First guitar - a G-400

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

  1. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    Great board a lots of useful information here ! Stumbled across this source of wisdom while looking for advice....

    I started learning to play the guitar only about 3 months ago at the age of 52 as part of a burnout recovery. Docs suggested to pick up a hobby which is not exhausting (I do a lot of sports like cycling and climbing), which keeps me away from the PC and keeps me busy. Never thought of learning an instrument before - I love blues and hard rock but when I was young I neither had the time nor could afford a guitar. Still a very long way to go until I can play real stuff.

    I got my first (and so far only) guitar from the son of a friend who quit, and it was almost brand new. It is an Epiphone G-400 Vintage Worn Brown (kind of fits as I am a bit vintage and worn myself), and I instantly loved the look and feel. After a while (and having had the chance to test several other guitars) I found some problems. Action needed to be lowered - sorted out at a local guitar shop. Neck dive, only partly sorted by switching from a nylon strap to a wide leather strap. Long neck feeling - found awesome help in an english board for positioning the guitar relatively to the body, now my SG feels much more balanced and "natural" for me. Looking forward to playing it every single day now. I am even taking the guitar with me on holidays and business trips...

    IMG_0432.JPG IMG_0433.JPG IMG_0434.JPG IMG_0435.JPG
     
  2. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the SG fraternity! You've got a great guitar there to get started with, and one that will still be great as you go.
     
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  3. iblive

    iblive Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Welcome on board. I’d been playing since mid 70s, but acoustic only. My first electric was a G400 I bought used in 09. Over a period of a couple years it was my test mule for learning such things as set up. Changing electronics. Etc. Ended up changing just about everything but the wood. But during that time I learned a lot and gained confidence on working on guitars. Since then I’ve picked up a couple other electrics, but I think the G400 may be my favorite of the stable.
     
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  4. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum!
    The G400 is an excellent first guitar but not limited to beginners, so you won't necessarily outgrow it and have a lot of fun with it. Picking up the guitar is a great idea and fascinating journey. I started 2.5 years ago and I am as excited as on the first day every time I pick my SG up. There is so much to learn and its very satisfactory to be able to play along your favorite tunes!

    If you still have problems with neck heaviness, you can consider changing the tuners to something more lightweight ("vintage key stone tuners", e.g. Grover 135N).

    By the way: Rocking out on your guitar can be as exhausting as a good workout, too. :)
     
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  5. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard! :smile:
     
  6. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

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    Welcome aboard! Good choice. Get well soon man!

    All the best!
     
  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Come on ... don't scare the new guy. LOL

    Welcome the the electric guitar world and your first is one of the great. From now on, you will judge every other guitar you play by this one, and none compare. Since you are unfamiliar with how a guitar is set-up, I'd suggest to find a good luthier to do it for you. Ask around for references to find the best one in your area. An independant one might be better. Once there, ask if you can stay and learn, they usually don't mind.
     
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  8. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Welcome.
     
  9. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    Just checked specs and price... they cost more than a third of what I payed for the guitar, and it looks like I would have to drill holes into the headpiece to fix them. Guess I better get used to the current state. After getting the broad leather strap it is not too bad anyway.

    BTW, do you all live in the US ? Most prices I see here are in $$. I am from Munich, Bavaria (Germany, but bavarians are a wee bit special... think about scots in the UK...)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
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  10. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    Sure...spending to much money on an inexpensive guitar doesn't make much sense. It depends on how much it bothers you. I 've spend over 100€ on Gotoh Stealth Tuners (the most leight weight ones on the market) and installed them on my 800€ guitar. For me it was worth it.
    If you can handle the neck heaviness in other ways all the better. It's also a lot about how you position and hold the guitar.

    People from USA are the majority here but there are members from all around the world. I am from Germany, too. From Düsseldorf (currently living in Dortmund). So I know how you Bavarians are a bit special ;) :cheers:
     
  11. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Those Grover tuners that come stock are on the heavy side. I have them on my '66 G400 Pro and it's a bit neck heavy, but not enough to bother me. You just get used to holding the guitar so it doesn't dive.

    If you do want to lighten things up you need something like these,

    https://www.thomann.de/intl/kluson_by_gotoh_m33vc_gitarrenmechanik.htm

    You can get decent ones for less money too, you don't really need to spend a lot on tuners. You will need to drill new holes to fix them to the back of the headstock, but just little ones. You'll also probably need conversion bushings as the posts are usually narrower than the Grovers.
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You don't need to pay that much for tuners.

    These are the ones I use: Musiclily 3R3L Vintage Guitar Tuners
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...c1a-2e5648720527&pf_rd_r=0R4ABYXHB062AHPGMPXE

    Along with those: Dopro Metal Nickel 10mm Guitar Tuners Conversion Bushings
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...c1a-2e5648720527&pf_rd_r=0R4ABYXHB062AHPGMPXE

    This is what it looks like on my G400

    Kluson tulip tuners front.jpg
    Kluson tulip tuners back.jpg
     
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  13. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    @DrBGood - thanks mate ! Just checked, the conversion bushings won`t find their way to Europe. A lot of Epiphone players seem to replace their Grovers with these over here : https://www.thomann.de/de/schaller_st6kn_mechanik.htm . Got to find a weight comparison somewhere before I order them, and I still would have to drill new holes for the small screws.
     
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  14. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You almost always have to drill new holes when you switch tuners. No biggie.
     
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  15. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    Welcome. It's a great time to start playing. YouTube has lessons on anything you want to learn. It was harder in the late 1970s.
     
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  16. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    I am taking video lessons - prefer this to YT because I can download and watch them offline. My lessons come with jam tracks, guitar pro files and PDF handouts to print. Additionally I check stuff on YT but rarely find stuff which is more useful than my lessons. Guess I got to reach a certain level before I can make full use of YT stuff. I still have to learn a lot, but it doesn´t matter because I enjoy every minute I can spend playing my guitar. Even playing scales as warm ups.
     
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  17. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    What video lessons do you use?

    I started with www.justinguitar.com and completed the Beginner and Intermediate Modules (bought the books and DVDs). I recommend this to anybody. Really well thought-out lessons with very good instructions and practice schedules.
    Now after learning the foundations with Justin I use other video courses that are more style specific. I don't like subscription-based services so I look for sites where you can purchase and download the lessons once. I am currently doing some blues lessons from www.martymusic.com. Not as in-depth and well-structured like Justin's lessons but still useful and fun. www.truefire.com also offers a whole lot of courses (mostly targeted at advanced players) that I will try out at some point. Not sure if you can download the videos though.

    In addition to the lessons I always try to learn some songs via Youtube or Songbooks as that's what keeps me motivated.
     
  18. PeterS

    PeterS New Member

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    @Worblehat - I´ve been doing a 12 week course by Maestro Ernesto, german videos. I quite like the style, but it is a kind of different approach than Justinguitar or other courses I checked out before. I am still working on the lessons, as I expected from the beginning. Started from scratch with no music experience beforehand. I got a blues DVD course from Steve Stine (guitarzoom) waiting for me on the book shelf, but I still got to sort out the basics before I can start. So much stuff to practise, so little time... recently I´ve seen an interesting book calle "Blues you can use", maybe I will check this out, too.
     
  19. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Truefire is what I've used a lot, they do have lots of great stuff for advanced and intermediate players, but also plenty of great beginner courses. You can download and play everything offline using their own free software. I would definitely recommend them.

    I started another thread awhile back where members shared their favourite online and Youtube lessons, might be worth a look too.
     
  20. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    Sounds better than the crap I did in the early 70s. I took lessons on a crappy acoustic when I was 8. He used Mel Bay Book 1. After learning Over the Meadow and Down the Lane, I quit until I was 14. I bought an electric and immediately learned chords from a super hot teacher. She got my attention in more than one way. After a year, I switched to a guy that was a prof musician. He thought me theory.

    Man I love the internet! It's easier/cheaper.
     

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