I don' t really play the guitar but I enjoy picking up a guitar and noodling around with it. I am 47 and played in the early 90's but never really spent the time I needed to get good at it. Fast forward to today and the story shifts to my son.
My son started playing just over two years ago and was playing an Epiphone SG as his first guitar. His guitar teacher's first instrument was the piano and is a very good by the book teacher. My son liked it but was never passionate about the guitar. It was a very clinical approach to the guitar. Let's start on page one, then page two, then page three... You get the picture. Little nonsense songs from Mel Bay.
We moved him to a new teacher this fall who is not a by the book guy and very much is into asking my son what he is into. After his second lesson this fall I walked in on my son practicing to see and hear him play a fairly pronounced neck bend. I told my son to relax on the neck bend and he said to me " Kevin (his new instructor) says people baby their guitars too much. There's a metal rod in there you know". I had a hard time not laughing and knew right there my son was taking lessons from the right guy. He has really gotten into the guitar and in the first four weeks was playing the main riffs to Beat It, Moves Like Jaeger and is was playing most of Sweet Home Alabama. He's now working on Van Halen Tattoo. I asked my son after about four weeks why he never plays to the metronome anymore. Should have guessed the answer before he gave it. "Kevin says you need to feel the rhythm and feel the notes; the guitar is an instrument you feel dad.". Yep taking lessons from the right guy.
Now to the guitar. He turned 12 in March and we let him pick out a new guitar for his birthday at the music store. He picked out a new Gibson Les Paul Standard. It is an Ebony (black) one that was made in 2007. He researched a fair amount and didn't want a 2010 model because it didn't have the 50's neck. "That's how a Les Paul is supposed to be dad." He made a great choice and it is a beautiful guitar that plays beautifully. He never puts it down and some days will play for 2 to 3 hours in a row. My wife and I talked about the price and it came down to two things. We wanted him to fall in love with the instrument if we expected him to spend time with it. Also, we know lots of people that pay similar money for a piano that their kid needs to sit in the living room to play; can't take it with you to play it. He can take his Les Paul with him to play wherever he wants to play and he will have this guitar for life. We wanted to stay away from the trade in game in which you lose money on every single transaction.
The only smile that is as big as the one when he played his Gibson Les Paul Standard for the first time in the store ( first thing he played was a BB King lick... You need to feel the guitar dad) is the one on my face ever time I hear him play. Everyone has a different story; this is my son's. This is the story of my son and his first Gibson.
fjnmusic. Wow is that your setup? That is unbelievable. We actually got I
Him a Vox modeling Amp that has 99 presets of famous sounds/ songs so hopefully the stomp boxes are a little bit away. He is talking about a Vox AC 30CC2 amp with the Blue ANiCo speakers. Kids have so much info available. I love the fact he likes the clean/ bluesy sounds most. Cruch and distortion have their place but you hear so much more in the cleaner tones.
Its wonderful to see your kids with a passion for something. When you do see it, it does pay to get good equipment.
1. My passion was skiing. I skied hard. In grade 9 I broke two pairs of wood skis ( yup this is way back) . I talked my parents into a pair of Head 360's at the beginning of grade 10. I have those skis to this day. they have given me a lifetime of enjoyment.
2. My son started playing my acoustic guitar and within a couple of weeks he was playing things and learning things that I hadn'd picked up in decades of playing. for his birthday we got him an Ibinez solid body and an amp. He still has it plus his other guitars. It is not what he does for a living, but it iis a constant source of joy to him.
The other side is when a kid shows interest and the parents pick up equipment that dooms them to failure. I see this time and again, especially with guitars. They buy one that has a really high action and the fret board is off and they wonder why the kid makes noise for a week or two and then quits.
That setup is not mine, but rather a pic I pulled from a friend's FB page. Myself, I have about ten pedals or so, including three different OD/distortions, and a 5 setting DD-20 for delays, as well as a few multi-boxes and a new rackmount MPX-1. Great fun.
I am a human being; not a tool for advertisers.
Keep a copy of the paperwork with the guitar; US customs can get weird about endangered wood and Gibson guitars have been targeted by over-zealous customs agents. I seem to remember 2008 as being the cutover year.