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Radjammin
01-01-2008, 08:05 PM
Hello all,

I have never played guitar outside of learning the strings, but I want to learn guitar enough to comp. What a good setup that I can play at home with headphones?

Anyone recommend one I could buy used? What's that market look like? I know from experience that clarinets are not very expensive in compared to Saxes and Tenors tend to be the most overpriced. Trombones are also cheap, and there are a bunch of used trumpets and new pro ones run around $1700.

I want a Jazz Guitar, what do you suggest? Also what's a good amp just for headphones? I don't plan to buy anything to play out with for a while. Price range reflective of the intermediate used market.

Thanks for any info.

SAXISMYAXE
01-01-2008, 08:16 PM
Hey my friend,

I've recently gone through the same journey, here is my thread devoted to it:

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=68033

Ralfy
01-01-2008, 08:25 PM
As far as jazz guitars go...I myself would buy an Ibanez Hollow-Body Guitar.

http://www.ibanez.com/hollow/

tjontheroad
01-02-2008, 01:41 PM
What's your budget? If you have no one to help you pick out a used guitar it may be wiser to buy new. When looking at a used guitar, you have to check for common issues like neck warping, fret damage, and the condition of the hardware (tuning pegs, bridge, electronics and such). Any style guitar can be used for jazz. Most do go with a hollowbody or semi-hollowbody model (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/semi-hollow-body-electric-guitars?N=100001%2b306242&Ns=P_Price%7c0&page=1). As a new player, I'd recommend you don't go spend too cheaply nor go high end. For $500 you can find more than enough quality to keep you happy for a long time. Look for Epiphone or Ibanez in that price range. Go to stores and try out a few. Make sure the guitar feels comfortable in your hands and is balanced when sitting. Check the width of the neck to match the size of your hands.

As far as listening on headphones, most smaller "practice" amps have headphone outputs. These Roland Cube amps (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Roland-Cube-15X-Amp?sku=487030) sound very good for their size. If you want to play out of your basement, you'll need something more powerful.

LampLight
01-02-2008, 02:49 PM
I don't want to rekindle an old debate (see SAXISMYAXE's thread), but some people like multi-effects modelers. These are more than just effects modelers, because they model amps and cabs, and in some cases, preamps too. There is one MFX modeler in particular that may be in your price range and provide the functionality you want: The Line 6 Pocket Pod. The Tube Clean, Light and Slappy, and Twangy Drive presets are all in the "jazz sound" ball-park IMO. The Pocket Pod is simple. It clips on your belt, has headphone and amp outputs, and has an additional mp3 input in case you want to jam (good for working on your comping!). You can hear sound clips here (http://line6.com/pocketpod/sounds.html).

I don't have direct experience with the Pocket Pod, but I am loving it's big brother, the Line 6 Pod X3 Live. I have a solid body and an archtop. Even the solid body sounds beautiful and clean (to me of course) when I play it with the "modern preamp" setting. If you decide to spend a few more bucks (as I recall our venerated brother SAXISMYAXE did :D), you might consider one of the bigger MFX boards as part of your rig. Boss also makes an excellent board, the GT8. (I liked my Boss GT6 quite well.) One advantage of the X3L is the numerous I/O options, if you also want to mic up your horn.

But the Pocket Pod is around $140 on the web, and might keep you happy for now and let you put more bucks into a guitar.

Good luck.

SAXISMYAXE
01-02-2008, 02:58 PM
Having a bit of experience under my belt since that first thread, I can now say that the effects modelers that Lamplight suggests are great fun, and if one practices on tone and technique without becoming dependent on them and their effects, they are great tools to have.

I did buy one ( a Digitech RP350...one of the less expensive models out there), and it is a very versatile tool, especially for home recording and practice.

Frankly, as was suggested to me before, in the beginning, plugging your guitar right into one with headphones is a good way to get around buying an expensive amp. I was lucky to have been able to buy both. But if money is tight, it beats a lesser, practice amp. You aren't going to be gigging for quite some time anyway, so buy that expensive, vintage style, boutique tube amp later.

Mind you, I didn't take my own advice, and bought the pricier, pro stuff all at the beginning (save for the effects processer, which was a cheaper model). :D

tjontheroad
01-02-2008, 03:13 PM
Headphone amps are fine if you to walk around the house or do recording. I like to use a practice amp 'cause I don't like to wear headphones while playing. The cable dangling off my ear always inevitably gets in the way. There's nothing wrong using effects. They are fun :) They just can be distracting to a guitar newbie.

Ralfy
01-02-2008, 06:48 PM
On a low budget get the Ibanez Full Hollow-Body AF75. It is kind of bulky because it IS a true hollow-body guitar but it has a great sound and as a bonus it comes in the best color (Transparent Red Sunburst).

Ibanez makes plenty of hollow-body/semi-hollow-body guitars from inexpensive to expensive. Some have very different sounds and feels for different kinds of players and if you don't want a really bulky guitar then you could always get one of the really thin ones.

Please not that both of the Ibanez AWD Semi-Hollow-Body guitars (one is blue without a tremolo and the other is red with a tremolo) are discontinued. You might be able to find them somewhere but I still haven't found out exactly WHY they were discontinued.

Ibanez is obviously not the only brand of hollow-body guitars but they're my favorite. Even more common are the Epiphone ones.


Just go to a music shop with a decent selection of guitars and ask them to point you to the good jazz guitars. If you don't want a hollow-body ask about a solid-body jazz guitar (I don't even know if there is a such a thing).

LampLight
01-02-2008, 07:17 PM
Just two more points:

- I picked up on the headphones because Radjammin mentioned headphones, but TJ has a good point: Headphones are not always what you want, and the cable can get in the way. I run the cable behind my back when I use phones. But IMO, headphones are a lot less restrictive if you use a belt-clip amp like the Pocket Pod (the Rockman amps and Vox amPlug are other examples.)

- When I think of a "jazz guitar", I think of a hollow-body arch-top. However, that's not chiseled in stone, and you might not want to get too hung up on that. People play beautiful jazz with all sorts of guitars; they certainly learn to play jazz with all sorts of guitars. The things TJ mentioned are more important: You won't be happy with an archtop if the neck is warped or the frets need dressing. Also, arch-tops do have drawbacks. One drawback of electric arch-tops is that because they are designed to vibrate beautifully (similar to a violin) they are prone to feedback like a mic. It can be a challenge playing in loud settings. I believe the origin of the semi-hollowbody was a response to this. Another drawback, is that they are expensive - at least they used to be; it's been a while since I shopped.

Ralfy
01-02-2008, 07:24 PM
Another drawback, is that they are expensive - at least they used to be; it's been a while since I shopped.

Actually not all are very expensive but true they do get feedback.

Radjammin
01-03-2008, 06:42 PM
looks like I will have to put a hult on my guitar ideas. See I just bought a new tenor, with my own toy money I might add!, I sold some non-music toys to buy it.
Long story short is I have a new tenor that I have 2 big bands lined up to start playing with so from someone that has been looking for a stable group to play in for several years I am very excited.

I have been told by Madam Presidente' that if I want to play with 2 groups a week my dreams of a Guitar need to be pushed out to sometime in 2020.

I agreed in the hopes that I can get a flute out of the deal. She is dead set on my not playing flute. She thinks it will give our 3 year old son the wrong impression. For my clarinet upgrade last year, images of Benny Goodman had to be used to show a band leader playing one.

Lets just say my wife is not the big band lover that I am. But I love her!

Thanks for the infromation guys though, Guitar is an instrument I really know nothing about. I am still amazed how you guys pick chord voicings. I understand piano voicings.

Isn't funny how we know so little about other instruments in the band. I can't tell you how many piano players/Guitarist don't realy understand the concept of transposition. I guess if you don't do it and some players make it look so easy you think everyone can.

I think I can take away from this thread and Saxixmyaxe's thread that startup gear is at least affordable in Guitars, and I am looking forward to the day when I have time and money to try.

tjontheroad
01-03-2008, 07:17 PM
Rad, all guitarists have a secret guitar stash (hint, hint) ;)

Good luck with the big bands.

SAXISMYAXE
01-03-2008, 07:25 PM
Hi Jammin,

I understand the finances and wife restrictions on fun. But don't abandon the idea of picking up the guitar eventually. Once I picked one up and began learning, I realized how truly fun and enjoyable an instrument it is. It's versatility is hard to match let alone beat.

I could kick myself for not learning it much earlier in life.

DeltaBlues
01-03-2008, 08:21 PM
I just got hold of a guitar that belonged to my wife's step-dad (he is deceased). It definitely needs strings and I guess the amp and cables stayed with the band he played in. So, I'm looking at one of those practice amps for less than $100 and a cable and some strings.

God, I hate going to the Guitar Center. But I look forward to learning the chord structure of the fretboard.

By the way, the guitar is an electric Peavey T-26.

LampLight
01-04-2008, 12:46 AM
. . . God, I hate going to the Guitar Center. . . .
I'm not sure why you don't like the Guitar Center. They are a good resource in my area, although you can't always trust them. In any case ZZounds (http://www.zzounds.com/) and Sam Ash (http://www.samash.com/) are two good online vendors in my experience. One thing about ZZounds is that they post user reviews. Harmony-Central (http://www.harmony-central.com/) is another place to check user reviews.

You should check the online stores first so that you don't get skinned at your local store, so that you know what other users think, and so you have some idea of what you're looking for before you walk into the store.

Good luck finding a new practice amp for under $100 though. If you are willing to use a headphone amp, you can search vendors sites on "headphone amp" and "pocket amp", and you will find models for under $100. I own the elder, little brother to the Rolls PM351 Personal Monitor and have been very pleased with it. The Pocket Pod is now down to $130. You can get a practice amp for that money, but if you do go to the Guitar Center, play the Pocket Pod as well as a few practice amps and compare. IMO, that is a good reason to shop local.

GAS_Wyo
01-04-2008, 02:04 AM
I'll add more to this thread fully realizing Rad is now in love with a 10m! However, someone may actually use the Search function here someday, and all this great guitar wisdom will be awaiting them. :twisted: I've been on a 10 year search for all my guitar stuff, I just thought SOTW was the wrong place to talk about it, so until now I've kept my mouth shut! :shock:

On with the story (novella)...
I fooled around with an acoustic for nearly 30 years before I could get any further into guitar. Right now I have sweet Fender HSS Stratocaster, a black on black Gibson SG with the hottest PU's ever, a Marshall practice amp, a Line 6 75 watt 112 MFX amp and a Line 6 Pod XT. Of all that stuff, the one thing that inspires me to pickup the SG and jam for an hour a day is the Pod XT. When I pull up a vintage amp model and set the unit to an effect called 'Orange Crush', or one of the other million effects, I want to play the songs that made that sound popular. Recently, the same has been true of many of the clean settings and I've been getting into jammin' to a lot of old George Benson stuff. 8-)

On Lamplighter's suggestions for 'stores other than Guitar Center', I will add American Musicians Supply (AMS) (http://www.americanmusical.com/), Musicians Friend (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/)and Music 123 (http://www.music123.com/). MF especially has many well written reviews by experiened players. Music 123...most know they are part of WWBW. I believe their site is just more geared to guitar, bass, keyboard and drum bands than their parent. Both have good prices and look for scratch-n-dent stuff - excellent prices there.

BTW, I recently scored a new bass from Music123 during their 20% Off sale. Got a new Ernie Ball Music Man HH Sterling 4 string...my GAS is over for a new bass. Shipped for $1008. It was my most recent dream instrument. Playing a lot with my oldest son who is 'gettin' it' pretty well at age 13. I've probably just reincarnated Ozzy Ozbourne early according to his mother! :twisted:

Radjammin
01-04-2008, 02:28 AM
Actually the 10M is getting sold, I bought a 2005 Cannonball Raven. Should be here tomorrow. Crossing fingers because shipping hasn't shown any updates since yesterday.

I just wanted something with better key work and modern action. My dream horn is a early 40's silver satin Conn 10M with a gold wash like my image uses, but they are out of my price range. (image is a 1938, it's actually Saxismyaxe's horn!, except I want satin silver with only the image area shinny silver) Soo pretty.

Hey but everyone's guitar info has been very informative.

DeltaBlues
01-04-2008, 02:32 PM
My reason for "hating" to go in the Guitar Center is because of all of the kids playing the guitars and generally trying out heavy metal effects. Also, lots of technique and not much heart. It really has nothing to do with the store and how its run.

tjontheroad
01-04-2008, 04:35 PM
My reason for "hating" to go in the Guitar Center is because of all of the kids playing the guitars and generally trying out heavy metal effects. Also, lots of technique and not much heart. It really has nothing to do with the store and how its run.

The thing I hate about going to guitar center or any other guitar shop is the kids (and even many adults) don't tune the guitar before (or after) cranking up the store's amp. UHGGG!!! They don't even know how to tune a guitar by ear without a tuner. Tuning is a lost art. :Rant:

LampLight
01-04-2008, 06:30 PM
My reason for "hating" to go in the Guitar Center is because of all of the kids playing the guitars and generally trying out heavy metal effects. Also, lots of technique and not much heart. It really has nothing to do with the store and how its run.
Thanks for the clarification. I try to shop on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday morning. It takes a bit of juggling to make it happen, but it avoid the problems you and TJ mentioned.

Ralfy
01-04-2008, 08:13 PM
My reason for "hating" to go in the Guitar Center is because of all of the kids playing the guitars and generally trying out heavy metal effects. Also, lots of technique and not much heart. It really has nothing to do with the store and how its run.

Hey, that's really stereotypical. Not all kids that go in there just crank up and play loud and out of tune. And even if heavy metal isn't your thing it can be somebody elses thing (somebody has to play it I guess...).

I for example don't go in and play really loud. First of all I don't go there very much. Second I play with the volume pretty low just because I hate it when other people (mostly adults as it turns out) crank up the volume to the point where it's interfering with everybody else's perceptions of their sound. That's why some good headphones plugged into an amp with a place to plug them in is really the smart thing to do.

One of the advantages of Guitar Center is that they have alot to choose from because they're such a huge chain. They are pretty darn accesible. They have a website AND a store...websites like zZounds are good for their reviews but I myself only buy from stores where I can see, feel, and play what I'm getting. As far as helpful people working there...it's hit and miss.

DeltaBlues
01-04-2008, 09:23 PM
I understand your point of view, Ralfy. But I don't ever hear the guys like you because you are aware that others around you don't want to hear you practice or try new effects.

Today I went to a local non-chain music store on my lunch hour. No kids, just the worker talking with a musician getting some strings. He started talking about playing the Delta Blues and I just had to chime in, being from Rolling Fork, Mississippi (home of Muddy Waters). Ends up this guy used to play in Albert King's band. He has toured all over the US, Europe and Japan. Has also played for Little Richard. Had to tell him I was a sax player and he ended up giving me his card and said he would be back in town in a few weeks (going to play in Florida) and to call him and we'd jam.

Pretty cool.

Ralfy
01-04-2008, 09:26 PM
I understand your point of view, Ralfy. But I don't ever hear the guys like you because you are aware that others around you don't want to hear you practice or try new effects.

Today I went to a local non-chain music store on my lunch hour. No kids, just the worker talking with a musician getting some strings. He started talking about playing the Delta Blues and I just had to chime in, being from Rolling Fork, Mississippi (home of Muddy Waters). Ends up this guy used to play in Albert King's band. He has toured all over the US, Europe and Japan. Has also played for Little Richard. Had to tell him I was a sax player and he ended up giving me his card and said he would be back in town in a few weeks (going to play in Florida) and to call him and we'd jam.

Pretty cool.

That's cool. I also understand your point of view. Guitar Center should set a volume limit so that the people who think everybody wants to hear them get a chance to sit in the backseat for once.

LampLight
01-04-2008, 10:19 PM
I forgot to mention: The Guitar Center nearest me has a couple of sound padded audition rooms. They don't completely isolate the sound and not everyone uses them, but you can usually get the use of one pretty quickly.

saxmanjack
02-01-2008, 11:58 AM
Just be aware that, when it comes to guitars, GAS is an extremely slippery slope! I've gone through over a dozen guitars in as many years searching for "the one". I keep getting hung up on things like scale-length, fretsize, fretboard radius, neck profile, and string angle/body geometry in search of the best comfort/playability.
Right now, I have a '00 PRS McCarty and '93 Hamer T51 tele.
Neither of these are "the one". I give up...

Ralfy
02-01-2008, 11:42 PM
Just be aware that, when it comes to guitars, GAS is an extremely slippery slope! I've gone through over a dozen guitars in as many years searching for "the one". I keep getting hung up on things like scale-length, fretsize, fretboard radius, neck profile, and string angle/body geometry in search of the best comfort/playability.
Right now, I have a '00 PRS McCarty and '93 Hamer T51 tele.
Neither of these are "the one". I give up...

You either need to sell your house to afford a custom guitar or just get used to a guitar. I recommend getting used to one. And after you've really gotten used to one then THAT will be the "perfect" guitar.

SAXISMYAXE
02-02-2008, 12:02 AM
I've said before, but will reiterate:
I thought I knew what G.A.S. was until I became a member of the Guitar playing fraternity. They take it to a whole new plateau of insanity!

LampLight
02-02-2008, 12:28 AM
You either need to sell your house to afford a custom guitar or just get used to a guitar. I recommend getting used to one. And after you've really gotten used to one then THAT will be the "perfect" guitar.
No, you have it backwards. You have to get a used house so you can afford a custom guitar. After you live in the used house for a while, it will be the "perfect" house. The custom guitar will still leave something to be desired though. :(

Ralfy
02-02-2008, 05:26 AM
No, you have it backwards. You have to get a used house so you can afford a custom guitar. After you live in the used house for a while, it will be the "perfect" house. The custom guitar will still leave something to be desired though. :(

Thanks for the philosophy lesson. It made me feel a combination of warm, fuzzy, and slightly meaningful. :)

SuperAction80
02-02-2008, 05:35 AM
As far as jazz guitars go...I myself would buy an Ibanez Hollow-Body Guitar.

http://www.ibanez.com/hollow/


Yep. Ibanez makes very well built versitile guitars, and they're a good bang for the buck too. Hey, if Eric Krazno plays em...

SuperAction80
02-02-2008, 05:41 AM
I've said before, but will reiterate:
I thought I knew what G.A.S. was until I became a member of the Guitar playing fraternity. They take it to a whole new plateau of insanity!

Do you like ax's made in US, Japan, or Mexico? Did you switch out the stock neck? Are you going to replace those pickups? What kind of strings do you like? I'm not sure if I like these picks. I'm not even going to get into cables, pedals, and amps. :twisted:

Yeah, guitarists are pretty bad. Fretboards are cool though. You can memorize your scales and modes as patterns. Us woodwind players blow the minds of many guitarists. Not only can they not figure out how we hold our instruments, they also can't figure out how we "memorize" scales.:)

spartacus
02-02-2008, 02:28 PM
If you could get Heath to chime in here he has a wealth of information about guitars and electronic setups. He made some comments on another thread related to guitars - if you could find that thread you'll see what I mean. PM him and ask him to join.

The thread I mentioned is listed in #2 of this thread.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=68033