An electric guitar can last many lifetimes; however, they have a variety of electrical parts and connections that, over time, can wear out. When that happens, you need to know how to fix or replace those electronics. The following are the parts that are most likely to wear out or break and need replacing. You can perform any of these fixes yourself without doing damage to the electric guitar — even if you screw up.
Look for lyrics or chord changes. Many songs have guitar parts made up solely (or mostly) of chords. This is especially true for rhythm guitar parts. In this case, the tab may forgo typical tab notation in favor of a simplified list of chord changes. These chords are almost always written in standard chord notation (Amin = A minor, E7 = E dominant 7, etc.) Simply play the chords in the order that they're listed - if it's not noted otherwise, try playing one chord per measure, but if the changes don't sound right, listen to the song for the strumming pattern.
If anyone has earned the right to two spots on this list, it’s Fender. Sitting squarely at the top of the guitar and amp game, this Southern California company might be at their peak at this very moment – and that’s a very good thing for you, if you want to get into playing guitar. This Super Champ X2 amp is a hell of a value, boasting the welcome bounce of Fender’s signature sound in a package that wont break the bank. And what’s even cooler about it is that it has 16 different amp modeling selections – meaning you still get the warmth of tube amplification with the right amount of modeling amp versatility. It also comes with two channels that can be controlled via an optional footswitch, and it’s equipped with a USB port for easy and quiet recording.
Need a portable pedalboard for fly dates? Tech 21 has the answer in the form of the Fly Rig 5: a small but perfectly functional pedalboard, powered by an auto-switching adaptor, so it can be used anywhere in the world. What you get is the equivalent of five stompboxes. The SansAmp is at the heart of the Fly Rig. Stomp on its footswitch and its six mini control knobs light up blue. You get level and drive knobs, three-band EQ and a spring reverb emulation based on the Boost RVB pedal. In front of the SansAmp, you get the Plexi section, based on Tech 21's Hot-Rod Plexi pedal. One footswitch emulates the natural overdrive and distortion of a late-60s Marshall, with sound dialled in with level, tone and drive controls. A second 'Hot' footswitch brings in up to 21dB of boost and can be used independently of the Plexi distortion. Last in the signal chain is the DLA, a delay with tap tempo. The Fly Rig 5 is an extremely functional unit that contains arguably the most essential effects - you can plug it into a guitar amp or straight into a PA or mixing desk. It's also a life-saver should your equipment go down at the last minute, as well as being the answer to the prayers of guitarists who need to travel light.
Guitar strap: If you intend to stand up while playing on guitar during live shows (and most people do), then you need to practice in the same position like when you’re playing live. Your muscles and hands are in a completely different position when you’re sitting down and when you’re standing, and that’s why you MUST get a strap right from the start and practice standing up, as well as sitting down. Price: $10 – $15 should do the trick.
It’s hard to look beyond the original and classic Gibson J-45 when it comes to recommending this particular shape. Players love the J-45 on account of its sweet, warm tone with beautiful singing high notes and defined mid range. Upon release it quickly acquired the moniker ‘the workhorse’ on account of its durability and guarantee of quality. Nothing that’s happened since has diminished that.
In SPIN’s May/June “Loud Issue,” Paul Saulnier, frontman for squawking indie-punx PS I Love You, mused, “I’m getting comfortable with self-indulgence.” Hopefully, not too comfortable: Saulnier’s yelping guitar-driven blurts cast him as a Clark Kent too shy to ever fully embrace his Superman side. Endearingly knock-kneed riffs lurch along with their heads down before briefly unbuttoning their shirts to reveal the brawny licks underneath. Virtuosity is rarely so endearingly bashful.
Which got me to thinking about the history of American guitar companies. Many famous brands of guitars which started production here in the USA now exist as a name being used by an unrelated company for importing guitars into this country. Other brands are still being made but ownership has passed to one of a few big guitar companies. It’s difficult to trace this history without a “score card”.
In 1954 Pat Hare produced heavily distorted power chords for several recordings (including James Cotton's Cotton Crop Blues"), creating "a grittier, nastier, more ferocious electric guitar sound," accomplished by turning the volume knob on his amplifier "all the way to the right until the speaker was screaming." Link Wray's 1958 recording "Rumble" inspired young musicians such as Pete Townshend of The Who, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Dave Davies of The Kinks, and Neil Young to explore distortion by various means. In 1966, the British company Marshall Amplification began producing the Marshall 1963, a guitar amplifier capable of producing the distorted "crunch" that rock musicians were starting to seek.
Although this multi-effects pedal is powerful and full of features, it doesn't mean that you’ll have to face those awkward manual reading moments. The ME-70 is like a simple stomp box, each effect section has knob-based controls which makes it easy to dial tones. Similarly, whenever you need to add any effect; just kick press on one of the four foot-switches to fire up the game.
Founded in 1902, Gibson began life producing mandolins and other instruments, before making hollow-body electric guitars in the thirties. Their first solid-body guitar came in 1952 – the Les Paul, which remains one of the most iconic guitars in the world. They are also well known for pioneering some classic guitar shapes such as the SG, the Explorer, and the Flying V. Used by everyone from James Hetfield to B.B. King, Gibson’s are manufactured in three American factories – two in Tennessee and one in Montana.
Semi-hollow body electric guitars are basically a middle ground between a solid body electric and a fully hollow body electric guitar. Jazz, country, and rock guitarists alike may gravitate towards semi-hollow body electric guitars for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that semi-hollow body guitars still produce that rich, resonant sound of a hollow instrument, but they typically have a solid or sometimes chambered center block in between the top and back. This design helps fight off that unwanted body-resonant feedback we spoke about before while even adding some extra sustain. Gibson offers a wide selection of semi-hollow body electric guitars, which include the iconic Gibson ES-335. Guitar brands such as Gretsch and Ibanez are also widely recognized for their semi-hollow body electric guitars.