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potshot
04-19-2003, 02:03 AM
Hey all, I'm new around here. I stumbled on this site about a week ago, and I've been reading all the stuff I see around here. It's made for interesting reading, and there's tonnes left. Anyway, I'm new to music, new to the guitar, and most of all, new to the site, so I thought I'd say hi. You guys have a really helpful site and forum here.

A little bit about me and my interests for any who are interested...

My favourite band is Dream Theater, and hence my favourite type of music is Prog metal. I also like Pain of Salvation, Vanden Plas, Vanishing Point, Porcupine Tree, Chris Brooks, and of course, the occasional bit of Metallica :D

That being said, if there was one guitarist whose ability, talent and sound I would aspire to, it would be Mark Knopfler. I don't see him mentioned too much these days, but to me, he gets the most distinctive sound out of his guitar.

I only started on the guitar a couple of months ago. I just decided I was sick of wanting to be able to play but not wanting to spend all the time being terrible at it first, so I thought I'd give it a shot :D So I've been playing my father's accoustic guitar for a couple of months, learning the simple chords, and using them to play songs I know.

I'm going to get myself an electric very shortly, though I'm not sure exactly what to get. People always say that what you want to play greatly affects what guitar you should buy. Fair enough. For starters, I think I would love to learn some Dire Straits. I'd love to learn Dream Theater stuff, but I think I'll just get frustrated trying to learn that stuff straight out. But the problem is that Dire Straits and DT are at fairly opposite ends of the guitar spectrum.

A friend of mine won a Fender Fat Strat (w/ Floyd Rose trem) in a competition, and he's looking to sell it unused for about $500 US (around $900 Australian). I'm not sure what prices they are in the US, but they sell brand new for about $1500 Australian here. I'm giving that some serious thought. I know Knopfler played a lot of his music on Fenders. What do you guys think?

Anyway, this is getting to be a fairly long first post, so I will end it here...

metallibeast
04-19-2003, 02:29 AM
What's up?

Welcome to Ibreathemusic!!! :D

I've played a Fender Fat Strat b4...as a matter a fact I'm thinking about getting a S/S/H guitar myselft. The fat Strat got a pretty thick neck...slightly thinner than a Les Paul's. Tone wise its really nice. First of all you gotta like the guitar, how the neck feels, do you wana have the usual Fender tremolo or Floyd Rose? If you dun like the pickups you can always change them.

Ibreathe got some really great articles, especially on technique by Eric...some great articles on picking.

-Beast

NP:-BLS:1919 Eternal

Danster
04-19-2003, 02:45 AM
Originally posted by potshot
That being said, if there was one guitarist whose ability, talent and sound I would aspire to, it would be Mark Knopfler. I don't see him mentioned too much these days, but to me, he gets the most distinctive sound out of his guitar.
I agree that Knopfler is really unique. Have you ever listened to the Soundtrack of "The Princess Bride"? I love that stuff. Oh, and welcome to iBM, you've found a great spot.
Cheers,
Dan

Bongo Boy
04-19-2003, 04:03 AM
Welcome aboard--glad to have you here. I can't help much due to my inexperience, but just wanted to say hello.

I don't know guitars, but what I just learned in the past couple of weeks is how much your amp can mean to the tone you're after. The seasoned guys will laugh and say, 'Duh!' I'm sure! I've been fortunate to get hold of a simple, all-valve amp that can do a greater variety of tone than I would ever have imagined, without any pedals, stomp boxes or amp modeling technology.

What was especially important to me was to be able to get creamy-dreamy jazz sound up thru intense, nearly Mesa Boogie distortion with one amp, while playing in the house and not losing my hearing. So, give the amp some thought too.

You've come to the right place--as you can tell, many of the folks here are (or were) pro musicians, all are serious musicians, and they'll help you out. I might not still be sticking with it were it not for this group of people.

potshot
04-19-2003, 03:47 PM
Hey all.

I've been told by a few people the same thing you said about the neck being thick, Metallibeast. Is that a problem? I'm a bit afraid that I won't really be able to tell what type of neck I like until I'm able to play some decent lead. At the moment, I just shuffle around between chords. So I'm a bit afraid that I won't know what's best for me.

I'm not afraid to spend a decent bit of money, and I especially want the guitar I buy to still be worth playing once I've developed some ability. I know almost nothing about amps, and it seems like they can be a more costly venture than the guitar itself. Once again, I'd like what I buy to remain useful, but from talking to my friends, it appears that it might be a smarter move to go for something a bit cheaper while learning.

I know a lot of people love the old style valve amps. Is there a good reason? Are they really better? Or is it like how some people will always prefer a 60s/70s Fender to any guitar they can get now because they just don't make em like they used to?

I don't know how easy it is to get an amp that can give you everything from classic 70s rock style tones through to heavy crunch without breaking the bank, but if possible, that's what I'd be after.

Thanks for the replies, it seems like I can learn a lot around here.

potshot
04-19-2003, 03:51 PM
Oh, and yeah, I'd like to have the Floyd Rose, I guess. A few of the songs I aspire to play have some Floyd Rose action in them. I guess it's not that big a deal, really, it just so happens that the guitar I'm considering has one. I know they can make it more difficult to tune the guitar and keep it tuned, though.

metallibeast
04-19-2003, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by potshot
Hey all.

I've been told by a few people the same thing you said about the neck being thick, Metallibeast. Is that a problem? I'm a bit afraid that I won't really be able to tell what type of neck I like until I'm able to play some decent lead. At the moment, I just shuffle around between chords. So I'm a bit afraid that I won't know what's best for me.

Thanks for the replies, it seems like I can learn a lot around here.

I find that a thicker neck is easier to finger chords...on thinner necks I find that after some time my hands get tired. But than I got small hands...me is 5 ' 6" Its actually hard to say cuz some people prefer thinner necks. It would be a wise decision for you to get a cheaper guitar first or try to check out as many guitars as possble...try some of Ibanez's guitar they got real thin necks on some of them.

See which one you like better

-Beast

Bongo Boy
04-19-2003, 05:46 PM
It's probably dumb to say 'gear doesn't matter' when learning. Your comfort with the instrument will be important, and I'd think an instrument that can be kept in tune would also be important. But from what I've seen in stores and what I've seen great musicians play, you don't have to spend a lot of money to get great gear. Also, spending a lot doesn't ensure you get great gear, either.

As for amps--again I'm a 1 year newbie--I'm thinking the amp has nothing to do with how quickly you progress or how well you'll play. I do think simple is good--for me, gear can be a huge distraction. Ditzing with switches and knobs is kind of a waste of time that could be better spent learning to control my errant pinky finger.

On the other hand, getting the sound you like is just plain fun and inspiring. It makes me want to practice all the more. That's a good thing--and kinda contradicts my statement above about having no effect on progress. :)

The best amp for you is probably the one you can afford, love the sound of, like the looks of, and don't spend much time fiddling with. That's all I'm sayin'.

What I want to know is, what would typically be the key differences between a $250 Strat and, say, a $900 Strat, other than aesthetics?

EricV
04-19-2003, 06:03 PM
What I want to know is, what would typically be the key differences between a $250 Strat and, say, a $900 Strat, other than aesthetics?

The answer, of course, HAS to be "it depends".
If you are talking about two strats from two different companies... well, there might be no difference at all... some companies offer strats for a few hundred bucks that might cost way more if built by another company.
But in general, things that change once the price increases:
- Wood ( material: actual wood like ash or elder instead of plywood, also: maybe only 1 or 2 pieces of wood, than 5 )
- Electronics ( Better pickups )
- Hardware ( better tuners, frets... )
- Better craftmanship ( better paint-job )
Of course, this does not apply to all mid- to high-prize strats. I have seen some that were like... $ 1500, and still had some bad components or bad craftmanship, but in general, the things mentioned above are what changes once you invest more money.
Eric

Playmystrat
04-21-2003, 01:20 AM
For a solid, intro level guitar I would have to recommend the fender mexican strat. It costs about 300 bucks and is essentially the same thing as the american version other than the a few minor details and the pickups, which you can change easily later on when you get better. It also is relatively easier to learn on than other guitars like Gibsons, etc that are heavier and have thicker necks, which make it harder to maneuver around the fretboard. As for the amp, if you don't have too much money right now just get a small practice amp to learn on, and when you feel the time is right you can invest in something better.

potshot
04-23-2003, 11:14 AM
Thanks for all your replies. I think I'll most likely take your advice and go for a simpler, cheaper practice amp for starters. I carried my friend's amp the other day, I never realised they were so bloody heavy :D

I also read the article on how to choose a teacher, which I found very useful. I'm in the process of talking to one potential teacher at the moment, and he sounds pretty promising.

So thanks once again.

Leviathon
05-09-2003, 08:55 PM
The answer, of course, HAS to be "it depends".
If you are talking about two strats from two different companies... well, there might be no difference at all... some companies offer strats for a few hundred bucks that might cost way more if built by another company.
But in general, things that change once the price increases:

I thought the only two companies that made "Strats" were Fender and there counterpart Squire? What do you mean by different companies? I too am looking for that possible 2nd guitar and am curious. Right now I think I am going to Choose between Ibanez, Fender, or ESP.

And to all the other guys out there what do you think of ESP guitars?