What started out as a potentially Guitar-centric weekend is turning into Guitar Week. Not as good a guitar week as I had originally hoped, but certainly a good one. It started with our good family friends deciding they wanted to buy a guitar for their 10 year old son, but their budget was limited.
Willing to accept the challenge, I began trolling craigslist and was shocked at how many cheap guitars and amps were being offered for even less money. There were the obvious Strat starter packs being resold by parents for $200, but there were a ride range of home-made and lone LP and Strat knock-offs being offered for under $100. And amps ranging from ten to thirty dollars.
I sent them a range of options so they would know what they could get spend their money on, and then I went back to my guitars and started playing. Not only did I play, but I wrote and recorded a song idea each day. I haven’t done that since before the Boy arrived.
The weekend ended as it always does and the work week started bright and early. Monday morning I got a call from my wife inviting me to lunch with our friends. I headed over to the restaurant and we celebrated the wife’s first day back to college. We also discussed guitar purchases and the fact that the husband wants to get the Hanna Montana bass we joked about months ago. He saw this as his chance to bond with his son once they get him a guitar.
So, with his money in hand, I hit the local guitar shop on the way back to work and walked out with a pink Johnson Precision-style Bass with the Hanna Montana logo on it. Not two hours later, our friend called me and asked if I was available to go look at one of the guitars I had sent the craigslisting on. Sure!
After work we headed out to a not so nice part of town. We knocked on the apartment door and a big guy answered. We walked in and got a contact high almost immediately. I tested the 20th Anniversary Squire Affinity Strat, First Act MA104 practice amp, two guitar cables, tuner, and original Line 6 Pod. We talked the guy down to $125 and left. Did we get a screaming deal? Probably not. Did we pay a low, but fair price? Probably. The practice amp is the weakest part of the deal since it is $30 new, probably $10 to $15 used. The Pod is the first generation and goes for about $60 on eBay. The cables are nice 10 ft cables with locking gold connectors which were well used. So, conservatively, the guitar was $75. Are we happy? Yes!
On the way home we talked about why we were happy. This guitar set up will probably need a new amp in the near future, but when the 10 year old’s friend with little money concerns gets a new Strat guitar pack, the 10 year old won’t have an inferior piece of equipment. The POD should even the playing field and give him something cool to play with that the other kid won’t. Plus, if it needs to be resold in a year or two, it should be easier to resell (admittedly at a bit of a loss).
When I got home I saw a Peavey amp for $25. Will guitar week continue? I hope so!