Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Ibanez?

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (400 Words)

I’ve been learning to play accoustic guitar for a little over a year now, and although I still dispair at overall quality of my playing sometimes, I can still acknowledge that I’ve made a lot of progress, considering I started from zero. My renditions of Stairway to Heaven, Ziggy Stardust and Wonderwall are at least recognisable, if not hugely flattering.

During particularly busy periods it’s hard to find the time to practice, which has sometimes led to a frustrating cycle of starting to lose callouses, finger strength and muscle memory, and then having to spend time building them back up again, which makes you feel like you’re not making any progress. So in the past few weeks I’ve been making an extra effort to find 30 minutes to play every day, even if that means delaying getting back to that work issue that’s bugging me for a while, and that’s definitely helped with my consistency.

I’ve got to the stage where I think I’d like to have an electric guitar as well as the accoustic, so I can start trying out a few different styles. This is a generally more expensive proposition of course, and I’d like to get a decent one that will last me for a good while. While my skills don’t justify buying a seriously high-end instrument, I’m certainly willing to spend a decent amount to get a quality ‘axe’ that will last a few years and grow with me.

I was in town today so I popped into our local guitar shop to play with a few. I liked the visual style of the Gibson Les Pauls, but actually when I played them, I preferred the overall feel of the Fender Stratocaster. I also really liked the Ibanez ARX which seemed kind of half way between the Les Paul and the SG.

Any opinions from more experienced guitarists (not difficult)? I have a couple of months yet before I plan to buy and I’m intending to drop in to try a few more out in between.

Oh, and in the land of make-believe instruments (which is considerably easier), my wife and I passed a couple of milestones last night. We’re starting to both play on Expert now, and we got our first set of five gold stars (which requires everyone to play on Expert and score above a certain threshold), and I also got this: