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    Another Musical Instrument Question

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    Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Sandwurm88 » 04 Sep 2011 18:54

    Last time I asked for advice about purchasing a new part on my drum set, I was surprised with the knowledge of the musically inclined people here, thanks again!
    My question now has to do with guitar; I've been playing bass for seven years, drums for two years, and recently I've been thinking about giving up bass, and "moving on up" to six-string guitar, which is a more complex instrument to play, but you can also go more places musically with it. One thing is, everybody who plays an instrument in my school, around where I live, plays guitar, obviously because it has more allure to people, with the crazy solos, out in front, pulling the chicks rock-star thing, while bass is more laid back, keeping the rhythm going, as is drums, with the exception of a solo here or there. So if I played guitar, I would probably just be "another guitar player", while, as a bass player, I get a lot of band offers, because I'm the only bassist around pretty much. And I like playing in bands much more than just playing alone.

    So A) what would you recommend I do, and B) what kind of guitar should I aim to get down the line, I'd be interested to know your opinions in all of these, which have all piqued my interest:

    Fender Stratocaster
    Fender Telecaster
    Gibson Les Paul
    Gibson Explorer
    Gibson ES-335
    Gretsch White Falcon (This thing seems so awesome everytime I seen one being played)
    Paul Reed Smith Studio Model (I've heard alternatively that these are either overrated, hyped-up, mega-expensive guitars for guys in turtleneck sweaters who like better to drone on about guitars, than to actually make some rock with them, AND that they are the best guitars in the business, vastly superior to Strats and Les Pauls, etc. from different people. )
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Omphalos » 04 Sep 2011 19:19

    Nobody lnows what you want but you. Get what you want and play it. If it doesn't work, get another.
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Sep 2011 19:21

    Bass is actually a more difficult instrument to play than guitar, but you've pretty much hit the nail on the head - more is expected of guitarists. Just count yourself lucky that you don't seem to be into metal, or every instrument just became 10x more difficult just to get up to the lower levels of what's expected! Here's my thoughts on the guitars below.

    Fender Stratocaster

    Great guitar, whether you go for the Mexican standard series or American Standard (American Deluxe I'm actually not a huge fan of, it's basically the same as the standard but they put a horrible laquer on the neck that makes it stickier). Especially if you get an HSS model (Humbucker/SingleCoil/SingCoil) these are extremely versatile. Good for rock and pretty much anything else, even metal.

    Fender Telecaster

    Cool guitar but unless you get one with a humbucker you won't be doing much work with distortion, as the single coils just won't make you happy. If you get one with a humbucker then it's a very similar instrument to the strat, just a different feel to the neck and a different look.

    Gibson Les Paul

    Weighs a ton, pretty much a one trick pony, but very good at that one trick - which is thick (somewhat muddy even) distorted tones. These have a shorter scale length than a strat, which makes them "heavier" but also muddier whereas the longer scale of the strat makes it clearer and punchier.

    Gibson Explorer

    Haven't really played with one, it's mostly about the look here but I'm sure it's a fine instrument.

    Gibson ES-335

    Hollowbodies are awesome, can't remember if this is one of thinner ones or the thicker ones, for rock sounds go for a thin bodied hollowbody and you won't regret it, awesome "honky" tones, lots of mids, very chunky sounding. I like hollowbodies for even metal - Check out the hollowbodies that Ibanez is making though, they're extremely high quality for the price (and the price is cheap!) and look phenominal.

    Gretsch White Falcon (This thing seems so awesome everytime I seen one being played)

    Not familiar.

    Paul Reed Smith Studio Model (I've heard alternatively that these are either overrated, hyped-up, mega-expensive guitars for guys in turtleneck sweaters who like better to drone on about guitars, than to actually make some rock with them, AND that they are the best guitars in the business, vastly superior to Strats and Les Pauls, etc. from different people.

    This is because all guitars are just chunks of wood with strings and pickups, it's almost entirely personal taste after you pass a certain quality level. A PRS is designed to be a mix of a Fender and a Strat, they look like a mix, but it goes deeper than that, their scale length is in the middle of those other 2 guitars, so you get a bit of both worlds. Frankly I don't love them at all, would never buy one but personal taste is the name of the game.
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Sep 2011 19:25

    And Omph pretty much said it all. Every brand makes good guitars and shit guitars, start with the look you like, then start narrowing it down by what kind of tones you're looking for and price ranges.

    Anything $500-$1000 is where the best value per $ is. Less than that and the quality sometimes goes down quickly (not always though) and anything above that and you start paying for DETAILS (this one is ALWAYS).

    A $500 guitar is probably worth triple the average $250 guitar, a $1000 guitar is probably only 50% better than the $500 one though, and above about $1200 and you're paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars for 1% and 2% better (if even better at all, sometimes it's just more attention to detail, or was made by workers in a union in a developed country rather than someone in a poor country).
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby SadisticCynic » 04 Sep 2011 19:56

    All I know about this is that Opeth use PRS, and I love their tone. :)
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 04 Sep 2011 20:34

    They make some good instruments for sure, the question comes down to whether for the extra $$ they're really worth any more than others. The answer is just like everything else: only if that's what you love.

    If an unbiased person was checking them out, on average they'd probably rank them as on par with anyone else's instruments that are half (or less) the price. BUT, if they're what you love they're what you love.

    Just like my vintage Mesa amp, I paid $1500 for it used because I like the old ones far more than the new ones. Is it that much better of an amp than say a 5150/6505 that it warrants the insanely higher price tag? Nope. But it's the only amp that made the tone I was after, so they essentially had a monopoly on me!
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Sandwurm88 » 05 Sep 2011 11:50

    Obviously I won't be getting one of those aforementioned guitars to start off playing guitar, they're all way out of my price range, especially the White Falcon, which is about $3100 on average, and any PRS, which on Ebay range from the low thousands to 18,000 or 19,000!!!
    A friend of mine saw a guitar and a pretty big amp at a pawn shop, and I told him to buy it before anyone else could, because the price was amazing, I now owe him 75$ which is about the range I can comfortably afford at the moment with my fast-food grill area, minimum wage job. It's a Peavey guitar that is basically a decent imitation Strat, with a good amount of wear and tear, like the volume knob is missing, and a huge Fender amp, which I saw at over 300$ brand new at a guitar shop. So that's where I'm at right now.
    As for bass actually being a harder instrument than guitar, that is certainly truer than what most people seem to think, which is that bass is just plucking a few notes in the shadows while guitarists are soloing their asses off. After seven years as a bass player, I wish that 95% of songs didn't fulfill this stereotype, the bass has a hell of a lot of potential, as you can plainly hear if you take a listen to Les Claypool of Primus, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten, or even Flea from RHCP if we're talking about popular music.
    My opinion on all types of metal is definitely admiring towards the musicians, as for the sound, I like a good metal song, but I don't follow the genre too much. The drummers seem to always have basically a machine-gun speed bass drum beat going with chinas strewn throughout, which is always impressive, and the guitarists and bassists are always pulling off crazy shit.

    Here is the Gretsch White Falcon, btw, this guy is obviously a good guitar player, which makes any guitar sound better, but this one really seems to be soulful and extremely versatile:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wEVRd5ppJA
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Sep 2011 14:49

    What model is the Peavey? They make some very good mid-ranged guitars.

    PRS aren't that expensive, those would be their "Private Stock" ones, but even then those usually sell new for $8000-$11,000. So those you saw online must be rare saught after ones, maybe the Dragons? A brand new proper PRS is between $2400-$3600 usually, and they also make an entry level series called SE which sell for something between $500 and $800 I think.
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Sandwurm88 » 05 Sep 2011 17:45

    Yeah, the real expensive PRS's I saw on Ebay were some kind of Dragon, IIRC. And I didn't know PRS made guitars for 500 -800$ ! Interesting...

    My Peavey is a black, white scratch plate Raptor Plus EXP, I'll upload a picture of it with the amp, which was the main steal in the deal.

    Imagine this with a good deal of wear and tear:
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    So far it's been adequate, pretty good tones, no real problems.
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Sep 2011 18:28

    That explains it, the Dragons are one-offs, they make just one of those every year. The SE PRS that are cheaper are decent guitars, but in no way better than anything else for the same price.

    Ah, the Peavey Raptor, one of the finest cheap-assed guitars ever made, depending on the exact one you get (I don't mean model, I mean exact one, as they are very cheap there is no consistancy to the necks (everything else is the same though), so one can be awesome and another junk). If the neck feels like a nice shape to you then you've got one of the good ones. They're worth less than $200 new but kick the crap out of most competition up to $400 with one exception in their design.

    A Raptor was my backup guitar for shows for years, their major weakness is the pickups, especially the humbucker. So next time you want to spend some money and upgrade, go buy a seymour duncan or dimarzio humbucker, slap that in there and you'll have a totally nice guitar on your hands. It's never going to be an $800 or $1000 guitar, but for the money you paid for it who gives a shit! Replace those pickups and maybe get a nice setup done on it and you've got a guitar you'll always be able to rely on.


    EDIT: and if you do replace the humbucker, do it yourself, it'll be a great learning experience, and even if you mess it up it won't cost you any more to have someone else finish/fix it than it would have to just get it installed anyways. It's as easy as it gets, depending on whether it has 2 or 4 wires that's all you have to soldier. It only gets complex at all if you're replacing a 4 wire with a 2 wire or vice versa.


    What is the model of the amp you got with it?
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Demerzel » 06 Sep 2011 06:14

    Some music stores let you try out their instruments. Take a friend of yours who is good at the guitar and ask him to try out some of the pieces available, and give his opinion. I'd say that's the best way to go.

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:(if even better at all, sometimes it's just more attention to detail, or was made by workers in a union in a developed country rather than someone in a poor country).

    :D how true.

    SadisticCynic wrote:All I know about this is that Opeth use PRS, and I love their tone. :)

    I wouldn't be inclined on giving the guitar credit for what Opeth plays. Mike would be brilliant on any guitar. The guy's a genius.
    When Paul was three I found him wearing lingerie I was planning to wear for my Duke. I asked him: "How can this be?" and he answered: "For I am the Kwisatz Haderach!" I was proud since these were the first words Paul ever spoke, but now I knew for certain that my Paul was a special boy. I brought him to Duncan's room while he was busy "training" a young maidservant in the Art of Sword-Handling. My Paul shall be the best! - Tleszer
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby SadisticCynic » 06 Sep 2011 09:10

    Demerzel wrote:I wouldn't be inclined on giving the guitar credit for what Opeth plays. Mike would be brilliant on any guitar. The guy's a genius.


    A fellow Opethian! :dance: :dance: :dance:

    This one is a worthy addition to the sietch, methinks. :D
    Last edited by SadisticCynic on 07 Sep 2011 12:43, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Demerzel » 07 Sep 2011 02:08

    :D. PS did you like The Devil's Orchard?
    When Paul was three I found him wearing lingerie I was planning to wear for my Duke. I asked him: "How can this be?" and he answered: "For I am the Kwisatz Haderach!" I was proud since these were the first words Paul ever spoke, but now I knew for certain that my Paul was a special boy. I brought him to Duncan's room while he was busy "training" a young maidservant in the Art of Sword-Handling. My Paul shall be the best! - Tleszer
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby SadisticCynic » 07 Sep 2011 12:49

    I have listened to it precisely twice. Once when it first streamed, and the second on 'The Devil's Orchard - Live at the Rock Hard Festival' CD. I'm waiting to get the album and listen to it in full.

    I've liked what I've heard so far, but it will probably take more listens to 'get' it. Axe's drumming really impressed me. What d'you think of it?
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Demerzel » 07 Sep 2011 14:06

    It'll take some getting used to, but I like the new sound as a whole. Yes, Axe was great, and Mike's vocals have reached a new level of brilliance. I just wish the album would have some growls, but they've confirmed that there wont be any. And I liked the solo breaking out towards the end - sorta with a Stairway to Heaven kinda tone. But the ending was just a bit too abrupt.

    PS since I've found you, are you familiar with their bandpage on Facebook? Cause the live edition of Bleak there is excellent, and I wanna know if you know where it's from.
    When Paul was three I found him wearing lingerie I was planning to wear for my Duke. I asked him: "How can this be?" and he answered: "For I am the Kwisatz Haderach!" I was proud since these were the first words Paul ever spoke, but now I knew for certain that my Paul was a special boy. I brought him to Duncan's room while he was busy "training" a young maidservant in the Art of Sword-Handling. My Paul shall be the best! - Tleszer
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby SadisticCynic » 07 Sep 2011 14:13

    No, I don't have a Facebook account. Give me a link though, and we'll see if it works. Bleak turns up The Roundhouse Tapes and The Royal Albert Hall dvds, so I'd imagine it's from one of those.
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Demerzel » 07 Sep 2011 14:21

    I doubt that.. it was the kind of song where the crowd is present at the start and is then muted out until the end.

    Here's the link: http://www.facebook.com/Opeth?sk=app_178091127385
    When Paul was three I found him wearing lingerie I was planning to wear for my Duke. I asked him: "How can this be?" and he answered: "For I am the Kwisatz Haderach!" I was proud since these were the first words Paul ever spoke, but now I knew for certain that my Paul was a special boy. I brought him to Duncan's room while he was busy "training" a young maidservant in the Art of Sword-Handling. My Paul shall be the best! - Tleszer
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Freakzilla » 07 Sep 2011 14:31

    SadisticCynic wrote:No, I don't have a Facebook account.


    Are you the last one? :P
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby SadisticCynic » 07 Sep 2011 14:38

    The little album cover that comes up when you click on the song is the cover to the Royal Albert Hall dvd. Here's the video:



    The section at about 6:13 is played a little differently than on the Roundhouse Tapes or on Blackwater Park.

    There are a few other clues such as the tone of Fredrik's guitar (harsher than Peter's), the backing vocals and keyboards are louder in the mix and Axe's playing is better than at the Roundhouse.

    Freakzilla wrote:
    SadisticCynic wrote:No, I don't have a Facebook account.


    Are you the last one? :P


    Probably. :wink:
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby Demerzel » 07 Sep 2011 14:46

    Oh wow I'm pathetic :P. Need to look a bit more.

    But brilliant isn't it :wink:
    When Paul was three I found him wearing lingerie I was planning to wear for my Duke. I asked him: "How can this be?" and he answered: "For I am the Kwisatz Haderach!" I was proud since these were the first words Paul ever spoke, but now I knew for certain that my Paul was a special boy. I brought him to Duncan's room while he was busy "training" a young maidservant in the Art of Sword-Handling. My Paul shall be the best! - Tleszer
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby SadisticCynic » 07 Sep 2011 14:59

    Yup. :D
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 07 Sep 2011 15:21

    Hey, I actually liked that, maybe I do like Opeth and just don't know it...
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby inhuien » 08 Sep 2011 07:24

    I used to like that growly vocal stuff, I guess it's old age but I find it very often emotionally bland and dynamically uninteresting, their range is capped from the get-go and consequently have now where to go from there. I'm open to evidence to the contradictory.
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby SadisticCynic » 08 Sep 2011 09:07

    I would agree with you that the range is capped. It always sounds to me like they can go up and down in pitch a little, but of course nothing like with clean vocals. I figure dynamical range only really comes in when you compare different vocalists; some are harsher, deeper etc.

    However, I think that emotionally, nothing better conveys the characteristic feeelings of these genres better than that style of vocals. I have seen it described as 'continuing the aesthetic of the music' and I like the sound of that, so I'm stealing it.

    Naturally, it all comes down to taste in the end.
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    Re: Another Musical Instrument Question

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 08 Sep 2011 13:12

    Some have really a wide range they can do, it's usually just not done all within a part, you'd have a part with highs, a part with lows. And some of them definitely just stay in the same range.
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