Once people find out that I’m a guitar player in a live band they will often start asking questions about how to get started playing guitar themselves. I usually tell them “You just gotta want it!” and then of course the practical questions start such as “What kind of guitar should I buy?”. I get a lot of people asking me what kind of guitar they should buy for their kids to learn on as well. I often have people tell me they already play acoustic guitar but want to get into playing electric guitar. My opinion is you just need to fork out the money and buy a really good instrument. I always recommend the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster since it’s the guitar I use and you will have an excellent instrument that you can grow into. The problem is, most people don’t want to shell out that kind of money when they’re just starting out. So today I’m going to recommend a beginner package that will give you an excellent start into the wonderful world of electric guitar playing. I highly recommend the Fender Affinity Strat HSS with G-DEC Junior Amp package. Let me tell you why.
First of all let’s discuss the guitar that comes in this package. It’s a Squire Affinity Strat which is designed and authorized by Fender. The Squier line is made in Indonesia and it’s decently put together. The Affinity Strat is built very much like a vintage Fender American Stratocaster. It has the body contouring and the classic 6-point tremelo system you would find on the vintage Stratocaster series. The reason I like this particular Affinity Strat in a beginner package is because of the humbucking pickup in the bridge position. The designation HSS means it has a Humbucker-Single Coil-Single Coil pickup configuration. I like having a humbucker on the cheaper guitars simply because the cheaper guitars use cheaper pickups and the single coil pickups have a tendency to create a lot of undesirable hum. The humbucker will give you a good hum resistant pickup that will help when you begin using distortion and playing power chords on your guitar. The 5-way switching will give you a lot of tonal variety by providing some good pickup combinations. The thing you have to remember about this guitar is you get what you pay for. For the money, it’s a very decent guitar and it’s better than any other beginner Strat. It will have some rough edges and it will be hard to use the tremelo and keep the guitar in tune. For a beginner though, it’s an excellent starter guitar that you can also practice your guitar setup skills on. It would be a good idea to have a copy of the Guitar Player Repair Guide on hand so you can practice setting up your electric guitar.
The second reason I recommend this beginner package is the excellent G-DEC Junior amplifier that comes with it. This is an extremely capable amp and the G-DEC Junior is the main reason this package costs slightly more than the other Strat packs. There are several features on the G-DEC amp that put it heads and shoulders above the amps that come in the other starter packs. The Fender G-DEC amplifiers are digital modeling amps that have the ability to replicate other famous amplifiers. Now this little amp may not do perfect imitations of the big amps but it will give you a lot of tonal variety. This really helps a beginning guitarist because it gets very boring listening to one amp sound all the time when you’re learning. Having 16 different amp types with 15 special effect presets will make practicing that E-Chord a lot more interesting. You’ll want to play a lot longer just to see how what you’re learning will sound with different amp and effect settings. The G-DEC also has 15 drum and bass accompaniment loops that you can play along with. All these features will motivate you to practice and practice is what will make you a real guitar player. The G-DEC Amp also has a headphone jack so you can practice without bothering the neighbors as well as being able to hear how nice the effects will sound recorded. It has a 1/8″ input jack so you can connect your iPod and practice along with your favorite songs. Another great feature of the G-DEC amp is it’s ability to upload and download files through MIDI to your computer. This also allows the software of the amplifier to be upgraded at a future time as well.
The pack also comes with a guitar cable, guitar strap, guitar picks and a gig bag for your guitar. So remember, the main reasons I recommend this package are the humbucker equipped Stratocaster and the very capable G-DEC Junior amplifier. Another thing to remember is to buy from a seller that will allow you to return it if there is a problem with the guitar. Musician’s Friend is excellent for exchanges and they are committed to you being a satisfied customer. Pick up your Strat pack today and you’ll be on your way to becoming a real guitar player!