Hello, looking for some advice for a complete newbie

VTblue

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HI everyone. This is a great forum. I just read through the 42 pages of the Epiphone '59 Les Paul Standard Owners Club forum. Lots of information there.
I don't currently own an electric guitar, or play guitar, but I want in. I've always loved the Les Paul so that's what i've decided on. I'm heavily leaning towards the Epiphone '59 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition but I've also been considering an Epiphone Les Paul Modern for all the variations in the electronics. Wondering what people that have played these think.
Also, wondering what thoughts people have on dealing with Guitar Center vs Sweetwaters? I like the idea of Sweetwaters customer service options and I'm not sold on the GC chain. My local shop choice is limited here in Vermont but the is a GC store close by. GC has also bought out one of the other local dealers that had a good reputation. Any thoughts on these or any other stores?
Thanks
Looking forward to getting my LP and learning how to play guitar.
Joe
 

JohnnyN

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Welcome to the MLP :)
 

Nick-O

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A couple of thoughts. You don't yet play guitar, so you want something forgiving with a decent neck. Unless your hands are large, no idea, just thinking, you might want a neck that slim, .810" etc. This would be a good reason to trek to a store and handle some different neck profiles. You don't have to buy there, but try some models for fitment.
Often overlooked early on, but the more comfortable you are physically with the guitar, the easier it will come to you. I also advice spending a few bucks on in person lessons. YT is great, but you need to avoid a lot of bad habits when you first get going with the instrument.
Welcome to the forum, and I wish you much success finding the right guitar!

.02¢
 

VTblue

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A couple of thoughts. You don't yet play guitar, so you want something forgiving with a decent neck. Unless your hands are large, no idea, just thinking, you might want a neck that slim, .810" etc. This would be a good reason to trek to a store and handle some different neck profiles. You don't have to buy there, but try some models for fitment.
Often overlooked early on, but the more comfortable you are physically with the guitar, the easier it will come to you. I also advice spending a few bucks on in person lessons. YT is great, but you need to avoid a lot of bad habits when you first get going with the instrument.
Welcome to the forum, and I wish you much success finding the right guitar!

.02¢
HI, thanks for the feedback and thoughts. I have actually gone to GC and fooled around with an Epiphone Trad Pro IV. I've read a lot about the neck shapes but my hands are not small by any means so I'm hoping my prefered guitar will feel right. Kind of hard to test in person, not a lot in stock at the local GC. Another reason I liked the Modern was the idea of the asymmetrical neck. I figured after buying a case the cost for the two is about the same though.
 

wildhawk1

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IF...

I was helping a friend to buy their first guitar it would be Guitar Center because returns are easier vs. online retailers.

IF...

We were shopping at Guitar Center for a first time guitar and amp this would be my current choice for a total of $448.00 + tax.

$199.00

$249.00

Both are solid buys and far exceed what many of us here started with.

I wouldn't bother thinking about different things like neck profiles, electronics, etc.

You've got a long way to go before dialing in preferences concerning all of that.

AND... have the guitar setup by a qualified tech once you buy it. Straight from the factory most have the strings too high off the fretboard which makes them more difficult to play.

You'll need a gig bag, tuner, picks, extra strings, and a strap.

There's a lot of very experienced players here. No question is stupid when you're starting out so ask away. Best wishes for a long and satisfying music journey.
 
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VTblue

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IF...

I was helping a friend to buy their first guitar it would be Guitar Center because returns are easier vs. online retailers.

IF...

We were shopping at Guitar Center for a first time guitar and amp this would be my current choice for a total of $448.00 + tax.

$199.00

$249.00

Both are solid buys and far exceed what many of us here started with.

I wouldn't bother thinking about different things like neck profiles, electronics, etc.

You've got a long way to go before dialing in preferences concerning all of that.

AND... have the guitar setup by a qualified tech once you buy it. Straight from the factory most have the strings too high off the fretboard which makes them more difficult to play.

You'll need a tuner, picks, extra strings, and a strap.

There's a lot of very experienced players here. No question is stupid when you're starting out so ask away. Best wishes for a long and satisfying music journey.
Thanks for the advice. Since money isn't too much of an issue, to a point, I'm planning on getting a guitar I'll grow into rather than a starter guitar. I considered the Epi '59's and the Epi Moderns. Was kind of torn between classic and the modern electronics. I think I've settled on the '59. Thanks for listing some of the other things i'll need. I have picks, tuner and metronome. I've also checked into lessons with some local people.
 

cybermgk

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I don't currently own an electric guitar, or play guitar, but I want in. I've always loved the Les Paul so that's what i've decided on.
Going to be blunt. Not playing guitar, you don't really know what you like. Worse is, a big factor in what works well for you will be neck shape. But, to know what is best for you, you need a few basic skills/learning, such as basic barre chords, string bends, even open chords. Because the best thing is try, and see if it works for you..

SO, I am going to suggest the following:

1. Get the best guitar you can afford, in a brand that has a used market, in case you need to sell. NOW, that said, the quality of lower end guitars, TODAY, is quite great.
2, Stay away from trem systems right now, if you can, or learn to deck it. Nothing good about learning to play and fighting intonation constantly.
3. Determine how you want to practice and play and learn. Standing, or sitting. Not all guitars are as comfortable sitting.
4. Go for a basic guitar. The idea of a ton of tonal options are good, but, well just starting out are unnecessary and can derail you, imho.
5. If the guitar inspires you to play, you will.

Ideal situation would be a teacher with a selection of guitars you can learn, and try. Barring that, a local GC is good for one thing (or Sam Ash, which I prefer), and that is being able to try a bunch of different guitars for feel and comfort. A Mom and Pop with a good selection, is even better, as they can actually, and usually will, educate you on pluses and minuses.

So, if you have anywhere nearby that you can try multiple guitars, then use it. At a minimum, try them out for feel in your preferred playing/learning style (See above). We all love Les Pauls, else we wouldn't be here, but they are not the most conducive to sitting and playing, and can be heavy, which can not be fun, over long periods, standing. Find out what you like. Then order from wherever (even where you tried it)

But, #5 above is big too. If an LP does it for you, you will pick it up and play. LOT to be said for that.

I am a big fan of Sweetwater. I am close enough to them, that I get a purchase within 1 to 2 days (pre cough cough, and still mostly). For most guitars, you can see pics of particular guitar, it's weight etc, which is great. It is my preference for ONLINE ordering.

But, it is good to try out the actual guitar before buying. Too often, though GC guitars are beat to crap.

But, yes, I have tried something out at a GC, then bought from SW.
 

VTblue

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Going to be blunt. Not playing guitar, you don't really know what you like. Worse is, a big factor in what works well for you will be neck shape. But, to know what is best for you, you need a few basic skills/learning, such as basic barre chords, string bends, even open chords. Because the best thing is try, and see if it works for you..

SO, I am going to suggest the following:

1. Get the best guitar you can afford, in a brand that has a used market, in case you need to sell. NOW, that said, the quality of lower end guitars, TODAY, is quite great.
2, Stay away from trem systems right now, if you can, or learn to deck it. Nothing good about learning to play and fighting intonation constantly.
3. Determine how you want to practice and play and learn. Standing, or sitting. Not all guitars are as comfortable sitting.
4. Go for a basic guitar. The idea of a ton of tonal options are good, but, well just starting out are unnecessary and can derail you, imho.
5. If the guitar inspires you to play, you will.

Ideal situation would be a teacher with a selection of guitars you can learn, and try. Barring that, a local GC is good for one thing (or Sam Ash, which I prefer), and that is being able to try a bunch of different guitars for feel and comfort. A Mom and Pop with a good selection, is even better, as they can actually, and usually will, educate you on pluses and minuses.

So, if you have anywhere nearby that you can try multiple guitars, then use it. At a minimum, try them out for feel in your preferred playing/learning style (See above). We all love Les Pauls, else we wouldn't be here, but they are not the most conducive to sitting and playing, and can be heavy, which can not be fun, over long periods, standing. Find out what you like. Then order from wherever (even where you tried it)

But, #5 above is big too. If an LP does it for you, you will pick it up and play. LOT to be said for that.

I am a big fan of Sweetwater. I am close enough to them, that I get a purchase within 1 to 2 days (pre cough cough, and still mostly). For most guitars, you can see pics of particular guitar, it's weight etc, which is great. It is my preference for ONLINE ordering.

But, it is good to try out the actual guitar before buying. Too often, though GC guitars are beat to crap.

But, yes, I have tried something out at a GC, then bought from SW.
I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a thorough post. A lot of what you mention here have been things I've been thinking about.

1. That's kind of why I decided on an Epiphone LP. There are a lot of options in a price range I can afford. I wanted to stay under $750 for a guitar that I can grow into and use for years. The reason the '59 came into the picture is the included case actually brings the cost of the guitar only down by roughly $100 and based on all reviews the electronics would last me forever with no mods ever needed. I may have a good resale value down the road too?

2. I like you're #2, the trem sound never did it for me really. I definitely like the sounds of strats, especially Mark Knopfler, but his finger picking style is so unique anyway. The strat body shape isn't as appealing to me as an LP though.

3. I imaging I'd most likely be sitting at home or with an instructor at first. One reason I want an electric is that I have an acoustic and find it very cumbersome, and I'm not a small guy at 6' tall. Just dealing with the body of the guitar seems awkward. I'm thinking an electric will be more forgiving in that regard....and I've always wanted one.

4. One reason I've considered the Modern is the weigh relief, and I really love the look of the Vintage Burgundy. I like the flame maple tops but some of the solid colors are really appealing to. I know you mention keep it simple but if I could get one guitar that has a lot of features, while unused at first, may come in handy down the road.

5. I think this is a big factor too. If just seeing the guitar sitting there makes me want to pick it up I'm more likely to. I think visual appeal, while it has nothing to do with sound or playability, is a big factor for me starting out. I have to really love it to want to pick it up all the time. I love the "look" of my acoustic but everytime I pick it up it seems cumbersome for me having zero technique right now. I initially bought the acoustic because I kept reading "if you learn on acoustic you can play anything" but more recently in my research I've read the opposite, that electrics are easier to play so easier to learn on.

I've really been spending a lot of time doing research, watching a lot of YT reviews and comparisons. I think what I should really do is take a step back, pick up the acoustic I have and learns some basics for a month, and then visit some stores where I would actually be able to play some basic stuff. My store options are limited where I am in VT but I'm from the Boston area so I could always go visit shops down that way.

Again, thanks for the thoughtful suggestions. After reading the '59 forum the people on here seem like they're more than willing to give the advice and that's what I've been finding.

Cheers
Joe
 

wildhawk1

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Going to be blunt. Not playing guitar, you don't really know what you like. Worse is, a big factor in what works well for you will be neck shape. But, to know what is best for you, you need a few basic skills/learning, such as basic barre chords, string bends, even open chords. Because the best thing is try, and see if it works for you..

SO, I am going to suggest the following:

1. Get the best guitar you can afford, in a brand that has a used market, in case you need to sell. NOW, that said, the quality of lower end guitars, TODAY, is quite great.
2, Stay away from trem systems right now, if you can, or learn to deck it. Nothing good about learning to play and fighting intonation constantly.
3. Determine how you want to practice and play and learn. Standing, or sitting. Not all guitars are as comfortable sitting.
4. Go for a basic guitar. The idea of a ton of tonal options are good, but, well just starting out are unnecessary and can derail you, imho.
5. If the guitar inspires you to play, you will.

Ideal situation would be a teacher with a selection of guitars you can learn, and try. Barring that, a local GC is good for one thing (or Sam Ash, which I prefer), and that is being able to try a bunch of different guitars for feel and comfort. A Mom and Pop with a good selection, is even better, as they can actually, and usually will, educate you on pluses and minuses.

So, if you have anywhere nearby that you can try multiple guitars, then use it. At a minimum, try them out for feel in your preferred playing/learning style (See above). We all love Les Pauls, else we wouldn't be here, but they are not the most conducive to sitting and playing, and can be heavy, which can not be fun, over long periods, standing. Find out what you like. Then order from wherever (even where you tried it)

But, #5 above is big too. If an LP does it for you, you will pick it up and play. LOT to be said for that.

I am a big fan of Sweetwater. I am close enough to them, that I get a purchase within 1 to 2 days (pre cough cough, and still mostly). For most guitars, you can see pics of particular guitar, it's weight etc, which is great. It is my preference for ONLINE ordering.

But, it is good to try out the actual guitar before buying. Too often, though GC guitars are beat to crap.

But, yes, I have tried something out at a GC, then bought from SW.

Good advice!

I think what I should really do is take a step back, pick up the acoustic I have and learns some basics for a month, and then visit some stores where I would actually be able to play some basic stuff.
I can't recommend acoustic guitar enough for someone starting out.

By default it forces a person to maximize their practice time because there's no distractions.
 

Phil W

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Buy a very inexpensive 2nd hand Telecaster and you'll find learning guitar FAR easier and more rewarding than diving straight in to a Les Paul. A Tele is a LOT more durable whilst your getting used to handling it and can play all types of music. You can get an old Squier for very little money. This is good advice based on decades of experience but I predict that you will ignore it ...
 

JMP

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I’d grab a used Epiphone Les Paul Standard and have a reputable local shop (NOT Guitar Center) set it up for you with some light gauge strings. It’s all about a skilled person doing a great setup VS spending more $ on a new “higher end” Epiphone Les Paul.

I’m in Western Ma (just south of Brattleboro). What part of VT are you in?

Good luck and happy guitar playing!
 

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