The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Electric guitar for shoegaze/post-rock/ambient
Old 19th March 2011
  #1
Here for the gear
 
_stargazer's Avatar
 

Electric guitar for shoegaze/post-rock/ambient

I'm a synth/piano player who's looking to buy and start learning the guitar to complement to the music I create.

I am mostly inspired by ambient, shoegaze and post-rock type of music and the music I create is also greatly influenced by these genres. To name some bands: M83, Slowdive, Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, Sleepy Eyes of Death etc.

I am willing to pay for a decent instrument, my budget is going to be around €700 at the most (I'd be buying online from thomann.de). However, I'm a little puzzled with all the choices. I won't be buying an amp as I also own an audio interface and will be playing through my iMac & Guitar Rig.

I really like the Fender Jazzmaster + it looks gorgeous, but it's way beyond my price range and I've read that they have quite many problems concerning the bridge, which would mean paying even more to buy a different bridge etc. The Blacktop Jazzmaster would fit in my price range nicely, but they seem to be just as problematic and I'm not that sure if they're really worth getting as people seem to be having very mixed opinions about them.
I've heard pretty good things about the Telecaster too, but I've always quite disliked what they looks like (sorry Tele fans).
A guitar I'm seriously considering right now is the Fender Deluxe Roadhouse Strat.
I'm also interested in hollowbody and semi-hollowbody guitars like the Gretsch 5122 and Ibanez Artcore series but I can't really imagine how suitable they are for producing the sounds I like.

I know most people would tell me to go to a music store and play different instruments but I live in a small European country and the selection of instruments isn't very good here. I don't think I'd be able to try out the exact same instruments that I'm considering to buy. Either way, I would be ordering online because the prices in the local stores are more expensive.

Could anyone give me any insight into these instruments and offer some recommendations? Or maybe suggest something entirely different even. Some help would be much appreciated.
Old 19th March 2011
  #2
I think any guitar would work, you are running it through a bunch of effects to get that sound. I'd say a single coil Fender guitar of any kind (Mustang, Jaguar, Stratocaster) would be fine.
Old 19th March 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

With the kind of music you are into its the choice of amp sound and the fx chain that will make for an authentic Shoegazer sound.

I gotta say that Jazz masters and similar guitars are awful. I know they are iconic and suggestive of alternative music but everyone that I've tried has lacked in tone and been unstable for live performance.

Have a look at the videos and try to identify what your fav players where using and check back issues of guitar mags for interviews with your fav Shoegazer guitarists.

Guitar Rig will be perfect for getting the Shoegazer sound because of the excellent fx emulations.

You can't go wrong with a Strat but remember that one Strat can sound great and another of the same model will be a complete dog of an instrument. So buying from a store is the way to go. And take the guitar that sounds and feels the best away with you. Do not leave the store with a boxed version that wasn't the one you played.

The only guitars for you to avoid really are heavy metal type guitars with high output pick ups. They might drive the amp sim wrongly and they would look wrong on stage.

So research
Old 19th March 2011
  #4
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Telecaster into a low watt, tube 1x12" combo. Holy grail for reverb, line6 dl4 for delays and trippiness.

Simple, effective, classic sound. From there, everything else is up to you and how well you train your ears and your fingers.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 19th March 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 
appleburger's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Telecaster into a low watt, tube 1x12" combo. Holy grail for reverb, line6 dl4 for delays and trippiness.

Simple, effective, classic sound. From there, everything else is up to you and how well you train your ears and your fingers.


Gregory Scott - ubk
seconded! you might hate the way tele's look but go play one through a deluxe reverb and tell me you don't like the way it sounds!

i picked up an epiphone sheraton and after replacing the pick ups love it! with the stock pickups it was quite muddy and dark but with gibson classic 57's in it it really woke up!
Old 19th March 2011
  #6
Gear Nut
 
Reveirg's Avatar
I was pretty much in the EXACT same situation as you a couple of months ago... Synth/piano player with a taste in Shoegaze in Post-rock.

I ended up buying a Gibson Les Paul Studio. So far I'm very happy with my choice.... I run it through a Boss DD-20, Line 6 verbzilla, Boss Overdrive, etc. and into a Vox AC30CC2.

I might end up buying some other pedals (Holy grail as someone mentionned before maybe?) and a fuzz pedal.

Now I need to practice my micing methods... and maybe get myself a ribbon mic. SM57 can be useful in some situations but I'm not completely convinced.

Anyway, let us know how things are going and choice you make!
Old 19th March 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Telecaster into a low watt, tube 1x12" combo. Holy grail for reverb, line6 dl4 for delays and trippiness.

Simple, effective, classic sound. From there, everything else is up to you and how well you train your ears and your fingers.


Gregory Scott - ubk
This is right on. A LP wouldn't suck either. A few years ago I was in the same position. Started w/ a budget Epi LP, then to a nice Tele, and finally got a nice Gibson LP.
Old 19th March 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I've played this kind of music for many year between two different bands. I agree about the EFX being about 90% of the issue. If you can get that right, you can probably make almost any guitar work.

If you're going to use NI guitar rig, you should have all of the tools you need, though it does lack "power". I used to split my signal 3 ways into different preamps/processors. You can get really crazy with it. You definitely need to spend time on the eq/tones though. I've played with a lot of shoegaze bands who think you can just crank the reverb/delays and its going to sound awesome. ...not really true.

that being said, don't rule out hollow/semi hollow bodies! You just have to watch out for feedback if you're playing live. A volume pedal helps a lot! ...but its worth it!!!

I'm not sure I've ever seen anybody play an LP doing shoegaze, but I see no reason why not.

I've seen a lot of Jaguars. Mustangs, a few Strats and Teles some Gretch's, Vox guitars - I think a lot of the signature guitars in this genre became a stylistic thing more than a technical thing.
Old 19th March 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
audiogeek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miercoles View Post
...
I'm not sure I've ever seen anybody play an LP doing shoegaze, but I see no reason why not.

...
Whatshisface from Luna/Galxy 500, pretty much defined the genre.
Old 19th March 2011
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miercoles View Post
I've seen a lot of Jaguars. Mustangs, a few Strats and Teles some Gretch's, Vox guitars - I think a lot of the signature guitars in this genre became a stylistic thing more than a technical thing.
Probably right but to get the shoegazer-sound (at least what I would define as shoegazer) you really need to have a tremolo-arm on the guitar - that really is essential to getting the kind of seasick textures on for example My Bloody Valentine "Loveless" - and that rules out most Les Paul's and Tele's. That being said it doesnt need to be a Jag or Jazzmaster tremolo. It works out fine for me with a Bigsby-tremolo - just takes a little practice and ajustment as the tremolo-arm is a bit shorter. To me shoegazer is the combination of getting the effects right and working the tremolo rigth. Have fun - it's a great world of sounds!
Best regards
Thomas
Old 19th March 2011
  #11
Here for the gear
 
_stargazer's Avatar
 

Thank you for all the feedback so far!

Saw this video of an Epiphone Dot being played today:

YouTube - Reverse Reverb

Pretty much blew me away. Very powerful sound.
I'm actually not that put off by the idea of a Tele, but the sounds I've heard played with them are always very gentle and ethereal - which is a great thing of course. But I'd like to have some versatility too and to be able to play these really huge powerful post-rock crescendos, like in that video. Would a tele be good for that too?

On the other hand, that video really made me consider an Epiphone Dot too. They're quite cheap aswell. Would I be better off with something like that?
Old 19th March 2011
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Here's some inspiration for you..

GuitarGeek | kevin shields of my bloody valentine
GuitarGeek | belinda butcher of my bloody valentine
GuitarGeek | ben lurie of jesus and mary chain
GuitarGeek | christian savill of slowdive
GuitarGeek | neil halstead of slowdive
GuitarGeek | rachel goswell of slowdive

And once you're done reading that, go out and try alot of guitars, find out which ones you are most comfortable playing, and stop worrying about what gear is the right gear..

The shoegazer/post-rock sound is mostly just distortion/fuzz and reverb, and loud amps..

Try putting the reverb before the distortion..
Old 20th March 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Digitar's Avatar
 

Stargazer,
Don't let anyone talk you into what YOU are going to like. It's all about your own personal taste.

If you like a Jazzmaster, then that's where you start. There's always a way to make it work.

The bridge is the weak piece of the Jazzmaster's design but go to my buddy Woody at MasteryBridge and he'll fix that.

Follow your own path not someone elses. Go try all of them that you can.

Then start playing and staring at your shoes.heh
Old 20th March 2011
  #14
+1 for Jazzmaster

Hi,

The vintage Jazzmaster sound is a fairly distinctive sound, and it was used to great effect by those who chose to play it: My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Tom Verlaine, Elvis Costello, J Mascis. It has a meaty bottom end, and very bright top on the lead channel. I always liked how even with tons of distortion, the jang-jang-jang always came through on MBV and Sonic Youth recordings.

The bridge is less than ideal but not a show stopper: an inexpensive set of Mustang saddles remedies the issue, but there again, some players live just fine with it. Depends on how hard you play. You can also get a All-Parts buzz stop if you want more sustain, and less "zing" from behind the bridge, but this changes it's short sustain characteristics, and some people don't like it.

The Japanese JM's are well crafted, but with less ideal electronics pickups. You can upgrade these later on: what is important is the fit and finish of the necks and bodies are nice.

I own an American Vintage Reissue (AVRI) Jazzmaster (2001) with Curtis Novak pickups, which are totally amazing. The AVRI pickups are fine, but my friend has a '68 JM and I knew the AVRI pickups sounded wrong. The build quality is excellent on these guitars.

I also have a Lee Ranaldo Jazzmaster which is almost as well built, except with a satin finish on the neck and a matte Nitro paint job (which I now like even more with time). A different beast because of the Fender wide-range humbuckers, but the Thurston Moore Jazzmaster has Seymour Duncan antiquity JM pickups, and from the YouTube videos, I think it nails the sound. It also comes with a tune-o-matic bridge, so no issues there. I would say the Sonic Youth Jazzmasters are the highest quality instruments next to the AVRI instruments. I would buy the Thurston Moore if I had $1300 burning a hole in my pocket. I've not had a good past experience with Mexican made Fender instruments (the Classic Player ones fall into that category). They just never feel or sound right. I had a look at the Blacktop ones in a store, and they seemed just dreadful: throwing good money after bad.

If it's an instrument for life, buy quality. You might be able to get a better Stratocaster or Telecaster (my preference given the two) for less money.

Good luck.
Old 20th March 2011
  #15
I record/play/write quite a bit of ambient/atmospheric guitar stuff, and I've liked nothing better than a Fender Telecaster into a good tube amp (Vox, Fender, Marshall, whatever).
Old 20th March 2011
  #16
for me the tele / vox combo is it... that and a lot of effects... sdd3000, pcm42, prime time, h3000...
Old 20th March 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Space Station's Avatar
Its achievable with any guitar and amp..just coat it in effects.

FWIW being a Jazzmaster player for more than 20 years, although they are vintage..I have two '59s and a '61...I can say I've never had a problem with the bridge...and I would never deface them with that fugly mastery bridge thing..they play just fine as is and sound gorgeous.

The are great guitars..easily on par with a Tele or a Strat.
Old 20th March 2011
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
xhavepatiencex's Avatar
 

I agreed with everyone else, the kind of guitar is not really a huge deal, though I find brighter guitars hold the chord definition better while lots of effects going.

I play in a shoegaze band and my main setup is an epiphone elitist sheraton through a vox ac30 and a yamaha g100 1x15 combo, I use a line 6 m13 with a few dirt pedals and it does pretty much whatever I need, and is not to complicated of a setup compared to some.
Old 20th March 2011
  #19
Here for the gear
 
_stargazer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xhavepatiencex View Post
I agreed with everyone else, the kind of guitar is not really a huge deal, though I find brighter guitars hold the chord definition better while lots of effects going.

I play in a shoegaze band and my main setup is an epiphone elitist sheraton through a vox ac30 and a yamaha g100 1x15 combo, I use a line 6 m13 with a few dirt pedals and it does pretty much whatever I need, and is not to complicated of a setup compared to some.
The Sheraton seems like a decent instrument too. I've read that it's similar to the Dot but is built much better. How does the semi-hollowbody sound compare to the sound of the Teles and Jazzmasters?
Old 20th March 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Squier Jagmaster (budget Jazzmaster/Jaguar hybrid)

Or any of the cheap Danelectros
Old 20th March 2011
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Amber's Avatar
 

Had a MIJ Jazzmaster about 4 years ago. Loved it.

Just get thick strings and the bridge is fine. However, mine was second hand so I think it just get better with age.

I love the way they record. Mine sounded great through Guitar Rig
Old 20th March 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 
audiogeek's Avatar
 

If you don't know what you want, a Strat will be the most versatile option.

Mexican Strats can be great instruments. Like someone mentioned, it's pretty critical that you go to a shop and pick it out yourself, to check for sharp fret ends and other "quality control" issues that you'll run into with anything less than $1500.

If you order online, you'll have to take it in anyways to get it set up, probably have the truss rod adjusted, so might as well do that in the first place.

And most guitar shops will beat online prices, offer additional 5 or 10% off, or throw in extra strings or cables to seal the deal.
Old 20th March 2011
  #23
Here for the gear
 
_stargazer's Avatar
 

I might have an opportunity to buy an used Jazzmaster for a cheaper price than a new one would cost but I'm a little bit hesitant because the Sheraton seems really good too + it's considerably cheaper.
Can anyone compare these two instruments sound-wise and so? And is there any particular reason I would want to spend 200€ more for a Jazzmaster rather than a Sheraton? Unfortunately, I don't have the opportunity to try out neither of them in person, but both seem really really good to me from what I've seen online.
Old 20th March 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Space Station's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by _stargazer View Post
I might have an opportunity to buy an used Jazzmaster for a cheaper price than a new one would cost but I'm a little bit hesitant because the Sheraton seems really good too + it's considerably cheaper.
Can anyone compare these two instruments sound-wise and so? And is there any particular reason I would want to spend 200€ more for a Jazzmaster rather than a Sheraton? Unfortunately, I don't have the opportunity to try out neither of them in person, but both seem really really good to me from what I've seen online.
Those two guitars couldnt sound more different, a hollow body with humbuckers and a solid body with single coil pickups and a tremolo..also different scale lengths..the Jazz has a longer neck.

I wouldnt recommend one over the other..I suggest not buying anything till you get to a guitar shop to try them out..guitar is a very personal instrument.
Old 20th March 2011
  #25
Really the kind of guitar is less important than the kind of playing and songwriting. "Shoegazer" covers a lot of different musicians playing a lot of different instruments.

Personally I'd split the budget up and get a couple of guitars to cover the sounds. Don't worry about getting big brand names, just go and play some guitars till you find one that feels and sounds nice to you. For instance I'd probably grab a Squier or Epiphone before a Fender and Gibson in most cases (unless I had money to burn), then grab a decent entry level acoustic, maybe a 12 string for that birds-esque jingle jangly tone to compliment the noise guitar.

Also, please ignore how a guitar looks! Personally I'm not a huge fan of the Tele look either, but it's a fantastic solid and easy to use instrument with a great range of sounds, it's just huge fun to play. Sadly the slimline version which I do think is pretty visually striking doesn't have the tone to back up it's looks (in my opinion at least).

If you want a really versatile instrument then maybe look to the shredding axes. I have a Parker that wasn't that expensive, gives me active pickups with two single coils at neck and middle, a humbucker at bridge, and then piezo floating bridge for an electro-acoustic sound, plays like a dream. It's a little dead sounding (not as harmonically rich) compared to a Gibson or Gretsch but for the money it nets you a lot of tones to play with in a very easy on the fingers package.

Anyhow, that's just my view on it all. It's very hard to know exactly what would suit you without some more specific references. After all Shoegazer is really an umbrella term that has quite a lot of range in there from Noise guitar, Acid Jazz and Psychadelic Rock through to dance oriented (and informed) rock, acoustic folk music and even occasional little detours into trip hop and straight pop territory. It's not all The Birds and Teenage Fanclub.
Old 21st March 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 

yeah, well the Jaguar/Jazzmaster guitars really nail the Noise end of the spectrum (Band of Susans, MBV, Sonic Youth, Telescopes type thing)

They do ear-piercing SKREEEE just right.
Old 21st March 2011
  #27
Lives for gear
 

@stargazer: get any guitar you want, but know that people who complain about the bridge on Jazzmaster/Jaguar guitars don't know how to set it up. Furthermore, swapping it out for a Mustang bridge will impede a proper setup as you can't raise/lower the individual saddles.

If you're having problems with your Jazzmaster bridge, go here and read everything.
Old 24th March 2011
  #28
Here for the gear
 

With your budget, I'd recommend a MIM Tele or an Epiphone Dot. Plus fuzz, delay, and reverb pedals of your choice.
Old 26th March 2011
  #29
Lives for gear
 
79_Limited's Avatar
 

I was screwing around at a local music shop the other day and I was pretty impressed with the Fender Squier Jaguar. For $200 it was hard to beat. I have a lot of nice guitars but this one held its own and it was cheap.

I ended up getting a Squier Telecaster because it was more my thing but I would at least give it a try and not get hung up on the name.
Old 27th March 2011
  #30
Here for the gear
 

i've never been a fan of jazzmasters, jaguars, duo-sonics and all the other more obscure fenders that are fashionable in the alternative/shoegazing scene. they all have a distinctive sound which always seems thin and brittle to me. it's gotta be a strat imHo. it's good to have a tremolo arm (not just for the my bloody valentine thing) and humbuckers get real muddy if you're drowning in reverb. with this kind of music it's much more about the guitar's image than its sound. most of your sound will come from your effects pedals and... your imagination.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump