December 13, 2017, 08:58:58 AM

Author Topic: Hi Everyone!  (Read 7160 times)

Offline Simon.G

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Hi Everyone!
« on: December 09, 2014, 09:35:56 AM »
Hi All,

Okay, a total newbie here! lol,

A bit about me, I'm 35, live in London, and have been in to my 80s 90s rock/metal since the age of about 10. I absolutely love the sound of the electric guitar in my fav songs. Fav bands include: Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, GNR, with a little bit of Ratt, KIX, Bulletboys, Helix, to name but a few. Also love the sound of Pink Floyd.

As of late my interest in learning to play the electric guitar, and play my favourite songs in particular, is growing! I've been youtube'ing more and more solo guitar covers which I've found to be very inspirational. I feel like I'm catching the bug? :)

However, I have ZERO experience/history of playing any musical instruments. So I don't know anything about musical notes, how they should sound, sheet music, tabs, etc etc.

There's a guitar shop near to where I live, and I was thinking of popping in there this weekend to check out the electric guitars in the flesh and ask a few questions.

SO!
Hi everybody. Wondering if anyone has good advice for someone like myself - with regards what to do/what not to do, regarding the basics, if I am to venture and purchase a guitar and get myself started:

Brands/type of electric guitar
Amp type
Plectrum type
Where to learn (youtube tutorials/private tutor/books/etc)

Bearing in mind it's rock & metal that I'd like to focus on playing eventually.

Many thanks!
 :)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 09:41:53 AM by Simon.G »

Offline Rob S

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2014, 10:10:59 AM »
Hi Simon and welcome to the forum. :)

Thanks for the comprehensive list, it makes life so much easier to start giving pointers when we know where you'd like to get to.

Obviously, the place to start is with a guitar, but there is much else that you need to consider as well, so forgive me if I now give you a small list that I'd suggest you google and then youtube.

Guitar. This in many ways depends on what appeals to your eye? Given that Def Leppard is on the list, I would suggest that a Guitar with Single Coils and a Humbucker would be the best starting point? This gives you tremendous flexibility, have a look at what Phil Collen plays.

So, depending on budget, you should find something perfectly serviceable for around ?200/?250. If buying new, ask the shop to set the guitar up with a set of 9's. This is the string gauge that I'd recommend starting with as you have quite enough to contend with when you first start out, so something easy to play helps no end. You can always go up a gauge at a later date.

Maybe have a look at Yamaha Pacificas, or Fender Squiers both of which represent fantastic value for money and will see you well into your journey.
The thing to consider is the size of your hands in general? If you are blessed with Long, Thin fingers and smallish hands, I envy you LOL, however, the trick is to hold any guitar that you like the look of and see how comfortable you find the neck. This is the most important thing of all. You are going to spend many hours holding that neck, so it must suit you and not hinder you.

Now you will want to hear the fruits of your labours, so a small practice amp would be good. Look no further than the Blackstar Fly. It is tiny, packed full of good things and you can also run your MP3 Player through it AND use headphones, so no one else gets disturbed. These are new on the market and are about ?90, again great value for money!

Ask us questions and we will do our best to help. ;) ;D
"I am not a lunatic. I have the psychiatric report to prove it. A slender majority of the panel decided in my favour."

If you lend someone ?20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

Offline Simon.G

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2014, 10:19:18 AM »
Hi Rob,

Thanks v much bud for the feedback :)

I'm just googling now: Passive & Active pickups

And will in general google bits that you've mentioned.

There's loads to take in, and I don't wanna rush in, and then be put off easily.

But yes - many thanks for the info there, I'll do more researching!

Offline Simon.G

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2014, 10:23:26 AM »
Hi Rob,

Sorry, just to note, my hands are smallish, not really long slim fingers, lol

Will look in to what you have recommended.

Offline Rob S

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2014, 10:31:08 AM »
OK, the Pacificas "can" have a slightly narrower fingerboard width at the Nut End, not all do, but some are smaller and that "can" feel a bit cramped, so something to bear in mind..

Active Pickups, great because of their silence, i.e., no hums, buzzes etc, but some find them slightly sterile. Personally, I have not met that, but then we can change sounds with whatever amp we use, so again, not a big issue as far as I am concerned.

Passive Pickups: The Industry Standard and deservedly so, but at the end of the day, if you find something you like.... then all is good. :D

One thing to bear in mind though? If you are going to be learning from online resources you will be sitting near a monitor, Active Pickups will not suffer in the same way as Passives "can" .  My suggestion is try a few different types and see what you like soundwise.
"I am not a lunatic. I have the psychiatric report to prove it. A slender majority of the panel decided in my favour."

If you lend someone ?20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

Offline Simon.G

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2014, 10:42:00 AM »
Great advice Rob.

One guitar brand that is kinda sticking out is the Jackson.

Particularly the Jackson Dinky (unsure which exact one yet)

Offline Rob S

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2014, 11:17:26 AM »
Jacksons are well made and nicely put together, unless you are buying Top of The Range though, you will have either a Japanese, Korean, or even Chinese factory building it. NOT that this is anything to worry about over much these days, but be aware. ;)
Also, jumping well ahead here I know, but, Pickups can be changed at a later date if you fancy more oomph from whatever you get. This doesn't "have" to cost a fortune any more and there are many choices available to you.

This is just a personal thing with me, but I thought I'd mention it in passing, most Jacksons that I have played have had a slightly flatter radius to the fingerboard than I usually like. This is very much down to the individual of course, but I find a Flatter Board harder work in some respects.

So..... The next discussion point will inevitably be, do you want a Trem? The choices get pretty bewildering once we get into this area, but we can usually talk them through.  :angel: ;D :cool:
"I am not a lunatic. I have the psychiatric report to prove it. A slender majority of the panel decided in my favour."

If you lend someone ?20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

Offline Simon.G

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 11:58:57 AM »
A trem - is that a whammy bar?

Offline Simon.G

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2014, 12:06:58 PM »
Wow. Lots to take in RE: shape of the neck etc, and personal feel/preference.

Will have to get to my local guitar shop and even a few more to get a feel for some of the guitars on offer...

Offline Rob S

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 12:30:07 PM »
Trem = Whammy Bar etc  :D

Have fun trying Necks, you'll soon find what feels most comfortable to YOU, don't let anyone try and sway you on this, it really is important that it suits YOU. :angel:
"I am not a lunatic. I have the psychiatric report to prove it. A slender majority of the panel decided in my favour."

If you lend someone ?20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

Offline Simon.G

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 12:33:00 PM »
Whammy bars = HELL YES!!!

lol

Many thanks for help. Trying to get info from all sources now.

Offline Rob S

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2014, 12:46:21 PM »
When you are ready, I'll run you through the 3 Basic Options that you'll see most regularly when it comes to Trems. Quite a minefield, BUT, once they are set up properly.... wonderful things.

Tell me when you need info and I will do my best, but be aware, a Trolley Dash is on the cards this afternoon.... Deep Joy!! :'(
"I am not a lunatic. I have the psychiatric report to prove it. A slender majority of the panel decided in my favour."

If you lend someone ?20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

Offline Simon.G

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2014, 01:13:01 PM »
Most helpful Rob - thank you!

Offline Daniel T

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2014, 09:25:30 AM »
Hi Simon,

Welcome to the forum. I see Rob is taking pretty good care of you.

I'll throw in my 2c though, ask for a copy of Guitar for Dummies for Christmas! It a book you will outgrow fairly quickly (like as soon as you feel ready to move past the dummy stage) but worth it simply because its really approachable.

Oh... and guitar stands are totally awesome... so much easier to pick up and play than leaving a guitar in a case.
I like to spell peddant with two Ds. That always annoys them.

Offline Rob S

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Re: Hi Everyone!
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2014, 11:54:26 AM »
OK, apologies for the slight delay caused by visit to dentist...... Deep Joy!!  :mad:

Right, for these purposes, let's say that there are basically 3 Popular Styles of Trem.

The vintage 6 Screw Style. Commonly found on older models and reissues of same from the Fender Strat Family.
So called because of the 6 screws that hold it on to the Body of the guitar.

The 2 Post Style. Again, can be found on various Strat style Guitars and is popular with other makers as well.
Basically, where on the vintage style trem you have the 6 Screws, with this style you have 2 Posts on which the leading edge of the Trem Plate rests. Many people prefer this system as it can lend itself to some serious whammy action and "can" hold its tuning rather better.

The Floyd Rose Locking style Trem.  This is the "go to' device with players such as Satch, Vai, etc. This is a Fully Locking System that basically allows you to be a complete hooligan and have the strings hanging off the fretboard, then return to pitch without any major issues.

What needs to be addressed from the outset is that any trem can be made into quite a versatile tool provided it is set up correctly and I am talking about many factors here, The Nut must be cut correctly so that there is no binding when the string moves.

The Machine heads and string windings. Ideally, try and find a guitar that has some form of Locking Tuners, this really does help with Tuning stability, whilst not essential, they really do help, so if the guitar has them already fitted, BONUS! :)  String winds on the Capstan also play their part, always make sure that you have enough winds and that they are neat and tidy, NOT looking like a Ball of wool!!
Lubrication. Yes, it is a guitar forum, you haven't stepped into a parallel universe  ;D. Lubricate the nut with some graphite paste, or rub the slots with a Pencil Lead, but the best stuff I have ever found is a lubricant that the Radio Control Car builders use for their Diffs, pop into a decent Model shop and they will sort you out.

Springs and Numbers of same.
The three Trems mentioned all rely upon Tensioned Springs which are found under the backplate of most guitars.
You can alter the tension of the whole assembly, by choosing the correct amount of springs and how they are spaced.
What do I mean?

OK, I like my Trems to be floating, which means that you can dip a note by pushing down on the Bar, OR, raise the note by pulling up. I use 9 Gauge strings because I am an old fart with arthritic fingers, the set up that works well for me, is to have 2 Springs fitted, on the Block of the Trem, I use the outer holes and on the Spring Claw I have the other ends on the centre two prongs. I like a light and responsive trem action and find that the angled springs produce the right amount of pressure. You could use 3 Springs straight, but I find that this gives just a bit too much resistance where the two angled works perfectly for what I personally want. :D

I have both the 6 screw style bridge and the 2 Post style and for what I do, the 2 Post is my favourite, that said, my 6 screw one works almost as well, unless I get heavy handed, at which point the tuning "can" suffer. The 2 Post seems absolutely Rock Solid.

Floyd Roses etc.  Now these are considered to be the ultimate trem if you really want to get int the Eddie Van Halen styles. The are a fully locking trem which means that instead of a conventional Nut, you have a Locking one which Clamps the strings in place. You have Fine Tuners down on the tail end of the Trem for...... Fine Tuning. ;D

The disadvantage to this style is that for the inexperienced player, they can be a complete nightmare to set up if anything goes wrong, and restringing takes on a completely different perspective. LOL

However, PANIC NOT!

We can get you through all of this without too many problems.

Along with Daniel's excellent suggestion, I would add this. Buy "Tremolo Bar Techniques" by Michael Casswell on Lick Library, it is the best education you will EVER get for setting up and using a Trem. I regard this as vital watching now and cannot recommend it enough.

Phew.... Coffee and Painkillers please. ;D ;D ;D
"I am not a lunatic. I have the psychiatric report to prove it. A slender majority of the panel decided in my favour."

If you lend someone ?20 and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

 

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