Buying 1st Electric Guitar for Granddaughter- Advice Please?

Chief101

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 14, 2012
1,188
Kentucky
No doubt this will be an heirloom for your granddaughter in the years to come. I don’t think it’s necessary for her to shop for this guitar herself. She will love it no matter what. It’s a gift “from” you.

Assuming she’s learning to love guitar like you do, make this guitar gift from you to her something that stands the test of time. I really like the idea of the DuoSonic. True Fender, will last generations with care, small piece of musical history, can be handed down to her kids down the road. Your great grandkids will know you through this gift. A little romantic and nostalgic, but true.
 

radd

Strat-O-Master
Jun 2, 2016
981
Santa Cruz
@Jawbone nailed it

Ya really can’t buy a guitar for someone, they need to select it. Spend a day going to different shops, let her try them all. I bet she will remember a shopping trip like that long after the guitar she gets is gone.

I ran into this issue teaching motorcycling, the husband always wanted to pick a bike for the wife. The woman was always much happier when she got to decide what her first bike would be.
 
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arcticstrat

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 6, 2016
1,552
USA
IMHO mustangs are just too limited sonically. (I have one and love it, but no way could it be my main guitar.)

Not surprising, given the venue, I'd get her a strat: versatile, easily modded, tough, been seen in the hands of so many wonderful players she'll come to admire.

So get the best strat you can afford. If she has a little aggro in her makeup (some girls do, and good for them), get her one with a humbucker bridge.

The scale length thing, I think, is overrated in a decision such as this. Young fingers can stretch (and will grow) like the very dickens.
:thumb:
 
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arcticstrat

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 6, 2016
1,552
USA
2 years of playing and she stuck with it?... She's ready for a good guitar. :)

If you can't afford a new MIM Strat, a decent used one that's not beat up is the way to go. It will carry her into adulthood and be cherished forever (you will always be tied to that guitar), and even if she moves on to something different/better depending on where her musical tastes take her, a basic strat will always be viable. It will be a keeper! ;)

Good luck! :thumb:
 

Loner71

Strat-Talker
May 10, 2019
214
on the move
I agree with all who advise to take her with you to find the right guitar. It will choose her :)

I just hope for your sake it isnt one hanging in the vintage room.

I think maybe the harry potter guy here might be right, take her on a guitar quest and let them choose each other. :thumb:
Rock on young one!
 

Silvercrow

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 6, 2014
3,184
Bucks County, Pa.
@DaveTone ; @Loner71

I would LOVE, LOVE to take her on the quest in person. But, as I previously mentioned; she lives 895 miles away; I have no vacation left until after her birthday, which is in 3 weeks. So, I can't take her.

I could wait, but Mom said she could get one, and there is no one locally that knows enough about guitars to stand in in my place.

Truly breaks my heart but I can't go with her.

Brian
 

JayFreddy

Strat-O-Master
Sep 10, 2010
619
Dallas TX
Mom's been doing a little looking- says the kiddo likes this one. NEVER KNEW these existed- any good?

https://reverb.com/item/22898110-epiphone-s-310-electric-guitar-1994

Brian
I've played a couple. They were ok. Not in the same league as a MIM, but better than a Bullet Squier.

If she has been playing for two years and has stuck with it, she really is ready for a good guitar.

The Classic Vibe 60s Strat is a good guitar. I prefer them to the Mexi Standards.

I do not think you need to take her shopping with you.

Get her a good used Strat and get it from a shop that can put a good set up on it. I'd suggest 9s, not 8s.

Have them deck the trem at first, but explain to your grand daughter that you will "float it" for her when you come visit.

She's a girl so she probably has a color preference too... Lol

But you could go Olympic White and tell her how gel spots work, so that when she's on stage, the guitar will be whatever color is in the spot light.

A white Strat like Jimi (and Wayne's World) is a classic look that will never grow old.

I think your instincts are good. But you might need to increase your budget a little bit to make sure it's done right.

Do you have a guitar shop near you that could do the set up and ship it to her?

If you're shipping out of state they may be able to save you the sales taxes so you can apply that towards the shipping and set up.

Being able to play it yourself first to confirm that it plays well and sounds good would be worth a lot to me.
 

sgarnett

Senior Stratmaster
May 19, 2019
1,484
Versailles, KY
Used PRS SE guitars are quite good.
The SE guitars suffer from some MIK stigma, and resale value is poor, but they are well-made and the factory setup is generally excellent. The only criticism I have is that the pickups tend to be more overwound than I’d prefer. Lowering the pickups and raising the poles will help.

There are both 22 and 24 fret necks in the line, along with short (24 3/4), medium (25), and long scales. I’d stick with 22, and 24 3/4 or 25.

The early Santana models were sort of strat-like but with a short scale and set neck (and HH of course).

The more recent Santana models have more of a Les Paul Junior vibe (but still keep the trem).

I have a singlecut trem, which is sort of like a Strat/Paul hybrid. The trem itself is sort of a hybrid too: 6 screws like a vintage, but floating off the body like a 2 pt. It’s a very nice design.

Mine goes unplayed only because (like a Les Paul) the hard edge aggravates a nerve issue in my forearm.
 

Silvercrow

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 6, 2014
3,184
Bucks County, Pa.
I've played a couple. They were ok. Not in the same league as a MIM, but better than a Bullet Squier.

If she has been playing for two years and has stuck with it, she really is ready for a good guitar.

The Classic Vibe 60s Strat is a good guitar. I prefer them to the Mexi Standards.

I do not think you need to take her shopping with you.

Get her a good used Strat and get it from a shop that can put a good set up on it. I'd suggest 9s, not 8s.

Have them deck the trem at first, but explain to your grand daughter that you will "float it" for her when you come visit.

She's a girl so she probably has a color preference too... Lol

But you could go Olympic White and tell her how gel spots work, so that when she's on stage, the guitar will be whatever color is in the spot light.

A white Strat like Jimi (and Wayne's World) is a classic look that will never grow old.

I think your instincts are good. But you might need to increase your budget a little bit to make sure it's done right.

Do you have a guitar shop near you that could do the set up and ship it to her?

If you're shipping out of state they may be able to save you the sales taxes so you can apply that towards the shipping and set up.

Being able to play it yourself first to confirm that it plays well and sounds good would be worth a lot to me.

THANK YOU! Sometimes (maybe more than some times) the obvious escapes me! TONS of music stores in the area I can try out. I've gotten REALLY good at doing setups, but as you point out, if I can get a decent set up done on it and they ship to maybe a sister store near where she lives...could be a win-win!

Brian
 

Silvercrow

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 6, 2014
3,184
Bucks County, Pa.
Man, who knew I'd get this confused relative to Fender's "levels" or hierarchy of entry level instruments?

Can someone sort this for me please?

Squier: Bullet; Standard, Affinity; Classic Vibe ??

I thought Gibson was bad with their models...and levels...

Thanks for insights. I just need or want to know whch are considered low to high levels on the Squier series. Oh, and yeah, lets not forget the Japanese Squiers from the 80s....o_O

Brian
 

JayFreddy

Strat-O-Master
Sep 10, 2010
619
Dallas TX
THANK YOU! Sometimes (maybe more than some times) the obvious escapes me! TONS of music stores in the area I can try out. I've gotten REALLY good at doing setups, but as you point out, if I can get a decent set up done on it and they ship to maybe a sister store near where she lives...could be a win-win!

Brian

If they have sister stores in both areas, you will still have to pay sales tax. Not necessarily a show stopper, but you shouldn't limit yourself to those stores either.

I have a 2005 MIM Standard in Olympic White that is a fantastic guitar. Something like that or the CV Squier is what I would be looking for.

Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!
 

JayFreddy

Strat-O-Master
Sep 10, 2010
619
Dallas TX
Man, who knew I'd get this confused relative to Fender's "levels" or hierarchy of entry level instruments?

Can someone sort this for me please?

Squier: Bullet; Standard, Affinity; Classic Vibe ??

I thought Gibson was bad with their models...and levels...

Thanks for insights. I just need or want to know whch are considered low to high levels on the Squier series. Oh, and yeah, lets not forget the Japanese Squiers from the 80s....o_O

Brian
Bullet, Affinity, Standard, Vintage Vibe, Classic Vibe, in that order.

The Japanese Squiers from the 80's were good at the time, but the electronics were never that good.

Just go play some. When you find the one that calls to YOU... You'll know.

You're her grandfather, after all!
 


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