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Thoughts about how you find guitars

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,637
The strat thread was making me think about this:

When you pick a new guitar, do you like to find one that perfectly fits you, or do you like to find one that pushes you to grow into it and learn it?

I've had my strat since 1996 and it's been my #1 ever since, but I didn't pick it because it was the perfect one that fit me just right. At the time I picked it because the store clerk told me the Telecaster I was holding at the time was a guitar for country guys, and rockers all played strats. I liked rock, so I picked up a black strat and took it home. The reason it's my #1 now and forever is because that guitar forced me to learn all it's tricks and nuances. I learned everything I know on that guitar, and as I've grown as a player it's been the tool that's right there next to me. Now it feels like such a part of my playing that I prefer it over any other guitar in the world.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,676
I don't pick Guitars - They pick me!
^^^THIS!!!,...I get calls about folks wanting to sell their guitars (not as much as I used to because word got out about my illness,...but since I've gotten better I get some...),...I would evaluate their guitar, I would buy it or find it a buyer,...or let them know 'just what' they had,...

...you would be shocked as to what's been brought/sent my way up in Northern Mi. here,...and most times I would attempt to talk them out of selling their Musical 'Stuff' (at one time IF you were a 'thief', or one that had no conscience when dealing with your fellow Man...you could have wound up making some LARGE $$$ off some folks up here).

But, when all would fail as far as talking certain folks out of things,...I would find a honest (fair) Buyer for them,...an IF I had some room financially, or in my Home I myself would have a NGD. A guitar has to speak to me,...IF it was an electric guitar...I've NEVER based my decision on it when it's 'plugged in'...I'm into the 'Bones' of the guitar, and what it's gonna' be when set-up, and fixed, and set straight (I've even done business with a couple of TGP members that were amazed that I didn't care about plugging it in...LOL).

But I don't think they see me looking at my wrist watch as I'm going thru it so to speak,...all the way to a 'B' note Brother,...that's 'How' my decision is made personally speaking. I do have my preferences, I bleed Fender, LOVE PRS even the SE model (got ahold of some GREAT ones)...most any acoustic, Martin does turn my head,...but the Headstock decal on it is NOT the factor in my decision...as a matter of fact, I'm pleased if it says Martin in the end, as THAT is the very last part in my deciding factor of the guitar (LOVE Guilds, and certain Gibson's also).

In the end what 1radicalron stated in his post rings SO true, if the guitar meets what I'm looking for (me, not anybody else), then it's most likely a must that it comes Home with me. Never buy a guitar on other folks desires/opinions,...you are setting yourself up for a 'failing' relationship with it, and YOUR 'sound/tone' will not be heard thru playing it,...and shame on that Salesperson that 'steered' you away from ANY 'model' guitar,...I use my Stratocasters mainly for different 'Blues' sounds/tones...Yes, some 'Classic Rock' is played on them AND some Country,...But I've ROCKED OUT on more Tele.'s than you can shake a stick at. Tom
 

Elduderino73

Member
Messages
319
For me it was more of the tone quest I went on that led me to find the guitars I play. Before the tone quest I played bolt-on strats. I still enjoyed the music I like but I never did an in depth quest to investigate pickups, pedals, scale length, amps, etc. to try to determine which elements all went in to making the sounds I liked.

After the tone quest? I'm playing 24 3/4" scale set-neck dual humbucker semi-hollow guitars...a P90 semi and a hollowbody in the mix as well. It's got to be that scale length, set-neck construction, and the bigger body style that works for my 6'-6" frame. Those elements I listed just fit me so well.
 

tycobb73

Member
Messages
1,465
tamader74 where do you live? I"m just north of GR and the in laws are all in Cheboygan.

I got enough of what I need now that I only buy a guitar if its under market somewhat and has what I"m looking for. Then I'll keep it for a month and if I'm not playing it regularly I pass it on. After I clear any fees associated with the sale I usually break even.

I just sold a nitro satin strat that I had for about a month. Keeping an MIM strat over it. Now I'm on the hunt for a p90 sg at a good price.
 

aiq

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,485
I am attracted to Gibsons and Telecasters. That is the starting point.

The last guitar I bought I was looking for a tobacco Trad Pro as they were on sale. The store had one but there was a problem with the push pull so no.

The guy brought me a red one, totally not considering it. Played it, super tight all around and clearing out for low price.

Perfect.

So I have a starting point and go from there.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
That guitar salesman doesn't know much about telecasters. :bonk

After a certain point, you'll know what works for you and what doesn't (assuming you've tried enough guitars), and when you pick one up, you'll just KNOW if it's right or if it's wrong.

To me, it doesn't matter what kind of guitar it is, it just needs to work for me.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,676
tamader74 where do you live? I"m just north of GR and the in laws are all in Cheboygan.

I got enough of what I need now that I only buy a guitar if its under market somewhat and has what I"m looking for. Then I'll keep it for a month and if I'm not playing it regularly I pass it on. After I clear any fees associated with the sale I usually break even.

I just sold a nitro satin strat that I had for about a month. Keeping an MIM strat over it. Now I'm on the hunt for a p90 sg at a good price.
...Hey there 'Ty',...I live in BEAUTIFUL, scenic, Downtown (well, almost) Houghton Lake,...a place where 'Men are Men, and Sheep are scared' (I've been here so long, even I can now pick out the Purdy Sheep),...Brother, IF your a lookin' for a GREAT ('97) Guild Bluesbird w/a BIG comfy neck, loaded w/ GFS 'Surf '90' P-90s,...and can get you anything you want out of a P-90 guitar,...Man, have I the one for you!!!,...

...I JUST sold my '98 Guild BB, as I wanted to keep this '97 with THESE pups, and having to get some $$$ together for a upcoming surgery, and about $500. in emergency Vet bills last week...add all of that with the fact I'm in the middle of doing (or I should say my Nephew is) BOTH of my Bathrooms...I'm needing to sell off, partial trading off some gear...THANK GOD, I still have 'this' left in my life...my Percussion days are over...So, I'm selling off both my Kits (including a '63 or '66 set of Ludwig 'Super Classics',...Virgin Bass, a great 13" ride tom,...and one of the BEST sounding Floor tom's I've ever owned...bought it to do a re-wrap on it, etc.),...my guitar playing has went way South of what it used to be (I can barely 'Feel' my ring and baby fingers),...BUT, I'm going to leave this World fighting and kicking trying to play...'That's my undying Plan' and it's coming on better and better everyday. Tom
 

27sauce

Member
Messages
36,423
I am almost completely driven by price/flipability. I buy just about everything I can turn a profit on. The upside is that I get to try out a bunch of guitars that I normally wouldn't be interested in. If I really like, or can use it, I keep it.

In the last year, I have specifically sought out 3 guitars. It was a very weird experience, because that's not how I buy guitars. What a reality check! It was a les Paul, epi riviera, and a tele. All for work, all to run in to the ground.

I went through a couple of historic les pauls before finding the right one. I narrowed my tele hint to a Nash, a '66 refin, and a roadworn. The roadworn won out. The Riv was a blind ebay purchase. I'm happy with it, but wouldn't be heartbroken if I had to flip it to fund something else.

So yeah, very price driven, but I have some very nice, and nice sounding guitars.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,690
They find you, because an exceptional ones are a diamond in the rough. Once you play some of those, then you really know the difference. You can't just go find them. That's how it happened for me. I worked at a music store and seen zillions of 'em. But every once in awhile a killer one comes thru, and it turns heads. Everyone's head, no matter what style they're into, can recognize a fabulous instrument. Crazy.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
10,725
Well, neither one.

After 33 yrs of playing & building, I've reached a point where I don’t see those two options as being the only options available to me. There is no one favorite guitar, which is the only one that suits me perfectly. I like a number of different designs, woods, pickup types, fret sizes, scales, neck profiles and hardware types. I don’t feel as though something needs to push me into liking a guitar or push me to learn it and grow into it – I just adapt. If I like a guitar, I like it. And if I like it, chances are good that I’ve already learned it and already have grown into it. By the same token, if a guitar I like is lacking in some area(s), or needs some improvement to make it play, sound, feel, or look its best, I can make whatever modification is necessary. If there is a guitar I would like that no manufacturer is making, then I build it myself.

I look at guitars the same way a race driver looks at different types of race cars or production cars – he doesn’t play favorites. He simply gets in and drives, knowing what he can expect from each one and adapting his driving skills accordingly.
 
Messages
5,204
I go to the used musical instrument store and look around until I find something that I think looks cool. If I like how it sounds and plays I might buy it.
 

tycobb73

Member
Messages
1,465
...Hey there 'Ty',...I live in BEAUTIFUL, scenic, Downtown (well, almost) Houghton Lake,...a place where 'Men are Men, and Sheep are scared' (I've been here so long, even I can now pick out the Purdy Sheep),...Brother, IF your a lookin' for a GREAT ('97) Guild Bluesbird w/a BIG comfy neck, loaded w/ GFS 'Surf '90' P-90s,...and can get you anything you want out of a P-90 guitar,...Man, have I the one for you!!!,...

...I JUST sold my '98 Guild BB, as I wanted to keep this '97 with THESE pups, and having to get some $$$ together for a upcoming surgery, and about $500. in emergency Vet bills last week...add all of that with the fact I'm in the middle of doing (or I should say my Nephew is) BOTH of my Bathrooms...I'm needing to sell off, partial trading off some gear...THANK GOD, I still have 'this' left in my life...my Percussion days are over...So, I'm selling off both my Kits (including a '63 or '66 set of Ludwig 'Super Classics',...Virgin Bass, a great 13" ride tom,...and one of the BEST sounding Floor tom's I've ever owned...bought it to do a re-wrap on it, etc.),...my guitar playing has went way South of what it used to be (I can barely 'Feel' my ring and baby fingers),...BUT, I'm going to leave this World fighting and kicking trying to play...'That's my undying Plan' and it's coming on better and better everyday. Tom
Houghton Lake huh? Back in my college days the bus driver left my luggage there when I was really going up to HOUGHTON. MI Tech, where there's a beautiful woman behind every palm tree. MI Tech, where the men are men and the woman are too. Of course that's probably changed since the 15 years I"ve been there.

Thanks for the offers but sg ergonomics just work for me. I have 2 and looking for a 3rd.
 

cowboytim

Member
Messages
751
I usually start with Pickups I want to try and find a Brand new downer guitar. I like Epiphone LPs. I gut them or tele squires or MIM Strats.
I gut the guitar Completely. New pots, breaded wire, jack, blade switch. I sometimes re-finish necks, fret level, install abalone markers and carve bone nuts. Then the guitar is all mine on many levels. I can also afford better amps with money saved buying guitars.
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,543
I start trying guitars out unplugged, decide on a few that feel right. Then I plug them in, and pick the one that just has it, the one that speaks to me. That's how I ended up with my LP, and it's the only guitar I play now. It's also the only guitar I've ever had that I didn't feel like I was making some kind of compromise in tone or feel.
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,637
Maybe the experience I had is only something that can happen when you're a kid. I mean, there's nothing special about either my main electric, or my main acoustic, and if I was shopping for a guitar today and had no attachments to these, I probably wouldn't have ended up picking either one. The acoustic was just given to me, and was the only guitar available to me when I couldn't afford to buy my own, and the strat was purchased because a salesman said it was what rockers played. I didn't pick either of them, they didn't pick me either; we had arranged marriages and we learned to live with each other. But having no other options forced me to learn to use what I had the best I could. Today I can buy and sell guitars at will, and I've played too long and become to stuck in things I like/don't like, and my tastes and what-not would never allow me to use the same criteria to pick up an instrument that way again. But because I came across those guitars the way I did, and spent so many years with them, now they've become the only one's for me and I could never imagine not playing them. My playing has been shaped by them as I've grown and learned over the years.

I know I'm not the only one who has had an experience like this.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,676
Houghton Lake huh? Back in my college days the bus driver left my luggage there when I was really going up to HOUGHTON. MI Tech, where there's a beautiful woman behind every palm tree. MI Tech, where the men are men and the woman are too. Of course that's probably changed since the 15 years I"ve been there.

Thanks for the offers but sg ergonomics just work for me. I have 2 and looking for a 3rd.
Oh Yeah Brother,...Whew have the women changed that are bred in this area,...while they still run their non-working Husbands life's (or live-in BF's, whatever...as they do, DO most of the breadwinning, handle things that require 'thought', etc.,...all but the Musicians that is that are worth more $$$ than a little bit)...

...most have turned into 'Summer' Women,...some have teeth, some weigh less than the 250 lb. weight requirement needed to qualify for Bikini wearing up here, some don't even have to shave (I've shared with many of them the Thread that runs here in the Pub on Safety razors),...

...I've even got 'some' to realize 'Spandex is a privilege, NOT a Right',...it's refreshing to go to the different Lakes on the nice Summer weekends, and enjoy the different views that aren't there during most week days (OK,...my Wife thinks I'm taking it a little 'overboard',...I tell her if WE get on that pontoon boat of the Neighbor's...NOW that would for sure be going Overboard).

But seriously, between here in Roscommon Co., Gladwin Co., Missaukee Co., Wexford Co., there IS some FINE Musicians, and it's funny as all get out when certain Musicians come up here from the Big City/Metro Detroit area,...They come up here and instead of showing US a thing or two,...they get some lessons to go Home and study for sure,...I came up from the Metro area where I lived when I had my Cottage up this way,...and learned quite quickly these fact's...Thank goodness I wasn't a 'Show Boat', just wanted to play and hear good Music, and was pretty well accepted.

Glad to hear YOU TO think SG's have a 'place' besides JUST R&R,...I've had and played some 'non neck diving', great sounding, and Chicken' pickin' GREAT ones I can tell ya' that,...I also learned that several Peavey Bandit models in the Series of (they are a Series, yep there's Bandits,...but the name 'Bandit' was for the series as a whole, not just 1 amp. model)...are flat out Tele. killer's (Solo 130 can be dialed in to sound as good as a tube amp. with a good Tele. OR even a Strat.),...I just keep thinking of the Fable 'The emperors new Clothes' sometimes when folks post negatively on 'certain' gear,...and thinking of the invisible Thread that the Emperor was told made him look SO good in his new clothes,...to blind to see he was stark Naked,...

I don't care if it's a MIM Tele., a Cheap ol' Peavey Strat., a older Cort acoustic,..."if you can't bend them strings and make the people feel like YOU feel inside"...you can buy a Gibson LP R-999, or a $100,000. Martin handbuilt D-45 Broug-HAM, it still won't/AIN'T gonna' help ya'. Tom
 
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monwobobbo

Member
Messages
6,250
i guess ui'm in the "they find me" camp. i dunno i play as many guitars as i can when i get the chance. every once in a while one will call to me and just say "buy me". at this point i know what i like in a guitar so that isn't a problem. the one thing i have learned is that you have to keep an open mind. sometimes the one that is right for you is the one that you would have never thought about to begin with.
 




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