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Thread: Any guitar players on here

  1. #1

    Any guitar players on here

    I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar, since turning 40 I think itís now or never.

    But where to start? Sites like gear4music sell starter kits for £150-£200 which looks to include everything you need.

    But are these types of kit any good? Or will I need to upgrade the kit quickly?


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  2. #2
    Journeyman
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    15-20 years ago those starter pack type guitars would hurt your fingers to play, the amps would be low quality and whole thing would put you off playing.

    However that's not the case anymore, check out harley benton as they are well thought of for very little money.

  3. #3
    Master Ruggertech's Avatar
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    Hi, my advice would to be to avoid those all you need kits. Buy one nice quality budget guitar, the Fender Squier series are a good example.
    Regarding those kits, picks are pennies, straps and leads are a few quid, and practice amps are the price of a bar snack but they are charging you their price for all of these to make a cheap guitar attractive.
    I recently bought a Squier Telecaster Affinity second hand but mint for £125. Alternatively a new Squier Telecaster Bullet is available new for less than that. Both are fine guitars. A kit with "everything" for about the same money I can almost guarantee the action will be crap, the frets will buzz, and it will be so hard and limiting to play that you will give up. Squier my recommendation.

  4. #4
    Craftsman T1ckT0ck's Avatar
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    Acoustic? If so go for the beginner guitar of all time, a Yamaha f310 acoustic for little money. Buy it from a shop and ask them to check the setup. Learn a few chords and strum away, you will soon decide if itís for you. You can easily resell the Yamaha if itís not.


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  5. #5
    Master
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    As others have already said, inexpensive guitars can be very serviceable instruments these days. Electric or acoustic, that's what we need to know I think.

  6. #6
    Master
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    Went through the same process a few years ago. Ended up with a Yamaha electric to start with and then bought anotherÖ
    To be fair, the Yamaha is a lovely guitar and plays really well - learnt how to adjust it and set it up myself, just for the hell of it.
    Since that first Yamaha, I second what others have said, the Squire range is really very good and there are always used ones around so you can pick your shape etc.
    If you're more set on the Les Paul shape then the Epiphone range is very good. But donít discount other less well known brands as well, for example Vintage.
    Agree with others that youíll be better off with a second hand amp to go with it - you can get a nice used modelling amp for not much money.

  7. #7
    Thanks guys. Looking at electric over acoustic. I will look at the brands you mentioned and look for a second hand set up


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    Went through the same process a few years ago. Ended up with a Yamaha electric to start with and then bought anotherÖ
    To be fair, the Yamaha is a lovely guitar and plays really well - learnt how to adjust it and set it up myself, just for the hell of it.
    Since that first Yamaha, I second what others have said, the Squire range is really very good and there are always used ones around so you can pick your shape etc.
    If you're more set on the Les Paul shape then the Epiphone range is very good. But donít discount other less well known brands as well, for example Vintage.
    Agree with others that youíll be better off with a second hand amp to go with it - you can get a nice used modelling amp for not much money.
    I purchased an Epiphone Les Paul at the start of lock down. It looks great in my office but had too many injuries to the fingers on my left hand to get into it; all cooking related, not guitar!

    Iím sure it would have been set up properly at the factory, but I seem to have a load of fret buzz, so need to look at getting it checked.

    Amp wise, Iíve got an AC30 battery headphone amp & itís great to be honest. When youíre learning, nobody needs to hear it loud lol.


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  9. #9
    Master Ruggertech's Avatar
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    Your local cash generators shop or similar can be a good source. Sometimes guitars themselves but certainly for amps. Bought my Giant practice amp from my local shop, £15, loads of settings, and easily loud enough to induce neighbour warfare.

  10. #10
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    I bought a used Vox VT40+ as my first Ďtime to move on from the basic practice ampí a few years back and it has been really good.
    Something like that - there are Fender versions etc as well would be a good companion to a used guitar.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggertech View Post
    Your local cash generators shop or similar can be a good source. Sometimes guitars themselves but certainly for amps. Bought my Giant practice amp from my local shop, £15, loads of settings, and easily loud enough to induce neighbour warfare.
    Agreed. Also worth looking on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.

  12. #12
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    Get a guitar that makes you want to pick up and play. Every player has different tastes so choose one that appeals visually to you!

  13. #13
    Master TheGent's Avatar
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    As others have said - you wonít go far wrong with a Yamaha. And used is always the way to go. Sadly the number of high street guitar shops seems to have dwindled but if you can find an independent one locally, my experience is they will be helpful and give good advice.

  14. #14
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    I would recommend a lightweight guitar that doesnít have too many buttons and switches for a beginner - Squire (Fender budget brand) Telecaster type or Epiphone (Gibson budget) SG type would be good and fairly inexpensive to start with.

    Donít assume that these guitars are set up well from the factory - they often need some adjustment and that can make all the difference.

    Add a plectrum and youíre good to go - I wouldnít even worry too much about an amp to start with.

    And be careful about watching too many YouTube videos made by guitar shops like Andertons - they exist purely to extract large quantities of money from 40-something men!!

  15. #15
    My old guitar teacher once told me it is easier to learn to play a good guitar than a bad (cheap) one. You donít have to go mad but a well set up guitar with good hardware & construction will make you want to pick it up. Go to a good guitar shop & talk to the staff, they are usually all musicians & will do their best to get you the best set up for your budget.


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  16. #16
    Master Ruggertech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilT View Post

    Add a plectrum and youíre good to go - I wouldnít even worry too much about an amp to start with.
    This is bloody good advice actually, powering it through an amp can be quite intimidating for a beginner, especially in a noise sensitive setting.

  17. #17
    Master Ruggertech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billyloves2boogie View Post
    My old guitar teacher once told me it is easier to learn to play a good guitar than a bad (cheap) one.]
    This is also bloody good advice.

  18. #18
    If you’re going for an electric, I’d recommend looking at second hand Fender or Squier - local music stores, Cash Convertors or even Gumtree are your friends. Easy to resell for a decent return if you don’t get on with it, and I’d recommend a Telecaster over a Stratocaster purely for the reason they don’t have a tremolo arm and never, ever go out of tune no matter how hard you play if you’ve a good one. Cheap tremolo arms and trying to get them setup properly can be a nightmare, you want to focus on picking up and playing, not fiddling about with tuning, nuts, spring tension etc. Tele’s are also incredibly versatile and look cool as f*** if you get the right one…my old FAT Tele was brilliant


  19. #19
    I did a similar thing during lockdown
    Started with an electric kit (birthday present),but my guitar teacher let me try his acoustic,easier to play as the strings are softer and basically a nicer sounding and more beginner friendly tone . As someone else posted a better quality guitar is easier to play. I ended up with an Eastman .just recommend 10 mins practice every day and youíll see the difference. Good luck


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMM View Post
    If youíre going for an electric, Iíd recommend looking at second hand Fender or Squier - local music stores, Cash Convertors or even Gumtree are your friends. Easy to resell for a decent return if you donít get on with it, and Iíd recommend a Telecaster over a Stratocaster purely for the reason they donít have a tremolo arm and never, ever go out of tune no matter how hard you play if youíve a good one. Cheap tremolo arms and trying to get them setup properly can be a nightmare, you want to focus on picking up and playing, not fiddling about with tuning, nuts, spring tension etc. Teleís are also incredibly versatile and look cool as f*** if you get the right oneÖmy old FAT Tele was brilliant

    25+ years ago I got a cheap Strat-a-like as looked cool and Clapton had one. If I even touched the tremolo, the whole thing went out of tune and I removed the bar.

    Decided reading this to pay for a proper set up on my Epiphany Studio LP, seems to be half the cost of the guitar which is scary. Buzzes more than anything I used to play, based on 2.5 decades of memory.

  21. #21
    Some good advice here. A secondhand Squier or similar will serve you well. Likewise, I see plenty of Marshall combo amps on FB marketplace for £50 or so. Anything from Marshall, Blackstar, Line 6 etc from 15 watts minimum up to 30 or even 50 watts will be more than capable enough and be a lot better than starter kit amps.

    I have several Harley Benton, and while they are great some of them have needed a bit of setup from new. Being a newbie you wonít know how to set a guitar up yet, so another reason to go for a Squier or Epiphone which always seem to be set up well enough from new.

  22. #22
    I tend to use Reverb to buy and sell secondhand gear... bought a few guitars and amps off there and never had an issue.

    Would second the comment about getting something with a fixed bridge, Tele, Les Paul etc. The trem, in particular, seems to be the point of weakness on cheaper guitars.

    As for amps, the Boss Katana range is pretty good for the price... there's a 7w mini katana new on Reverb for £80 which would be ideal to learn with. Another alternative would be to plug through a cheap modelling unit into your hifi / computer speakers. A Line6 Pod or Vamp2 would give you loads of amp models and a ton of effects to play with.
    A tiny bit more involved than a dedicated amp but if you've already got speakers and amplification of some sort available then might be a good solution. Easy to use with headphones too.

    All depends on the budget really... At this level I'd probably stick as much as possible into the guitar to get something playable and then look to start the inevitable path of upgrades once you've decided you enjoy it!

  23. #23
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Reverb is the marketplace, so be sure to check there: https://reverb.com/uk/


    If a semi-formal learning structure appeals, then Rockschool is excellent. There's loads of videos on the web as well: https://www.rslawards.com/rockschool/

  24. #24
    Thanks guys. I like mostly rock / metal, Foo fights to Metallica etc.

    I think Dave uses a Gibson.

    I would love to play something like whiskey in a jar at some point, not sure if that's hard or easy to play.

    I will call a few local shops and see what they have in stock.

  25. #25
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    One of those Fender starter kits would be just right for a beginner. A Squier Strat or Tele, little amp and you are off. I believe they may offer some free online lessons too. I'm sure there will plenty on sale as it is coming up the Christmas.

    When you get your guitar have a go at whiskey in the jar by all means (boys are back in town is easier) but get into open chords and scales too.

    Some lessons may help to start with.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  26. #26
    Two rules: Buy cheap, buy twice. Buy a guitar, buy a dozen. It's a slippery slope.

    A cheap guitar, like many cheap things can be a hobby killer. Those kits are normally trash. Squiers are way nicer than when I was a kid, but there are still some poor ones. If you're near Essex I'm happy to show you some cheap and expensive guitars and let you play a few to help you decide what you'd like. I have squier, epiphone, standards and custom shops from Gibson, Fender and PRS.

    As a beginner I'd chuck most of my cash into a guitar I loved the look and feel of and buy an amp when I needed one. Second hand Fender or Marshall practice amps go for buttons.

  27. #27
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMM View Post
    If youíre going for an electric, Iíd recommend looking at second hand Fender or Squier - local music stores, Cash Convertors or even Gumtree are your friends. Easy to resell for a decent return if you donít get on with it, and Iíd recommend a Telecaster over a Stratocaster purely for the reason they donít have a tremolo arm and never, ever go out of tune no matter how hard you play if youíve a good one.
    :D


    Appreciate that this was a rhetorical remark, but for the benefit of readers who may not be aware of that - they do. Same as every other guitar.

  28. #28
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    With apologies to the OP for the tread hi jack, but on the same subject .............

    I've been plinking away for a couple of years and have just about mastered about 10 songs which I play on an old dreadnought bodied acoustic. The bridge appears to be lifting away from the body top and is making it hard to tune.

    I quite fancy a new, but reasonable priced, acoustic. I have read some reviews about the Yamaha F310 mentioned earlier in the thread - its does get some good reviews. However in the hope that I may eventually get 'better' at playing I like the idea of a cut away to maybe explore the 'dusty end' of the fretboard.

    Any recommendations for such a thing and is it worth buying one with a built in amp?

  29. #29
    Went to gear4music today, held a few of the ones mentioned above, the ones that felt right, I mean I donít know what feels right as I have never playedÖ but anyway the ones that felt right are

    Yamaha 112V
    Epiphone SG
    Epiphone studio

    I liked the look of the SG the most. Talked or 2 different sales ppl one said forget a expensive amp the other said they opposite and wanted to sell me a fender LT25 combo

    Did not like how the telecaster felt


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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
    Donít assume that these guitars are set up well from the factory - they often need some adjustment and that can make all the difference.
    Absolute top tip. Didnít realise how poorly set up my electro acoustic was when I took some lessons again a few years back. Definitely makes playing a better experience.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddiex View Post
    With apologies to the OP for the tread hi jack, but on the same subject .............

    I've been plinking away for a couple of years and have just about mastered about 10 songs which I play on an old dreadnought bodied acoustic. The bridge appears to be lifting away from the body top and is making it hard to tune.

    I quite fancy a new, but reasonable priced, acoustic. I have read some reviews about the Yamaha F310 mentioned earlier in the thread - its does get some good reviews. However in the hope that I may eventually get 'better' at playing I like the idea of a cut away to maybe explore the 'dusty end' of the fretboard.

    Any recommendations for such a thing and is it worth buying one with a built in amp?
    IMHO, there is only one way to buy an acoustic guitar and that is to go to the shop, start at one end of the rack and work your way through to the other end of the rack. If your guitar is there, youíll know. If it isnít, go to another shop.

    Electrics are different because most of the sound comes from the amp and the pickups which can be changed. With an acoustic, you are stuck with whatever tree it happens to be made from and if that particular tree was tone deaf, you canít fix it.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groundrush View Post
    IMHO, there is only one way to buy an acoustic guitar and that is to go to the shop, start at one end of the rack and work your way through to the other end of the rack. If your guitar is there, you’ll know. If it isn’t, go to another shop.

    Electrics are different because most of the sound comes from the amp and the pickups which can be changed. With an acoustic, you are stuck with whatever tree it happens to be made from and if that particular tree was tone deaf, you can’t fix it.
    Thanks - Anderton's in Guildford is near to me so I may try them but I'm worried about the 'smooth talking salesman' fobbing me off with something that isn't any good!

  33. #33
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    I'd echo what others have said regarding electric guitars. A Squier Stratocaster or Telecaster is a good place to start. I'd suggest spending an extra £30 to £40 on a some quality strings and a pro set-up. It will make the world of difference. If you can afford it you could employ a guitar teacher to go along with you to somewhere like Andertons. They'll help steer you in the right direction. If you want to get a guitar amp, make sure it can work at low volume levels and has a headphone output.

  34. #34
    Craftsman T1ckT0ck's Avatar
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    The Yamaha 112 (Pacifica) mentioned is a nicely solid built strat style guitar, i had one for a while before moving on to an American Fender strat.


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  35. #35
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    Any guitar players on here

    Be careful of the GAS (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome). One guitar is never enough. The ideal number is N+1, where N is the number you currently have.

    Yamaha Pacifica is a great starter. As are many of the Squier or Epiphones you can pick up. Like most things comes down to budget and what youíre willing to spend.

    A good ďbudgetĒ guitar will not sound or feel massively different to a premium guitar initially. It will eventually when you improve and get to understand it more.

    As for Amps. Lots of good solid suggestions already in the thread. Boss, Blackstar, Fender, Vox.

    Personally started with a Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster. One Iíll never part with. Now have four Teles. Two Strats, two Les Pauls and a bass. Plus too many amps.

    I tend to play my scratch built Telecaster most and mostly through a Blackstar Fly portable battery amp. Great sound for the home and for playing quietly. The Classic Vibe goes with me in the Motorhome with the Fly amp.

    A Squier Bullet can be made to play great by a good guitar tech.

    https://www.musicradar.com/news/mike...d-squier-strat

    And Whiskey In The Jar is not an easy song to play - 6 chords and 128bpm. Learn some three chord 12 bar blues first like Little Red Rooster


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    Last edited by NigeG; 17th November 2022 at 08:32.

  36. #36
    Thanks for all your help, I am set on a SG for sure, either a classic worn or standard, both in the cherry - I think the difference is just the pickups between a P90 and humbucker - again does not really mean anything to me! The standard is a little more expensive. I am pretty impatient so want to go get it on the way home from work but with black friday next week could be worth just waiting a week.

    In terms of lessons, there is a teacher in my village - which is handy. Are the online lessons any good or is face to face the best way.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by NikGixer750 View Post
    In terms of lessons, there is a teacher in my village - which is handy. Are the online lessons any good or is face to face the best way.
    In the beginning face to face is best. A teacher can get your hand position right and see what you're doing far easier and faster.

    If you actually want to jam together and keep time, then you have to be beside each other.

    As you get better you can move online. I took online lessons through lockdown and it was great, but I think that you need to have some basics down before it works really well.

  38. #38
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikGixer750 View Post
    Thanks for all your help, I am set on a SG for sure, either a classic worn or standard, both in the cherry - I think the difference is just the pickups between a P90 and humbucker - again does not really mean anything to me! The standard is a little more expensive. I am pretty impatient so want to go get it on the way home from work but with black friday next week could be worth just waiting a week.

    In terms of lessons, there is a teacher in my village - which is handy. Are the online lessons any good or is face to face the best way.
    You won't notice any difference between P90 or humbucker at this stage of your 'career'. Buy the one that feels nicest to hold.


    Even though you can't play, you can still do a couple of simple checks:

    * Run your fingers along the sides of the neck, to check for any sharp fret ends
    * Play a single note at each fret, on all 6 strings. You want the notes to ring clear, and you don't want any string buzz.

    A clip-on tuner, like a Snark (https://www.andertons.co.uk/silver-s...ner-red-silver) , is a great accessory.

  39. #39
    Would this pair be of any interest ?



    Gibson SG USA faded 2017 and a Fender Mustang 40 modelling amp.

    Apparently I have too many guitars and amps .......

  40. #40
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    You won't notice any difference between P90 or humbucker at this stage of your 'career'. Buy the one that feels nicest to hold.


    Even though you can't play, you can still do a couple of simple checks:

    * Run your fingers along the sides of the neck, to check for any sharp fret ends
    * Play a single note at each fret, on all 6 strings. You want the notes to ring clear, and you don't want any string buzz.

    A clip-on tuner, like a Snark (https://www.andertons.co.uk/silver-s...ner-red-silver) , is a great accessory.
    Great advice there.

    I wish they had had electronic tuners when I started out instead of pitch pipes!
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  41. #41
    Another vote for Yamaha here, I have a few and can't fault any of them.
    Something like a Pacifica 112 would be a good starting point. They do a cheaper one the 012 which is a their 'starter' level but I think the difference in price between the 112 and 012 is worth it.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by docd View Post
    Would this pair be of any interest ?



    Gibson SG USA faded 2017 and a Fender Mustang 40 modelling amp.

    Apparently I have too many guitars and amps .......
    That looks a lovely pair!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikGixer750 View Post
    Thanks for all your help, I am set on a SG for sure, either a classic worn or standard, both in the cherry - I think the difference is just the pickups between a P90 and humbucker - again does not really mean anything to me! The standard is a little more expensive. I am pretty impatient so want to go get it on the way home from work but with black friday next week could be worth just waiting a week.

    In terms of lessons, there is a teacher in my village - which is handy. Are the online lessons any good or is face to face the best way.
    I was looking for a SG earlier in the year and the one I really liked was the 1961 issue. Think theyíre around £6-700 new but you can pick them up used for much less.
    If itís in a shop nearby, why not ask them if theyíll be in the Black Friday sale? Many shops already have sale prices to avoid getting hit with lots of volume in one day. Worth a try.

    Re lessons - face to face are great for the reasons mentioned. You can always supplement them with online from the likes of Justin Guitar.

  44. #44
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docd View Post
    Would this pair be of any interest ?



    Gibson SG USA faded 2017 and a Fender Mustang 40 modelling amp.


    Apparently I have too many guitars and amps .......
    Impossible!

    That looks a great rig.

    Strat and Tele look lovely too!

    I buy by colour.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  45. #45
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    Based on this thread, my Epi LP Studio is booked in to get set up properly. Clearly this is the only reason Iím not playing like a certain Mr May, and not James.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    Based on this thread, my Epi LP Studio is booked in to get set up properly. Clearly this is the only reason Iím not playing like a certain Mr May, and not James.
    That is bound to be the reason!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikGixer750 View Post
    Thanks guys. I like mostly rock / metal, Foo fights to Metallica etc.

    I think Dave uses a Gibson.

    I would love to play something like whiskey in a jar at some point, not sure if that's hard or easy to play.

    I will call a few local shops and see what they have in stock.
    Whiskey in the jar is straightforward enough for rhythm guitar but if you are thinking of the lead guitar as played on the single by Eric Bell, then that's another thing altogether. FWIW my suggestion is that you learn the basic chords and strum along to the songs on record. A good place to find the chords for a lot of songs would be Ultimate-guitar.com but there are lots more on line. But the important thing is to play every day... when people say practice makes perfect they are right! Good luck.
    Rob

  48. #48

    Any guitar players on here

    It is the lead that I have always wanted to play, I always assumed it would be be an easy thing to play!

    Patiently waiting for Black Friday, just hope after the wait the guitar I want is in the sale!

    Had a good look around and going to use the Justin Guitar system. Itís free with a sub for extras, I have watched a few videos and it looks decent.


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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by NikGixer750 View Post
    It is the lead that I have always wanted to play, I always assumed it would be be an easy thing to play!

    Patiently waiting for Black Friday, just hope after the wait the guitar I want is in the sale!

    Had a good look around and going to use the Justin Guitar system. Itís free with a sub for extras, I have watched a few videos and it looks decent.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have also had a look at his stuff, agree it seems pretty good & like his style / personality too.

  50. #50
    Thanks again for all the comments, I waiting a week for the sales which was a waste of time as no shops had the stuff I wanted in the sale.

    I ended up with a Epiphone SG standard 61' version and the fender mustang lt25 amp.

    Did a few online lessons and learnt the A and D cord, finger pain is a real thing!! Enjoying it so far, finished the first set of lessons but trying to improve the A-D transitions before moving on to the next stage, never realised how inflexible my fingers were until I tried to play the A cord! My aim is to comfortable do a 2 second change between each cord for a solid minute before moving on.

    On a side note the amp is pretty impressive, on the basic amp setting the sounds ok, but stick it in "lead guitar" or similar and it just sounds amazing, even just strumming away at anything sounds pretty awesome.

    I also have a new found respect for lead singers / lead guitar players, I have always liked rock / metal and now have way more respect to how they can play a complex guitar piece whilst singing and jumping around the stage. I guess after many many years it becomes like riding a bike and you just play without thinking about it.

    I have a hit list of songs I would like to play, everylong, monkey wrench, whiskey in the jar etc etc, but I think they are a good 6months to a year away before being able to tackle those.

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