  In the $250 to $385 range there are not a lot of good choices.  Guitars have different tone, feel, versatility, cost, and aesthetics.  I have found most styles have certain characteristics that someone is going to love and someone else will hate.  Almost any style made to a high standard of craftsmanship is going to be fun to play, and better than guitars made to a lower standard of craftsmanship.  Appearance is the last thing to think about if you want to play guitar.  The guitar must perform to a certain minimum standard before cosmetics are considered , like that actually work  If you want to look cool, but not really learning to play, get the pretty one.

 

After all the decades, guitars, 5 years spent repairing guitars, owning up to 25 at a time, I have found that much of the "tone" comes from your mind and not the equipment being used.  I can argue that $385 is not enough to get a decent guitar, but the term "decent guitar" is subjective.  Yes, your fingers are involved in a clerical fashion, but the music comes from your mind.

 

Guitars.jpg

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