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The Best Guitar Gear for the Aspiring Musician
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When learning to play the guitar it is vital that you know your way around your instrument. Learning all of the features available to you and picking your first guitar may be almost always based on looks, but finding the right guitar, amp and home recording equipment to start off with will set you in the right direction. Personality matters when it comes to making music, and when it comes to guitars, personal tone can be shaped all the way down to the type of plectrum you use, so let us take a look at the essential equipment needed to get you started.

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A basic guitar is always a good start for most people, yet while a cheaper model at the local supermarket may suffice for many, if you are intending to take your music seriously, then investing in a quality musical instrument will always be the wisest choice. Many cheaper guitars suffer from poor build quality and may in fact create issues that will put you off playing. Poor quality strings and a defective tension nut within the neck may both hurt your fingers and become unplayable after extended periods of time.

Invest in a quality instrument

Choose a quality instrument from a local music shop. Talk to the staff and ask them what they recommend. Choosing a guitar from one of the well-known, established instrument manufacturers is a good way to go, with Yamaha, Fender, Ibanez and Epiphone leading the way with high quality entry-level models. These entry-level models may have fewer features, non-rare woods and lower spec pick-ups, but the standard in manufacturing today ensures an amazing quality instrument at a low price.

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As with all new guitars, re-stringing them with high quality strings is essential to get the best sound out of them. There are different sizes and thickness of strings to choose from (called gauges) that can offer different tonal variations to your taste. Thinner strings tend to be easier to play but may go out of tune easily whereas thicker strings tend to keep their tuning longer, may sound “fuller” to the ear, but are harder to bend notes due to their higher tension necessity.

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The essential tools of music creation

Choose a plectrum that feels comfortable in your hand and choose a thickness that helps you achieve a tone that works well with the gauge of strings you have chosen. Hard rockers may choose a thicker plectrum whilst softer player may opt for a thinner, nylon pick instead of a harder plastic. Picks are dirt cheap, so buy a handful and play around until you find your style.

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A great amplifier may be hard to choose at first given the variety to pick from, and whilst many might dream of that Marshall Stack to put in the corner of their bedroom, iconic amplifiers such as the Marshall JCM2000 or the original Fender Tweed may be way out of a beginner’s price range. There are many entry-level amplifiers produced by the big brands in the form of “combo” amps. These amps combine an amplifier and speaker to provide you with a simple way to plug your guitar in and start to rock out.

Choosing your amp and home recording

Some of the more popular combo amps include the Marshall MG15CF, the Orange Crush PiX CR12L and the Peavey Backstage series of combo amps. These little amps are great for beginners and provide you with some of the best sound available at great prices. These entry-level amps often use solid state technology to produce the sounds you hear, whilst the more expensive amps utilise patented valves to further enhance the tone.

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With your guitar, amp, strings and picks sorted, the only thing left to do is to record your music. This can be done relatively cheaply thanks to the many multi-track recording and mixing devices available on the market today. many small 8-channel units allow you to record multiple times over and over again to layer your music with however many guitar parts you need. This is a great initial foray into home recording, and with the rest of your band behind you, your progress into the world of music will get that little bit easier.

Image Source: guitarparadise, musicradar, tqn, sharemyguitar

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