The alternative to a pricey top line guitar is an entry level guitar. Modern technology allows guitar manufacturers to produce an excellent well crafted and affordable guitar for about 50% less than it took 15 years ago. Technology is a great thing for guitar players. Realistically speaking technology won’t replace the craftsmanship of hand built custom shop guitars, although you can buy quality replicas of custom guitars in Brands that produce entry level and affordable instruments that look the same and sound unbelievable.

Fender Guitar Company makes the Squire Line of affordable guitars for beginners, especially for folks that can’t fit an American Strat into their budget and Gibson makes the Epiphone Line for people that can’t afford a real Les Paul model. These are hi-quality guitars have great hardware and electrics (no electrics in an acoustic guitar) built in to it and won’t disappoint you. Lots of great players buy Epiphone Les Paul Guitars because they fit into their budget. Other major guitar makers also produce different versions of affordable guitars and beginner/starter guitar packages.

To begin with, a virgin guitar player (or the person giving the gift) may want to consider one of the Guitar Packages to start with. Guitar Packages/Starter Kits have everything you need to start playing in one package. What is so cool about this? You get a guitar, an amplifier (if it is an electric guitar), a gig bag, guitar strap, electric tuner, picks, and an instructional DVD and chord book. Don’t put it off, buy now and get started on your rock star career. I don’t know how these packages get sold for such a small amount of money, but I know their are many choices available, so take some time and look at the major online stores before you choose, the competition is really stiff this year and the deals are “Lights Out” good.

Note: Danny, tell the people that gift certificates are a great way to give the gift of music while letting the recipient choose what they want. The article on 11/20/2007 suggests looking at the cool guitar pictures and find something that meets the eye.

The next level up would be The Squire Guitars by Fender. The Squire line is less expensive than the Fender Guitar line. Giving you the looks and feel of the real thing at low down prices. The line is expansive and the sound and playability won’t be noticed from a more costly Fender Guitar by the masses of young players. I purchased one from The Rock Shop in Fort Pierce Fl. (772 429 8880) to see what buzz was about and became a believer immediately. It’s not my main guitar, but it has a sound quality and feel that outperforms most more expensive guitars.

Check the Epiphone Line of Gibson Guitars. Now your talking saving a ton of doe with an almost unnoticeable difference in sound and feel. Lots of professional players can’t afford a real “Less Paul”, make by Gibson, so they get an Epiphone “Les Paul” for a lot less and can still fool most people into thinking it’s the real deal. Compare prices on a Gibson Les Paul and an Epiphone Les Paul.

Some of the hottest package deals we took notice of at Guitar Players Center is an Ibanez Jampack IJAE5 and Squire Affinity Strat HSS with Bullet 150 DSP Amp. These are two excellent examples out of many. Look thru Musicians Friend and The Guitar Center For more “Lights Out” sales. It’s that time of year.

This is a fun time of year and spending time looking at pictures and reading reviews is addictive. But it’s both safe and legal! Good Luck with your explorations.

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