First guitar - a G-400

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by PeterS, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...haven't heard of Maestro Ernesto before. Seems to be a good place to start. And if I understand correctly you got a direct contact to the instructor and can ask questions? That's very valuable.
    It definetly pays of to learn the basics first (like common open chords, bar chords, pentatonic scale, a bit of theory, basic right and left hand techniques etc) before venturing into more advanced topics like a specific style of music. And learning songs you like one the way is the best way to keep you motivated.
    Yes indeed. There is an infinite amount of things to learn and I discover new songs and courses I would like to learn every day. You have to be disciplined to concentrate on one topic at a time and don't jump forward.
    Exactly! It is a great time to learn guitar now. I don't want to take real lessons with a teacher as I don't like the commitment and external pressure that comes with it. If it weren't for online courses I don't know if I would stick with it...
     
  2. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    we use a password protected forum for communication, works fine. His approach is different from other courses, for example he started early with more electric guitar specific techniques like bending, later power chords but open chords didn´t occur until the end of the 12 weeks. The follow up course which I also booked covers stuff like open and barre chords and a lot more advanced techniques, but I haven´t started working on these yet as I am still struggling with some of the lessons of the first course.

    I don´t take real lessons but meet a young guitar player on a regular basis to check my technique. He´s playing in a metal band, but the main purpose is not getting instructions but to prevent me from developing bad habits. He also is a source for advice on gear and setups, very valuable for me as a beginner.
     
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  3. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    That sounds really good. It can be discouraging to only learn open chords targeted to acoustic campfire playing when what you really want is rock on your electric guitar. I remember I was so happy when I finally got to play power chords :D

    Having an experienced player for advice is perfect. You are on a good path. Keep on learning and enjoy!
     
  4. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG... Wilkommen!

    Plenty of great advice here already, and you are now one of us.

    The SG guitar is one of the world's best designs. It has been constantly
    in production since 1961. There are other classic guitar designs of course
    and they all have merit and they all have passionate players.

    But the SG still rocks. Epiphone guitars are a great place to start.
    Many of us play Epiphones, and we have a whole area of this forum
    devoted to the G-400 and its relatives in the Epiphone line.

    I will recommend something that has not been mentioned yet by
    our colleagues here. I will recommend that you find other players
    at the same skill level, or nearly the same, and get together to play
    music. Find some guys who like similar music with you, and who
    are also learning to play it.

    In my early years, I always learned more and faster when playing with
    other musicians. Of course there were NO resources available to me as
    a young teen, learning. It was too long ago. My parents would never
    consider paying for lessons for me. They wanted me to study my school
    work. So I learned by myself, and learned some crippling bad habits.

    It took me a long time to overcome the bad habits I taught myself in
    ignorance. But I was able to develop anyway, through sheer determination.
    I do not wish this on any new learner. Lessons are well worth the cost,
    as are replacement tuners (of lighter weight). Schaller makes high quality
    products, perhaps right there in Germany. Those are an excellent choice.

    For an SG, the weight is crucial. I have installed Gotoh tuners on my favorite
    Epiphone guitar, and they didn't cost so much and they work fine, and the
    weight is correct. SGs are light in weight, this is one of their virtues.
    So they are more sensitive to heavy tuners way out on the end of the neck.
    Caledonia 2016@100.jpg
    I do not know why Epiphone installs heavy Grover tuners on the G-400
    except that Grover tuners are made in China, like Epiphones. They used to
    have a very good reputation when they were made in USA. *shrugs
    But you have other good choices. Play what you have while you learn
    and soon you will make your own opinion.

    I also highly recommend that you get your guitar professionally set up.
    This is an expense, but in my humble opinion it will enhance your guitar
    experience, and so it is worth it. A well setup Epiphone is a more useful
    guitar than a poorly setup guitar that was much more expensive.

    Proper setup should include the following:

    •Check and straighten the neck.
    •Check the frets for level, correct if necessary (extra expense but worth it)
    •Check the nut slots for depth and correct angle. (this is expert work, very worth
    paying to make correct).
    •Set the bridge height for best action. (strings should be low enough for easy play
    but not so low as to clatter or buzz)
    •Set the intonation. (the string saddles on your guitar's bridge must be adjusted so
    that the guitar plays in tune all up and down the neck. This is a crucial step.)
    •Check all solder joints and make sure the guitar is properly grounded.

    Your guitar is equipped with many screws, so that most of these adjustments can be
    done by the player. But I recommend you pay a professional to do the first one,
    and then learn to keep it correct by studying videos on the internet. It is an
    expense, but I believe you will not regret it.

    I wish you good fortune in this... and much pleasure and artistic expression
    in your new journey. Now you must upload pictures...
     
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  5. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    Just discovered that I have a hardware problem with the pickup selector switch. Both outer or single humbucker select positions seem to work fine, but the middle position doesn‘t seem to work at all. It used to, though. Also when I toggle positions when connected to the amp I hear some kind of scratchy noise.

    What is wrong ? Can I fix this myself or do I need to take it to the guitar shop ?
     
  6. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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  7. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    Ok , this would be half the price I paid for the whole guitar, even before shipping the kit to Europe.... pots work fine, so I guess I better look for just the selector switch ?
     
  8. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    $100 USD for a wiring harness is ridiculous, and completely unnecessary.

    Get some electrical contact cleaning spray and give the underside of the switch a good shot of it, then work it back and forth a few times. It's an open switch, so you can see it working and spot any problems.
     
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  9. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    Hey welcome!

    On lessons yes justinguitar is great. He has a structured and free course.

    Blues guitar unleashed is also damn good.

    For you take the time to figure out a structured approach that includes scales and timing work open chords and eventually bar chords some strumming songs plus free open time where you just have fun.

    To me first year as a beginner 50 to 75 percent of time should be structured and targeted but everyone is different!

    Best luck!

    Oh yeah there are some pretty good books guitar manuals on the sg that cover maintenance and adjustments and setup very thoroughly.
     
  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Don't listen to that guy, for him if it's not Gibson or American, its garbage.

    Your pickup switch is a good one, just dirty. I have the same on my 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012(X2) Epiphone and they all work flawlessly. But it has to be maintained, like plankton mentionned. Buy a can of Deoxit and use it on the switch and pots. Best investment you'll make.

    I bet even Gibson toggles end up dirty and scratchy. Owners just don't talk about putting in a better switch, because there are none. They just clean it up and shut up about it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  11. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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  12. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    I' m agree, but Custom 920D wiring harness is inexpensive and good quality. If you can, DIY .

    Wjat is the price for a good set of humbuckers ?
     
  13. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    BLA BLA BLA BLA ..... LOL
     
  14. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    Thanks all for your advice on how to fix that d#*% switch, I´ll give it a go once I had the chance to visit my DIY store to get some deoxit.

    But coming back to this :
    Had a look at the website and I guess the beginner course would be the level I could handle. I checked Steve Stine`s "Play Blues Guitar for Life" but to me it seems like I simply haven´t mastered the prerequisites yet.

    Would that be the original Gibson SG manual ? Or is there a better one ?
     
  15. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Buy a SWITCHCRAFT Right angle :

    Temp 51.jpg
     
  16. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I think we're having some sort of language barrier issues. The harness you posted a link to is definitely not inexpensive. Decent pots are about $5 each, a switch $10 - 20 and caps are pocket change. Add in about a dollar of wire and solder. That's not even close to $100.
     
  17. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I really like Dan Erlewine's stuff, he has a book called How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play and Sound Great which I would highly recommend.
     
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  18. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Custom 920D wiring harness is inexpensive and good quality. Look at other brands with same components .

    If you can, DIY .
     
  19. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    Added this one to my shopping list, thanks ! WIll try to fix the current one before I order.

    Found it used / good condition on Amazon and ordered it straight away, thanks, too for the hint.

    Holidays are coming up, hopefully I will find time to work on my playing basic skills (guitar will be with me on holidays). Depending on results I will decide how to move on once I will be back. Maybe Blues Guitar for Beginners from Blues Guitar Unleashed.
     
  20. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    When I travrel I take my cool Gibson SG Special and my Peavey SKX-15R.
    The driver is upgraded with an Eminence Legend 875Sweet sla
     

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