What’s a decent beginner/intermediate guitar for general use including trem for surf?

Discussion in 'Surf Music Forum' started by Horseflesh, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. Hadronic Spin

    Hadronic Spin J Squier, Esquier Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2021
    Los Angeles
  2. twang69

    twang69 Squier Talker

    Apr 21, 2020
    I was in pretty much the same situation as you - I wanted to play surfy stuff but only owned a Bullet Mustang - without a whammy bar. In the end I bought a 2nd hand VM Jazzmaster and never looked back. Nevertheless a Jazzmaster needs a good setup (as all offsets do) and what helped me a lot in the beginning was this post to get rid of the odds: https://www.premierguitar.com/diy/guitar-bass-mods/jazzmaster-setup
  3. Horseflesh

    Horseflesh Squier Talker

    Sep 19, 2020
  4. BobWithOneO

    BobWithOneO Squier-Meister

    Dec 3, 2020
    Best Carolina
    I don't like this guitar. We have one at work and there's just too much going on with the 3 pickups and the switching. Same goes for the Epiphone Riviera P93. I sold my Riviera and bought my Casino and I'm much happier. I would stick to 2 pickup guitars from Gibson and Gretsch etc.
  5. Smith357

    Smith357 Squier-Meister

    Apr 30, 2017
    Used MIM Stat.
    Hadronic Spin likes this.
  6. Mr Bob

    Mr Bob Squier-holic

    Nov 11, 2011
    I would definitely try at least a strat, a jaguar or jazzmaster and something with a Bigsby as they are all very different in what they do, how they do it and how they feel.

    The pairing of the trem and the guitar also has an effect - a Bigsby will feel very different on a big body Gretsch compared to a Tele or SG for example.
  7. Angry Possum

    Angry Possum A Psychotic 6 String Collector Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2019
    Squier Town NY
  8. fuelish

    fuelish Squier-holic

    I rather enjoy my Bullet Strat HSS, and for the record, it maintains tuning stability just fine... at least with 10s on it....really great affordable guitar, really..... set a guitar up well, any guitar, and it should be fine, really
  9. Shine

    Shine Squier-holic

    Nov 29, 2016
    West Coast Landia
    +1 on a Jazzmaster. I got an old ’66 decades ago and really like it for several reasons:
    • It has its own very Fender-y tone that is different from a Strat.
    • Great tonal variety between the three regular positions—warm neck sound, slightly bitey bridge, and very cool, useable middle position. Also, no BS controls: one volume and one tone.
    • An interesting rhythm circuit (that I really should explore after all these years and seeing this video):
    • Who knows, you might start a new genre--Jazz-Surf?
    • EZ PZ top-loader tailpiece.
    • It just looks cool!
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  10. Shine

    Shine Squier-holic

    Nov 29, 2016
    West Coast Landia
    Ok, now I'm on a JM roll:
    Archtops likes this.
  11. Archtops

    Archtops Squier Talker

    Jun 6, 2021
    Squier Classic Vibe '70s Jaguar - Surf Green
    grizzlewulf and Shine like this.
  12. Benlostforyears

    Benlostforyears Squier-Nut

    Aug 17, 2020
    Western NC
    A lot of surf music inplements pretty heavy use of the trem. Fender Strats have a good system, but it's not ideal for the heavy bending required. But if you like that sound and body shape look into a G&L. Their trem system is much more stable and versatile than that of a classic Strat.
    Jazzmasters and Jaguars on the other hand, once properly set up, are designed to allow further travel of the tremelo arm to give you more extensive pitch bending. However, if you're looking for versatility I would go for a Jazzmaster. Jaguars are great for surf and Indie, but they have a very unique and distinct voice that is percussive and midrange heavy. Jazzys also have their own sound, but the pickups have a wider tonal range and with some tone and volume adjustment can sound like a Strat or Tele too.
  13. Krooser

    Krooser Squier Talker

    Feb 3, 2017
    Somewhere East of Laramie
    Find a local pawnshop... bought my MII Strat for $50.00.
  14. BlueSquirrel

    BlueSquirrel Squier-holic Silver Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2018
    As to the Casino, Epiphone also offers a "Casino Coupe" version. It is smaller (same size as a ES 339, so just very slightly bigger than a Les Paul), with better higher-fret access.
    PangPang likes this.
  15. Cochise

    Cochise Squier Talker

    Sep 26, 2020
    GC has the classic vibe mustang on sale today.
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  16. corn

    corn Squier-holic

    Feb 27, 2013
    San Diego
    The amp, ( or amp settings)you’re playing through will decide the tone. A Les Paul can play surf
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  17. 65refinyellow

    65refinyellow Squier-holic

    Jun 29, 2015
    High end beginner to Intermediate under $500.

    CV strat

    Intermediate to pro (with pickup upgrades):

    Used MIM Standard strat and used loaded pickguard, maybe $500.
    Archtops likes this.
  18. Horseflesh

    Horseflesh Squier Talker

    Sep 19, 2020
    That makes sense and it’s why I’m interested in understanding the differences in trem options.