Forums > Queen - General Discussion > ? Brian May Guitars

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aaronmcg user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 Oct 08, 16:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi guys, I am just starting to learn guitar and I was wondering does anybody know of any low price Brian May style guitars, cant afford the official BM Red Special yet.


Thanks

jazzy mercurois user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 12 Oct 08, 17:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, I guess you should save for a Brian May guitar. I think there's no point in buying a cheap guitar because you still don't have the money to buy a proper Brian May guitar... I mean, save the money!

Meanwhile, you might as well mess around a little with your guitar wiring, it can get you a lot closer to Brian's sound. If you don't know how to do it, ask somebody to do it for you, it's not really hard.



Cheers,
Hor



CONLACANTINACONLACANTORACONLATELEVISIONGASTADORA
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Posted: 12 Oct 08, 19:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There's always the mini-may - good for practising, right shape, cheap....

john_john211 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 12 Oct 08, 19:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have a brian may guitar i wish to sell for arounf £400 should you be interested at all.

bobo the chimp user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Oct 08, 03:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Buy any guitar, even a cheap one.  Develop the sound you make with your fingers before throwing money down on a good instrument.  You will thank yourself for it later; the fingers are a very underrated part of a players sound.



"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 13 Oct 08, 03:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

maybe so but i made the mistake of having cheap guitars and it kind of hinders you a little too. Maybe ok for practicing but to stand any chance of sounding good you need something of a fair standard because that in itself could prove frustrating on top of learning and trying to sound half decent.

bhm0129ad user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Oct 08, 09:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A BAD workman ALWAYS blames his tools


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Posted: 13 Oct 08, 11:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A bad worker alsways blames his tools is so true! Good one. Seriously, you can spend $200.00 on the Fender Squier Strat Pack. Includes everything you need to get started. The quality of the guitar is quite good. Especially compared to when I was starting out. Back then an inexpensive guitar,aka: cheap, was a bad guitar. Todays "starter guitars" are head & shoulders above what I had to start out on. Plus, as you get better  over time & upgrade to a better guitar such as a BMG RS, you'll have your starter to learn the inner workings of most guitars.


"Take care of those you call your own"
bobo the chimp user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Oct 08, 14:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Indeed!

I also forgot to say in my last post; don't bother looking for a Brian May copy that isn't made by Brian May guitars.  All of the good ones (read : not crap) are more expensive than the BMG ones anyway.  You might as well just save for the official copy.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
Hikara user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 13 Oct 08, 19:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The cheapest I've seen his guitars sold (the Signature ones) was $700 on musiciansfriend.com when they were having a sale. (That wasn't very long ago, maybe they are still having it.) Still tis pricey though.

Adam Baboolal user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 13 Oct 08, 21:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I really have to agree with those saying that it's all about how you learn and play, rather than the instrument that you learn on. I started out on a small 3/4 acoustic with steel strings. I think the steel strings and stiffness of this cheap guitar (£35 if I'm not mistaken) made me work harder to get what I wanted out of the guitar.

Not long after, I picked up a nicer (more expensive acoustic) and because my fingers were strengthened by working harder on the cheaper/stiffer guitar, I found it easier to achieve what I wanted on my new one which had a thinner neck and more accessible neck.
After that, I got an electric guitar (Squire strat). That's the guitar I used on the "A Winter's Tale" track uploaded here on QZ. It was a nice step to take and felt pretty cool to have my first electric guitar. After a few years, I picked up a nice Hohner ATX which I still use and have recently upgraded with my spare Burns pickups. Trying to play the Squire strat after playing the Hohner...well...the squire is a pig to play! But the point is, it was cheap, it worked and sounded pretty good and I learnt on it.

So, overall, buy a cheap/decent guitar to begin with and don't fall into the trap where you may be led to buy something like the Brian guitar starting out. Personally, I'd buy something like the Squire and then once you get good, use the allure of the official Brian copy as your goal to reach. To me, that just seems more fun! I know it certainly made me learn how to get the most out of the equipment I had to hand and because I was a Brian fan, I looked into how to achieve that sound before the Burns guitars came about. It was in 2006 (around 9 years since I started playing guitar) that I managed to get the money needed for a Brian May 2006 (£440) model guitar. I still enjoy using that guitar because of, not just the sound but, the path I took to get to that guitar. Learning the inferior stuff to begin with, helped me. I know people who started on great guitars that don't seem to have the strength in their fingers (or knowledge) that I do. At least, I think that's something to do with starting on hard acoustic strings. And isn't it true that when you get something handed to you that makes things easier, you try a little less?? :)


Hope you don't mind my rant!

Adam.


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Posted: 14 Oct 08, 02:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I was overcharged (I think) for my Burns guitar.  The shop was asking for $1800 Australian, thankfully we were able to knock a couple hundred off.  I suppose I could've held on for a while longer, and gotten it cheaper from eBay or something.  But I played it in the shop, I found phasing settings that had loads of possibilities in them, I fell in love with the thing!  I haven't been so taken with a guitar since Mum let me have a (brief) go on my late grandfather's Hofner President.

In hindsight I'm glad I went with that guitar anyway, price notwithstanding.  I've heard horror stories about the Burns and I seem to have lucked out with this one.  It's never failed me; every tuning woe it's ever had was down to me fiddling too much during a song.  I just got it out of it's case after more than a month in storage and it was still in tune.  I love this guitar.

Actually, I'd like to add a bit of advice that I've foolishly ignored in my own travels; don't buy a guitar you haven't played first.  This year I've bought a Variax and an Epiphone Casino, and both were bought without ever touching them (the Casino was shipped in from the US, so all I saw was some photos!). 
It's a much smarter move to have a hold of the guitar you're going to put money down on, and to make sure that you can physically use the thing!

In my case, I haven't been bitten (yet) for ignoring this practice.  The Variax feels and plays like a dirty whore, but I've A/B'd it with more than a couple of the guitars it emulates and it's good enough to record with (though I don't think I'd ever gig with it).  And the Casino was a great find, at almost half the price my local shop was charging (I think we Australians get a bit ripped off!).

I dunno if I've said this before, but my last offering is ; have the guitar with you as often as possble.  Play it while watching the telly, play it in bed, play play play.  Don't do what my nephew does, and 'wait for lessons' or practice for an arbitrary amount of time for every day.  He's a musical kid, but I do think that treating guitar like juggling or algebra can hamper your progress.  It can (and should!) be a much more involved and rewarding experience.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
aaronmcg user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 24 Oct 08, 16:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

does anybody know where i can buy a cheap brian may style guitar, i seen a really cheap one about £120 a month or so ago on ebay but cant rem the brand of it, if anyone can think of the name of it drop me a line, thanks

Penetration_Guru user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 24 Oct 08, 17:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You want us to remember the name of a guitar you saw on ebay?

Is it your shoelace tie-er's day off?

Marcos Napier user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 24 Oct 08, 20:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

One point that is always missed: buying the same guitar as the musician x or y uses won't make you sound like him, if this is your main purpose. It might happen, but don't expect it to happen all the time.

Spending a lot of money in an expensive instrument as a starter is much more frustrating than starting with cheap models. With cheap models, you can "grow", and while getting better at it, you can notice how the instrument itself is limiting your technique or not (if it's not limiting you at all, fine). Buying a very expensive instrument won't make you play better than you actually do in any time of your '"playing life", if you don't have the desire to play better or the right tools to play better - good teaching is one of them for example (not that important, but you need some kind of reference). I had some teaching in the beginning, and when it started to get boring and technical and I noticed that I had no real use for it, I quit.

Also the advice of playing something before buying is very important. Being comfortable with a certain model is very good to keep you interested. A guitar that will make your hands ache after 5 mins of playing for sure will make you lose the desire to play it often, which is necessary in the beginning.

Zebonka: the Variax is that bad because of the feel of the guitar while playing (a thick neck for example) or because of technical issues, like a delay in processing the sounds? I heard that it has a delay that sometimes gets very annoying, and I think it was a delay in the notes (latency), not in a patch change (ex. switching guitars) like in some old pedalboards...

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Posted: 25 Oct 08, 10:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I own a burns Brian, and I am very happy with it. I have no intention of trying to either sound or play like Brian on it, or at all. I only know how to play about 12 Queen songs and three Brian solos.

 This is because I am a musician, not a sed get who wants to be someone else ( who has already been, and still IS).
  I have owned my BHM0129 since dec '01, and during the next three years, made three albums with my brother, who sadly died last year aged 29.( anyone interested can go to youtube channel InMemorandum07 where I have posted SOME of our original tunes. they were very much learning curve songs, and are not meant to be 'great' or meaningful, well most of them....)

 However, I FIRST played guitar on a Japanese Westone ( which I sadly do not have anymore), and this was a terrible guitar to play, the neck was soooo thin and small ( my fingertips are far from thin or dainty) and it hurt to buggery playing it. I started recording on makeshift equipment I didn't become a 'good' guitarist on it, I progressed and improved, but only so far, as I hated the sound and when the Burns was first released in Oct '01, it was only a couple of months before I could afford to pay for my pre-ordered one ( I was the second person in Leeds to buy one).
   I also bought an 8-track digital portable recording unit and stepped up my recording and at this time my Bro began to play ( on his new Les Paul) and the recordings on you tube were made.
  I know that those tunes would not even be that good if I had not 'broken' myself in to the guitar with the cheap Westone, and since 2004, I have become a much better guitarist than I was in those youtube recordings, only I don't record anymore ( too painful at the moment).
  So, in summary, buy a cheap beaten up guitar to LEARN on, for two or three years play it to death, get blisters, callouses and sores on your fingers and hands, then when you buy your Brian ( or whatever is your dream guitar) you will be able to move from 'I can play the guitar' to 'I am a guitarist'


Throw it in the lake, dear
aaronmcg user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 25 Oct 08, 13:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

**** off guru if u have nothing constructive to say, pisses me off people who hide behind screens, i just asked does anybody know the name of these models  as there cant be to many bm copys with that price range. manners doesnt cost anything

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Posted: 25 Oct 08, 15:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Quoting doesn't seem to work for me at the moment, so this is aimed at Marcos Napier -

The Variax... I dunno how to put it.  It feels cheap in my hands.  I once owned a $170 Strat copy, built of the cheapest woods I've ever seen in a guitar.  (in fact, when it was smashed at the end of our act, it had all kinds of white fiber and stringy looking stuff in there, so God only knows what that was made of).
The Variax feels a little like that guitar.  Maybe a bit better actually, but anyhow.

Having said that, I have no complaints about the sounds.  I did an A/B test of the Variax versus my Casino (as it was the only guitar I owned that was emulated by the Variax).

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=w-giz20w5bA


During the dry tests (that is, no effects thrown on top) it sounds pretty decent to me.

The only problem I've ever had with the Variax as far as the modelled sounds go?  There's an irritating warble that sometimes comes up if you're playing on a 12 string setting.  I know what the sound is; it's the pitch shifter trying to keep up with notes that are confusing it.  Usually I get this sound if I strike two notes at once while using a pitch shifter on a pedal (like my ME-50). 
Frankly I'm annoyed that it's present on the Variax, but it doesn't happen often enough to really be a problem.

Where was I.....   !
The Variax isn't bad at all, seriously.  I've played better and I've played worse; it's merely a good piece of kit to have around for experimenting, or as a spare guitar.  It's definitely one to have while you're saving up for other guitars, put it that way! 

I've even made a setting for the Bohemian Rhapsody solo (I played a gig with a tribute band earlier this year and the thought occured to me that I didn't have a spare BM guitar on hand....)

I might demo that eventually.  The thing is, the Variax doesn't model the Tri-Sonic pickup.  Off the top of my head, I got the closest sound by using a Gretsch Duo Jet body (it has acoustic chambers) and Toaster pickups out of phase.
It wouldn't fool Brian in a blindfold test, but it's a servicable alternative if my Red Special ever blows up on stage.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 25 Oct 08, 15:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have a POD2 and it has some Brian settings in that software they use (although I barely use it, too many wirings, I like to use my own settings anyway), but it's not that perfect. The Vox emulator is good for replicating the typical distortion even with my cheap Aria, mostly for the rythm. One thing that I've never seen any of these emulators or whatever they are called is that they never can replicate that "growl" of the RS. Probably it's not just a case of the RS itself, but the Deacy amp, treble boosters and all that...

I know exactly what you say about the 12-strings messed up sound. I have also one ME-10 and the pitch when used to emulate a higher octave and try (try) to sound like a 12-string is always too fake, if you use it to lower the octave it's a little better. It's an old pedalboard, I think that the pitch technology probably improved since it was released. Sometimes I even use a preset I did for playing the guitar in Eb as my Aria has one of these Floyd Rose locking stuff and it's a pain to retune it, but it has a relatively long delay. Once you figure it, you can even use it, but it's not for all songs (chords do get messed up a lot). The ME-10 also have a fabric preset that sounds kind of an organ, using the pitch and some odd pre-delay settings, and it sounds great... if you just play an Am chord. Anything else is just pure noise.

Shame that I was mostly interested in a Variax exactly for the 12 strings... or maybe the 335...


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Posted: 25 Oct 08, 20:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



aaronmcg wrote:

**** off guru if u have nothing constructive to say.....manners doesnt cost anything

Hypocrite