How to Buy a Guitar and Amp
You have eyes to see and ears to hear but take a professional with you when looking for guitar gear.
All guitar students these days have computer access to any music retail website as do all musical instument dealers, which is a great tool for getting an idea of prices and new equipment available.
One of my beginner students from Benicia, a very dedicated student who really aspires to play both guitar and bass like Slash and Flee wanted me to go to nearby Guitar Center in Concord, CA. My opinion from many years of experience in playing guitar,bass,mandolin and banjo is to always find a store that has a huge selection of equipment both used and new to try out and get hands on and ears on latest gear as well as used gear.
Guitar Center is one of the best music stores for getting greatest deals on the West Coast. The only other huge retail music stores are in New York City. Sam Ash and Manny’s Music retail stores. My student from Benicia, California had me point out types of electric guitars and bass guitars as well as amps that are good for a beginner. My favorite guitars that are good for all styles of music are Fender Strats or Fender Telecasters as well as Paul Reed Smiths for all price ranges. Gibson Les Paul’s are great but very heavy and pricey. Gibson has another line of guitars, Epiphone, – excellent guitars and great price.
As far as guitar amps, any amp that is 40 watts or under is only good for very small rooms. Although I love amps by Fender, Line 6 and Peavey that are 20 or 30 watts for great tone, when you over drive them by cranking up the volume, unless you have a very powerful PA system where you can run amp through PA, you have no head room.
Mesa Boogie amps are awesome, but at a higher price range. Marshall has a great price range of amps. I would recommend getting at least 75 watts of power. That old addage – Better too much, than too little. applies here.
So, when looking for a beginning guitar and amp, make sure you first go online to do product research as well as history research of all above brands that I recommended and then try to get your guitar instructor or any guitar professional to go with you. Don’t shy away from paying your instructor his going rate – getting the right guitar and equipment will save you money in the long run.
By the way, Guitar Center, I found a used SPIDER III LINE 6 GUITAR AMP at 75 watts for $119. Wow, what a great deal! Guitar center has a great 1 year replacement policy where if anything happens to amp, they will fix it or replace it. It’s only an extra $20. Manufacturers don’t even give that full coverage. For example, if you spill a drink and fry your amp head, manufactures will not cover it but Guitar Center does. Right on Guitar Center!
In closing, for the new Years I have a guitar lesson special where you purchase I months guitar,bass,banjo,mandolin or uke lessons and the 2nd month is free. Great for beginners to advanced serving San Francisco Bay Area serving Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda and Marin Counties as well as Napa and San Jose. Happy New Years.