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Fatiha - absolute beginner, need advice on picking guitar

Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
Hi all,

I am Fatiha, a French-Algerian based in London. I work in broadcasting and am trying to write stuff, like scripts, etc. I'm also a big fan of A7X and I love the concept of this school, I heard very good things about it.
I am excited and also incredibly nervous about this new adventure but I thought it's time for me to learn how to play this amazing instrument. I waited years, never thinking I could ever do it. So first things first, the guitar. I will start with acoustic obviously as I need to learn the basics.

Is this one ok do you think? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Begi...664747?hash=item28909968ab:g:B7sAAOSwI5Fecxpj

Or would you recommend one not too expensive to get started?

Thank you, peace, Fatiha x
 

Ids Schiere

Hot Topic Tourer
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A better guitar makes you want to play more but they are expensive and is a bit of a waste if your be up not liking playing guitar so much(it takes a couple years to actually be comfortable with the instrument, it took me like 8 or so before I could comfortably say 'I can do this'). I started on a cheap as Spanish guitar and it worked fine but got sick of it really quickly and wanted a new guitar.
 
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Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
OMG @William Byerley @Ids Schiere ! Thank you so very much for your responses and inputs! This is sooooo helpful. I will get this guitar then, with light picks (right?) and get started. I will look at the beginner section of the site and see what I can learn while I wait to receive it.

I will copy your comments on a doc to set up my schedule and things to learn. You guys are absolute kings! What a start :)
 

Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
I just checked that guitar again. I don't know if it will be good, I see it has electronics in it. I've never seen a good one so cheap.
Maybe go to a big guitar store near you and see what they got?
There's more but I don't want to run you over. GL
Ah! I've just seen the last line. I will see if I can cancel then, or return it... I should look for a proper acoustic "steel stringed" one right? Was it what you meant with the different kinds of chords? Thank you :)
 
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Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
A steel string would be good, but it will hurt you in the beginning for sure. It's good you get use to it though as the electric guitar is also steel stringed.\
They all sound different and should probably all be played a bit different. That guitar might be good I can't be sure, the price isn't bad and maybe you get an amplifier also in that pack. It's got a tuner picks and some other things. I never bought anything online and I don't really trust having a guitar mailed to me.
People always told me to go try the guitars out at the store to see how they feel.
Chords are a combination of loose notes combined to make a thicker sounding tone.
There's a lot of strange words but it will all come eventually and the beginner lessons here are great, an Electric is probably recommended.
I've seen starter packs for around 140 euros i think even ibanez ones. they come with an amp, tuner and usually a few other things you'll need.
I got a starter pack second hand i payed 120 for it and it came with an amp and it works great.
If you know anyone in real life who knows anything about guitars take them with you to help you choose
Ok thank you! I am on my own on this one, there is noone around me who's into guitar or what.
What's the best strings to start with? I tried learning a few years ago and it did hurt my fingers and I gave up way too quickly.
When you got your starter pack, was it acoustic, and you could add an amp tot it, to make it electric or was it acoustic electric? I really know nothing.
There is a shop close to work so I will go have a look tomorrow and see what I can find. Thank you again for the tips.
 

Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
Staff member
Nov 11, 2019
2,115
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What I don't like about this guitar is that it really appears to be a classical (nylon string) guitar re-purposed with steel strings. That usually doesn't work, and at that price point, I would be very concerned about reliability and setup/ease of use, among other things.

Your best "bang for the buck" is going to be to find something used. If your fingers hurting was an obstacle several years ago, that will probably happen again, if you go acoustic. You may wish to see if you can find a starter pack electric guitar. These usually come with a small, basic amplifier and a cheap cable. It is likely to cost more than £ 50, and I don't know how much you're willing or able to spend to get started.

However, London is a big city, and you are certain to find gold in a second-hand shop or music store. Or, something like this could be an option, and the price is right.

 

Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
What I don't like about this guitar is that it really appears to be a classical (nylon string) guitar re-purposed with steel strings. That usually doesn't work, and at that price point, I would be very concerned about reliability and setup/ease of use, among other things.

Your best "bang for the buck" is going to be to find something used. If your fingers hurting was an obstacle several years ago, that will probably happen again, if you go acoustic. You may wish to see if you can find a starter pack electric guitar. These usually come with a small, basic amplifier and a cheap cable. It is likely to cost more than £ 50, and I don't know how much you're willing or able to spend to get started.

However, London is a big city, and you are certain to find gold in a second-hand shop or music store. Or, something like this could be an option, and the price is right.

Hi Ed and thank you! So you think as a beginner it's better to start with electric? I suppose whatever I learn in electric I can adapt to acoustic right? I am really starting from scratch, I have no clue about anything. I have been researching about what William and Ids said.
I expect to hurt again from my fingers but like for many things no pain no gain. I will have a look at this guitar thank you :)
 
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Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
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Nov 11, 2019
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Hi Ed and thank you! So you think as a beginner it's better to start with electric? I suppose whatever I learn in electric I can adapt to acoustic right? I am really starting from scratch, I have no clue about anything. I have been researching about what William and Ids said.
I expect to hurt aain from my fingers but like for many things no pain no gain. I will have a look at this guitar thank you :)
Acoustic and electric are essentially the same from a beginner's perspective, as far as mechanics and notes and stuff, so anything you learn on one will translate easily to the other. It's only later on that you start to play them differently. The acoustic typically has thicker strings, though, which means pressing harder and enduring more pain. A lot of people suggest learning on acoustic, so that when you move to electric, it will play much "easier," but that doesn't really matter if it hurts so much you never want to play or give up.

Watch some of the beginner lessons with Papa Gates to get an idea about the parts of the guitar and what to expect and look for if you do go into a store. It's valuable info, and you should make sure you have a tuner (even just an app at first).

Good luck!
 

Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
Acoustic and electric are essentially the same from a beginner's perspective, as far as mechanics and notes and stuff, so anything you learn on one will translate easily to the other. It's only later on that you start to play them differently. The acoustic typically has thicker strings, though, which means pressing harder and enduring more pain. A lot of people suggest learning on acoustic, so that when you move to electric, it will play much "easier," but that doesn't really matter if it hurts so much you never want to play or give up.

Watch some of the beginner lessons with Papa Gates to get an idea about the parts of the guitar and what to expect and look for if you do go into a store. It's valuable info, and you should make sure you have a tuner (even just an app at first).

Good luck!
Thank you Ed! When you practice on an electric, do you have to have the guitar plugged to the amp? Cuz if it is the case, then my housemate will suffer hell.
 
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Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
Usually the people at music stores are happy to help you. It maybe best to get an electric guitar starter pack. It's usually the big music stores that carry them the chain stores. i estimate between 120-200 euros for a good starter pack from a know brand like Fender, Ibanez, I think I saw an Epiphone pack too pretty recent. At this price range it shouldn't set you back too much, the guitar will last you 5 years probably or longer. If you decide I'm tired of it it won't be that you invested a couple thousand and lose out.
You'll need electric guitar strings for an electric guitar. Playing the electric won't require you to press down too hard so you won't hurt your fingers so easily. It's very sensitive especially when it's at high volumes.
I suggest the electric because on this site I think many of the lessons will require you to go higher up the fretboard and an electric has easier access to eat compared to most acoustic guitars and the neck is a bit thinner so you can grab it easier.
My pack was 2nd hand it is an electric Hudson brand guitar and it came with a small Hudson amp a guitar strap some picks extra strings a tuner and a Capo.
I probably could have gotten a brand new one for around the same price, but my mom picked it out on some dutch ebay, so I just went and picked it up.
The lady said her son doesn't play anymore :(
Get a metronome right away and get use to practicing with it asap
Almost forgot, if you get an acoustic with electronics like that one you linked you can hook up an amp to it. I've never played on one before atleast not through an amp.
When you can post a video and we can help you out, like pointing out small things like how to bend your fingers and such to help prevent Arthritis for example.
:p
My budget is around £100. I have seen the packs you mention, and they are mostly out of stock. I was surprised. I will look at all suggestions.

I really want to learn properly as I have been thinking about it a long time but due to too busy a life I couldnt really do it, then I gave up at the first excuse.

I tried to cancel the guitar I first posted here and it couldn't cancel it so I will receive it on Monday and I will post stuff here so you guys tell me if it's any good or what! If not good I can return it apparently.

Thanks for all the tips, I'm compiling all of it here just to make sure I start the right way ;)
 

Dominik Gräber

Campfire Attention Holder
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Nov 11, 2019
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Hey Fatiha!
Can't read through all the responses right now so sorry if I tell you stuff you already know by now. lol
First of all WELCOME and DON'T BE NERVOUS. At all. About anything. Not here at least, this is an awesome supportive community where you can be yourself, ask "dumb" questions and show us your playing - or attempts for constructive feedback.
Now let's talk guitars! Guitarist can debate a lot on what to start on, acoustic or electric but I believe you should start on what you WANT to play. Wanna write some light pop songs? Jam on a camping trip? Play some spanish flamenco guitar stuff? Go get an acoustic! But if rock or metal is where your passion lies, to name only two genres, I would definetly recommend starting on an electric. Doing what you want from the start on will help keeping you motivated!
However, when it comes to a beginner setup I would highly advise you to take a bit more money to get an actually good beginner setup. There are a lot of guitar manifacturers that make high quality stuff for not a lot of money. Can't give you good advise on the acoustic segment but if you decide to go with electric Schecter, Ibanez and Harley Benton are names that come to mind that deliver good quality at a low price point. Harley Benton does acoustics too, I just have never played one. My recommendation for an amp if you start on electric: Boss Katana Mini. 100 bucks and it sounds fantastic clean and distorted ;) Keep in mind that with lower price end guitars 100 Euros can make a HUGE difference already.
Ookay hope that was helpful. Keep us up to date with your journey! Can't wait to hear more from you on the school!
 

Donovan Etue

New Student
Legend
Nov 11, 2019
215
263
Washington State
1
Hey Fatiha! Welcome to the school. I'm glad to hear you're picking up guitar again. Like Dominik said don't be nervous about asking as many questions as you need help with. This community is by far the friendliest and probably the most supportive community I feel proud to be a part of. I have asked my fair share of dumb questions here and I got them answered no matter how silly I thought they may be to those who have more experience than me. Acoustic or Electric. There are pros and cons with either. Acoustic initially may feel a little harder to play due to heavier strings that have a higher set action which requires you to press down more to get the note to ring out properly. For folk, many varieties of country, singer/songwriter type stuff like Ed Sheeran, or campfire sing along songs an acoustic is perfect for that. Changing strings on an acoustic from what I've heard is slightly trickier compared to electric but you'll get used to it over time. IMO you're kind of limited tone wise with an acoustic compared to electric but you may not be interested in the other tones though. Electric is generally speaking going to be easier to play. Tone wise you've got almost an unlimited variety of tones that you can achieve if you have the hardware/software to do it. The only tones I've never heard that sound all that good on electric are acoustic tones haha. The modding capabilities on electric guitars is way more use friendly with electrics. If you're into metal, hard rock, blues, and jazz an electric is probably more suited for you. You can of course play any genre with either guitar but some guitars are more suited to certain genres. An acoustic is going to have a lot harder of a time getting good tones for extreme death metal than an electric loaded with EMG's. When it comes to learning guitar being as comfortable as you can was key to me really enjoying playing guitar. My first guitar was an Ibanez RG6003FM which is a super strat shape that's super comfortable to play sitting down. It's light, has a nice belly cut so it doesn't feel like it's digging into me, and the neck is pretty thin and wide which felt comfortable to me. Each guitarist is going to have different preferences on how the neck feels. Some like super thin and wide while some prefer cutting a baseball bat in half and using that as a neck. Thick/chunky and and a bit more narrow. There are tons of different neck shapes so you're better off going to a guitar shop and picking up and holding as many guitars as you can to get a feel for what feels good to you. You said you are in London so if you happen to have a car Andertons which is one of the biggest music shops in the UK is only about an hour long drive away. There the staff could help you get an idea of what you're looking for. Companies that make pretty good lower priced guitars that stand out. Squire and Yamaha specifically Yamaha's Pacifica series are great guitars especially in the lower budget points. Ibanez, Schecter, and Jackson make good lower priced guitars too. Make sure to get a full sized electric that way you can fully get used to a standard sized guitar. Ibanez's MiKro series are 3/4 the size of a standard Ibanez and Jackson's Minion series I believe is also 3/4 size. If you go electric having an amp will certainly be nice. You can play electric guitars unplugged but they won't sound the same as plugged in. There are a ton of amps out there and depending on what you're looking to play can drastically help you get the tone you're wanting. I'd highly recommend checking out the Boss Katana series whether it's the mini or the 50 watt versions to be specific. They're cheap, sound good, and easy to get started with. The 50 watt version also has a ton of effects that you can get in and modify to get a lot of different tones. There's so much I could add but then my comment would be dragging on and on haha. I've already dragged on long enough so I hope this helps. If you've got any questions feel free to ask. I'll try my best to help.
 

Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
Hey Fatiha!
Can't read through all the responses right now so sorry if I tell you stuff you already know by now. lol
First of all WELCOME and DON'T BE NERVOUS. At all. About anything. Not here at least, this is an awesome supportive community where you can be yourself, ask "dumb" questions and show us your playing - or attempts for constructive feedback.
Now let's talk guitars! Guitarist can debate a lot on what to start on, acoustic or electric but I believe you should start on what you WANT to play. Wanna write some light pop songs? Jam on a camping trip? Play some spanish flamenco guitar stuff? Go get an acoustic! But if rock or metal is where your passion lies, to name only two genres, I would definetly recommend starting on an electric. Doing what you want from the start on will help keeping you motivated!
However, when it comes to a beginner setup I would highly advise you to take a bit more money to get an actually good beginner setup. There are a lot of guitar manifacturers that make high quality stuff for not a lot of money. Can't give you good advise on the acoustic segment but if you decide to go with electric Schecter, Ibanez and Harley Benton are names that come to mind that deliver good quality at a low price point. Harley Benton does acoustics too, I just have never played one. My recommendation for an amp if you start on electric: Boss Katana Mini. 100 bucks and it sounds fantastic clean and distorted ;) Keep in mind that with lower price end guitars 100 Euros can make a HUGE difference already.
Ookay hope that was helpful. Keep us up to date with your journey! Can't wait to hear more from you on the school!
Hi Dominik and thank you for your welcome :)

I guess I want to just be able to play songs that I like which range from pop to folk to rock and metal. And ideally I would like to write. I have melodies in my head which I would like to put into proper music and I don't play any instruments. Thank you for those recommendations I will look into them. I see there are starter packs, and there is a lot to browse through so now I basically know the specifics I should look at.
I will certainly update things on my journey and I have to say I am amazed and reassured after the responses here. You are all awesome :)
 

Fatiha Zeghir

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
27
35
London
0
Hey Fatiha! Welcome to the school. I'm glad to hear you're picking up guitar again. Like Dominik said don't be nervous about asking as many questions as you need help with. This community is by far the friendliest and probably the most supportive community I feel proud to be a part of. I have asked my fair share of dumb questions here and I got them answered no matter how silly I thought they may be to those who have more experience than me. Acoustic or Electric. There are pros and cons with either. Acoustic initially may feel a little harder to play due to heavier strings that have a higher set action which requires you to press down more to get the note to ring out properly. For folk, many varieties of country, singer/songwriter type stuff like Ed Sheeran, or campfire sing along songs an acoustic is perfect for that. Changing strings on an acoustic from what I've heard is slightly trickier compared to electric but you'll get used to it over time. IMO you're kind of limited tone wise with an acoustic compared to electric but you may not be interested in the other tones though. Electric is generally speaking going to be easier to play. Tone wise you've got almost an unlimited variety of tones that you can achieve if you have the hardware/software to do it. The only tones I've never heard that sound all that good on electric are acoustic tones haha. The modding capabilities on electric guitars is way more use friendly with electrics. If you're into metal, hard rock, blues, and jazz an electric is probably more suited for you. You can of course play any genre with either guitar but some guitars are more suited to certain genres. An acoustic is going to have a lot harder of a time getting good tones for extreme death metal than an electric loaded with EMG's. When it comes to learning guitar being as comfortable as you can was key to me really enjoying playing guitar. My first guitar was an Ibanez RG6003FM which is a super strat shape that's super comfortable to play sitting down. It's light, has a nice belly cut so it doesn't feel like it's digging into me, and the neck is pretty thin and wide which felt comfortable to me. Each guitarist is going to have different preferences on how the neck feels. Some like super thin and wide while some prefer cutting a baseball bat in half and using that as a neck. Thick/chunky and and a bit more narrow. There are tons of different neck shapes so you're better off going to a guitar shop and picking up and holding as many guitars as you can to get a feel for what feels good to you. You said you are in London so if you happen to have a car Andertons which is one of the biggest music shops in the UK is only about an hour long drive away. There the staff could help you get an idea of what you're looking for. Companies that make pretty good lower priced guitars that stand out. Squire and Yamaha specifically Yamaha's Pacifica series are great guitars especially in the lower budget points. Ibanez, Schecter, and Jackson make good lower priced guitars too. Make sure to get a full sized electric that way you can fully get used to a standard sized guitar. Ibanez's MiKro series are 3/4 the size of a standard Ibanez and Jackson's Minion series I believe is also 3/4 size. If you go electric having an amp will certainly be nice. You can play electric guitars unplugged but they won't sound the same as plugged in. There are a ton of amps out there and depending on what you're looking to play can drastically help you get the tone you're wanting. I'd highly recommend checking out the Boss Katana series whether it's the mini or the 50 watt versions to be specific. They're cheap, sound good, and easy to get started with. The 50 watt version also has a ton of effects that you can get in and modify to get a lot of different tones. There's so much I could add but then my comment would be dragging on and on haha. I've already dragged on long enough so I hope this helps. If you've got any questions feel free to ask. I'll try my best to help.
Hi Donovan and thank you!
Waw I read the whole thing twice. It does seem that electric is the way to go then. For some reason (my sheer ignorance) I always thought that you begin with acoustic and progress to electric. Electric always seemed to me the destination rather than the journey. I will have a look at the guitars you mention and draw a list of recommendations to choose from. I must have enough now to make an "informed" choice.
And yes I heard amazing things about this community and I have to say I am not nervous anymore. I feel supported and that feels great. It makes me want to start now and learn even more.
Just so you know, my goal is to be able to do that "doing time" guitar parts and especially the solo perfectly one day :)
 
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Donovan Etue

New Student
Legend
Nov 11, 2019
215
263
Washington State
1
Hi Donovan and thank you!
Waw I read the whole thing twice. It does seem that electric is the way to go then. For some reason (my sheer ignorance) I always thought that you begin with acoustic and progress to electric. Electric always seemed to me the destination rather than the journey. I will have a look at the guitars you mention and draw a list of recommendations to choose from. I must have enough now to make an "informed" choice.
And yes I heard amazing things about this community and I have to say I am not nervous anymore. I feel supported and that feels great. It makes me want to start now and learn even more.
Just so you know, my goal is to be able to do that "doing time" guitar parts and especially the solo perfectly one day :)
No problem, always happy to help. Don't worry about it. I know quite a few folks have in the past recommended that a beginner start on an acoustic so you build up the finger strength and learn the basics on that. It isn't necessarily a bad idea but if your favorite band is Slayer. An acoustic is not gonna fit the bill for playing Slayer tunes haha. Go with whatever your top 3 artists use is a pretty good rule I use when someone new asks what to go with. One thing I forgot to mention, when looking for your first guitar I 1000% recommend you avoid anything with a floyd rose tremolo system. String changes and general setups are going to be a pain in the butt. I don't have any experience with Stratocaster style tremolo's but I'm sure someone here. Maybe more specifically @Alicia Willis could tell you what goes into changing the strings on those. I own a guitar with a hard tail bridge which means that the strings can't do any dive bombs, flutters, misc stuff you can do with a floyd (Double locking tremolo's in general) or with a Stratocaster bridge. Floyd Rose's are notoriously rough to work on in the beginning/until you get used to setting them up. For a beginner I'd 100% recommend something with a hard tail bridge like a telecaster, practically anything Epiphone made so les pauls, SG's, or whatever else they have that has a fixed bridge. Every company I can think of has a hard tail version of their guitars. Sure you won't be able to some awesome dive bombs or be able to make some of those weird noises Van Halen would make with them but for a beginner having the easiest guitar to work on and play is going to make the learning experience a ways easier. Squire does make a hard tail version of the strat too from what I remember. Not too expensive either I don't think. Anyway if you've got any more questions feel free to ask. I'm on here quite a bit through the day and night depending on what my sleep schedule is like that night haha.
 

Alicia Willis

Music Theory Bragger
Legend
Nov 11, 2019
397
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Augusta, GA
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Welcome to the family ! I see you’ve gotten a lot of great advice.
i think the biggest take away is to get the guitar that’s going to be able to make the music you want to hear, also, one that you like the looks of. Honestly, If you like the way it looks you’re more apt to pick it up and practice. 😉

I play both electric and acoustic, and electric is in fact easier to play. The strings are lighter, the neck is typically smaller and easier to make chords on etc.

Also, as a beginner I highly recommend going into a shop and feeling the guitars ! Not every neck is the same. You should find what feels comfortable in your hands.

As Donovan mentioned, I would definitely don’t get a guitar with a Floyd Rose....they are a pain in the ass ! Hardtails are great. Tremolo bridges (like you’ll find on most Fenders) are okay, not very difficult to change strings on, but if you want to drop tune you might have some tuning issues.

oh ! And almost forgot ! Make sure you get yourself a good guitar tuner ! 👍🏻

can’t wait to see what you decide on !
 
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