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I want to Learn to Play the Guitar...

Playing the guitar is a very special experience that will change your life in so many ways. But where to start?

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Electric Guitar Brands

You've got two basic guitars, Fenders and Gibsons the rest are what I will term "off brands"

Now if i've offended you by terming your favorite X-Brando guitar an "off brand" forgive me, I'm saying this for the sake of simplicity.

Fender guitars and Fender amps are known for the "clean" sound. Fender guitars are also known for that fender "quack" sound. You'll know it once you play it. Fender are known as standardly having single-coil pickups and as such are known as the single-coil sound. Fenders are often termed "more versatile" than the Gibsons. That does not translate into "better" just different.

Fender makes two basic standard models (and then some)... the Stratocaster and the Telecaster. The Stratocaster is the absolute stereotypical electric guitar look. When people (dumb non musician people) think of "electric guitars" they think of what a Stratocaster looks like. This is stereotypically speaking here, obviously.

The Stratocaster (known as "The Strat") has three single coils and a fairly specific body style. The Telecaster (heretofore known as "The Tele") has two pickups which are different from The Strat and a slightly different more rounded body style.

Gibsons are known for the thick low muddy hard rock sound and they use, you guessed it... humbuckers (humbucker is the fancy name for double-coil pickup). they also make what people know as the classic "jazz" guitar, a blonde oversize hollowbody Epiphone... Epiphone and Gibson are owned by the same conglomerate corporation. Some people say Epiphones suck and Gibsons rule, some people say Gibsons rule and Epiphones suck. Gibsons are more expensive, that's the only thing that's for sure. They are basically the same thing, same company exact same style guitars. I personally have played a Gibson side by side an Epiphone and liked the Epiphone better AND the Epi was half the price... go figure, that's just me though

Gibson has two basic models also. The Les Paul and The SG. These are both two more very classic guitars and mostly different in their body styles. The body shape and size and blah blah, has a LOT to do with the tone, i can't tell you exactly how this works, cuz i don't know... i just know that the body of the guitar affects the tone greatly. So, two different body styles are likely to have much different tones. (Epiphone also makes a Les Paul for about half the price, play it and see which one YOU like better)

Fenders (should) get played through Fender amplifiers and Gibsons (should) get played through Marshall amplifiers. Fender amps have the clean sound, Marshal amps have the distortion sound. (Yes yes yes, this is not all hard and fast, play anything out of anything you want in the end...)


Go to your local Guitar store and ask to play their standard $1000 fender and standard $1000 Gibson. Choose one amp, a really nice one, set the settings to what you like (somewhere in the middle) and leave them there while you try all the guitars. Decide which guitar YOU like better, fender or gibson, and then go play other stuff and compare it.

NOW, we get to the fun part... there's a gazillion other brands to choose from, and though Fender and Gibson are standards they are by no means the only innovators in the guitar world. So, just a quick rundown of some of the other crap you'll find.

Squire (ewww, *shudder*) absof8ckinlutely lame ass cheap strat ripoff made by Fender themselves, el-super cheapo... (like $99)

there's also your sort of "asian car" section of the market, affordable, effecient, economical, good gas mileage. Maybe nothing like, say, a corvette, but still... the good ones kick ass.

Ibanez: an asian guitar manufacturer, you really start getting good deals with these guys above $1000. Below that you're wasting you're time.

Schecter: this is what i have... best guitar for the money. need i say more?

Gretsch: another classic company which has probably been around as long as either Fender or Gibson which makes a very distinct variety of hollow body jazz/swing/blues era looking guitars. Gretsch has a particular sound all it's own just like any other brand does. They are a classic stable in the music industry and should not be overlooked simply because they are not one of the "big two" competitors.

Guild: a high end guitar manufacturing company... hand crafted by greasy itallians in a new york basement... no i dunno... but they started as a hand crafted company, i think by italian immigrants, not sure. anyway, they're now monetarily backed by Fender though they are still separate companies.

meh... i ran out of ideas... go look... go play... and GO PLAY!!! you have to hear it for yourself before you can decide what you want.

Buy an Electric Guitar:

  • Check the Guitar Stores
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Learn to Play an Electric Guitar:

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