As we discussed in our post about cheap effects pedals, price does not always indicate quality. As with buying anything, simply picking out the most expensive item isn’t the way to ensure you get the best product for your needs. Sure, you might really want to own a Ferarri, but have you ever spent any time driving one around town to pick up your groceries? Fortunately, we live in an era of truly great, yet inexpensive, guitars. There are lower-priced riffs on old classics right alongside purpose-built value axes. You don’t have to settle for that rattling pawn shop special. With a few hundred dollars you can buy a guitar that will suit all your needs and last for many years to come.

If you are a beginner, you may have heard of electro-acoustic models. In the future you may want to consider one of these, as they will allow you to plug into an amplifier and project your sound across a room, concert hall or stadium (well, you have to dream big!). However, for now it’s wise to stick with a solely acoustic model, which will be cheaper and less complicated to use.

This may be the most important piece of equipment you will buy if you are a beginner in terms of learning leads or just learning how to layer multiple guitars into a single song. There are certainly better boxes out there but not at this price point. The looper alone makes it worth the cost, especially since it allows you to layer on drums, basic guitar part and then leads or harmonies. Or all of the above. The only real shortcoming is the 30-second limit on the looper. But that's more than enough room to lay down a chord progression against which you can practice your leads.


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The Epiphone ES-335 Dot was the world's first semi-hollowbody electric guitar, introduced in 1958. Today, it's made by Gibson, but it is still prized by jazz and blues musicians looking for a classic sound. Setting up the Dot involves adjusting the truss rod to correct for any underbowing or overbowing of the neck because of humidity changes. The bridge saddle on the Dot may also be adjusted to get the right distance between the string and the fretboard, called the “action.”
A common misconception of the Lyle brand, among others, was that Norlin sued Matsumoku for copying their designs and shut them down. The actual lawsuit was indeed filed by Norlin, only not against Matsumoku but Elger/Hoshino--the American division of Ibanez--over elements of the Les Paul and SG guitar designs that Norlin/Gibson had since claimed as a trademark. The case was eventually settled out of court. Japanese companies preemptively altered the designs of their guitars in such a way that they would not be "exact" copies of Gibson guitars. The true story of the demise of the Lyle brand is largely unknown to this day.
From top to bottom, this Hummingbird creates a buzz. Whatever your preference in size, colour, tone and playing style, it’s difficult to avoid picking this Cherry Sunburst up. It’s such a simple guitar to play that it’s rare to ever feel like you’re incapable of striking the right chord - especially on a neck that’s just 12” in radius. While the traditionally ornate decoration and blushing finish have been lovingly retained, this modern Montana incarnation offers a discrete LR Baggs Element VTC system for plug-in power. It is unlike many we have seen and produces one of the best sounds we’ve heard from an electric acoustic. Throw in the pleasure of playing such a superb guitar and it’s tough to say anything bad about the Gibson Montana Hummingbird Cherry Sunburst.  
There are two main types of pickups: single coil and humbuckers (also called double coil). Single coil pickups are comprised of a single wire coil and represent the simplest form of pickup technology. Single coils produce a bright, punchy sound, with the drawback that they tend to produce a lot of noise in form of a hum. (One way to combat this is the P90 pickup, which uses a single coil that is wider than the traditional single coil, increasing the amount of area of the strings that the pickup can hear. The result is a bigger, duller sound than the traditional single coil.) The other main type of pickup is the dual coil or humbucker, which is said to “buck the hum” common in single coil pickups. The design is essentially two single coil pickups grouped together, which creates a more powerful, richer tone that is free of extra noise. While it may seem like the humbuckers are the no-brainer option, plenty of players prefer single coils due to their brighter, punchier tone.
A difficult effect to explain, the compressor’s value is in it subtle and careful use. A compressor acts like bumpers on your signal's amplitude, preventing the volume from spiking too loud while also preventing the volume from decaying too quickly. Because of this, it increases sustain - which is great for solos - while evening out playing dynamics. Country and funk players use compression heavily to achieve spanky and crisp punctuation within their playing. Compressors will add noise to the signal, so many higher end boxes will have a noise gate feature. Other than making cleans sparkle, you can also front-load your distortion or overdrive to get great clear sustain.
@Frank Drake - I have your solution in an amp - a Vox Valvetronix! I love it, and when I need silence, I can just use the headphone jack. But my friend was looking for an inexpensive solution and this offered more than the Vox. I prefer the tube-infused tones of the Vox, but I would love the looper, drum machine, expression pedal, and USB interface of the DigiTech! – gomad Jan 18 '11 at 17:15
The list is leaving off some HUGE names. You absolutely cannot leave out Clapton and Van Halen. However, you apparent uninformed people saying that John Mayer shouldn't be on the list should wake up and get in your music. He is on track to waxing this whole list by the end of his career. Clapton is practically handing him the torch. But then again, I guess that Tiger Woods will never be as good as Jack to some.
Launch price: $799 / £826 | Body: Alder | Neck: Maple | Scale: 25.5" | Fingerboard: Pau ferro (rosewood reviewed) | Frets: 21 | Pickups: American Vintage '58 Single-Coil Tele, American Vintage '52 Single-Coil Tele | Controls: Volume (with S-1 Switch), tone | Hardware: 3-saddle American Vintage strings-through-body bridge | Left-handed: No | Finish: Faded Sonic Blue, 3-Color Sunburst
After the success of the DD-500, RV-500 and MD-500 units, Boss's GT-1000 is a floorboard combining all three. Sleek and modern, it's a formidably robust beast. To the rear, there’s the usual array of inputs and outputs, including USB recording out and an input for an additional expression pedal plus jacks to insert two mono pedals, or one stereo external pedal and a nifty send for amp channel-switching. In terms of editing, it’s not the most intuitive. For example, when you switch between patches in a bank, you’re not just turning off, say, a ‘Tube Screamer’, but switching to a different chain that doesn’t have a gain block - standard in rack-style processing, but tough for beginners. Sounds-wise, the 32-bit, 96khz sampling finds the GT-1000 punching above its weight, and on the effects side, there’s a wealth of modulations, delays, reverbs and drives. If you run a larger, more traditional pedalboard, perhaps the so-called ‘Bossfecta’ of the MD, RV and DD 500-series units would provide more flexibility, but for most players, the GT-1000 is a highly practical solution. 
When it comes to multi-effects pedals, the Zoom G3X delivers big-time. Voted the top multi-effect pedal in our research by a large margin, the G3X hits high marks for quality, value for the money, portability, and most of all ease of use. Aside from giving you a multitude of effects, this unit is also an amplifier simulator, tuner, fully functional looper, doubles as a USB audio interface, and has a built-in expression pedal. Zoom has stiff competition in the multi-fx “battle of the brands,” and we were surprised to see their G3X come out on top against solid offerings from Boss, Digitech, Line 6, TC Electronic, and more. When you watch some videos or demo this unit yourself, it’s hard to not get excited about it.
In any case, by late 1933 or early ’34, Dobro expanded its amp line to include what is probably the first twin-speaker amplifier! This had a football-shaped speaker grille with lyre and Dobro insets, and two 8″ Lansing field coil speakers. Nothing else is known about this amp, but it may have had the same chassis as the single-speaker version. It can be seen on page 104 of Guitars, Guitars, Guitars (All American Music Publishers, 1988).
20 pages, black and white with color front cover. In the middle of 1981, Rosetti took over distribution of the Gibson line in the UK. Rosetti were a very big name in Britain, having distributed Epiphone since at least 1963, as well as Hagstrom and others. This catalogue was produced at the tail end of 1981, and introduces a number of models to the UK, such as the MV-II, MV-X guitars and the Victory basses, the GGC-700 and the Flying V bass. Some of these models were so short-lived that they were actually never included in US brochures. The cover image (reproduced in part here) showed some of the earliest demonstration models, including a Victory with a highly unusual white scratchplate.
“Spectrum ‘5’ has an unusually thin neck. To achieve the proper rigidity in this fast action neck Teisco had to select the hardest (and the costliest) material available…Ebony. The adjustable neck is fashioned out of 5 plys [sic] of laminated Ebony to insure maximum strength. The fingerboard of the Spectrum ‘5’ is likewise fashioned out of Ebony. Note the unique position markers and the extra wide, easy to finger frets.
Praises and recommendations continue to flood the reviews of the Fender Super-Champ X2 HD, pointing to its great value for money as its main selling point. Even users who are not happy with some of the extra features agree that the amp gives you more than what you pay for. As expected from a Fender tube amp, clean tone is well received, while others are equally happy with the other voicings. Another plus for the Super-Champ X2 HD is that it gets good feedback from guitarists of different playing styles and instruments, be it single-coil equipped or even those with active humbucker pickups.
In the grand scheme of things, fixed bridges are as simple as it gets. Aside from saddles, which are used to tune in intonation, there are usually no other moving parts involved. The benefit of fixed bridges is their ability to retain intonation and tuning over time. If you're just starting out, sticking with a fixed bridge will make your life much easier. However, it does have its limitations compared to a tremolo bridge.
Every guitarist who bends or vibratoes a string to make it sing owes a debt to B.B. King. With influences as diverse as T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, the late guitarist turned the blues world upside down in 1952 with “3 O’Clock Blues.” Almost overnight, the harmonica was supplanted as the primary solo instrument in blues, as guitarists scrambled to imitate B.B.’s soloing style, especially in Chicago.
I JUST GOT A PALMER P44 EC ACUSTIC/ELECTRIC..BANGED UP BUT FAIR,,I TIGHTEND IT UP,, PUT NEW #12 STRINGS,, WORKS & SOUNDS GOOD,,, I JUST GOT TO LOWER THE STRINGS ,,MY FRIENDS & EVEN THE GUY @ THE REPAIR SHOP KNEW NOTHING ABOUT "PALMER" WHICH GOT ME TO THIS SITE ...AS A FEW OTHER PEOPLE COMMENTED,, I AGREE,, GOOD ENOUGH FOR CAMPFIRES ,,,ITS A FUN INSTRUMENT,,ITS WHAT WE CALL A "BEATER" TO KEEP IN TRUNK & TAKE CAMPING OR HAND TO THE DRUNK GUY W/THE BIG BELT BUCKLE @THE PARTY,,
Nothing sounds as good as a tube amp turned up to 10. You can do this with some old amps, and they will sound fairly clean; others will explode. Use caution and keep an eye out for plumes of smoke. Newer tube amps generally have separate preamp and master-gain controls that can duplicate the gritty anarchy of yore, minus the lease-breaking SPLs. For jazz and other clean guitar styles, it's okay to turn the volume down a bit, as long as you don't "underdo" it.
Another tone option for a guitarist is to put a pickup out of phase with another pickup, producing a thin "inside-out" squawky kind of sound. When 2 pickups are in phase, they work together and reinforce each other. When they are out of phase the 2 pickups are working against one another and the resulting sound is the "leftovers" from these cancelations. The closer the 2 pickups are, the greater the cancelations, the thinner the sound and the lesser the volume. Therefore, the neck and bridge pickups out of phase is the best choice for this type of sound.
After putting 13 inexpensive guitars to the test for 24 hours with a panel of instructors, students, musicians, and a guitar repair person, we think the Squier by Fender HSS Bullet Strat is the best electric guitar for beginners. It’s comfortable and reasonably light in weight, it played well right out of the box (and even better when properly set up), and its complement of pickups and controls offer enough variation of tone that beginners will get a good start on finding their own sound, regardless of the styles of music they’re interested in.
Gibson originally offered a single cutaway from the guitar body, so that players could access higher frets.  Notice that Fender includes a double cutaway design so the player’s thumb also has access to the higher side of the neck.  Gibson used “3 On A Side” tuners, so Fender offered “6 Inline” tuning pegs.  It was these choices that created a large part of the visual appeal of the Strat.
Since 1996, ESP’s subsidiary LTD has been creating quality guitars at very affordable prices. The EC-256, for example, is a great guitar if you’re looking to spend around $400. With extra-jumbo frets and a thin-U neck, this guitar is super comfortable to play. These guitars are known for their reliability and excellent build quality. And with a lightweight body, they make for great gigging guitars.

The Hughes & Kettner Tube Meister 36 is a distinct looking tube amplifier head that's packed with features. For something that's compact, this amp can do quite a lot of what bigger amps can in terms of functionality, including having three channels that let you switch between clean, crunch and lead and a full set of complementary controls to tweak each channel to your liking. Another interesting feature of this amp is its TSC (Tube Safety Control), which automatically keeps the tube in bias and monitors them to extend their use. Finally, this amp head comes with a built-in Red box DI, so you can plug the amp head straight to any PA system or recording console without any problem. The people also installed a power attenuator into the amp, which lets you lower the rating to just 1 Watt for quiet practice. Wrapping up its features is the built-in reverb, which compliments the amp instead of distracting users.

i just started using this book never having played before and am finding it totally easy to follow. the friendly narrative guides the reader through every step, explaining the most simple of terms and concepts clearly and concisely. and yes, the CD is funky and you can play along with it more or less straight away AND sound good, which keeps you motivated.
Repetitive open-tunings are used for two non-Spanish classical-guitars. For the English guitar the open chord is C major (C-E-G-C-E-G);[67] for the Russian guitar which has seven strings, G major (G-B-D-G-B-D-G).[68] Mixing a perfect fourth and a minor third along with a major third, these tunings are on-average major-thirds regular-tunings. While on-average major-thirds tunings are conventional open tunings, properly major-thirds tunings are unconventional open-tunings, because they have augmented triads as their open chords.[69]
This general tip applies to all so-called temporal effects. Anything that messes with the timing of the signal should come last. If you were to put reverb before distortion, which is often one of the first effects in a chain, that distortion would be applied to both the original signal and all of the echoes. In other words, you’d get a mess. Naturally, this isn’t a rule written in stone. There are always exceptions. However, it is best to start with reverb at the end as this is the most neutral position.
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Gibson market the J-200 as the most powerful acoustic guitar on the planet, and we might just agree. It’s so punchy, and has so much presence, both in the low end and right up there with the more sparkling high notes. Combine this with the L.R. Baggs Anthem pickup system, and this is a guitar that is aimed squarely at live performances where the acoustic needs to really make itself heard. It’l
These guitars work in a similar way to solid-body electric guitars except that, because the hollow body also vibrates, the pickups convert a combination of string and body vibration into an electrical signal. Semi-hollowbodies are noted for being able to provide a sweet, plaintive or funky tone. They are used in many genres, including blues, funk, ’60s pop and indie rock. They generally have cello-style F-shaped sound holes, though these can be blocked off to prevent feedback, as in B.B. King's famous Lucille.
As a long time player conveying the skill, craft and passion of this art, which is as much as a science, players of ANY and every instrument can unanimously agree that there are no “best” players. Some have great moments that were captured and regurgitated in the media time and a get which put them in a permanent vista. This is greatness? Hardly. I’ve seen A LOT of players, some included in the article and the majority chanted by the readers on this board screw things up beyond repair–some during the opening of their first song of the performance. OUCH that hurts…but it happens. Some completely lost track with what they were doing during a show casing of their solo work…oops. Yep it happens, like sometimes happens to singers who forget their lines–it doesn’t matter that they have written the song they were performing. Yea, we hear about this stuff every now and then, however at the end of the day, this doesn’t matter. The truth is, people hear only what they want to hear and will by their very disposition, ignore the negatives and embrace the positives of their work–alas this is why this supportive listeners are called FANS.
Actually, company founder Leo Fender's first business was repairing tube circuitry equipment including radios, phonograph players, and home music amplifiers. He noticed the growing popularity of amplifiers for home music systems and branched out into selling music records and renting out PA systems he had designed from his repair shop. Then he got even more involved in music by making and selling Hawaiian lap steel guitars containing a proprietary pickup system which he bundled with his own newly designed amplifiers in 1945. The following year he changed the company name from Fender’s Repair Service to Fender Electric Instruments Company.
If you play an acoustic guitar but don’t own an amp and prefer not to (perhaps because you almost always play into a PA system) then this preamp is ideal for your situation. Not only does it give you the added control over your tone but, it also eliminates the need for an acoustic amplifier entirely, similar to the Venue DI. It’s also much cheaper than an amp.
: : : Does anyone know for sure where these originated. I have been told Vox (the England years) made this flat bodied plank guitar in the skiffle days of early 60's/late 50's. Mine is painted white(by hand) with a large black pick guard that curves to envelope the two chrome "toaster" pickups ,bottom of neck, and three control knobs.The strings have a moveable maple bridge(not secured) and a small chrome hardtail heel.The neck has a zero fret at top and 19 more playing frets.There are dot inlays at the 3rd,5th,seventh,ninth,12th,and 17th frets.The headstock is of natural finish light maple with a top edge cut at a sloping angle like Hofner.It has brass tuning pegs,gears and gear plates and the keys are white plastic.The beautiful short neck is true ,natural maple.Along one of the tuning gear plates is the numbers: 35515 which are etched into the wood. Four bolts without any plate hold the neck base to the plain body and a green decal above the pegs at top face of headstock reads: Shadow. The fret board is rosewoodand is laid on neck without bindings.It has six strings and sounds like a short scale Baritone guitar. It also only has one strap peg at bottom since they used to put the other end of strap on a tuning key. No other holes are seen for any former peg at other end of body(where normally found). Please send any info on this small,early,simple but awesome sounding electric skiffle guitar from England(Vox?).Thanks!!!!! VoteinNovember
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