Guitar recommendation for a teen?

edited May 2007 in Less Rokk More Talk
My son has the itch now to play a real guitar. He got this itch by playing one his favorite games, Guitar Hero (I and II).
If I hadn't converted a guitar into a game controller, I would have given him that one but I had already made that dumb mistake before he announced his desire to learn guitar.

Does anyone have any recommendations on a guitar that is not incredibly expensive and good for a teen to start learning on? The wife and I do not want to buy those cheap ones which Toys-R-Us sells unless it is recommended. I've read mixed reviews on these and would not want another headache to deal with.

He first liked the form of a flying V, then switched to an Les Paul Sunburst (I think that's what it's called). If we can find a cheap LP style, we can always ask my brother-in-law to paint it to his liking.

ETA:
His birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and we'd like to give it to him then.

Comments

  • stueyg87stueyg87 Unsigned
    edited May 2007
    You could try maybe a Epiphone Les Paul Special 2.

    they are cheap and not as heavy as the proper Les Pauls and have a nice sweet tone.

    they r around £120 in the UK but dont no if ur in the states or not, so price could differ.

    but i wud recomend the Epiphone.
  • connorconnor Unsigned
    edited May 2007
    well since he likes the v style, i own a Jackson Rhodes style, they are amazing guitars, very light, and extremely comfortable to sit in your lap , and prices range from 250 to 1200 so if thats in the anywhere in there is in the budget you will not go wrong
  • VocalKnightVocalKnight Unsigned
    edited May 2007
    You could also try a Squire by Fender. They're very inexpensive, sort of the beginner version of the Stratocaster.
  • G0RG0RG0RG0R Unsigned
    edited May 2007
    I'd recomend ESP guitars. Many musicains use them today. I've got a few basses of theirs and they deliver, and for the right price in my opinon. If your going to buy online I'd recomend Sam Ash, thats where I buy all my stuff.

    Good luck with this, hopefully he'll stick with-it, and not quit like others I've known.:D
  • SmidgetSmidget Rising Star
    edited May 2007
    Asked a friend of mine and this is what he had to say. It was an MSN Messenger convo and I just left it in that format:p

    Der_Toter says:
    Prolly a fender.
    Der_Toter says:
    Most people start with fenders
    Der_Toter says:
    Just your standard 6 string electric
    Der_Toter says:
    if you're talking electric?
    Smidget says:
    any particular type of Fender? Squire, etc...
    Smidget says:
    yeah, electric
    Der_Toter says:
    Yea, squire is the cheaper brand
    Der_Toter says:
    so if you don't want to spend much and just need something to play on for now
    Der_Toter says:
    Squire would be good. Especially if you're not looking for a particular sound or anything.
    Der_Toter says:
    I still have my first bass, the squire, and I ripped out the internals and put in EMG pickups.
    Der_Toter says:
    Smidget says:
    what if you wanted one step above the squire? (just covering the bases)
    Der_Toter says:
    uhm
    Der_Toter says:
    maybe an epiphone?
    Der_Toter says:
    Uhmmm
    Der_Toter says:
    ibanez i think is good
    Der_Toter says:
    I personally suggest Ibanez or Epiphone.
    Der_Toter says:
    I prefer Ibanez over Ep, but it's up to the person.
    Der_Toter says:
    One step above that would be like Gibson.
  • TheLastDeadMouseTheLastDeadMouse Unsigned
    edited May 2007
    I personally recommend either a Gretsch Synchromatic Junior Jet or a Peavey Raptor. Both can be used for a wide variety of musical styles and are plenty durable for the expected teenage abuse. I've been playing these two guitars since I started playing five or six years ago and I'm only now feeling the itch to upgrade. The Raptor runs about 130 new and my only major complaint was that after a few years, it needs to be tuned every hour or so during usage. The Synchromatic Junior Jet is a bit of a mystery though, they're Korean made clones of the Electromatic line and I've never been able to figure out if its officially supported Gretsch product, so customer service may be an issue, although I've had mine for two years and I have no complaints. The Synchromatic runs about 125 or less and can occasionally be found new on ebay for as little as 60-75 dollars.

    Additional note, there's currently a used Synchromatic Sunburst on ebay for $10 and $35 shipping, reserve not met.
    Item number: 300109121753
  • G0RG0RG0RG0R Unsigned
    edited May 2007
    If you're sure hes going to play guitar, then go for something a tad bit more expensive, thats what I'd do.
  • edited May 2007
    Thanks. You all gave me some great leads.

    It's hard to tell if he really will stick to it so I think we'll settle for something not expensive. I'd like him to get his feet wet before we buy something better and more expensive.

    Thanks again.
  • edited May 2007
    Just wanted to update everyone who helped with this.

    We bought one yesterday and he's loving it.
    We got the Fender Squire Fat Strat Pak in black but from a local store. His uncle can airbrush it at a later date (I'm not ready to have my investment painted just yet). The gentleman at the store said that they're easy to take apart for painting and I just didn't have the heart to tell him I already did that to one to make my GH controller. Now I know where I can buy my replacement pickups :D

    They even offer lessons in mini studios there. :) A major plus.

    Off to download the Internet for all guitar training information I can find.
  • SmidgetSmidget Rising Star
    edited May 2007
    great! glad to hear you found something and that he's likin' it.

    I wonder how long it will take him to decide that 10 IS louder than 9 :D
  • edited May 2007
    He's getting a little discouraged right now.

    I've found a couple sites that have on-line lessons.
    www.fenderplayersclub.com and www.littlekidsrock.org

    We went to the littlekidsrock.org one which seems more for him and me :) I'm itching to try this myself now. Sorry GH controller, you're being transformed back to your original self whether my wife likes it or not.

    The littlekidsrock site starts off very basic which is exactly what we both need. He's not liking strumming up but he does have a sense of beat because of his involvement with the school band. He has to understand that this is going to take time and I'm trying to convey that to him. Maybe once I have my own guitar to practice with him, it might make him feel better (cause I suck more) but I'll just keep trying.

    I thought 11 was louder than 10? - LOL

    This might be just me but that Fender Frontman 15G amp is LOUD for using inside of a house ... for practice. I have to set it between 0 and 1 so the walls don't shake and the wife doesn't skin us. In time and with practice, that sucker is going to 11! I don't care if I have to sleep on the couch. It will be well worth it.

    And thanks again for the tip.

    ETA: I mistook the Fender lessons for the lessons on a DVD that comes with the guitar. The ones on the DVD seemed too hard to start with. We still need to check the ones on the Fender site.
  • benjaminbenjamin Opening Act
    edited May 2007
    I have that exact same pack, and the most difficult thing about the video is that it tries to teach one to read sheet music, though it goes into Tablature later.

    My guitar has been good to me, the amp has not overdrive, which I dislike, and I also traded out my strings for a higher gauge, but that is only cause I dropped down to Drop B. But the guitar works for me, even though my elitist dick friends make fun of it.
  • SmidgetSmidget Rising Star
    edited May 2007
    Huskie;2082 said:

    I thought 11 was louder than 10? - LOL
    erm, *ahem*...yes. When I typed it I was thinking about it and was like "eh, I'll just put this and I know for sure that it will be corrected if wrong" haha

    I wish I could give some tips on "what helped me to keep going when I started" but alas, I don't play guitar. Learning it with him is a great idea, as long as he doesn't mind hanging with dad :P Getting involved with music in school is always a plus and would teach him to read music (if its not too late); though it would probably require him learning another instrument on top of guitar as most school bands don't have places for guitar.
  • edited May 2007
    benjamin said:
    I have that exact same pack, and the most difficult thing about the video is that it tries to teach one to read sheet music, though it goes into Tablature later.
    We want him to learn by reading sheet music first which is what he is doing now with the trombone. I'll get him to learn tabs after he's comfortable.
    Smidget said:
    I wish I could give some tips on "what helped me to keep going when I started" but alas, I don't play guitar. Learning it with him is a great idea, as long as he doesn't mind hanging with dad :P Getting involved with music in school is always a plus and would teach him to read music (if its not too late); though it would probably require him learning another instrument on top of guitar as most school bands don't have places for guitar.
    He hasn't complained yet about me hanging with him when we play the GH and Star Wars games :) I hope he's not getting bored with me ... yet.
    Not too late to read music. He's been in the school band for a few years now and plays the trombone. My youngest plays the trumpet. It can get a little loud in my house sometimes.
    I printed out "The Circle of Life" lesson (sheet music with guitar chords) from the Fender site and the little one yells out "Hey, I can read that. I can play that on my trumpet!"

    ... We jam next Sunday
  • edited May 2007
    You should start a blog about A: his progress and the arc of learning guitar and B: the early formation of the Huskie Family Band. :D
  • SmidgetSmidget Rising Star
    edited May 2007
    hmxsean;2204 said:
    You should start a blog about A: his progress and the arc of learning guitar and B: the early formation of the Huskie Family Band. :D
    haha, agreed!

    I played trumpet in school from 5th-11th grade, loved it. I think I learned 2 or 3 of the Lion King songs early on as well, haha. In marching band I played mellophone and baritone. I highly recommend marching band for any kid who's already in band and has the time to do so. Most of my best memories of high school came from it (Disney World, Ireland/London, ...) and it kept me out of trouble. Not that I would have been a "bad" kid otherwise but I definitely would have had a lot more time on my hands after school and would have been hanging out with other peoples. But it didn't stop me from spending late late nights with Halo LAN get-togethers..on school nights...every other night..XD
  • edited May 2007
    hmxsean;2204 said:
    You should start a blog about A: his progress and the arc of learning guitar and B: the early formation of the Huskie Family Band. :D
    You just want the book rights. ;)
    Smidget said:
    I played trumpet in school from 5th-11th grade, loved it. I think I learned 2 or 3 of the Lion King songs early on as well, haha. In marching band I played mellophone and baritone. I highly recommend marching band for any kid who's already in band and has the time to do so. Most of my best memories of high school came from it (Disney World, Ireland/London, ...) and it kept me out of trouble. Not that I would have been a "bad" kid otherwise but I definitely would have had a lot more time on my hands after school and would have been hanging out with other peoples. But it didn't stop me from spending late late nights with Halo LAN get-togethers..on school nights...every other night..XD
    I heard about those band trips. I used to play the trumpet in grade school but I didn't go on to band but I did hear the stories. Late late nights with Halo LAN get-togethers is tame by comparison :D
  • SmidgetSmidget Rising Star
    edited May 2007
    haha, well by "best memories" I DID mean honest-to-goodness fun times. But between the trips and band camp each year, I definitely have some good stories, haha. Sneaking out of our hotel (we had to be ninjas man, it was crazy) in London to get some beer because the drinking age is lower there is just one of them XD
  • edited May 2007
    Maybe I can chaperon these trips then ;) They sound like they're a lot of fun.
    benjamin;2134 said:
    I have that exact same pack, and the most difficult thing about the video is that it tries to teach one to read sheet music, though it goes into Tablature later.

    My guitar has been good to me, the amp has not overdrive, which I dislike, and I also traded out my strings for a higher gauge, but that is only cause I dropped down to Drop B. But the guitar works for me, even though my elitist dick friends make fun of it.
    Did you have any problems with your's yet?
    I just exchanged the electronic tuner because one of the LEDs didn't work. Other than that, it's been good.
    The store had already sold out of this Pak but they got more in that have the digital Fender amp. $80 more but it sure looks like it is worth it. The bass Paks are still there which I would like but I value my life more and I don't want to sleep on that couch.
  • benjaminbenjamin Opening Act
    edited May 2007
    I have had no problems, I have had it a year and the most maintanence I have had to do was to restring it, and fix the amp port on the guitar when my sister unscrewed it.

    It works fine, I have heard some people complain about it being imperfect in tone or some other such thing, but I must admit I am nowhere near a level of skill where I have to worry about getting guitars with perfect tone.
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