Ask Ed Roman
Frequently Asked Questions
Ed Roman Debunks The Myths
Should I start with an electric or an
acoustic guitar ?
Ed Roman highly recommends electric. They are about 3
times easier to learn on and you won't bother other people while you are
learning. Plus, the resale value on electrics is good where lower cost acoustics
are usually worthless several weeks after you buy them.
(Especially Esteban, Costco & Sam's Club Guitars) Electric guitars hold up
better and they are a lot cooler!!! Of course, if you want to play acoustic guitar and sit around the campfire, roast marshmallows,
and sing folk songs like, "Michael Row the Boat Ashore," then you should start with an acoustic.
I went to a store that told me to buy a
nylon string guitar because the strings were soft & it wouldn't hurt
my fingers. Should I buy a Classical Guitar ?
Well Boo Hoo Hoo !!! We wouldn't want you to hurt your itty bitty
little fingers now would we?
Sorry for the sarcasm but, I really hate that BS
story. The truth of the matter is, nylon string Classical guitars are
usually the absolute cheapest guitars that can be bought. Most of the time the
dealer who tells you that one is looking to make the most money off a poor,
unsuspecting, trusting customer. (Esteban is a
great guitarist but his guitars are crap )
Cheap Classical guitars have no real
tension on the neck, making it easy to use substandard woods and sometimes no
truss rod. These guitars can be built in Indonesia for as little as
$11.00. By the time it reaches John Q Public in the USA, it will sell for
as much as $179.95. This kind of thing really
grinds my gears !!!!
The most important thing about Classical guitars that I don't like
for beginners is the fact that the necks are so incredibly wide. The width of
the neck makes the guitar very uncomfortable to learn. Classical technique is
very different from traditional Country, R&B, Pop, & Rock music. Misguided
schools throughout the USA are always pushing Classical guitar on the students.
I think that is a real problem, just because some old fart thinks that these
kids today should get a little Classical education injected into the curriculum.
Most average kids today don't care about Mozart or Andres Segovia.
What is your opinion on
school music programs ?
Recently it has come to my attention that most school music
programs require the students to use a Classical guitar to learn on. I have a major problem with that.
1. School music
programs are only in place because it is a proven fact that children who play an
instrument are smarter, more articulate, and it helps to develop their
coordination and general attitude. It is supposed to give them a boost of self
esteem and make them enjoy school.
Some of the
larger corporate guitar companies, under the guise of caring about our school children, have
spent lots of dollars to hoodwink the school boards into thinking that they can
and should buy into one of their packaged programs. This is where the company
sells them the guitar, the strap, stands, cases, strings, picks, music books, and
even supplies videos for any lazy teachers that don't want to actually teach. I
have been told there is a training program that teaches a non-musician how to
teach guitar in 3 days. Theoretically, eventually these people will be the ones
responsible for teaching the programs. EEEEEEE EEEEkkkkkkkkk!!!!
3. I have seen
some of these guitar shaped objects and as I suspected they were cheap imported guitars
that would barely last 3 years. The local schools in Las Vegas start with 30
guitars and are allowed to buy 10 more guitars a year to replace the ones that
fall apart. (Talk about your planned obsolescence.)
4. For the last
few years, I have been scratching my head about where some of these large guitar
companies are making all their money. In my end of the business, these larger
companies are looked on with disfavor by most real musicians. Except of course
the paid shills who make as much as $100,000.00 yearly to tout some crappy name
brand. I suspected that they were doing it by selling to Europe and Asia. Over
there the musicians are running about 7 years behind the USA. In Germany, a
Gibson or a PRS are still considered to be the top of the line guitars.
Eventually the Germans will smarten up and
they will catch on. For the time being, that's the way it is. I am
selling lots of PRS guitars in Germany. Almost as much as I sell at
Christmas time here. (PRS is the Current
Christmas Guitar, it used to be Gibson....)
A Christmas guitar is the brand that the rich people buy their
kids for their 14th birthday. The kid doesn't know the score, the parents are
usually well meaning, but they know less than the kid does. In the hands of an
evil commissioned salesman in a
superstore these people are the reason they come
1970 to 1982
Stratocaster was the Christmas guitar
1983 to 1988
Kramer Pacer & Baretta
was the Christmas guitar. (Today they are quite valuable and hard to
find for sale except for the cheap Chinese ones from Gibson.)
1986 to 1998 The
Paul was the Christmas guitar. (The Les Paul is an ancient design that is
too heavy and I can't think of a single reason to buy one) (Oh yeah, that's
right it will make you cool) Oy Vey
1999 to present
PRS is way out in
front with no one licking at their heels. ( A
PRS is built a lot better than a Gibson but still not recommended by Ed Roman.
People will eventually see the light.) In the meantime Ed Roman Guitars
will continue sell 150 or so PRS guitars in December every year and about 15 for
the entire rest of the year.
PRS has made the same mistake that Kramer did and
they have come out with Cheap Korean guitars several
years back. They did this to cash in
on the PRS name with the people who couldn't afford to spend the insane price
they are charging. (Remember today's PRS guitars are no longer
PRS IS SPENDING BIG MONEY ON ADVERTISING
THOSE CHEAPO MODELS... Why? because the profit margin on a $699.00
imported guitar can be higher than on a $1,999.00 USA made guitar. (Sad But
Do I Need Lessons ?
Definitely not. I recommend that you learn to play a little
by ear first then, if you want lessons you will be much better served. Some of
the world's best musicians are totally untrained. Just as most wealthy
entrepreneurs are high school dropouts. I am not saying quit school.
let it program you to be an automaton. Pick up a chord book and have a friend
show you a couple of things to help you get started. Once you are having a
little fun, (FUN is the key word here), then you can
decide if you want to improve yourself with some theory and some lessons.
Should I Find One Teacher &
It is rare that one teacher will be multifaceted, most
teachers are jazz buffs. I personally believe that if you are going to take
lessons you should try and find as many teachers as you can afford and spread
yourself around. This will go a long way towards helping you in developing a
style of your own.
Should I Learn On A 22 Fret Model Or A 24
Fret Model ?
I strongly recommend that you learn on a full double
octave guitar (24
frets). It is just as easy to learn as a partial one. In fact, it is probably
easier because it makes more sense when you try to learn scales and positioning. It's also physically easier to play because the necks are usually slimmer and
What Brands Of Guitars Do You Recommend ?
Today almost any brand of guitar is decently made. I recommend trying to stay
away from the big corporation brands like Gibson, Epiphone, ESP, Schecter, etc. I
recommend that solely because, I would rather see the smaller companies succeed.
Fender builds a great beginner guitar and so does Peavey. Just don't fall into
the trap. (See Below ) Jackson.
Ibanez, Fender Squire Guitars are
actually pretty good just not the real cheap ones.
Here's the Trap !!
Wow! If this Fender Squire $277.00 guitar is this good, it stands to reason that
their $1,850.00 must be way better!
NOT! In fact, the one that
costs 6 times as much is usually not that much better at all. In fact the
Japanese Made 500.00 one is better than the ones costing $3000.00.
The Japanese ones have been discontinued because they were hurting USA sales,
Nowadays a Japanese Fender is almost impossible to find.
I'm a quality conscious person.
I want to invest into something that will go up in value.
What should I buy?
|The absolute best way
to learn is to pick up a chord book and start learning basic chords,
Then hook up with someone else who you can play with. You will learn
to play 3 times as fast as you would taking lessons and you will
develop your own style. Plus it costs nothing.
Ed Roman usually has numerous traded in good quality used electric
guitars available for beginners. Call us when you are ready to buy
We have some acoustics but not as many.
Don't buy into the hype, look for quality and workmanship.
Spend time comparing models, Don't Look At
The Brand Name. Look at the
playability. Look at the construction. Look at the fit & finish. Look at the
design improvements. If you use your head and not your emotions,
it becomes very
simple to choose the right investment grade guitar.
Remember.... Don't buy into the hype,
Pay no attention to the perceived value, and use your basic intelligence.
(Your basic intelligence is your best friend) USE
If you have questions I will be glad to
try to help you make a quality purchase !!!! Please don't call me after
you have already bought something and look for my reassurances, I just don't
have time for that silliness!!! It's too late you already bought it.
Live With It !!!!