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Unread 09-13-2005, 08:05 PM   #1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer.
So what do you not like about them? What sounds are you not getting that you want to get?

With a cheap amp like yours, I think it's really hard to hear what different pickups really sound like. Bad amps really just make everything sound more or less the same.
Hi all -- this is my first post … I've been reading thru the "Worst Advice" and "Beginner's Electric Guitar" threads -- wow, what a wealth of knowledge you all bring. Here's a brief summary of where I'm at. My college roommate, back in the 80s, introduced me to world of rock guitar. He was (and still is) a great guitarist. I bought a guitar then (Aria Pro) but never took lessons -- just played by ear and only power chords to classic/80s rock.

Now, fast forward nearly 20 yrs - for Father's Day last summer my wife sets up guitar lessons with a guy in my church. I was thrilled! However, due to my travel schedule with work, three kids, my guitar teacher having three kids and full time job, the lessons have been sporadic and … well, I don't feel like I'm progressing fast enough. While I've had a blast learning some tips, I'm feeling like I need some more structure.

So, while I need to increase my lessons, and therefore spend more money... I really want a new guitar. But, after seeing several posts about the importance of amp (including this one I'm replying to), I'm not sure how much money should be invested where … I see my first priority as being able to play worship stuff for children's program at church (2nd-5th grades) but, I have a lot desire to play Satriani tunes too!

I was hoping to get something along lines of Ibanez RG series $350-ish or Fender fat strat, and didn't figure I needed more powerful amp yet as church has sound system if I do start playing there. I've heard pros & cons of locking trem, and while I'd like to be able to do some fun stuff on that in the future, I'm not using the whammy bar on my current one. I was told to avoid low-end junk -- which I see most posting agreeing with, and my old college roomie had suggested the HSH configuration for great versatility.

1) Is it crazy to want a "shredder" kind of guitar, even if I'll be playing largely worship stuff, at least in the next yr or two?
2) Can the amp wait another year or so?
3) Any additional advice from you veterans -- young and old -- on guitar features, etc?

Current Gear:
Guitar: Aria Pro II RS Classic (3 single coil)
Amp: Peavey practice amp (Rage 158 ?)
Effects: Boss DS-1, NS-2 on the way

Thanks!

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Unread 09-13-2005, 08:51 PM   #2
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Welcome to the boards!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackpatterson
1) Is it crazy to want a "shredder" kind of guitar, even if I'll be playing largely worship stuff, at least in the next yr or two?
Absolutely not. You can use any guitar you please for worship music. It is infinitely more about your technique then your guitar when it comes to waht style of music you are playing. Any guitar willwork wonderfully for worship, no matter what it is.

Quote:
2) Can the amp wait another year or so?
That's more of a question you have to ask yourself. Without an amp you might not get your dream tones, but if it has to wait, then it has to wait.

Quote:
3) Any additional advice from you veterans -- young and old -- on guitar features, etc?
Ask a lot of questions here, and give us a lot of information on what you want/need/like, and I bet we can help you out.

Some things to keep in mind are that the amp is an essential part of your tone, and you will want to play through an amp, not a PA.
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Unread 09-13-2005, 09:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackpatterson
1) Is it crazy to want a "shredder" kind of guitar, even if I'll be playing largely worship stuff, at least in the next yr or two?
You play whatever feels comfortable to your hands. Shredder axes like the RG series have nice flat wide fast necks. if that's your thing, cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackpatterson
2) Can the amp wait another year or so?
Depends on what you're expecting to do. I have a Rage 158 here in the house...it's my daughter's...I personally wouldn't do much else with it besides home practice so if you're looking to take your show on the road, you may want something a little larger, at least a single 12" combo amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackpatterson
3) Any additional advice from you veterans -- young and old -- on guitar features, etc?
*Electric guitars have an acoustic sound. Before buying one, see how it sounds unplugged. See if it resonates.
*Don't buy a guitar on looks alone.
*Notes and chords are important. The space between the notes and chords is just as important.
*It's not about the gear you own, it's what you do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackpatterson
Current Gear:
Guitar: Aria Pro II RS Classic (3 single coil)
Amp: Peavey practice amp (Rage 158 ?)
Effects: Boss DS-1, NS-2 on the way
Thanks!
No prob...
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Unread 09-13-2005, 09:02 PM   #4
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Thanks, Rainer! I have to say, you blow me away with your wisdom ... well beyond your years! appreciate the quick response.

I know I'm going to want a better amp eventually, but the way our church does it now I don't think they use them (which perhaps doesn't mean I couldn't) but I think MOST of my sound is going to improve as *I* improve! I have a long ways to go.

As for guitar, the RG370 was recommended as one suggestion by my old college roommate, but then also a fixed bridge was suggested when I said I never used my whammy bar. I still need to go play some guitars, but went to a GC in Chicago area recently and was really disappointed. I guess I had high expectations for new guitars, and altho my old Aria Pro didn't seem that special, it *feels* really good by comparison to me... maybe I just need to adjust ...

Thanks again for the quick reply -- I look forward to learning much from you guys!

Take care, - jack
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Unread 09-13-2005, 09:10 PM   #5
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I agree with Rainer 100%. You can use any guitar,I use a MIM Fender Stratocaster,a Squire Telecaster and a Yamaha Pacifca,my three electrics,I pick and choose which one to bring.These guitars are low cost,but yeah,the amp I use is a Peavey Transtube EFX 212. While it is a solid state,I get a real good clean sound and good distortion sound.I don't know what you call low end junk,but some of these lower priced guitars are pretty good sound wise and feel great in my opinion. I'm saving up now for a decent tube amb,possiably a custom hand made one .You'll be amazed how much you sound once you get a better amp. Oh,one more thing,Welcome!
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Unread 09-13-2005, 09:10 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=gtrdave]I have a Rage 158 here in the house...it's my daughter's...I personally wouldn't do much else with it besides home practice so if you're looking to take your show on the road, you may want something a little larger, at least a single 12" combo amp.

Yeah, I agree it's not road-worthy ... I won't be performing anywhere for some time, unless God intervenes in a big way!

*Notes and chords are important. The space between the notes and chords is just as important.

sorry -- I don't know what this means.

*It's not about the gear you own, it's what you do with it.

I don't want to invest in (nor can I afford) top-end gear when my playing doesn't justify it, but I really want to get serious. I want to say "I play guitar" instead of "I'm just beginning to learn" ... not looking to be a superstar, but to be able to nail the basics and have fun!!

Thanks! - jack
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Unread 09-13-2005, 09:19 PM   #7
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As far as fixed bridge guitars, you still have a ton of choices on a new guitar. Note that many new guitars are not especially properly set up at the store. If there's something you're really interested in, see if you can get someone at the store to fix up the action on it a bit.

What guitars did you look at?

You can get a mic on a small amp to feed through the P.A., and that would be a lot better then just going straight to the P.A.. However, the better the amp, the better you will sound. But I'm sure the small amp (mic'd up if you need it) will be adequate for a while, as you are still learning, and your ear is still developing. The point where you really need to upgrade is when you're trying to really hone your sound after your technique sounds good (by that I mean that you can sound good no matter what you're playing). The first part of guitar learning is first learning bare basics. Then, for a while, you learn how to make yourself sound good. Once you sound good, then it's all technical stuff.
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Unread 09-13-2005, 09:41 PM   #8
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I don't want to invest in (nor can I afford) top-end gear when my playing doesn't justify it, but I really want to get serious. I want to say "I play guitar" instead of "I'm just beginning to learn" ... not looking to be a superstar, but to be able to nail the basics and have fun!!

Thanks! - jack[/QUOTE]
You just summed up my purpose for playing! When I first started playing,I didn't look to make it rich or famous,I wanted to be able to play,sound decent,and have a good time doing it.Now I get the pleasure of teaching some younger guys at church a little about playing the guitar.So far,I'm teaching them little stuff with what they know already,like sus.chords,timing,how to play certin chords,etc. I wish you luck with your playing and if there's anything you need to know,or would like to know,just hollar!
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Unread 09-13-2005, 11:48 PM   #9
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I am one of those who believes the amp probably has a greater impact on improving your sound than your guitar. Thus, I would say get a good amp if you have a decent guitar. If your guitar plays well and you like it, I suggest you take it to a music store and play it on a good tube amp. This way, you will know what your Aria can really sound like. I think you will be surprised.

I have a Traynor YCV40 and an older '69 Fender Bandmaster Reverb, both of which I really like. Others here are partial to the Peavey Classic 30, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe or Blues Jr. and some others. When you find an amp that you really like, then I would suggest you try to find one used - your money can go a lot farther that way. Once you have a good amp, then, if you really need another guitar, get it.
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Unread 09-14-2005, 08:56 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Rainer.]
Quote:
As far as fixed bridge guitars, you still have a ton of choices on a new guitar. Note that many new guitars are not especially properly set up at the store.
I had heard that, but I didn't do as you suggested and ask someone to adjust. I should have brought in my pocket rock-it so I could hear something I'm used to hearing ...

Quote:
What guitars did you look at?
mostly Fender strats - MIM, std and fat ... couple Schecters ... one Epiphone, I think (it was a few wks ago)

Quote:
The point where you really need to upgrade is when you're trying to really hone your sound after your technique sounds good
well, I definitely have a new amp on my radar screen, but may work on more structured lessons first, and maybe new guitar, just because I really want one. How's that for calculated reason?

Thanks again for your input, Rainer.

- jack
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Unread 09-14-2005, 09:00 PM   #11
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You just summed up my purpose for playing!
me too -- want to glorify God as first priority, but as I said in first post, I absolutely LOVE to hear Vai, Satriani, EVH, etc ... course lyrics for the latter are hard for my spirit to keep hearing!

Quote:
I wish you luck with your playing and if there's anything you need to know,or would like to know,just hollar!
Thanks, Katman. I look forward to hearing more from you veterans and wish you the best as well.

- jack
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Unread 09-14-2005, 09:07 PM   #12
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If your guitar plays well and you like it, I suggest you take it to a music store and play it on a good tube amp. This way, you will know what your Aria can really sound like.
Good idea ... I was kind of embarrassed about this guitar because it's not a classic brand (and it's an off-white color which I've always disliked ...)
Quote:
Others here are partial to the Peavey Classic 30, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe or Blues Jr. and some others.
Thanks for the suggestions -- I looked them up and saw they were as much or more than I had planned on spending for a guitar, so ... OUCH!

Quote:
When you find an amp that you really like, then I would suggest you try to find one used - your money can go a lot farther that way. Once you have a good amp, then, if you really need another guitar, get it.
I will take your advice and play my guitar thru a variety of amps ... but I think I need to take a big step forward in skill -- I couldn't tell much difference between amps today (I don't think) maybe I'd surprise myself.

Thanks again & have a great night!
-jack
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Unread 09-14-2005, 10:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackpatterson
Thanks for the suggestions -- I looked them up and saw they were as much or more than I had planned on spending for a guitar, so ... OUCH!
Yes, most beginners don't realize that a decent amp will cost more then a decent guitar, generally. But you really only sound as good as your technique then amp then guitar (about in that order, among other things).
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