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I don't reccomend stuff I don't really like. I prefer to give you the truth :) All the products listed here are (in my opinion) good quality stuff. Of course buying guitars is very personal, so this is just a guide to let you know what guitars I have known to be good, so at least you have somewhere to start. Buying anything using the links on this page, help support the site, so if you plan to buy something, use these links if you can. Thanks :)

Essential Accessories

There are some things you need to buy right fro the start. I have listed here my personal choices based on things I own or products that I have seen many students bring in to lessons and that they have liked. I have listed a couple of choices where appropriate, choose according to your budget.

Metronome

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Korg MA30

Nearly all my private students use the same metronome. I've never seen one break. I have a couple too, batteries last for ages, great range of features - volume control, headphone socket, inner beats, tap tempo, tuning notes speaker and visual. A great metronome.


Tuners

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Korg GA30

I don't use these tuners (I use Peterson strobe tuners), but many students have them and they are good reliable and easy to use unit - any they match your metronome! Also has auto power off (v.cool) and flat tuning for the lowered tunings!

 Peterson Strobe Clip

Peterson Strobostomp

If you got the cash - this is a serious great tuner! Strobe tuners are generally a LOT more accurate than other types - won't take you long to figure out using one. I could not believe the difference it made!

 Korg AW2G Tuner

Korg

I got this cos it was recommended by a mate when I lost my intellitouch (see below). It's a lot smaller but I find the display harder to read... and it's not backlit. It's accurate enough as a back up thing, and small enough to fit anywhere (it's tiny) and it cheaper.

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Intellitouch PT1

This was my "reserve" tuner that floats about for general tuning, but it's been lost along the way somethwhere. It's reasonably accurate, I like the display better than the korg, but it's bigger...


Capo

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Kyser

I love kyser capos. no flaffing about with tightening screws, just the right pressure, easy big grips to move it about, easy and cheap replacement parts. Brilliant. Don't waste your money on the cheap plastic or material ones, they break easy and don't work well. Get yourself a Kyser it will last for years and years. No, I have not got a deal with them :) but maybe I should...


Strap

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Planet Waves Locking Strap

Locking straps are a great idea - I have never dropped a guitar but had a few close calls, and just caught them in time. Not any more, all my straps lock. This one is really easy to get on and off, not expensive and pretty comfortable. The few extra quid will have seemed a good idea if you drop your guitar and snap the neck (an expensive repair job!).

 

 

Electric Guitar Lead

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Planet Waves 30ft with breaker

Good quality 30 foot cable (long enough for pretty much anything) with a little fancy line breaker, so you can unplug your guitar without that huge pop reeking havoc with your amp speakers!! What a great idea. Not necessary but a really good idea if you got a few extra quid to spare.

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Planet Waves 20ft no frills

Just a straight forward good quality 20 foot cable - good for home practice, and rehearsals, not a lot of room to run around, but enough.

 

Budget Electric Guitars

I don't recommend buying cheaper than these unless you know what you are buying. Cheap guitars are harder to play (they often have a high action), go out of tune more easily, probably won't be well set up, and often the tremolo arms don't really work or just go out of tune a lot.

If your budget is too tight, wait a bit and save or buy second hand. The "beginners pack" guitars are sometimes a bit ropey too, even by Fender and Yamaha who generally have an excellent out of the box standard. The leads are very plastic and cheap the straps not comfortable or locking and the amps sound rubbish. Don't waste your money, get something at least descent to start off. Better guitars are easier to sell and retain their value more. Buy Cheap, Buy Twice.

 

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Yamaha Pacifica 112

These guitars have consistently been the best value for ages. The build quality is excellent, more like a guitar twice it's price. Sound pretty good, usually extremely well set up out of the box. I see lots of students with these and they are all happy. They can sometimes set the action a little low, but it's easy to raise it a little. I was very surprised when I saw the price, really good value. Has a humbucking rear pickup too, so they can sound really fat for rock and metal guitar.

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Squire Affinity Strat - Metallic Blue

These guitars are also very good quality for the price. I have seen a few not so well set up, and they just seem a little less robust and solidly made than the Yamaha 112's. A good choice if you really want the Fender name, and the classic sound. I still use an Affinity series bass for recording sometimes, sounds cool.

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Epiphone Limited Edition SG Special (Cherry Finish)

But if you really want to rock out big time you need a fat sounding guitar and tremolo arm. Like AC/DC this is the style of guitar for proper rock 'n' roll! Epiphone make great budget copies of the parent company - Gibson guitars. They are consistently well made and toured with some for years, they were wicked, reliable and well made.

 

Mid Price Electric Guitar

So you have a little bit more to spend but don't wanna go get a dream guitar right away? This is the place for you. Good quality at an affordable price. There are many guitars in this range, I've just selected a few of the ones I have seen as good value over the years.

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Fender 60s Stratocaster (Black)

Once the price comes up to this range, Fender get nice. These won't be made in the USA but they will have probably very similar parts but are assembled in countries where it is cheaper. These 60's style strats have a good clean sound, really sparkle and have quite thin frets as I recall. Usually very well set up and top quality parts.

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Epiphone Dot (ES-335 Style) (Natural)

This is a copy of the Gibson 335 guitar, as played by Chuck Berry, Oasis, Larry Carlton and many others. Great for Jazz and Blues, they have a slightly acoustic sound because they have a hollow body, hence the f holes. Really good fat fat sound and good value.

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Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty

When touring with The Counterfeit stones we got tired of seeing our valuable vintage guitars get beaten up on the road so we bought Epiphone copies and kept the nice ones at home for playing and recording. They sounded great, the Keef character (Pete Whittard, now head of The Guitar Institute) got one of these and it sounded fantastic. Really rocking sound. Think the Stones or Black Crows, or early Clapton.


Budget Acoustic Guitars

I know these guitars here are not the cheapest acoustic guitars on the market. That is because the really cheap ones are hard to play, don't last and are, frankly, a waste of money. Spending a little more will get you a quality instrument that will last a few years before you move on to a new one. If you have a little extra and can move up to the mid-priced you will get a guitar you ma keep for a long, long time. Spend as much as you can afford to - with acoustic guitars particularly, you get what you pay for.

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Baby Taylor

Taylor are a great name in acoustic guitars. This is a 3/4 size so good for children or those with very small hands, or as a treat to take around with you on holidays! Great quality instrument, reasonable sound, pretty easy to play and it's small. I don't recommend it for adults as the main instrument, because it will be too small.

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Takamine EG260C BK

Takamine have always made nice guitars, I had a few in my time, always played well and had a good sound. This one has a cutaway so you can reach those higher frets, not really important for a beginner, but can be useful.

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Washburn D10S

I was never much of a fan of Washburn in general but I have seen a quite a few students come in with these guitars of late and they are very good value. I don't recommend spending less than this on an acoustic, the action will likely be high and hard to play and they loose value quicky as the parts are not made to last so well. The best choice on a tight budget.

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Fender CD-60CE Sunburst

Fender make fantastic electrics, and good budget acoustic guitars. Consistent builld quality and a good sound, a no frills but good value acoustic guitar.


Mid Priced Acoustic Guitars

There are some really nice guitars in this price bracket. Of course the sky is the limit and if you are going to spend £1000 or more, but a Maton. No really... buy a Maton, they are totally awesome...

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Epiphone Hummingbird

I used one of these exact guitar with The Counterfeit Stones for many years. It was fantastic. Great sound, nice to play. If you can afford it, this is a great first guitar. Based on the Gibson version (which costs at least 5 times more) you get a great guitar and a good price. Highly recommended.

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Freshman FA300FBF

I recently went to the Freshman workshop in Scotland and was very impressed by the value of these instruments. Well made with a good sound and well set up. Not a match for my Matons (which cost way more and are hard to find in the UK) but a really good quality instrument. The whole range is good.

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Yamaha LS6

Yamaha are consistent. Not the best guitars ever, but really consistently deliver very high quality guitars, great woods, components and finish. They have always been great at producing value guitars, like this one!

 

Budget Classical Guitars

Want to play classical, or don't think your fingers are up to metal strings??? start on a classical guitar. I did :)

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Yamaha C80

Thsi is the standard school classical guitar. Because they are great value, long lasting and really well made. My first guitar was a CG100, very simliar to this one. Play well and built to last. My recommended budget classical.

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Fender CDN-90 Natural

I didn't know Fender made classical guiatrs until recently when a student bought one in, played great, good sound, well made. I was well impressed. Only seen the one so I can't vouch for consistency, but Fender are a quality name.

   


 

Lesson ID: RE-020