This electric guitar and amp kit can get any musician ready to rock

Originally published at:

39" guitar? WTF? Guitars are sized by scale length… i.e. the distance from the bridge to the nut. It is usually around 25". A 39" scale length would be a very big bass guitar.


Careful. It’s the amps that kill you.


I assume the market for this is someone who knows nothing about guitars, and isn’t interested.
It’s a good rule of thumb never to buy something that is marketed as a great gift idea. It usually means no one would buy this for themselves.

That, along with the iron law of don’t buy anything that is sold via the BoingBoingShop, and this one is a hard pass.


If you’re going to miss the holidays with the family, there’s nothing that will be as satisfying as giving your “favorite” sibling’s child an electric guitar and amp. Especially if it’s a surprise.

Don’t give it to your kid unless a) they’ve asked, and b) you’ve discussed it with the other adults in the house. Unless you plan on exploiting your housemates’ pain for YouTube dollars.


Good lord, what a piece of crap. If you truly want to do an aspiring guitarist a solid, shop at an actual music store and get them a Fender Squire package with a Strat and amp for about $300. Sometimes I’m really surprised by the junk BoingBoing peddles in their storefront.


Listen to musicians who will implore you NOT to buy this likely garbage. The main issue, besides terrible playability and ear-demolishing intonation in these types of “extreme budget” instruments, is they cannot be upgraded easily due to non-standard parts. So they can never be made good, or even decent. Or even somewhat playable.


You can go to a music store, and get one of the beginner models from Squier or Yamaha. You’ll spend about $100-150 more than this beginner set, but a professional will set up the guitar for playability. And you can pick out an small name branded practice amp or headphones and a multieffects pedal instead of the absolute lowest quality amplifier they can bundle in a deal like this.

I bought my first instrument from ebay for cheap. It wasn’t set up right and I struggled with it for 3 months before I managed to teach myself enough about instrument building to modify it. Few people would have bothered, and a kid would simply have lost interest when they couldn’t get anywhere with an instrument that is physically difficult to play.


Enough people have said ‘don’t buy this’ for me to not have to bother, and yet I feel compelled to say the same. Junk like this will likely make guitar playing a chore and put people off for life.

If you only have this much to spend on an electric guitar and amp, either forego the amp for a while or buy a headphone amp plug for about £30 with a second hand guitar (cash converters etc are a gold mine) are a much better bet. Take a guitar player with you if you can.


Here’s all you need I’ve seen people play guitar lots of times why do you need to buy the whole guitar

Actually I was looking for the old TV commercial that had Wolfman Jack playing one of these, but, alas, it seems lost to time…

1 Like

I play a 5 string bass and that’s only a 34" scale. This must be for really big kids.


another solution is to buy an acoustic guitar in a shop and make set up and tuned by the shop owner.

If you are lucky they also could repair it if breaks.
And if you are really lucky you could still find a factory.

yeah - acoustic-first is how I learned and I believe that it’s probably helped me become a better player over the years. What held me back is that it feels a bit grinch-y for a kid to dream of an electric guitar, and get an acoustic under the tree…


I mailed my nieces ocarinas for Christmas one year. I was told they were not a hit with the adults.


Lots of beginners were enamored by electric guitars. So they should start on electric. IMHO there is no reason not to start on an electric guitar in fact I recommend it because an electric guitar is easier on the hands and electric guitars have easy intonation adjustment. Many entry level acoustic guitars have very high action (height of strings above fret board) which makes them more difficult for a beginner to fret the notes. Intonation adjustment is what helps the notes be more accurate at the frets. Strings are not perfect so the notes at the frets will be out of tune with each other making chords sound sour. Intonation is a non-trivial adjustment on an acoustic. If intonation is bad your ear will not learn how notes are supposed to sound. Even if you choose electric you need to find a favorite string brand and size then have someone set the intonation for those strings…
I got my first guitar in 1963 for making the honor role. It was a cheap Stella acoustic with strings that were half an inch above the fretboard at the 12th fret and a bow in the neck. It came with 6 “free” lessons from the music store. None of the instructors ever told me the guitar sucked so I figured playing guitar was beyond me. They could have at least told me to try playing slide which is my main style today. It was twelve years before I was introduced to electric guitars and I’ve played almost everyday since. I finally purchased an acoustic guitar in 2008. It’s a Wechter and it has near perfect intonation because it was setup on a PLEX. But it’s lonely amongst my 73 (and counting) electric guitars. Today I build my guitars from parts I purchase online which is very enjoyable.


I am always suspect of beginner guitar packages. There are good cheap guitars out there, but if you’re interested in learning guitar I recommend you get a serious seasoned guitarist to come help you pick one out in an actual store. I won’t crap all over this package because it could be pretty good for the price, but you should still try and play one live before purchasing.

The big thing is that these beginner guitars usually have horrible intonation up the neck (it goes sour as you move up from first position), coupled with cheap tuners that wont hold tuning anyway.

I particularly note how the item description brags “perfectly tuned”-- ??? Oh really? For how long?



(A (relatively) old joke, but still…)

On my old Sears guitar (a Les Paul copy), the mother-of-pearl (or whatever) inlays popped out of the fretboard. It was my 1st guitar, though, so I still have it in the basement.


People should learn the instrument they are most interested in playing. it doesn’t really matter what one is easy or what one is hard. A hundred million children learn to play the recorder, the fraction of them that continue playing it is so small we might as well call it nearly zero. (a recorder is a great instrument, fairly easy to learn the basics, and has some depth to it once you get your hands on a well made one. most people simply aren’t in love with it)

1 Like