Welcome to the new site! As a way of saying hi to all the new visitors I thought I’d give you a run down of my set up for playing music. This should be a quick one seeing as there are only 2 parts of it 🙂
1. Guitar – Squire SA-105 (Argos: £79.99)
(UPDATE: Link changed to Dawsons Music as Argos no longer stock this guitar) Yep, living up to my scouse stereotype I got my guitar out of the Argos catalogue. I’ve been playing the instrument on and off since 2000 but really started picking it up again as a hobby when I played at a Talent Show in the summer of 2012. That prompted me to buy my own acoustic guitar for the first time and it was one of these. For a budget guitar I find it really comfortable to play and the accessories bundled in are all solid (although I probably will end up looking for a new travel bag for it sooner rather than later). In all honestly I’ve never bought into this mindset of needing to upgrade to the most expensive equipment possible if you plan on making your own music. After 6 months and 17 songs written, recorded and performed on this thing it’s holding up rather nicely.
One slightly inconvenient thing about this guitar is that it is a pure acoustic. No pick-up, no pre-amp. This makes gigging with just this a bit of a pain because you need a 2nd mic pointed at the sound hole and one or two times the feedback from the mics being so close to each other kinda spoiled the set a little. Luckily there is a remedy for this, which brings me onto….
2. Sound hole Pick-up – Belcat SH-85 (Gear4Music: £9.99+p&p)
This little thing is an absolute lifesaver that has saved me the trouble of having to buy a new guitar. As someone who plays without using any effects this does the job at what I’m sure you’ll agree is a very reasonable price. Granted its not the most amazing sounding pick-up you can buy and the lack of a pre-amp will put some off but now I no longer have the issue of mic feedback and I don’t have to stand rigid when I’m playing.
So my set-up does everything I need it to do, and it costs less than £100. My recordings are all done on my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S III mini) and I use free versions of all the websites and social media platforms that I currently utilize. If you’re thinking of getting started but thinking that the cost of entry might be too high for you then definitely consider getting something like this as a starting point. Nothing is stopping you from starting small and upgrading as you go on.