Beginner: 5220 or 2622T?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by rob 4088, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. rob 4088

    rob 4088 Electromatic

    Jan 17, 2021
    London, UK
    Apologies for the duplicate post. I just joined today and posted the below on an existing thread in the Streamliner Forum and was advised to create my own thread here

    Hi everyone,
    I'm a complete beginner at guitar, having taken it up a few weeks ago in my mid-50s.
    I have set myself an objective of learning to play 4 songs to an acceptable (i.e recognisable!) standard and I will treat myself to an electric guitar and amp. It will definitely be a Gretsch and my budget will permit me to buy either the Electromatic G5220 in Dark Metallic Cherry or the Streamliner G2622T in Riviera Blue (both are similar priced in the UK at around £400) and I've spent many enjoyable hours drooling over the Gretsch website and various YouTube reviews of both.
    My question is - as a complete novice which would you go for in terms of playability?
    I love the 5220 and it gets rave reviews about value-for-money. I know its components are arguably superior to the 2622T (being a series up) but a semi-acoustic with a Bigsby is what Gretsch is all about to me. If I get to such a high standard (unlikely!) that the 2622 frustrates me I will either modify it or trade up. But I am wondering if you guys think I'd progress more quickly with the 5220 due to it being solid body and hardtail and can up grade to a centre block with Bigsby once I'm more competent?
    I know I'm too old to ever be any good but am hoping to become a competent strummer and to have a few sing-songs with friends and family. Right now, I'm cursing at my fingers for failing to move quick enough between E, A and B7 for the intro of Summertime Blues....that's my pathetic level so I don't want anything that is harder to play as a novice than needs be.
    All advice and thoughts welcome. Thanks
  2. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    Honestly, I would not agonize over the guitar selection. Try them, buy/use the one you like most. It won’t be your last guitar.
    Stefan87, Cazza64, michelb and 3 others like this.
  3. Ted Keane

    Ted Keane Electromatic

    Mar 19, 2016
    Ft Collins,Colorado
    You are never too old to be any good.
    doc538, jml77, rake_ether and 2 others like this.
  4. Viking Power

    Viking Power Gretschie

    Jun 11, 2018
    Mountlake Terrace, WA
    So true! I know of only one guy that is loyal to a single guitar. You most likely will be like the rest of us and constantly tempted by other pretty ladies (guitars) that you see or hear.

    Good luck!
  5. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    My first Gretsch is a G2622 that I love.
    It doesn't have the exact twang that many look for but it sounds great. To me the G2622 is an ES-335 clone and great for all that guitar can do: R&R, blues, anything you want to play.

    All Gretsch are fantastic guitars and I now own three semi/hollow and no solid bodies. I'm a new learner too and felt I had to buy the icons: a Strat and a LP and a Tele and some others.
    But my G2622s and G5129 are really special to me.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
    T-Bawler and Viking Power like this.
  6. aFriendbFrosty

    aFriendbFrosty Gretschie

    May 22, 2020
    West Coast
    Welcome @rob 4088 !
    Pull up a Gretsch and stay a while.

    I'd lean for the 5220... with the intention of getting better as a player. And the added intention of rewarding your improvement as a player, with a 5622:D

    Good luck with what you choose:)
    Viking Power likes this.
  7. rob 4088

    rob 4088 Electromatic

    Jan 17, 2021
    London, UK
    Thanks @aFriendbFrosty. I was leaning that way and the 5220 is a very beautiful guitar (in both black and dark cherry especially to my eyes) and seems a fantastic place to start. But boy is that Riviera Blue of the 2622 beautiful and that whole semi acoustic look with a Bigsby is just something I have to aspire too. Direct link with Carl Perkins and George Harrison (and countless others) - that's what I call good company!
    Viking Power likes this.
  8. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    Actually, the most important factors are what sound you are looking for and how does each guitar feel? If you can, go and test both guitars and see which one sings to you. Which neck fits your hand better and feels sleeker? Which sounds stir your soul? Which feels better as it vibrates in your lap?

    As I type this, a commercial came on (during the game) with Chuck Berry singing "It wasn't Me." Wow, what an iconic sound!
    xtcclassic, T-Bawler and Viking Power like this.
  9. Groutsch

    Groutsch Gretschie

    Jun 9, 2018
    Maryland, US
    Welcome, @rob 4088! I don't use my Bigsby much, but if you know that you want to learn songs that use the Bigsby, such as Summertime Blues, you might as well get one. BTW, did you see this video from @rcboals?

  10. Viking Power

    Viking Power Gretschie

    Jun 11, 2018
    Mountlake Terrace, WA

    I’m a bit biased though.
    radd likes this.
  11. rob 4088

    rob 4088 Electromatic

    Jan 17, 2021
    London, UK
    @Groutsch. Fantastic video. They can do the whole song in the time it takes me to do one chord change :)
  12. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    We have all been there. I can remember having to take my right hand and move the pinky on my fretting had manually into position on the high E string when fingering an open G chord. My pinky would not move there on its own.

    Dang, that was a loooooong time ago. I’m still shocked I did not give up on guitar at that point.:D
    T-Bawler likes this.
  13. David_GS

    David_GS Electromatic

    Oct 16, 2020
    I think just for the sheer pleasure of being able to replicate the opening to Summertime Blues (which a complete novice could do), it’s worth getting the 2622t with a Bigsby. Also the sound of an E minor with a Bigsby sounds so cool. I recently bought a 2620T and I absolutely love it.
  14. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Welcome to the nut house Rob!;)
  15. michelb

    michelb Synchromatic

    Mar 27, 2020
    Welcome :D which ever you get, you're gonna love it, cause it's a Gretsch
    rob 4088 likes this.
  16. rake_ether

    rake_ether Gretschie

    Aug 24, 2019
    Athens, GA USA
    Hi. I started learning when about 10 years older than you and while I'm still a bad beginner (less than 2 yrs) I look at many of our guitar heroes and see that they became very good after less than 10 years of learning and playing. So, you'll be no more than in your mid 60s and I'll be in my early 70s. We'll both have many, many years of satisfying playing.
  17. musicman100

    musicman100 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2008
    I would look for a used electromatic u should get one for around 350/450
    David_GS likes this.
  18. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
  19. BrianW

    BrianW Country Gent

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    Welcome to the forum Rob. I would agree with the advice to try them out first before you buy. The neck size, for one, may just feel better on one. May as well start with the one that seems to "fit", no? As stated this won't be your last guitar anyway (most likely) so I would go with the one that speaks to you...

    As for the skill level, we have all been there! The important thing is that you are having fun. Set goals you can reach and enjoy the successes you do attain. A good teacher can help with that. It will be frustrating at times but stick with it!

    T-Bawler likes this.
  20. rob 4088

    rob 4088 Electromatic

    Jan 17, 2021
    London, UK
    This is a dangerous forum. I've just had a bottle of wine over dinner and can feel myself on the point of writing to Gretsch ordering a custom 5622 in either Fairlane or Riviera Blue. Doesn't help that I have Eddie Cochran on vinyl in the background!
    More seriously, is the neck size different between the 5220 and 2622? As a beginner, I think I'd prefer the wider neck. On my crude C'mon Everybody attempt: as much as everyone moans about the B7, I actually find switching to the A cleanly more difficult. Of course, I know where the fingers SHOULD go but when trying to play it fast, that is the chord I mess up more than the others - just quickly putting my fingers so close together, I'm all over the place.
    You guys must be laughing - here's someone asking between 2 models of the (imo) greatest make in history and he can't even master an open A chord.
    Sorry guys, I know I'm s*** but trust me I'm really enthusiastic and will get better.
    Just LOVE that Gretsch sound. Thanks for all your messages of support!!
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