Author Topic: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?  (Read 1139 times)

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Offline Mike027

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Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« on: November 21, 2020, 05:22:12 pm »
Hello,  I am 59 years old and am about to retire.  I would like to learn how to play the guitar and I will have lots of time available to me.   A friend suggested that I start off with a Squire Affinity Telecaster.  From the reviews online it seems like this is a decent choice.  However, I can afford something like a Fender Player Telecaster (which is what friend has).   Normally I buy the best items I can afford.  Would you recommend I go ahead and start with something like the Fender Player?  I'm a total rank beginner but I am excited about learning how to play.  I only wish I had started this journey a few years ago.  Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 05:43:42 pm »
Hi Mike welcome to the forum.

For starters you say you are going to have plenty of time, because you're retiring. Well forget that my friend.  You'll be far busier than when you were working and wonder were the time went !  ;)

First things first don't worry about the age thing. Plenty here who started late in life and are doing very well. I'd took early retirement at 55 and vowed I'd crack the guitar after messing around getting nowhere for the previous 15 years, after my missus bought me a Fender Squier Affinity for my 40th. So you are in the right place to learn.

But the best you can afford will always equate to what that budget is. And if you are going for an electric, recommended by Justin as easier to play, you will also need an amp or an audio interface that plugs into a PC if you go the virtual amp route.

So, let folks here know what your total budget is for the amp and guitar. They will give you the advice you need as sometimes buying well known brands doesn't give you a lot else bar the makers mark.

There will be lots of peeps along soon, once they know your spending power and will guide accordingly.
Me I am the worst guide as I buy on looks and what my favourite players play..............


Cheers

Toby
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Offline close2u

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 06:26:27 pm »
Hi Mike, welcome to the forum and learning guitar.

You're 59, you're retiring, you have, one presumes, at least a reasonable handful of disposable income. If so, then I say treat yourself rather than opting for the lower-budget so-called starter guitar.
The Squier Affinity could be a perfectly fine guitar to start with. But is is a budget guitar and there are many better choices for a couple of extra pounds or so.

If your overall budget is in the £500 region then you're opening yourself to some fine choices.

Toby hits the nail - give us an idea of your budget and what floats your boat music / player wise.

Offline stitch101

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 07:23:48 pm »
Welcome to the forum Mike
Buy the best used guitar you can afford.
This way if you deside guitar is not for you you can sell it for what you paid.
Second if you come to love playing guitar you will not need to get rid of the cheep
one so you can buy a better one.
Third a guitar don't care how well you play it will love you anyway so you may aswell
have a nice one. :)

Guitars are like peanuts "You can't have just one"

Offline Mike027

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 07:29:21 pm »
As far as my liking for music goes I grew up being a fan of country music in the mid 70 to early 80s.  My closest friends and I still listen to Waylon Jennings, Don Williams, etc.  However, we also listen to ZZ Top, Fogerty/CCR, ACDC, Samantha Fish, Rolling Stones,  Chuck Berry, ,BB King, Blackberry Smoke and several others. 

Retirement is in January so I was going to treat myself to a gift.   My budget would be about $3,000 all in for the guitar and other equipment needed.

I'm a total beginner so we are starting from scratch.

Thanks all for your help.   

Mike

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 08:16:52 pm »

Guitars are like peanuts "You can't have just one"


Oh yes siree how true is this, on the money Stitch  8)
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Online DarrellW

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 08:19:13 pm »
On your budget if you like the idea of a Telecaster I would take a long look at the G&L ASAT tribute, especially if you can find a used one; they are vastly superior to any of the Squier offerings for not a crazy amount more!
For an Amp it would be a good idea to start another thread to avoid cluttering this one up, briefly a lot depends on whether your neighbours would object to noise if so how much, this will guide us to what could work for you.
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Offline close2u

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 08:42:13 pm »
$3000 is a way huge budget.
Seriously.
You could buy some stellar equipment for that money.

But in truth, I would not encourage you to spend that much.

A $100 guitar will be fairly shabby and not much good. Not worth wasting your money.

A $200 guitar will be okay, moderately well built and decent enough for starters. Budget guitars are much better today than 20 years ago. With a proper bit of TLC and a set up by a decent tech then it would play well.

A $400 guitar will be a darn good instrument. At this price point you are beginning, just, to nibble at the edges of the great array of very good mid-budget guitars.

A $600-800 guitar will be a mighty fine instrument good enough for a lifetime of play.

A $1000-1200 guitar will be somewhat better than the $600-800 instrument but the gains may be marginal. Better components which do make a difference. Better woods. Different country of manufacture which is often just a cost reduction factor. Different name on the headstock - which can be a demand = higher price factor.

A $1500+ guitar will be taking you into the realms of the industry 'standard' instruments. Top quality professional instruments and then some.


You cannot go wrong at all selecting from the $600-800 bracket.
In there you can buy some great instruments.
If you want the name on the headstock, you will be looking at the lowest budget lines from the likes of Fender etc.

At the $1000-1200 mark you do not need to compromise if you want the name brand or anything else for that matter.

Let's look at Telecaster style guitars.

There is Fender, of course.

Fender is the parent company of Squier.
Squier's best guitars are the Classic Vibe range.
You're looking at about £350-450 depending on shop & model.

Fender Made in Mexico are the next level up.
They go:
Player
Vintera
Deluxe
with prices ranging from about $600-900

Fender Made in US models take you from $1000 up over.

All will be good.
If you want the best you can buy without going over the top then the US models around the $1000-1200 mark would be the place to look.
If Made  in US is not too big a deal for you, the Mexico models are totally worth the money.

Darrell mentions G&L Asat and I second that.
G = George Fullerton.
L = Leo Fender.
These two designed Fender guitars from the start until they sold the company.
G&L is the company they founded after.
Their guitars are updated / improved / revamped versions of the Fender legacy models.

The ASAT is a telecaster designed by Leo Fender. Some say he improved it significantly.
The Tribute models are manufactured in the far east using many US components.
The US models are Fender custom shop quality for Fender standard prices.
They do depreciate in value much more than fender it has to be said.

Look at any ASAT model.
Classic = old school telecaster.
Bluesboy = telecaster with a humbucker pickup at the neck to give a wider range of tones.
Special = a telecaster with slightly different pickups that can sound clean and chimey like a classic telecaster or get big and balllsy for harder edge music.

The Tributes are going to be about $400-600 and the US models $1000+

Depending on where you are in the States, there will likely be a very good selection of high quality good condition used guitars where you can really get a lot of bang for your buck

It depends if you want shiny and brand new or 2nd hand with maybe one or two little signs of wear.




« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 09:02:49 pm by close2u »

Offline Mike027

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 08:53:55 pm »
Thanks for the great information.  I will have to do some research.  One thing I forgot to mention is that I am left-handed so used guitars locally here in Michigan might be tough to find.  In fact I just stopped at one music store where I live and they are closed at this time due to our Governor's COVID restrictions.

If I can keep it under $1,000 that would sure make my wife happy.  : )


Offline stitch101

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2020, 09:00:47 pm »
There is a music store in the US that specializes in left handed guitars.
Sorry I can't remember their name. I'll do some searching to see if I can find it.

Offline Mike027

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2020, 09:08:57 pm »
Southpaw Guitars.  I think it is in Texas. There may be others as well..

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2020, 09:11:33 pm »


If I can keep it under $1,000 that would sure make my wife happy.  : )


Happy wife, happy life. One thing not mentioned, when you start to narrow down the choice. Go to the store and get a feel of the ones you think might be interested in before you buy. See and feel how it sits in your hands, weight etc. Ok not on the list mentioned above but I have a Gibson Les Paul Studio Custom and an SG (and there are some more peanuts in the bag) they are a world apart weight wise and the heavy LP puts some folk off. So go get a feel. And even though you are just starting out, get someone in the shop to play it for you so you can hear it. Ok that your a lefty as the shop is likely to have a righty that the staff should be able to demo for you. Feel can make a big difference a lot of folks have said. But what do I know my 8 peanuts were ready salted and came online.  ;)

Cheers

Toby
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Arrived here Mar 2013 Since completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM and MTMS Now on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
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Online DarrellW

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2020, 09:20:14 pm »
There are a couple of stores that specialise in LH guitars, this is one of them that has the guitar I recommend in stock:
https://www.southpawguitars.com/gl-left-handed-guitars/2102-gl-asat-classic-tribute.html
The address is:
SOUTHPAW GUITARS HOUSTON
5813 Bellaire Blvd
Houston, Texas 77081
United States
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Offline stitch101

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2020, 09:21:32 pm »
Southpaw Guitars.  I think it is in Texas. There may be others as well..

That it the other one I was thinking of is in Mississauga Ontario
The Left-handed Guitar Shop. but they don't seem to have a web site.
Most big guitar stors have a pretty good stock for lefties nowadays.

Offline rwoodlin

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2020, 01:21:59 pm »
Mike, is Ft. Wayne, Indiana too far of a drive for you?
Go online and check out Sweetwater Music.  The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and accessible by phone. 
Regards,
Robert

Offline Mike027

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2020, 02:35:56 pm »
Sweetwater is 3 hours away from me.  That's an easy drive for me.  I see they are open today.  I will give them a call.  Thanks for the tip!   Mike

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2020, 03:42:53 pm »
Sweetwater is 3 hours away from me.  That's an easy drive for me.  I see they are open today.  I will give them a call.  Thanks for the tip!   Mike
Here you go Mike, the one I suggested is in stock at Sweetwater!
https://www.sweetwater.com/c595--Left_handed_Electric_Guitars?params=eyJmYWNldCI6eyJCcmFuZCI6WyJHJkwiXX19&sb=popular
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Offline close2u

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2020, 07:25:00 pm »
I saw this and thought of you ...

this guy plays lefty and loves Telecasters ....



Offline Mike027

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2020, 03:09:01 am »
Here is an update.  I decided to go with the Squier Affinity Telecaster for now and upgrade down the road if I get the hankering for another guitar.  I contacted Sweetwater this afternoon and ordered it in butterscotch blond and bought the setup as well so I would be sure it was ready to go.  I also ordered a Fender Mustang amp and a few other items.  Thank you all so very much for your suggestions.  I'm so looking forward to getting started.

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2020, 10:27:08 am »
Great news Mike, that will get you started. Happy NGD though a bit premature until it arrives.

Which Mustang by the way ? I have a III v2 and its very very nice  ;D

Cheers

Toby
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Offline rwoodlin

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2020, 10:40:17 am »
Congrats, Mike.  I'm glad you found something to get you going.  One note of caution:  It is not IF you will want another guitar it is WHEN you grab another one.  Sorry, but it appears to be an affliction not easily avoided.  ;D
Regards,
Robert

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2020, 12:18:56 pm »
One note of caution:  It is not IF you will want another guitar it is WHEN you grab another one.  Sorry, but it appears to be an affliction not easily avoided.  ;D
Nice one Mike, it’s a great starter guitar but as ^^^^ you will succumb to temptation...... I’ve been counting how many I’ve had since I started and it’s about 30 give or take..... 😂
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Offline Mike027

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2020, 02:25:00 pm »
The amp I purchased was the Mustang 1 V2.  I basically went with the first amp they suggested.  Guitars must be addicting because my buddy has 4 of them now and he is still learning the chords.  I know another guy who has 3 of them on his wall.  He doesn't play them but bought them because they looked cool!  : )

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2020, 03:00:29 pm »
Can't beat a bit of GAS. I've 8 but no Tele....................there's a thought  8)
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Offline SillySock7

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Re: Beginner question - start inexpensive or go higher?
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2020, 04:23:40 pm »
Great choice, congratulations! I always suggest to people starting out to go for cheaper guitars because you never know what you'll end up playing. I also started on a butterscotch blonde Affinity Tele (still have it), but I pretty much only play acoustic now.

They're also great to get some experience messing around with upgrades, setups and stuff. As others have suggested, this is most definitely not the last guitar you buy if you keep playing. Enjoy it!
Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong.

 

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