Just starting out

Hey guys,

I've got a couple of questions. I want to start learning to play guitar. I've had several friends over the years that play and have turned me on to wanting to learn. I've gotten a few tips from them and I was wondering if any of you have some input. One piece of advice I got was that if I am serious about learning, I should get the absolute best guitar that I can afford. That makes sense to me but does that sound like good advice to you guys?

I've been shopping around and I think that I want to buy a Gibson Les Paul Classic. I know that the Les Paul's are played by all the greats and is a beautiful guitar but is that a good guitar for someone just learning how to play?

Another unique problem I have is that I am left-handed. I am pretty ambidextrous but I think more comfortable playing left-handed. Would I be making life harder for myself learning left handed or is it about the same?

I hope someone out there reads this and can give me some sound advice. I really appreciate any help you guys can give me.

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First of all, as far as the guitar is concerned. Brand really doesn't matter. YOU have to look around and find the guitar that fits your fancy. There are cheaper guitars that play better than expensive ones. I worked in a music store for a good portion of my life to know that. Yeah, get the best guitar that you can afford, but don't just go out and grab the one that is more expensive if you don't try it and like it first. Ideally, as a beginner, it would be best to a 1000 dollar guitar to start on. I am sure it would be more comfortable. Yet, this is not in everyone's budget. I would suggest that you take a friend with you that plays the guitar to check various ones out. Get the one that you like the most. You will never forget your first one!

As for playing left handed, Yeah, it is more expensive, but not that much. It is like batting right handed although you are a lefty. Yeah, you can do it, but you will never be as good as if you went along with nature. Almost any good guitar can be ordered as a lefty. You are talking 2 weeks at the most to wait. If you are left handed, you should start left handed. Ambidextrous or not, you will still play better on a left handed guitar. If that means waiting 2 weeks and 50 dollars more to order one, isn't it worth the wait?

Thanks for the reply. All of what you said makes perfect sense.

Good looking out.

Apols for the delay and, as a fellow lefty, welcome aboard edelbec :)

Compared with 20 years ago, you are in a much better position than then; both as a beginner and a lefty. Computer-controlled CNC routers mean that guitars made in Korea and China at least fit together. Sure, there are some instances of poor QC, and the electronics and hardware are inferior, but inexpensive instruments are playable. My early, budget electrics played like boiled egg slicers.

A USA Gibson Les Paul is a fine but very expensive instrument. On the plus side, if you lose interest and sell it, a used one in mint condition will get a lot of its value back when sold. If you're in the States, you could consider the SX guitars from Rondo Music. I know quite a few players over the pond who have one just as a leave-around, pick-up-anytime strummer. One friend has them and merely upgrades the electrics to get a nice guitar for not much outlay.

Lefties are much more available than even ten years ago. Although Robert Fripp and Mark Knopfler are two well-known lefties that play righty, I know I couldn't do it. My left hand is definitely better for rhythms. Whether you decide to pay for top quality or start out with a budget choice, lefties are readily available.

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