Need help finding a "cool" guitar

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Calvin Lee 2, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    Hi, everyone! I recently started giving guitar lessons to my brother's wife's nephew. He has some learning disabilities that make it really hard for him to pay attention or do well in school, but he has a very good ear, and is doing shockingly well with guitar. I think he could grow up to be a great guitarist if given the opportunity, but the guitar he has now is really crappy. (It's a cheap dean vendetta with almost completely broken electronics.) His grandmother wants to get him a better guitar, and it's my job to pick one out for him. But I really want to pick something "cool" so he's more likely to stick with it.

    Here's what I know:

    -he's 13
    -he owns a silver dean vendetta
    -it doesn't look "cool" to him
    -he thought the tortoise shell pickguard on one of my teles did look "cool"
    - guitars with graphics on them are "cool"
    -he is into rock and metal
    -the band Five Finger Death Punch is "cool"
    -his grandmother does not have a huge budget; probably Squier/Epiphone territory when it comes to price. Maybe slightly higher.

    I know that's not a huge amount of information to go on, but is there anybody with any suggestions for guitars that are nice quality, not too pricey, and would look "cool" to a 13-year-old like the one described above? Any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated. I really want to pick a guitar he'll love, because if he sticks with it, he'll finally have something he is good at and proud of, despite his difficulties with school and learning, having anger issues, etcetera. This could be a great outlet for a fairly troubled kid, so I want to pick something he'll be excited to play.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
  3. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    norcal
    Screenshot_2019-01-30-12-01-30-1.png Ibanez RG or S model. Something like this, versatile and cool with young folks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  4. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Gretschie

    188
    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    Gretsch streamliner series of course! The new models have tortoise pick guards, cool colors, and those Broad’Tron pickups can really shred.

    Proof of that in the included link. You can get them in a variety of sizes including jr models. All for around 500 bucks! (Or 37.50 a month from ams). I got one of these on a deal I couldn’t pass up and it bacame my main guitar. I have two pro models that sit in the case most of the time. I liked it so much I bought another.
     
  5. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    Find out what he thinks looks cool if you have to spend an hour looking at everything you can think of on line. If he doesn’t think the Dean does then he may feel the same about that Ibanez and Doc’s G&L which is at a real good price. If he does like the G&L, I’m happy to PayPal Doc the other half of the shipping plus $50. That gets you to $200.
     
    Henry, section2 and dak55 like this.
  6. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    I don't think that he would find it cool, but I certainly do! I wish I was shopping for myself, because that is an excellent guitar at an excellent price. I really appreciate you offering to split the shipping as well. I'm definitely not going to go with a typical strat style guitar (although I wish he thought strats were cool; that would be a phenomenal guitar to learn on) but you are an awesome dude (as always) for trying to help me out; because ultimately, it's for the kid, and trying to give him a happier life. But, even though it kills me, I'll have to pass on the strat. I've gotta think about what he would want to play, not what I want to play. Still, thanks drmilktruck!
     
  7. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    I think he would maybe be into this one, at least visually, but I'd rather not get him anything with a Floyd. He has a great ear, and is even writing simple riffs already (after literally one lesson in his entire life) but he's still learning how to tune his guitar, and has no idea how to change strings yet. So I feel like getting him a guitar with a Floyd would add some unnecessary difficulty and frustration, and he already has issues with getting frustrated and angry very easily. But I know Ibanez makes some hardtail RGs, which I will definitely consider for him; especially if I can find one with a flashy, unique paint job.

    Thanks, Wildeman!
     
    wildeman likes this.
  8. dak55

    dak55 Synchromatic

    861
    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
    I'm with wildeman on the Ibanez wicked ass shredder look for a 13 year old. Good chance there are some half decent off brand guitars with the look. The electronics just need to work at this stage not be performance ready.
     
  9. dak55

    dak55 Synchromatic

    861
    May 31, 2018
    Mills River NC
    And if that was a Tele it'd already be gone.
     
  10. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    I absolutely love these, but I think a hollowbody would be a bad idea. He has ADHD, borderline personality disorder, and some really heavy anger issues. Because of that, he sometimes gets so frustrated that he will punch/throw/break things. I don't think he would want to do that with his guitar, because he's very excited about learning to play. but he can't always control his anger, so I would rather get him a solid body just to be safe. It was a great suggestion though!
     
    Lockupyourfatdog likes this.
  11. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Danelectro’s are cool. And reasonably priced.
     
    mrfixitmi, Henry and dak55 like this.
  12. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    See, this is why Gretsch-talk is the nicest place on the internet. Dafreeze, you are a great person. offering to pay shipping, plus a 5th of the guitar's price just to help a troubled kid you don't even know? That's so cool of you, man. You can't find better people anywhere on the internet, that's for sure. You rock, dafreeze!
     
    new6659 and dak55 like this.
  13. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    I'm definitely leaning in that direction at the moment, especially if I can find one with a flashy enough finish. (Although I could always refin a more plain RG and, since I'm a painter as well, add some kind of cool graphic for him.)
     
  14. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Take him to a big guitar store and spend a couple hours just looking at guitars, let him pick his own cool....
     
  15. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    Great suggestion! I have a few dano's, but I only know of two models that would fit his tastes visually; the'67 heaven hawk with that cool alligator skin paint job, and that one really pointy (and ugly IMO) one from a few years ago. Also, Dano pickups just don't work very well for the kind of music he wants to play (Hard rock and metal).

    Almost everyone is suggesting guitars that I love, lol. Ive gotta think about what's going to make the kid happy though, not me.
     
  16. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Toronto
    I think your best bet is to sit down with him and ask what kind of guitars he likes. Maybe look at some pics or videos of his favourite bands with him, and get his thoughts. If you're planning a surprise and you need to be subtle, you could just ask hypothetically, "what's your dream guitar?" If he doesn't know it by model name, chances are he'll be able to tell you something like, "the guitar that [insert favourite player here] plays."
     
  17. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    That's what I want to do, but the new guitar is supposed to be a surprise (I think for his birthday) from his grandmother, so I can't just ask him what he wants without ruining the surprise. That's why I reached out to you wonderful people for suggestions.
     
    radd likes this.
  18. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    Not at all Calvin, the Dr. started it plus you touched a nerve, but thank you for the kind words. It’s my pleasure.

    Food for thought though, if this very young man was to swing a guitar at something or Heaven forbid someone, a semi would do a lot less damage than a solid.

    I’m no Doctor and this is no advice but I have a pair of nephews with attention disorders (I’ve got them each a guitar) and their parents and Dr.s got them on a particular perscripion and the boys grades went up markedly. They don’t take them during the summers or long school breaks but they have no anger issues whatsoever.
     
  19. Calvin Lee 2

    Calvin Lee 2 Electromatic

    79
    Oct 9, 2017
    New York
    That's a good idea; having him show me bands he likes is a great excuse to ask him which guitars he likes without ruining the surprise. Hopefully he likes something cheaper, or at least something with a budget version. Thanks, man!
     
    section2 likes this.
  20. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    One more thing if I may. Not knowing more than you’ve shared, taking him to a guitar store could be problematic.

    With his grandmothers budget on the low end that could mean just about every new guitar there is going to be out of reach except for the quality of guitar he already has.

    And I’m sure you know you can really stretch the dollars by buying used. Once you determine the body type that trips his trigger, there’s reverb, eBay, Craigslist and the forum folks.
     
    section2 likes this.
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