The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Hey folks,

    My wife has the itch to try playing guitar, so I figure I'll maybe get her one for Christmas. FWIW, she's more into metal & 80s New Wave than jazz, though..

    So here are my criteria - thinking either a strat or les paul style, price in the $250-$500 range. Used is fine. But I don't like paying to own certain things, like audio gear, so it needs to be something that will hold its purchase price + inflation over time.. so long as its well cared-for and not beat up.

    Oh, and I'd really like to avoid Chinese stuff, if that's even possible.

    So any thoughts on where to start?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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  4. #3

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    As with any novice, I'd try to bring her to a guitar store and see what lights her up.
    (Then maybe seek out a used one if you prefer. But new-and-shiny is a positive value for a first instrument!)

    There's nothing inherently bad about Chinese guitars.
    It's like guitars from anywhere else -- a bell curve.
    Some are wall-hangers and some tayotally rawk, mahn.

    Have fun, and I don't need to remind you of the intrinsic value of a happy home!

  5. #4

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    I sometimes gig with a Yamaha Pacifica 012. A few years ago it sold for $179 with a case, an amp, a cable and a book.

    I think it's a pretty good guitar for the price.

  6. #5
    Thanks for the tip.. but the only shipping option is eighty-four flipping dollars! Wtf?

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I sometimes gig with a Yamaha Pacifica 012. A few years ago it sold for $179 with a case, an amp, a cable and a book.

    I think it's a pretty good guitar for the price.
    Cool, thanks for that.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    As with any novice, I'd try to bring her to a guitar store and see what lights her up.
    Good thought, but it does kinda wreck the surprise factor

    There's nothing inherently bad about Chinese guitars.
    It's like guitars from anywhere else --
    My issue isn't so much with the "guitar" aspect, but rather with the "Chinese" aspect. The Chinese Communist Party is the single greatest threat to human flourishing & freedom in our world today. I really try to avoid supporting them.

    Have fun, and I don't need to remind you of the intrinsic value of a happy home!
    Nope, you sure don't!

  9. #8

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    Dang this is a tough call.

    I’m not really a strat guy, so can’t comment. But the Fender Squier Teles are SWEET and cheap. I saw one today for $200. Can’t be beat for a guitar that can do everything.

    I often recommend the Godin Kingpin as a great first guitar, second guitar or main guitar. However, she won’t be playing metal with that.

    Finally, for style points might I suggest one of the cheaper Gretsch offerings? The Streamliner Jr Clubs and double-cuts look awesome, and should have some tone to match. About $500 new.

    A first guitar for the wife - suggestions?-is230302873-body-large-jpg

  10. #9

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    My issue isn't so much with the "guitar" aspect, but rather with the "Chinese" aspect. The Chinese Communist Party is the single greatest threat to human flourishing & freedom in our world today. I really try to avoid supporting them.
    A first guitar for the wife - suggestions?-img_3047-jpeg

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    A first guitar for the wife - suggestions?-img_3047-jpeg
    As much as I've always been a Simpsons fan, it's been almost 25 years since I watched any TV, and that reference just went right over my head

    I should really d/l a few seasons and have a binge watch.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by WimWalther
    Thanks for the tip.. but the only shipping option is eighty-four flipping dollars! Wtf?
    Free shipping from here:

    Harley Benton St | Reverb

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Free shipping from here:

    Harley Benton St | Reverb
    Except.. they don't have that ST-25 TH model you were suggesting. They have ST-62, 90, others.. but no 25 TH.

    Do you (or anyone) know what the differences are?

  14. #13

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    How about something like this?

    JS Series Dinky(R) Arch Top JS24 DKAM | Guitars

    Edit: I’m sorry, I guess these are made in China now. I believe this level of Jacksons were previously made in Indonesia.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by ThatRhythmMan; 11-20-2023 at 09:30 PM.

  15. #14

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    Based on your price range and wanting to avoid made in China I think your best bet is a used Mexican strat or tele! Those are pretty decent Fender guitars!

  16. #15

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    TBH, I am not totally convinced that you should be making the decision about what to get her. Why not take her shopping to see what she likes? A guitar can be really personal. Especially a first guitar. If she doesn’t bond with it what’s the point?

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by lammie200
    TBH, I am not totally convinced that you should be making the decision about what to get her. Why not take her shopping to see what she likes? A guitar can be really personal. Especially a first guitar. If she doesn’t bond with it what’s the point?
    Yes, you have a very good point, can't really argue it. Thing is, I'm disabled.. can't freely move around as I'd like to.

    That, and I almost always purchase used gear that someone else has taken the depreciation hit on. Tend to do very well on CL, etc.

    I like the idea of a Mexico Fender Tele. What era are those? Current, last decade(s)?

  18. #17

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    Made in Mexico Fenders go back many decades and are still being made.

    A used fender made in Mexico should hold it's value and be the easiest to resale in your price range. If you can find a good one in your price range.

  19. #18

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    BUT a standard Tele with single coils is not exactly a metal guitar. You might want to consider looking for a humbucker loaded model at least in the bridge position.


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  20. #19

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    In my humble opinion the best bang for your buck under $500 would be a used Fender Player Strat.

    Plays great, sounds great, will hold it's resale value more than most other brands

    Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar | Reverb

  21. #20

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    If you don’t mind a Korean build, this could fit the bill nicely.

    Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster FMT HH 2004 - 2015 | Reverb


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  22. #21

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    It’s funny how the mind reads things. When I first glanced quickly at this thread, I thought it read: “First Wife or the Guitar.” Instantly I thought: “Yeah I chose the guitar. Now I’ve got plenty of them and a second wife.”

    On a serious note. Maybe given that you don’t move around as much as you’d like, order something like all of these three: an inexpensive Strat, a Gretsch Streamliner and one of the Epiphone models from a place like GC. Free shipping, 45 day return policy and you can drop off the two that didn’t make the cut at any GC without paying for return shipping. That way she can see what fits her best and other than one trip for the returns, no-one has to leave the house.

  23. #22

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    Is she small, or small handed? If so, I would stay away from the long Fender scale. What is your rough price ceiling?

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by WimWalther
    Yes, you have a very good point, can't really argue it. Thing is, I'm disabled.. can't freely move around as I'd like to.

    That, and I almost always purchase used gear that someone else has taken the depreciation hit on. Tend to do very well on CL, etc.

    I like the idea of a Mexico Fender Tele. What era are those? Current, last decade(s)?
    Makes sense. I don't know much about Mexican Teles but I bet that they are just as nice as CA made ones. Good luck!

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Is she small, or small handed? If so, I would stay away from the long Fender scale. What is your rough price ceiling?
    Brings up the idea of a Jaguar, which I think is 24” scale. That might be a great first guitar for playing a lot of different styles of music.

    Squier Classic Vibe '70s Jaguar | Reverb

    Hey, Kurt Cobain, Tom Verlaine and Johnny Marr…

  26. #25

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    Be sure to get something you like too, in case she doesn't stick with it.

    My 12 year old son really wants an Epiphone Casino, he just doesn't know it yet