Electric guitar for a beginner?

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Oneflewover

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Just chipping in on this one, my lad started out with the Ibanez Gio - think that's now the Ibanez GR series. Couldn't fault it at the time, but Yamaha Pacifica range always look and feel pretty good. Squier strats and teles pretty good as a staring point - better than Epiphone at the same prices IMO.

Tons of reviews for the Harley Bentons (Thomann own brand) on youtube and they seem to get decent reviews from lots of fairly decent guitarists. They have starter packs for ~£130+. Bundle below is a bit higher up the price range but seems to be everything you would need as a starter

Harley Benton TE-40 TBK Bundle 1 – Thomann UK

Beautiful, Carved Top Telecaster at a GREAT PRICE! (Harley Benton TE-40) - Demo / Review - YouTube

Think key thing has already been mentioned by a few on here, a badly made and set up guitar - where the strings sit high off the frets (high action) and heavy strings - can put a young un off really quickly. Remember buying a Columbus Les Paul copy way back, heavy as hell and I never got on with it. Replaced with a Squier Strat which I still have 30+ years later.

Ideally I'd say get down to a decent music shop and see what feels right, but probably not an option at the moment. Any mates or family have guitars he could try out?
Thank you, that's very helpful indeed 👍
 

Deadhead

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Always worth a look on Facebook marketplace too, as people want to start guitar, realise it takes practise and effort and give it up. But definitely stick to some of the brands named in here, otherwise you’ll end up with some £40 Amazon special that plays like garbage and will put him off too.
 

Nidger

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Yes mate, a Squier strat. He also saved up and bought himself a build your own guitar, also a strat from Harley Benton. To be fair I was surprised just how good the kit guitar is. My younger son also got himself a guitar, a bass from gear for music. 👍

Nice one.
I bought my son a Yamaha Pacifica from a local music shop when he made progress with his cheap strat copy.
He preferred the cheap strat copy 🙄👍🤣
 

Stevieboy

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What's the budget and what does he want to play ? - Either way impress upon him that the first few months will be hard and your fingers will hurt no matter what you buy. Practice is the key - if you want to be good enough to be in a band - hours and hours of practice.....
Me.jpg
 

Stevieboy

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My first guitar was a Fender Strat it it was a really nice guitar but over about 2yrs i really struggled with it.
I could not play bar chords,slide,notes no matter how hard i practiced neither would it stay in tune for more than 5mins (original style whammy bar.}

I traded it in for a Gibson ES-335 just because i liked the look of it nothing else
All of a sudden i could play,!!!!
Bar chords EASY sliding and bending EASY.
The answer turned out to be really simple the guitar had a nice "action" that's all.And it would stay in tune for days at a time,

I know they say a bad workman blames his tools,But in my case it transformed my playing so much i went on to record and even teach professionally.
That'll be the scale length difference - Fenders are longer than Gibbos, so greater string tension.
 

darlacat

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Squier classic vibe range, hands down. Telecaster or strat for first guitar, I reckon, although the Jaguars and Jazzmasters in the classic vibe (formerly 'vintage modified') range are great also.

I've had a Fender USA Telecaster for about twenty years, great guitar. Wanted a Telecaster Deluxe with humbuckers for a different project, and ended up buying a Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster custom (humbucker in neck, single coil in bridge) for about £170 second hand, and was amazed at the quality of it. You can tell the wood is of inferior quality to the USA Fenders, but playability and sound of the Squier instrument is outstanding. I upgraded a few parts on it (new pickups, bridge, saddles), but it's perfectly fine out of the box.

If you get a Squier, make sure it's the classic vibe/vintage modified range, though; the other lines aren't that good.

I'd stay away from the Epiphone Gibson models, build quality isn't great, and they have through necks (e.g. ballache if your child accidentally breaks the neck - Fender styles are bolt-on necks). Good thing about the Squier/Fenders is that the guitars are incredibly simple, and it is cheap and straightforward to upgrade or replace parts.
 

Cwrex

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A Danelectro. You can pick them up cheap in most places. They tend to have a thin sound due to their lipstick pick-ups. They are solidly built, beloved by Alternative and Indie bands and look just that bit different.
 

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