Here’s a few ideas to remember when you are going out to purchase your first guitar amp. There are different amps to suit whatever type of guitar music you are into. For playing heavy metal high gain amps are the way to go. These amps give you greater distortion than the vintage amps. Blues, jazz and blues based rock are best served by the so-called “vintage” sound which is the sound of the sixties, brought to the world by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Hendrix and Cream. You can get that authentic sound with an effects program that can reproduce many of the vintage amp sounds.
Let’s get into the idea that sometime in the near future you might be a professional or semi-professional guitar player. You will be getting paid to play the guitar on stage. People will love hearing you play at gigs but don’t get the idea that your neighbors will be enjoying your guitar practice. Get a practice amp or an amp that’s small enough to use without making your family and neighbors mad. Either that or make sure the place you practice is separated by distance or thick walls from the rest of the world. If you must practice in your bedroom, get some headphones.
To use for practice and small gigs you need a low wattage amp. It’s best to go for a good tone so that your relationship with your amp will always be one of mutual respect. Don’t let a guy in a guitar store sell you a big bad amp with a boatload of effects which you won’t be needing for quite a while, if ever. You will eventually become disenchanted with loudness but a good sound is a joy forever. So get a thirty watt amp and start working on being a serious musician.
The thing that turns the sound of your electric guitar into a superior tone is your pre-amp. You plug your guitar into it and it works on the sound from the strings to give it bass, treble and a number of other qualities that go into a great tone. You will find some pre-amps using MIDI technology to generate your tone. Using this setup you can save your settings and access your preset effects with a pedal. It is best to get yourself a separate effects box. This will give you better quality effects and greater versatility.
Here’s a video for beginner electric guitarists on basic amp types and settings . . .