I look around a lot here on UG and I see a lot of comments about how this or that guitar or bass is a cheap piece of crapola because of where it was made, what kind of pickups are in it, the wood, the neck, an official floyd rose compared to a licensed one, etc.
Well, I have been playing and buying guitars for 21 years and I have been through some real doozies.
When you are poor and you grew up where I did, where there wasnt much as far as music stores go, you gotta take what you can get. I had this one SG copy. There was no name on the headstock, no serial number and the neck was loose. No matter how much I tried to tighten it, it just would not stay stable, and I was stuck with that for a good year. I didnt know any better back then, I had just started and it looked like Angus's guitar. I did learn a lot on that thing, but it sure did suck.
A good friend of mine had a Harmony. It was black and the action was horrible. The hardware felt like it was hollow and made of tin, really cheap sounding single coils, and the wood was obviously plywood. But that was all he could afford.
We definitly paid our dues on crappy junk trying to pass for guitars.
Fast forward to today.
I have not seen that level of crappyness lately. even the very low end guitars out there, of all Makes, are miles away from those old guitars. Squires may be really cheap, but they are still solid enough to gig with. Epiphone was really crappy in the 80's, but nowadays, they have really stepped up their game and are almost as good as their more expensive counterparts. Hell, one of the most resonant guitars I have had was a Tom Delonge Squire strat. I paid 150 bucks for it and I have YET to play one that could hold a note longer, even a Les Paul. I also had a B.C. Rich Warlock lately that was made out of Agathis and it had killer tone and was a joy to play.
My point is, maybe Epiphone and Squire will never be as good as the more expensive Gibson and Fender, and you CAN tell a difference in them, but they are still solid guitars. And really , its all in the hands of who is playing them. I am sure if Hendriz were still alive today he could make a Squire sound just as good as a Fender. It would still sound like Hendrix, regardless.
A lot of people get hung up on what name is on the headstock, or where it was made. I tell you, no matter where it's made, todays standards are leaps and bounds away from where they used to be, and it's all thanks to the high demands we put on our instruments and the higher number of aspiring musicians coming around who need good quality stuff. So keep it up, people. They dont really make "bad" instruments anymore, just different versions.
Keep rockin' ya'll
What a refreshing blog, Acidious_T! I agree with everything you have said in it and you said it so well! I've always held the philosophy that it's 99% the player and 1% the guitar. Also, I own a MIM Fender strat and a Squier Bullet Strat (just got the latter this past December). For 100 dollars, that Squier Bullet is pretty amazing and for certain sounds, I prefer it over my standard strat! Upon hearing my mp3s where I used my Squier, no one can tell if I used my standard or my bullet so it really goes to show that it's the player that makes the guitar and not vice versa
I am a huge fan of the value of a good cheap guitar. Half my pieces were either free or cheap. To me, any guitar with good action is a great guitar. I had a Les Paul custom and I hated it, but I've got a Penco SG that would knock yer socks off...
ITS TRUE i have asquire and i know its not sucky like u just mentioned with that and it hasnt broken off not at all nothing is wrong wit my guitar. and yeah fender guitars are so rare even thouse made in america only the ones in mexico are starting to cost more that china made ones realy weird why do things from far away cost lest then the thing made close by/ why/
I own a epiphone les paul special II, it was my first guitar and i would give it up for anything i learned basically everything i know on this guitar and the more i play it the better it sounds. It's always been there for me and i paid one hundred and twenty dollars for it.
You Can Make A Plywood 6 string Sound Like Jimmy Hendrix...So I Think Its More About Talent...Sure,Some Sound Better Than Others...But It Doesn't Matter How Good A Guitar, If You Suck...It Will Still Sound Like Crap
Yeah this guy's right. My guitar's from Zellers and yeah, it sucks, but the frets don't buzz, the action is decent ant it stays in tune for a few songs. Certainly not as bad as the 70's El Degas acoustic I started on. I mean, most people can't say a guitar made their fingers bleed it was so bad, but that was a piece and even a $100 POS Strat that we all have nightmares about is worlds above that.
amazing blog, this is very true. i have a $50 guitar, it's very cheap in terms of money but the important thing is it does the job for now. i can't afford yamahas or gibsons yet, still i try to plant my focus on learning more about guitar even though my equipment is not as good as the others.
Great blog man! Really interesting to read. My first guitar was a terrible acoustic that was almost impossible to hold the strings down on. Then after that I moved on to a very cheap electric guitar that I bought second hand and I have yet to discover a guitar that stays in tune better. I now have a great guitar but I still often go back and use that old guitar frequently!
I started (for over 3 years) on the crappiest (BUT I LOVE HER) SQUIRE! I think it made me into a better player, having to deal with dead frets and not staying in tune and don't get me started on the action! I just purchased a "CHEAP" Ibanez GIO and I must say "IT ROCKS", I have never played an expensive guitar but MY IBANEZ is as good as one, FOR NOW. I am not sure if having the "BEST" early on is a GREAT idea or not? It's like that kid that gets a PORSCHE and crashes it, NOT knowing what he had. And that kid playing on a "junk" guitar became Kurt Cobain!