OK guitar players...did I screw up...shoulda asked before I forked out money... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : OK guitar players...did I screw up...shoulda asked before I forked out money...

09-16-2004, 10:07 AM
The wife is graduating from Law School and has been talking about wanting a guitar, so I just placed an order for one to give her as a gift. I know I payed a bit too much for the paint job. (I got her one with flames painted on it at like $75 more than the standard one, but she'll love the flames so I figured that was worth it.)

I've played drums, but never guitar, and everybody I know that plays is on the fancier end of the spectrum, outta my price range unless she really takes to it and by then I'm sure she'll want to pick out her own. I didn't want to go used and take a chance getting something that would need repairs I was unable to do.

Anyway, I ordered an Epiphone Les Paul Special II Hot Rod (the hot rod just means flames, it's their basic Les Paul Special II otherwise) along with an Epiphone EP 800R combo amp.

She likes rockabilly and harder rock, punk and stuff like that. She's a big Smiths fan too, but I picture her more wanting the thing to learn some old rock and occasionally get heavy.

Did I make a big mistake, or is this a decent setup to start off with. I may still be able to cancel the order if I screwed up too bad. Here's a pic...

09-16-2004, 10:22 AM
It's a fine guitar, you're not going to get a piece of garbage for what I presume you paid for that ($1000 range, give or take a hundred or two?). Oh, wait a second, you just said something about out of yr price range, didn't you...I dunno. Maybe this was one of those specials. I can't keep up. Epiphone is a Gibson instrument, I believe the way to describe it would be that Gibson bought a competitor & uses the name for a line that would be considered a 'budget' line, though a grade or two above Fender's use of "Squire."

The only area where I think you might've gone a little wrong is in buying a guitar with humbucking pickups. If yr wife's a beginner, this won't matter...but for gear heads it's a big deal. Most punk & rockabilly bands are going to use Fenders & other guitars with single-coil pickups. The difference in tone has quite a bit to do with the end product. Single-coil's a bit more flexible; you can add effects & approximate the sound of a distorted or overdriven humbucker sound, but with a humbucker you can't really get a single-coil sound. When played clean they're best for jazz tones, which really come through with the thicker strings that a lot of jazz guitarists use.

I'm speaking in generalities. There are exceptions. You do see a lot of rockabilly guys playing hollow-body Gretsches & even Gibson 335s that have humbucking pickups. But by & large single-coil is just a better all-around way to get more diverse sounds. Les Pauls are great for guys like Slash & Ace Frehley. And when used properly there's certainly nothing wrong with their use in punk bands. But they're not as widely used, and there's a reason. But, as I said, if yr wife's a beginner, none of this should matter. What might, though, is the weight of this guitar; Les Pauls are heavy! This one, and Specials in general, probably not as much as a Standard or a Custom, but close. There's where Fender might be a better bet for a woman. Does she already play?

09-16-2004, 10:27 AM
No way...a grand's way out of my budget for something she may or may not get into. Thing's under $200. Yeah, Epiphone's a division of Gibson, which I guess I remember fondly because my dad always played Gibsons.

She doesn't play a lick...just wants to start out, and I saw this on a list with the Fender Squires as good beginner ones for cheap, and the flames are just something that made me grab this one as she loves 'em, got 'em all over her shoes, belts, etc...

09-16-2004, 10:35 AM
If she doesn't like it maybe if you get Morrissey to autograph it then she will dig it.

BTW he's playing here and damn tickets are frikking $65.00!!!!!!!!

My sister is a lawyer and does well. You will eventually be able to afford a high dollar one!


09-16-2004, 10:41 AM
Excellent choice!!! I bought one very, very similar for my brother about 2 years back...You didn't get hosed at all, this is one of the better beginner-priced units I've seen. It'll play and sound fine, and she's probably years away from the humbucker vs. single coil issues. You probably got the Peavey Rage practice amp too?
Every time I go over to his place I tune it, and noodle away on it...I'd put it way ahead of the Squire strats which are really popular 1st guitars.

Incidentally, I used an old Squire Tele (with a few mods) in the last metal band I played in...got all kinds of cool looks and questions...nothing wrong with straying from the norm.

Guitar's are like speakers. If you think speaker buffs are anal, try posting on some guitar forums...yikes. One of my favorite guitars is an old $200 Vantage Avenger I bought about 12 years ago. Basically a Korean or Vietnam cheapo guitar, with some smoking humbuckers, nice finish, and simple design. I've got some Fender, Jackson, and Gibsons that I paid alot more for that haven't held up as well over time. I was too poor in junior high and high school to buy the fancy guitars the rich kids had so I've come to appreciate the value guitars.

You'll have no problem selling that Epiphone when she's ready for a Gibson next either...

You can find great deals on Digitech, DOD, and Ibanez effects pedals on ebay that she'd have tons of fun with...

09-16-2004, 10:43 AM
Yeah...those prices are outrageous. But, this may be one time where we gotta bite the bullet. He's not coming to St. Louis, but we can always head up to Chicago and catch him there.

Naw...she'll be one of those poor lawyers, already lining up a job at a public defenders office.

I still like to pretend she's gonna bring home the big bucks though. Ya never know...

09-16-2004, 10:58 AM
The only other thing I'd add is that I found, in retrospect, as a beginner, that learning how to play on an acoustic guitar was beneficial. It's more difficult; you have to press harder, and it's more painful. However, once you have developed the strength in yr fingers to play an acoustic properly, just about any electric guitar after that is a piece of cake. Which probably doesn't matter all that much to someone who's only going to play it casually, of course. But I've seen people who'd only played electrics pick up an acoustic guitar, not being aware of the difference, and grimacing while not understanding why they couldn't play the thing.

Another factor is that it's usually easier for people to learn when they're younger. There's time & pain involved that adults typically aren't interested in sacrificing. If she's going to play casually, what you got her there is perfect. If she's interested in pursuing it with any seriousness, down the road she'd probably want to upgrade or diversify. However, that setup will go a long way.

09-16-2004, 11:12 AM
Couldn't agree more with the acoustic guitar point...to this day I slow down about 30% on an acoustic, they just aren't as forgiving and "fudgeable" as electrics. But the strength, accuracy, and dexterity gained by learning on an acoustic is worth it.
Some of the kids I tought use to feel so bad about being stuck with a cheap Yamaha acoustic when others kids had 7 string Ibanez (boo) electric guitars. By the time they finally got an electric they were usually further ahead in the speed and stamina department than their peers.

I had one kid who could play half the friggin songs on Korn's debut album all on acoustic in his 2nd year.

09-16-2004, 11:14 AM
I asked her about the acoustic thing. She's got no interest there.

I feel OK now that it's at least not crap and will do fine. I figure if she really gets into it, she'll want to pick out something personally anyway. For now, something that she thinks is pretty and will sound decent is probably the most likely thing she'll enjoy.

I appreciate the feedback. At least now I don't think I'm gonna be tossing my money down a black hole for something that's gonna sound like crap and fall apart in a couple months.