General Question

bythebay's avatar

Electric Guitar for a beginner?

Asked by bythebay (8189points) December 10th, 2008

My 13yo son asked for an electric guitar for Christmas. He asked for a Les Paul, but probably just because his friend has one. I looked on line and the choices are daunting. Les Paul, Fender, etc… We live in Maryland so Paul Reed Smith is like a religion here. I don’t even know where to begin! My husband and I each went to a different music store and got conflicting recommendations…so I’m consulting the fluther! Here are the specs: For a left handed 13yo boy; 2 years of acoustic playing; to be played in his bedroom (not a band), possibly under $500. for the whole deal? Please help…a million thanks in advance!

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10 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

Not a specific recommendation here, but I highly recommend taking a look through your local classifieds and seeing if another person is selling their gear. Many times people buy the full ensemble (guitar, amp, etc) with the intent to play, but that intent never really translates to effort, so they’ll sell a practically brand new set for a fraction of the price. Of course if he’s looking for a left handed guitar then the odds of finding a used one go down a bit. Personally I am left handed but I play a regular guitar, I assume he uses a left-handed guitar though?

bythebay's avatar

His acoustic guitar is NOT a left handed guitar, but he did say he would like a left handed electric. Good tip about the classifieds.

steelmarket's avatar

Ibanez makes decent low-end solid body electrics, as does Epiphone. And I saw a new Fender Strat for sale recently in a store for ~$400.

steveprutz's avatar

Every legendary musician has a story about their first piece-of-shit guitar…

My first electric guitar was purchased from Musician’s Friend (catalog) for about $120.00. It is a Squier that looks like a Fender Stratocaster. I still have this guitar after about ten years, with the original strings! Some deal like this is what I would recommend after the step up from acoustic.

I would check Craigslist classifieds in your area as well.

elchoopanebre's avatar

Yeah, you should probably surf Musiciansfriend or and set the price to show the lowest-end guitars first. Or you could go to a local shop. You probably want to ask him what he wants though as guitars are very specific. One might look nice but play differently than you’d expect it with the action, neck feel, pickup tone, etc.

bythebay's avatar

Action! Neck Feel! Pick Up Tone! We are still talking guitars here, not girls…right? I want him making music, not my grandchildren.

Seriously, I appreciate the guidance. My husband went to a chain music store and they tried to sell him a $1400. package. There’s a great shop in town than handles guitars only, that might be the place to go.

Knotmyday's avatar

Bythe, do you know what style of music he likes, or would like to play? A metal fan would not be as happy with, say, a Fender or a Gretsch as he would with a Jackson, ESP, or Dean.

Just for example. The Les Paul is an excellent style crossover, and an Epiphone model can be had for cheap (epiphone quality has gone way up recently, as well).

boffin's avatar

I’m thinking pawn shop…
Although I saw an electric Washburn for 49.99 (US) on earlier this evening….

bythebay's avatar

Follow Up: Again, thank you for all the great guidance. My husband went to the guitar shop in town and they sold him a New York Pro. The guys there said it was a great starter guitar and could easily be modified if he started leaning toward a specific genre of music! He’ll be one happy boy come Christmas next question will be about sound blocking headphones for me.

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