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Thread: Looking for a Blues guitar

  1. #1
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    Looking for a Blues guitar

    Hey, i've been playing instruments all my life and about a year ago i decided to start playing the guitar. I bought a 25th Aniv. B.C. Rich "Bich is Back" and started from the basics of theory and worked my way up to a few songs and a lot of licks i picked up listening to B.B. and Clapton. I feel that i've learned enough where im ready to buy an intermediate Blues guitar, i have been doing some research but i'm having difficulty finding a list of decent guitars for this style. Im looking to spend between $300 and $600ish (right now im looking at a hagstrom viking, and a few semi accoustics) I would love to hear what some of you guys would look at in my situation

  2. #2
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    The mods close gear threads. (For good reason, really, so don't be upset if they nuke this when they see it. It won't be personal on their part. There are a lot of boards dedicated to gear talk.)

    Having said that, there is no such beast as a "Blues guitar." There are 4 different solid-body electric guitars and 2 different amps. 1) Heavy body with double-coil pickups, 2) Light body with single-coil, 3) Light body with double-coil, and 4) heavy body with single-coil. The amps are tube or transistor. There are thousands of brands and models of each, and a million or more bulletin board threads dedicated to vehemently espousing favorites. Play what your hero plays and you can't go wrong.
    "If a child learns which is jay and which is sparrow, he'll no longer see birds nor hear them sing."

  3. #3
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Yes - while this thread lasts - there is no such thing as a "blues guitar". B B King plays a 335 (with blocked off f-holes); Clapton plays a Strat - and used to play a Les Paul with John Mayall, then a 335 with Cream.
    Buddy Guy plays a Strat, but has played a Guild semi-acoustic in the past.
    SRV played a Strat.

    Guitars with humbuckers (335, Les Paul, the viking you're looking at) are more powerful with a warmer tone, they sustain and distort more easily.
    Single coil guitars (Strats) have a more biting, thinner tone - some say more character in the sound than humbuckers.

    As we say, you can play good blues (or bad blues!) on any of them.

  4. #4
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    Well a great deal depends on the pickups, & of course the amp. But - funny enough, a lot of tasteful blues players actually like Tele's too (despite their characteristic biting single coil bridge tone) ... I actually like Tele's for blues myself (in fact I like Tele’s for anything).

    Really it all depends what you call “Blues“, and what you really want to sound like, but ... I suspect this may be a true case of GAS LoL ... in which case - definitely save your money ... practice more instead!

    Ian.

  5. #5
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossroads
    Well a great deal depends on the pickups, & of course the amp. But - funny enough, a lot of tasteful blues players actually like Tele's too (despite their characteristic biting single coil bridge tone) ... I actually like Tele's for blues myself (in fact I like Tele’s for anything).
    I use a Tele myself, tho maybe it's cheating because it's a Custom, with a humbucker at the neck (although I've split the coils to give me single coil options).
    My other favourite guitar is an Epiphone Casino with P90s - single coil and FUNKY...
    I've never really liked humbuckers...

    Oops, gear banter alert! This is really going to annoy the mods now....

  6. #6
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    OK, well risking the wrath of the mods ... over the years I've picked up several Tele's, but mine are all standard single coil models ... though I find I can get a nice deeper blues sound on the neck pup just by rolling the tone off a bit.

    Still I do like that very piercing bridge tone anyway, eg Roy Buchanan. But then again ... I also like the Tele sounds on all that early stuff from Clapton, Beck and Steve Cropper, not mention Muddy et al.

    As I recall - lot's of punk bands used to like Tele's too (not quite punk, but that also reminds me of Wilko Johnson on the early Feelgood stuff).

    But, having said all that, most days I use a typical pointy Charvel or Ibanez ... just because they work great on wide range of stuff.

    Ian.
    Last edited by Crossroads; 12-09-2008 at 08:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Registered User Madaxeman's Avatar
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    One thing to point out, the sound that is often associated with "The Blues" is a clean, mellow tone, usually with a lot of reverb. Just a little bit of distortion in the form of a Tube Screamer or similar.
    You can get that sound with just about any guitar and amp...just run it clean.
    To steer this toward "less gear-more theory" talk, the scale/chord progressions influence this type of style much more than a guitar will. Exotic scales and chords don't apply here in most cases.
    Reach down, remember the day your girl left you, dig into a minor pentatonic scale, and get to it. Blues=less is more

  8. #8
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madaxeman
    Blues=less is more
    I couldn't agree more! I use a very eclectic mix of Instruments which includes Tele's, Strat's, A Les Paul and a G&L. Each has their own character but it has far more to do with the 'What you play' than the 'What you play it on' arguement!

  9. #9
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madaxeman
    Blues=less is more
    Yeah, my favourite bluesman: Blind Mississippi Les Ismore.

    Much better than that shredding rock hero Phil Allgaps...

  10. #10
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR
    Yeah, my favourite bluesman: Blind Mississippi Les Ismore.

    Much better than that shredding rock hero Phil Allgaps...
    Hahahaha!!
    Nice one Jon!
    I may use one of those as my new Stage name!!!

  11. #11
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattblack850
    Hahahaha!!
    Nice one Jon!
    I may use one of those as my new Stage name!!!
    Phill Allgaps is one of a whole series of old joke jazz names:
    http://www.nabble.com/Fwd:-BIG-BAND-...d15787535.html

    Mostly pretty strained and painful puns, but the guitarists are quite good (you can tell these are from old jazz guys who hate rock music ):

    Ron Kords
    Rex Yurears
    Ian Gee (E and G, get it?)
    Rudy Mentry
    Kent Reed
    Segovia Carpet (more to do with drinking habits than playing, this one)

    ...and I like the drummer, Owen Transport.

  12. #12
    Registered User Madaxeman's Avatar
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    I suppose this will continue for awhile, sooooo
    Won Ki (adding international flair and confusion to the scene)
    Juan Maninote
    Flatina Maninote (Juan's sister)

    Ivana Plae Buccante
    Last edited by Madaxeman; 12-11-2008 at 05:08 PM.

  13. #13
    Modally Challenged!!!! mattblack850's Avatar
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    How about:-

    Alex Icon Ovkords
    Ivor Brokestring/Brokestick
    Howdy Playdat
    and
    Gerry 'Hatrick' Jazzman


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